Hand Drills 4 1/2 through 85

This listing has been developed from information found in Millers Falls catalogs. The features listed for each drill may differ from actual examples. While the company typically stressed new features in its catalogs, it seldom mentioned the disappearance of a feature or the addition of a feature that had become so commonly accepted that it was no longer noteworthy. Then too, production practices varied from catalog copy and illustrations were slow to be updated. By the latter 1960s, catalog copy had become so vague that a detailed description of features is not possible.

No. 4 1/2

No. 4 1/2 hand drill Goodell-Pratt single-speed hand drill

Malleable iron frame; tropical hardwood head; non-adjustable gear guide; three-jaw chuck is adjustable from 0 to 5/32 inch. Enameled black with drive gear painted red; bright parts are nickel plated.

Manufactured by Millers Falls as of 1931.

Illustration from 1938 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
11 7/8 inches single pinion hollow head acquired 1931 ca. 1942

No. 5 (early frame)

No. 5 hand drill, early frame Single-speed hand drill

    1894 — malleable iron frame; rosewood head and crank handle; drive gear with extra wide rim can be grasped between thumb and finger for delicate work; Pratt's two-jaw chuck adjustable from 1/32 to 1/8 inch; shipped with six fluted drill points. Black enameled frame and drive gear painted red; bright parts are nickel plated.
  1. ca. 1895 — three-jaw chuck with unprotected coil springs.
  2. 1896 — McCoy's springless chuck adjustable 0 to 3/16 inch.

Illustration from 1895 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
11 1/2 inches double pinion hollow head 1894 1899

No. 5

No. 5 hand drill Single-speed hand drill

    1899— malleable iron frame; rosewood head and crank handle; detachable teardrop-shaped side handle; drive gear with extra wide rim can be grasped between thumb and finger for delicate work; McCoy's springless chuck adjustable 0 to 3/16 inch. Black enameled frame and drive gear painted red; bright parts nickel plated shipped with six fluted drill points.
  1. 1910 — as above but detachable, mushroom-shaped side handle; star-type trademark on crank.
  2. 1912 — as above, with cocobolo head and crank handle; ball thrust bearing on spindle.
  3. 1914 — as above, but tropical hardwood head and handles.
  4. 1917 — as above, but cocobolo head and handles.
  5. 1921 — as above, but head is cocobolo, side and crank handles are not; triangular trademark.
  6. 1925 — as above, but Ryther's chuck adjustable from 0 to 1/4 inch.
  7. 1931 — as above, but trademarks display Greenfield, rather than Millers Falls location.
  8. 1935 — as above, but tropical hardwood head; detachable chef's cap side handle.
  9. 1964 — reintroduced after having been numbered '5A' for eight years.

Illustration from 1915 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
  1. 12 1/2 inches (1904)
  2. 12 7/8 inches (1929)
double pinion hollow head
  1. 1899
  2. 1964
  1. 1957
  2. 1978

No. 5A

No. 5A hand drill Single-speed hand drill

Malleable iron frame; drive gear with extra wide rim can be grasped between thumb and finger for delicate work; three-jaw spring-type chuck adjustable 0 to 1/4 inch; detachable chef's cap side handle; shipped with eight fluted drill points. Black enameled frame with drive gear painted red; bright parts are nickel plated.

Later production with die cast frame.

Illustration from 1960 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
12 7/8 inches double pinion hollow head 1957 1964

No. 5F

No. 5F hand drill Single-speed hand drill

Malleable iron frame; stained hardwood head and handles; detachable, mushroom-shaped side handle; large gear with extra wide rim can be grasped between thumb and finger for delicate work; rotating barrel-type lock allows access to storage area in hollow head; ball thrust bearing on spindle; McCoy's springless chuck adjustable 0 to 3/16 inch. Enameled black with drive gear painted gray with red stripe; bright parts are nickel plated.

Illustration from 1914 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
13 inches double pinion hollow head 1912 1914

No. 5 1/2

No. 5 1/2 hand drill Goodell-Pratt two-speed hand drill

Malleable iron frame; mahogany-finished hardwood head and handles; detachable chef's cap side handle; Goodell-Pratt type adjustable friction roll; ball bearing spindle; speed change controlled by knurled ring shifter; three-jaw chuck adjustable 0 to 3/8 inch. Enameled black with drive gear painted red; and bright parts are nickel plated.

Manufactured by Millers Falls as of 1931.

Illustration from 1938 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
14 1/2 inches double pinion hollow head acquired 1931 1947

No. 5 1/2B

No. 5 1/2B hand drill Goodell-Pratt two-speed hand drill

Malleable iron frame; mahogany-finished hardwood head and handles; head with mushroom-shaped top; detachable chef's cap side handle; Goodell-Pratt type adjustable friction roll; ball bearing spindle; speed change controlled by knurled ring shifter; three-jaw chuck adjustable 0 to 3/8 inch. Enameled black with drive gear painted red; bright parts are nickel plated.

Manufactured by Millers Falls as of 1931. Identical to No. 5 1/2 except for head.

