In Shop Blog, Techniques

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.

In my review of drawbore pins in the Summer 2009 issue, one of my gripes with many of the tools were the round handles. A round handle plus a round pin equals a tool on the floor.

My vintage pins had tapered octagonal handles. They stay put on the bench.

I praised the Lee Valley drawbore pins for their octagonal handles, and now I want to do the same for Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. Thomas Lie-Nielsen said  his company will start offering the pins with octagonal handles in a couple weeks.

He sent me a pair to try out, and they are great. The maple handles actually taper at both ends and are easy to grip. If you are thinking of buying a pair of drawbore pins, wait until they offer the octagonal versions.

– Christopher Schwarz

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

Recommended Posts
Showing 9 comments
  • ocd


    You are absolutely right. I remember the article now. I love your magazine so much, I’ve gone through my collection twice, just to peruse information; that slipped by me, though.

    Thanks, and my apologies, ocd

  • Megan

    Yes you should have received your copy. Send me an e-mail with your phone number and/or address and I’ll drop one in the mail to you, and investigate the problem.

  • Megan


    In Chris’s absence (he’s on vacation this week), I checked with one of the makers. While his are hardened steel (and not all of them reviewed are) he doesn’t recommend using the pins as a burnisher. However, if you’re looking for an inexpensive burnisher (and dual tool use), he suggests using the front of a chisel or the back of a gouge (just keep your hands clear of the sharp edge), or a good screwdriver shaft.

  • Nick

    Are these drawbore pins strong enough to be used as a scraper-burnisher without being marred?

    A second purpose could help justify the cost for a quality tool.

  • David Cockey

    Should I have received by subscription copy of the July issue by now?

  • Megan

    Good catch – and sorry about the wrong link. We’ll get that into the store ASAP and fix the link, at which point the summer issue will be available at (probably by tomorrow, 7/14).

    As far as the LVL bench, we’re going to jump back into that as soon as Chris gets back from vacation next week (I’m ashamed to admit it, but I can’t lift the beams by myself).

  • Brian


    About trying to find the article….your link takes me to the Spring 09 issue. I can’t seem to actually find the Summer 09 issue for sale anywhere. Do you guys have it for sale on the site?

    Also, this one is a little off-topic. Any updates on the LVL bench experiment?



  • Christopher Schwarz


    If you read my original article, half of it was about making your own pins with octagonal handles with a set of drift pins from Sears. Those work as well as any manufactured pin.

    However, some people don’t want to make their own tools. So I applaud the manufacturers whoa re making these pins in a wide range of prices and configurations.


  • ocd

    I confess to being an amateur, educated beyond my level of intelligence. But, I use Harbor Freight(HF)center punches as drawer bore pins. I also own a cornucopia of Lie Nielsen planes, etc. They are, for the money, the best. Karl Holtey is out of my price range, in this life anyway. There are some good deals to be had at Harbor Freight. For those of you who don’t know, HF is what I consider a third-rate tool store. No offense to HF devotees.

    But, does one really need to spend big money on a draw bore pin, when, in a pinch (no pun), a plain screwdriver may suffice, only that it be of the correct diameter.

Start typing and press Enter to search