Anyone tried the cheap eBay hammer drills?

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  #1  
Old 04-28-06, 03:31 PM
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Anyone tried the cheap eBay hammer drills?

I'm looking for a hammer drill and keep seeing the eBay auctions for no-name hammer drills that look like Chinese copies of name brands. I'm going to need a hammer drill to use for a week or so of drilling 1" holes, 12" deep in a concrete pad I want to break up. This will be fairly intense but limited work. After this job I probably won't use it again except for a small hole now and then.

I know these drills aren't going to last as long as a good Makita, or Hitachi...but I'd like to know if they'll at least do the job I'm describing? Do they have the power they are advertised as having, are they twice as loud as a good drill, are they unsafe? I'd like to hear any opinions, but please...I know you usually get what you pay for, but I also know that name brand prices include a lot of advertising, dealer distribution markups, etc...

jc
 
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Old 04-28-06, 06:35 PM
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You plan to drill holes in concrete in order to break it up? You have several days, including weekends set aside for this, right? This may not be the best way to go about it. To make short work of it, rent an electric jack hammer for about $100 for a full day and return it after 4 hours and get some of your money back. It won't take any time to do it with the right tool. Even after you drill all your holes, you still have to hit it with a large hammer or C4 to break it up, which will be done in one motion with the jack hammer.
I have a no name grinder that has been going for several years, now, and I have no complaints with it. Yes, I could have bought a Bosch, but for what little I use it, no comparison.
 
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Old 04-29-06, 04:15 AM
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You drill the holes about 12 inches apart, mix up the special expansive concrete (from Europe, available in the US by mail order) and pour it in, wait a day or so and bingo! giant cracks in the concrete if you've done it right. The electric jack hammer might be quicker, but the piece I originally tried this on was on a slope and ready to slide down onto a busy highway and I wanted to use as little vibration as possible.

The rest of the concrete is on the same slope, much larger, but maybe not as critical. Since I have some of the expansive concrete left I want to use it up...it's pretty neat the way it works, but drilling the holes is probably a lot more work than using the jack hammer, although I was using an underpowered hammer drill so if I have the right size drill the work would go alot faster.

jc
 
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Old 04-29-06, 10:50 AM
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I assume the cheap Ebay Items are the same thing harbor freight sells

I would think they would do the job .

I have a 9,99 harbor freight angle Grinder that does just fine for what I need . I would buy occasinal use tool from them If I had a need.

for a one time use why not just rent a HIlTI ? thats what I would (have ) done
 
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Old 04-30-06, 02:46 PM
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I'm still hoping someone with direct experience can comment on the cheap Hammer Drills.

Mango Man, whats a HITI?

jc
 
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Old 04-30-06, 03:02 PM
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Old 06-25-06, 11:33 PM
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DON'T DO IT!

I bought an 18v and a 24v from ebay (yes, same stuff I've seen in Harbor Freight) and they are bad news.
I had them for less than a month when I went out and bought a 14.4V DeWALT XRP

As I wrote in another thread...the chucks on the cheapies have a hard time holding things (especially smaller drill bits....anything under 1/8" won't hold at all)

Spend a few extra bucks and get something decent...you won't regret it!
 

Last edited by Handy-J; 07-05-06 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 06-26-06, 03:51 AM
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I should have specified that I'm talking about plug-in hammer drills...i think the battery operated hammer drills are probably underpowered for what I want to do (drill 1" holes 12" deep, lots of them).

Also, most of the 1" and larger hammer drills have SDS chucks which are designed to grip the slots in the SDS bits. However, I would be interested in knowing if the cheapo 1" hammer SDS hammer drills have chucks that fail to do this well.

John
 
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Old 06-26-06, 07:21 AM
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did you look into renting a hilti ?

last time I rented one it amazed me how easily it went trhough the concrete .

for lots of 1"x12" holes its really the best solution (unless you like drilling concrete and want to spend as much time as possible )
 
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Old 06-27-06, 04:31 AM
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I'm glad to know that the Hilti makes the work easy, what size was the one you used?

I'm not really interested in renting a hammer drill, two days worth would probably pay for buying a used one, and there are plenty of those on eBay. But I was trying to get a feel for the quality of the new el cheapo ones on eBay, are they Chinese knockoffs that do the job or are they so bad that it is a waste of money?.

jc
 
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Old 06-29-06, 11:23 AM
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Cheap tools that you buy these days will probably last for one or two real jobs. Anything extra is bonus. I wouldn't be surprised if the cheapest models made by the best brands are equal quality to no-names.

