A Specialty Drill Bit for Electricians, Designed from Customer Feedback

When installing raceways or conduit brackets, each installation screw requires two holes on opposite channel walls. One hole is sized to fit the shaft of the fastener, while the opposite hole must be larger than the fastener’s head. This is so the installer has enough room to drive the screw. An example photo is below.

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For the installer to create these holes is time-consuming, with three options:

A. Mark both sides of workpiece, drill the smaller hole in one wall, flip the piece, change bits, drill the larger hole;

B. Mark one side of workpiece, drill the smaller hole through both walls, change bits, bore out near hole with the larger bit;

C. Mark both sides of workpiece, drill the smaller hole in one wall using a stepped bit, flip the piece, drill the larger hole (without needing to change bits).

As you can see, none are ideal. Both A and B require changing bits, or dealing with two drills (and the attendant increased charging hassle). A and C require laborious double-sided marking and flipping the workpiece.

Enough electricians described this problem to Star-M, a Japanese manufacturer of specialty drill bits since 1923, that the company designed a special bit to speed the task. Their new Raceway Bit has a tapered flute that enables an installer to mark just one side, then drill both holes (6mm and 12mm) in one go.

The company also points out that for hanging bolts which require two 12mm holes, the bit can still be used by drilling one side, flipping the piece and using the 6mm hole to guide the 12mm hole on the other side. While this still requires flipping the piece, the double-sided marking step is eliminated; and if you’re completing both of the tasks described here, you’ve already got the bit chucked up and handy.

This is a good example of improving the UX of an existing product by listening to customers’ pain points.

Source: core77

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