November 1, 2023
By Blake Marchand
Earlier this year, IDEAL Industries launched a new line of single and dual flute auger bits, which IDEAL says are designed to make for a more efficient wood cutting experience. IDEAL’s website lists features like arced cutting edge, coated fluting, nail strike resistance, splinter free cutting, and wet or dry wood cutting. Although we didn’t go so far as to test their claim that the 18” bits can ‘easily make it through a stack of nine 2x4s’, we enlisted Master Electrician, Lance Giesbrecht, to test their performance and see how they stack up.
Giesbrecht is the Owner/Operator of ELG Electric out of Goderich, ON, he added the Augers to his team’s arsenal over the past couple months, “We have taken some time to put both the single flute and dual flute auger bits through as much lumber as possible,” he noted.
“We found the new single flute to be an improvement on the augers of old. The difference in the metals and angle of the fluting seemed to pull through most timbers with ease. A definite improvement, and a great addition to our toolbox.”
As Giesbrecht references, IDEAL has retired their previous line of Nailbiter™ and Resi-Master™ auger bits in favour of this newly redesigned line.
Giesbrecht was most Impressed with the dual flute model, “It seemed to really plow through the studs, even double and triple stacked lumber under window cripples etc.,” he said, “The bit carved through the wood flawlessly, and the shavings were continuously removed by the self-cleaning fluting design.”
When it comes to nail strike resistance, Giesbrecht found the bits performed as promised, “I was even granted a few opportunities to run into a few hidden nails and screws. Usually this would be a problem, but with the new design, they chewed right through the metal and even continued to pull the bit through the studding to complete the hole.”
The hardened drilling tip and arced cutting edge, combined with coated and angled fluting allows the bits to carve through 2x4s while dispensing wood chips and holding their own against hidden nails and screws.
Giesbrecht was also able to put IDEAL’s Spiral Step Bits to the test. They had a couple commercial and industrial jobs where they used the Spiral Step Bits to prep some transformers and splitters for cable entry, “They sliced through the housings like a hot knife through butter! Being able to use these bits with a 1/4″ drive impact made it even more helpful on the job. Very happy with these.”
Similar to the Auger line’s ability to cut through hidden nails/screws, IDEAL has improved the strength and durability of the Spiral Step Bits by utilizing M35 high speed steel with cobalt in the design. Another important feature for Giesbrecht is the Step Bit’s optimization for impact drivers, as well as being compatible with cordless drills.
“All in all, I am quite happy with the new designs,” he said in reference to the single and dual flute bits as well as Spiral Step Bits, “Since I first was introduced to IDEAL Industries in my second term (as an apprentice), I was attracted to their innovativeness. It seems IDEAL Industries has really done it again, but that’s to be expected!”
Currently the newly redesigned IDEAL Auger line has 33 SKUs ranging from 1/2″ to 1-1/4″ diameter, in 18″, 7-1/2″ and 4-3/4″ lengths. Eight additional SKUs will be launched later this year.
ELG Electric is a successful electrical contracting business operating in Goderich, Ontario and its surrounding area. Giesbrecht runs the business alongside his wife, Melanie. Operating in residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural, their services include new home/construction wiring, hydro service upgrades, service calls, data and communications, knob and tube removals, automatic and manual generator set ups, and thermal imaging.
Electrical Industry News Week has collaborated with Giesbrecht in the past on a couple different articles, he’s provided some great insight into his test & measurement process, as well as how his company managed the challenges of the COVID pandemic. He has also competed in IDEAL’s National Championships multiple times, in 2022 he finished as the top Canadian, making it to the Semi-Finals.