Beginner hand drill recommendations

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Forum topic by funchuck posted 05-12-2012 01:07 AM 2397 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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119 posts in 3079 days

05-12-2012 01:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hand drill brace

I am almost an all non-electric, hand tool woodworker, except that I still use my cordless drill.

I’d like to change this and I am looking into hand drills and braces. I can’t really find much information on what all the different types are, what they’re for, etc. I did read a few threads here on hand drills and braces, but they were mostly just pictures.

I would also like to buy new, because I have bad luck whenever I’ve tried buying used things.

On Lee Valley, they have a hand drill, and 2 braces, a 2 jaw, and 3 jaw one.

On Highland WW, they have various cheaper ones.

But, if I want a good setup, would the LV 3 jaw brace be good enough? Highland WW also has a brace that is very cheap… any experiences with that one?

What I’d like to do is buy something(s) that will totally replace my cordless drill. Hopefully, it can also accept my current set of drill bits too.


-- Charles from California

5 replies so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3131 days

#1 posted 05-12-2012 01:13 AM

I have no experience with the new models you speak of. I do, however, know that this is definitely one area in which I do not recommend going with economy on if you are purchasing new. There is a great deal of intricacy in such a simple device. Cheap models will be a major disappointment. Seriously, I would reconsider looking for an antique model. These are not a rare item at antique stores.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10476 posts in 3670 days

#2 posted 05-12-2012 02:12 AM

3 jaw braces don’t work well with square-ended
augurs… unless there’s some trick I don’t know.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3020 days

#3 posted 05-12-2012 03:22 PM

I suggest a 4 jaw hand brace. They hold round bits fine and square bits as well. Also pick up the holders that use the little hex screwdriver bits and 3/8 socket drives.

Here is an example:

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3381 days

#4 posted 05-12-2012 05:00 PM

What size are you looking for? I have several and would be willing to part with 1 or 2. PM me if you’re interested and I’ll get you some pics. Most of mine are the old 2 jaw chucks and I have some Stanley 2101’s.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Texchappy's profile


252 posts in 2243 days

#5 posted 05-12-2012 05:51 PM

I know there’s a reference in the back of Anarchist Toolchest that mentions someone who sells good user vintage braces. I think I’d go that way.

-- Wood is not velveeta

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