Daredevil Spade bits…a Retrospective with hacks

 In Tool Reviews
Bosch daredevil spade bits in hand

I have been using the Daredevil spade bits from Bosch for a while now, I wrote my initial impressions last year in this review.  To be honest, though, I am just some schmuck in my workshop. I think electricians, plumbers, and carpenters would be the real people to listen to on these, and in that case, BUY THEM

However, I wanted to show you a couple of cool things I found useful about the Daredevil bits after living with them for a while.

This post is part of a paid partnership with The Home Depot with affiliate links.
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Countersunk bolt

If you want a precisely sized counterbore perfectly centered on the pilot hole you just drilled…(mind you out of order) the Daredevil bits screw tip is perfect for centering you on your hole.  I’ve used this technique for counterboring lag bolts, and drilling out for plugs, the bottom of the hole isn’t flat, but this is the fastest way to knock out some counterbores.

It does have a little more tear-out than using a Forstner bit but for things like decks and playgrounds, it is perfect.


Reducing Tearout

Tearout example vs. clean hole

So you don’t want to buy a million piece set of Forstner bits for however much that would be.  You can use your spade bits to drill large holes with clean walls and little tear out with one simple trick.

Start by drilling the first hole until the screw tip of the spade just barely pokes out the other side.  Next, flip the piece over so that little hole left from the screw tip is visible. Now align the screw tip with the exit hole and drill. The teeth on the edge of the Daredevil spade bit will score the grain and cut a clean hole all the way through.

Be sure to clamp your piece when doing this, the pictures below are for visibility only.

Embiggening a hole

Enlarging a hole with Daredevil bit

This isn’t foolproof and it doesn’t work very well with hardwoods, but sometimes it can save your butt. If you are off by just a few sixteenths drilling a pilot hole or a through-hole for a bolt or plug, a Forstner bit isn’t sharp or angled on the back so it wouldn’t work for this but the Daredevil spade bit is perfect for it.

Put your bit through your hole needing embiggening.  Once the bit is through the hole you can chuck it and run the drill through the hole with the drill in reverse. If you need to enlarge it a few sizes, progress one-bit size at a time (so it doesn’t burn the wood.  This isn’t going to be beautiful but if you need to in a pinch, it works.

You can try taking the spade bit out and going from the other direction and meeting in the middle if you need the hole a little bit cleaner.  Be sure your piece is clamped down well before attempting this little trick.

Taking spade bit out

You can buy the Daredevil Spade bits I used in this article for $17.97 at Home Depot, they do a great job at most coarse carpentry work but with a few simple hacks, they can even be used in fine finished stuff. 

Do you have any drill bit tricks to solve common mistakes or get good results out of crude tools? Let me know in the comments below.


I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program described above (the “Program”).
As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines. 
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