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Milwaukee Hole Hawg question

AhneedHelp's picture

After using a rental Hole Hawg, I want to get one.

Is there anything I should be aware of before taking the plunge ?

(I'm aware of the wrist snapping torque at 300-rpm.)

Quality still up-to-par on the new units these days ?

It will not see daily professional use - it's mostly for the occasional heavy dose during projects.

Thanks for any insight.

(post #121464, reply #1 of 19)

Check out Power Tool Services for recon units. You might also try Tool Crib/Amazon to see if they if they have any available. The recon tools have the factory warranty and can save you some $. As for Hole Hawg quality I can't say but my most recent Milwaukee purchases (drill, router, jigsaw) have been top notch.

(post #121464, reply #2 of 19)

I love mine, its been great, worth every penny

(post #121464, reply #3 of 19)

Thanks for the replies.

I'm a bit confused by the different versions of the same drill.

1676-6, with steel case

1675-6, no steel case ?

1675-7.....this number assigned to the refurbished unit at Power Tool Services web site. No steel case.

Am I reading this right ?


Edited 7/14/2003 5:25:59 PM ET by Ahneedhelp

(post #121464, reply #4 of 19)

According to Milwaukee, the 1676-6 no longer comes with the steel case although Amazon still mentions the steel case.

It has been replaced with the plastic case....

And the 1675-7 is the code for refurbished Hole Hawgs and it does not come with the case.

1675-6 is the Hole Hawg without the case, which is what Lowes sells.

(post #121464, reply #5 of 19)

jc -

Thanks for the link for the reconditioned Hole Hawgs.

Great pricing that is hard to pass up.

(post #121464, reply #6 of 19)

Milwaukee upped the ante with the introduction of a new "super" hole hawg.  It has 13 amps (compared to 7.5 in original).  It also has a low speed clutch to prevent breaking arms and throwing you off a ladder.  Its a hoss, weighing 14.5 lbs.  It is sweeeeeeet.

(post #121464, reply #7 of 19)

It also has a low speed clutch to prevent breaking arms and throwing you off a ladder.  Its a hoss, weighing 14.5 lbs.  It is sweeeeeeet.


Yes, I noticed that.

It's a beast with a price to match.

The clutch is perhaps Milwaukee's answer to the Dewalt DW-124K, which has similar specs to the Hole Hawg but adds the mechanical clutch for the 300 rpm setting.

It actually got a favorable review, I think from Rex Cauldwell, mainly because of the clutch.

The Super Hawg looks like the DW-124K but with much higher amp rating compared to the DW-124K's 8 amp.

I think I can be careful enough to stay out of trouble with the Hole Hawg - the $200 refurbished deal is awfully tempting.

Until then I am making do with an old Sears Industrial 1/2" drill that's working just fine. DeWalt's DW131 1/2" spade handle drill looks like a fairly close copy of it.

(post #121464, reply #8 of 19)

Can't beatem have had a single speed holehawg for 20 years, one rebuild did retrofit blown in insulation drilling 2"& 21/2" holes all day long through sidewalls. Went through 2, 2 speeds in one year too much torque at 300 rpm for second & third story work off ladders, and 1200 rpm was killing the helical gears so I got a single speed 900 rpm. Its a BEASTas far as as the amount of work I've thrown at it. only use 300 rpm when it's braced with the pipe handle and preferably on the floor.

(post #121464, reply #9 of 19)

Greenlee, and others companies less proud of their names ($), make several useful attachments for the Hole Hog drills. The one I'm most familiar with is a bracket and a small windless. I have used one to pull cables into conduit, it saves a lot of sweat and, once you gain a little experience, is quite controllable. A friend uses a similar rig and a pulley attached to the top of a ladder to slide lumber and shingles up to roofs.

This drill is, assuming that electrical power is available, easily adaptable to driving a heavy duty hand winch. Amazing what can be pulled or lifted into place with one of these setups. I watched a similar drill attached to a worm drive winch drag a truck out of a swamp. 

These drills are beasts of burden. The one I used is at least five years old and gets used, and abused, nearly daily. It is scratched and dinged but unbowed. I have seen it sink a 2-1/2" bit through 16" of solid Florida heart pine, reported to be extinct since the 30s, again and again. Don't let the word pine fool you this stuff is hard, tough and inherently sticky. I have seen other industrial model drill stop half way through where the sap solidifies and cements the bit in place. If I had to buy a heavy duty drill, something that might be coming up soon, it would be a Hole Hog.

