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rtoni 11-23-2007 11:04 AM

best bit(s) to do electircal install
hi - I've done some small wiring projects and used just a regular 3/8 drill with spade bits (1/2 to 3/4) to bore out studs to pull wires thru - nothing on a large scale. I'm about to wire an addition and before I head out to the job I'd like to grab a few extra bits to take with me (along with a larger drill).

Hope this is not a dumb question - what's the best bit to use to wire a new addition - all 2x6 walls - will I burn out a bunch of spade bits or wreck the drill trying to do a whole addition with these?

or should I use something else for the bulk of the work - installer bits, auger bits, etc.? what's the best choice here for just popping in several dozen holes in the wall sections?

btw - no "heavy" wires in this run - all kitchen loads, etc are staying as-is off the main panel in existing area - new work is bedroom, bathroom, living room wiring only.


Speedy Petey 11-23-2007 11:23 AM

For a DIYer I'd still recommend a heavy duty pistol type drill and spade bits.
They are dirt cheap and you can re-sharpen them if you hit a nail or something.

Now....if you are looking for an excuse to buy a big drill there is always a right angle drill or Hole Hawg and nail eater bits. :thumbsup:

Then there is always my favorite, the Milwaukee Super Hawg. :thumbup:

J. V. 11-23-2007 11:25 AM

You have so many choices in drill bits. I personally like the auger bits with a right angle drill motor.
Auger bits cut clean and FAST. Try to by short ones for stud work. Even with the right angle drill you will be hard pressed to fit in the 16" stud wall.

rtoni 11-23-2007 11:49 AM

always looking for excuse
love to buy new toys - but the budget always (well, usually) stops me in my tracks

almost I'm afraid to look up the right-angle drills like you guys mentioned - the credit card might have to come out (again...)

I am 100% DIY for sure - but one thing that's started to seep into my thick scull is that the extra $$$ for the right tool for the job sure beats 3 days of sore achy back / arms / shoulders / everything else

thanks for the advice...

rtoni 11-23-2007 12:12 PM

this is great
ok - could not resist - did some searching on Hole Hawg - ended up tripping over this article - since I'm mostly a computer geek and only an occasional DIY'er, I found the timing is good fit with your comments here - talks about Unix as being the "Hole Hawg" of computer operating systems (I agree) - but in any case I thought you might get a kick out of how he tells a "story about drills" to make his point

who would've thought - here's a computer geek who knows his way around operating systems and power tools - guess there's hope for me yet

Looks like this thing could twist my arm off - either I stick to one of my "disgustingly flimsy and cheap knickknacks", or get one of these babies but treat it with a LOT of respect

thanks again for the advice


arichard21 11-23-2007 12:17 PM

i prefer auger bits myself... and for fitting in between the studs, i have found that an air drill has the power and length to get it done... i did a 16x16 room with the air drill and a 3 gallon compressor. it ran alot, but made the job pretty easy.

Speedy Petey 11-23-2007 01:52 PM

A RA drill or Hole Hawg WILL fit in a 16" stud bay squarely.
I have a big nasty Porter Cable RA drill and it's nice, but I don't use it much in favor of my Super Hawg or this...

arichard21 11-23-2007 03:53 PM


Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 75742)
A RA drill or Hole Hawg WILL fit in a 16" stud bay squarely.
I have a big nasty Porter Cable RA drill and it's nice, but I don't use it much in favor of my Super Hawg or this...

how come it looks like it is a 45 degree angle? can you still get a nice straight hole through the stud?

on a somewhat related note... i was helping out at a habitat house last weekend and the project manager had this old 1950's drill. i have never seen something with the kind of torque this thing had. i almost lost a hand when the bit got lodged! but i will say that it drilled a 2" hole through 2 2x6's like butter.

Speedy Petey 11-23-2007 04:13 PM


Originally Posted by arichard21 (Post 75756)
how come it looks like it is a 45 degree angle? can you still get a nice straight hole through the stud?

It's a 33 deg angle. Standing on the floor, with an 8' or 9' ceiling you can drill ceiling joists perfectly without a ladder.
Also, for drilling wall studs you hold the "barrel" of the drill about half way and rest it on your hip. Standing straight you can drill all day at the same height without bending over.

Andy in ATL 11-23-2007 04:32 PM

My favourite subject!!! I got to where I LOVED TO DRILL OUT HOUSES!:yes: I own a Milwaukee Hole Hawg and love it. Speedy Petey's drill is sweet to. Used it alot.

The fact is though, we are pros and HAVE to invest in the right tool for the job.
The dividends pay off for us.

Speedy Petey gave you the best advice you are going to get in post #2. I've drilled additions in a pinch with a Makita 14.4V cordless with no problems at all.

7/8ths spade (I've always called them paddle) bits are my favourite size.

The instant you encounter a nail...Back off and shift your hole over a half an inch. If you HAVE to drill thru a nail, a paddle bit will go thru...but it will be toast. Did that today, no choice.:laughing:

Andy the eater of turkey sandwiches.

crecore 11-23-2007 09:00 PM

I can do anything with my 18"? auger bit and 8" spade bit. No need for a right angle drill for 99% of the apps. for a diy'r

RichyL 11-24-2007 06:03 PM

The drill that speedy shows on here is the one i used to use. It is the best drill I have ever used. It saves so much backache that it is worth every penny, although not worth it, if you are not drilling out very often. I usually use a 3/4 auger bit with it which will allow you to put in 3-4 wires. However when using the big auger bits, I recommend having a right angle drill, because with the smaller drills you will notice a lot of binding, where the drill spins and the bit just stays in the wood, which can make you smash your hands against a stud. I have even seem drills start smoking and burn out the motor. For a typical cordless drill or something not as powerful I usually go with a long 3/4 spade. If you need a bigger hole than that I would get a hole-saw.

RippySkippy 11-26-2007 05:33 AM

For bits I like the self-feed type from Irwin...other MFG's have them as well. When you drill though...hang on...cuz the chips are going to fly. What I like the best is when drilling out of position, they'll pull themselves though the material....but like I said...hang on...and don't use with anything less than a 1/2" heavy duty drill with a side handle.

BTW -- snap a chalk line when running a line across studs, it helps to keep the holes aligned and the wire will pull easier.

elkangorito 11-26-2007 08:24 AM

Myself, I prefer the 20mm to 25mm spade bits (called "speed bits/bores" in Australia). They are a "dime a dozen" & will not easily become blunt if used at low speed. Personally, I still have the same "speed bits" I used 10 years ago...I've resharpened them myself a few times though.

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