Ask yourself: how much do you know about hand powered drills? They are greatly useful for crafty works. Unlike a power drill machine, a hand drill does not add up some extra bills.
Check out the rest of the sections to clear up your idea about the best hand drill. Find out whether you would like to order one. Don’t forget to pay your attention to the dark sides of the products.
What is Hand Drill?
A hand drill or hand drilling machine is a simple machine. It consists of a shaft carrying a metal section which is usually a drill bit or driver bit. It is designed so to be held and usually be operated by palms of the hand. A hand drill is usually small in size and is light enough to be portable.
What a Hand Drill Used for?
Boring holes and penetrating stuff are often an important task, aren’t they? Here come the uses of a hand drill.
The hand drills are used to drill holes of different sizes. You are definitely going to realize its use when a machine drill is not around you. A drill of such kind may hold drill bits of sizes roughly ranging from 1 mm to 9 mm. While the brace holds larger ones known as ‘auger bits’ and ‘forstner bits’.
A hand drill may also be used to drive screws into different materials. In that case, you need to choose the correct set of screw and screwdriver bit. Hand drills are also used to drive screws out of the materials that are already embedded with screws.
How to Recognize the Best Hand Drill
You have hundreds of products in the market. To utilize your effort the best you will also require the best piece of product available. Best manual hand drill means best in its features. So let’s dig inside the features that you will be longing from a hand drill to call it the best one.
Pay your firm attention to the ratchet. There may appear situations where you may not turn the handle all the way around. Ratchet is a must there.
The most common ratchets are reversible ratchet. They are most commonly known as a 3-way ratchet. There is 5 way ratchets too. They are faster since they are endowed with double ratchet feature.
If you are ought to spend most of your time using a hand drill of the ratchet mechanism, you had better opted is to use a 5-way ratchet.
Look for braces in which the whole ratchet mechanism is enveloped. Such tools are less subjected to wood shavings or dirt. Hence, they are gonna spend a greater time with you.
Two different speeds
Shafts are often provided with speed adjustment knobs. These knobs allow you to fix the device at two different speeds – high speed along with low torque and low speed along with high torque. This feature helps to drill holes or driving screws (in and out) of different sizes.
The high-speed low torque configuration helps you drilling tiny holes or driving small screws faster. On the other hand, the low-speed high torque configuration helps you drilling large holes or driving big screws less painful.
Who does not plan for a long-term usage of a tool while buying? If you are one of them, do remember to inspect the double pinion system. This option allows you to operate the hand drill more smoothly and easily.
Turning ratio is a term with which the advertisements come up with. It is nothing but the number of turns the chuck completes within each cycle of the driving wheel in a hand drill.
If you are there to choose a hand drill, do select the one having higher turning ratio if speed is the option you select. ‘Cuz remembers: the more your turn ratio is, the more is your chuck rotating speed.
To generate more torque but less speed, go and find a hand drill with a low rate of turning ratio.
If it is a two speeds hand drill then you will find two values of turning ratios. Guess why: one for higher and the other for low-speed configuration.
Importantly, if you do not want to miss any of the opportunities of having both the speed and the torque to be higher you will need to have your drive wheel to be massive while the pinion gear to be enough tiny.
The hand drill that you lifted to inspect may have the Chuck comprising of four jaws. Take it, it’s good. It will allow you to fit in almost all the bits ranging from square shank to rounded shank with the same hand drill.
But if the extensive and diversified use of the hand drill is not your target then a normal jawed chuck may serve as the best hobby drill for you.
Have already selected a hand drill? Wait. Find out the oil holes. Didn’t find one? Keep it aside and find the one with oil holes. These holes are going to keep your tool smoother since lubricant oil is supplied through them.
Ball Hearing Head
A ball bearing head is preferable to turn the brace smoothly. This makes drilling task easier. But focusing on it is an act of fool since this can’t be termed as an essential feature.
Having a removable handle is often assisting. This comes to a lot of help when drilling hard materials that require much pressure.
If the handle is hollow inside then puff a sigh of relief. Because now you will not need to carry an extra spare bits box. You can keep your spare bits inside the handle.
How to remove the removable handle or end caps on the handle? Well, that’s rather easy. Just unscrew the screws.
Everyone has his or her own definition of the term ‘the best’. Again many times it is the task that redefines your best hand drill. Don’t hanker after the features that are really not required to complete your task. Avoid speculation and be judgmental.
