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blueserac

Hammer Drills?

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I am thinking of upgrading my drill the sort that needs a hammer to a cordless power unit. Can you guys remark on the voltage that I am looking for; and difference in brands?

 

Thanks for the feedback.

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The 24V Bosch Annihilator is a good unit, as is the 36V Hilty TE6, and I'm sure there are others. These new "super tools" can drill dozens of holes on a single charge as compared to the old Bosch Bulldog that would produce as few as six or eight holes in granite on a newly charged battery (I think they come with larger and smaller battery options, and my buddies have opted for the larger stronger batteries).

 

However, depending on what kind of bolting you are doing, the new super tools may be overkill and they weigh more than their less manly predecessors or some of the “weaker” options out there even if you have to bring along an extra battery. I say this because the drilling was a very small part of virtually every route development effort that I've been a part of, and in practice I have rarely seen anyone do a good job of it when they placed dozens of bolts in a day.

 

In Western Washington, at least, I think most folks spend at least a full day to explore, clean, top-rope, and carefully think through all the placements for just about any single pitch of bolt-dependant climbing. This means that, assuming you are trying to carefully craft a quality pitch as opposed to simply slamming something in you may not need all the extra fire power that the monster tools are packing. Of course your methods and your goals may vary, and maybe you want to put up a giant bolt ladder somewhere or replace all the anchors at an old crag, and the rock at some areas (e.g. North Bend) is very hard and may demand greater power.

 

Your mileage may vary, and others will undoubtedly have a different view on this, but my point is that power is not necessarily everything and these machines are very heavy. Sometimes a smaller motor or even the old flintstone rig is a good choice.

 

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I've had trouble with the Hilti 36v batteries, where they just wont hold their charge past 12 hours. That means that I have to time charging the batts so that the charge is finishing up as I leave the door for a drilling proj. Replacement batteries are *very* expensive, YMMV.

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Thanks mattp and Alex for the response. I have been wondering about the 36 volt machines versus some of the new era lighter units in 24 and 18 by DeWalt and Makita as well. The application is a huge factor too in deciding extra batteries and overall strength of the unit. Any thoughts on the lithium ion batteries coming out?

 

Certainly, I think Peter Parkers' uncle said it best,"with great power, comes great responsibility." I think back to one amazing place on the island here where a buddy and I first played in a dehiedral for several pitches and then returned a few years later to play on the blank granite slabs. Looking back at it, this granite dome within an area of huge walls and pillars of metamorphic rock was/is most certainly a culturally significant sight with the inhabitants nearby. On one hand it was awsome to open this place up and on the other hand I am sure that my karmatic account will have withdrawals with each poor route or reckless defoliation in the woods around. Thankfully, only quality routes are being put up.

 

I agree on the actual time spent drilling versus visuallizing the route, cleaning & scrubbing, clearing plants, and trail building the actually hole making seems like a mouse raping an elephant. Deciding where the clipping points go is also the fun part. That is for crags anyhow.

 

Most of the long routes that I have been involved with where I have been putting in bolts has been in sub or alpine settings and the route establishment from the ground up. Half an hour tapping in a hole helps develop your familarity with where the best clips will be.

 

My main purpose for a power drill is three fold: i) to ensure that my partner always carries it; ii) I need something to replace the bolts from Meastri's line just incase someone chops them; iii) to reduce the time climbers spend finicking with gear on the routes of the Apron.

 

Thanks guys, hope the rain is less down there.

Edited by blueserac

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ii) I need something to replace the bolts from Meastri's line just incase someone chops them; iii) to reduce the time climbers spend finicking with gear on the routes of the Apron.
You are very funny!

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Where were you guys when we put in 110 holes with a 5/8 inch star drill and piton hammer on Steins Pillar in 1950? Is this all "ethical"?

Don Baars

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Where were you guys when we put in 110 holes with a 5/8 inch star drill and piton hammer on Steins Pillar in 1950? Is this all "ethical"?

Don Baars

 

Shit Don, that is an amazing amount of work. Can't speak for others but I didn't start climbing til '72. BTW, I most likely clipped your bolts. Thank you!

 

To answer the question: what Matt said: plus: the Lithium Ion batteries were MADE for climbers.

 

Accept no substitutes.

 

My new drill is a Hitachi DV18DL. This Hammer Drill features an 18 volt Lithium Ion battery that boasts 3x the running time of traditional Ni-Cad drills and weighs half as much.

 

This drill also features a class leading 570 in/lbs of torque to power through the toughest jobs. A two step speed switch is located on the side of the handle and this provides for 4 possible RPM settings when combined with the2 speed gear box. Other features include external carbide brush access and a 5 position belt hook with an integrated LED job light.

 

I hopefully don't ever need the LED light. I have drilled holes with the Hilti TE-6, and it's almost unbeliveable how much power it has, smooth and fast. But I don't want to be running around carrying all that weight, and have some backcountry projects in mind.

 

I traded up from a 14V Milwaukie which could do about 12 - 3/8" holes when the battery was brand new, and not a single 1/2" dia hole. It worked fine, just carried an extra battery.

 

so this 18V is a major upgrade for me, and plenty enough power. PS, check the price of replacement batteries when you buy a drill.

 

Whew.

_________________________________________________

 

This thing is 4.9 lbs, you can look up the Hilti or Bosch, but I suspect you are easily double that weight.

 

If you were to examine the word irony, it would contain the fact that this thread and the Ken Nichols fined for bolt chopping are the top 2 threads right now, and are co-existing happily next to each other.

Edited by billcoe

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billcoe, so how many 3/8 bolts can your new Hitachi drop in on a charge?

 

It just came in today and have not even drilled a single hole yet. Mayhaps Pope, Dwayner and I should go see?

 

:grin:

 

Sorry, bad attempt at humor.

 

I might not ever know how many it can do. I don't do bolted lines generally. I have a single blank pitch eyeballed that will take maybe 6 plus 2 for an anchor, and elsewere there are a couple more here or there needed. Probably not enough to come close to maxing the drill out.

 

 

Given the math and physics of the thing, and I suspect that Hitachi has a slight technology edge due to battery style and cause they're just good at building stuff like this maybe slightly more than half what a 36V Hilti would do. (36v divided by 18v = 2, plus a tick or 3 for Hitachi technology). So if a Hilti will do 40 holes, this would do 24 or 27 I might guess if I had too.

 

But I might never know for sure, I don't drill that many holes, and am generally slow, thoughtful and methodical when I have to do it.

 

PS, carrying an extra battery is cheaper and lighter as well, this set up came with an extra batter and was way less than 1/2 the price of the Hilti brand new. Make sure you price out a battery before buying - cause thats the pain we all will feel that got me to buy a new tool.

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It doesn't matter what drill you get if you operate it with gel batteries in series. Use fairly heavy guage speaker cable for the wiring.

 

This is the best solution, you can drill up to 30-40 holes with two gels in series, and the weight is in your pack, not your hands.

 

Hell, you can even buy a used one at a fraction of the cost and rewire it this way.

 

Happy drilling!

 

Erik

 

I'll post up a picture of "The Power Pig" in a few minutes....

 

 

power_pig.jpg

 

There's like 8 gels in series in this beast, a hundred holes in hard rock or 250-300 in sandstone

Edited by EWolfe

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Drilled a hole last Sunday. The Hilti TE-6 outperforms it in the sense that it drills both faster and smoother.

 

Other than that, agree with Matt above.

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