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.

   

18V Planer Comparison – Makita BKP180 vs Bosch GHO 18V-Li

A cordless planer is not a tool that everybody sees a need for. Yet I bet that anyone who has used one won’t want to give it back. They really can be a pleasure to use, and the Makita and Bosch planers are exactly that.

The main specs are as follows:

Bosch GHO 18V-Li  –   2.6kg, 82mm blade, 1.6mm cut depth, 14,000RPM

Makita BKP180       –   3.3kg, 82mm blade, 2.0mm cut depth, 14,000RPM

The Makita’s extra weight is noticeable, but also excusable as you get a much heftier base plate that should serve tradies well. Other than this, the Bosch has two unusual features:

  1. It only has one cutting blade. This does keep blade cost and maintenance down, but is probably the reason it doesn’t have quite as much grunt, and a just-respectable cut capacity of 1.6mm
  2. It has left and right dust chutes! This means that users can direct the chips/dust in whatever direction is least annoying to clean up. It also make fitting a dust bag or dust extraction vac too easy.

Both machines gave a very sharp finish. Both gave very good run times (69.5m and 66.5m for the Bosch and Makita respectively on 3Ah batteries). The Bosch is often a little more expensive . The Makita has a more user-friendly safety-lock.

So, which do we recommend? Well, we love both. If keeping mess to a minimum is vital to you, then the Bosch. For everyone else, the Makita is probably the better choice.

FEIN 4 Speed Drill Review – ASCM 18 QX

Do you need a high-end cordless drill? Do a lot of steel drilling? Look no further than FEINs new 4 speed drills, the ASCM 18 and ASCM 18 QX.

Not everybody is able to justify up to $700 for a cordless drill kit, but if you’re livelihood depends on the speed and precision of your steel and aluminum drilling, maybe you can. I wish I could, this tool is superb.

What makes it so good for drilling in metal? 3,850 RPM! As you might expect, we can hardly fault this unit. It has great power, great feel and terrific batteries. The German’s sure know how to make quality stuff.

We also did a short review on the impact driver, impact wrench and compact drill that fills our their 18v range.

DeWALT DCF880 18V – 1/2″ Impact Wrench Review

A couple of weeks ago i had a box waiting for me when I got home from work. I’m not sure there’s anything better than new tools at your doorstep.

I was really keen to see how well the 18V XR DCF880 performed. If it could take off my ute’s wheel nuts, then I couldn’t ask for anything more. Well, it does. It’s unbelievable that such a small tool (its the same size as the impact drivers) can pack such a good punch. I like it so much that I’ve sold my Bosch high torque wrench, I’ll just never need more power than this.

If you’re more sensible than us, you might not need this AND an impact wrench. If you’re mainly driving screws, get the impact driver plus a socket adapter. If you’re working with nuts and bolts more often, get a 1/4” hex adapter for the wrench.

We love this little tool, and the fantastic LED lights will just be so handy under the bonnet.

 

Video: Dewalt 18V XR DCN690 Framing Nailer vs Paslode & Makita Gas Guns

Dewalt have recently produced the first ever 18V framing nailer – the DCN690. That’s right, no gas, no cords, just a Dewalt lithium-ion battery. So how does it stack up against the common gas powered nailers?

Firstly, like all the common models, the Dewalt takes 90mm, 34-deg nail clips. None of these models take two full clips, which annoys us no end. It has tool-less depth adjustment and stall release (not that we managed to stall it). It is about 1” shorter than the Paslode and Makita model, but weighs significantly more.

  • Dewalt DCN690  – 4.5kgs
  • Paslode B20543 – 3.3kgs
  • Makita GN900     – 3.6kgs

That extra weight would really get to anyone wanting to use it all day. Also, though it can fire two nails per second, it is a tiny bit slower than the gas powered nailers we tried. It will also cost new users ~$880 for a full kit, or the bare tool is about the same as the Paslode and Makita ($550-600).

However, there are several distinct advantages of this gun.

  1. Operating Cost. You’re going to save $8-$13 in gas per 1000 nails and the tool is meant to be maintenance free.
  2. Compatibility. The batteries and charger are full compatible with the rest of Dewalt’s 18V XR line. So you can grab a bare drill etc. to throw in your tool bag.
  3. Convenience. If you don’t use your framing nailer often, you don’t have to worry about if you have gas, if you’ve charged you’re 7.2v batteries etc. You just check the Dewalt battery indicator and start nailing.

We feel that tradies holding the gun above their head or at arms reach all day may be better served by the lighter, well-balanced Paslode. The Makita is a very similar gun to the Paslode, though a little heavier in the nose and with a belt hook that doesn’t suit lefties.