Best Manual Hand Drills
Now you’re right on the money. To find the best hand drill we need some actual suggestions. Just cherry picking is seldom the right way.
You need some product reviews to their specifications. You’ll not ignore the special features, will you? And you are not forgetting to note down the disliking or demerits of the products, right?
Now let’s dig into the market to get acquainted with some of the manual hand drills available.
Here are some reviews including features, advantages as well as disadvantages of some of the best hand drills:
1. In-tool-home Precision Pin Vise Model Hand Drill
This pocket-sized pin vise hand drill is something that is sure to come help. Especially when you are engaged in tool making or model making this tiny hand drill has no alternative. This is always going to suffice your taste of hobby carpentry.
The plastic handle is sturdy as well as ergonomic. Besides grip wrap is also available with it. You can easily hold it while drilling or deburring.
The chuck is very strong and contains 3 jaws. The chuck made of steel and is keyless. The whole package sold by AUTOTOOLHOME includes 1 x hand drill with twist drill bits. The drill bits set contains 10 pieces of twist drill bits of different sizes.
The hand drill can easily hold wires, reamers, and files besides holding drills of small size and deburred. So it will be perfect for usage in assembling electronic circuits or cases.
The 80 mm long precision hand drill can easily be carried in the pocket due to its lightweight and small length.
The Drawbacks we think:
Customers have complained that the hand drill does not hold the drill bits straightly through the center. Whatever be the way put the bits inside, it always remains inclined. So drilling a straight hole becomes too hard.
Among the bits, the larger ones are reviewed to be quite good. But the problem is with the smaller ones. At least 2 of the smaller ones complained to be with a slanted tip. So while drilling with them they wobble.
Again the shipping is done from China. So it’s a miserly condition that you are put into when you discover that the tool you have been shipped is a defected one.
Besides, the bits are too weak to withstand strong plastic.
2. Mudder Hand drill
The best thing about the mudder hand drill is the number of drill bits it provides; 20 in number. The drill bits that range from 0.8 mm to 1.8 mm are provided 3 pieces each. And the 2.0 mm to 3.0 mm drill bits are offered 1 piece of each size. The aluminum alloy chuck capacity is 1/64 to 9/64 inches.
You would find this tool to be applicable to various materials including wood, PVC, plastic, resin, jewelry etc. The gripping diameter is absolutely adjustable. Therefore you can have total control over your hand drill.
The device is light and small enough to be portable. The chuck tip is the rotary type. You will get a small bag to carry your equipment with its accessories.
Bits are not so sharp. Many are disappointed with the quality of the chuck.
3. Fiskars Manual Rotary Craft Hand Drill
You will be amazed at the rotating hand crank of the hand drill of Fiskars. No battery and no cord to consume extra electricity.
Are you then tensed about the smoothness of its operation? Don’t worry at all. The enclosed gears are there to add the smoothness of drilling maintaining a constant drilling pressure.
The craft hand drill is just perfect for working with wood, sheet metal, and paper, plastic, acrylic or even mixed materials. The package from Fiskars contains four drill bits of standard size. The sizes include 1/8, 3/32, 5/32 and 3/16 inches.
You know what, you will have a lifetime warranty if you buy this product.
The Drawbacks we think:
It can’t drill copper sheet metal. The result may be horrible. In that case, a nail and a hammer would be better.
Many have complaints that this rotary craft hand drill’s chuck is incapable of holding smaller bits. The largest one fits only. The chuck is also complained to be stopped working.
The crank is much sharper than expected. Hence needs to be careful. Otherwise, it may cut your fingers.
Though it contains crank, it is not supposed to be used for heavy drilling.
The drill bits are not so good for maple wood. The inner rotaries may strip off and drill bits may snap. They are also not suitable for denting glass.
NOTE: Fiskars also sell hand drills without bits. Be careful while ordering for shipping or buying.
4. Fiskars Hand Drill (85116984)
Fiskars provides this hand drill to drill such spots that are tough to reach. This hand drill is easy to use and is useful. Drilling holes into delicate points with controlled and smoothly operated using enclosed gear system is not a fantasy due to this drill.
This hand-powered hand drill of Fiskars has a contoured body structure. This provides you a comfortable grip on it. You can set holes through wood, sheet metal, paper, plastic or acrylic. Sheets made of a mixture of different materials are also in the domain of this hand drill.
It has accommodation for standard drill bits. But note that the drill bits are not included in the list.
