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Old 15-07-2013, 05:43   #1
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Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

I'm considering getting one of those Milwaukee cordless power drill handles to operate the jib sheet winches on my sailboat. My advancing age is making it more difficult to tighten up on the jib sheets, and I don't want to make the significant investment in dedicated electric winches. Has anyone had experience with these power winch drill handles? Are they useful and practical to alleviate my diminishing physical strength issue?
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Old 15-07-2013, 05:50   #2
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

I have a Milwaukee 28v right angle drill with a winch bit. Works fine.
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Old 15-07-2013, 06:48   #3
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What about the capability to recharge the battery after a year or two. It has a chip (?) which prevents recharging?

Anyone come across this and can advise us of a solution?
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Old 15-07-2013, 06:57   #4
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

I used a right angle drill motor to crank up my anchor winch and it worked fine. I just used my inverter and plugged it in.
Same thing ought to work fine for sheet winches.
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Old 15-07-2013, 07:44   #5
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

My 28 volt Milwaukee is several years old and has had no problems, and I have, at least, two batteries at all times because I have some other tools as well.
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Old 15-07-2013, 07:49   #6
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
What about the capability to recharge the battery after a year or two. It has a chip (?) which prevents recharging?

Anyone come across this and can advise us of a solution?
The original battery with my drill was mostly junk, it went downhill pretty fast from the ability to hold a charge, used it ~3 years. Milwaukee designed a new battery, about a year into it, everything is good. Supposedly, new circuitry in the battery does a better job with charging algorithms.

I use the included charger off my inverter, pulls ~10-12a during charge and not much during float.
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Old 15-07-2013, 15:22   #7
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

We used one aboard our Mariner 40 ketch for years and we still have it aboard our trawler, but now it gets used as a drill. The original battery is holding up fine. We used it to haul me up the mast more than once. Chuck
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Old 16-07-2013, 08:00   #8
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

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I'm considering getting one of those Milwaukee cordless power drill handles to operate the jib sheet winches on my sailboat. My advancing age is making it more difficult to tighten up on the jib sheets, and I don't want to make the significant investment in dedicated electric winches. Has anyone had experience with these power winch drill handles? Are they useful and practical to alleviate my diminishing physical strength issue?
There have been several threads on this subject in past. If you do a search on the term Winch Buddy they will likely appear. We have been using one of the original 18 volt versions of the drill since 2005 to hoist our main, trim our head-sails and furl them when necessary. The unit still works very well and we have come to rely on it as I have lost much of the use of my left arm due to an accident. Our batteries seem to last two to three years each being used quit often each month all year long. We always have at least two batteries on the boat, one being charged on a 12v charger (when necessary) and the other in the drill. The batteries seem to recharge quite quickly with either the 12 volt or 120 volt chargers. There are dedicated winch drives of course, but then one looses the ability to use the drill as a drill.

Best wishes...
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Old 16-07-2013, 08:09   #9
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

Since we are on a trawler now, we will let our 18 volt Milwaukee with battery and charger go for a good price. We even have a spare chuck. If interested, PM me. Chuck
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Old 04-09-2013, 15:01   #10
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

Can anyone speak to this tool's ability to haul someone up the mast? I'm 225 of dead weight and quite a heavy load to have to hoist. I had a boat with a power winch and it was great for going aloft but it took a lot of torque (and amps) to get the job done so I really wonder about this handheld drill's abilities.

Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2013, 15:33   #11
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

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Can anyone speak to this tool's ability to haul someone up the mast? I'm 225 of dead weight and quite a heavy load to have to hoist. I had a boat with a power winch and it was great for going aloft but it took a lot of torque (and amps) to get the job done so I really wonder about this handheld drill's abilities.

Thanks!
Jack
With a large enough winch, it might be possible in theory. In practice, I wouldn't really want to try it. I cannot comment on the 28volt model but the 18 volt model generates about 600 in-lbs of torque. But, so heavily loaded continuously, will draw down the battery pretty quickly. The drill is good for hoisting a mainsail; trimming a head-sail; or, furling a head-sail but your use...?

FWIW...
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Old 04-09-2013, 15:35   #12
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

The Milwaukee 2610-20 18V drill is outstanding.

Combine that w/ their M18 Red Lithium XC 4.0 battery pack for twice the run time of the standard battery pack.
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Old 04-09-2013, 15:38   #13
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

I have the 28 volt right-hand drive unit with the winch bit. It is excellent for the purposes of grinding you to the masthead, providing an assist for sailing, etc. Get two battery packs and a spare winch bit (in case it drops over the side). You can find a version of this called the Winch Buddy, with a neoprene motor guard that disguises the Milwaukee logo.
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Old 04-09-2013, 17:15   #14
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

The 28 volt model is much stronger than the 18 volt one. I use it for all sorts of things, including winching a 200 lb crewmember to the top of a 72 foot mast. I have only one battery, since it charges so quickly. I always use it in "forward" as the chuck screw is easily broken. Using the drill in forward reduces the strain, although it means a two speed winch will be using the lower gear. But, that is fine. Buy a few extra chuck screws! The winch that raises either the person or the mainsail, which is over 800 heavy square feet is a Lewmar 44, used in low gear as above. The least expensive way to get this, that I could find, was getting the drill and extra chuck screws from Amazon, the winch bit from Winch Bit, and the neoprene cover from a company that makes a different type of winch bit, with just four sides. All told around $400. "Winch Buddy" sold the same thing for a cool grand!
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Old 04-09-2013, 18:55   #15
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Re: Milwaukee cordless winch drill - experiences?

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...
Combine that w/ their M18 Red Lithium XC 4.0 battery pack for twice the run time of the standard battery pack.
This battery pack must be something relatively new. Thanks for the news, a more enduring battery will be a major improvement. Do you know if the new battery can be recharged with the original charger or must that be replaced as well?
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