I remember the first full drill bit set that I received as a gift. It was just a cheap set that likely didn’t cost more than $25. For me, it was like receiving my official man card. There were wood bits, metal bits, and masonry bits, but what I really wanted to play with first were those wicked-looking spade bits. Spade bits are your ticket to drilling holes in wood larger you can reasonably expect with a standard drill bit design. They do make massive auger bits, but for the typical drill, you need to reduce the mass to make it more efficient. Enter the Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits – they’re not your typical accessory.
Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits Overview
To earn the Daredevil designation, a Bosch accessory must be the class leader in speed, accuracy, durability, or a combination of the three. In addition to spade bits, the Bosch Daredevil line also includes circular saw blades, recip saw blades and auger bits. Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits come in 17 blade sizes from 1/4″ to 1-1/2″. There are standard, stubby, and extended length shanks available. There are eight kits available which vary in the number and size of bits included. Several include a storage pouch to keep your best tool box organized. We got our hands on the Bosch Daredevil 13 Piece Kit to see what kind of class-leading performance you can expect.
Bosch Daredevil Spade Bit 13 Piece Kit
- Soft Folding Pouch
Bosch Daredevil Spade Bit Design
There are two features that pros are going to notice immediately when they pick up Bosch Daredevil Spade Bit. First is the threaded tip. As with other threaded tip designed wood boring accessories, this should help the bit pull itself through the wood. This differs from traditional spade bits that feature a sharp cutting tip that helps pilot the bit in but only serves to direct the cut while pushing the bit through is required.
The second design feature is a wave shape to the blade. This contoured design is created to aid in chip removal by directing them up and out away from the bit. Standard bits are straight and will push the chips around until they exit the hole.
I also noticed the hex shank design. On a standard drill chuck, this will hold better than a round shank. With the amount of torque that today’s drill produce, that’s a very good thing. This design also means that it will connect easily to your impact driver. I didn’t test this out. While it’s possible to do, we recommend using a drill, preferably with a side handle for stability.
The spur and reamer tips of the blade are to help create a clearer hole than standard spade bits. Anyone who’s used this class of accessory before knows that breakthrough often leaves at best jagged edges that need to be smoothed out.
Drilling Performance in Wood
I decided to see what the Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits would be able to do against another premium brand by boring in 2x pressure-treated lumber.
Traditionally, I like to drill in high speed when it comes to spade bits. I have enough control to allow it to cut efficiently and keep just the right amount of pressure on the bit. That’s going to be a challenge with the Daredevil bits. The threaded tip acts to self feed the bit along, and it going to keep going at the RPM’s you’re running. I found that I could run high speed with my Ridgid Gen5X Hammer Drill all the way up through the 1-1/4″ diameter. The largest two diameters forced me into high torque mode to avoid bind ups.
The threaded tips and blade design help Daredevil bits to really grab hold and bite down on the wood surface. While you can work one handed with a traditional spade bit, you’ll want two hands on the drill. Even better, you’ll want a side handle. When you start to really deliver the torque to the bit, it’s going to twist on you if you don’t have a solid grip on the tool.
Testing in the Shop
For tangible data, the Bosch Daredevil Spade Bit outperformed the premium bit that it went up against. A 1-1/8″ hole took the Daredevil just 3.41 seconds to completely drill in high speed mode. The competing bit still did well, but took over a full second longer at 4.51 seconds. With the chips flying so fast, it was difficult to tell if the Daredevil was actually clearing them more efficiently. We’ll save that conclusion for when we need to drill deeper holes.
When it came to leaving a cleaner hole on breakthrough, Bosch was noticeably better. It’s still not as clean as you would expect from a standard drill bit though.
Bosch did a great job with the design on the Daredevil Spade Bits. They’re fast and seem built to last, especially when you consider the metal thickness compared to others. Drilling with the Bosch Daredevil Spade Bit set is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. If you think you may run into nails or other obstacles and unknowns while drilling, check out the Bosch Nail Strike spade bits. Bosch designed those to take on the occasional nail and keep drilling, They won’t match the speed of Daredevil bits, but you can expect them to last a lot longer if you often drill into the unknown.
For wood drilling, I haven’t tested a higher-performing spade bit that the Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits. This accessory receives my full professional recommendation without question. They also make a great gift for that favorite tradesman or DIYer in your life.
The “bit” end is incredible… the shank however, rounded right out inside my impact gun…. I now have 3 rounded shanks that wont even grip inside a standard drill.
I would say these are the worst drill bits I have ever used. In softwoods they grab and rip and produce a terrible hole.
Can it be used to cut through steel
I used the 1/2″ spade bit to drill about 700 holes for mounting t-nuts in a rock-climbing wall. I bought several, thinking they would dull as the job went on, but I only ended up using one bit the entire time. That bit is still in perfectly good shape, which is impressive, in my mind.
They’re certainly fast, too. Drilled through five sheets of 3/4″ birch plywood, and it took around two to three seconds per hole with an M18 fuel hammer drill/driver.
No doubt a quality spade by Bosch. We encountered a fair amount of split out from the self starting tip on harder non pine lumber as we build more furniture with harder woods. We could no longer use it and had to resort to the old standby pointed tip. On pine studs and framing lumber, it was great for running pex and romex, it fit the bill there.