Fiskars has always been known for their scissors, but they've been doing a lot of other tools for crafting lately.
After an accident with my flexible shaft drill, I realized I needed something that wouldn't spin as fast for drilling small plastic items for beads. A friend of mine suggested the Fiskars Craft Drill.
Quick vocabulary list if you haven't used drills before, the handle is the part you turn. The chuck is the part of the drill you put the bit in, it's like a collar holding an X shape, you tighten the collar around the X to hold in the bit, or loosen the collar to release the bit. The bit is the part that drills.
The obvious limitations are that's is a craft drill with a plastic body, it's not meant to drill metal, or anything really serious, but for paper, plastic and that sort of thing, it's wonderful. You have control over speed, since it's manually powered, children can use it with supervision, and it's quiet. Remember to always using something you don't mind marking behind whatever you're drilling. Old phone books work well for me.
The bits it comes with are a little big for the fine drilling I wanted to do, but after I got it home and out of the package, I couldn't wait to try it. Changing the bit is easy. Hold the handle still while you twist the chuck open, slip in the bit, then turn the chuck to close. No chuck keys or anything like that, you do have to make sure it's tightened as far as you can tighten it by hand.I drilled some Halloween skulls into big beads to put on a dice pouch I knitted my son.
The skulls are plastic and hollow, and the sort of thing my flexible shaft could have melted if I wasn't paying attention.
I needed smaller bits, and I wasn't sure if it would work with bits that were a lot finer. I got a small pack of 10 sizes including a 1/16th and 5/64th bit. They worked fine once I tightened the chuck up enough.
Next test was beads for a pair of earrings my husband and I made together.I couldn't find my size 22 gauge copper wire, but I have lots of 18 gauge, so to use the turquoise beads I chose for them, I had to drill part of the hole just a little bigger and a little straighter. That was tricky, and I went very slowly so I could check and see if I was splitting the beads. It worked, but I wouldn't recommend it with very expensive beads or beads you can't replace, but if you have extras of a soft stone and want to try to make the holes a bit bigger, try it! More on these earrings soon. They were a fun project.
My final test was trying to drill resin I cast for a pendant. That was a little trickier, because it wanted to slip, so if you're drilling something like that, start a hole like you would for drilling in a wall. Instead of a hammer and a nail to start the hole, use a tapestry needle, you just want enough of a depression for the bit to fit into and get it started without it slipping down the side. If it had been a flat surface instead of a domed surface, I'm sure it would have been fine. It worked really well on resin cured to click stage, but I wasn't paying attention, and actually drilled about 100 pages into the phone book I had behind it!
Sometimes, when you're drilling plastic, because of the way it shaves off, it can be tricky to get off the drill, just drill in reverse, or twist the piece off the bit, that worked really well for me.
I love this for beading, and I'm sure I'm going to find lots of other uses for it.