As noted beware the torque and backlash should a bit bind. I have seen one broken arm, a dislocated shoulder and several flying helpers caused by this effect but with proper respect and preparations this can be controlled.

(post #121464, reply #10 of 19)

Wow, thanks for mentioning other uses for the Hole Hawg.

I can definitely use it for pulling cable, among other uses.

The bone breaking high torque is intimidating.

Sure hope being careful is enough to stay out of trouble.

When I was ignorant of the potential danger I nearly broke my wrist with a 18-V cordless while drilling holes into the soil with an auger bit for tulip bulbs.

After that close call several years ago I've always been extra careful.

The rental Hole Hawg used last year for a wiring project was very impressive and I treated it with the utmost respect.

(post #121464, reply #11 of 19)

Found Greenlee's Lil' Tugger Cable Puller at their web site.

Catalog # 1201.

Very nifty setup.

(post #121464, reply #12 of 19)

ebay has them all the time- new ones, some even in the box with warranty, usually go for $180-200.


(post #121464, reply #13 of 19)

Thanks for the tip.

I'm not very keen on using e-bay because of the PayPal requirements by many sellers.

Also, not sure why new ones would go for such a price, which is what the refurbished units are going for.

I guess it's possible some folks need to unload news ones that they bought, but it would be just as easy to get a full refund from where they bought it if it was a legit purchase.

Having said that, I'll check e-Bay out of curiosity.

Thanks again.

(post #121464, reply #14 of 19)

you know, i've always wondered about the same things- BUT- i've gotten some absolutely perfect tools for excellent prices from time to time.  just make sure you check the sellers feedback ratings- most reputable ones are over 99%.  i doubt home depot has only one negative experience in every hundred customers. good luck!



(post #121464, reply #15 of 19)

re - just make sure you check the sellers feedback ratings- most reputable ones are over 99%.  i doubt home depot has only one negative experience in every hundred customers. good luck!


Thanks, Mitch.

Haven't browsed through e-Bay yet.

Good point about Home Dump - I don't make it over there very often.

The factory refurbished units are looking very attractive at the moment.

(post #121464, reply #16 of 19)

i've had great experience with recon'd units of all major makes, too.  the way i see it, those tools get a second pass thru quality control.  from what i've heard, most of them are store demos that have never actually been used at all anyway.  my milwaukee 3107 rt-angle drill is a recon and i defy anyone to distinguish it from new.  btw- if you're not really sure you need something quite as a$$kicking as a hole hawg, the 3107 is not exactly a nancyboy unit. 

don't forget that big rt-angles are also indispensible for mixing thinset, mortars, plasters, etc. with a mixing head/paddle.  smaller drills don't have the low speed torque for a bucket full of that stuff and it overheats them pretty quickly.  by mixing faster (and better), it leaves you with a longer workable potlife of whatever you're using if you don't take as long to stir a batch up.


(post #121464, reply #17 of 19)

re - don't forget that big rt-angles are also indispensible for mixing thinset, mortars, plasters, etc. with a mixing head/paddle.


Thanks for the tip.

I've been fluffing up joint compound this week with a large paddle and an old Sears industrial drill (780 rpm).

I've also used the Hole Hawg for mixing but the first time I made the mistake of not securing the bucket.

Bucket went spinning and threw compound everywhere.

Live and learn.

(post #121464, reply #18 of 19)

Most of my current equipment is recon and my experience matches yours; I've been well pleased. It still pays to shop around though; recon availability varies- you can't always find what you want when you need it and sometimes I've found closeouts/ specials that are a better deal than recon equipment.

Edited 7/17/2003 11:39:32 AM ET by jc

(post #121464, reply #19 of 19)

Anybody have experience rebuilding the gear set in one of these or knows if Milwaukee will sell a gear set?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

I was talking with a plumber about Hole Hawgs he mentioned that he and his crew were fairly rough on them and went through about half a dozen over the years, they blow out the gears.

Now that he is retired he still has one but with some gear problems. He would probably sell it cheap.

He also said he wouldn't buy one used without doing a test bore with it.


Scott R.
Scott R.