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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a corded drill at Harbor Freight the other day. At first it was fine. It had plenty of power and turned quickly. However, it's starting to get awfully hot and not cooling down very quickly.

And if I'm driving in a screw, if the screw isn't turning easily, the thing has started to emit smoke.

The heat isn't enough to burn my hand, but when I see smoke I get a little worried.
 

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Old School
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I bought a corded drill at Harbor Freight the other day. At first it was fine. It had plenty of power and turned quickly. However, it's starting to get awfully hot and not cooling down very quickly.

And if I'm driving in a screw, if the screw isn't turning easily, the thing has started to emit smoke.

The heat isn't enough to burn my hand, but when I see smoke I get a little worried.
Not that hot...take it back. Try an exchange before going for a different drill.





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Turning Wood Into Art
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If it is a cheapie then what you are experiencing would not particularly surprise me, however of it is a small drill bit you are using or a small gauge screw you are using it should not happen under small general use.

Dave The Turning Cowboy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was driving 3 inch long screws. Not terribly large screws, but long. I could also swear that the power output of the thing has also dropped since it started to smoke.

I have another cheapie drill (not Harbor Freight) which has kept on trucking for years. And it never gets that hot. When I run, not under load, I am getting hair dryer type air coming out of it.

I'm going to exchange it.

On the plus side I got one of their belt sanders today (half off, I couldn't resist) and so far it seems fine. I've actually had good luck with most of their stuff. If their freestanding bandsaw ever goes on sale I'm going to pick it up (with the 20% off coupon).
 

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Turning Wood Into Art
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Purrmaster said:
I was driving 3 inch long screws. Not terribly large screws, but long. I could also swear that the power output of the thing has also dropped since it started to smoke.

I have another cheapie drill (not Harbor Freight) which has kept on trucking for years. And it never gets that hot. When I run, not under load, I am getting hair dryer type air coming out of it.

I'm going to exchange it.

On the plus side I got one of their belt sanders today (half off, I couldn't resist) and so far it seems fine. I've actually had good luck with most of their stuff. If their freestanding bandsaw ever goes on sale I'm going to pick it up (with the 20% off coupon).
3 inch screws can be a struggle for drills if the motors are small. You ,ought want to look at an impact driver if you are likely to be much of it or pre-drill the hole

Dave The Turning Cowboy
 

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Turning Wood Into Art
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Sorry, iPad, auto spell and touch keyboard leads to all sorts of typos. It was meant to say you 'might' like to look at an impact driver

Dave The Turning Cowboy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I exchanged it for another. The new one is doing the same thing. It smokes when I try to drive in a screw. It's too bad because I was hoping to use it when I got the Kreg pocket hole jig. That jig requires a higher RPM speed than my current drill can do. But the HF drill says it spins at 4,000 RPM. But if it can't drive screws it'll be of little use.

I don't think the drills were defective. I think they simply didn't have enough power and the strain overheated the drill. I think this is especially true when the screw wasn't moving quickly. Therefore the drill motor wasn't turning quickly enough for the air cooling of the drill. I might keep it around for light duty drilling. But at that point, why have a corded drill?
 

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John
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I exchanged it for another. The new one is doing the same thing. It smokes when I try to drive in a screw. It's too bad because I was hoping to use it when I got the Kreg pocket hole jig. That jig requires a higher RPM speed than my current drill can do. But the HF drill says it spins at 4,000 RPM. But if it can't drive screws it'll be of little use.

I don't think the drills were defective. I think they simply didn't have enough power and the strain overheated the drill. I think this is especially true when the screw wasn't moving quickly. Therefore the drill motor wasn't turning quickly enough for the air cooling of the drill. I might keep it around for light duty drilling. But at that point, why have a corded drill?
Good question.
Is this the drill?
http://www.harborfreight.com/power-...nch-variable-speed-reversible-drill-3670.html
That only has a 3 amp motor so I suspect you're right about overloading it. Stirring paint would likely tax it at those high speeds. Kreg recommends a minimum 2000 rpm so I'd recommend looking for something in the 6+ amp range. Lower amperage motors can handle the loads by gearing the speed down. High rpm capabiliy plus low amperage capacity is the worst of both worlds.

