How to Use Hand Operated Drill?

As with most hand tools, questions about how and where to use a hand-operated drill are uncommon. Many DIY enthusiasts are more likely to use power drills for work efficiency reasons. But hand tools have their place in a woodworker’s workshop, too.


Where Can You Use a Hand-operated Drill?

The hand-operated drill is also known as an eggbeater drill because of its appearance. The basic mechanism involves a hand-operated crank handle turning an interlocking gear.

In turn, the gear rotates the drill bit to make a hole in the material. This is a great tool for the following applications:

  • Working with fragile materials, such as rare wood, soft metals and plastics.
  • Drilling a hole up to a certain depth only (i.e., not drilling all the way through).
  • Creating a small number of holes in a material.

Since this is easy to set up, you can also use it for various applications. This is true in jobs where power tools are unnecessary or inconvenient. Hand-operated drills also come in a wide range of styles.

You can fit most drill bits’ sizes up to 6mm in diameter, both keyless and keyed chucks. You may even use it for screw-related tasks.

Modern eggbeater drills are also available with several features. You will find features like double pinion, two-speed gears, and fully-enclosed gear mechanisms. You can even buy one with a hollow handle for storing bits.

How to Use a Hand-operated Drill

While a hand-operated drill is easy to set up and operate, it’s still a tool with sharp parts. You must be aware of the safety and efficiency measures to get the best results out of it.


Wear PPE

When using tools in a workshop, always wear your personal protective equipment. In the case of hand-operated drills, safety goggles and dust mask are adequate. Safe clothing is also a must since baggy clothes and jewelry can still get caught in the drill.



Gather the Tool and Its Accessories

You should gather the hand-operated drill and its accessories before starting work. You must not waste time, energy and effort going to and fro just to get a few things. Keep everything needed within easy reach. The things you will need include:

  • The hand-operated drill
  • Drill bits
  • Center punch or awl
  • hand-o-right
  • hand-o-right
    Wood piece
  • hand-o-right
    Scrap wood
  • hand-o-right
    Clamp or vice


Place the Bit in the Chuck

Not every bit will work for the job. You must then choose the right drill bit to get the desired results. You can refer to the manufacturer’s recommended bit-and-hole pairings for this matter.



Mark the Starting Hole

Even with a hand-operated drill, it’s best to create a pilot hole first. Without it, the drill will likely “walk across” or “drift away from” the material. This can damage the work piece in many ways.


For example, the sharp bit can scratch the rare wood’s surface or dent the fragile material.

The starting hole is also a great way to keep your mark on the work piece. You don’t want to make a hole in a place where it shouldn’t be. You can also keep the bit steady on the intended place, thus, leading to cleaner results.

Tip: Use a hammer when making a pilot hole in wood. Tap the head of an awl over the place where you want the hole. Use a center punch in creating an indentation on a metal surface. The hole can be drilled over this indent.


Clamp the Work Piece

The work piece should be placed on a level and stable work area. This will prevent it from slipping away from the drill. The surface’s integrity and beauty can be preserved.

In case of a plank of wood, be sure to clamp it to a work bench first. You should use a piece of scrap wood in case you’re going to drill through the work piece. You will know when you’ve drilled a hole through it when The wood chips being ejected are a different color.


Use light wood scrap with a dark wood piece for this reason. The force needed to turn the crank lessens. Use a soft wood under the hard wood work piece for this purpose. The scrap wood is necessary to protect the workbench from damage (i.e., holes).


Drill into the Material

Keep in mind that the hand-operated drill is still a safety hazard. You should keep these safety and efficiency measures in mind during its use.

Hold the drill vertically. You have to check that the drill is perfectly perpendicular to the work bench. You can ask another person to visually inspect the drill’s position.

Hold the handle with your left hand and the turning handle with your right hand. Grasp the top handle with a firm hold and keep the drill stead. You can press your palm into the handle’s center for this purpose.


Turn the turning handle in a clockwise direction. The chuck and drill bit will turn into the wood and create the hole. You should start on a slow speed at the start. You may then add more speed when the bit has worked its way down the wood.

Use only light pressure when pushing down on the hand-operated drill. If you’re pushing too hard, you must change the bit since it is likely dull. Avoid drilling as fast as you can. Otherwise, the bit can break or the hole can be crooked. Adopt an even cadence instead.


Clean out the Wood Chips

On a regular basis, pull out the drill bit from the work piece. You can remove the wood chips and saw dust from the surface. You may then continue with drilling the hole.


Don’t blow away the chippings and saw dust. Your eyes and nose can be irritated with the debris. Instead, just brush them away with a brush or your hand. With the job finished, you can put away your tools or make other holes.

Final Words

The hand-operated drill is still a great tool in your toolbox. You will find plenty of uses for it, too. You’re also saving your ears from the noise pollution of power tools.

Keep your hand-operated drill in good condition always. You will find that it pays to have manual tools on hand no matter the advances in workshop technology.

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