Among the best new accessories we saw at STAFDA 2018 are the Bosch Nail Strike spade bits. These are some similarities to Bosch’s Daredevil spade bits, but also some significant differences, putting them in a different class.
- Thicker, more robust paddle section
- Threaded self-feed tip
- Cutter geometry optimized for cutting through nails
- Roughly twice the cost of Daredevil spade bits
You’ll immediately notice the thicker, more robust paddle design of these bits. The idea is to produce cutting edges that are tougher than standard spade bits with a geometry optimized for cutting through nails. You can expect to survive as many as 30 nail strikes before replacing each bit.
Like Daredevil spade bits, there’s a threaded tip so you can let the bit and your tool do the work while you just worry about control.
These don’t bore as fast as a Daredevil spade bit and they don’t last as long in nail-embedded wood as auger bits. They’re a nice middle ground between the two that also falls between them in cost. They’ll do their best work when you’re boring through wood that may or may not have nails in it.
When you’re using a Nail Strike, your best bet is to keep your drill in low speed. You’ll feel the change when you first hit a nail, so this will help you maintain control and let the cutting edges work most effectively.
Because the cost is roughly twice what Daredevil spade bits run, you probably don’t want to use Bosch Nail Strike spade bits as your primary option.
Bosch Nail Strike Prices
- Individual: $6.99 – $12.99
- 3-Piece Set (5/8″, 3/4″, 1″): $21.99
- 6-Piece Set (1/2″- 1-1/4″): $34.99
Now That We’ve Done Some Testing…
Considering these spade bits have more mass than Bosch’s Daredevils, it’s no surprise that they don’t drill as fast. Going through two untreated 2x studs in high speed, the Daredevil averages 4.4 seconds. The Bosch Nail Strike takes 5.5 seconds.
That’s interesting to know, but speed isn’t what you buy these for. In fact, the best practice is to drill at low speed with these bits.
One scenario for hitting nails in wood has you drive perpendicularly through it – like when you drill up through blocking that’s toenailed into a stud. You can definitely feel when the bit reaches the nail. It slows down but slices its way through without grabbing the nail and binding.
Another scenario is when you need to make a hole in a header and you’re tackling a nail straight on or at a straighter angle. Again, you feel the bit slow down and this process takes longer than cutting sideways through the nail. I thought the bit might get to a point and push the nail out, but the Nail Strike chewed it up and just spat out the head.
Most of the time, you know where the nails are and can simply avoid them. That’s obvious. Where Bosch Nail Strike spade bits come into play is when you don’t know for sure what behind the wall or in the board. Older and DIY construction might not meet the modern standards we’re used to. It’s those just-in-case times that using a Nail Strike can save your standard bits (and your wrist).
Bosch Nail Strike Spade Bits Highlights
- Designed to survive up to 30 nail hits
- Fits between the speed of standard spade bits and the nail cutting of auger bits
- Use in low speed on your drill
- Available February 2019