Also referred to as a Birdcage awl, the business end of the blade tapers to a fine point with a square in cross-section. As the original name suggests, it was used in the making of wooden birdcages, employed to make small hole in thin sections without splitting the wood.
The Birdcage awl is perfect for making starter holes for screws or nails. The fine point makes accurate placement easy. The sharp edges of the square section sever the wood fibres rather than compressing them. Twisting the awl back and forth reams the hole deepening and enlarging it, until it is the required size.
Our Axminster Rider square bladed awl has a handle made from dense European hornbeam, sanded smooth and given a light oil finish. The pear shaped handle sits comfortably in your palm; a small flat on the back prevents the awl from rolling off the bench. Each handle ends in a polished stainless steel ferrule. The blade is hardened and tempered chrome-manganese alloyed steel, and approximately 100mm long, with a maximum width of 5mm.