Milwaukee M18 FUEL High Impact Driver

This is one of those tools that only specific workers need. If you’re a linesman, do post and rail fences, plumbing/HVAC – any job requiring large holes in timber regularly – you need this. The rest of us just wish we needed it.

This tool is an M18 FUEL unit, meaning that it is brushless, and (by experience) that it packs a wallop.

Specs are as follows:

  • Model: M18CHIDH716 | 2765-22
  • Max Torque: 677 Nm | 500 ft lbs
  • Anvil type:  7/16” HEX quick change
  • Speed: 0-1,200 RPM / 0-1,700 Rpm
  • Weight: 3.5kgs | 7.7 lbs with battery
  • Length: 222mm | 8.75 inches

It has a variable speed trigger and electric brake. It just coasts through a 57mm hole in our weathered cypress pine post.

What else is there to say? If you need one, you’ll love it, it’s a beast. At AU$450 for a skin, you won’t probably won’t buy one to build your kids a cubby house.

OZ Tool Talk approves.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Grinder – 2780 / M18 CAG125XPD

Not long ago, cordless grinders were a convenience tool, for small tasks that would be over before you could get out the corded grinder. They were pretty easy to stall, especially with a flap disc or grinding wheel.

Enter the FUEL, the first ever brushless 18V Grinder. We lent on this grinder and it just did not want to stop! This unit felt closer in power to a corded model than to its M18 predecessor. The standard M18 is certainly respected so far as brushed units go, but it just isn’t in the same league (or country) as its FUEL counterpart.

Specs:

  • 8,500 RPM
  • 5” / 125mm disc diameter
  • 2.4kgs with battery
  • M14 Spindle

So much for power. What of comfort? It has a nice slimmed handle and has kept the great tool-free guard from the original. The rubber moulding is also very nice in the hand. I also want to give it a vote for sexiest cordless tool.

What we don’t like is the ‘deadman’ paddle. It’s cumbersome to hold for long periods, is downright annoying when holding on it’s side (for cutting) and has changed the safety lock direction from the original. It’s now harder to start accidentally, but also less intuitive to start.

No, we do not like the paddle trigger. But the rest of this tool is so damn awesome that we’d happily put up with the trigger. If only Milwaukee brought the switch version into Australia like the US have.

Another great FUEL from Milwaukee.

Milwaukee M12 FUEL Rotary Hammer Drill – M12 CH

What’s 1.9kgs, brushless, and eats concrete for breakfast? If you said an M18 Milwaukee rotary hammer drill, you’d be close. But at this size and weight, it could only be the FUEL M12 CH – Rotary Hammer.

It looks small enough to give to your kids for christmas (which would be an awesome gift by the way, just don’t provide any bits). While this may be the most portable rotary hammer drill known to mankind, it still packs a mighty punch.

Official specs:

  • 6mm holes in concrete; stealing candy from a baby.
  • 10mm dynabolt holes in clay bricks; arm-wrestling your 4 year old niece.
  • 12mm holes in concrete; not as fun as above mentioned activities, but still pretty easy.
  • Easy to throw to colleagues on above floor
  • Red

Other useful stats:

  • Max Capacity : 16mm
  • Blows per minute : 0 – 6200BPM
  • Speed : 0 – 900 RPM
  • Weight : 1.9 kg
  • Length : 254mm
  • On-tool fuel guage

We only wish it had a belt hook. Also, it has no stubby holder. We recommend getting some 4.0ah batteries with this unit. Despite being brushless, you are asking it to put holes in concete, which is traditionally a substance that resists damage fairly well.

With a street price of $270ish, if you have the M12 line and need to put in anchors regularly, this is a no-brainer. Seriously, stop reading this rubbish and go buy it, it’s amazing.

Milwaukee 18V FUEL 26mm Rotary Hammer Drill – M18 CH

Reviewing rotary hammer drills isn’t my favourite job, because it usually means drilling lots of holes into concrete (though it’s more fun than comparing grinder discs!). Concrete strikes me as the type of material that wasn’t made for drilling, and doesn’t want to be drilled.

