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Spade bit vs Auger bit vs Forstner bit

Spade bit vs Auger bit vs Forstner bit

“A spade bit is used to drill a large number of holes in a short time. Spade bit is a less expensive and time-saving drill bit. You will need an auger drill bit to drill deep holes. An auger bit is a long drill bit used to drill holes in non-metallic materials (plastic and wood). However, if you are looking for a neat and clean partial hole, choose a Forstner drill bit. Forstner bit is perfect for boring flat-bottom holes”.

A drill bit is a must-have cutting tool for any toolbox, as it is necessary for almost every woodworking job. Whether you working on a home renovation or complete room upgrade, or massive construction, drill bits play an important role. But, remember it is essential to choose the right drill bit for the job.

Although, there are different types of drill bit that you can choose from, according to your applications. Today we will learn about those important drill bits (like spade bit, auger bit, and Forstner bit) that you need to know.

What are Spade bit, Auger bit, and Forstner bit?

Spade bit, Auger bit, and Forstner bit is an equally important drill bit, utilized by drilling industries for different metalworking applications? Let’s know what is these three drill bits and what this drill bit is used for?

Spade Drill Bit or Paddle Bit

Spade bit (also known as "paddle bits") is a drill bit, used to bore holes in wood. They are mainly used by the woodworking industries. Spade drill bit is mainly used for rough woodworking where speed is more important than hole perfection. Because, when spade bit drills through a wood workpiece, it shatters in the opposite direction. As a result, you won't get a well-finished hole.

So, if you are looking for a well-finished hole with a spade bit, drill from both sides and meet inside the wood piece. Spade bits are designed to drill a large hole than the regular twist drill bit. A spade bit is available in different diameters ranging from 1/4-inch to 1-1/2-inch.

Read More: Auger bit vs Hole Saw

What is Spade Drill Bit Used For?

  • Spade drill bits are used to hole in wood.
  • Spade bits are perfect to use on softwoods and hardwood.
  • Quickly drill holes in wood, plastic, and soft metals.
  • Spade drill bits are used for drilling holes required for framing, plumbing, electrical, and woodworking jobs.
  • Provides large diameter holes.

"Spade drill bit is only used for soft materials (such as wood and plastic), not suitable for metal and other hard materials".

Auger Drill Bit

Auger bit (spiral shape bit) is a drill bit, used to drill deep holes in wood. Auger bit is designed in such a way that along with drilling they can clean dust and debris from boreholes. The auger drill bit features a sharp-edge screw tip at the top. This screw tip helps the auger bit easily bore into the wood and also makes way for removing wood chips and dust as possible to keep the hole clean.

An Auger drill bit is used to get a clean and smooth hole in wood products. It is capable of drilling into most types of wood without any damage to the wood.

Read More: Spade Bit vs Forstner Bit vs Hole Saw

What is an Auger Drill Bit Used For?

  • Auger drill bits are ideal for drilling a hole in wood.
  • Perfect for large woodworking applications.
  • Screw-tip at the top helps in removing chips and dust easily.
  • Auger bit requires less pressure to withdraw.
  • Auger bit is perfect for drilling deep holes.
  • Reduces drill jamming or clogging.

Forstner Drill Bit

Forstner bit is named after Benjamin Forstner, who designed this drill bit. Forstner bit features a sharp spike (in middle) and a wide cutting rim with cutting teeth (outside). This outside cutting rim prevents the Forstner bit from slipping into an adjacent hole, this characteristic also makes it ideal for overlap boring. A Forstner drill bit is a special type of drill bit, used for several industrial applications, but primarily used for drilling holes (large diameter holes) into the wood and other related jobs.

The Forstner bit set features precision ground cutting edges that helps in fast and smooth cutting with bulk chip removal. Prefer benchmark abrasives best Forstner bit set for the nonstop woodworking job.

What are Forstner bits Used For?

