What Drill Should I Use with My Homebrew Grain Mill?

grain mill drillPhoto via our Monster Mill Review

What drill should I use with my homebrew grain mill?

It’s a common question.  I’ve experienced a swing and a miss in this area myself, thinking “This cordless drill has got to work with my mill” and when it arrived, nope, not even close.

This resource shares some feedback that we’ve received from other homebrewers when we asked… What drill do you use with your homebrew grain mill?


Related Resources:


Ground Rules

This is a collection of feedback we’ve received from homebrewers.  Their experience is not a guarantee that you will have the same experience.  Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

For some drills, we’ll link a specific product page when we know the exact model.  For others we’ve linked to search results to help you shop around.  Note that multiple variations of some products may be available, that means a different model may show up.  Also tools specs and capabilities can change over the years.

Can You Help Expand This Resource?

What do you use?  Let’s compile a list of drill models that work with particular grain mills.

Email me as much of the following info as you can…

  • Your Grain Mill Model
  • Your Drill Manufacturer and Model
  • If you can… a picture or video of your drill and mill in action
  • Any general thoughts you have on your drill/mill combo.
  • First name and last initial so we can thank you in the finished post or let us know you’d like to be anonymous.

Cereal Killer


Brian S: Ridgid 18V Li-Ion 1/2in VSR HAMMER Drill

Comments: Easily grinds 35 pounds of grain. I’m sure it will do tons more I have really never tested the limits on a fresh battery.

Photo courtesy of Brian S

Damien P: PORTER-CABLE PCC601LB 20V Max 1/2-Inch Lithium Ion Drill/Driver

Comments:  I use a Porter Cable cordless drill, PCC601 Drill Driver. I use it on the low speed 0-350 rpm setting.  I milled about 27 lbs of pilsner this morning. On my mill it doesn’t need to go full speed to start milling, but it’s fairly quick if I do. I generally go slower to reduce dust but was in a rush today.

Dan F: Makita BDF452

Comments: Works great, never had an issue

Justin C: DEWALT Electric Drill, Pistol-Grip, 1/2-Inch, 10-Amp (DWD210G)

Comments: Drill is plenty of torque for mill, will sometimes jolt mill off bucket with how much torque it has. The mill works ok, but having put 400-500 lbs of grain through it, it’s starting to show signs of wear and not holding the crush gap to where I want. I have to check the gap everytime I brew now. I think I’m going to move to a monster mill two roller in the near future.

DJ: Ryobi P271 One+ 18 Volt Lithium Ion 1/2 Inch 2-Speed Drill Driver

Comments:  It works well for me. One fully charged battery will last me one session for a 5-10 gallon. The drill has a secondary speed which i didn’t really find too helpful and don’t use. The versatility is fantastic as I use it for all my home projects. The batteries are backward and forward compatible so I could easily upgrade the battery if I ever want.  The one downside is that the cereal killer has a round shaft with one flat edge. The drill sometimes doesn’t get a good grip and spins. I suspect that it may be damaging the jaws but I have yet to run into any real issue.

Barley Crusher


Jon R: SKIL 6335-02 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Corded Drill

Photo courtesy of Jon R: A picture of the crush Jon gets with his Barley Crusher

Steven M: Chicago Electric 63116, 1/2”

Comments: Mounted to a custom cabinet

Photo courtesy of Steven M

Shane B: CRAFTSMAN CMCD700 V20 20-Volt Max 1/2-in Cordless Drill Driver

Comments: I use the Hullwrecker from NB also, replacing a Barley Crusher after 5 years that was worn out. On both the drill i used is a 2 speed Craftsman CMCD700. Speed 1 is low speed, high torque and is perfect for crushing grains and for using a step-bit to port stainless steel and aluminum kettles and mash tuns.

Monster Mill MM2


Bob C: Makita Model DA4000 – Search Amazon for “Makita Angle Drill”

Comments: Drill designed for plumbing, total beast.

Photo courtesy of Bob C

Dorri W: Ridgid Gen5X 18V Hammer Drill – Search Amazon for “Ridgid Gen5X 18V Hammer Drill”

Comments: Works great. I’m on about my 10th 5 gallon batch (12 to 16 pounds of grain each) and I’ve only had to swap batteries once. Drill doesn’t have any trouble running the mill.

Jon R: CHICAGO ELECTRIC 1/2 In. Heavy Duty Spade Handle Drill

Comments: I’ve been using this combo for over 2 years now and it works great. The drill has more than enough power to handle whatever grain you need to mill. You can remove the side handle and replace it with a bolt to attach it to you’re milling setup.

Monster Mill MM3


Jason S: Chicago Electric Heavy Duty Low Speed 1/2” drill.

Photo courtesy of Jason S

George B: Ryobi 18 Volt Drill – Search Amazon for “Ryobi 18 Volt Drill”

Comments:  I’m using a Malt Muncher 3-roller paired to a Ryobi 18v drill. I’ve used three different models of Ryobi 18v drills, from the old blue ones, the standard green one, to the more expensive hammer drill. They all have enough power.

As you can see, it’s easy enough for my 4-year-old daughter to use. I switch it down to the low-speed high-torque setting, and it chews through barley malt. Wheat malt is another story. It feels like I’m cracking nuts to get wheat through the mill, but the drill doesn’t bind. I just have to squeeze the trigger a bit harder.

