In this guide we’ll look at the best hand drills.
We’ve compared weight, construction, accessories and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Hand Drill?
More Detailed Hand Drill Reviews
Schroeder 1/4-Inch Hand Drill Review
This Schroeder hand drill is made in the traditional “egg beater” style, with a three-jaw chuck that is perfect for small drill bits when accuracy and precision is needed. Made in Germany, the all-steel assembly and wooden handle are well-made, as you would expect, and feel like they will last a lifetime.
As a lightweight and almost silent tool, we think the Schroeder hand drill is the best manual hand drill in the traditional configuration. The chuck has excellent knurling on it, which made fitting new drill bits easy and allowed for effective tightening down.
Faithfull CB10 10-inch Carpenters Brace Review
If you are on the lookout for the best carpenters brace, you can’t go wrong with the Faithfull CB10. This capable bit and brace setup can bridge the gap between the precision of the best hand drill and the power of a modern electric drill.
The 12-point reversible ratchet means that you can turn the handle in one direction without turning the drill bit. We really like the ratchet function because it can make drilling holes when access is tight pretty easy, and with a smaller profile than a heavy electric drill.
The four-jaw chuck on the hand brace drill is optimised for round bits up to 13 mm, and can be used with augur and flat bits as well. It’s a solidly built bit and brace for fine carpentry work when control is needed more than raw power.
HYCKee MF16 Aluminum Hand Drill Review
The aluminium hand drill set we tested from HYCKee was an excellent example of a manual twist drill with a range of accessories to help the keen hobbyist or model maker. The keyless chuck makes it easy to tighten down on the smallest drill bits we had, even down to 0.5 mm.
The fully aluminium drill body was sturdy but light enough to throw into any small tool kit and made one handed drilling a breeze with a little practise. One feature that made us think this is the best manual hand drill for electronics projects was the free-spinning swivel top, allowing us to keep pressure on the drill bit while turning.
The accessory kit was another big bonus. The small pin vice was perfect for holding small materials, and could be screwed down for extra stability. The included bits were sharp and the needle files will come in useful as well. This is a comprehensive hand drill set for any model maker.
Fiskars Manual Rotary Craft Hand Drill Review
Fiskars are known around the world for making some of the best hand tools available, and the Fiskars manual rotary hand drill is no exception. Its light weight doesn’t mean it’s not powerful enough to drill through wood, plastic and even thin metals.
The Fiskars hand drill has a clever pistol grip handle that makes it the best hand drill for accuracy, and you can comfortably hold it steady while drilling, which is an essential feature of a hobby tool like this.
The enclosed gears mean that they won’t get gummed up with sawdust, and the handle can be folded away for easy storage, making it one of the best small hand drills on the market. The included drill bits meant it was ready for action straight away.
Hand Drill Buyer’s Guide
There are many times when precision and accuracy is required for drilling a hole more than raw power. An electric power drill can be too heavy, clumsy or noisy, so a manual hand drill can be perfect for smaller tasks. When it comes to model making or working with delicate materials, you need the best hand drill for the job.
Types of Manual Drill
The best hand drill is a mixture of precision and torque, depending on the task at hand. Modern types of rotary craft hand drills apply new techniques to classic tool design.
The traditional “egg beater” style hand drill like that on the Schroeder hand drill adds a mechanical advantage to drilling, but for true precision you need a manual twist hand drill like the HYCKee Aluminium Hand Drill.
When you require extra torque when drilling by hand, such as when drilling into solid timber, a carpenters hand brace drill is the best tool to use. A large crank is supplied to add the leverage necessary for harder tasks.
Manual drills like the Faithfull Carpenter’s Hand Brace Drill are used for a wide range of tasks, but can be the most suitable for delicate applications like model making or building electronic circuit boards. If you need to drill soft or brittle materials like resin, beeswax, amber or glass, a manual hand drill is the most effective tool available.
The best hand drill review wouldn’t be complete without a winner, so we’re happy to choose the Fiskars manual rotary drill as the best manual hand drill on the UK market. The innovative hand grip shape was comfortable to use and we really liked the enclosed gearing.