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Spade Bit vs Drill Bit

Spade Bit vs Drill Bit

To get good quality holes in wood, it is important to choose the right drill bit for wood that can complete your job.

However, woodworkers commonly use spade bits, twist drill bits, brad-point bits, and Forstner bits to make wooden furniture and cabinets. But, when it comes to drilling holes in wood, woodworkers choose spade drill bits to get their job done, why?

A spade bit is a wood boring drill bit that features sharp edges on both sides of the spade. Few people know that the spade bit was first designed in 1968 by The Irwins Tool Company for fast drilling and quick material removal.

Why spade bits are so unique in their category? Also, What makes spade drill bits different from other drill bits?

Here in this article, we will go through the different aspects that make a spade drill bit different from other drill bits. We'll also learn why to choose a spade bit over other drill bits, including the pros and cons of using spade bits.

Why Choose Spade Drill Bit Over Other Drill Bits

There are many important reasons behind choosing Spade Drill Bits over other drill bits such as-

  • If there is any wood drill bit that is most commonly used by the woodworking industries, it is a spade bit.
  • The spade bit is the only drill bit that can drill multiple holes in a short time.
  • The most affordable among all other drill bits is the spade bit.
  • The cheapest drill bit among wood drill bits is a spade bit.
  • Spade bits are a popular choice for drilling large diameter holes (1/2" or more). 
  • They can drill holes much faster than other wood drill bits. 
  • Spade drill bits are ideal for home improvement and DIY jobs.
  • Can perform multiple applications (industrial and non-industrial).

In softwoods, spade bits are most effective. However, they can also drill through hardwoods, but the compact grain structure and high resistance may lead to a rough hole. Another advantage of spade bits is that they can be designed into any shape using a grinder to get the result as per requirement. You can use a spade bit for metal to drill aluminum and other thin metals.

To successfully use a spade bit and to get maximum output from it,  drive the drill at maximum speed right from the beginning. Also, make sure the spurs come into contact with the wood first when drilling.

Spade Drill Bit Vs Other Drill Bits

How spade drill bit different from auger bit, brad-point bit, Forstner bit, and hole saw.  Let’s know

Spade Bit Vs Auger Bit

The important characteristic that makes spade bit better than auger bits is their speed. Spade drill bits are much faster than auger bits, although augers have high material removal rate. Auger bits are designed in such a way that they can remove wood shavings and scraps more efficiently than spade bits while drilling.

Spade Bit Vs Brad Point Bit

When it comes to pricing, spade bits are less expensive than brad point bits. However, brad point bits make neat and clean holes as compared to spade bits.

So, pricing is the only factor where spade bits can outperform brad point bits.

Spade Bit Vs Forstner Bit

Spade bits can drill faster than Forstner bits. The holes of spade bits are rough compared to the holes of Forstner bits. The Forstner bit makes neat, clean, and smooth holes. However, when you need to drill a large number of holes in a short amount of time, you will need a spade bit, not a Forstner bit.

If you are concerned about the quality of the hole choose a Forstner bit (expensive but less messy) and if not then choose a spade bit (cheaper but messy).

In addition, when it comes to size the difference between two Forstner bits is also available in larger diameters than spade bits.

Spade Bit Vs Hole Saw

Spade bits are better than hole saws when it comes to drilling partial holes. Another thing that makes the spade drill bit different from the hole saw is that wood scraps and shavings do not get stuck in the spade bit, whereas, wood shavings and scraps get stuck easily in hole saws.

Hole saws can drill clean, smooth, and large diameter holes than spade bits.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Spade Drill Bit?

Spade bits are also known as "paddle bits" (due to their shape). They are used to cutting wood faster. When you are short of time and want to drill multiple holes you can use spade drill bits. Use spade bits only if speed is more important than the clean hole. Spade bits are easy to modify or redesign.

Spade bits are perfect for drilling precise holes in wood, plywood, and plastic. To keep the drill bit from getting stuck in the workpiece, prefer high-speed drilling with spade bits. Spade drill bits are available in a range of sizes from 1/4 inch in diameter to 1/2-1 inch. You may have our best drill bit set for wood.

Using spade bits you can have the following benefits:

  • Spade bits are designed for speed. You can perform fast drilling operations.
  • They are perfect for construction work, electric/plumbing work, stud holes, and more.
  • They can drill flat bottom holes and complete holes.
  • Spade bits are easy to re-sharpened.
  • Less costly.

Spade Drill Bit: Pros And Cons


  • Can drill holes very fast.
  • Can make multiple holes in less time.
  • The most commonly used wood drill bit.
  • Average material removal rate.
  • Multiple application.
  • Can drill flat bottom holes as well as complete and large diameter holes.


  • Lack of versatility (drill only wood).
  • Make rough holes.
  • May cause splintering.
  • Can deform while drilling.

Also Read: Forstner Bit vs Drill Bit

Previous article Beginners Guide To Use Power Drill And Drill Bits

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