Best Manual Hand Drills of 2021 – Complete Round-up

| Last Updated: December 30, 2021

Manual hand drills are something that we do not hear about much nowadays.

This is because electric drills have dominated the handyman’s tools market thoroughly. 

Still, manual drills are an essential item for your tool kit as they let you have better control. So, if you are interested in manual hand drills, then here is a comprehensive review for you. 

Comparison of the Best Manual Hand Drills

  • Runner up manual hand drill with ¼-inch capacity
  • Length of 9¼ inches makes it ideal for versatile usage
  • Three jaw chuck for effective control over the pressure
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  • Mini handle makes rotating the drill easier
  • Durable double pinion design with cast steel
  • Sweet powerful, speedy hand drill for diverse usage
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What is a Hand Drill?

It is a manual tool used for drilling into surfaces, particularly wooden ones. A hand drill uses the circular motion of the crank to provide enough energy to drill holes. 

The drill chuck moves in a circular direction as a result of the circular movement of the crank. This then drills holes into the surface. 

A hand drill runs manually, so you have to be careful of the force with which you rotate the crank. This directly affects the kind of hole you drill and the strength with which it will hold things.

What Makes a Great Hand Drill?

In order to drill the perfect holes, you need to have a great hand drill first. Getting one is quite easy if you know what to look for. Here are the features that make a great hand drill for you to have an idea of what to look for.

Oil Holes

The idea of oil holes might feel a little too old to you. But then hand drills are old too, right? They need to have proper oiling and lubrication to stay functional. This is why we prefer hand drills that have oil holes in them. 

Turning Ratio

Basically, the turning ratio is the number of turns the chuck finishes in a single cycle of drilling. This affects the rate at which the hand drill rotates and works for drilling holes. If there is a greater turning ratio, then your work will be completed quicker. So, get a hand drill with a greater turning ratio to save your time and effort.


The braces keep your hand drill safe for a long time. They prevent the dust or wood shavings from entering the sensitive parts of the drill. This then helps the unit to serve you for a long while. 

Review of the Best Manual Hand Drills

Hand drills are a necessity for all the handyman’s tool kits as they serve a very major purpose. This is why you have to be careful while you are buying one. We have brought you a complete review of the best hand drills to help you make the right decision.

Best Overall:
Schroeder Hand Drill 1/4-Inch Capacity

Robert Larson 538-3010 Schroeder Hand Drill 1/4-Inch Capacity


  • Circular wooden handle for a firm grip
  • Has a great turning ratio with steel drill bits
  • Keyless chuck takes up the drill bits securely
  • Does not require any charging or electrical supply
  • Smooth gear for controlling the circular movement


  • Ferrule ring cracks easily
  • Gears need frequent oiling to avoid jamming

What Recent Buyers Report

The people who bought it recently have given some great reviews about it as they found it to be very useful. They appreciate the hand drill for such a smooth and easy-to-use handle. It does not feel tiring even after constant use for hours, so buyers highly recommend it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It distinguishes itself from us because it has a three-jaw chuck, which enables users to control the pressure. The circular movement of this drill is also great as it has a smooth and well-positioned gear. We also like it due to its turning ratio, which increases its efficiency on the whole. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is going to be most used by those who are into perfection. It helps you drill precisely-sized holes that leave lesser scrap to deal with. This means that there are lesser wood shavings to clean after you have drilled holes. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is clearly one of the most amazing manual hand drills that you can get at present. It has all the great features that you can expect from a great hand drill used manually. So, just go ahead and get it to make the most out of your repairing work. 

Honorable Mention:
Swpeet Powerful Speedy Hand Drill 1/4-Inch Capacity

Swpeet Powerful Speedy Hand Drill 1/4-Inch Capacity with 13Pcs Drill Bit Set, Mini Hand Drill Manual ¼ inch with Finely Cast Steel Double Pinions Design, Chucks and Grip Handle for Woods, Plastics


  • High resistance to wear and tear
  • Standardized chuck for ¼-inch drill bits
  • A chuck key to change the drill bits easily
  • 13 drill bits set for a multitude of hole sizes
  • High-quality carbon steel construction for high durability


  • Chuck screws in quite hard
  • Handle is heavy and causes hand fatigue

What Recent Buyers Report

This manual hand drill got mixed reviews from its recent buyers. Most of them liked it for being so versatile, but some of them had issues settling for a drill bit. They also liked the drill for its durable construction, which fights off wear and tear. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find it to be a great hand drill as it comes with 13 drill bits. This means that it comes with a drill bit for a hole of every size. The high carbon steel construction is also a big plus as it makes the drill harder and more lasting.

Who Will Use This Most

People who deal with multiple tasks daily, which involve drilling holes into light surfaces, will find it the most useful. It is great for those who are into furniture-making or small crafts production. The accuracy and cleanliness of holes make it a much better option for them.

Bottom Line

To conclude, it is a nice manual hand drill option to invest your money into. It has a variety of drill bits that equip you for a range of situations. So, you should get it to bring greater versatility to your work. 

