Brace bit in a regular, electric or pillar drill ?

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19 Oct 2023
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Hi does anyone have some solutions for putting square ended brace bits in electrical drilling tools (chucks). An adapter ? Id really like to avoid cutting the end off my bits incase I want to use them on the hand brace again. Thanks. Jim.
These are brilliant but as per orraloon even these can grab the wood . They are designed to go into chucks and can be used with quick change adaptors . Many years ago I used a hand brace bit in a power drill but it didn’t end well ..
As above, if you have a sure fire way to regulate the speed of the electric drill to that comparable with a hand brace, try it.

Do so nearly at the limit of the cable of the drill. Then when it grabs, it won't rotate far before it pulls the cable out of the wall and stops. Try it with a slack cable and it goes round multiple times before the self-disconnect kicks in.

The problem with an electric drill will be obtaining the necessary combination of low speed and high torque.

Buy an old brace, cut off all the parts that are not needed and make the shaft above the chuck suitable for gripping in a standard three jaw Jacobs chuck.
I saw someone try that once. It wasn't the safety issue I expected. The wood was clamped down securely on the pillar drill and didn't move. The bit did pull itself through very quickly though, and there was some nasty tear out. I wouldn't recommend it.
Those bits were designed for a hand brace. To go very slow. If you speed them up you are asking for trouble. They are also not balanced to well as we're never meant to go fast. Don't do it. I would not even cut them off and use them. Unless your electric drill goes 60 rpm.
Thanks for all those comments. Looking at ways to use the old tools and save my elbows at the same time. I know there are modern bits available but imagined someone had solved the pull through issue with some adapter/ unit. Modern bits are the way to go for speed it seems.
Thanks Spectric, I suppose that opens up another thread of thought on this, wondering what opinions there are with the group....?? In order to get more depth driven control with traditional brace bits would that be worth trying ? Rather than buying new bits and making use of the old ?
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Lefley highlighted the real issue. Trad augers just aren't well enough centred / balanced to use in modern tools. In a hand brace you don't care how much they wobble. In a power drill it's an absolute pain. There are big mains drills and full size cordless that would absolutely turn these in bottom gear and light on the variable trigger, but poor centring is the problem.

If you want to go this way Sandvik do / did make full on spiral augers with the screw tip, with the single slicing blade just like the old manual augers, but properly balanced and ground on a plain shaft with added flats at 120 degrees so that they can't slip in a 3 jaw drill chuck. I have a few and use them occasionally with the power drills mentioned.

If more control without the self feeding behaviour is important just use a flat bit. They work amazingly well and cleanly provided
1. they are sharp
2. they are accurately made. Take them back / throw them out if they wobble.
3. you spin the drill flat out in top gear. Flat bits are scrapers. Scrapers are inefficient but leave a good finish so long as they're used at high speed.

So you have two options - one very high speed and one very low speed - both work.
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Just finished routing pipes through a lot of joists with the Dewalt version... £16 for 3 so not cheap
They are a bit rough, but fast.... I put it in a good quality hand battery-powered drill driver.

I'm not sure they are any better than standard drill bits, I was working at the top of a ladder with a 90-degree adapter, so the drill pulling itself through was a bonus.
seem to remember my dad sharpening those old fashioned bits with a file.....
even if u get em to work they'd prob melt at slow speed...cheese gromit......