New drill bits promise better performance
September 21, 2021 | 2:23 pm CDT
Spyder bits

Three new bit sets from Spyder: from left, brad points, Stinger Mach Blue twist bits, and Stinger Power Bits.

Drill bits are a ubiquitous tool in the shop and on the job site, and drill bit manufacturers are constantly coming up with new coatings and profiles to get our attention. The latest shiny objects in the drill bit category to cross my workbench are three different style bit sets from Spyder, a brand apparently set up to market through Lowe’s stores. They include brad point bits with special points, a “power bit” set that looks like a new spin on auger bits, and a set of twist bits with a spectacular iridescent blue coating. Let’s take them one at a time.

Brad points
The Spyder 6-piece brad point set goes from 1/8 to ½-inch sizes. These bits feature “precision tip technology,” which promises to drill faster and eliminate chip burn while producing cleaner holes. Compared to the standard brad points, these have longer center points.

I did not set up sophisticated comparisons to see if these bits actually are six times faster cutting and 10 times longer lasting as claimed, but they did indeed cut nice, clean holes quickly, especially in drill press applications. They also seem to have deeper flutes to evacuate chips more efficiently.

Stinger Power Bits
These are hybrid bits. They come in a set of four (1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 1-inch) each with a deep blue-painted fluting, looking a lot like an auger bit. But there is no threaded pilot point as on an auger. Instead, these have center spurs like brad points. At the other end, they have nicely ground hex ends to securely mount in common speed chucks.

Spyder claims these bits are up to 40 times faster and will drill up to 25 times more holes on a single charge. Again, I did not test those claims scientifically, but in many common applications such as drilling holes through stud lumber, they seemed to outperform conventional auger bits.

Stinger Mach Blue bits
If drill bits were designed to appeal like sports cars, these would be it with the eye-popping blue coating that is supposed to deliver up to 100 times more holes than titanium or black oxide bits and be up to eight times faster than titanium bits. The 10-piece set includes 1/16 to 3/8-inch bits. Tips are 137-degree split points designed not to wander in metal and to cut quickly in wood or other materials. All are mounted in hex mountings for speed chucks.

I won’t address the specific performance claims, but I did try these in some tough metal drilling situations and was not disappointed even when stressing the bits in angled drilling. They definitely seemed to hold sharpness longer than my oxide or titanium coated bits.

You can learn more about all these bits at spyderproducts.com.

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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editor of FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.