Mountain Project Logo

Best Cordless Power Drill for Bolting on Lead


Original Post
Alex Bury · · Ojai, CA · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 2,246

Which is your favorite cordless drill for bolting on lead, and why?

Lynn S · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 945

I've been using a Bosch 36v compact for several years. Drilled hundreds of holes in all rock types, been great for me.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

Makita BHR 162RFJ, that´s what I use.

USBRIT Ross · · Keswick Cumbria.UK · Joined Apr 2001 · Points: 21,706

Bosch 36v ..superb.

Alex Bury · · Ojai, CA · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 2,246

Bosch is currently putting out two different 36v rotary hammers. The 11536C-2 and the 11536VSR. Anyone ever tried the VSR on lead? Faster drilling times make the extra weight worth it?

Chris Clarke · · La Paz, BO · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 130

I've used both to bolt on lead and prefer the lighter one if I have a choice. But I also strongly prefer bolting from the top down if possible because I think it generally produces better routes.

Geir www.ToofastTopos.com · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 2,635
Alex Bury wrote:Thanks guys. So after looking at the Bosch website, they are currently putting out two different 36v rotary hammers. The 11536C-2 and the 11536VSR. The C-2 seems like the obvious choice, it being about three pounds lighter than the VSR. Out of curiosity however, anyone ever tried the VSR on lead? Faster drilling times make the extra weight worth it?
I own both and put up routes on lead. I strongly prefer the lightweight model. I use the big drill when I am replacing bolts.
Marathon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 275
Lynn S · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 945

Bosch compact, you won't be disappointed. Ground up or top down, it's a powerful drill.

USBRIT Ross · · Keswick Cumbria.UK · Joined Apr 2001 · Points: 21,706
Chris Clarke wrote:I've used both to bolt on lead and prefer the lighter one if I have a choice. But I also strongly prefer bolting from the top down if possible because I think it generally produces better routes.
Try that on a sandstone tower or multi pitch climbs. Not all climbing is single pitch.....yes hard to believe these days!
Brother Numsie · · AnCapistan · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 880

I like what Grover posted. I use their 12V system for other tools and its amazing how much you get from one of those little batteries. The thing is only 3.8 lbs, the batteries are under a pound. You could carry 5 easier than the Bosch.
If you are only using it to trad fa and thus only plinking in about half the bolts than a sport route at most, this would be the tool.
If you want to develop a sport crag, or do construction projects, get the Bosch.

Chris Clarke · · La Paz, BO · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 130

USBRIT,

Believe it or not, there are a few multipitch routes in the Andes where I climb. The walls here may not match the towering cliffs of your alpine paradise in Great Britain but we get by ok. The words "if possible" in my post have a meaning.

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

It also depends quite a bit on the rock. For quality granite, the Bosch is really the only choice. other stone ? maybe..?
I have a makita 18V..i think a 2241 model...it works really well insofter rock..12 3.5" holes easy per battery. it's pretty light 5.5 or so

Are you going to carry the drill or short line it ??

Ryan Nelson · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 941

I own a 36v hilti, but it weighs a ton. I'd much rather have the Bosch 36v.

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640
Chris Clarke wrote:USBRIT, Believe it or not, there are a few multipitch routes in the Andes where I climb. The walls here may not match the towering cliffs of your alpine paradise in Great Britain but we get by ok. The words "if possible" in my post have a meaning.
USBRIT doesn't need me to back him up but,,,,he has done MANY f/a's..hundreds and hundreds...maybe a thousand ? All over the place.
USBRIT Ross · · Keswick Cumbria.UK · Joined Apr 2001 · Points: 21,706
Chris Clarke wrote:USBRIT, Believe it or not, there are a few multipitch routes in the Andes where I climb. The walls here may not match the towering cliffs of your alpine paradise in Great Britain but we get by ok. The words "if possible" in my post have a meaning.
I have never used a drill on the small UK crags. I was refering to my other 300+ FAs just in Utah/Colorado prior to last year.Anyway sorry just noted on your personal page that you only posted single pitch climbs.PS have had up to 40 4" holes in softer sandstone on one battery charge from the Bosch 36v.
D Young · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 330

Another option from Bosch if weight is a concern (and ground up it is a concern) is the 18636-03. I've used this drill for 100's of bolt holes in both sandstone and limestone. With a fresh battery and sharp bit I can get 15-20 holes.

Alex Bury · · Ojai, CA · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 2,246
john strand wrote:Are you going to carry the drill or short line it ??
I want to carry it. Short lining is an interesting option though. I can see doing either depending on the way the route looks.
BobGray · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 686

Having used a bunch of different drills over the years (Bosch, Dewalt, Milwaukee & Makita), my weapon of choice is the Hilti T6-A. I have the Lithium Ion battery pack which makes the drill much lighter. Plus the Hilti uses a pneumatic hammer which will make your hands much happier after many holes. The drilling is faster and smoother than mechanical hammer drills because it is air cushioned. Also with the added ability to have the battery pack relocated to a belt with an adapter, it easily makes this drill my top pick. I was able to purchase mine relatively cheap off ebay as well.

$150 for drill body
$99 for 36v lithium ion battery pack
$65 for charger

Russ Walling · · www.FishProducts.com · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 3,417

Alex, think about a remote system too... where the batteries live in a bag down below and you just carry the drill attached with an extension cord. The extension cord is also your trail line. Pull the bag up and hang from a hook every few bolts. I used a 50ft cord and a chopped down Bosch 12v.

dnoB ekiM · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 2,966
Alex Bury wrote:Which is your favorite cordless drill for bolting on lead, and why?
Bosch 36v compact!

Why?

Light
Compact/short (better for holding above your head)
Small batteries still do 8+ full bit length 3/8 holes in hard limestone.
It also accepts the full size battery which does 15+ holes full bit holes in super hard stone. The light battery is preferable on lead.

I could see goin with an 18v super light one for ground up trad lines where you are only placing anchors.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Trad Climbing
Post a Reply to "Best Cordless Power Drill for Bolting on Lead"

Log In to Reply