This website is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission.

Best Hand Drill Reviews

Last Updated: 31.05.20

 

What are the best hand drills in 2020?

 

For those who have no time to go over our buying guide but still want to find the best hand drill on the market, this short paragraph should have enough information to help you make a sensible buying decision. We did our own product comparison and research and based on our findings, there are several reasons why the Fiskars Manual 85167097J is a definite consumer favorite. For one, it can bore holes into plastic, wood, acrylic, sheet metal, mixed media, and other materials for craft projects. It has a hand crank that turns easily and even offers cord-free, battery use. The enclosed gears deliver seamless operations as well as a consistent drilling pressure. In case searching for the Fiskars Manual 85167097J turns up nothing because it is out of stock, the A B Tools TE138 makes a good second option.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

Buying guide

 

Finding a good hand drill is not easy. That said, you should be able to have an easier time searching for the right tool for your needs if you know exactly what to look at in this kind of device.

 

 

Manual or power?

In its most basic form, a manual hand drill transforms and magnifies the circular motion of a crank into the rotating motion of a drill chuck. While most applications of manual drills for sale have now been replaced by power drills, many woodworkers still prefer the manual model. Manual hand drills can be the egg-beater type, T-handle auger type, or hand brace type.

Although old fashioned, manual units still offer an irreplaceable woodworking functionality.

Manual drills give you total control, for starters. They also help you develop your woodworking skills to the full and optimize your natural creativity. There’s just something about a project being totally handmade that gives it a certain appeal.

However, battery-powered drills save you time. They do not require too much elbow grease to begin with, so the workload is reduced and you can do more work in a short time. The results are often cleaner too. You can get cordless or battery-powered models.

Some models give you the option to operate them manually or using batteries.

 

 

Dependable performance

You should be able to bag a cheap hand drill easily but how sure are you that it can go the distance? The components of both a manual and a power hand drill should be of high quality.

For those who would rather save their arms from the strain of working a manual model, a power drill should still come with some capabilities that are required for certain jobs. It just makes the work easier.

Some models enable you to cut holes into different types of material, not just wood. You can use plastic, acrylic, sheet metal, mixed media, among many other types. The hand crank should allow easy turning.

Battery-powered models should feature enclosed gears to prevent damage to the sensitive drilling components. This will also ensure a consistent drilling pressure and flawless operations.

 

 

Safety and ease of use

It should be easy to loosen and tighten the chuck to put in a suitable drill bit for your project. The chuck should ideally accommodate different bit sizes for versatility. Most hand drills need a special tool for tightening the chuck securely.

The tip of the bit should be placed at the spot where the hole is to be drilled. The bit should be at the same angle as the target hole. Do not apply too much pressure on the handle when using smaller drill bits.

Little maintenance is needed by the top hand drills. That said, they can be easily damaged if used improperly. This includes using the tool with excess pressure or with the wrong drill bit. To obtain maximum efficiency from your hand drill, drop a bit of light oil in the chuck gear and on the chuck pinions.

 

3 Best Hand Drills (Updated Reviews) in 2020

 

 

We have seen how the products below have earned rave hand drill reviews from users. They seem to provide the serviceability and performance that craftsmen look for in their workshop tools.

 

 

1. Fiskars Manual 85167097J Hand Drill

 

Designed to simplify hole drilling into a variety of materials, the Fiskars Manual 85167097J enables you to create genuine and unique works of art. It comes with the convenient features you want in a hand drill while providing effortless control and optimal functionality.

The tool features a hand crank that is effortless to turn so you use less elbow grease to work the device. The hand crank also eliminates the need for batteries and cords that only cause clutter in the workshop. The best thing is, you get smooth and consistent operations from this simple hand tool.

As an added treat to buyers, this model ships with four standard drill bits. You wouldn’t have to head to the shops just to get started on that project the minute you get the hand tool. Choose from ⅛, 3/16, 5/32, and 3/32-inch bits. The machine’s comfortable grip enables you to work on complicated projects the entire day and not be bothered by hand fatigue.

This implement is not just suitable for wood but also for plastic, acrylic, mixed media, paper, sheet metal, and other materials you would like to turn into masterpieces. To ensure consistent drilling pressure along with smooth operations, the machine features gears enclosed protectively.

