Spade bits and auger bits require different techniques and produce different hole styles. Learn about four differences between spade bits and auger bits to understand how to use these tools appropriately.
1. Bit Shape
Spade bits are also known as paddle bits because of their shape. A spade bit features a flat, paddle-like head with a sharp bottom edge and point. You must lift the bit to remove accumulated waste material from the hole.
On the other hand, auger bits have a spiraling, corkscrew-like shape with a threaded point at the center. The spiral allows auger bits to dig deep into the workpiece and remove waste material easily.
2. Hole Size
The size and depth of the holes they create are another difference between spade bits and auger bits. Drilling at deeper depths with a spade requires a lot of downward pressure, so other tools may be better suited for creating deep holes. However, spade bits have greater diameters than twist bits, so they’re ideal for drilling wide holes.
In contrast, auger bits drill deeper holes than spade bits. The threaded tip of an auger bit allows the tool to drill deeply quickly, creating clean, smooth holes.
3. Material Compatibility
The choice between spade and auger bits also depends on your work material. Spade bits can quickly drill holes in wood, laminates, fiberglass, and acrylic.
Auger bits can cut through hardwoods, walls, lumber, plastics, carbon fiber, and hard plank. The deep-cutting action of auger bits makes them suitable for denser materials that spade bits can struggle to penetrate.
4. Stability and Control
Spade bits require extra attention and control from the user to maintain accuracy. Due to their flat shape and fewer contact points, they’re more prone to getting stuck or creating kickback. Use a high speed and light pressure when beginning a hole with a spade bit.
Auger bits are easier to control. The threaded tip design makes it easier to guide the auger bit and reduces the chances of slipping or wandering off course. Stability is particularly important when drilling deeper holes.
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