Harbor Freight Variable Speed 0-3000 R.P.M. Drill Test

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Forum topic by Sanderguy777 posted 04-17-2015 08:31 AM 1104 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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176 posts in 1199 days

04-17-2015 08:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question drill-driver drilling boring

I recently drilled some holes in a piece of 3/4” plywood. It is the work surface of my workbench and I needed some dog holes in it. I was using my DeWalt DC759 drill ( 0-450 or 0-1500 R.P.M.) and it started to get hot or at least warmer than I think it should. I had been putting my hand over the air vents in the rear of the drill so I quit doing that, but it was still warm. I was using a spade bit to drill about 20 or 30 holes, so I decided that instead of killing my good drill I should burn up a cheap one. One of the many left-overs of the last owners of this house is a HF drill (0-3000 R.P.M.). I had actually considered one of these when I found out that we where going it move here, but I never got one because someone gave us this DeWalt drill and an impact driver that I love.

Anyway, I got the HF drill out and put the bit in and pulled the trigger. WOW! I can’t believe the power that drill has. I was spending about 30-45 seconds a hole with the DeWalt and I spent about 15-20 seconds a hole with the HF!

I am sold on the speed, but I was just wondering why the HF did so well. I can hold the drill chuck and stop it from moving so there is no torque, just speed. Was it working that well because of the speed or what? I was using the same bit, the only difference is maybe I was pushing the HF a little harder. Even that shouldn’t change the time that much though.

I was just wondering about your guys’ thoughts on the performance of these two drills.

The other question I have is: What is the best speed for boring holes? I heard somewhere that 1 (high torque, low speed) is best for drilling and screwing. But I have tried it and it seems to work better on 2 (high speed, low torque) except when I am drilling metal. What is really the best setting?

3 replies so far

View Sanderguy777's profile


176 posts in 1199 days

#1 posted 04-17-2015 09:21 AM

By the way, I was using a Ryobi spade bit that came in about a $16 set. DON’T EVER BUY IT. My dad got it for some reason I can’t fathom. We never used it till a year after he got it and when I did, I found that the screw bit holder was bent. I can understand that as it is a two piece thing, but then I found the cherry on the cake. One of the brad point bits ( 1/4” I think) was also bent! It also got very dull after only two or three holes in 3/4” pine.

In short, if you are interested in a cheap drill set that is not straight and gets dull almost immediately, this is the set for you!! I have no experience with other Ryobi products and have no intention in ever having it. I bought some Milwaukee screw driving bits that I LOVE. I also got a Ridged screw driving bits and a set of drilling bits. Both Ridged sets came in stack able cases and the Milwaukee came in an even nicer case. I have never used better bits than the Milwaukee ones but the ridged are pretty good too.

Long story short, if I were to buy more bits, they would be Milwaukee.

View rwe2156's profile


2925 posts in 1478 days

#2 posted 04-17-2015 10:03 AM

If you’re using a spade bit you’ll get the crispest hole having the bit at full speed before entering wood.

The ones with spurs work pretty decent, but the normal flat bottom spades are going to chew the wood.

Other than that you could get a big brad point.

When I build my barn 26 years ago I didn’t have a heavy duty 1/2” drill. I picked up an Ohio Forge drill and must have drilled at least 50 3/4” holes for through bolts. The bad thing about it was the lock lever was right where your thumb goes on the side, so it was constantly locking.

Make a long story short, it was an absolute wrist breaker (and still is!) compared to my DeWalt 1/2” hammer drill, which I can easily overheat and stall out. No way you can stall out that Ohio Forge, tho. I think its made by Chicago Electric.

I’ve bought a couple 4” grinders from HF just as basically “throw aways” because I’m too lazy to change wheels, so I keep a grinder, a cutter and a wire wheel on 3 of those $18 grinders. One of them has got to be at least 10 years old and the switch finally went.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Sanderguy777's profile


176 posts in 1199 days

#3 posted 04-18-2015 09:39 AM

I have never stopped a drill by over heating it. I actually didn’t know it was possible. I have the spade bits with spurs but they still aren’t as good as auger bits.

I stopped the HF drill by holding the chuck, it never got lose to over heating. I have never really tried to stop the DeWalt that way but I don’t want to find out that it is a lemon when I am $100 and 6300 miles away from a replacement!!!

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