 

Pros

If you are looking for a device that can drill holes in a variety of materials (wood, plastic, acrylic, sheet metal, paper, mixed media, etc.) for any of your craft projects, then you should know this device is able to do that.

As the device works on batteries, it’s much easier to handle it and use it, in general, because you are not going to depend on connecting the cord to an electrical socket or anything of the sort.

The enclosed gears that are present in the device are going to offer you a much smoother operation and respect the usual drilling pressure.

You have the option of choosing between four standard drill bits, which are the following: ⅛, 3/16, 5/32, and 3/32 inch bits.

 

Cons

While it can deal with all of the materials that are mentioned above, the device can be quite fragile at times, so you should handle it with care.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.29)

 

 

 

2. A B Tools TE138 Hand Drill

 

The A B Tools TE138 is a basic model that offers ease of use and full control in drilling. It requires no electricity to run so you save on your utility bills. It doesn’t require batteries either since its egg beater-style design just needs hand cranking to enable the machine to bore into the stock. This means you have a lot of possibilities on your hands to make pieces of art you can show off to everyone.

Fitted with an 8mm or ¼-inch keyless chuck, this tool accepts smaller drill bits so you can work on a variety of projects using different ones. The three-tooth chuck provides a secure and firm hold for safety during operations and to offer extended tool life. Enjoy a smooth hole drilling action thanks to the double-pinion mechanism.

With its gear ratio of 3.6:1, the bit rotates 3.6 times for every turn of the crank handle, which means faster drilling in less time. At just 285 mm long and 1.7 pounds heavy, this tool is easy to hold in the hand, carry, and store. It won’t cause hand fatigue quickly unlike some power tools. It is also easy to manipulate or handle because of its small and lightweight design.

 

Pros

If you prefer for your hand drill to have wood handles, then you have come to the right place, as this item has just that. Wood handles offer you a higher level of protection, especially if you happen to encounter anything electrical in your work, so it’s nice to know you have a layer of protection.

You should be able to handle such a product with ease, which is why this hand drill has a length of 285 mm and a weight of 1.66 pounds, so you are not going to encounter any problems in dealing with it.

Since you don’t depend on electrical energy to use it, you may make use of it anyplace you may need it, giving you total freedom in that regard.

Given the overall product, the cost of buying it sounds reasonable enough.

 

Cons

After you’ve done working, you may have to use pliers in order to be able to retrieve the bit, as it doesn’t always seem to retract by itself.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

3. L.F.Z Semi-Automatic Mini Manual Hand Drill

 

This is a very small and handy knob drill which received a great degree of appreciation for its compact size and convenience. It is operated by turning on the knob at the end with your fingers, and its action is smooth enough to allow you to do this with little effort as it has a pinion transmission in the shaft.

While it might not work as fast as a crank operated model, this type of system offers a number of advantages due to its greater simplicity. It allows the tool to be smaller, making it easier to fit inside a toolbox or even a sizeable pocket for those who need to carry it around. Furthermore, it doesn’t have the cogs necessary for converting line motion into rotary motion, making it easier to operate and giving it fewer pieces to break.

Not that this little thing isn’t tough and durable, with an aluminum alloy construction for the body and presumably steel for the fully enclosed internal workings.

Its uses include carving, woodworking, electronic assembly, model making and other small arts & crafts projects. You can get to work as soon as this item arrives, since no less than ten drill bits of various sizes are included in the package, giving it a wide range of function.

These will prove easy to change with only one hand, especially as the model has a very narrow body, easy to grab by people with small hands. Its lightweight design means will allow you to use it for a long time without causing any significant amount of fatigue to your hands, even when working from awkward positions.

 

Pros

The straight transmission, operated by a rotating knob, makes this product simple and reliable, while also allowing for an overall smoother action.

Small, lightweight and smooth, the LFZ 081 is very easy to use for a considerable amount of time without causing any tremendous levels of fatigue to the user.

Made from steel, aluminum alloy and rubber, this drill is especially durable and can be dropped from head height without affecting its operation.

Handy to have around for a wide range of activities, this product comes already packed with no less than ten drill bits, ranging in diameter from 0.3 to 3.2 mm so any DIY project can be tackled right away.

 

Cons

The LFZ 081 is too new to have received any complaints, but the system itself can be said to have some drawbacks, as it is naturally slower to operate than competing designs.

Click to see the price on Amazon!