Driving auger bits?

LordFarkwad

Well-Known Member
What are y'all driving auger bits with in the tree?

I'm about to do a swing install, and am ordering a 29"-long 9/16" diameter auger bit from WesSpur (probably), but need a way to drive said bit. Cordless would be nice, but I know that's a lot to ask from a battery. One of my contacts that does swing installs and cabling uses an older Tanaka gas drill (which it seems like isn't made any longer). I could look into any gas drill, but I wanted to see what sort of battery offerings were available which might be up to a task like this.

Does such a thing exist? Dewalt appears to have some 60V varieties of mixers/drills, impact drills, etc.; any of those fit the bill?
 

colb

Well-Known Member
The best HD lithium is the milwaukee m18 fuel superhawg, second generation. Not the holehawg, which has no clutch and will rip off your thumb. For 5/8", you can probably get away with a smaller ordinary drill. I use a small drill for 3/8" holes to install 5/16" cabling. Never used it for 5/8", so if you feel like you need to move up to an HD drill, get that m18 fuel superhawg. There are posts about this in other treebuzz threads. The superhawg is good for up to 1" bracing rod drilling too, so it is a great tool.
 

LordFarkwad

Well-Known Member
The best HD lithium is the milwaukee m18 fuel superhawg, second generation. Not the holehawg, which has no clutch and will rip off your thumb. For 5/8", you can probably get away with a smaller ordinary drill. I use a small drill for 3/8" holes to install 5/16" cabling. Never used it for 5/8", so if you feel like you need to move up to an HD drill, get that m18 fuel superhawg. There are posts about this in other treebuzz threads. The superhawg is good for up to 1" bracing rod drilling too, so it is a great tool.
Thanks for the word, colb. I will go check this out now.

I think the shank is 1/2" on that WesSpur bit, so one of the gotcha's in looking around has been finding a 1/2" chuck.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
There are two options for connecting bits to the milwaukee drill, so choose the right one. I think one is a proprietary quick-connect and the other is a universal that would be more likely to fit the bit you're getting from wesspur.

To disclose my bias, I am up to my neck in milwaukee tools. The reason I started down that road is that I originally bought the corded superhawg because it was the best drill back then (I paired it with a 2200 w generator and 50 feet of hd power cord). In anticipation of upgrading to the lithium version, I started buying other milwaukee tools so that I would have batteries for the superhawg. The first m18 superhawg came out and it was a great tool, but I have not needed it yet (my bracing has been low enough and infrequent enough that I can just use what I have without problems. I have ditched the generator and have been able to reach my work with the 50 foot cord). I have an installation estimate out right now and if accepted I'll be able to use my corded superhawg yet again, so I'm on an indefinite wait to buy my 2nd gen lithium superhawg. But the chain pole saw, the 16" bar chainsaw, the hammer drill, the angle grinder, the portable band saw, are all on point. The m12 air compressor is iffy - I'll be upgrading to the m18 version when it comes out. The main point is, I have milwaukee tools because the superhawg is best in class for bracing rod drilling, and the lithium second gen version is reportedly the best of the three superhawg iterations. If the superhawg wasn't the best big drill, when I bought in to lithium tools, I would probably have Makitas because of their awesome lithium top handle saws, and because their other tools are also awesome.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
I use a 2 stroke engine drill. You really have to be careful because those bits will really grab in green wood. You have to regularly back it out to clear debris. If you dont, it will seize up and you may wind up using a pipe wrench with a cheater to back it out.
Second that. The superhawg standard chuck can toss the bit when backing out, so keep your balance... You can put the bit back on and start up again as long as you didn't drill all the way up to the trunk and keep going.
 

LordFarkwad

Well-Known Member
Thank you for sharing your extensive experience - saves people like me a lot of time, money, and frustration!