It's my hunch that the cheap ebay/Harbor Freight tools will be perfect for your application. On the other hand, you could probably rent the tools (either a jackhamer or a great hammer drill), and know you'll get the job done too.

If you're a contractor or a serious DIYer, of course you want to buy the good stuff. But for the rest of us who need things for one time use, the cheap tools are great.
 
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Old 06-30-06, 01:53 PM
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Read the feedbacks on the ones selling them on ebay. Read as much as you can. I'm sure someone will say something to give you a better idea of just how good they are.

What's the difference in a used good name brand on ebay vs. the new one's you're talking about? If there isn't much of a difference, I would consider bidding on a used good name brand one on ebay...but like I said...always read the feedbacks and if there aren't many feedbacks...you're taking your chances. Also, see how long they've been a member on ebay and if they use paypal. I have been through some terrrible experiences w/bad sellers and got my refund either through paypal by dispute and/or by the seller themselves.

Good luck!
 
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Old 06-30-06, 08:16 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the replies. I'm still hoping for someone who has actually bought one of these cheapo eBay hammer drills. I just want to know if it does the job it's size implies and to make sure I'm not going to get electrocuted in the process.

Regarding eBay feedback...I've always distrusted (and ignored) the cookie cutter positive feedbacks, and eBay of course makes it impossible/real difficult to find the negative ones.

But I just installed a Mozilla addon called "ebay negs" and here's a great example of it's value: a Hitachi DH38YE up for auction starting at 1.00. The picture looks abit funky, the seller has a 99.8% positive feedback which sounds pretty good. eBay shows 2 negs(past 12 mos) and 13 neutral comments. Ebay Negs show 4 negative coments, 34 neutral going back 2 years. When you read the neutral ones you get a picture of a lot of very funky items being sold, missing parts, etc... It's a small percentage of the total sales, but after you read these comments you have a real sense that the seller isn't too squeamish about what he sells and thus "buyer beware". Funky photo = possible piece of junk.

Paypal, well to me that just means the seller has been lucky so far and hasn't had his account blocked/frozen by Paypal. Try googling "paypal problems" and it's amazing how many web sites have sprung up with horror stories. I'm sorry to say but my cynical ass doesn't get any solace from a seller being a member of a giant corporation that couldn't care less what happens to it's individual members.

I agree that buying a good brand used hammer drill is probably better than buying an el cheapo chinese hammer drill. But when the el cheapo is half the price of the used one, and you realize that there must be alot of chinese using them, you want to give it a second look. So are there any chinese hammer drill aficionados out there?

Best to all of you,

jc
 
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Old 07-03-06, 06:17 PM
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Garbage

My boss has a knockoff heavy duty Makita lookalike. Total piece of junk. Big and heavy, but no power. Lots of fun carting around something that can't do the job.

You want a rotary hammer, not a hammer drill.

Lay out your holes and rent a Hilti rotary hammer. SDS bits max out at 1 and 1/8 inch, so I would consider a spline drive tool with more power. A SDS tool will probably be underpowered for your task.

Use a heavy duty extension cord.

Small holes, like up to 3/8 of an inch might be OK for your cheap drill. One inch holes, 12" deep, is not an easy task. I doubt your knockoff would complete the job.

Although Bosch and others make a fine hammer drill or rotary hammer, nothing I have used goes through concrete like a Hilti. If you value your time, hearing and hands, go and rent the proper tool to do the job.

Your cheapo hammer drill will take more than twice as long as you think.
 
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Old 07-03-06, 06:52 PM
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Thanks danksi, that's the kind of information I was looking for. I've seen the phony Makita hammer drills on eBay and the local Craigslist and I was tempted.

I've drilled about 10 holes using Makita and Rockwell hammer drills with 1/2" chucks (and a new 1" bit) and was spending 20-30 minutes per hole...so I'm very familiar with that grind (had to stop every 1-2 minutes just to rest my hand).

Right now I'm concentrating on used Hilti, Bosch, Hitachi rotary hammer drills and didn't realize that SDS plus only went up to 1 1/8th" sizes. I want to try wedge and feathers for splitting the concrete and probably will need a 1 1/2" hole.

I read a review that said spline drive bits were getting hard to find. Do you know if that's true. Also, where would I find wedge and feathers?

Just missed a used Hilti TE52, was outbit in the last 6 seconds by $3! I thinks that's the right direction to go for me, I'm not interested in giving my money away to a tool rental store.

