In this article, I’ll guide you through the purpose of a spade bit and why you should pick one.
A spade drill bit is a cutting tool that creates holes in materials such as wood and metal. Being an electrician and plumber, I often use spade bits to drill through wood poles and plastic pipes. It resembles a regular drill bit but has a wide, flat blade instead of a pointy tip. This makes it ideal for drilling through thicker materials without causing too much damage.
In general, spade bits are used for drilling rough holes in wood quickly and efficiently. They are perfect for when you need to drill multiple holes in a short time.
I’ll dig deeper into this below.
What are Spade Drill Bits Used For?
Spade bits are ideal for making quick holes in wood. Since they create rough holes, they’re typically used to drill in areas that are invisible to the naked eye.
Electricians and plumbers often use spade drill bits to drill through wood poles and plastic pipes. Spade bits are ideal for drilling through any sort of wood, including chipboard (MDF), fiberboard (MDF), plasterboard, acrylic, and plastic-laminated wood.
A spade bit is a power drill bit used for drilling into tree stumps or thick, solid timber. Some DIYers even use old, worn-out spades to create paint mixes.
Common Spade Bit Applications and Tips
- Spade bits help electricians bore holes through wall studs to run electrical wires and cables.
- To install copper or PVC pipes, plumbers use spade bits to drill through wall studs and the top plates of walls.
- Ideal for boring through floor joists to run electrical wiring.
- This is used to drill holes into treated plates for foundations.
- To connect a deck ledger board to the wood frame, drill holes in the treated deck.
Why Choose a Spade Bit?
With a handheld drill, you can easily choose between spade bits or paddle bits to create large diameter holes up to 1-1/2 inches in size.
Spade bits are designed to drill holes in treated or untreated wood. They may also be used on sheet goods such as plywood and OSB and for making plywood.
Use a spade drill bit if you need to:
- For drilling through wood at top speed, nothing beats a corded drill.
- For drilling a variety of holes
- To drill big-diameter holes, you may use a diamond or power tool.
- Use this drill bit to create precise and flat-bottomed holes.
- For high-speed drilling
- Drilling large, rough holes
- Cost-effective wood boring drill bit
- A drill bit that can be used for various purposes.
What are the Different Sizes of Spade Bits Available?
Spade bits come in a variety of sizes, metric (6mm-36mm) and imperial (1/4″-1 1/2″), so you can find the perfect size for your project. Most spades have their shape engraved on the body.
The shank length is just as important as the metric and imperial sizes when choosing a spade bit. Standard lengths go from 150 mm (6 in) to 400 mm (16 in). Go forlong-shanked spade bit if you need to drill deep holes.
The Advantages of Selecting a Spade Drill Bit
- Spade bits are flexible and may be used to drill multiple materials.
- Perfect for projects that require multiple holes to be drilled, such as framing, plumbing, electrical work, and woodworking.
- You can drill large holes in wood with them.
- Spade bits have large-bit shanks, which allow them to drill fast. They’re ideal for big tasks because of their large bit shanks.
- Spade bits are wood-boring bits that can often be cheaper than other types, making them an affordable option for woodworking projects.
- Spade bits are easy to modify thanks to their simple design. If you need a sizing hole slightly smaller than the ones available or want to angle the sides of your spade bit for tapering, this might be necessary.
What are the Disadvantages of Using a Spade Bit?
- Tear-out (splintering) will occur when using a spade bit to drill through a wooden workpiece, but this can be prevented using a sacrificial piece of wood as a backing.
- These need to be spun quickly to be used in hand-powered drills; however, they will work better when placed in a power drill or drill press.
- Spade bits boreholes that are not perfectly smooth; if the bit is blunt, these holes will be even rougher.
- Most efficient on softwoods. While they may also be used on hardwoods, the greater resistance from their harder fibers makes them less effective.
Take a look at some of our related articles below.
- What is a step drill bit used for
- What size drill bit for 10 screw
- How to drill out a broken drill bit
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