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TM reader Stan tipped us off to this eBay auction of some mint-condition Millers Falls #2 hand drills, purportedly purchased from a government warehouse where they languished unused for the last 37 years. From the auction:

Looks like rosewood handle and knobs. Could be some other tropical wood. Hollow handle contains eight unused flute-style bits. These drills have been sitting for almost 40 years. We will lubricate them before we ship, but the buyer should be aware that they may need additional lubrication.

I had an eggbeater-type drill when I was a little kid. My dad wanted me to have a drill, but I wasn’t anywhere near ready for power tools. So the eggbeater fit the bill perfectly. Mine had the hollow handle, too, which he filled with a variety of bits. They’re handy for adults, too, especially in delicate situations. You can feel the material giving way under the drill, which gives you some pretty serious control.

For more information — in fact, for more information than you possibly thought existed — on the Millers Falls #2, check out George Langford’s page on it. He’s done some significant research into the model and its history. Hell, while you’re at it, take a look at the rest of his site, too: George’s Basement. It’s not the most modern or pretty site, but who gives a damn when it’s loaded with this much kick-ass information.

As I’m writing, eBay shows nine of these left at the somewhat spendy price of $90.

Millers Falls MDL #2 Hand Drill New, Box [eBay]

 

18 Responses to eBay Fun: Millers Falls #2 Drill

  1. flabbyboohoo says:

    No thanks… for $10 more I would get another 12 Rigid mini drill.

  2. Pete D says:

    I don’t like the price, but I love these drills. I have an inexpensive “user” version in my tool bag.

  3. Does anybody know where to find one of these “egg-beater” drills today, I’ve looked around locally and nobody sells them?

    I don’t really want an antique. I just want something cheap that my daughter can use in the shop.

    Another question do these have a straight chuck like most of today’s drills or do they use special bits like the tapered ones used in braces?

  4. george says:

    i used to use one. i lost touch with it and wish i still had it. many times i’ve thought it would be perfect for what i needed done. thanks for reminding me of a tool i need to have again.

  5. craig says:

    i picked up a double piniom MF at an antique shop for 15usd. turned new handles for it and applied some mineral spirits and lithium grease to the running gear and chuck.

    the ultimate cordless drill!

    they use regular twist bits.

    new drills are imported from england and india. probably china, as well.

    the chuck is usually 3 jawed on light duty drills, while heavier tools will have 4 jaws.

    on used tools the chuck will usually determine if you buy the drill or not. you MUST make sure that the jaws meet evenly. even take a bit with you and check for excessive runout

  6. Stan says:

    I purchased one of the drills from the eBay listing and it arrived in pretty much new condition if you could call a drill made in 1973 new. There was a little rust where the knob on the side screws into the drill and on the threads on the screw portion of the knob attachment as well but that’s sort of to be expected. There isn’t much rust and just your basic lubrication should remove what is there. Otherwise the drill is in perfect condition.

    The reason that I spent the extra money to purchase this drill was because of the great reviews of this drill that I have read on the web. I’m tired of purchasing substandard quality products so I do a little extra research when I’m getting ready to purchase a new product of any kind and I try and get the best one that I can at a reasonable price. The posts on Toolmonger and the comments of other readers are a big part of my research on tools.

    I do find myself wishing that more readers of Toolmonger added your comments. I am positive that there are a number of you out there that we could all learn a great deal from!

  7. paganwonder says:

    I still have my Yankee screw drivers around- mostly sentimental I think, I made a small ton of money with them and the battery usually lasted all day- unless it had the flu…

  8. fred says:

    So called eggbeater drills were produced by Millers Falls and Stanley – probably others (North Brothers?) too. The old one that I still have is a Stanley. It has a 3 jaw chuck, stores a set of 2 flute wood drill bits in its handle (wooden cap unscrews) – and the bits its uses a straight shank – unlike the 4-sided bit-brace configuration, Yankee (North Brothers – then Stanley) also produced push drills and push (Yankee) screwdrivers. The push drill used 2 flute bits that had a drive tangs and indent on its shaft. I see that both of these tools are being reproduced (China or Taiwan likely) – and the new “yankee” screwdriver now sports a 1/4 hex bit holder. This style bit holder is als available as an add on – if you still use an Old Yankee

  9. fred says:

    Forgot to mention that old eggbeater drills also came in a big-brother size with a curved brace at the rear – meant to let you put your shoulder to the work.

  10. Philip Maynard says:

    My eggbeater drill is the aluminium one I made in the college machine shop for my Production Engineering class, 35 years ago. It will never be for sale and will be passed down to my son. I still use it.

    If I had the $90 I probably buy one of these.

    Phil

  11. Wayne D. says:

    I had my dad keep an eye out for these drills and a Yankee driver at garage sales for me. He scored those and a bunch of old chisels for me for only a few dollars. I live in a newer community, so old tools like this (or anything but cheap crap) don’t show up at nearby garage sales like a neighborhood with older generations would.

  12. Larry says:

    I had an eggbeater drill for years but lost it somewhere in a move. I recently bought the Schroeder
    http://www.amazon.com/Schroeder-Hand-Drill-4-Inch-Capacity/dp/B000JRDLVY/ref=pd_bxgy_hi_text_c
    and was so impressed with the quality that I bought one for each of my kids.

  13. Gary says:

    MF made very good drills. More decorative than North Bros, but also very functional. I’ve got a MF #2 and a few North Bros. Some were multispeed which can come in very handy. Goodell Pratt is another good manufacturer for eggbeaters.

    The big drills were called breast drills. Back in the 20s and 30s mechanics used to use them on engine blocks. Now that would be some work.

    I’ve used breast drills to bore 1″ holes in 2by material. With a sharp bit, it’s easier than you might think.

  14. Gary says:

    @fred

    Thanks. I’ve got a Miller Falls 97 and a North Bros 1555 – both breast drills, so both me and my son are good to go.

  15. KoKo the Talking Ape says:

    Not that anybody cares, but if I were redesigning this tool, I would make the gears helical instead of straight cut. I remember playing with one when I was a kid, and with just a little wear, the gears would become rough and even jam up. (You could also pinch a bit of skin in there pretty easily.) Helical gears would be smoother and stronger.

    Or, I would just use a Yankee screwdriver, which is faster and easier to use. Still, eggbeaters might be handy for very delicate work, because it is difficult to put much downward pressure on the drill. (It is also hard to hold it perfectly upright while cranking too.)

  16. SONISUNIL says:

    i love stanley tools

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