What is Spade Drill Bit?  – All you Should Know!

Last Updated:

The spade drill bit and flat drill bit are both the same. Spade drill bits are used to drill wider holes. Spade drill bits are two types such as self-driving drill bits, and forced drill bits are them. Spade drill bits have a sharpened point angle and sharpened cutting lips to drill the accurate and smooth drilling process. The point angle has sharpened for accuracy, and cutting lips of the flat body helped to cut and remove the material inside the drilling hole. According to the flat body size, spade drill bits are available in many sizes.

Spade drill bits are mostly used in woodworking. But it can be used on many soft materials on many DIY projects.

What are the Sizes of Spade Drill Bits?

Spade drill bits are available in many sizes. The size is measured according to the flat body width. Most spade drill bits sizes are available in inches and mm

  • Spade Drill Bits Sizes in mm

Spade drill bits are available in these sizes in millimeters (mm)

6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, 20mm, 23mm, 25mm, 26mm, 30mm, 35mm, 38mm

  • Spade Drill Bits Sizes in inches

9/16, 7/8, 7/16, 5/8”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 3/4”, 15/16”, 13/16”, 11/16”, 1/4”, 1/2”, 1-3/8”, 1-1/8”, 1-1/4”, 1-1/2, 1”

Spade Drill Bit Extentions

If your spade drill bit length is not sufficient for you, you can use an extension. Normally, these extensions are  6” and 12” in length, and you can adapt the spade drill bit end of the bit.

How Deep Can a Spade Drill Bit Drill?

The drilling capability of the drill bit depends on the length of the drill bit. The drilling capability of the spade drill bit is about 5”-10”. If the shank is too much longer, it can be subjected to torsion due to torque. But if you need to drill more than that, you can use spade drill bit extensions.

  • Spade Drill Bit Extentions

If your spade drill bit length is not sufficient for you, you can use an extension. Normaly, these extensions are  6” and 12” in length, and you can adapt the spade drill bit end of the bit.

What are the Types of Spade Drill Bits?

Spade drill is a type of wood drill bit. According to the sharp angle tip and spurs, spade drill bits are two types.

01. Self-driving spade drill bit

You don’t need to force on the self-driving drill bits. There is a sharp screw tip, and it will penetrate the drill bit in the wood while it is rotating.

02. Forced spade drill bit

Force spade drill bits have sharpened and angled tips. When you use this kind of drill bit, you should force the drill bit to penetrate inside the material.

Cheap and expensive space drill bits are available in the market. Cheap drill bits have thin flat bodies and small shanks. But in a little bit expensive bit, you can see a thick flat body with a wider shank.

Circular shank and hex shank spade drill bits are available in the market. Hex shank bits are really good and stronger than circular shank spade drill bits.

spade bits are two types
Forced and self-driving spade drill bit

Spade Drill Bit Usage

Spade drill bits are used to drill a wider hole cheaply and efficiently.  When we need to drill a 1-inch diameter hole in wood, we can use regular drill bits as well as spade drill bits.

Normally, a 1-inch jobber drill bit will cost about $15-$20 or more than that. It is heavier and difficult to handle. Due to the jobber length, you can drill limited depth.

But if you buy a spade drill bit that will cost less than $10 with less weight and easy to handle and maintain. It can be used in your drill or impact driver easily. So many people tend to use spade drill bits for their tasks.

When we consider the user experience, spade drill bits are easy to place on the exact drilling point without any problem. Due to the sharp point angle, it can be placed in the exact place easily. As well as, you can drill inclined to the material surface easily due to the point angle.

  • Materials

Using a spade drill bit, you can drill wood. Both softwood and hardwood can be drilled using the spade drill bit. More than that, you can use spade drill bits on materials such as plastic, PVC, and fiber mainly.

  • Tools

Spade drill bits can be used on many drilling tools, such as regular drills, press drills, impact drivers, etc. The most important thing is the torque of the tools. Drill bits cutting edges need more force to cut and remove the material in the hole. So it requires low RPM and higher torque.

Due to the hex shank of the drill bit, it can easily fit with the impact driver chuck (hex chuck).

You can use hole saw and forstner drill bits instead of spade drill bits. But there are a few differences.

cutting lips of spade drill bits
Sharp cutting lips spade drill bits are good for hardwood drilling

What is the Color and Material of the Spade Drill Bit?

The colors of the spade drill bits are silver and yellow. These colors come across the coating and material which is used to the manufacturing process.

Normally, titanium-coated spade drill bits are yellow in color, and high-carbon steel spade drill bits are matte silver in colour.

High-speed steel is used to manufacture the spade drill bits, and some coatings have been applied in order to extend the lifetime and reduce the frictional force with the drill bit and hole.

Can You Resharpen a Spade Drill Bit?

You can resharpen a spade drill bit. But it depends on the coating which is applied on the drill bit. When you resharpen the drill bit, the coating can be removed, and the cutting ability will lose easily. So it is better to check twice whether you can resharpen the spade drill bit.

If your spade drill bit is not coated and you can resharpen it. You should sharpen the edge of the sharpened point, lip as well, and spurs of the spade drill bit. Obviously, you should maintain 5-8 degrees of angle in the cutting edge and point angle.

You can do this using a file as well as a drill bit sharpener tool that will cost about $20 – $25. For the exact angle maintenance sharpener tool is highly recommended.

Spade Drill Bit Tips

spade drill bit drill a wood workpiece
Spade drill bits are good for drilling wider holes in wood pieces

When you use a spade drill bit, you should know tips and tricks in order to have an accurate and smooth drilled hole. You can follow these tips and tricks.

01. Don’t take out the drill bit while it is rotating. It will cause splintering of the top surface easily. Always take out the drill bit after you stop that.

02. Don’t drill through one side. Because bottom fibers will splinter, and it will give an odd surface. Instead of this, you can drill from the bottom side when you see the point angle is penetrate to the surface.

03. Use lower RPM and High torque

04. Don’t use a single hand for drilling. Use both hands for drilling. One is operating the drill, and the other one is used as a pushing support.

05. Always use a self-driving spade drill bit.


Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.


Leave a Comment