I received another tool from professional tool manufacturer Milwaukee and could not be more impressed with this quality tool that performs well. The Milwaukee company manufactures professional quality tools including their signature Sawzall reciprocating saw and has been a leader in power tools since 1924.
The Milwaukee M18 line of power tools is a lithium powered line of tools that centers on the lithium ion batteries in a few capacities but you have to match the voltage of the batteries. I am not sure if you can accidentally put the wrong voltage battery on a tool but when purchasing extra batteries you need to make sure you buy the correct 12, 18 or 28 volt battery.
The batteries come in a regular and high capacity with a new technology called RED LITHIUM that increases the current discharge for more power when you need it. One feature I like about the Milwaukee batteries is the power indicator on the battery itself to check for battery charge status without having to install the battery in the tool.
The 1/2” drill driver has all the power it needs from the high capacity Milwaukee M18 RED LITHIUM batteries with two in the kit so you have an extra battery for your tough jobs. The 2603-22 kit includes the 1/2” drill driver, two RED LITHIUM 18 volt batteries, an M12/M18 charger, a removable handle in a plastic carry case with manuals for the tool and charger.
The 1/2” drill driver is a hefty tool weighing in at about 3.5 pounds while the tool with a RED LITHIUM XC, extra capacity, battery weighs about 5.1 pounds. This may seem a bit heavy for a hand tool but considering the use the tool will be put through like driving long screws into wood or drilling concrete heft is important for control.
The tool includes a handle that attaches on the top of the tool with a simple tightening of the round handle on the two clamps that fit into the indents by the top body screws. The side handle gives you even more control while doing hefty work like drilling into concrete or boring large holes in tough wood like treated lumber.
The company has upgraded the internal circuitry of the M18 tool to make better use of the lithium-ion technology as well as a new brushless motor that better cools and lasts longer. The brushless motor and better circuitry equate to a better motor that gives longer lasting drilling and driving due to a cooler running motor.
The contoured handle makes the drill driver comfortable for use while the chuck is easy to use and securely holds bits when tightened without a chuck key. There is also a space for a belt clip or a bit holder on each side of the drill driver but these need to be purchased separately and installed using a single screw.
The drill driver is hefty but with a good feel when doing heavy duty work like drilling through 2 by 12’s to install some wiring conduits through a basement foundation. I have used the drill for several jobs like installing shelves and working in some fairground buildings with varying uses from drilling to driving into concrete and even mixing paint in five gallon buckets.
The tool has two speed settings and a rotating torque setting to deliver varying torque for depth of driving or for the necessary power due to material type while drilling. The drill and driver uses the two speeds to vary the main speed and the torque that allows the drill to slip when it reaches a specific torque that works well for driving screws to a specific depth.
The Milwaukee M18 drill driver works extremely well for concrete work and drilling into other tough materials like preserved wood even if using larger bits like 1/2 inch to create holes for rebar. I had no problems drilling into concrete through preserved wood which is pretty difficult and through regular wood for many jobs both at home and elsewhere.
The drill speed works well for jobs like mixing paint in five gallon buckets on low speed and switching to high speed to drill through lumber quickly and easily. The drill driver has no problem with performing multiple tasks in a variety of materials with the extra capacity batteries that hold a charge well and are easy to change.
The battery capacity lasts very well for the tool use and having two batteries in the same kit really makes sense for convenience while on large jobs. The battery charger that comes with the Milwaukee 2603-22 kit can charge the extra capacity M18 batteries in an hour and really gives you the fast charging for large jobs.
It is no wonder that Milwaukee is a top choice of construction workers and user survey’s but individual models vary just as much as personal opinions about tools. Several of the tools in the same or prior lines of the 2603-20 drill and driver receive high praise from various reviewers and users.
The Milwaukee M18 Drill Driver kit does a fantastic job at tasks like construction and home improvement jobs and makes a welcome addition to this home owner’s tool chest. Another great feature that I only recently became aware of is a small LED light to help light your way while using the drill driver.
This is the second drill I have received that has an LED at the front and I keep thinking every time I use either drill why they never did this in the past with drills and drivers. The light really helps when using the drill or driver in tight quarters like in between floor joists where using a flashlight would require at least one of your two hands.
I highly recommend the Milwaukee 1/2” drill driver and the kit that this particular model comes in really gives you the benefits of two batteries for a complete drill driver for either a handyman or on the job.