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Flying with a hammerdrill


Original Post
Kemper Brightman · · Tucson · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 2,133

Anyone done this before? I'm assuming most issues would arise from the lithium ion battery. Drill is a Bosch 36V roto hammer.

Any insight is appreciated!

Mike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 30

Never done it but you would probably have to check the drill and bits and carry on the battery. They dont like tools in the cabin and they dont like batteries in the hold.

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,415
Mike wrote: Never done it but you would probably have to check the drill and bits and carry on the battery. They dont like tools on planes and they dont like batteries in the hold.

This would be my guess as well, though I've never done it.

Russell Houghten · · San Diego, CA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 95

I always travel with camera gear/drones and always just check the camera gear and carry on the batteries. I’m assuming power tools will be the same. Look at the airlines website there are usually restrictions based on the watt hour/capacity of the lipo batteries for carry on, believe its generally <160wh

Kemper Brightman · · Tucson · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 2,133
Russell Houghten wrote: I always travel with camera gear/drones and always just check the camera gear and carry on the batteries. I’m assuming power tools will be the same. Look at the airlines website there are usually restrictions based on the watt hour/capacity of the lipo batteries for carry on, believe its generally <160wh

Thank for the help, will look into the specs. 

Carson Darling · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 83

The FAA gives a pretty clear description of what's allowed with batteries on their website:

https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/hazmat_safety/more_info/?hazmat=7

Two relevant sections:

Spare (uninstalled) lithium ion and lithium metal batteries must be carried in carry-on baggage only. 
Lithium ion (rechargeable) batteries are limited to a rating of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery. These limits allow for nearly all types of lithium batteries used by the average person in their electronic devices. With airline approval, passengers may also carry up to two spare larger lithium ion batteries (101-160 watt hours).
Sam Sala · · Denver · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 45
Mike wrote: Never done it but you would probably have to check the drill and bits and carry on the battery. They dont like tools in the cabin and they dont like batteries in the hold.

That's gonna be one helluvan uncomfortable balloon.

Francis Haden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 9

I do this a lot with regular bolting trips throughout Europe, the UK and Asia.

The key points are to: a) review the airline battery Watt Hour limits
                                   b) battery piece quantity limit AND
                                   c) where they must be carried (checked luggage vs hand carry).

The Watt Hour figure is your battery voltage e.g. 18v, 24v or 36v multiplied by the battery capacity in Amps e.g 36v * 3.6Amps = 129.6WHr

You will find that most international carriers have the same Lithium Ion battery policy and this usually requires you to hand carry up to a maximum of 2 batteries in your hand carry luggage. Some you may be able to check 1 battery in your checked luggage. You just need to read their policy carefully.

Expect questioning from security because many of the personal doing the pre boarding checks won't know the carrier policy and so revert the 'decision' making to their superior. Their 'blanket' instruction is to check any batteries. Provided you are within limits this is a 5 min delay if this happens. Having smaller batteries e.g. Bosch versus Hilti can be a psychological help here!

Do not hand carry tools.

Kemper Brightman · · Tucson · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 2,133

After doing some research it appears you can fly with the Bosch Slim pack batteries, but not their Fat Pack batteries (at least on Allegiant). Both are 36V but the fat pack is 4 amp hours So 144 watt hours. The max allowable on the crappy airline I'm flying is 100... So shipping the big guy :/

Will make note of this next time. Thanks for the info y'all!

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Kemper Brightman wrote: Both are 36V but the fat pack is 4 amp hours So 144 watt hours. The max allowable on the crappy airline I'm flying is 100... So shipping the big guy :/
Not your airline rule - it's an FAA regulation.
Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Marc801 C wrote: Not your airline rule - it's an FAA regulation.

It´s also international so IATA.

A guy I know (an older German schoolteacher so not  the most flexible thinking type of guy) was thoroughly pissed when the airport guys took his Hilti, the battery in it and the spare out of his checked luggage and destroyed it. His lawyer sent the airline a claim for the lost goods and the airline sent him back an even bigger bill for the cost of removal, correct disposal of hazardous goods and the administration costs  
Ģnöfudør Ðrænk · · In the vicinity of 43 deg l… · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 2
"Flying with a Hammerdrill" would be a great title for an alt county song.
F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 406
Sam Sala wrote:

That's gonna be one helluvan uncomfortable balloon.

*Tips Cap*

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Ģnöfudør Ðrænk wrote: "Flying with a Hammerdrill" would be a great title for an alt county song.

It would make a good route name, too.

And of course there's that iconic metal band, Hammerdrill!
Lauren D. Hollingsworth · · Colorado and Kentucky · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 250

In the US:
Battery installed in drill, checked luggage
Don’t take a spare, and don’t carry on the battery or drill.

When in doubt use FedEx with insurance

Haven’t tried traveling internationally with the Hilti

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 16,441

Lauren, ...are you talking about NiCad batteries?  I thought all Li'-Ions had to go hand-carried. (as seems to be the case of all the posts above)

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Robert Hall wrote: Lauren, ...are you talking about NiCad batteries?  I thought all Li'-Ions had to go hand-carried. (as seems to be the case of all the posts above)

It depends if they are spare batteries vs installed. See this document:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/passenger_info/media/Airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf​​​
Mikey Schaefer · · Redmond, OR · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 246

I've flown numerous times with my Milwaukee 12v Fuel drill.  Always checked the drill and have carried on 4 of the 4AmpH (48WHr) batteries.  They are usually packaged next to a bunch of camera and drone batteries.  I'm fairly use to getting stopped and hassled for all my camera equipment.  Having the TSA pre check seems to lessen the amount of hassling though.

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 16,441

Marc801C and Lauren,
  Re' the FAA document Marc801C referenced:  ( I have bold italic some text )

" What kinds of batteries does the FAA allow in checked baggage (including gate-checked bags)?

    Answer:  Except  for  spare  (uninstalled) lithium  metal  and  lithium-ion  batteries, all  the  batteries  allowed  in  carry-on  baggage  are  also
allowed in checked baggage. The batteries must be protected from damage and short circuit or installed in a device. Battery-powered
devices particularly  those  with  moving  parts  or  those  that  could  heat  up must  be  protected  from  accidental  activation.  
Spare lithium  metal  and  lithium  ion/polymer  batteries  are  prohibited  in  checked  baggage  this  includes  external  battery  packs
....  “Checked baggage” includes bags checked at the gate or planeside. "

Lauren D. Hollingsworth · · Colorado and Kentucky · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 250

Hilti TE 6-A is a lithium ion battery at 108 wh

Robert Hall, that’s FAA guidelines, not TSA guidelines, which read

‘Lithium batteries with 100 watt hours or less may be carried in a device in either carry-on or checked bags. Loose lithium batteries are prohibited in checked bags. For more information, see the FAA regulations on batteries.’
‘Drills and Drill Bits
Carry On Bags: No
Checked Bags: Yes’


So, the drill is considered a tool, therefore must be checked. Spare batteries are not allowed in checked luggage. 
It doesn’t matter if the FAA says you can take it on the plane if you can’t go through security with it. 

‘Lithium batteries with more than 100 watt hours may be allowed in carry-on bags with airline approval, but are limited to two spare batteries per passenger. Loose lithium batteries are prohibited in checked bags. For more information, see the FAA regulations on batteries’
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all
So, the solution is:
Drill and installed battery in checked bag
Up to Two spare batteries with written approval from airline in carry on bag. (For my setup, different if the battery is less than 100 wh)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Fixed Hardware: Bolts & Anchors
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