Kiri Japanese hand drill (gimlet)

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Project by mafe posted 558 days ago 2870 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Kiri Japanese hand drill
Japanese gimlets

This post comes from my Kiri hand drill blog .

This is a Japanese inspired kiri I made some time ago for my Japanese tools.
In the blog I tell more about how and the different types of kiri.

1. My kiri’s.
2. Some types.
3. Making the tapered handle.
4. Handles ready.
5. Making grip on a standard drill bit.
6. The tool in action, I call it the MaFe-kiri.

Hope this can bring some inspiration to others that play with Japanese tools.

Best thoughts,


-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

12 comments so far

View lew's profile


9921 posts in 2342 days

#1 posted 558 days ago

Thanks, Mads.
I believe using their tools must really gives you an insight into some of the the Japanese philosophy.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2164 days

#2 posted 558 days ago

A unique and cool project,well done Mads

-- Custom furniture

View Roger's profile


13976 posts in 1391 days

#3 posted 558 days ago

This is a very nicely done collection of gimlets. They will be well used, I’m sure.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View stefang's profile (online now)


12426 posts in 1921 days

#4 posted 558 days ago

These are very interesting Mads. They remind me of another similar tool with a long wooden handle, except that the hand had a twist carved or machined into it and there was ring with inside threads to match the twist on the handle. The tool was spun by working the ring up and down the handle. Has anyone else seen these or am I just dreaming?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View lanwater's profile


3070 posts in 1521 days

#5 posted 558 days ago

Mafe the master tool maker did it again!

how do they perform on hard wood like oak?

sometimes ago I saw a video of a japanese woodworker using those hand drill and was impressed.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14498 posts in 1154 days

#6 posted 558 days ago

Cool project Mads.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View jaykaypur's profile


3230 posts in 995 days

#7 posted 558 days ago

Very nice tools. Good job.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2260 days

#8 posted 558 days ago

Nice tools!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View docholladay's profile


1284 posts in 1646 days

#9 posted 557 days ago

Interesting idea Mads. Have you considered making something like this, but using a straight fluted style bit like the ones that come with push drills. They have the advantage of cutting when turned in both directions. You could actually drill by spinning the handle between your palms.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View balidoug's profile


363 posts in 1065 days

#10 posted 556 days ago

not strength or brute force
but elegance of design
and quiet effort

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View airfieldman's profile


177 posts in 2398 days

#11 posted 555 days ago

I especially like your chop. Creative. I had mine made about 10 years ago while in Japan. It resembles a backwards paragraph symbol.

-- Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut it with a chainsaw.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

10972 posts in 1692 days

#12 posted 553 days ago

Neat tools, my friend. Your work is getting finer and finer!!!!!..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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