What is a bradawl used for?

 
     
     
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 bradawl 

A bradawl is used to create pilot holes in wood. Pilot holes guide screws and nails, so can be used whenever these are necessary.

 

They are more likely to be used for more delicate tasks where splits are more of a risk. They are also used to mark out the positioning of holes when something needs attaching. Some specific examples of bradawl use are given below.

 
     
   

Hinges on a door

 
 using bradawl on hinges 

This is an example of where a bradawl can be used to mark the hole for something that needs to be attached to something else.

 

The bradawl is handy for aligning the holes which are required when installing hinges. 

 
     
   

Musical instruments

 
 using bradawl on lyre 

Wooden instruments may require nailing parts together. As instruments should have a clean finish and can also consist of small pieces, a bradawl is ideal for ensuring the best execution. 

 
     
   

Holes for self-threading screws

 
 pilot hole for self-threading screw 

When using a self-threading screw, you will require a pilot hole for the threads on the screw to take to. A bradawl can be used to make this pilot hole.

 
     
   

How does a bradawl work?

 
 pilot hole 

Bradawls are tools for marking and making pilot holes in woodworking. 

 
     
 bradawl pushed into wood 

A bradawl is pushed into a piece of wood, forming a small dent or hole (depending on which you require) in order to prepare the wood to take a larger hole.

 

Making a pilot hole can help the user to ensure that a larger hole is made as accurately as possible. 

 
     
 nail splitting wood 

The twist and push method used to create pilot holes with a bradawl results in the wood being pushed and compressed, rather than split or removed. This is beneficial for when you increase the size of the hole, as it prevents splitting, which can cause further damage.  

 
     
 using a bradawl on musical instrument 

A bradawl can also be used to mark points and lines into wood.

 

Bradawls are generally used for more delicate and intricate tasks, such as on jewellery and musical instruments for instance. 

 
     
   

Bradawls create round holes when used correctly, by twisting and pushing.

 

For more information on how to use a bradawl, see: How to use a bradawl.

 
     
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