Nonetheless, review it we did, and it wasn’t too painful, because this tool eats concrete quicker than Mike eats smarties. This FUEL 26mm unit (and its 28mm big brother) are really taking another step towards eliminating the gap between cordless and electric tools. In fact in some tests, this tool reportedly beats very good electric models.

Specs are as follows:

  • 26mm concrete drilling capacity
  • 2.4J blow energy at 4,900 BPM
  • 1,400 RPM
  • 3.5kgs with large battery
  • Anti-vibration system

It’s about $350 as a bare tool, which is actually not bad when you consider the price point of it’s ‘competition’ in cordless and corded models. Milwaukee have a ripper tool here.

 

Milwaukee Gen II Compact Drill & Impact – M18 BDD & M18 BID

Milwaukee has FINALLY brought out a compact ‘compact drill’ to their Australian 18V line in recent months. Users of the red tools have always had great premium drills available (including the amazing FUEL) but never a good compact drill, until now.

What’s in the box?

  • M18 2606-20 Compact Drill Driver
  • M18 2657-20 Impact Driver (2-Speed)
  • 2 x 2Ah slim batteries
  • M18/M12 charger
  • Blow-moulded plastic case

M18BPP2D 202C 3 Reviews From OZ: Milwaukee Gen II Compact Drill & Impact   2606 20 & 2657 20

M18 Gen II Compact Drill Driver

SPECS

  • Model number:              2606-20                |             M18 BDD
  • Weight (no battery):      2.9lbs                    |             1.43kgs
  • Length:                          7-1/4”                   |             196mm
  • Torque:                         500 in lbs              |             60 Nm
  • No-load Speed:            450 / 1,800 RPM
  • Motor:                           Brushed 4-Pole
  • Chuck:                          13mm ratcheting metal sleeve

This drill is what Milwaukee users have come to expect, elegant and powerful. It had no trouble in our tests driving a 16mm, 250mm auger bit deep into treated pine, though it did heat up. I’ve never had a drill pump out hot air that was uncomfortable to the hand, but this did. I suppose I’m glad the heat was coming out rather than staying in the tool.

The metal chuck on this unit is really nice. It has no wobble at all and is very comfortable to use. If chuck crush were a real thing, I’d have it bad. You get two gears, both of which do an excellent job delivering the drill’s hefty punch.

PROSRock-solid chuck, Powerful, Compact

CONS: Puts out a lot of heat

M18 Gen II Impact Driver

SPECS

  • Model number:              2657-20                  |              M18 BID
  • Weight (no battery):      2.2lbs                      |              1.00 kg
  • Length:                          5-1/2”                     |              140 mm
  • Torque:                         1500 in lbs               |              169 Nm
  • No-load Speed:             2,000 / 2,750 RPM
  • Impacts per Minute:      2,450 / 3,450 IPM
  • Motor:                            Brushed 4-Pole
  • Chuck:                           1/4” quick-change

In refreshing the M18 brushed drill and impact, I’m pretty impressed Milwaukee has gone beyond the standard single-speed impact driver. Their 3-Speed FUEL impact driver is of course still top dog, but having a 2-Speed brushed unit at this price point is sweet.

It’s also a powerhouse, at least the match of the brushless impact drivers we tested against.

What else is there to say? It’s comfortable, well-made and simple. My only disappointment with this tool is that Milwaukee has stuck with a single LED light, rather than the popular three-LED ring setup.

PROS: Powerful, Compact, 2-Speed

CONS: Single LED light

Final thoughts on the kit:

On sale this twin pack can be had around AU$300, an absolute steal. The slim 2.0Ah batteries are great for keeping down the size and weight of the tools. We were surprised that Milwaukee has supplied this basic kit with the dual voltage charger, capable of charging M12 and M18 batteries.

At this price point, and backed by the Milwaukee 5 year tool, 2 year battery warranty, I can’t recommend the kit enough.