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$80 cordless rotohammer? could it be possible?
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Dec 20, 2007
n cascades
harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/dis...
that's right, from harbor freight tools, the people who brought you years of quality paperweights, comes the $80 cordless rotohammer. How many holes could one get with its whopping 18v 1.7Ah batteries... 1? 2? On that note, how many holes could it drill before it fell apart completely? Since I was thinking about going the SLA route anyway, could this thing actually provide a viable option?
-jesse
Jesse Davidson
From san diego, ca
Joined May 30, 2007
71 points
Administrator
Dec 20, 2007
Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
Not that I've tried this particular drill, but I did try to go "cheap" with other 18v Hammer Drill(s). While in other types of rock they (18v) might work, the stuff I was playing with in SoCal (Josh, Woodson) required the real deal.

Buy it and do a review!!!
Adam Stackhouse
Joined Jan 3, 2001
13,598 points
Dec 20, 2007
n cascades
I'm thinking about it adam, but a couple of quick questions first.
Were the problems you had in hard rock related to battery life, or to actual drilling capabilities? Also, were you using a hammer drill or a rotary hammer?
Jesse Davidson
From san diego, ca
Joined May 30, 2007
71 points
Dec 21, 2007
Stabby
I'd bet, since it comes with 2 batteries, that you'd actually be able to get one or two routes in before the motor burns up. Looks like a disposable drill to me. Gotta love Harbor Freight. They ought to market their power tools to children as toys. That way we could get some Darwinism population control working for us. Mike Lane
From Centennial, CO
Joined Jan 21, 2006
839 points
Dec 21, 2007
It's a crapshoot with harbor freight. I bought a corded rotary hammer for 60 bucks for work that rocks. I also bought a cordless drill that fell apart the first time it hit the floor, and i'm talking a million pieces. As for a cordless hammer drill, I wouldn't bother unless it was the SDS type. The Jacobs chucks found on other drills tend to loosen in "hammer" mode and the bits drop out.

Although you could get the 2 year warrantee on the drill and return for a replacement after it fell apart. I'm betting the regular warrantee is more than enough though.
shawn bradley
Joined May 20, 2006
28 points
Administrator
Dec 21, 2007
Grip strength training, Nevada style.
I have used one of the 18v Harbor Freight roto hammers for work and tried it out for climbing. I found that it will work for climbing but only in softer rock, such as sandstone or limestone. I was able to get a few holes per battery in soft rock but only 1/2 of a hole in quartzite(duh). The batteries are cheap and I guess you could rig three 6 volt gel cells for more drilling power. The drill did get hot with continuous use in rock. The only advantage I could see by rigging this drill for climbing is that it is very light. With gel cells in a pack it could be an ok "on lead" tool for desert towers or other soft rock adventures. Rick Shull
From Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Joined Sep 7, 2006
2,997 points
Dec 22, 2007
n cascades
hmmm... I'm not too excited to hear that it didn't work well in hard rock, because I was planning to use it on granite, and I already bought one. I went to the store and they had they same tool as the website but without the case and with only one battery... it cost $43. I'm going to be drilling on rappel (heavens!!!) so even if the going is slow if my 12 Ah gell cells can get me enough holes for a single sport route I'll be satisfied. Jesse Davidson
From san diego, ca
Joined May 30, 2007
71 points
Administrator
Dec 22, 2007
Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
Jesse, the drill I bought and returned was a $180 DeWalt 18v Hammer Drill. I tried punching a hole into Suicide type granite and while the battery life was fine, it just didn't have enough punch. It took probably three-four minutes to drill an inch and a half hole, and burned up the bit while doing so. While that might not sound like a lifetime, remember the hole was incomplete and the bit was smoked.

I've since bit the bullet and purchased the real deal (Bosch 24V). It can punch a 1/2 inch diameter hole 4 inches deep in about 30 seconds. While it holds no punches, it was $450 (reconditioned, with as new warranty purchased from Bosch).
Adam Stackhouse
Joined Jan 3, 2001
13,598 points
Dec 22, 2007
n cascades
Dang! I hate having to bite bullets! Sounds like you guys have got some good experience in this area... I guess the drill is going back before I do anything dumb to invalidate the warranty. Jesse Davidson
From san diego, ca
Joined May 30, 2007
71 points
Administrator
Dec 22, 2007
Grip strength training, Nevada style.
Adam has a good point about "punch". If the drill can not maintain the blows per second and rpm, it will "smoke" a bit quickly in harder rock. I recommend going with a drill that draws at least 24v. I did find an off brand sds roto hammer on ebay for less than 100 bucks that works great even in the hardest rock. The original batteries were choss but gel cells made it kick butt. So far it has gotten me through about 30 new routes and is showing no sign of letting up. Rick Shull
From Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Joined Sep 7, 2006
2,997 points


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