Drill Bit Recommendation

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I just burned up 2 good quality blade type wood bits in this old house I am rehabbing (very hard wood and nails)trying to drill holes for running my electrical. My guess is to just get a 5/8 metal bit. Any recommendations on what would work better? Thanks.
Mike D.
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Mike Dobony wrote:

Ya need a nail eater auger bit.
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/category2_6970_97+435+771351
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I have a 5/8 Irwin screw-tip auger bit that I have used to drill through hundreds of studs for pulling electric. Occasionally I hit a nail or staple, but the bit still pulls through the wood faster than I can often take it. The screw tip is really key, as it starts the hole and pulls the bit through. One caution though, if the bit is too long in the drill, it is tough to fit it between 16"oc studs to get a straight hole.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Is this the standard auger bit or the triple flute? I see the ship augers are designed for cutting nails, but the bits are way too long. 6-9" would be best.
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Mike Dobony wrote:

Rent a right angle drill and use an auger bit - that combo will fit anywhere and eat through anything.
a
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a wrote:

Do the math. The commonly available size nail cutting drill bit is 17" Distance between studs is 14.5" Even with a right angle drill the bit is still longer than the space between the studs. I am just as well off with the 17" drill bit and my 1/2" drive cordless and set the clutch at the maximum setting so when the drill bet gets jammed I don't bust my wrist. I do not have time to waste (time is money when it stops or delays all other work) to do mail order. I can't even find the short version at Graingers. Lowes and Home Depot only have the 17" specialty bits. I see Greenlee makes a shorter one, but finding someone that sells it locally is difficult. I need to get this project going Monday morning, not Wednesday.
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Mike Dobony wrote:

I'd say this is why you *should* order mail order.
I too like to patronize local businesses whenever I can, but when I need something right away just suck it up and mail order it, and pay for overnight shipping. You're just wasting time and money driving around not finding what you're looking for. If you can't get it at Grainger, unless your local area is considerably different from mine, you probably aren't going to find it at the Large Orange-Colored Store either. At least when you mail order the time you would have spend driving around you can spend working on something else.
You could try ordering from McMaster-Carr, although they're not going to sell you a "greenlee nail eater" they will sell you a "general purpose wood boring drill bit" which may or may not be the same thing. That's the one peeve I have with them; they sell high quality stuff but nothing is branded, you just get what you get when you order from them. Next day delivery with no added shipping charges is great though.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

I spend the time on the internet, not driving around.

Also the problem. How can I trust the other stuff? I would prefer to spend the similar amount of money on something I know will last. Irwin is not the best quality.
That's

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Mike Dobony wrote:

It better be one bad-ass cordless drill (DeWalt 24V or better).
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G. Morgan wrote:

Yeah, and even then - what's the recharge time between every 4-5 joists/studs?
a
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Heh, I was drilling a 7/8" screw-tip auger thru _full_ 2" joists to run 8/3 stove cable, did about 15 holes before my hand slipped and the battery whacked me in the cheek and I had to hold onto the ladder for several minutes until the stars went out.
Then did another 5 or 6.
With a 12V Dewalt.
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G. Morgan wrote:

Dewalt 18v 1/2" hammer drill and it does a good job drilling. Unfortunately Dewalt has a lousy clutch. On the lowest setting it still drives deck screws through the decking if it keeps a grip on the screw (sq drive or torx).
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Mike Dobony wrote:

No math needed. Did I say 17" nail cutting bit? No. A right angle drill with an auger bit will fit anywhere and eat through anything.
a
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a wrote:

No, you did not say 17", but that is all the local stores carry in stock, including Graingers. My 7" bit and Dewalt 1/2" hammer drill is doing a good job fitting in between the studs. Saturday I went and got a standard Irwin auger bit, not the ship auger (too long), but the standard auger and it is doing an adequate job, though one blade has already broken off trying to cut through a nail (it cut through one nail). It is still doing a better job than the spade bit. I have only one more hole to drill today. Next time I plan an electrical job I will go online and find the short Greenlee nail eater bit before I start drilling. This one came up at the last minute.
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Mike Dobony wrote:

One of these bad boys: http://www.coastaltool.com/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/other/greenlee/nail-eater.htm?E+coastest
Actually the longer one works better because you drill at an angle if you don't have a right-angle drill. Be SURE you put the handle on your drill (hope you have a decent powerful 1/2 drill) or this thing could break your arm if it gets stuck.
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Until recently my favourite stud and joist bits were Lee Valley's Short Auger bits (http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx? c=2&pI884&cat=1,180,42240), and they are certainly nice bits, just the right length for 90% of an electrical project, though occasionally too short. But then I found a screw-tip spade bit at Canadian Tire (discount hardware, sporting goods and automotive chain) and it instantly won me over. Never having used a screw-tip bit before I was astonished at how it just pulls itself through the wood.
Two caveats: on the older harder joists and studs in this house, my venerable 3A 3/8" drill won't turn it; and it's really crummy at clearing its own chips. Often I can't pull it back through the hole it just drilled, I have to unchuck it and push it through, and clear the hole with a screwdriver.
I'm thinking that a screw-tip auger bit, as others have recommended, would be the best choice overall. There are also screw-feed bits called "selfeed" but at a glance I'm not seeing these smaller than 1".
Chip C Toronto
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auger bit.
s

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Greenlee Naileater bit, industry standard for electricians. 30$ more or less
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Mike Dobony wrote:

You mean spade bits? Use an Auger bit.
a
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Old wood, plaster. and nails will be hard on any drill bit you get. You can go through 3 to 5 of those paddle bits for the cost of a good ship auger or a Milwaukee hole hawg spur bit. Kinda depends on your needs. You will probably not be able to sharpen either, but a file will touch up the cheap paddle bits without needing to know much about sharpening.
Irwin has a new, very aggressive bit that is impressive: <http://www.irwin.com/irwin/consumer/jhtml/browse.jhtml?catId=IrwinCat160001
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