Hand Tools

Re: Brace and old bits - Worth the trouble?

Wiley Horne--So. Calif.
Hi Denis,

New bits are a real pleasure. This includes LV's brad-point bits. And I have a couple of German made metric bits that will just about cut you if you run your finger along an arris. I have Yankee braces that will accommodate straight shank as well as tapered shank bits.

Like Bill, if it's a job down in a crawl space or between joists, I want two right-angle Milwaukee's, one for drills and the other for driver. But I will point out one thing Bill said, "I was drilling a 4" hole in a house plate. It caught and threw me off the ladder." Yes, a corded 1/2" drill will power through whatever. But if it catches, you won't be ready for it, and it will try to wrap you around the axle, as Bill says.

That's why if you're drilling a long hole, like down through a thick bench, or in my case, down through a 7" deep apron of a bench, I want a 10" or 12" brace with the tapered long 3/4" auger in it. Why? That same auger in a Milwaukee 1/2" drill--and you need the 1/2" model's torque--is a good bet to catch and try to sprain your wrist.

I use brace/bit as drivers. A lot. 8" and 10" braces. The reason is touch. You have the same 'feel' as with a screw-driver, but lots of easy power--easy meaning you're not clenching up and tightening your jaw. Much less chance of munging up the screw than with an electric drill, because you can feel and test whether the driver has a good square grip.

Suggest: New bits. What kind of brace did you inherit?


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