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How to Use a Spade Bit

How to Use a Spade Bit

Spade bits are the most popular wood boring drill bits. Spade bits or paddle bits serve multiple advantages in the woodworking industries for cutting and drilling wood materials.

Let us know, how to use a spade bit?

How to Use a Spade Bit

A spade bit is easy to use than a twist bit, Forstner bit, auger bit, and a hole saw. It has a long shank for deep drilling. Spade drill bits have two sharp-edged lips, spurs, and a center point for more effective drilling into wood.

To use a spade bit, follow these simple steps:

Step 1 - Mark Your Workpiece 

Before starting drilling, mark the hole center point with a marker. These will help you in drilling a precise hole in the wood. Make sure your workpiece is secured with a clamp or vice.

After marking your workpiece, place the shank of the spade bit into the drill.

Step 2 - Set Drilling Speed

Use a power drill driver that allows for adjustable speed settings. Refer to the below-mentioned spade drill bit speed chart to determine drilling speed:

SPADE BIT SIZE (mm/”)

6-14mm (1/4-1/2″)

15-25mm (5/8-1″)

26-36mm (1 1/8-1 1/2″)

HARDWOOD WITHOUT SPURS (RPM)

1500

1500

1000

HARDWOOD WITH SPURS (RPM)

1800

1800

1300

SOFTWOOD WITHOUT SPURS (RPM)

2000

1750

1500

SOFTWOOD WITH SPURS (RPM)

2000

2000

1750

ACRYLIC WITH SPURS ONLY (RPM)

500

500

500


If you want to drill through acrylic material, make sure your spade has spurs. Experts do not recommend using spur-less spade bits, as they cannot make precise holes in acrylic-coated wood.

Another essential point to consider while drilling through acrylic is speed. Do not exceed the recommended speed (500 rpm) as the acrylic material may melt at high speed.

Read More: Spade bit vs Drill bit

Step 3 - Drilling the Hole

Place the center point of the spade bit on the marked workpiece, now adjust the angle of the drill. It should be perpendicular to your workpiece.

Now to start drilling, switch on the power button and let the drill bit do the rest (in start run at low speed). While drilling, hold the drill carefully as long as the drill bit is on your workpiece because if the drill bit moves past the marked point it can damage your workpiece.

Increase the drilling speed as soon as the center point of the spade bit is driven into the wood. Allow the drill bit to rotate at full speed until it reaches the opposite side of your workpiece.

You have successfully drilled the hole, now carefully remove the drill bit from the borehole.

The faster the spade drill bit drills the wood, the more dangerous it can be if you're not careful enough. Hold the tool carefully and follow all safety measures.

Step 4 - Cleaning the hole

At last, to scrape off any excess material, let the drill run at a low speed while withdrawing it from the borehole. It can also help to clean the inside of the hole and any tear-out. After this still, if you have a messy hole, run the drill at a low speed and put it in the hole, and remove it again. Do this 2 to 3 times to get a clean hole. To get the best drill bit set for wood and metal, visit our store.

Read More: Spade bit vs Hole saw

How to Avoid Tear-out With a Spade bit?

Experts say, It isn't possible to avoid tear-out with a spade bit, but we can reduce it. For this, there are some tricks that you should know.

Firstly, Your workpiece shouldn't vibrate while drilling. It should be stable. For this, secure your workpiece with a clamp or vice.

Secondly, Place a spare wood sheet behind the workpiece you are drilling through, to get a clean hole and to avoid tear-out with a spade bit. This will also protect your workshop tools.

Third, Before the drill bit reaches the opposite side of the workpiece, minimize the drilling speed. Slowing the speed can avoid tear-out.

Tips For Using a Spade Bit

  • To avoid splinter, once again drive the drill into the borehole at a slow speed after removing it from the workpiece.
  • Place a spare wood sheet behind your workpiece to avoid tear-out.
  • This method will not only avoid splatter but will also make the hole clean and smooth.
  • Before drilling, secure your wooden workpiece with a clamp or vice.
  • Run the drill at low speed (until the center point enters the wood), then start fast drilling. Before bit reaches on opposite side reduce the speed again.
  • Once you have successfully drilled the hole turn your workpiece upside down and run the drill through the backside of the hole to get a good finish.
  • Use a mill file or bench grinder to sharpen the spade bits. You may also use a belt sander, or a drill bit sharpener to sharpen drill bits.

In this way, we will use a spade bit. Hope you all are aware of the right method for a spade bit use.

You may also have:

  • What is a spade bit
  • Paddle bit vs spade bit
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