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Author Topic: Drills in Cold Weather  (Read 526 times)

Offline tswoboda

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Drills in Cold Weather
« on: Feb 05, 2018, 06:18 PM »
How are the current drills handling cold weather?  Will they work down to -30F if I keep the battery inside my jacket?  Is battery life and performance greatly affected?  Any brands better than others in the cold - Milwaukee, Dewalt, Ridgid?

I know from first hand experience Jiffy and Eskimo propane won't work below about -15F, even with the propane tank kept warm inside your jacket.  I watched a SM 40 volt drill holes like a champ on a -27F morning this year so I know they are solid in the cold.

Just for some background, the few days I'll fish in this weather each year start with a 1 hour snowmobile ride.  So keeping the whole drill warm isn't really an option.  Only realistic option is to keep the batteries warm in my jacket.

Offline Gills-only

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Re: Drills in Cold Weather
« Reply #1 on: Feb 05, 2018, 06:23 PM »
Donít know about -30* but the Milwaukee drills work in the cold better than any I have seen !!   I have fished at -10* with no problems.

Offline SKIFFLAKEJIMMY

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Re: Drills in Cold Weather
« Reply #2 on: Feb 05, 2018, 06:29 PM »
I have a DeWalt that seemed to be struggling a few weeks ago. I put it in a little canvas bag with a couple of handwarmers the other day No problems.
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Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Drills in Cold Weather
« Reply #3 on: Feb 05, 2018, 06:37 PM »
I have no actual auger experience with propane but based on other propane applications my confidence level decreases exponentially as the temp drops below zero. I've seen electrics "fail" in sub zero but I have a suspicion that it's more about the battery than the drill itself.

I've got a pair of Tecumseh powered Strikemasters that pop reliably on the 3rd pull (max) down to -26F, the breadth of my real experience.

I believe if you could keep the propane/batteries warm there's no reason to expect substandard performance. So propane, gotta warm the bottle and keep it warm for as long as you want to use it. Logistically that's challenging.

Batteries same deal. However, since I bought into a MKE mud mixer/K-Drill combo my plan is to stow my 2 5Ah  batteries in a small, soft 6 pack cooler with one of those dry chem handwarmers if it's bitter cold. I figure if it's that cold I can swap in a warm battery any time and expect the usual great performance. Even if I upgrade to a 9Ah battery I'd still run the cooler arrangement with a 5Ah battery as a spare and the opportunity to warm up the 9 if necessary. I have not had occasion to test this procedure but I think there's some sound science backing it up.

2 cents... Ka-ching!
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Offline redneckdan

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Re: Drills in Cold Weather
« Reply #4 on: Feb 11, 2018, 11:28 PM »
I've had no issues here in northern Minnesota. Auger lives on the front of the wheeler.

Offline Shack man Shoney

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Re: Drills in Cold Weather
« Reply #5 on: Feb 14, 2018, 02:15 PM »
I have never needed to keep Milwaukee batteries warm. Coldest i have fished them is -20F. They are outstanding and by far the best IMO.

Offline Gills-only

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Re: Drills in Cold Weather
« Reply #6 on: Feb 14, 2018, 02:31 PM »
I have never needed to keep Milwaukee batteries warm. Coldest i have fished them is -20F. They are outstanding and by far the best IMO.
.       Iíll second that !!

Offline alaska mike

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Re: Drills in Cold Weather
« Reply #7 on: Feb 15, 2018, 01:20 PM »
If you research nicad and lithium batteries properties, cold temperatures  have very little effect on lithium where nicad has a significant power loss in cold.  Almost all the newer cordless drills are running lithium battteries for the cold temperature resistance and almost no charging memory effect.
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Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Drills in Cold Weather
« Reply #8 on: Feb 15, 2018, 08:01 PM »
I'll agree with the tenacity of lithium batteries in the cold. Had a FishHawk hand held depthfinder that would just be useless in freezing temps (- 32F). Got with their support and they recommended lithium batteries. I bought into a pile of Energizer lithium AAs and never had a problem after that.

I have no direct evidence/experience (yet) but I can't help but think that if it's cold enough even lithium will have its limits. Anecdotally, I was with a guy earlier this year with a Milwaukee HoleHawg and a new 9Ah battery. Less than 20 holes in 8" of ice and he was done. All name brand stuff, new not reconditioned. Air temp was -10.

I'm into a Milwaukee Mud Mixer and a pair of 5Ah batteries. So far I've not had an issue. Time will tell.
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