Are there any Milwaukee cordless tools which use the M18 batteries but in series (for 36V)?
 

colb

Well-Known Member
They stay away from that. I know 18 sounds flacid next to the higher numbers, but there is something about the tools that makes them function really well. I think the 18 also makes them last longer so you don't have to buy/change out as many batteries. I think the general impression is that milwaukee is a bit ahead of other companies in brushless motor research and battery management, so they are a bit surprising. The second gen m18 fuel superhawg is supposed to have comparable or slightly more torq than the corded superhawg, so I am very confident that you will have plenty of power for up to 1" diameter drill bits such as I use on occassion for ANSI A300 standard maximum diameter bracing rod installs. I'm not aware of any larger bits that arbs are using unless they are drilling below grade. Most importantly, make sure that any drill you get has a clutch so that you don't end up with a ripped thumb, and a drill wagging in circles. milwaukee has a line of massive lithium power tools coming out right now, but I don't sense that I want them, yet. They are massive and heavy.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Again, a regular lithium drill may be able to power that size bit, so you might want to see if there is a superhawg at a plumber shop and put it on reserve. superhawgs are usually used to rough in pipe holes in wood frames. Then, when the bit arrives, test it out with a normal drill on a log you've got sitting around. You'll then know if it fits in the drill, and if a drill you already have is enough to power it.
 

LordFarkwad

Well-Known Member
I can actually get a power cord to this site, and based on your experience, @colb, I'm wondering if I'm better off just going with a corded Super Hawg - with a couple batteries and a charger, this is going to put me up in the range of $550-$600. Corded might get me there with the same/better performance, but with a cord. Hmmm....

What y'all think?
 

SumoClimber

Active Member
I'll put in my vote for Milwaukee tools.
The aforementioned Hole Hawg and Super Hole Hawg would both be good choices. Super has an integrated mechanical clutch at low speed. Not sure it's worth it for an auger bit, feature always gets brought up when talking about giant hole saws, like putting in toilets and cutting 6" holes in subfloor. $150 difference between the HH and the SHH.
I do suggest the 7/16" quick disconnect as well as the milwaukee branded auger bits, teflon coated with full fluting and a decently agressive feed rate.

18" https://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools/milwaukee-48-13-6703
24" https://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools/milwaukee-48-13-6803

Thinking a hair more, I might suggest going with the Milwaukee Impact Wrench with 7/16" quick disconnect. Intended for linesman, it would fit the auger bits I linked, and it might be a little more useful in the long run than the HH or SHH, neither are intended for driving nuts and fasteners.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
I can actually get a power cord to this site, and based on your experience, @colb, I'm wondering if I'm better off just going with a corded Super Hawg - with a couple batteries and a charger, this is going to put me up in the range of $550-$600. Corded might get me there with the same/better performance, but with a cord. Hmmm....

What y'all think?
The cord costs money, actually, that would be better spent on lithium, imo. You need to use a super large gage to get enough power to the tool at 50 feet. I'm slightly outside recommended length and I have a very large gage cord. The penalty is that you burn up the motor if you use a smaller gage, or run it too long. On the upside, if you have a welder and need a large gage anyways, then you might justify buying a fat cord, but check the welder plug shape because the larger gage plugs don't always match up like you think they might. Also, you can probably buy a good corded superhawg at a pawn shop for a very small amount of money because guys like me are probably dropping them off in droves to upgrade to lithium. For climbers, though, it is better to cut the cord. If you are installing a rope swing, you're probably up 20-50 feet. If the branch is far enough away from the house for the swing to not hit the house, you're probably over 50 feet from the nearest plug and thus out of range of normal cords you can buy. At that point, you're looking at a generator with enough amps to start the tool with a bit already in the wood. The corded superhawg is a 12-15 amp tool if I recollect correctly, so you'll need a substantial generator to get it through the start moment into the duration of your drilling without damaging the motor. It's hard enough to locate a low enough gage at a short enough length - probably worth your time to just buy lithium on that basis alone.

Also, if you are just doing two holes you could get a hand drill. I've never used one, but there is probably someone like @Tom Dunlap who has.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
I got addicted to DW-caine years ago. Many yellow and black tools including the chainsaw. If I were to start blank now I'd be getting Milwaukee-caine. Best going!
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Brace and bit or egg beaters?

Sure did for eye lags when I used them. For ½" or ⅝" throughbolts I always used power.
I don't even know what those are, but I can imagine the egg beaters, and yes, that is roughly what I was wondering about. And if he is manual drilling a through bolt vertically for a swing installation, isn't it easier than drilling horizontally?
 

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