A “boring machine” (har-har) is an old hand tool for drilling up to 2″ diameter holes in timbers, typically for timber frame construction. These boring machines (in this case, the Millers Falls model) are no longer manufactured, and haven’t been for at least 70 years. They are quite rare, and as you can imagine, priceless. There are few non-electric tools capable of boring holes in wood in this way. They are truly an antique, blast from the past kind of tool. They are highly prized by timber framers who use hand tools. I have, very luckily, found one on craigslist that I now use. I’ve used it for a year.
Why is the Millers Falls boring machine superior? It runs on human power, of course, and is built like a tank. It’s no surprise these 70+ year old tools are still around. This is the tool that can be passed on for generations. (And should be, because they’ll never be manufactured again!) If you strive to live without electricity, there really is no other option.
[Though this tool is no longer manufactured and is now hard to find, I felt that it still fulfilled the Cool Tools requirements. This explains, in part, why this review is being published on a Saturday as an addition (not a substitute) to our regular content. If you know of other tools that are no longer produced but are still useful, we'd love to hear about them, too! --OH]