Last year we covered Irwin’s release of their (then-)new spade bit, the SPEEDBOR Blue-Groove, which claimed to drill four times faster than a standard spade bit. But it looked pretty much like a regular spade bit. Now Irwin’s bringing a new design to the game — something that looks more revolutionary: basically, Irwin took the best elements of the spade bit, brad point bit, forstner bit, and auger bit slammed them all together to create the new SpeedBor Max.
They took a standard spade bit and expanded the brad points on the edges so it would cut clean without tearout — like a bradpoint. Then they added a self-feed screw point to the center — like an auger bit — to deliver faster bores without you having to push as hard on the back of the drill. Finally, they added open flutes to clear out chips, like a forstner bit.
While it’s nominally geared towards construction and carpentry users, woodworkers should love the clean entry and exit holes.
So how is it not a spade bit? Well, they added a third cutting edge. So instead of two opposite each other like a spade bit, these have three spread out evenly around the drill. This improved speed through more cutting surfaces, and durability since your spreading the wear over 50% surface area.
How much is all this monstrous boring action going to set you back? Anywhere from $6 for the 1/2“ bit to about $10 for the 1-1/4” bit. You can also get them in sets of three or six. The set of three includes the 5/8”, 3/4”, and 1” sizes, while the set of six adds the 1/2″, 7/8”, and 1-1/4” over the smaller set. Prices start around $12 for the 3-piece set and $24 if you shop around for the 6-piece. (Just make sure you steer clear of Irwin’s InnerPain, err. I mean InnerGrip glove in the picture. Check out our hands-on from Glove Week)