I've been waiting for quite awhile to test out a new set of Milwaukee FUEL drills. I was stoked to open this case up and let them rip! So how did they do on the job? Here we go...
Upon opening the package I was immediately impressed. The kit comes with an 18v FUEL brushless hammer-drill, an 18v FUEL brushless impact driver (drill), an 18v charger, 2 Red-Lithium XC 5 amp-hour batteries, and a handle attachment for the hammer drill. (I never use these on any of my hammerdrills, but some people do so it's nice that it's included.
The Hammer Drill
The first thing I got to use on an actual job-site was the hammer drill. I had to drive some concrete sleeve anchors into a brick wall so I could strap down my flexible conduit from an Air Conditioner to the nearby AC Disconnect. The power behind this drill is amazing. I was shocked at how insanely fast the motor spins, and how smoothly it detects variances in applied pressure to the trigger. The drill has 2 speeds like most drills of it's design. It still has the drill, and screw features on it so it is not strictly a hammer drill. It is a combination of all 3 drills - so you can use it to drill through masonry with the hammer feature, drill holes in studs with the drill feature, and drive screws with the screw gun setting. It does all of these with extreme ease and impressive power.
The drill is rugged for sure. It is not too heavy, nor too light. It has a great feel when carrying it, without being annoyingly heavy or bulky. I can tell the precision and thoughtfulness of design has been well-thought out and perfectly executed.
The Impact Driver
Included in this combo-kit is an 18v FUEL Brushless Impact Driver with a 1/4" drive. I probably use this drill more than any other, including the hammer-drill above. With an impact drill you can do almost everything you need as an electrician, there’s really no need to carry around a heavy hammer drill everywhere you go.
What I really like about this specific impact drill is that there are multiple “sensitivity settings” on the base of the tool. You have 4 speeds, from slow and low torque 1, to fast and high torque 3, with a 4th mode specifically for putting screws in. Each of these modes is noticeably different and serves a specific purpose. I use this drill with a Milwaukee Impact stepped bit (uni-bit where I’m from) to drill holes in panels, as well as with regular drill bits to do the same. I also use this to drill holes through wood when I’m in a pinch. The regular drill works better for this, but the impact makes short work of it when you don’t want to walk around to get your other drill for a simple hole.
I also use this impact with a 5/16” hex bit, or a phillips or square bit when working in and out of panels and light fixtures. It really does everything I need, and it’s stout and powerful. If you haven’t tried Milwaukee yet, THIS IS THE DRILL SET YOU WANT!!!!
This kit comes with (2) 18v Red-Lithium Ion 5-amp-hour batteries, and let me tell you, they are stout. I ran both of these drills at moderate use for several days without needing a charge on either of them. I even broke them out on my mini circular saw, and hackzall and they kept a charge for the nearly the entire day under heavy use. The fact that they all come standard with an LED fuel gauge is a must-have. I have a growing pile of batteries in my work-van so being able to pull one up and push a button to see the charge level is a huge time-saver. The charger will have these 5 amp-hour batteries charged in about 15-20 minutes.
All in all this is an incredible combination of power and usefulness. This drill kit gets a crushing 5 out of 5 stars, no doubt about it. I've moved this kit to the top of my pile as my most-used set of drills. These are going to change the efficiency of how I work, so now those Jones's will have to try to keep up with ME.