Drill for grain mill question

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wsmith1625

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I finally got a drill for my Cereal Killer 2 roller grain mill and thought the specs looked good to get the job done. I bought a Hyper Tough 6-amp 1/2" corded hammer drill at Wal-Mart.

I took it out of the box to check it out and it seems to have decent weight for it's size. The steel keyed chuck looks nice too. I pulled the trigger and was able to lock the trigger just fine. Then I used the dial to slow the speed down to milling speed. That also worked nicely, but 2 things concern me.

When running at slow speed, I was able to grab the chuck with my hand and stop it. Not much torque at all. I sped the drill up quite a bit and grabbed it again and it had more torque and slowed to a more appropriate milling speed.

The 2nd thing I noticed is that when I dialed in the speed and let it run for a few seconds at that speed, the speed seemed to get faster even though I had the trigger locked and speed dialed to a set position.

If this the normal function on these types of drills or did I just pick the wrong one?

 

Golddiggie

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When I used a drill to run my mill, it was a hammer drill (DeWalt). Had enough torque to it that if I didn't hold on tight it would get ripped out of my hands. It was cordless, so it ate through batteries pretty fast when running the mill.

Not surprised that the cheap WM drill is as you described. I suspect that "6 amp" rating is being rather generous. As in under zero load. Under load, who knows what it really has for power.
 
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wsmith1625

wsmith1625

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So when you show down your drill you don't lose torque?

Anyone with a Harbor Freight drill want to chime in with how it performs at low speed? It will probably be my next choice if I return this one
 
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wsmith1625

wsmith1625

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Dang, I thought corded was better. I have a 19.2v Craftsman that I didn't think about using because it's battery powered.
 

Golddiggie

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Nature of AC motors, at low speeds, compared with DC motors (cordless tools) is one of the reasons I never looked at setting up a corded drill for running my malt mill. Once I was able to get the motor from Monster, which has a gear reduction unit on it, I never looked back. IME, you want something like either gear reduction, or pully reduction, for these things IF going AC powered motors. Not talking about motors that switch from AC plugged in to DC driving it. Still if you look at most motors for drills, they're TINY.

BTW, gear reduction units, as well as pully setups, increase torque as you decrease speed.
 
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MikeCo

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How slow is your milling speed? I use a high-torque corded drill and run it at a moderate speed and it works great for milling. If I slow it down to just above hand-cranking speed, the torque is very low. I like the dial feature to set the speed, which my 20v DeWalt cordless drill does not have. I've also found that the corded drill makes it easier to drill holes into steel than my cordless.
 

hottpeper13

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I have the Harbor freight 1/2" drill ,with a 20% off coupon it was 19.00$. The "D" handle tucks under my arm so it doesn't twist. The mill is a 3 roller with the second set at .025,if I don't hold down the base plate it'll flip the whole thing. If I forget to mix up the grist that has rye in it , you can tell when the rye hits the rollers by the slow down and torque on the drill. I would set it up permanent but the mill free spins now and then and I have to free the 3rd roller sometimes.
 
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wsmith1625

wsmith1625

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I have the Harbor freight 1/2" drill ,with a 20% off coupon it was 19.00$. The "D" handle tucks under my arm so it doesn't twist. The mill is a 3 roller with the second set at .025,if I don't hold down the base plate it'll flip the whole thing. If I forget to mix up the grist that has rye in it , you can tell when the rye hits the rollers by the slow down and torque on the drill. I would set it up permanent but the mill free spins now and then and I have to free the 3rd roller sometimes.
Is this the one you're using? How are you controlling the speed? Their older models had a speed dial on the trigger, but they removed it for the new models.
9 Amp 1/2 in. Variable Speed D-Handle Drill
 

auburntsts

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I use my Ryobi cordless drill and it runs through a 10lbs grain bill like a champ. I buy plenty of Harbor Freight ”items” but power tools aren’t among them. Ya pays ya money and takes ya chances. At some point I might splurge and buy a dedicated motor for my mill but I really don’t brew enough to justify it, especially since my drill works just fine.
 

