Cordless Drills


Original Post
patrick donahue · · Gunnison, Colorado · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 493

hey MP
Im looking at getting a cordless drill but don't want to spend the money. i will be using it to place bolts mostly on harder granite. i know the time tested favorite drill is the bosch 36v but what would be something that is less expensive yet still powerful enough to drill in granite?

would a Milwaukee m12 like this one work?
http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-2412-20-Cordless-Rotary-Hammer/dp/B00BYFNF20/ref=sr_1_9?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1429726451&sr=1-9&keywords=milwaukee+m12+hammer+drill

or would it be better to get something like the bosch 18636-03 120-Volt 36-Volt be a better choice?

having the option of a lighter drill would be best

L. Von Dommelheimer · · Anchorage · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 1,998

I am hearing good things about the M12. 6-10 3 inch holes in granite.

limpingcrab · · Visalia, CA · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 1,020

http://mountainproject.com/v/m12-fuel-drill/110338856#a_110361987

Thomas Beck · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,040

Patrick,

What drill to own has been extensively covered in the forums. Hands down it's either a Bosch or a Hilti. Save up; buy something good; don't need to replace it for many years as long as you maintain it.

Sometimes you can find a discounted or re-conditioned cordless hammer drill through one supplier on the internet. Sorry I don't remember the company.

Meanwhile, if you don't already have one, you can buy a hand drill reasonably priced from several suppliers. Find a hammer about 20 to 22 oz., some 6" carbide SDS drill bits and you are in business.

Please bolt responsibly.

Jeremy in Inyokern · · Inyokern · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 73
Thomas Beck wrote:P...Save up; buy something good; don't need to replace it for many years as long as you maintain it...
I learned this from my grandfather when I was 8. Single best piece of advice any one has ever offered, right along with never throw out hardware as a close second.
20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
gription wrote: I learned this from my grandfather when I was 8. Single best piece of advice any one has ever offered, right along with never throw out hardware as a close second.
Except the problem is America is a society of buy, buy, buy, and 80% of the crap Americans buy never gets used. In that case, buying "right" is the wrong answer. If he is going to throw down hole after hole for years, yea get a Bosch. But if he is only placing 20 bolts a year, get the cheap option, it's not worth dropping six large for something that's only going to get used one weekend per year.
Thomas Beck · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,040
20 kN wrote: Except the problem is America is a society of buy, buy, buy, and 80% of the crap Americans buy never gets used. In that case, buying "right" is the wrong answer. If he is going to throw down hole after hole for years, yea get a Bosch. But if he is only placing 20 bolts a year, get the cheap option, it's not worth dropping six large for something that's only going to get used one weekend per year.
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And now we have a miniscule thread drift....

It sure is a culture based on consumerism. I am not sure the newer cordless Bosch and Hilti are are reliable as the older models. Maybe someone else has an opinion on that. Reconditioned I have seen them as low as $350.

To my thinking the hammer stroke distance is critical. My climbing buddies have tried to cheap it out from time to time buying Makita, Dewalts and so forth. They inevitably can't compare to the Bosch's and Hilti's, they end up burning their carbide drill tips and producing an over sized hole. I am convinced it is because the hammer stroke is too short.

Meanwhile my 16 year old Bosch Bulldog sits in it's open case with the battery getting a maintenance trickle charge. Sometimes it sits there quietly for months till I get a wild hair. Doesn't hurt/degrade it a bit to sit there quietly sipping some current.

Assuming your placement skills are practiced...(I was a carpenter/cabinetmaker by trade) drilling a clean hole shouldn't be a big deal.

One of my pet peeves is encountering poorly placed hand drills and it's just personal opinion but I feel a power drilled hole is usually more to specification, uniform in shape and diameter. Over the years I have encountered a number of poorly installed placements, spalls, spinners, not fully seated, elliptically enlarged holes, etc.

If I was placing only 20 bolts annually then I'd likely go with a hand drill. I had (have) one of those around somewhere.

I hand placed for probably 15 years, doing 4 or maybe 5 single pitch routes per year before spending the money to get a power tool. What tipped me over into power tool infamy was having a middle finger cramp up and snap over from dehydration in the middle of an on-sight lead where I was drilling on lead. Recovering from that took weeks and I can still feel that knuckle.
JohnWesely · · Red River Gorge · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 595

If buy a 12 volt drill, expect your life to suck. Even my 24 volt bosch is obnoxiously slow compared to the new 36 volt ones.

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
Thomas Beck wrote: Doesn't hurt/degrade it a bit to sit there quietly sipping some current.
It depends on the battery type. If your drill is 16 years old I am going to assume it uses nickel-metal-hydride batteries. The newer drills use lithium ion, and letting a lithium ion battery sit at 100% for a long period is not the best option. The optimal storage SOC for lithium ion batteries is 40%, which is what I store mine at. My batteries are about six years old, and while they have lost capacity, they still drill about eight 1/2" x 3" holes in hard stone. However, above all, storage temp is the most important. Lithium ion batteries really do not like heat. In fact, I think pretty much all, or at least most, batteries do not like heat. Check out the chart on the link below.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_store_batteries
Thomas Beck · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,040

Thanks for pointing out the difference.. .and the heat issue. I'm due for a rebuilt battery. Some of my friends have the 36v Bosch so I got back up. If the poster is buying a used drill then battery age is a significant price consideration

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,550

I really think the 36v Bosch/Hilti hype is overblown.

I'm using an 18v Makita with Lithium ion batteries. I bolted a bunch of sport routes in very hard quartzite this summer. I was surprised to get 10 or more 3" long 3/8" holes per battery, and the speed difference is fairly negligible between it and my the 36v Bosch a friend was using right next to me.

I've had the drill for 4 years, and it has held up really well. Light enough that I can bolt on lead with it as well. Totally sold on this drill - I wouldn't trade it for a Bosch or Hilti straight up, even though it costs a lot less.

tenesmus · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2004 · Points: 2,190
Andrew Gram wrote: I bolted a bunch of sport routes in very hard quartzite this summer.
Do tell??!
Ney Grant · · Pollock Pines, CA · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 1,005

I also have a Makita 18V and seems to do fine in hard granite. I got it because I already had Makita cordless power tools and wanted to use the same battery. I've probably drilled close to a 100 holes without problems.

There is a common theme on the forum of incorrectly calling them hammer drills. I bought a Makita hammer drill and went out to the back yard and drilled for about five minutes into granite with but a small notch to show for it. What the hell? I went back in and just a tad more research showed that I needed a rotary hammer, not a hammer drill. At least for granite. One key thing to look for is the rotary hammer takes a SDS drill bit (which slides in and out and adds to the "hammer" effect of the drill). And it is a lot more expensive.

bus driver · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 670

The link below has a nice comparison of the newer crop of 18 v rotary hammers. These seem to outdo the old 24 standards: Bosch annihilator, Bosch bulldog and Hilti te5 which are all heavy, big, and slow. Even the $90 Ryobi looks better than my buddy's old Bosch. It would be interesting to see how these 18v's compare to the 24v and 36v in hard quartzite. Or # of 3/8" x 3" holes.

http://www.protoolreviews.com/tools/power/cordless/drills-drivers-cordless/review-cordless-18v-sds-plus-rotary-hammer-round-up/6207/

Brad Warne · · Calgary, Alberta · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 945

Sorry a bit off topic but a few of you have talked about rebuilding your batteries. Where does one go for something like that? And what are the limitations?

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
Brad Warne wrote:Sorry a bit off topic but a few of you have talked about rebuilding your batteries. Where does one go for something like that? And what are the limitations?
No idea about rebuilding, but you can buy them new on eBay. I also found "off brand" replacements on eBay for 1/3rd the price of the OEM ones.
Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,550
bus driver wrote:The link below has a nice comparison of the newer crop of 18 v rotary hammers. These seem to outdo the old 24 standards: Bosch annihilator, Bosch bulldog and Hilti te5 which are all heavy, big, and slow. Even the $90 Ryobi looks better than my buddy's old Bosch. It would be interesting to see how these 18v's compare to the 24v and 36v in hard quartzite. Or # of 3/8" x 3" holes. protoolreviews.com/tools/po...
I'm using this 18v Makita: makitatools.com/en-us/Modul...

In hard Uintas quartzite, I get 15-20 3 x 3/8" holes per 4 amp battery. The holes just take a few seconds to drill as well - not much slower if at all than i get from a 36v bosch.
bus driver · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 670

ah ha! The "sport routes on hard quartzite" are in the Unitas.

This is exactly the type of info I've been searching for. I've watched all kinds of videos of concrete drilling with the thought that quartzite is like 20x denser than that stuff.

How is the weight compared to the little Bosch? Is it reasonable to drill on lead ( not too heavy, not too long)?

I'm working with a Bosch annihalator now and it is kind of a beast when you start hauling up two heavy batteries per pitch. But it was an upgrade to the one before it . . .

B Greene · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 425

The brushless Dewalt DCH273B with the 4 amp hour batteries is a champ. Light and gets the job done fast.

tenesmus · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2004 · Points: 2,190
bus driver wrote:The link below has a nice comparison of the newer crop of 18 v rotary hammers. These seem to outdo the old 24 standards: Bosch annihilator, Bosch bulldog and Hilti te5 which are all heavy, big, and slow. Even the $90 Ryobi looks better than my buddy's old Bosch. It would be interesting to see how these 18v's compare to the 24v and 36v in hard quartzite. Or # of 3/8" x 3" holes. protoolreviews.com/tools/po...
Talk about a black hole of Nerd for me this morning.
I know this thread is about 18V drills. If you already have a battery or several batteries from one of the regular home-use power tool systems. It seems like you can't miss for trying the associated drill. A friend of mine uses the Ryobi and its been fine for a few holes here and there. Can't beat the price.

If you're doing a lot of holes, you can't miss with paying a little more and getting a 36V drill. (We have the BOSCH and love it). That said, this chart is super informative.
tenesmus · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2004 · Points: 2,190
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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