Mountain Project Logo

Buying hand drill. Advice?


Original Post
Sam Bedell · · Bend, OR · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 354

Like the title says, I'm looking to buy a bolt kit. I will be mostly looking to put in rappel and belay anchors on new back country trad routes. I want to start with a hand drill due to the weight, cost, and few holes I will actually drill.

Does anyone have personal experience and recommendations? Best bolts to place in hand drilled holes? Best drill bit? Where to save money and where to shell more out so I have something that works but doesn't break the bank? Tips for someone new to this?

Thanks.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

Find somebody to teach you. Hand drilling is a lot more complex and involved than using a power drill. And then there's also all the concerns that go into putting in a bolt in the first place, such as prepping the rock so the bolt and hanger can sit flush, drilling perpendicular to the rock, etc.

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

Don't

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

No one should be recommending a bolt type without first hand knowledge of the rock you're dealing with.

And while those with hand drilling experience surely have their own preferences re. the drill holder and bits, I suspect you'll be able to get the job done with any of the commercially available devices. You do want to get some instruction however.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

Get a Petzl Rocpec. Use 3/8 inch X 3 in. stud bolts. And hey, look. Here's a video.

youtube.com/watch?v=fezX_2M…

Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an… · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115

How big are your hands? Mine are large andni love the fixe drill. The hilti bits are the best bits and if used correctly are warentied. Cheap bits from dewalt are fine and come from the same factory as bosch.

If you place studs, make sure you place some in boulder to get the torque correct. Studs require a really precise torque.

Please set your anchors offset diagonal

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Rob, curious why offset diagonal is the best? thanks

Billcoe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 655
SamBedell wrote:Like the title says, I'm looking to buy a bolt kit. I will be mostly looking to put in rappel and belay anchors on new back country trad routes. I want to start with a hand drill due to the weight, cost, and few holes I will actually drill. Does anyone have personal experience and recommendations? Best bolts to place in hand drilled holes? Best drill bit? Where to save money and where to shell more out so I have something that works but doesn't break the bank? Tips for someone new to this? Thanks.
What kind of rock?
Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an… · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115

Just an opinion grog, I like 1 chain 2 links 1 ring. I also think by limiting the inward vector you can preserve the hole and limit twists.

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,122
Muscrat wrote:Don't
Best advice on this thread. I bought a hand drill for the same reasons that you want one. What a waste of money. I have placed a handful of bolts with it though, they helped me to decide to buy a real drill.
mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,390
Rob Warden, Space Lizard wrote:How big are your hands? Mine are large andni love the fixe drill. The hilti bits are the best bits and if used correctly are warentied. Cheap bits from dewalt are fine and come from the same factory as bosch. If you place studs, make sure you place some in boulder to get the torque correct. Studs require a really precise torque. Please set your anchors offset diagonal
Pretty sure you mean 5-Piece (3/8 SS in particular) which have a greater risk of shearing off or worse, being close. Studs are more tolerant of under/over torquing. Not that you want to of course. With Stud/Wedges, hitting the correct torque lets you know the bolt will hold its listed strength. It's a torque controlled anchor.
john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

Just an opinion grog, I like 1 chain 2 links 1 ring. I also think by limiting the inward vector you can preserve the hole and limit twists. </quote

Agree 100%, in a non-sport/lowering set up, offset diagonal is the way to go

i find The RocPec too small for my hands..Pika is much better.

Sam Bedell · · Bend, OR · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 354

Will be placing in tuff, basalt, andesite, and granite. My hands are probably a little smaller than average adult male climber hands. I appreciate the "don't" sentiment but its for ground up back country trad routes, not crag construction projects. No desire to haul the Hilti up some multi-pitch choss climb 10 miles from the car or try to free close to my current OS best with it hanging on my harness.

Thanks guys.

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

IMO sometimes people pay more attention when hand drilling bolts,, a good thing. Look around for the best placement, really flatten the drilling are before starting, frequently blow out the hole..etc

And NO not any hammer is fine,,,

303scott · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 180

I've used both the rocpec and the Fixe drills. I much prefer the rocpec. I prefer the smaller profile and tighter feel of it. The Fixe clanged like a bell and was cumbersome. If I recall correctly, changing bits on the Fixe involved removing screws or something too, whereas the rocpec system is easier and can't be dropped.

Mick S · · Utah · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 60

Be responsible in backcountry areas, ask yourself if your chosen line is a worthy route, and use bolts as a last resort. Particularly in Wilderness areas the Forest Service is watching.

runoutcustoms.com/Bolting_e…

I have placed many bolts on lead using this particular drill, my favorite, but others are available. Buy a good bit, you don't want it to break hanging from a hook way above your last shaky nut.

I you are going to place a bolt by hand in the backcountry use a good one. In granite, I have used Fixe SS 3/8 X 2 3/4 wedge bolts with good luck.

Practice on a piece of rock in your backyard first. It's not rocket science, but there is skill involved. I wouldn't place a hand drilled bolt in tuff personally, too soft. Drilling by hand creates an imperfect hole, which is worse in soft rock. Drill the hole deep enough, but not too deep, drill perpendicular to the rock (harder than you think), take your time and do it right.

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

Ya, tougher than it looks to do it right

Concentrate when drilling by hand

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply