Schroeder Hand Drill

schroeder_drill_sm.jpg

What you see is what you get with this Schroeder hand drill: a simple, manual quarter-inch drill with an easily-maintained exposed metal drive. One of Cool Tools readers is a bit ga-ga over his:

used Fiskars hand drills for years but their inner gears are made of plastic and will strip out if you apply too much torque. They also can’t be opened up for repair either, so once that happens it goes straight to the landfill, which is really disheartening. With the Schroeder, the solid, single gear is right there in the open. You have to hold it in your hands to appreciate it. Like the engineering in a 1970′s Beemer or a piece of Shaker furniture, it’s logical and simple, direct and pure.

I don’t use tools enough to necessitate an upgrade from my Magical Box of Dewalt, but I love the intersection of modern materials and design when applied to ancient tools. Are there any other modern, hand-powered tools out there I should know about? (Don’t say “hammer.”)

Oh, you can pick up the Schroeder for $20-30.

Schroeder Hand Drill [Cool Tools]

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7 Responses to Schroeder Hand Drill

  1. Haroun says:

    The is the brace & bit, a larger drilling apparatus. As was said above, the hand drill is very old, I’ve several of them & got them as hand me downs from dad, & at flea markets. Good ones will go for $5.00 at a flea market, sometimes with a screw off cap on the end of the handle still holding drill bit. The Yankee screwdriver is another good one. It can install & remove screws.
    Check out woodcentral.com for more info on old tools.

  2. Registrado says:

    I first read that as “Schroedinger Hand Drill”: maybe it drills a hole, maybe it doesn’t.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hope you don’t think that a steel-geared hand drill is a new invention…I have one in my garage that’s at least 35 years old, and my Dad still has the one he had when I was a kid, so it’s from the 1940s or 50s…
    It is definitely a “Cool Tool”, but it’s a VERY OLD cool tool!

  4. bobk says:

    I bought my dad’s drill to the Antiques Road Show. They laughed at me (but in a very polite way).

  5. sackdean says:

    My brother and I visit the flea markets a few times a month, and these things are usually abundant. You can get yourself a decent “vintage” model hand drill with some character for as little as 2 bucks depending on how abundant they are on any given day.
    Essential hand powered tools… well a variety of hand saws, a push drill, or “spiral screw driver” (think elevator scene in blues brothers) is handy as well, and anything with ratcheting action baby.

  6. jeffy says:

    I love using hand drills. They’re practically silent. They don’t spin any faster than you want them to. Their batteries don’t run down so you can use them anywhere for as long as you want. They’re light and compact. I used a Miller’s Falls No. 2 made sometime after 1907 (type F) just yesterday to drill holes in my bike’s fenders so I could zip-tie on a coroplast mudflap.

    There’s a whole subculture of folks who do woodworking using primarily hand tools. They call themselves Galoots and hang out on the Oldtools mailing list. Really nice bunch of (mostly) guys.

  7. Hugh says:

    I’m a big fan of the obsidian scalpel.

    http://www.finescience.com/commerce/ccc1065-obsidian-scalpels.htm

    To paraphrase William Gibson, the past is still here, it just isn’t equally distributed.

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