Gimlets. Who know and who use these wonderful and inexpensive small tools

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by b2rtch posted 12-22-2013 01:44 PM 2217 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3047 days

12-22-2013 01:44 PM

When I immigrated from France thirty years ago last week, I took with me a number of things.
To this day I do not know why I took what I took.
I took a Bible when I was not a Christian and I did not read it then.
I took a Stanley 55 (made in England) that I bought years before and Ihad never used yet.
I took a set of Aurioul rifler, that I never had used and a hand stitched raps.
And I took a set a gimlets.

I never saw any mention of gimlets in the USA.
Many tools that we use in the USA , we do not use in France and vice versa.
I do not think that gimlets are well known and/or popular in the USA.
I have two sets: one I took from France with me and another set that I bought from Garret Wade here:

I use mine very frequently.
For example I have made 6 sets of book rest and each one has three small hinges.
I have been using them to make the small holes to start the screws.
They are fantastic small tools and very convenient and easy to use and no battery going empty on you every time you need the tool.
Buy one set, you will not regret it ( I do not work for Garret Wade and I get no commission but I think that I should get one!!)
All gimlets that I ever saw are Made in France (please help the french economy, it really needs your help)

Merry CHRIST-mas to you all

-- Bert

24 replies so far

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8046 posts in 2327 days

#1 posted 12-22-2013 03:02 PM

Tanks for teaching me something new today Bert. They look very handy for starting small screws.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2006 days

#2 posted 12-22-2013 03:12 PM

Hmmmm, and here I always thought a gimlet was a drink made with gin! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3047 days

#3 posted 12-22-2013 03:20 PM

They are very handy

-- Bert

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#4 posted 12-22-2013 03:25 PM

I’ve had a set for years ,they can be very useful.

Merry Christmas Bert

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3047 days

#5 posted 12-22-2013 03:26 PM

Merry Christ-mas JIM

-- Bert

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


601 posts in 2906 days

#6 posted 12-22-2013 04:03 PM

Learn something new everyday.

Thanks, Bert

View MalcolmLaurel's profile


298 posts in 1622 days

#7 posted 12-22-2013 07:19 PM

I only have one gimlet (if I even still have it); it’s a cheap one that came included with some kind of kit furniture or something to drill the required holes.

-- Malcolm Laurel -

View robdem's profile


380 posts in 2605 days

#8 posted 12-22-2013 07:21 PM

Have had a set of for a long time use them a lot on small jobs when only doing a few screws work great

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2779 days

#9 posted 12-22-2013 07:48 PM

Most of mine are Marples, as in Sheffield England, they’re the (the tool, not necisarily by country of origin) very handy, like you say, for starting screws etc. An often overlooked tool and not that expensive !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3047 days

#10 posted 12-22-2013 08:10 PM

Thank you all for your reply

-- Bert

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2632 days

#11 posted 12-22-2013 08:59 PM

I have a few and use them often.

View LakeLover's profile


283 posts in 1938 days

#12 posted 12-22-2013 10:09 PM

In custom shoes we used gimlets to start holes in leather soles and heels for attaching ice blade to skates. And tap dancing ” Taps” on shoes.

They are a great tool.

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3047 days

#13 posted 12-22-2013 10:16 PM

If you do not already have one, get a set for Christ-mas

-- Bert

View rum's profile


148 posts in 2585 days

#14 posted 12-22-2013 11:57 PM

+1 amazingly handy. Garret wade has gotten more hit and miss over the years, but this was definitely a hit!

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3280 days

#15 posted 12-23-2013 12:10 AM

I use gimlet bits often but I use the kind that fit a brace. There are a number of patterns and I can’t use those with a lead screw like Bert shows. I need the “Swiss” or “half-twist” pattern to avoid splitting wood and to get the ability to initially steer the bit. The brace, type of holes (upper half of the stock after cutting for showing a wedge mortise being started) I need to make, and bit:

The important shape of a Swiss pattern gimlet:

showing 1 through 15 of 24 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics