In a lot of cases I prefer hand tools over power tools. For any number of reasons. Lighter, easier to store and transport, can be used anywhere, quieter, often easier to maintain and clean, no batteries to die, no cords that are too short, they’re often times safer to use, more delicate operations are possible, usually they’re cheaper, etc., etc. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to use tools that are a century old. (I have tools that were my grandfathers.) I know for a certain fact that the power drill you bought recently won’t be cherished by your grandchildren. The aesthetics of forged metal and shaped wood are usually more pleasing than molded plastic.
One tool I have that I like a lot (and use quite a bit for the building of the kayak) is a Schröder 9" eggbeater style hand drill. (Review from Makezine. Review from CoolTools.)
The always great Low Tech Magazine has an informative article on hand drills.
But one hand drill that I love, I don’t even own. My brother does. And it was my dads before that. I think it might be easier to state what my dad didn’t build with it.
It’s known as a hand pillar drill, or a hand drill press.
What’s neat about it is that it can be used as a drill press, (there are recessed drilled holes on the stand that allow it to be mounted to a bench) but flipped around the bottom and the post makes a serviceable handle.
I’ve hinted to my brother Martin, if he might, you know, will it to me. But I want to see if I can hunt something similar down in the mean time. I like it too much to wait a few decades.
But I know very little about its origins. I suspect it’s from Germany, either Theodor Genkinger from Nürtingen or Metabo. It might be a British or American make, but my zwei pfennings is on German manufacture.
The following two links are a chronicle of the effort of a British woodworker to get a very similar model back to working condition.
The following two links offer some more information about this style of drill if you’re interested