View Full Version : Corded hand drill for metal fabrication

02-07-2013, 07:43 AM

Once again I ask you all for advice. Right now I own a vintage DP which is pending some work, a corless Bosch (PSB 18 LI-2) and a corded Bosch (don't recall exact model but it is a hobbist hammer drill for arround the house stuff).

Anytime I need to do some hand drilling in steel I feel none of my hand drills are up to the task. The cordless.. well, for some drilling it is ok, but forget about using step drills or hole saws (chuck does not open enough for step drill or starret hole saw holder). The corded one has speed regulation but lacks torque in the lower speeds (only one gear), the drill heats up noticeably and sometimes it even smokes. Even using 12mm drill bits it jams often and stalls when trying to drill slowly. Last thing I used it for was a 20mm hole saw... and it was a struggle.

So, after checking the forum and coming across a picture of two holes drilled in sheetmetal (3mm?) in the last pictures of this post: http://weldingweb.com/showpost.php?p=2235791&postcount=15 (leftover from the holes at the bottom of the picture, hole saw for sure), my question is... which kind of hand drills are you all using for these kind of drilling?

I bet some of you are using mag drills but I am not looking for one. I am open to suggestion in other brands but I do have fairly easy accesss (and discounts!) to anything from Bosch. Be it green line or blue line.

Any Bosch model that could suit my needs? Thanks in advance for the advice!


02-07-2013, 07:53 AM
Milwaukee Hole Shooters not from Lows or Home Depot , old Skill , B&D , Porter Cable, Thor, Stanley the good old American line !

Country Metals
02-07-2013, 09:17 AM
I don't use corded drills in the field. Usually 200' from a wall, water every where, and forklift traffic makes cords die fast. I have 2 sets of the Makita 18v 1/2" drill/1/4" impact combo, the large blue case with 3 batteries. Only at HD (brick and mortar store). I use Carbide Toothed Lenox only hole saws for metal, and they drill great. The biggest I have used myself is 4", put slow speed on drill, use lots of thick threading oil/grease, and take short 10 second breaks and it will drill fine. I have had them both for 3 years now and batteries are still great, though they don't like being left in the truck in S Jersey 20* weather.

I also mainly drill 1/16" - 3/16" stainless steel

Also, the hole saws are way expensive, but they last!

02-07-2013, 11:46 AM
I just found for a fair price a Makita 6013B. Specs HERE (http://www.makita.es/index.php/productos/ver/producto/625).

It states 550rpm no load speed. According to the chart that came with my last hole saw (Starret) the recommended rpm for a 30mm hole saw is 285rpms. The above Makita runs that almost twice that much (no load). Maybe under load it slows down enough to not ruin the hole saw in the first use?

I appreciate all the comments aboveI still have no idea which are the rpms I should be looking in a hand drill to be used for metal. I did check the Milwakee Hole Shooters but they are not available arround here.


02-07-2013, 02:14 PM
I have a Bosch drill/hammer drill but I don't use it because it will rip your arm off if it catches:eek:

I have 2 sets of these


and they do a great job, plenty of torque. The batteries don't last very long but they charge up quickly and I really like the size.



02-07-2013, 08:00 PM
I like my dewalt right angle drill for hole saws and big bits they run slow and have lots of torque

02-07-2013, 09:40 PM
If you want a Bosch, then I think the 1033VSR model would be a good option.


All of the big name brands will have a good drill in this category, metabo, makita, hitachi, etc. they all have something to offer.

The main specs to look for are:

RPM: 0-600 to 0-900
Amps: 7.0 minimum

02-07-2013, 09:42 PM
My Milwaukee low speed right angle drill is my favorite.

02-08-2013, 01:21 AM
Old school Black and Decker 1/2 corded drill with 18" pipe handle. Better use good bits or it will rip your arm off!!!! also have a Milwalkee 18V cordless that will push any bit through most everything.

02-08-2013, 05:14 AM
The main specs to look for are:

RPM: 0-600 to 0-900
Amps: 7.0 minimum

Mmmmm ok, looking good. Regarding the Makita above seems like it doesn't have 0-550 rpm... but only 0 OR straight to 550rpm. It is so cheap I may just grab it as spare or whatever.

Will keep on looking for the models mentioned above by all members.

Thanks a lot!

02-08-2013, 08:12 AM

I just came across a NIB Bosch GBM 16-2 RE Professional for a bit more than half the price of it new in the stores. Sad situation though because this is being sold by a self-employed metal worker who cannot keep the lights on any longer on his bussiness. With the economic recession we are suffering right now in Spain this is just another example of how many people is loosing their jobs right now. He even offered more tools (welders, angle grinders, etc.) sadly I have more tools than time to use them so I will not be buying anything else from him.

After chatting with him for a while I didn't feel like bargaining the price at all. Good for him and good enough for me. He even split shipping charges 50/50.

Anyway, I think I will start ordering a few spare "arms" just in case this thing is as mean as it looks... Everything going well, it should be here by the end of the next week. Will post a few pictures of it.


02-08-2013, 11:48 AM
Judging by the specs on the GMB 16-2 RE, it should be pretty powerful, it has nearly double the wattage of the one I suggested. The two speed gear box is a good feature, very handy for large bits and hole saws in low speed, and good for drilling small holes in high speed. Good choice!