Kiri Japanese hand drill (gimlet)

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Project by mafe posted 01-01-2013 04:59 PM 6379 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


12213 posts in 3841 days

#1 posted 01-01-2013 05:38 PM

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


117179 posts in 3663 days

#2 posted 01-01-2013 05:41 PM

A unique and cool project,well done Mads

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Roger's profile


20931 posts in 2890 days

#3 posted 01-01-2013 07:16 PM

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

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3420 days

#4 posted 01-01-2013 07:58 PM

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


3111 posts in 3020 days

#5 posted 01-01-2013 08:59 PM

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

Don W

18881 posts in 2653 days

#6 posted 01-01-2013 10:30 PM

Cool project Mads.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2494 days

#7 posted 01-01-2013 10:38 PM

Very nice tools. Good job.

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

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3759 days

#8 posted 01-02-2013 01:57 AM

Nice tools!

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3145 days

#9 posted 01-02-2013 12:07 PM

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


485 posts in 2564 days

#10 posted 01-03-2013 11:23 AM

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


184 posts in 3897 days

#11 posted 01-04-2013 03:44 PM

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

20928 posts in 3191 days

#12 posted 01-07-2013 03:55 AM

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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