Manufactured Gimlet Bit Handles

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Manufactured Gimlet Bit Handles by Jim Price

If you are seriously pursuing collecting a wide variety of boring and drilling tools, you will find my post today of interest. The subject is manufactured gimlet bit handles. You probably have a bunch of gimlets that are permanently fitted in wooden or metal handles because they are common. Handles that accept a variety of bits are not so common. In this post I show you some of the latter in my collection. Now that you know what they look like, go out there and find some.

These are some of my gimlet bit handles that allow rapid changing a variety of bits of different functions and sizes.

The handle at the top is the only ratcheting handle I have ever seen. It is Christian Hermann’s Patent of August 26, 1884. Below that specimen is a series of specimens that hold a bit bit by tightening a bolt from one end of a handle. The one on the lower right was made of boxwood and brass by William Marples.

This is a closeup of of my Herman’s Patent ratcheting handle. It can be set to ratchet right or left with the T-rod seen on the left.

These are a variety of gimlet handles handles in which bits are held by friction or a side setscrew. The bronze one in the center bottom was found with gimlet bits. Yes, of course, it could be used as a valve wrench also.

This is a closeup of the handle in which a small tapered reamer is friction fitted.

You may posit that these are valve handles but they were certainly used to rotate bits. The one on the left is nickel plated. It had the bit to the right in it when I rescued it. The other two have tapered square central holes that are the same taper as standard auger bits that fit in a brace.

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