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Earlier today, I came across new spade bits with an interesting feature: threaded tips. According to Bosch — one of several self-feeding bit manufacturers — the tip is threaded like a wood screw and literally pulls the bit through the wood for fast cutting action.” Bosch also claims that these bits are kind on your arms since the pulling action reduces the amount of pressure required to drill large holes.

If these bits work as claimed, then they might make life easier for those who routinely use spades in a portable drill.

But I’m eager to see what you have to say. Do these self-feeding bits excite you, or are they just boring?

RapidFeed Spade Bits [Bosch Tools]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Six-Piece Set Via Amazon [What’s this?]

 

16 Responses to Hot or Not? Self-Feeding Spade Bits

    • KV282377 says:

      I used to use Milwaukee but they would get trashed if I hit a nail. My buddy told me about the new Lenox ones and they’re the best self feed bit that ever used.

  1. BJN says:

    I’ll give one a try. I have a spiral boring bit with a similar pulling point and it does indee reduce the arm work necessary. However, this bit has less threading on the point so it looks like it won’t work as well.

  2. Tooldork says:

    Put — Have you used them or are you just saying that because you have the other bits?

    On another Bosch entry (see free Colt Router) you linked directly to a Hitachi deal.

    I’ve used the Bosch and Vermont American bits and they are HOT…..I had to run electric through floor joists to my basement shop and since I was working overheard, the threading really got the bit going easier and smoother than a traditional spade bit that I started the job with.

  3. Zathrus says:

    I’m with BJN here — I’ve used numerous self-boring augers and they work very well (and I highly recommend them over spade bits for doing exactly what Tooldork just did — running electric through floor joists).

    Of course, you can get an entire set of spades for the price of one auger…

  4. PutnamEco says:

    Re: Put — Have you used them or are you just saying that because you have the other bits?
    ————————————————————————————————————

    Yup, I bought them when they first came out, I don’t really like the fact that they seem to quit feeding just before you break through. The bosch bits sometimes lose their self feed threading at times, and you have to apply pressure to get them started again. The Milwaukees don’t seem to do this as badly.
    Milwaukee also has bits in bigger sizes.
    I’ve also tried the rigid (name eludes me at the moment) hybrid self feeding ships auger style, I think that the feed rate is little to fast for my liking. I’ve found that I like the way the Milwaukees smoothly go about their business best.
    If i didn’t have to drill as many holes as I have to, I would probably be happy with the bosch bits. They are a step up from plain spades.

    ———————————————————————————————————–
    Re:On another Bosch entry (see free Colt Router) you linked directly to a Hitachi deal.
    ———————————————————————————————————–
    That was an Amazon deal, The nailer was also on Amazon

  5. Seeing the odd geometry of the Milwaukee bits (thanks Putnam) reminded me of the Ridgid spade bits that I saw at Home Depot. Details of these bits are scarce but luckily I snapped up a cellphoto of it.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sir_stuey/1403126995/in/pool-toolmonger/

    It looks like these Ridgids have much more aggressive threads than the Bosch bits, but the unconventional cutting edge design scares me away. Also, the packaging claims that the cutting edge can be sharpened as needed. I’m a huge fan of Ridgid’s holesaws so I might pick up a set of these during my next trip to HD.

  6. cpw says:

    I’ve used the Irwin Speedbor MAX (http://www.irwin.com/irwin/consumer/jhtml/browse.jhtml?catId=IrwinCat160001) bits. They drill through studs like butter, through you need a powerful drill. Two important things I’d point out. One is that like a hole saw, if the saw/bit sticks, that drill handle will twist so fast, you’ll break your wrist if you’re not careful. Second thing is that from my experience, these self-feeding bits only work on soft woods like pine. If you need to drill hardwood, you’ll break the bit–use a forstner bit instead.

  7. slothrs says:

    While I have never tried the Bosch spade bits, I have been using Greenlee selffeeding spade bits. Unlike the Bosch bits, the Greenlee bits thread the whole body of the bit so it pulls itself all the way through. The only complaint I have about them is that they require a fairly powerful cordless drill once the body becomes embedded in the wood. A Bosch PS20 simply doesn’t have the juice to push the bit. As a joke I decided to pop a 7/8″ bit into a Hole Hawg to see what would happen, it drilled through fine but certainly put a load on the drill

  8. Clinton says:

    My employer buys these Bosch bits for us and they self-feed for the first 1/4″ or so of penetration after that the threaded point just shreds the wood rather than pulling it further in. It’s probably still helping but definitely not pulling itself through the wood in any meaningful fashion. Still- the self-feed tip defintely helps to pull the spade bit in centered on where you want it to be centered on.

    SO to me they’re Hot in that they work to quickly start the hole going without the bit jumping around even if it’s not going in perfectly perpendicular.

    With a corded drill I’d probably want some kind of auger bit for serious hole work but in a cordless these work great and don’t torque up too bad.

  9. Patrick says:

    I’ve got my father a Craftsman set from Sears and one I needed for a specific project in June. Worked great, tons faster than the older type.

    On those Rigid augers – mine didn’t make it through 3 damn holes. It’s not made in one piece – so when/if you pull the drill/brace (like I seem to do, or rather, the “helpers” I teach) it just snaps in two. You are left with a piece of scrap wood with self-installed scrap metal stuck in it. Stunk a big one.

  10. Brau says:

    Basic physics support what Clinton says. There is no way the threads on these bits can pull a spade bit through the wood. It only appears to work on augers because on augers the cutting edge is already digging in at a sharp angle and pulling itself through as it cuts. The only thing the screw is good for is getting it started.

    Bosch, we put the BS right in our name!

  11. Mark Bickford says:

    I like the Vermont american WoodEater bits for holes smaller than 1 1/2″
    http://www.vermontamerican.com/Products/productdetail.htm?G=191083&GRP=191083&I=71473
    For anything bigger than 1 1/2″ The Milwaukee Selfeed bits are the only way to go!

  12. PutnamEco says:

    Re:
    Mark Bickford Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 3:54 am
    I like the Vermont american WoodEater bits for holes smaller than 1 1/2″
    http://www.vermontamerican.com/Products/productdetail.htm?G=191083&GRP=191083&I=71473
    For anything bigger than 1 1/2″ The Milwaukee Selfeed bits are the only way to go!
    ———————————————————————————————————————————————
    Why do you like the the WoodEaters over the Milwaukees for small holes?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

  13. Bert says:

    My experience with self-feeding bits is that sometimes the bit pulls itself into the hole so tightly that it binds.

    You guys seen this?

  14. KV282377 says:

    I had that problem with Milwaukee. I’m telling you, the new lenox one is awesome and doesn’t clog up.

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