I use one of these. A little more money but never an issue:
http://www.cpopowertools.com/factor...html?start=8&cgid=dewalt-reconditioned-drills
:yes:
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is precisely it. Yet my other drill is very similar in specs. It's a Benchtop model. Something Kmart was selling for a while. It just keeps on going. And it only does about 1,200 RPMs.

I wonder if Harbor Freight jacked up the RPMs on this drill as a marketing point. I wondered why the speed was so much higher than my other drill.
 

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High speed isn't relative to driving screws, but torque is. IMO, screws should be driven in slowly, not fast. There's the propensity for the bit to jump out of the head, or get dislodged from the screw head and spin in the head destroying it. High speed can also heat up the screw, and cause it to break. High speed could allow the screw to be overdriven, and when tight to continue to spin, even if it's only a few turns, which can strip out the screw hole rendering it useless.

Cordless VSR drills used to drive screws set on low speed have more torque than an electric drill. They operate smoother and with better trigger control than electric drills. Driving in screws slowly to almost tight, and then bumping the trigger to tighten provides a good seat for the screw. I would also recommend drilling a countersunk pilot hole before inserting the screw.

There's good reasons to countersink. Many screws have a beveled base to the head. If the hole isn't slightly countersunk, as the screw draws down, the beveled base of the head meets resistance to the wood surrounding the hole. What happens then is that it doesn't seat completely. In our efforts to make the screw seat flat, there is the propensity to push down and turn hard to accomplish that. Many screws, especially small box hardware screws don't have aggressive threads, and it strips the hole.







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The most common problem in failed power drills is overheating. The most common cause is people cover the cooling vents with the other hand.
However, the one you describe sounds like a lemon. Go for an exchange, if the problem persists, go for a differant brand.
A lot of those offshore, as well as the domestic ones are very odd in that you can buy a dozen of them and 11 will be lemons but the 12th one will just keep going & going & going, (sounds like a commercial,) and take a lick'n and keep on tick'n.(Sounds like another commercial.)
 

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where's my table saw?
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impact drivers for driving screws!

Drills for drilling holes! After the cordless impact drivers came on scene the contractors use them exclusively for driving screws, not drills. I have both an 18 V Dewalt and and 18 V Milwaukee which are awesome for driving screws. Battery life is really the only issue on a large job and you have to have a few spares charged up! :thumbsup:

I also find myself covering the vent holes occasionally but then half to reposition my hand to prevent overheating....
 

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High speed isn't relative to driving screws, but torque is. IMO, screws should be driven in slowly, not fast. There's the propensity for the bit to jump out of the head, or get dislodged from the screw head and spin in the head destroying it. High speed can also heat up the screw, and cause it to break. High speed could allow the screw to be overdriven, and when tight to continue to spin, even if it's only a few turns, which can strip out the screw hole rendering it useless.

Cordless VSR drills used to drive screws set on low speed have more torque than an electric drill. They operate smoother and with better trigger control than electric drills. Driving in screws slowly to almost tight, and then bumping the trigger to tighten provides a good seat for the screw. I would also recommend drilling a countersunk pilot hole before inserting the screw.

There's good reasons to countersink. Many screws have a beveled base to the head. If the hole isn't slightly countersunk, as the screw draws down, the beveled base of the head meets resistance to the wood surrounding the hole. What happens then is that it doesn't seat completely. In our efforts to make the screw seat flat, there is the propensity to push down and turn hard to accomplish that. Many screws, especially small box hardware screws don't have aggressive threads, and it strips the hole.







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Well stated!

Too many people use high speed to drive screws.

One question, what is a "cordless VSR drill?"

George
 

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I just noticed this thread is 2 months old.... oh well, here is what I wanted to bring up.....



By all means, return that drill (the second one too). In layman's terms....... The smoke that you see is the insulation on the wire that is in the motor windings. This insulation is usually a microthin coating so that the wires when wrapped around on top of each other keeps the wires from shorting out. When the motor is asked to do too much work than what it is designed for, it tries to use more power that the windings were designed for, and the wires overheat, melting the insulation. This then "shorts" out the windings, thus making the drill less powerful, and it gets weaker exponentially. Once you "smoke" an electric motor, it will never work the way it was originally designed.

Thought you might want to know why the motor was smoking.....

hope this helps.
 
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