Best 18v Cordless Drill: Milwaukee M18 Fuel Driver/Drill

The Milwaukee 2604-22 M18 Fuel Hammer-Drill may look unassuming but it packs a powerful punch that makes it enough for virtually all your drilling needs. If you are the type who likes to DIY on the weekends but wants a heavy duty unit that comes with the convenient features that any hardcore weekend warrior would love, this unit is hands down one of the best options you can choose.

Despite its small form, it is powerful enough to be considered a staple in a professional contractor’s toolbox. The unit’s right hand angle is perfectly suited to handle the torque courtesy of the PowerState brushless motor, which gives you more more run time and translates to lesser maintenance. Its sturdy, compact yet lightweight build also makes it ideal for long construction work. Still not convinced? Read this Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless drill review to know why so many are swapping their drills for the Milwaukee M18 Fuel.

Pros

Cons

  • 5-Year Limited Warranty
  • Affordable & Lightweight
  • Heavy-duty torque for a small drill
  • Clutch is very easy to use and adjust.
  • 1/16 drill bits tend to slip free of chuck
  • Battery drains quickly on hammer setting (This is normal for all cordless drills).

Top Questions and Answers

Q: Can I use this for regular drilling or is this a full-time hammer drill?

A: You can switch the drill by flipping the hammer drill setting to standard setting. You can choose between three functions: hammer drill, regular drill and screw function. For the latter you can also choose among different torque settings.

Q: Is this an industrial grade drill or more suited for a homeowner?

A: With the power that it packs, the unit can be safely described as contractor-grade. It definitely has more power than a typical DIY homeowner would need. The build ensures that it can take years of regular professional abuse without any change in performance.

Q: I heard that this unit performs poorly when it comes to masonry. Why is this so?

A: The Milwaukee 2604-22 M18 Fuel Hammer-Drill actually works great on masonry, brick or concrete. However, with masonry the right drill bit can make every bit of difference. If your bit is dull chances are the results are going to be less-than-ideal. Bosch masonry bits work well with this unit because they stay sharp for longer.

Q: What is the warranty?

A: The manufacturer offers a 5 year warranty for repair or replacement. Just make sure you can present the receipt when you take it to any certified Milwaukee repair shop. It is important to note that the warranty is not transferable.

My Personal Take M18 Fuel Cordless Drill

For a $100 drill the The Milwaukee 2604-22 Drill packs a surprising punch especially given its extremely compact form. It is smaller than other drills with the same power and features and the right angle handle makes it easy to grip as you jam 725 in-lbs of torque into wood or concrete. The battery life is impressive and perfect for professional construction work. I also like how I can use the XC or the compact battery since both are compatible. Due to the sheer power on this drill I have learned to rely on the side handle to make drilling easier and to ease the fatigue away and to have more control as I drill. Overall, this is a great buy whether you are a homeowner who wants a professional-grade tool at home, or if you are a contractor looking for a reliable workhorse to add to your toolbox.

Features: An In-depth Look

The Milwaukee 2604-22 M18 Fuel Hammer-Drill can easily put out 725 in-lbs of torque, making it the most powerful and perhaps the best cordless drill in the 18V class. With a brushless motor powering the chuck, which comes with an all-metal ratcheting lock mechanism, the drill is fitted with a 2-speed gearbox at 0-550 in the low-speeed range and 0-1850 RPM in the high-speed range. The brushless motor is also designed to deliver a longer run-time for lesser interruptions to recharge. The hammer can punch at a whopping 31,450 times every minute. All these power is conveniently tucked into a compact build that is arguably the most smallest in this class of drills.

Maintenance

The brushless motors require less maintenance because there are no carbon brushes that tend to wear out with use and will ultimately need to be replaced. The motor itself contributes to more efficient use so that there is less wear and tear and a longer run time.

Battery life

The Milwaukee 2604-22 M18 Fuel sports an impressive battery life, with 5 times less recharges that leading drills in the same class. It comes with an LXT Li-ion battery and a optimum charging system that is electronically connected to the unit’s charging chip to control proper charging, a measure that is designed to prolong battery life. It also comes with a battery gauge which tells you how much power you have left. It takes less than an hour to charge.

Who can use this cordless drill?

The Milwaukee 2604-22 M18 Fuel is perfect for anyone who knows how to use a hammer drill, whether you are a homeowner with basic carpentry skills or a pro. Granted, for light home projects this drill might be too much but if you want a handy tool that is versatile enough for regular drilling jobs to contractor-type work, having this drill around will serve you well.

What you didn’t like about this driver?

My only complaint is that the chuck does not have a tight bite. It cannot lock down tight enough especially if you are using thinner drill bits, usually about 1/16″ or anything smaller. Some users are not satisfied with the performance of the speed controls when driving screws. Flipping to low range when driving screws works but this can get pretty inconvenient if you need to switch all the time especially when pilot drilling screw holes.

How does this driver compare to other drills?

Compared to the Makita 18v lxt, battery performance and ease of use easily go to the Milwaukee 2604-22 M18, since the 28V battery is rated at 3Ah which gives it 1.6 times the potential charge of Makita batteries. Although the former can drill through mortar, concrete and iron the same way as the latter did, it took each task longer and you can easily see more batter drain. Form-wise, the Milwaukee also gets more points due to the compact build, easy grip and light weight. The Milwaukee has a 5 year warranty over the Makita’s 3 year warranty.

What do users say about this M18 Cordless drill?

According to some Amazon users, the Milwaukee M18 is a great compact tool that packs a lot of punch. Users love the well-balanced and easy grip handle and the easy mode adjustments. Another feature most users praise is the brushless motor design which enhances the efficiency and battery life of the drill.

Final Thoughts

Compact, lightweight but solid construction, paired with a solid control and powerful drive make the Milwaukee 2604-22 is a great addition to any toolbox. The hammer drill feature alone is enough for the price tag and battery life can’t be beat. A comfortable grip makes it easy to hold even for long periods making it perfect for professional jobs. If you must choose one hammer drill that is versatile enough to deal with a variety of jobs, you cannot go wrong with the Milwaukee M18 Fuel.