Smooth drilling and maintaining the same pressure the whole time of the process is not something easy when you are dealing with a hand-powered object. This is not true for this device. The gears that are embedded in this handy tool ensure that.
So the home improvement projects are once again ready to buckle up with this smooth hand drill.
The drawbacks we think:
The inner components are not that strong.
People found the internally embedded and enclosed gears to be dysfunctional after a few times of its usage. The gears slip badly when such situations develop.
Practically this hand drill is not suitable for hard plastic or sheet metal.
Some found the drill bits not capable of fitting the chuck.
5. Fuller Tool Hand drill
What do you want more than a 4 jaw chuck from a hand powered drill? Yes, Fuller comes up with a 4 jaw chuck two and a half pounds weighed hand drill.
The reversible ratchet brace elevates this product to one of greatest handy drilling items. So don’t worry about the congestion of the place you get to drill in. The ratchet is 12 points graded.
The tough molded handle has an easy grip inside your palm. The chuck is ready to hold a variety of differently sized shank bits ranging from 1/8 inch to 7/16 inch. Don’t miss the opportunity to use the tapered shanks too!
It has some 10 inches of the sweep. It is going to be your favorite if you are a purist and love to work without power. Not just useful, it is best for auger bits or screwdriver.
The drawbacks we think:
The Fuller tool hand drill levers are stiff to operate back and forth. It is not intuitive of which direction it will go while rotating.
Customers’ comments reveal the fact that the head is a bit loose. So it requires tightening it at some intervals while working.
It’s a common experience for many of its users that one of the teeth of the chuck breaks away.
The brace does not work well with hex shank bits.
6. NIUPIKA Precision Pin hand drill
Among precision pin vise hand drills, the one of NIUPIKA contains the most enriched kit. Hobbies will find a new dimension to explore.
The drilling will be accurate, precise, effective and efficient with this aluminum alloy hand drill. Usable bits range their diameter within 0.6 mm to 3 mm.
What not can be done with its help when miniature items are at your focal point? Whether you are engaged in DIY (do it yourself) projects or making jewelry this tiny friend of yours will assist you. That does not imply that you will not be able to work with wood, carve your crafts or make miniature models.
The drawbacks we think:
It does not fit iron, steel or stone. It is not that hard to withstand such hard things.
The rotation of the drill knob is often found to be not smooth enough.
The drill may appear a little large for average sized hands.
7. EndPoint DIY precision hand drill
EndPoint has a bunch of hand drills. All are pin vise except one hand planer. With the pin vise hand drills, they offer drills made of PVC, carbon steel, aluminum, and alloy. Here you’ll get the taste of the PVC hand drill.
Features and Advantages:
PVC, along with rubber, is used to make its handle ergonomic to usage. As a result, the handle becomes nonskid and highly hard.
The hand drill has a small length of 3.5 inches. So it easily fits into your pocket. Well, the drill bits are going to add some extra length of theirs while you are in your work. The bits’ length ranges from 1 inch to 2.4 inches.
You may be interested to know the diameter of the chuck. It is 0.4 inch. The drill bits that the jaws of the chuck will hold are of various diameter. But don’t select a bit of diameter less than 0.8 mm and greater than 3.0 mm.
Similar to the bit domain, the drill has a wide range of application. You may use this tiny friend of yours for jewelry for men and women, amber, olive nut, Buddha beads, ivory, resin, nut, walnut etc. And the general uses of plastic and wood are also there to amuse you.
Holding small drills, wires, deburrers, reamers, files etc. are really important tasks that are too frequently required while involved in a DIY project. EndPoint helps you in those works through this simple device. This hand drill may also serve you in carving, woodworking, model and tool making as well as electronic assembling.
The drawbacks we think:
The base is often observed to be bent. Moreover, it is hard to adjust.
A few customers reviewed that the chuck was made of plastic. Well, this may be an exception or one man’s observation.
When People Prefer to Use Hand Drill over a Power Drill?
Of course, people use alternatives when they have ample opportunities to provide. Here are some reasons why and when you will prefer a hand drill or a brace over a power drill:
A power drill requires a power supply. Probably you’ll be thinking that a cordless drill does not require the messy wires? But, pal, even a cordless one requires a power supply to be charged once its power goes flat.
In comparison, do you have any of these limitations while using a hand drill or a brace? Hand drills are usable anywhere regardless of the remoteness of the location and scarcity of power supply.
Noise pollution is something that environmentalists love to see gets mitigated. Hand drills are again the winner. A hand drill can be safely used, rather recommended, in places such as hospitals where even simple noises are too hazardous.
