Review By Dean Bielanowski Bosch Daredevil Website - http://boschdaredevil.com/

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Bosch Daredevil Spade and Auger Drilling Bits

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It's been a while since we reviewed drill bits on this site, and to be honest, they can be quite difficult to review and compare as the drilling experience can be quite subjective, and while quantitative tests are certainly possible, they can be difficult to control the variables in play. So, I'll review these bits from a qualitative and subjective standpoint, rather than from any strict "scientific" method.

What we have under the spotlight are two drill bit types from Bosch's Daredevil range. Both feature cone threaded tips for more aggressive cutting. These bits are best suited to carpenters and framers and anyone needing to drill holes rapidly into wooden materials. I'll review them individually as they are different enough bit types to do that, in my opinion anyway.

Bosch Daredevil Auger Bits
For heavy drilling or repetitive drilling on jobsites where quality of the hole to be drilled is not overly critical, an Auger bit is a good choice. These types of bits were traditionally used with hand braces (eggbeater style manual hand drills) before powered drills became the norm. However, even with the advent of corded Cheap Replica Oris and cordless power drills, auger bits are still a popular choice for tradespersons.

Builders and carpenters will generally have a quality set of auger bits on hand. While traditional twist drill bits essentially could perform an equally effective job, the auger bit is generally able to drill much faster and is constructed to withstand impact with nails and other fasteners much more effectively than the more fragile twist-bit.

The tip of each Daredevil auger bit features a threaded cone tip. Like a screw fastener, once this tip grabs into the wood or material being drilled, it pulls the drill bit into the material quickly, and with a fair bit of force! As a result, auger bits are best used with more powerful corded drills, or decent quality and powerful cordless drills able to deliver good amounts of torque. The tip is reinforced to handle repeated nail hits. I wasn't able to test the durability of the tip or bit in general in my subjective testing, but according to Bosch, who has the bits tested by an independent agent (Intertek) the Daredevil Auger bits were able to handle, on average, 300 nail strikes before the bit failed (3 auger bits tested to failure). In comparison, according to the same independent tests, Irwin Speedbore bits averaged around 30 nail strikes, and Milwaukee bits just 6 nail strikes. Given the tests were undertaken with proper scientific method, an average of 300 nail strikes before bit failure is quite an impressive result indeed! In addition, the Daredevil bits showed a 61% less torque increase when a nail was hit than the other brands tested. So when a nail is hit, your wrists are not going to bare the brunt of that impact via the drill as much. Assuming proper method and accuracy of results, this puts the Bosch Daredevil bits at the top, at least in regard to the other brands tested.

Dual cutting edges are featured on the tip and are practically essential given the aggressive nature of these bits. The cutting tips need to cut as fast as the threaded cone pulls the bit onto the wood, otherwise drilling stalls quickly and you go no where. Luckily, it seems these bits have got the balance right. To improve entry and exit hole quality, the bits feature a reamer edge. Traditionally, auger bits can leave quite rough entry and exit holes with lots of chip-out (particularly on the exit side). The reamer edges on the Daredevil bits go a long way to resolving this problem. I wont say they fully solve it, but they certainly do improve the entry and exit holes created by a very noticeable factor.

With the open-faced flute design featured on the Daredevil bits, the flutes do not easily clog up with wood chips, which is the leading cause of poor drilling performance (at least in my experience). Ensuring the flutes are cleaned out as you drill reduces friction and heat on the drill bit because the debris is not gathering and clogging just behind the cutting surfaces which need to remain clear, and hence it stays sharper longer, and cuts much better too. Again, the flutes wont automatically always be clean, and you might need to withdraw the bit on occasion and do this manually, particularly if you are drilling into "wet" wood, but the open flutes provide an open channel making it quite difficult for chips and cut material to get stuck in the flutes.

Auger bits can sometimes dictate the need for an electrically powered drill, especially if they are large in diameter, or when cutting hard or wet material. Maximum cutting performance is certainly achieved with a corded electric drill that offers good torque. On the flip side however, because the size of the auger bits we tested here are not overly large, they worked just as well with our Makita 18v Cordless Li-Ion Drill, especially in softer woods and materials. There were a few occassions where the electric drill was the better choice, basically when cutting into very dense material. The aggressive pull into the material these drill bits exhibit demand a high-torque, high-power drill in these instances, and many cordless drills have their limits in these regards. Nonetheless, when drilling into softer woods or pine battens/framing, a cordless drill is more than plenty to achieve a good end result.

I'll happily admit that I am a fan of Bosch products, but not a Fanboy (there is a big difference). I have had great experiences with other Bosch products. These Daredevil Auger bits exhibit the same quality and function worthy of the Bosch brand. I can recommend them as a good option if you have a regular need for modern, fast-action auger drill bit.

Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits

I have a confession to make. I've never really liked using spade bits. Thankfully, most of the work I do doesn't dictate their use and I generally always have a better option available for the tasks I might use these for. However, if I was a carpenter, electrician or tradesperson, the story would be much different. Almost every tradie has a set of spade bits. Why? Because they are generally considered a great and very fast way to drill holes where edge quality is not critical. The efficient and fast way to drill holes to run cables, conduit and pipes.

