Irwin Speedbor Spade Bit Sports New Design, Faster Boring
With an update to the classic Irwin Speedbor spade bit, there’s a new challenger to the Bosch Daredevil spade bits dominance. We tested them head-to-head and came away genuinely impressed.
Irwin Speedbor Spade Bits Design Concept
The updated design of Irwin’s spade bit seems like a step backward at first glance. The starting point is longer with a sharper angle. Tips that point up at the edges are no longer there, favoring an edge that angles down instead.
The overall thickness of each bit is the same, though the hex shank portion of the shaft is longer.
Twice the Boring Speed
Irwin claims the new bits are twice as fast. We started by testing the updated 1-inch Irwin Speedbor to get some first impressions in 2x pine studs.
Then we put it up against its predecessor in stacked OSB. We like to use 3/4-inch subfloor simply because it’s more consistent than other lumber.
Driven by Makita’s XFD07 drill driver, the original Speedbor averaged 5.33 seconds. The updated model crushed it with a 2.31-second average. That’s more than twice as fast.
Bosch Daredevil spade bits are our normal go-to choice. Their threaded tips self-feed and generally have a smoother cutting action as they bore.
Using a new 1-inch Daredevil, it pushed through with an average of 3.66 seconds, making Irwin Speedbor the new speed king.
The Bottom Line
Even though it’s faster, Irwin’s cutting experience isn’t as smooth as Bosch’s, but it’s not ridiculous, either.
Bosch’s threaded tip is also an advantage, allowing you to simply control the drill rather than actively working the bit through your material.
That said, if speed is your number one priority, the Irwin Speedbor spade bit has set the benchmark for other accessory manufacturers to chase.
Irwin Speedbor Spade Bit Sizes
- 1/2-inch to 1 1/2-inch diameter
- 4, 6, or 16-inch shaft lengths