Review of Milwaukee Driver / Drill

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The Milwaukee driver drill has, as expected, met most of my expectations. So far, it is a solid and powerful workhorse that is never left behind when I'm staging tools for almost any project.

As an advanced do-it-yourselfer, I require complete reliability and ruggedness for my tools. I believe in the adage that you should buy good tools ONE time. In today's electronic world, that is not possible but there is absolutely no reason that even electric or battery operated equipment shouldn't give long and reliable service.

I purchased the Milwaukee driver/drill as a replacement for my previous Milwaukee cordless drill which I had had for approximately 7 years. That drill itself replaced a Dewalt which only lasted one year. I chose to go with Milwaukee again, because 7 years for a battery operated drill is outstanding. In fact, the only reason I replaced the previous drill was because buying 2 replacement batteries was nearly 3/4 of the cost of this drill (with battery and case) at my local brick and mortar store. Had I been able to get batteries at a reasonable price, I'd still be using the previous Milwaukee drill!

The Milwaukee driver/drill has a lot going for it. First and foremost, I find myself in a little bit of awe with the advances that have been made to the battery technology. This drill is a little bit more powerful than the one it replaced yet the batteries are less than half the size, don't weigh as much, charge faster and include a charge indicator.

I use the Milwaukee driver/drill on literally almost every single project that I've undertaken since I got it. It seems to be a bit more powerful and the batteries certainly last longer than they did on its predecessor.

The operation of this drill is simple and intuitive. I must admit I didn't even bother reading the instruction manual until later, after I purchased this drill. The key-less chuck system remains a high point of my experience with Milwaukee products. It's easy to ratchet down the chuck in such a manner as to tightly hold in place large shank, over-sized bits.

Changing bits out is quick and easy. Switching between drill bits, and screwdriver bits is a snap, so I rarely bring out two drills at a time, as I used to do.

The drive speed is precise and the trigger control allows for a very positive feel while spinning up the chuck to the desired revs.

For me, there are two downsides to this drill. On half a dozen occasions, I've found that switching the top switch from one to two, in order to change the speed gearing has been problematic. The tool hasn't always fully engaged the internal gears properly, resulting in a high pitched grinding sound. This can be remedied by stopping the drill and pushing the switch back and forth the second time and/or turning the chuck by hand.

The second thing that I really don't like about this drill is that the chuck is painted black rather than being either rubber coated, as my last one was, or being left without a scratch-able finish.

My tools are anything but toolbox clean. They get lots of heavy use and I don't spend enormous amounts of time polishing them or worrying about aesthetics. However, I've found the black paint on the chuck to really show scratches the FIRST day. What would have been barely noticeable on either rubber, or unfinished seal, really pops out as the black paint is easily scratched off. This makes it looks like the tool has been abused when in fact, it's only been used in a couple of tight places where the chuck came in contact with another surface during its operation.

Despite these two shortcomings, I really love this drill. I'm a little concerned about the aforementioned occasional grinding noise when speed switching but with these caveats in mind, I can still recommend the Milwaukee driver/drill.

Click to view the Bare-Tool Milwaukee 2601-20 M18 18-Volt Compact Driver/Drill on

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