North Brothers “YANKEE” No.1435

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Possibly the smallest 2-geared hand drill in existence.

This is a high quality tool, has a solid feel and smooth mechanism. Its downfall is that the drive gear has no support (no equaliser or idler pinion) thus despite its very good build quality, the performance of the mechanism can suffer under heavier load. The lack of an equaliser is the only major design flaw  in an otherwise superb drill.

The lower gear allows easy driving of the largest bits the chuck will accept, though the cost is that RPM is very low and not particularly effective for drilling wood. As with lot of North Brothers drills the No.1435 was marketed towards mechanics who needed to drill metal for which a low gear ratio like this is very useful. As such this tool is most suite to precision drilling in steel and smaller diameter wood in the higher gear.

The No.1435 centre piece is its tiny 2-gear mechanism, something un-heard of in a gear drill this small. On top of that, the mechanism is very similar to that found in the No.1445 which is one of the best mechanisms for gear change found on gear drills; its very easy to use. Unlike the No.1445 this mechanism utilises a slider, this makes a good “click” upon entering the various positions (highlighted below). It does seem to struggle to engage the “lock” mode, often falling into either the lower or higher gear when in the central position.

North Brothers “YANKEE” No.1435 (2-gear mechanism)

Slider Positions:

– Forward – The slider is push toward the chuck, this puts the drill into its higher gear

– Central –  The slider is in the central position, the mechanism locks allowing for the chuck to be adjusted more easily

– Backward – The slider is pulled toward the handle, this puts the drill into its lower gear

North Brothers “YANKEE” No.1435

North Brothers “YANKEE” No.1435


  • Weight: 530g
  • Length: 280mm
  • Drive Wheel Diameter: 79mm
  • Chuck Type: Protected Spring
  • Chuck Capacity: 10mm
  • Chuck External Diameter: 25mm
  • Frame: Iron
  • Handle(s): Hardwood (might be bakelite, is hard to tell)
  • Mechanism: 2-Pinion 2-Gear
  • Special Features: 2-Gears, Lock, Bit Storage Handle.

Model Information

  • Dated: known to be in catalogs 1926 – 1931
  • Production Period: known to be in catalogs 1926 – 1931
  • Patent: “pending”
  • Made by: North Brothers, Philedephia, USA

North Brothers “YANKEE” No.1435 (dismantled)

Notes: Have not yet figured out how to take part the 2-speed mechanism without risking damage.

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