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Hand Drills have been a part of toolkits since the era of Homo sapiens, however the kind that we are familiar with in modern times has been in popular use since the late 19th Century, although their invention is believed to been in the earlier years of that same century with several companies claiming they were the first to sell them.

The most commonly used type of hand drill, and one that modern ones are still based is the Breast Drill, which works in a similar method as Power Drills, in the sense that the user inserts drill bits into the drill’s jaws, however, you then power the drill by hand.

There’s no question that Hand Drills are a lot harder work than a Power Drill, which is part of the reason why Power Drills are quickly overtaking their muscle-powered predecessor. Power Drills are much quicker at getting a job done, and for most people a lot easier. However, many people prefer a Hand Drill and they do still have a lot to offer, even in a modern world: 

  • The Slower RPMs make them easier to control
  • This also makes them safer to use, as they stop working as soon as you stop turning the handle. With a Power Drill, the process of turning it off is a lot longer which could cause problems.
  • Power Drills work so quickly that it can sometimes be easy to not spot wood splintering, before it is too late. As you are working slower with a Hand Drill, splintering can be picked up sooner.