Regards, jc
 
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Old 07-04-06, 08:52 PM
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The hex shank bits are usually compatible with a spline drive tool.

I would look at either the Bosch or Milwaukee websites to find out more about what bits are available. Get the part numbers and search for them from there.

Plenty of stuff on the Hilti site, but you have to go through a distributor.

You might want to consider a coring bit instead of a drill bit. At 1.5", you are removing less material with the coring bit and it might take less time. Milwaukee has a sweet setup that doesn't require a pilot bit. The only drawback is the coring bit depth (you will have to stop and remove the plug to drill deeper than the coring bit). Get the thick walled ones. I would rent each and try it out in your application.

Carbide coring bits and drill bits will not go through rebar, so you are SOL if you hit some. A diamond tipped coring bit and coring drill setup will make very short work of your project- not the same tool as a rotary hammer. Diamond tipped coring bits wll go through rebar and 12" of material no problem.

Wedge and feathers? Stuff for splitting stone? Got me where to get it. Try a search for stone cutting tools.

I got a factory recon Bosch rotary hammer with the spline drive for "cheap" on Amazon- about 30% off new.

Used tools sold on eBay used and abused by contractors might not be such a great buy. Caveat emptor.
 
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Old 11-04-06, 02:18 AM
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If anyone is still listening, here's the result of my quest for a hammer drill. I ended up with a used rotary hammer drill, Hitachi DH 38YE from eBay, $75 including shipping. It's a bit used looking, but works very well, is very powerful, came with 6 bits and a good case.

Compared with the Porter Cable hammer drill I had borrowed previously, it drills 1" holes(13" deep) in 60 seconds (the Porter Cable took 20-30 mins). Noisewise it's way more than half as quiet. I bought 6" feathers and wedge sets and they work but don't crack large enough sections and tend to get stuck in the thick concrete...so I spent a lot of time chiseling the stuck ones out.

I then ordered 12" feathers and wedge sets, and a 1 1/2" drill to match them. It takes about 5 minutes to drill the 13" deep holes but the wedge sets never get stuck and crack off large pieces of concrete. I should have gone with the large sets from the start but I was given the wrong advice by one of the companies that sells them.

Rotary hammer drills like the Hitachi (same league as the Hilti) are industrial tools, the plain consumer hammer drills are toys in comparison, they will work but are very slow with deep holes and also very noisy.

ps...I also bought the 1" and 1 1/2" drill bits on eBay, $25-$33 each, both new. The 6" feathers and wedge sets are $6 a set plus shipping, the 12" sets are $28 a set plus shipping...from a company in the midwest.

jc
 
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Old 11-04-06, 02:21 AM
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I forgot to mention that you can tell when you hit rebar (in the concrete) because the drill starts bouncing off of it. I was real careful to avoid it, but occasionally I'd bounce off of a hidden piece...the hole stops producing cement powder when that happens so it's fairly obvious.

jc
 
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Old 11-06-06, 12:17 PM
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Thanks for posting the follow-up. So few folks take the time to do that.
 
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Old 11-21-06, 09:54 PM
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Talking

I agree with you,"two days worth would probably pay for buying a used one",even a brand new one with somewhat good quality,you are right that many cheapo ones on eBay are made in China,I can say that part of the tools Chinese made are really poor quality,the poor quality tools occupy a 80% of the total Chinese tools,even higher,as there are over 1500 power tools in China,a big number of power tools factories are set up within 5 years.There are about 10% Chinese makers are in mid-heavy duty quality compare to Bosch,Dewalt etc.and a somewhat 2%-3% highest quality tools maker whose quality is about 85% of Bosch,Dewalt.
Diy tools like Mini-carving tool on Harborfreight at:http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx/xxx/xxxx/xxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx=xxxxx are bought from China at a price about $5.7/pc,I know this price as they bought from us.
In fact,many goods harborfreight buy from China and they has a purchasing center in Shanghai,as far as I learn many companies have business with them.

The fact is although you are capable of making a high quality tools in China,the problem is how to market the tools,as the market already has big names like Bosch,Dewalt,Makita,etc.No body would like to risk their money buying a non-name quality tools,but the situations is being changed.

It is always a hard work to change people's immanent thought,if anybody who would like to get a tool(value under $50),I would like to negociate to send you a free tool and the delivery charge should be collected by your side,I think this would be a part of the work to change your thoughts.
 

Last edited by DIYaddict; 11-22-06 at 07:38 AM. Reason: Edited out advertising info
 

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