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When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:07 am
by waspinator
Hi,

I'm looking into drilling holes from some rooms into the attic to fish network wire through. There are two types of bits I found, but I'm not sure which one to use. The walls have insulation.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00DNEDK98
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00DNEEJ0C

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:36 am
by Aaron
Auger bits make nice clean holes as they tend to cut into and "scoop" away the wood chips along the spiral shaft of the drill bit. They are my preference for making holes. The caveat is that they usually tend to be more expensive than spade bits, and the hole-boring process tends to be slower.

With those long fishing drill bits that you are looking at, the primary goal is generally to get a pilot hole in a very hard-to-reach or inaccessible spot where you can make a proper-sized hole with a better bit on the other side of where the pilot bit comes out.

Many electricians will use electrical fish line to do this, or a very thin flexible steel rod that has been cut on the bias at the end so that it acts as a sharp bit. You insert the long rod into the chuck of the drill, aim the rod where you want it to pilot a hole, then start drilling. Wearing gloves, you can guide the bit as it spins so that it stays where you want it until it bites into the wood.

So once the pilot hole is where I want, I use a big rigid auger bit on the other side to make the big hole for running cables.

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:40 am
by DanM
Is there a specific reason you need a 6 foot long bit? That seems like overkill for what you need to do, plus they're pretty expensive. If you don't need a bit that long I'd simply go to any store that sell tools and grab a 3/4" spade bit for $5. Spade bits drill small rough holes pretty darn quickly and cost a hell of a lot less then self-feeding bits.

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:44 am
by Aaron
Yeah those long-rod bits aren't really necessary, in my opinion, unless the hole you are creating is in a hard-to-reach place on both sides of the hole.

If where you want to drill your hole is within easy reach, you can get short auger bits, they look like this:
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51pdzbC4u9L._SX355_.jpg (7.68 KiB) Viewed 843 times

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:05 am
by A. Spruce
Another problem with augers is that if they catch, they'll wind you up in the drill before you can say, "HOLY [email protected]%&!!!". They do not like nails at all, eat one nail and the bit is done!

The advantage of an auger is that they are easier to use and cut a cleaner hole than a spade.

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:12 am
by Aaron
Yeah you got to be really careful that where you drill with an auger bit is free of nails or screws. But they are a joy to use cutting holes through top plates with a stack of 2 (or in my garage 3) 2x4s. I have a 3/4" auger that is about 12" long.

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:10 pm
by Shannon
I prefer to bore my wire holes with a auger bit in any places I am sure there are to be no nails or screws. Especially if there are multiple thicknesses of studs or plates.
A spade bit will do the job and I recommend you use your impact driver with a spade bit.
Either one will grab batt insulation and start wrapping it up so take caution around it.

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:03 pm
by A. Spruce
I was at the electrical supplier today and they had spade bits with a screw point, something I don't recall seeing back in my day. You kids have all the cool toys! :lol:

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:08 pm
by Aaron
Plumbing and electrical trades both have very fun tools!

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:28 pm
by A. Spruce
Aaron wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:08 pm
Plumbing and electrical trades both have very fun tools!
All the trades have fun tools! That's half the fun of doing this stuff is to get to buy said fun tools, whether you need them or not. :twisted:

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:53 pm
by Aaron
A. Spruce wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:28 pm
All the trades have fun tools! That's half the fun of doing this stuff is to get to buy said fun tools, whether you need them or not. :twisted:
That's a pretty irrefutable fact!

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:27 pm
by A. Spruce
I've always said that if God had intended me to fix somethin', he'd invent a power tool for it! That, and if something is worth doing, it's worth buying a new tool or two to do it! :lol:

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:23 pm
by Aaron
I just picked up a Dremel oscillating multi-tool. I just love the plunge cuts you can make with that thing. Very clean rectangular holes in drywall!

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:27 pm
by A. Spruce
I had a Makita 7.2 saw that I used to use for such things, lord knows it wasn't much good for anything else! :lol:

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:41 pm
by Aaron
Is Makita sort of a has-been? I remember when they were super popular cordless tools, like back in the 90s.

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:01 pm
by A. Spruce
I don't know. I assume that they've kept up with battery technology. I bought my 7.2 Makita drill in the mid 80's, it was relatively inexpensive and a really good tool for what I needed at the time. I bought the 3-1/2" 7.2v saw in the early 90's, it was crap for anything but making drywall patches, which was the reason I bought it. It wasn't until 2000 that I upgraded these tools to DeWalt's 18v tools. I've stuck with DeWalt 18v so that I only have one charger and one battery style to deal with. Since I've sold most of my tools now and my DeWalt stuff is showing its age, when it's time to replace them I'll look at other brands to see if DeWalt is still the tool for me or if it's time for something else.

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:57 pm
by DanM
Aaron wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:41 pm
Is Makita sort of a has-been? I remember when they were super popular cordless tools, like back in the 90s.
Makita's still a good quality tool brand. We've got a few Makita lithium-ion drills and drivers at work and they're great, definitely equal to any other of the big brands. I've also got a corded Makita circular saw that's almost 10 years old and it still runs as well as it did when I bought it. I think they've lost ground to Stanley/Dewalt (and whoever else Stanley owns now) in sales over the years but they still make great stuff.

Re: When to use an Auger style bit?

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:56 pm
by Elsie Ragsdale
nice tool