Boring tool review

No, not boring boring.  Like, making a hole in a piece of wood is boring.  No, not that either.  Uh, tools for boring wood.  How about that?

Like many folks out there, I suppose, I tried vintage auger bits.  I didn’t like them.  I could eventually get them to work, but they were a lot of irritation too.  So I decided that it wasn’t worth the effort.  Now I’ve been using the WoodOwl bits made by Star-M.  They work a lot better.


They cut very crisp holes, the lead screws pull a fast cut, and the hex shaft doesn’t slip in either my brace or cordless drill.  I’m still buying them as I need them, so I still have a couple of slots to fill (but I don’t remember the last time I needed a 13/16″ hole).  I also have an old Irwin expansive bit for very large sizes, but it’s a real workout to use.  I keep them all in a tool roll by Texas Heritage Woodworks.


I don’t do a lot of work with Forstner bits, but when I need them, I reach for the Fisch “Wave” bits.  They cut smooth and square, and the hex shaft is much easier to use in a brace than a round shaft.  For drilling pilot holes, the best thing I’ve found is this set by Irwin.  Hex shaft again, the tapered drill cuts the perfectly shaped hole (especially for the tapered tang on an old chisel.  Another project!), and the countersinks mean I don’t have to keep changing bits.


Since we were being boring on our tray this week, I thought I’d show you what I use.  Remember to keep a sacrificial backer behind your work to keep it from splintering.  I use old pieces of plywood (not good for much else).  And use what you have!  I’ve used old spade bits in my brace in times past because it’s what I had at the time.  You know what?  The holes got bored anyway.