  • Forstner drill bits are used for drilling holes in softwood and hardwood.
  • Drill large diameter hole than other drill bits.
  • Make clean holes with a flat base.
  • Produce a more precise and clean cut with a flat bottom.
  • A Forstner bit is perfect for woodworking in plasterboard, fireboard, chipboard, and hardwood.
  • Mostly suitable with a drill press than a handheld drill.

Read More: Auger Bit vs Drill Bit

Comparison Between (Spade Bit vs Auger Bit vs Forstner Bit)

The following comparison table shows the key difference between spade bit, auger bit, and Forstner bit.

Spade Bit

Auger Bit

Forstner Bit

Flat drill bit with Full-cone threaded tip.

Spiral shape drill bit with an edge screw tip.

Round drill bit with wide cutting rim & cutting teeth.

Features sharp edge point at the center.

Feature screw-shaped pointed tip.

Features sharp edge point at cutting rim center.

Produce partial and complete holes.

Produce partial and complete holes.

Produce flat-bottom holes.

Fast speed/ cutting.

Moderate speed/ cutting.

Slow speed/ cutting.

Sizes range from 1/4-inch to 1-1/2 inches.

Longest drill bit. Sizes range from 6mm to 25mm and widths range from 1/4″ to 1″. 

Sizes range from 1/4-inch to 2-1/4-inches.

Messy and rough holes cause splinters.

Average clean and smooth holes.

Perfectly clean and smooth holes.

Average chip removal rate.

Excellent chip removal rate.

Poor chip removal rate.

Use for large diameter holes on soft material such as wood & plastic.

Use for drilling deep holes on wood & plastic.

Use for clean & finished large diameter holes

Poor surface finish result.

Good surface finish result.

Good surface finish result.

Less Price

Moderate Price

High Price

Material removal rate (AVERAGE/SLOW)

Material removal rate (AVERAGE/SLOW)

Material removal rate (HIGH/FAST)


  • Good for powerful, effortless drilling.
  • Spur & Reamer tips for clean work.
  • Perfect for industrial jobs.
  • Compatible with almost every power drill.
  • Works on a variety of materials.


  • Long service life (Designed with heavy-duty steel).
  • Compatible with hand-held drills.
  • Multi-Purposes use.
  • Enhance work efficiency.
  • Provide excellent deep holes.


  • Razor-sharp edges.
  • Give smooth and flat-bottom holes.
  • Hex shank prevents the bit from slipping.
  • Cut hard and softwood smoothly.
  • Easily make flat-bottomed and pocket holes

Difference Between Spade Bit Vs Auger Bit Vs Forstner Bit

1. Spade Bit vs Auger Bit

In terms of drill bit efficiency, the Auger bit performs much better than the spade bit. 

In terms of hole smoothness, Auger bit holes are much smoother than spade bit holes.

  • Auger bit doesn't focus on speed whereas spade bit requires more speed for efficient cutting. 
  • Auger bit focus on finishing to provide clean and smooth holes, while spade bit leaves messy and rough holes and cause splintering.

2. Auger Bit vs Forstner Bit

In terms of drill bit efficiency, the Forstner bit performs much better than Auger bit. 

In terms of hole smoothness, the Forstner bit is much smoother than Auger bit holes.

Although the Forstner bit has a slower drill/cutting speed (for cutting a flat-bottom hole) but can perform faster than the auger bit. There is a large screw in the center of the auger bit so it is difficult for the auger bit to work. However, due to their spiral shape, the auger bit can remove scrap material from a hole more easily than the Forstner bit.

  • In size, the Auger drill bit is longer than the Forstner bit.
  • Auger bit is used for making clean and flat bottomed holes, while Forstner bit is used for making sharp, very deep, and long holes.
  • Auger Bit is perfect for drilling straight and a clean hole. Whereas the Forstner bit is perfect for drilling large smooth holes.
  • Forstner bit results in a clean and well-finished hole compared to auger bit.
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