why-would-you-choose-a-spade-bit-over-other-drill-bits

Why would you choose a spade bit over other drill bits?

A spade bit is a wood-boring drill bit that is flat with two sharp lips. The spade bit was invented by the Irwins tool company in 1968 and its design allows for it to scoop material out of a bore-hole quickly.

 

For some reason spade bits are more popular in the US than they are in the UK, so what is it that the Americans see in them that some Britons don’t?

What are the advantages of using a spade bit?

Spade bits can often be cheaper than other types of wood-boring bits, meaning they can be an affordable way to tool up for a woodworking project.

 

Spade bits bore holes at rapid speed making them useful for large projects.

 

Thanks to their simple design, spade bits are easy to modify. This might be necessary if you need a hole that is slightly smaller than one of the sizes of bit that you own, or if you want to angle the sides of your spade bit to drill a tapered hole.

Spade bits can often be cheaper than other types of wood-boring bits, meaning they can be an affordable way to tool up for a woodworking project.

 

Spade bits bore holes at rapid speed making them useful for large projects.

Thanks to their simple design, spade bits are easy to modify. This might be necessary if you need a hole that is slightly smaller than one of the sizes of bit that you own, or if you want to angle the sides of your spade bit to drill a tapered hole.

What are the disadvantages of using a spade bit?

Spade bits cause tear-out (splintering) when drilling all the way through a wooden workpiece unless you use a sacrificial piece of wood as a backing.

 

They need to be spun too quickly to be used in hand-powered drills. To be effective, they should be used in a power drill or drill press.

 

Spade bits bore rough holes, which are even more untidy if the bit is blunt.

 

They are most effective on softwoods. While they can be used on hardwoods, they bore much more untidily in these materials due to increased resistance from their tougher fibres.

Spade bits cause tear-out (splintering) when drilling all the way through a wooden workpiece unless you use a sacrificial piece of wood as a backing.

 

They need to be spun too quickly to be used in hand-powered drills. To be effective, they should be used in a power drill or drill press.

Spade bits bore rough holes, which are even more untidy if the bit is blunt.

 

They are most effective on softwoods. While they can be used on hardwoods, they bore much more untidily in these materials due to increased resistance from their tougher fibres.

Wonkee Donkee Review

When drilling holes in materials it is important that you have a good quality drill that can complete the jobs you need. At Wonkee Donkee we have reviewed our favourite drills comparing them on quality, usability and price.

Spade Bits Vs Other Drill Bits

So we have explored the individual advantages and disadvantages of using a spade bit when drilling holes. But how do spade bits compare to other drillbits and which are best for different jobs? Below we have made comparisons of the benefits and drawbacks of using a spade bit over other drill bits available.

Spade Bits vs Auger Bits

Auger bits require much less downward force to operate than spade bits, meaning they require less effort to use.

 

Auger bits clear waste from a borehole much more efficiently than spade bits through their design which aids in clearing waste from holes during drilling with auger bits.

 

However, they sacrifice a lot of speed for these benefits and therefore boreholes more slowly than spade bits.

Spade Bits vs Brad Point Bits

Brad point bits are much neater than spade bits. The design of brad point bits is based around the ability to drill accurate and neat holes in mainly wood (however, they are versatile and can also drill holes in some other materials.

 

However, they are more expensive, and better suited to drilling smaller holes as they do not come in sizes as big as spade bits.

Spade Bits vs Forstner Bits

Spade bits are much messier than Forstner bits, which drill very clean, neat holes.

 

Forstner bits are also available in much larger diameters than spade bits.

 

Additionally, Forstner bits can be used to drill into surfaces at an angle. This is not easily done with a spade bit, as a lot of strength is required to hold the bit in place and prevent it from going off course due to its flat shape.

 

Spade bits bore holes much more quickly than Forstner bits, though, making them better suited to jobs where a lot of holes need to be bored in a short space of time, and where neatness is not an issue.

Spade Bits vs Hole Saws

Holes saws are small cylindrical attachments that you add to the end of a drill which has a rigid saw-like edge that cuts through the material.

 

Hole saws are capable of boring wider and neater holes than spade bits.

 

However, hole saws cannot bore partial holes, unlike spade bits. They can also get plugged with waste material very easily if they are drilling a large hole.

Wonkee Donkee Review

When drilling holes in materials it is important that you have a good quality drill that can complete the jobs you need. At Wonkee Donkee we have reviewed our favourite drills comparing them on quality, usability and price.