Photo courtesy of George B

Bob A: DEWALT DCD950KX 18-Volt XRP 1/2-Inch Drill/Driver/Hammerdrill Kit

Video Courtesy of Bob A

Kegland MaltMuncher


Jon D: Hitachi DS 18DVF3 – Search Amazon for “Hitachi 18 Volt Drill”

Photo courtesy of Jon D

Kegco KM11GM-3R Grain Mill

Kegco KM11GM-3R Grain Mill with 11 lb. Hopper and 3 Rollers via Amazon


Christian R: VonHaus 10 Amp 1/2” Heavy Duty Drill Mud Mixer with Spade Handle and Variable Speeds For Drilling and Mixing

Comments: You can set the speed, change the direction, and it’s 10Amps of power. It works very well for my 3-roller mill, but I’ve only used it twice. I would be concerned about it holding up long-term, since the majority of the internal components look like flimsy plastic. But only time will tell.

Marc B: Ryobi 3/8” D46C

Comments: Any general thoughts you have on your drill/mill combo – I had a 3’8” drill but mills are ½”. Rather than buy an expensive drill I found a 2-13mm adaptor that fits my 3/8” drill chuck

See: 1 pc Keyless 1/16″ – 1/2″ Capacity with 1/4″ Hex Adapter Drill Chuck

Fred B: CRAFTSMAN Drill / Driver, 7-Amp, 1/2-Inch (CMED741)

Comments: I’m using a cheapo Craftsman CMED741, corded hammer drill, I bought from a big box store on sale, for about $40 on a Kegco 3 roller mill. I had two older Milwaukee drills that served me well in construction for over 30 years but I broke both gear boxes using the mill. I use the hammer drill on the regular rotary setting (NOT the hammer setting!) and the gear box is sturdier than a standard rotary drill. Hope this helps!’

Northern Brewer Hullwrecker

Northern Brewer – Hullwrecker 2-Roller Grain Mill with Metal Base and Handle via Amazon


Shane B: CRAFTSMAN CMCD700 V20 20-Volt Max 1/2-in Cordless Drill Driver

Comments: I use the Hullwrecker from NB also, replacing a Barley Crusher after 5 years that was worn out. On both the drill i used is a 2 speed Craftsman CMCD700. Speed 1 is low speed, high torque and is perfect for crushing grains and for using a step-bit to port stainless steel and aluminum kettles and mash tuns.

Ryan: Milwaukee M18 Fuel Cordless Drill – Search Amazon for “Milwaukee M18 Fuel Drill”

Comments: I use the Hullwrecker from Northern Brewer that I received as a Christmas gift a few years back. Drill is a Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless drill. It crushes grain. No complaints.  Fuel cordless tools are hard to beat unless you want to spend too dollar on Hilti tools.

Unknown Mills

This is feedback we’ve received drills that people use, but we’re unsure exactly which mill is being used.

Dan K: Ryobi 18 Volt 1/2″ Inch Cordless Drill With Led Light – P208B

Comments: Works great

Ed F: SKIL 6335-02 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Corded Drill

Crankandstein Mill

Matthew B: 1/2 In. Heavy Duty D-Handle Variable Speed Reversible Chicago Electric Drill

Jonathan S: Black and Decker corded drill 7252

Comments: Drill bolted to cart through handle.  C Clamp keeps drill switch engaged.  Drill Wired to light switch.  Drill been used about 13 yrs still going strong no longer works in reverse knock on wood .

 

Photo courtesy of Jonathan SPhoto courtesy of Jonathan S

Corona/Victoria Mill

Search Amazon for “Corona Mill”


Jimmy J: SKIL 6335-02 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Corded Drill

Comments: I use a Corona/Victoria mill and my drill of choice is a skil 7Amp 3/8 corded drill. This may be overkill but it works well. This drill would easily work with a roller mill, I haven’t needed to upgrade from this setup.

Homebrew Reviews: Grain Mills

Also: All Grain Tips & Gear | 10 Gallon Mash Tun Conversion Kit [Review] | Cereal Killer Grain MIll |  Batch Sparge SpreadsheetBIAB Brew Day Spreadsheet | The Brew Bag – Purpose Made BIAB

More: Our Last Fifty Finds!


Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. toppost:drills tag:tpr

6 thoughts on “What Drill Should I Use with My Homebrew Grain Mill?

  1. Ed

    From a recommendation, I picked up the SKIL 6335-02 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Corded Drill. It is variable speed, controllable through trigger squeeze. I can run it nice and slow, and at a fairly steady speed. I do half barrel batches, and it only takes a few minutes. Solidly built. I only use it for grain, so hoping it’ll last. Runs 50 bucks on Amazon, but I got a deal through this website and paid $24.

    Reply
  2. Fred Blumenauer

    I’m using a cheapo Craftsman CMED741, corded hammer drill, I bought from a big box store on sale, for about $40 on a Kegco 3 roller mill. I had two older Milwaukee drills that served me well in construction for over 30 years but I broke both gear boxes using the mill. I use the hammer drill on the regular rotary setting (NOT the hammer setting!) and the gear box is sturdier than a standard rotary drill. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  3. Shane

    I use the Hullwrecker from NB also, replacing a Barley Crusher after 5 years that was worn out. On both the drill i used is a 2 speed Craftsman CMCD700. Speed 1 is low speed, high torque and is perfect for crushing grains and for using a step-bit to port stainless steel and aluminum kettles and mash tuns.

    Reply
  4. Ryan

    I use the Hullwrecker from Northern Brewer that I received as a Christmas gift a few years back. Drill is a Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless drill. It crushes grain. No complaints. Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel cordless tools are hard to beat unless you want to spend too dollar on Hilti tools.

    Reply

Leave a Reply