Gear Review: Tamiya Electric Handy Drill

Of all the tools in a modeler’s arsenal, there’s none I despise more than the pin vise. While it’s utterly necessary, it’s also an exercise in frustration, particularly when fragile micro drill bits are involved. Let’s face it, the human hand is a crappy mechanism for delivering linear, unwavering torque. Too little pressure, and the tiny bits don’t bite into plastic. Too much, and with even the slightest angle off perpendicular, it’s a bit-snapping bonanza.

I’ve long been shocked by the seeming non-existence of a cordless (or heck, corded) micro-drill. Yes, there’s the Dremel, but its RPMs blow way past any usefulness for drilling tiny and precise holes.

After bemoaning this on the Scale Plastic & Rail forums, a fellow member turned me on to the Tamiya Electric Handy Drill. I knew at once I had to have one.

Unlike something that would make sense, the Tamiya Electric Handy Drill – or Tiny Bullshit Drill as I’ve taken to calling it – is quite literally a kit in itself. As in, you have to build it. Yes. Seriously.

The “kit”, such as it is, is basically a plastic container for one of those little Tamiya electric motors. It contains the shell, some gearing, a trigger mechanism and all the little bits you need to make a drill.

As silly as this is, it goes together quickly.

While it does feel a bit chintzy, the Tamiya Tiny Bullshit Drill does exactly what I want – powers micro drill bits with a small, gutless electric motor.

Downsides? Aside from the chintz, which I don’t really mind at all, I might say the included collets, which seem too big for the truly tiny drill bits (#70-80, etc) that could probably benefit the most from not having a sloppy human hand snapping them every five minutes. But the drill seems to use a standard attachment collar, so it’s almost certainly possible to swap it out for something else, perhaps even one of those keyless chucks everyone buys for their Dremel.

The Verdict

Tamiya’s Electric Handy Drill is the kind of tool that I’m quite frankly shocked isn’t available from dozens of different manufacturers. It is, for all intents and purposes, a battery-powered pin vise that takes human sloppiness out of the drilling equation.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Review “kit” courtesy of my wallet. You can buy one for yourself at ScaleHobbyist.com.

6 thoughts on “Gear Review: Tamiya Electric Handy Drill

  1. Doog…I like that. Kinda novel that you are required to “Build It”… Being from Tamiya I’d assume it literally fell together. Nice little addition to the needed tools list for sure.!

    What kind of $$ are they asking for this?

  2. Pingback: Happenings « Doogs' Models

  3. They also make a router in the same fashion, it has different gearing making it higher revving. It is made in beige plastic so you don’t pick up the wrong one, I use them both frequently. I also have a dremil type thingy but it is corded, the Tamiya ones fit in a draw and are so handy.
    Doug B

  4. Sounds like what I’m looking for. A drill that the chuck will accommodate my dremel tools. Dremel has three different size saws that I want to use for cut scale 1/144 flaps out, etc.. Also, what type of power source does the drill use. Thanks! Dutch

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