Not well made

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Review by Billyboy posted 11-22-2010 01:52 AM 4040 views 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Not well made No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’m a DIY guy who’s getting into my 60’s and have learned that it pays to buy good tools. In other words, you get what you pay for. That’s why I felt good when I bought this Milwaukee hammer drill. Milwaukee makes good stuff, right?

Not. I hadn’t used the drill more than a dozen times when the variable speed feature quit. Now, you don’t want to be using a high torque 1/2” drill without variable speed – unless you don’t care if your arm breaks when the drill bit binds and the drill starts rotating your arm faster than you can release the trigger.

No problem, the drill was still under warranty so I took it to the authorized service center where they repaired it after making a thinly veiled accusation that I must have been abusing the tool.

Well, a couple of weeks ago the variable speed feature quit again. The drill is now well out of warranty so I guess my only option is to dispose of it and buy a Makita. I won’t be buying Milwaukee again.

Another minor complaint about this drill: there are a couple of turn-button like switches – one changes the drill from low speed to high speed, the other changes from hammer drilling to non-hammer drilling. The switches are configured so that it’s hard (at least for me) to tell which setting I have the drill on. In other words, am I in low speed or high speed when the switch is in this position?

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9 posts in 4211 days

25 comments so far

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96 posts in 3931 days

#1 posted 11-22-2010 02:30 AM

I got a Harbor Freight special that looks very similar to that one for about $35 on sale. I bought it more or less as a disposable drill to finish drilling some holes into concrete. My workhorse Ryobi One+ just wasn’t cutting it after a half hour or so and barely getting 1 hole. The Harbor Freight hammer drill finished up the rest in under 5 minutes.

A good (well even cheap crappy Harbor Freight) drill is so worth it if you need to drill into concrete. Much better than a non-hammer drill.

Not terribly well balanced or ergonomic and I’m not sure how durable it is. But it got the job done I needed.

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4816 posts in 3977 days

#2 posted 11-22-2010 02:34 AM

Good review. Thank you.

So … what does one have to get to get a good hammer drill ? Hilti ??

-- -- Neil

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3318 posts in 4330 days

#3 posted 11-22-2010 02:37 AM

Thanks for the review. That is a bit sad. I have an older Milwaukee Sawzall and circular saw. They are both great tools. I hope that Milwaukee is not going the way of so many of the old brands.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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89 posts in 3649 days

#4 posted 11-22-2010 03:24 AM

I have a Craftsman hammer drill, at home, that works great so far. We just recieved new Hilti 18v cordless hammer drills and Impacts at work, they are truly amazing. The Hilti drills can drill many 3/4” holes in wood poles with no problem and Don’t weigh more than any other brand.

-- RJ

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836 posts in 3697 days

#5 posted 11-22-2010 04:10 AM

I have 1 word for you, BOSCH.

-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 3565 days

#6 posted 11-22-2010 04:27 AM

how bout dewalt all tools break just a matter of how long they work before they break and for me dewalt is it as for bosch i had a horrible run in wit thier customer service and a router they made witout a dust sealed swicth. because of the jerk in thier customer service i hate even being seen round bosch tools for fear of someone thinking i like them lol

-- As Best I Can

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4541 posts in 3878 days

#7 posted 11-22-2010 04:43 AM

Milwaukee used to make a very good heavy duty drill. It is sad to see another example of the deterioration we are seeing in the quality of “American” brands.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View CryptKeeper's profile


132 posts in 3754 days

#8 posted 11-22-2010 05:35 AM

Thanks for the review. I have never had a problem with any of Milwaukee’s tools and that includes the 1/2” non-hammer drill. I would hate to see Milwaukee going down the path so many other tool makers have chosen I would rather pay a little more for quality tool..

Believe it or not the best hammer drill I have owned is a 1/2” Black & Decker purchase from Walmart in 1989 for about $50. You simply can kill the thing under normal use. The only problem ever was when my dad dropped it off of 2 story roof when it reached the end of the slack in the extension cord it pulled the wiring lose in the grip (my dad looped the two cords together to keep them from coming a part it did save it from hitting the patio below.) It took about 10 minutes to rewire the power and it has been going strong ever since.

-- Ron - Any day that I don't learn something new is a wasted day.

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473 posts in 3764 days

#9 posted 11-22-2010 02:15 PM

my neighbour gave me a Bosch hammer drill from 1999, at his job, a water company, they had tossed it in the bin for being too old and used.
it has probably seen a whole lot of dirty and nasty work daily for over 8 years, and it has the looks of it aswell. but man this hammer drill is unstoppable, drills through concrete as fast asif you were drilling in wood.
Hilti is probably the most famous brand for this, but extremely overpriced while many of the parts are made by bosch.

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2656 posts in 3726 days

#10 posted 11-22-2010 02:24 PM

I have a small Milwaukee lithion drill that I really like(replacing my dewalts with other brands). I have a Makita 1/2 hammer drill that has servered me well for over 10 years. I’d recommend the makita.

-- Life is good.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3910 days

#11 posted 11-22-2010 05:47 PM

A Milwaukee salesman talked me into out fitting 4 welding trucks and a shop with all Milwaukee in 1984. I’m talking metal chop saws, grinders, drills, mag-drill etc. I have never been so disappointed in a brand in my life. At least 60% failed in the first month. The only Milwaukee tool I still have is the 3/4 mag-drill. Still works like new. I guess I just got a fluke.

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347 posts in 3636 days

#12 posted 11-23-2010 12:56 AM

should buy a ridgid. they will fix it for as long as you own it.
all i have ever used that is ridgid is a air palm nailer. it works great though.
i am also thinking of getting that osilating spindle sander from them soon.

-- Ben L

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11859 posts in 4491 days

#13 posted 11-23-2010 02:20 AM

That’s amazing that they wouldn’t replace the switch even after you had to have it replaced earlier for the same reason …...Did you contact the company directly ?
It’s a sad day to know that Milwaukee tools have gone down the drain : (

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 3968 days

#14 posted 11-23-2010 03:44 AM

Yesterday I used a 3/8” Skil Hammer Drill, but just to drill in metal. Worked just like it always has, for the last 30 some years. Variable speed trigger and all. I suppose I could have used my Makita 1/2 inch battery operated drill. But just for the fun of it pulled out the old Skil. Gave it a loving pat as I put it back in the drawer. Just making sure it was there and worked if I ever needed it again…............(-:

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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5829 posts in 4466 days

#15 posted 11-23-2010 08:08 PM

I would have to concur that Milwaukee Tools are not what they used to be. I had a Milwaukee ROS that had over-heating problems … they replaced it once, then had me send it in for repairs. It is a POS that now just sits on the shelf.

I seem to recall that the company was in financial trouble, and a few years ago, was sold to Techtronic Industries, which also owns Ryobi and various other brands.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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