Brace Drill, Brace and Bit
Braces Review (as in brace and bit)
We get requests for these and I was thinking about selling them. The Boy Scouts still require them for the woodworking merit badge and missionaries like them. So I went online to see what was out there.
I ended up buying 16 of them. It was more than I planned but some of the descriptions online were not very clear and I won a lot more eBay auctions that I thought I was going to.
The attached picture shows the 16 I have so far. There is a French $100 unit still due to arrive.
You can get all the braces you want for about 20 bucks apiece
I do not like the Great Neck units. These are the two units with red handles. I was pretty disappointed when I found out that Ace Hardware was selling this kind of quality. Screws are loose, the chuck jaws don’t line up, the mechanism is rough and there is a pin that sticks up so that it grabs your hand when you try and adjust it. There are no bearings in the top round handle. This is just a cheap tool, poorly made, poorly engineered and poorly designed
The Fuller units are black and yellow. They are better than the Great Neck. The jaw design is more traditional and the jaws meet up pretty well but not perfectly. The action is smoother and feels a little more solid. This is an okay tool. This would probably get you through a fair number of small Boy Scout projects. I would not recommend it for use anyplace you really need a tool.
Then I bought some braces through a seller on Sawmill Creek and through eBay. These were Stanley and Keen Kutter. The first thing I noticed was the weight. These used tools are considerably heavier than the new tools. The mechanisms are more solid, the actions are smoother and they just seem to be superior tools all the way through. I bought these for an average of about 20 bucks apiece and could have had them for less apparently. I wanted a couple to get this project finished so I bid on a variety of them not realizing I would win the great majority.
The very pleasant surprise was the fact that all the units were exactly as described. If anything, they were better than described. The used units described as worn and loose are still much more solid than the four new units.
In all my searching it appears that there are either poor quality braces or the $100 French unit.
Recommendation: buy from a Sawmill Creek seller or on eBay and get a good quality, used Stanley or Keen Kutter.
We don’t sell these but we do sell great tools
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