Jim R

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I have no idea how anyone could get through life without a good cordless drill irregardless of home brewing. Forget the cheap Harbor Freight crap. Just buy a nice cordless Dewalt or Milwaukee drill. You will use it for the next 30 years to fix stuff.
 

MikeCo

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Does anyone make a cordless drill with a trigger locking feature like some of the corded drills have? That's nice for allowing hands to be free for pouring grain into the hopper.

I had a nice Dewalt cordless drill I thought would last a long time. It was a 18v Ni-Cad model and after 7 or 8 years the batteries didn't hold a charge for very long, so I replaced it with a new 20v Lithium Ion version since Ni-Cad was more or less obsolete for drills. Hopefully the newer battery technology will allow me to keep this one longer.
 

Golddiggie

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I was able to get lithium ion batteries for my 18v DeWalt cordless tools. Since the original batteries I had for the 18v tools were not aging well (as you would expect from what they were). Not cheap, but it allowed me to use them until I swapped over to the 20v and 60v tools/items.
As for trigger lock, never even looked for that on a cordless tool.
 
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wsmith1625

wsmith1625

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I have no idea how anyone could get through life without a good cordless drill irregardless of home brewing. Forget the cheap Harbor Freight crap. Just buy a nice cordless Dewalt or Milwaukee drill. You will use it for the next 30 years to fix stuff.
I have a nice 19.2v Craftsman that I use for everything, but I want a dedicated drill for my grain mill. Once I find the right one, I want to mount it to the board and put switch on it to toggle on and off.
 

bracconiere

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i have a HF 1/2" old style with the speed lock....but judging from the picture of your's...mine has a gear box and a MAX RPM of like 600....

maybe look into "mud mixers"?

 

PCABrewing

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I have no idea how anyone could get through life without a good cordless drill irregardless of home brewing. Forget the cheap Harbor Freight crap. Just buy a nice cordless Dewalt or Milwaukee drill. You will use it for the next 30 years to fix stuff.
When you get sick of buying proprietary replacement batteries you can find a way to "get through life" without a cordless.
 

MaxStout

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Before I set up a dedicated motor, I used a Milwaukee Magnum corded drill. The torque was plenty adequate.

ahq1m.gif
 

MaxStout

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I had a Milwaukee corded that I used on the jobsite regularly.
You needed to be very careful that you were well positioned on the ladder in case that thing bit in a bit too hard!

Don't I know it. I had it come loose in my hands once while drilling with a big auger bit. I was even using the side handle. Luckily, I didn't have the drill locked on and it only spun a couple turns before it stopped, but it still slammed my wrist. Hurt like a biatch a couple days.
 

PCABrewing

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Don't I know it. I had it come loose in my hands once while drilling with a big auger bit. I was even using the side handle. Luckily, I didn't have the drill locked on and it only spun a couple turns before it stopped, but it still slammed my wrist. Hurt like a biatch a couple days.
Been there..
Similar, I had it pin my hand against the underside of the roof right where a roofing nail came through.
It was the model with the handle-length variable speed trigger. So when you felt it start to bite your natural reaction was to grab harder. Sometimes instinct is not the best way to go :confused:
 

marc1

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I got the Harbor Freight corded high torque one just for the grain mill. I recommend buying with AmEx for their automatic extended warranty because the quality is hit or miss there.
20220120_140252.jpg
 

hottpeper13

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My Harbor Freight drill is blue not red and has a "D" handle on the back I can tuck in my arm pit so it doesn't twist.
Are you guys with cordless drills using a 3 roller mill? Well my drill is 7 years old and used on a 3 roller and also drilled a bunch of mushroom logs. I think i got a hell of a deal at 19.00$
 

rizziot

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Honestly if you want a dedicated drill for your mill I would just buy a good quality used one. You will find them all over the place for a few bucks. I just looked on our local facebook marketplace and there are tons of corded dewalt, hitachi, etc. as well as cordless starting for about $30 (cordless at that price will usually require new batteries +100). If you don't have a good drill for normal every day use, then I agree with others on this thread ;), buy a decent drill for yourself AND milling, you will never regret it.
 

