A spade bit or a Forstner bit? – Bosch Daredevil Spade Bit Set Review – THD Prospective Season 2

 In Tool Reviews
bosch spade bit review

Can a spade bit run with the big dogs?

Ok, so when most people need to drill a precision hole for a finished piece of furniture, or a mortise for a hinge, they reach for a forstner bit. When they need to drill a hole fast they reach for a spade bit.  So basically woodworkers use forstner bits (or augers if they are real old school) and plumbers, carpenters and electricians use spade bits…right? Well hold your horses right there. Lets take a look at the Bosch Daredevil spade bits before we jump to any hasty conclusions.

bosch daredevil

The Daredevil spade bits are already a standard in most tool bags and tool boxes.

Bosch’s Daredevil spade bits are already a standard in most tradesperson’s tool bag, but I am a furniture maker.  How do these fit into what I do and how do they stack up against forstener bits for a couple of common task? The Bosch Daredevil bits set themselves apart from most cheap spade bit sets in a couple ways.  

bosch daredevil lead screw

The lead screw on the Bosch Daredevil spade bits helps to pull the bit into the wood squarely and does a lot of the work for you.

First, they have a lead screw instead of just a point, this does two things: 

1. The lead screw helps pull the bit into the wood similar to an old auger bit

2. It also allows you to square the bit to the work by pulling the bit into the work until both cutting edges touch the surface.  

The Bosch Daredevil bits also have scoring teeth to eliminate chip out on the surface you are drill into.  This also gives the wall of the holes you drill a lot cleaner side walls. The contoured paddle ejects chips as they drill so you don’t overheat the blade.  All of these things together allow you to use the Bosch Daredevil spade bits as more of a finish bit like a forstner bit rather than a roughing out tool like a traditional spade bit.

bosch daredevil spade bits

The curved paddle on the Bosch Daredevil bits helps to eject chips.

I think I am a convert to the Bosch Daredevil spade bits, at least for some things.  Other than maybe flat bottomed mortises. Because not only do they do all that, but they also do it all 10x faster and time is money.  

Enough of me yapping, here are the results so you can decide for yourself.

comparing 4 popular bit types

Forstner bit, 3 flute auger bit, standard spade, bosch daredevil spade bit.

You can see the forstner bit is still the only one that leaves a completely clean hole, even into soft pine with zero tear out.  You can also see the auger bit and the spade bit leave similar bores with rough edges and a bit of tear out on the entry hole, they also both completely blow out the back side.  The Bosch Daredevil is somewhere in between.  Less tear out on the entry hole, cleaner sides to the hole, and something you can’t see in this photo is no blow out on the other side.

I will still use my forstner bits for all of my finished work, but I am convert to the Bosch Daredevil spade bits for rough work over the auger bits I generally use.


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By: Rick LaFaver


This post is part of a paid partnership with The Home Depot as part of the THD Prospective.  All thought and impressions expressed in this article are my own.

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