What are the parts of a bradawl?

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Bradawl handle

 bradawl handle 

Bradawl handles are small and fit in the palm of the hand. They are ergonomically shaped so they provide good grip for the user.


Bradawl ferrule 

 bradawl brass ferrule 

Whereas the shank of a plastic bradawl is set straight into the handle of the tool, the handle of a wooden bradawl is secured to the shank by a ferrule. A ferrule is a small (usually metal) cylindrical clamp used to hold pieces together.


The ferrule pushes tightly over the wood of the handle, preventing it from opening and loosening the shank.

    Other things you would recognise with a ferrule are paintbrushes, pencils with a rubber and the ends of shoelaces.  

Bradawl shank

 bradawl shank approximate length 33mm 

Although there is no set size for bradawls, the shank of a bradawl is relatively short. A typical model is approximately 33mm (1 ¼") in length.


Bradawl tip


The bradawl has a chisel-shaped tip, which is the part that pierces the material, creating a hole. 


Tools with round and square pointed tips are also sold as bradawls. They all have the same function. 


 chisel point tip bradawl 

Chisel tip

The chisel-shaped tip of a bradawl resembles the tip of a flat-head screwdriver. 


It has a round shank, while the point is formed by cutting away a curved section from opposite sides of the shank, like a double bevelled chisel.

 tapered square point tip birdcage awl 

Tapered square tip

A bradawl with a square tip (also called a birdcage awl), has a square shank and four sides that taper to a point.

 round point tip awl 

Pointed tip

A pointed tip is found at the end of a round shank. It is simply tapered down to form a point. This tool is also called a round-point awl. 


For more information on the different tips, see our section: What bradawl tips are available?

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