A carpenter’s brace has a ‘U’ shaped crank/frame that is used to turn the chuck and drill into wood.
The sweep handle of a brace helps it to generate more torque than a hand drill, due to it having a greater distance from the centre of rotation so providing more leverage than the turning handle of a hand drill.
The greater torque applied to the bit in the chuck makes braces better suited than hand drills for use with an auger bit for drilling large diameter holes in wood.
When used with a screwdriver bit, the additional torque that a brace can exert makes driving long screws into hard wood easier than it would be with a hand drill.
Can generate more torque
Better for drilling larger diameter holes
Better for driving long screws into hard material
Slower turning speed means jobs can take longer
Not as well suited to drilling materials such as metal which require a high cutting speed
A hand drill has a turning handle connected to a drive wheel, which turns a pinion gear that rotates the drill bit.
As the drive wheel of the hand drill is much larger than the pinion gear, it increases the speed at which the drill bit is turned.
This increased speed of the drill bit makes hand drills better suited than a brace would be for drilling small holes in hard material such as metal, which require a higher cutting speed.
As the chuck and bit held within it is rotated faster than with a brace, hand drills can drive small screws into soft material quicker, saving you time.
Higher turning speed means some jobs take less time
Better at drilling metal and other materials that require a higher cutting speed
Generates less torque
Not as well suited to drilling large diameter holes
Not as well suited to driving long screws into hard material