It’s beautifully designed, made in Germany, has a transmission – is it a Porsche? No, it’s the Schroeder hand drill. It requires no gas or even electricity to run, it’s very smooth and quiet, and much less expensive, too.
OK, I’ll stop the comparison; it’s way too much of a stretch, but there’s something about a high quality machine that makes it a pleasure to look at, handle and use for its intended purpose. I like rechargeable power drills, too – they’re fun to use, and very handy when you have a lot of holes to drill and a fully charged battery. Some day, though, the battery will stop holding a charge or the gears will wear out, it will go to a landfill and you’ll need a new one.
After seeing the movie Hugo, I have become more fascinated with mechanical objects. You see exactly how the speed of your turning hand is multiplied to the speed of the drill bit. You’ll hear it, and feel it, too. The Schroeder hand drill will never end up being thrown away. It could be passed down to your grandchildren, or in a worse scenario, be used to rebuild the post-apocalyptic world where an electromagnetic pulse has toasted the power drills (not to mention the grid itself). OK, let’s not worry about that …
Schoeder makes two models of this for woodworking: a 1/4 drill about 9″ long with a single pinion at the bottom and a longer one, about 11″ long with a bigger chuck for larger bits. I figured bigger meant sturdier, so when I saw the large model at Sears online for just a few dollars more, the decision was easy. The smaller one is usually about $25; the larger more like $50.
A hand drill is convenient for woodworking outside or when you just don’t want to worry about recharging. It gives finer control for precision jobs. Just take it out and drill away. It’s easy and safe for children to use, too.