Illustration created by editing image of drill No. 5 1/2A.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
15 inches double pinion solid head acquired 1931 1947

No. 7

No. 7 hand drill Single-speed hand drill

  1. 1905 — steel frame; stained hardwood head and handles; detachable, teardrop-shaped side handle; japanned drive gear equipped with take up in case of wear; McCoy's springless chuck is adjustable from 0 to 17/64 inch; metal parts are polished, rather than nickel plated.
  2. 1910 — as above, but star-type trademark on crank.
  3. 1912 — as above, but bright parts are nickel plated.
  4. 1914 — as above, but detachable, mushroom-shaped side handle; double pinions; drive gear take up adjustment gone; drive gear is enameled black.
  5. 1915 — as above, but drive gear is painted red.
  6. 1917 — as above, but Parsons' spring-type chuck adjustable from 0 to 1/4 inch.
  7. 1919 — as above, but chuck is adjustable from 0 to 3/8 inch.
  8. 1921 — as above, but triangular trademark.
  9. 1922 — as above, but Ryther's chuck.
  10. 1931 — as above, but trademarks display Greenfield, rather than Millers Falls location.
  11. 1935 — as above, but mahogany-finished hardwood head and handles; detachable chef's cap side handle; and bright parts nickel plated.

Illustration from 1915 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
  1. 12 1/2 inches (1905)
  2. 13 1/2 inches (1929)
  1. single (1905)
  2. double (1914)
solid head 1905 ca. 1942

No. 38

No. 38 hand drill Single-speed hand drill

Die cast frame which encloses pinion; mahogany-finished hardwood head and handles; detachable chef's cap side handle; non-adjustable gear guide; three-jaw chuck adjustable 0 to 3/8 inch. Frame enameled black and large solid gear red; bright parts nickel plated.

Illustration from 1938 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
14 7/8 inches single pinion hollow 1935 1947

No. 70

No. 70 hand drill Single-speed hand drill

Steel frame; mahogany-finished hardwood head and handles; detachable side handle; die cast drive gear; three-jaw chuck adjustable 0 to 1/4; shipped with eight fluted drill points. Drive gear painted red; bright parts nickel plated.

Designated as the No. 70 in honor of the company's 70th anniversary, the drill was slow to appear in the company's catalog.

Illustration from 1942 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
12 1/2 inches double pinion hollow 1938 by 1944

No. 77

No. 77 hand drill Single-speed hand drill

  1. 1925 — malleable iron frame; stained hardwood head and handles; detachable side handle; three-jaw, spring-type chuck adjustable 0 to 1/4 inch. Frame enameled black; drive gear painted red; bright parts are nickel plated.
  2. 1931 — as above, but trademarks display Greenfield, rather than Millers Falls location.
  3. 1935 — as above, but mahogany-stained hardwood head and handles.
  4. 1938 — as above, but a second pinion added.
  5. 1965 — as above, but die cast frame.

Re-introduced in 1965 after having been numbered model '77A' for a number of years. Produced for a time with enclosed pinion gears. Production dates for the closed-gear variant have not been determined.

Illustration from 1938 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
12 1/2 inches
  1. single pinion (1925)
  2. double pinion (1938)
solid
  1. 1925
  2. 1964
  1. 1948
  2. 1971

No. 77A

No. 77A hand drill Single-speed hand drill

Die cast frame; mahogany-finished hardwood head and handles; detachable side handle; three-jaw chuck adjustable 0 to 1/4 inch. Frame enameled black; drive gear painted red; bright parts are nickel plated.

For a time, the No. 77A was produced with enclosed pinion gears. Production dates for the closed-gear variant have not been determined.

Illustration from 1960 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
12 1/2 inches double solid 1948 1964

No. 78

No. 78 hand drill Single-speed hand drill

Die cast frame; black-painted head and handle; three-jaw, spring-type chuck adjustable 0 to 1/4 inch. Frame enameled gray; drive gear painted red; bright parts are plated. Thanks to Bill Ofenloch for supplying descriptive information such as length, color, and the number of pinions. The catalog description was too brief and illustration too unclear to determine details without inspecting an example.

Illustration from 1971 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
12 inches double hollow 1971 1976

No. 85

No. 85 hand drill Single-speed 'radio' hand drill

  1. 1923 — malleable iron frame; stained hardwood head and crank handle; ball thrust bearing on spindle; and three-jaw, Ryther's chuck adjustable 0 to 1/4 inch. Frame enameled black, drive gear enameled red; bright parts are nickel plated.
  2. 1931 — as above, but trademarks display Greenfield, rather than Millers Falls location.
  3. 1935 — as above, but mahogany-stained hardwood head and crank handle.

The company's best selling hand drill in the mid-1920s, it was originally promoted as 'built especially for radio fans.' (Many, if not most, radio buffs built their own sets during the early days of the medium.)

Illustration from 1938 catalog.

Length Pinion Gear(s) Head Start Date End Date
12 1/2 inches single pinion solid 1923 ca. 1942