Took of the Trade

There are pilot bits that do everything — drill the pilot hole, shank hole, and countersink or counterbore — all at once. Here's our evaluation of six of the most popular pilot bit sets on the market.

flat bit sets. One of the cheapest bits looks like a modified spade bit. It has a round shaft to fit in the drill, but then flattens out to the profile of a screw.

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I've had a Sears 12-piece set for a number of years and though I've broken two bits, I still occasionally use the bits that are left. (Flat bits are only sold in sets, so if you break a bit, you can't replace just that bit.)

On the plus side, these bits don't have to be adjusted, they cut quickly, and leave a surprisingly clean hole. And they're easy to sharpen.

The biggest problem with these bits is the length of the shank hole. If the shank hole doesn't go all the way through the front board, the second (anchor) board won't pull up tight. (See the article about screws on pages 20 to 21.)

Unless you drill a deep counterbore with a flat bit, the shank hole won't go through a //-thick board. The No. 8 x IV* bit, for example, drills a shank hole that's only Vu" deep — not adequate for most work.

half-rounds. Another type of non-adjustable pilot bit is designed especially for rounterboring. (Stanley calls theirs a Screw-Sink, Vermont American's is a Screw Pilot).



The pilot and shank portion of these bits are half-round (flat on one side) to give it better drilling action than a flat bit. The counterbore at the top of the bit has two cutting spurs. They cut a clean counterbore, but it will not cut a countersink.

These bits also suffer from the same problem of cutting a shank hole that's too shallow in most cases.

screwdiggers. Another category of bits includes those that adjust in length for the pilot hole and/or the shank hole.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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