I've heard the subject of today's Toolbox Tuesday post referred to as paddle bits, hole bits, flat bits, spade bits, speed bits, wing bits, and even boring bits, but that last one can't possibly be referring to the level of interest these drill bits should generate. Regardless of what you want to call them, the drill bits im talking about today have one purpose, to cut large holes in stuff.

For a very long time, I used a set of Irwin "Speedbor" flat bits when I needed to cut holes larger than the typical 1/2" or 5/8" that my standard drill bits cover. 

These simple and no nonsense bits worked well for my needs over the years, but their use wasn't without some level of effort and patience. I'd chuck them up in my old low powered drill and work my way through the material where I needed a hole, exercising some level of patience, especially when I hit a knot or otherwise dense area in the wood. Eventually, I'd end up with the hole I needed, and a bead of sweat or two on my brow.

It wasn't until recently that I discovered a set of spade bits (that's what I've always called them) that are an improvement in almost every way, only with a very minor design change.

Shortly after I received my new higher powered hammer drill this past Christmas, I needed a new 1-1/4" spade bit. I had burnt up my last one and it was no longer cutting adequately. Rather than purchase a single bit in an attempt to add on to my band of misfit spade bits, I opted to instead go with a full set, ensuring I wouldn't be stuck looking for a size I didn't yet own. I began looking through various reviews and tool sites searching for a good quality set of bits that would not only last, but also do the job in a more efficient way. After much searching, I found myself this set of Bosch Daredevil bits, complete with fancy carry case.

I think they're called "Daredevil" because the flat portion looks to have two little devil horns. The reviews of these bits all spoke very highly of their function and design. Though the shape of the cutter is slightly different and more efficient than the standard bits, the key to the tremendous improvement in performance is in the screw tipped end of the bit.

Rather than slowly sinking into the material with force from the drill's operator (that's me), the tip of these bits use a threaded screw-like setup to actually pull the bit into the material, quickly ripping through all that stands in its way. A typical cut through a 2x4 will take only a few seconds, cutting the standard flat bit time by about 75%.

The key with the use of these bits is to ensure your drill has enough torque to handle them. I put these in the lower powered drill and I was unable to get the bit to move through the material. It just bound up once the bit reached about 1/4" depth. Switching over to the higher torque 18v drill I covered last week allowed the bit to rip through the wood with ease. The only thing to watch out for is to ensure you have a good and sturdy handle on the drill. Otherwise you'll find the drill's handle rips from your hands, leaving you with pretty sore wrists and possibly a damaged drill or wall.

The package comes complete with 13 bits, ranging in 1/8" sizes from 1/4" up through 1-1/2". Each size has been effective as the others, ripping through the wood without seizing up in the process. I'm being as good as I can about putting them back in their pouch after using them, which has kept them nice and orderly along the way.

The shaft of the bits is sturdy and hasn't had any sort of bending or failure, and the threaded tips haven't lost any of their definition through repeated use. The ability of the tips to keep their threads is really the only thing I worry about long term.

Overall, these spade bits provide consistent and fast holes when I need them, and I couldn't be happier. These are the bits you should buy if you've been looking for a new set or have been disappointed in the performance of your current set. 

Do you have a brand that's working well for you? Also, what sort of thing did you consider when you picked up the bits you have? Or did you just buy what they had available at the store? This isn't a tool purchase that most people really research or over think, but with these new bits, I'm sure glad I took the time to look into it.

Did you enjoy reading this post? Want to learn more about our first-hand experiences with other tools, devices or items used throughout our renovation? If so, check out our complete list of product reviews in our Toolbox Tuesday section

Note: We weren't compensated for this review. We simply want to share good products when we see them, and hope that learning from our mistakes can help save you time, money and frustration.

Comments 2


4/10/2013 at 9:45 PM
Alex,I know where your old bits can find a new home. Mike
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