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My friend Kiko Denzer dropped off a project yesterday; he wants me to make an adapter to allow the use of 1/4″ hex screwdriver bits in his bit brace. While I enjoy odd projects, I decided to search the Internet and see if anyone already made such an adapter. I discovered two sources, one in Europe and the other more useful source, Lee Valley. They sell bit brace adapters for 1/4″ hex bits as well as 3/8″ square drive sockets at a low price of $8.50 each. Chuck here at TM has already covered actual square taper shank screwdriver bits for the bit brace as well, although the price is significantly greater than the Lee Valley adapters.

This leads me to ask — does anyone know other sources of bit brace adapters and chucks that allow their use with modern straight shank drills and hex bits?

I have a Goodell type keyless 3-jaw drill chuck that has a tapered bit brace shank, but I doubt that they’re made anymore. Of course there are plenty of modern bit braces that have a 3-jaw chuck, but my luddite friend likes using his old Stanley brace, and I don’t blame him one bit.


9 Responses to 1/4″ Hex Bit Adapter for Bit Braces

  1. Sam says:

    Does anyone know a source for adapters that REPLACE the 2-jaw chuck?

    I have 2 braces that I love dearly and use regularly (one’s set up with a 3/8 socket drive adapter, the other’s got a 1/4″ hex bit holder). Only problem is, the chuck on one is pretty well worn out, and I have to crank it down every 5 minutes or so to keep it from slipping on the adapter’s shank. Also, it’s nearly impossible to get the adapter properly square and concentric with the brace, so it wobbles more than I like.

    I’d love to be able to remove the 2-jaw chuck entirely and put on a more useful attachment, but I haven’t found any for sale. I THINK that they’re pretty standardized (I base that on the fact that my 2 braces are very different makes and ages, but their chucks are interchangeable.)

  2. David Bryan says:

    I’ve got a baby bit brace I put a Jacobs chuck on. I like that just fine.

  3. fritz gorbach says:

    Try garrett wade. They used to list these adapters, and replacement chucks, but I haven’t had their catalog in a while

  4. fred says:


    Considering today’s prices you might find a complete replacement brace on ebay to use for parts. Of course – if your looking for a North Bro’s with a ball bearing chuck – you might have to pay dearly to find one in good condition.

  5. Toolhearty says:

    I’d never considered using a bit brace until a saw a machinist deburring a slew of holes in 1/8 Al sheet using one with a countersink chucked up. Then I thought: “Damn, that’s good idea.”

  6. fred says:


    If the hole is large enough the Greenlee 11170 makes short work of deburring


    If not – why not chuck the countersink in a cordless drill. The bit brace is an alternative – but you need to apply pressure – so it might deform thin sheet that isn’t well supported.

    I still like a bit brace for driving and removing slotted hinge screws – where the application of pressure actually helps. But then again – when I started out Yankee screwdrivers were the big thing.

  7. Greg Gabert says:

    A friend of the family brought me a tool that he can’t identify. I couldn’t either. It is approx. a foot long and has a brace jaw at one end and has the std. tapered 4 sided bit end at the end of the shaft. Starting from the bit end, fthere is a threaded sleeve that has a locking mechanism comprising a lock nut and a cast washer assembly. This effectively locks the sleeve to the main shaft. Progressing further down this threaded sleeve is an arm approx 4″ wide (2″ on each side of the shaft) with 4 feet of chain extending from it. The arm has an opening so the loose end of chain can be attached to the arm. This arm rides on 3″ of thread and cannot be locked up. I can send a photo. Any Ideas what this was used for?



  8. Devon says:

    Smaller, more expensive: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/kuri-kuriminidrill.aspx

    The “Kuri-Kuri Mini Drill” takes 1/3 hex native.

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