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.
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
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.
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.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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).
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.
One of these bad boys:
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.
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".
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:
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.