Schroeder Hand Drill


Tough analog drill

A hand-powered drill allows a subtlety and control you don’t get from a power tool, so very much more direct and satisfying to use. From a sheer utilitarian perspective, my Schroeder 1/4″ drill ($28) is a wonder to behold and use. The gearing is all-metal, so it’s built to last. For the price, you won’t find a tougher drill. I’ve used it for building cabinets and tables, puttering around the house and garden, pre-drilling screw holes, and mounting things to walls, etc. and it works like a champ. I 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 1970s BMW or a piece of Shaker furniture, it’s logical and simple, direct and pure. It makes me happy just to spin it.

-- Charles Henry Frieder 08/22/18

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