The standard flat spade bit has always suffered from a few core problems. The bit most often drilled holes with very rough edges. There was often significant breakout/chipout on the back side of the hole. Cutting was fairly slow and often stalled when debris could not be ejected from the cutting area. The debris prevented the cutting edges engaging clean wood and things often came to a grinding halt, only restarting when the bit was withdrawn and trapped debris removed. And there are other general issues associated with spade bits.

The Bosch Daredevil spade bit design goes a long way to addressing many of these issues, and will likely be a breath of fresh air to those who use spade bits on regular ocassions. The set we tested and used was a 6-piece set that came in a folding case (see photos) and includes 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8" and 1" diameter bits.

Let's start with drilling speed. Like the auger bits, the Daredevil spade bits have the same full-cone threaded tip. When compared to half-cone (flattened face) tips on many cheaper spade bits, the full-cone design really dominates and draws the cutting edges into the surface of material much more aggressively. As a result, like the auger bits, you will need a decent cordless or corded drill to handle these bits effectively, particularly when using the 7/8" or 1" bits included in this set. The full-cone tip also helps reduce vibration during the cut. The difference is noticeable when you switch between the Daredevil bit and a standard half-cone tip bit straight after. Full-cone is definitely the way to go. It is claimed that the Daredevil drill up to ten times faster than other spade bits. I didn't actually time the drill speed, as I was on my own and no one to accurately measure so, but there is no doubt the speed of the Daredevil bits easily beats any other I have used before. I'm not so sure they were 10x faster, but as a guess, at least 5-6x faster than my other set of standard-design spade bits.

The actual cutting edges are slightly different to a standard spade bit. They feature a prominent spur which is the key to reducing tearout on the back side of the hole. Some spade bits have flat top edges with no spur. Take a look at the closeup photos and you can see the shape of these spurs and lateral edges which are quite unique. But they do actually perform the task they are designed for very well. Even the edges of the spade body are effective cutting edges, acting as a reamer to improve the inside edges of the holes the bit drills.

The body of the spade bit (referred to as the paddle) has a unique shape and contour. These are far from flat-faced paddles. The idea is that the contoured body is more aligned in shape to the flutes of a standard drill bit, aiding in drawing chips and debris up and away from the cutting edges. While the effectiveness of this feature can be difficult to gauge during drilling, aside from the fact that you can actually see more debris coming out from around the bit paddle, the fact that holes drilled with this bit rarely stall or generate excessive heat and smoke probably tells us that there is not excess debris and chips getting stuck around the top cutting edges of the bit.

The shank has a standard hex cut for better holding power in drill chucks. There is also a "power groove" for positive engagement in impact drills and other quick release 1/4" shank chucks. I actually tried these bits in an impact drill, but found the impact action to be a little counterproductive to the process. The full-cone threaded tip does all the work of keeping the spade bit engaging agressively into the wood. A standard non-impact drill (in non-hammer mode) worked best for me.

I actually enjoyed using these bits and drilling many holes in pine framing for this test. I also attacked some pressure-treated lumber with great results. Like all spade bits, just be firm in your grip with the drill, because if the bit grabs during the cut, you can experience some major torque on your wrists if you are not prepared for it.

Results
It seems the price of these Bosch Daredevil drill bits has dropped in recent times. Even at the original higher price, I thought the bits offered great value for money, and the performance was typical of Bosch products - very good. Now the bits are about half the original street and retail price! You can pick up the 6-piece Daredevil spade bit set we reviewed here for under US$10. That's a great deal for a fantastic set of bits.

A single Daredevil auger drill bit can be priced 2-3 times the cost of the 6-bit spade set, although quality auger bits can cost a small fortune. The spade bit price makes those items a no-brainer. Go and grab yourself some right now and enjoy the experience. The auger bits have more competition in the same price range, so you might wish to look around at what else is available in those lines. I am not saying the Bosch bits are overpriced, please don't assume that. But I would encourage you to go out and grab just one Daredevil auger bit first if you are happy with the price, and then after some use, question yourself if you think they are superior to other equal or lesser-priced auger bits. I am a strong believer in buying quality tools and spending that bit extra wherever possible to acquire them. A good bit will last a year, a great drill bit can last a lifetime! Note also that the higher-priced Daredevil augers are the longer bits designed for deep drilling, not the standard shorter bits.

Video Review and Test of the Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits
We are finally set up to add videos to our text reviews. While the videos don't replace a good quality written account of a product, we think their inclusion on this and many of our upcoming reviews will be complementary additions. We didn't get to recording our use of the Auger bits this time, but here is a video run-down and quick test and discussion of the Daredevil spade bits.


Bosch Daredevil Auger and Spade Bits Can Be Purchased Below
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Bosch Daredevil Drill Bit Photos
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Full-cone threaded tip and unique leading cutting edge design of the Daredevil auger bits


Large hex-shank for strength and stability and easy chucking into heavier power drills.


Quality from tip to shank. Not only does the auger bits look well-finished and refined, they actually function just as well, if not better than they look!


Agressive drilling due to the full-cone threaded tip provides very fast drilling action, especially in softwoods.


The 6-piece Daredevil spade bit set in padded, protective sleeve


So many different design features here on the spade bit, you have to stop yourself from just looking at them, and just get it an use them!


Contoured spade paddle offers superior chip and debris removal from cutting edges.


Wooden material doesn't stand much of a chance of resistance with the Bosch Daredevil bits.

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