Tool Test: Czeck Edge Carbide Birdcage Awl
The first thing you notice when you grasp a Czeck Edge Hand Tool birdcage awl is how well it fits in the hand. The cocobolo handle is beautifully turned with a shellac finish that is silky smooth. And the blade is balanced, polished and sharp.
Czeck Edge has sold birdcage awls for quite some time, so why is a review just now gracing these pages? It’s because the company has started making an awl with a solid carbide blade.
The great thing about going carbide for an awl is the longevity of the point. Many woodworkers use awls to bore starter holes for small screws (similar to how one would use a gimlet). There’s a lot of twisting and turning going on that puts plenty of stress on the point of the awl – particularly if you’re boring into hard, figured woods. Carbide is tough and holds an edge longer than regular tool steel, but it may be harder to sharpen when the need arises.