rhorwitz

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I purchased a cheap Central Machining 1/2" drill from Harbor Freight just for milling. It worked okay and at $29, I couldn't complain too much. However, as I graduated to 12 gallon batches, I noticed that the drill was overheating, emitting that magic smoke, earning it the nickname of 'Old Smokey'. Well, last month Old Smokey finally gave up the ghost and I give him his last rites before tossing him into the coffin (garbage can). My Kobalt 24V cordless has not taken over those duties and it does it without any complaints, and at any speed.
 

kevin58

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Does anyone make a cordless drill with a trigger locking feature like some of the corded drills have? That's nice for allowing hands to be free for pouring grain into the hopper.

I had a nice Dewalt cordless drill I thought would last a long time. It was a 18v Ni-Cad model and after 7 or 8 years the batteries didn't hold a charge for very long, so I replaced it with a new 20v Lithium Ion version since Ni-Cad was more or less obsolete for drills. Hopefully the newer battery technology will allow me to keep this one longer.

Before I motorized my mill I used something like this on my cordless drill... DEWALT 6 in. 100 lbs. Trigger Clamps (2-Pack) with 2.43 in Throat Depth-DWHT83149 - The Home Depot
 

Murph4231

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Cheep Chicago Electric and other cheaply made drills (craftsman) are never gonna hold up to much use. Some very good inexpensive models will do the job and hold up well for many years to come. In my business we use a bunch of cordless and corded tools. Ryobi, kobolt and makita are very reasonable and will perform well for turning a grain mill. I primarily use Ridgid and DeWalt for work but I currently us a heavy duty cordless makita hammer drill for crushing grain on a 3 roller geared mill. It does not have a locking trigger as that is not safe of a powerful drill but I never had an issue with it, always does a good job.
 

szap

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I got the Harbor Freight corded high torque one just for the grain mill. I recommend buying with AmEx for their automatic extended warranty because the quality is hit or miss there.View attachment 756363
This is the drill I have. Used both a cordless and plugin regular drill but felt like I had to run them at too high an RPM to get the torque I need. This does a good job.
 

DavidWood2115

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+1 on the Harbor Freight. I use mine to drive a Crankenstein 3GT. It is mounted to the cabinet with bolts in place of the side and back handles. A thumb screw allows me to adjust how far the trigger is depressed and thus the speed and the switch provides a separate on/off control. It's not visible in this picture, but I put a small strip of blue painters tape on the chuck to estimate the rotation rate.
1642712200277.jpeg
 

bracconiere

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random contribution....if a person found a junk low rpm drill, could a person yank the gear box off it, and stick a cheap motor in it to drive the gear reducer?
 

bracconiere

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Komodo

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I get OP was asking for drill, but if you are going to any trouble of building a holder for your drill it’s just as easy to build a holder for a small motor and switch. It’s maybe the single greatest thing I’ve done in 30 years of brewing. That dumb thing EATS grain.

 

Murph4231

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That reminds me of a mill I made back in the 90s. Took a 24 in aluminum shaft to a local trade school. Had them cut it in half and cut bearing shafts on each end with a key way on one end. Then had them knurl both shafts then I mounted them in a modified commercial jackshaft overhead door opener. Worked great but was simply to huge so a friend who has a HBS used it for a few years and no one knows where it ended up. It was cool to build but too big for even a HBS.
 
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wsmith1625

wsmith1625

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I used the cheap Walmart drill today because I am brewing tomorrow. It got the job done, but it heated up quite a bit so I am planning on returning it and getting the harbor Freight low speed drill. Even with the underpowered drill, it was so much nicer than doing it by hand.

BTW, first time drinking 90 minute IPA tonight. That beer is so well balanced, I feel like I can drink a sixer, but after 2, I'm calling it a night. I don't know why I waited so long. 🍻
 

Ridenour64

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I bought a Dewalt corded drill from lowes for maybe $50 serveral years ago. Before I even started brewing. When I bought a grain mill, didn’t think twice about it, hooked it up, worked perfect. I know 0 about the specs of my drill. All of my tools are corded just because I don’t like to worry about batteries. I think this is the one I have:

 

rallenhall

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