If you’re in the market for a birdcage awl, this Shenandoah Tool Works version offers a stylish twist – that is, the hand-forged 01 steel shaft is actually twisted during manufacturing.
While this aesthetic touch has no effect on performance, it looks nice – and one could argue that, subliminally, it tells you the tool’s primary function. The four-sided point allows you to ream a round, tapered hole by twisting the point back and forth in a hole.
Why “birdcage?” It may be apocryphal, but I’ve read it’s because this tool was used to bore small holes for making birdcages – really!
The included angle on this tool is the same as on my other birdcage awl (Czeck Edge), but the point is longer, which comes in handy if you need to ream a pilot hole for large screws.
From the December 2014 issue, #215