Certainly, you will not encourage using a power drill in such cases which makes a huge noise.
Hand drills are much lighter in comparison to power drills as it does not require any source of power. So it is a lot easier to hold and operate.
Due to the fact that hand drills are lighter and there being a direct connection between the hand and drill bit, you can have a greater influence on its grip and control while drilling.
Often we work with materials that are sensitive and fragile. For this particular reason, a hand drill is a lot handy then.
So in short, hand drills are lighter, handy and quieter. Moreover, no power supply is needed and you’ll have more control over it.
Disadvantages of Using a Hand Drill
A hand drill will burn away more calories from your body in comparison to that of a power drill. So the task may get tiring and boring.
Along with tiring, the work of drilling takes a long time when you are not being supplied from a power source. Besides, a long time application may cause fatigue.
Last but not the least, buying a hand drill will lock a handful of features that could have availed by having power drills. You must consider these too while buying a drill.
How to Use a Hand Drill
A hand drill contains a cranking handle that is internally connected to pinion gears. Turning the cranking handle, in turn, rotates the main shaft. Just in front of the shaft remains the chuck.
The function of the chuck is to hold the drill bits. There is another handle at a position opposite to that of the shaft. This handle is stationary and has the lone purpose of holding the device in a stationary state while the chuck rotates.
You should not choose an arbitrary sized drill bit. It is dependent on the size of hole you intend to form. The drill bit size, usually with respect to diameter, is inscribed on the shaft of the bit.
Once when you are done with the size and specifications get ready to drill your first hole. Rotate the chuck with your hand so that it gets loosened. Then insert the selected drill bit that you are holding. After that, simply tighten the chuck turning it in the opposite direction. The jaws of the chuck will bite on the bit.
Now place the tip of your inserted bit at your specific spot. By turning the cranking handle while pressurizing the drill, drill the hole. Take great care to hold the hand drill as perpendicularly as possible with respect to the drilling surface.
Don’t shiver your hands while you are drilling, especially if you are dealing with smaller bits. This may break or bend your drill bit or make your hole something else!
Hand Drill Maintenance
Maintaining a hand drill is an easy job; at least a lot easier than doing so a power drill. But taking the maintenance factor too lightly may damage your machine.
Most hand drills get damaged due to their improper usage or wrong application. So, be sincere when you are choosing the drill bit. You should also avoid applying excess pressure while boring hole.
Periodic maintenance includes placing a few drops of light oil into the oil holes. If there isn’t one, oil the crank pinions and the gear of the chuck.
What type of hand drill bit do I need for plastic?
Drilling a plastic material is smooth if you use spur point bits. They are also known as dowel bits. They have a central point and spurs. The Spurs maintain the bit aligned at an angle. Thus the hole is a neat and clean one.
Which hand drill bit should be used for drilling PVC?
Since PVC is a soft plastic both metal and wood drill bits are going to suffice your project. But these are better for making small holes. To make larger holes you are recommended to use spade bits.
How is a pilot hole drilled using a hand drill?
Firstly, highlight your drilling spot using a marker or pencil. An indentation may be created using a center punch. Choose a drill bit according to the size of the pilot hole you want to drill. Note that the inner diameter will be slightly wider than the greatest outer diameter of the drill bit you selected.
Finally, drill the pilot hole and install your screw into the hole.
How to drill a hole at an angle using hand drill?
Take a block of wood. Cut one of its edges at your required angle. You may do that just by using a protractor.
Draw two straight lines on a flat page of the surface at your required angle. Then cut the edge of the block placing the paper on it. You may place the block of the wood on that too.
Now take the material you want to drill. Mark your drilling point. Place the slanted edge of the block just beside that point.
Now set the drill bit of your hand drill placing flatly on the edge at the desired point. A longer drill bit is recommended for this purpose. Now you are ready to spin the handle of your hand drill.
In this way, you may drill a pilot hole. The pilot whole will guide you the rest of the drilling task without the help of the angled wood block. Otherwise, you may finish drilling just right in that position.
One may ask a question: Who is going to spend bucks on old day technology equipment? Do hand drills really worth some penny?
DIY projects and miniature model manufacturing hobby are becoming more popular among people as time is passing by. This is definitely increasing the importance of finding the best hand drill among the prevailing products in the market.
Of course, application of hand drills is not a wise option in heavy industries. But they are always going to find their place in cottage industries and help reduce pollutions to some extent.