3. Fiskars Manual Rotary Craft Hand Drill

Fiskars 85167097J Manual Rotary Craft hand Drill


  • Comes with four standard drill bits
  • Easy operation with an enclosed gear
  • White and black body looks quite stylish
  • Consistent drilling pressure with a soft handle
  • Lifetime warranty by the manufacturer makes it more reliable 


  • For light-duty chores only
  • Leaves a lot of shavings after drilling holes

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are all very happy with their purchase. They like this manual hand drill for the way it cuts through most surfaces so easily. They are also fond of it because of its smooth handle and unique design, which looks quite stylish. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us with its simple yet attractive frame, which is not like the others in the market. It has an enclosed gear, which makes its usage safe for even beginner-level users. The hand drill has four standard size drill bits for all situations that you may need it for.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the most useful manual hand drill for those who are renovating their house. It is quite easy to use and has such a safe design that will help you around the house. You can even use it on paper-thin metal sheets for accurate holes, so it’s perfect for use at home.

Bottom Line

Overall, we find this to be the best manual hand drill option that you will find in the market. Everything from its design to the functionality is on point, and it makes your work easy. So, getting this one will turn out to be better than you expect it to.

4. Fiskars Hand Drill

Fiskars Hand Drill (85116984)


  • Can take up any standard drill bit
  • Very lightweight at only 8 ounces
  • Consistent drilling due to a smooth handle
  • Safe operation of a hand drill with enclosed gear
  • A comfortable and easy grip with contoured frame


  • Only effective for light-duty use
  • Does not come with any warranty

What Recent Buyers Report

This manual drill bit has won over a large client base with its amazing features. Buyers found it to be especially good with drilling in acrylic and metal sheets. They also love it because it is so lightweight, which increases its usage.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It makes it to our list due to its incredible pricing. There are no other competitors in the market which offer so many features at such a low price. It also comes to our notice with its contoured frame, which is unconventional and stylish as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This is one of our favorite manual hand drills because it is safe for kids too. So, if you have a passionate artist or crafts-lover at home, it can be great for you. It is only for very light use, so it does not cause any accidents either. 

Bottom Line

All in all, it is an impressive manual hand drill that beats other similar units in the market. It is surely for light use only, but it stays around for a long time. This is safe for kids and novices as well, so there is hardly anything to worry about.

5. WEICHUAN Hand Drill


  • Needs lesser power input from the user
  • Three jaw chuck to fix the drill bits precisely
  • Drills through wood, bamboo and even fiberglass
  • Multipurpose manual hand drill for differently sized holes
  • Steel cast construction makes the double pinions super strong


  • Binds up with bits constantly

What Recent Buyers Report

The people who got this recently liked it for the most part. They reported an easy and fatigue-free use for long hours too. They found it perfect due to its multipurpose design, which helped them attain greater satisfaction. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It impresses us with its simple yet practical design, which works for all kinds of holes. The drill is best suited for drilling into bamboo and even fiberglass. Its double pinions are also very reliable as they have steel cast construction. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is one of those manual hand drills which suit everyone’s needs. Whether you are someone who is renovating his house or a professional handyman, it will help you out quite a lot. It is so easy to use that everyone gets the hang of it quickly.

Bottom Line

This is a great choice for manual hand drills as it is low in terms of the price and very high in terms of the features. It has a lot of happy customers too, which makes it more reliable. What else can you ask for in a manual hand drill?

What is a Hand Drill Used For?

Hand drills have been around for many decades as they are needed in both home and professional settings. From putting things on the wall for home décor to putting up posters and banners at work, hand drills are quite helpful. There is an extensive range of uses that a hand drill offers, but we have listed a few uses below.

Home Repair

Every room in a house needs drilling at one point or another. Whether it is your bedroom wall or the entryway hall, you need to drill holes into the walls, don’t you? This also applies to when you are renovating your house and want to do everything yourself. Thus, you need a hand drill the most as it helps with everything from curtains to wall clocks. 

Small Holes

Electric drills help people in drilling bigger holes just fine. But it is hard to control them manually and change the amount of pressure according to your wish. This is where a hand drill comes in use as you can drill smaller holes with it. 

Soft Surface Drilling

Now, drilling into soft surfaces is a huge problem as they just break under an electric drill. For softwood and similar surfaces, you need something which helps you control the amount of pressure. And a hand drill is perfect in this regard as it applies the amount of pressure that you apply yourself.

How to Use a Manual Hand Drill

Using a manual hand drill is not as tricky as it seems. In fact, it is quite easy to drill holes with it. You just have to be mindful of the amount of force you exert on the surface to make it work. Keeping this in mind, you just have to follow these easy steps to use your manual hand drill.

  1. The handle of a hand drill comes with a cast-iron frame and two handles: the main handle and a crank handle.

  2. Hold the handle in one hand and use the other to rotate the chuck in a counter-clockwise direction.

  3. Then insert a drill bit in the opening and turn the drive gear clockwise to secure it in place.

  4. Now position the drill bit on the surface where you want to drill a hole. Make sure that the drill bit is at a 90-degree angle to the surface for a reliable hole.

  5. Then start rotating the handle of the hand drill in a clockwise direction. Keep the pressure and speed moderate to avoid having messy wood shavings or imprecise holes. 

  6. Once you reach the desired depth of the hole, release the pressure, and gently take the drill bit out.

Make sure you take out the drill bit from the hand drill before storing it away. This will help you increase the life of both the drill bit and the hand drill. For better understanding, watch the video below. 


To wrap it up, manual hand drills are still very much in use, and electric drills cannot replace them. They are the go-to tool when you need smaller holes, especially on soft surfaces. You get to use a manual hand drill for multiple things, so it would be wise to invest in one.

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