A low cost alternative to the Milwaukee M12 driver

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Review by Jofa posted 10-22-2013 05:18 PM 4956 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A low cost alternative to the Milwaukee M12 driver No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

One of my buddies at HD has a Milwaukee M12 driver and it’s awesome. Light, small and tons of torque. I just couldn’t swing the $100.

So I was at WalMart and started looking around at the tool section. They had a little B&D 7.2V Lithium Ion drill driver displayed for $30 but it was out of stock. So I asked the kid working there if they would sell me the next one up for the same price. He asked the manager and we got “of course!”.

- Excellent, accurate torque settings
- Solid chuck
- The trigger is great because it’s very responsive to variable speeds
- The light is amazing on this thing. Illuminates the whole work area
- Love the small battery. Plus it’s Lithium Ion so when it’s dead, it’s dead.
- Small form factor and a very comfortable, balanced feel.

- The attached phillips/flat bit is placed in an area where it constantly falls off because it gets caught on stuff. I took it off.
- She’s a little top heavy so when you place it down standing up, it’s not really stable. Solution, lay it down on the side.
- would have liked two batteries

- Thrilled with this little guy. I’ve been using it mostly as a driver but it does great with drill bits including large paddle bits. The battery lasts long between charges and the recharge is fairly quick. The charger isn’t dinky at all. Quality stuff.
- The amount of torque that this thing has is almost ridiculous. Incredibly strong.

Even if I had to pay the full price, I feel this driver is totally worth it.

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 3117 days

12 comments so far

View Anthony's profile


127 posts in 2991 days

#1 posted 10-22-2013 05:49 PM

Thanks for sharing the info Jofa. It is amazing the performance that you can get out of lower cost tools at times. I recently had need of a variable speed corded drill with an adjustable clutch…that is kinda hard to find, the only one I could find was a Ryobi so I got it and was pleased with what I got.

Keep up the great work, by the way, I love your pedal boards. I made one for my guitar player and it worked out great but is not nearly as beautiful as yours.

Rock on brother!

-- Anthony - "The blacksmith and the artist, reflect it in their art. They forge their creativity, closer to the heart"

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1986 posts in 3249 days

#2 posted 10-22-2013 06:18 PM


My brother gave me a Black and Decker 14.4 volt firestorm drill/driver that came with a jigsaw head, and little circular saw about 7 years ago. That sucker is still running like it’s nobodies business. I use it in my shop and when my wife and I remodeled first new house a year ago.
I know Black and Decker gets a bad name because it’s a very very very very very very very cheap tool, but I’m continually surprised at how well mine is working. I’ve used the circular saw to cut plywood, and holes for my vents in my house. And the jigsaw, before I got my corded one was my go to tool. One day I’ll get the bosch or even the festool (maybe 100 years from now) but until then I have a good drill I think.

I hope you get the same amount of years that I (still) get out of mine.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Spur's profile


87 posts in 3307 days

#3 posted 10-22-2013 08:42 PM

Awesome! I got one of these in my Amazon cart because I hate switching between drill and screw bits (just waiting on higher priority things to fit in budget first). Was worried it may be too cheap for weekend use. Thanks for the review.

-- Henryk, South Carolina

View DonB's profile


591 posts in 3972 days

#4 posted 10-23-2013 03:19 PM

Jofa: I have the 20V version of this and it never quits. Big Box had it mis-marked and I only paid the 12V price. I was honest and even mentioned the price and got a shrug. So off we went. I’ve used my cord drill twice since I got the 20V model. Best buy I’ve made in 2 years.

-- DonB

View patcollins's profile


1687 posts in 4144 days

#5 posted 10-23-2013 03:49 PM

I have a 12V firestorm drill that I bought in 2005 and that sucker still works great and has a lot of torque for a 12V drill. I have dropped it, neglected it etc but it keeps on going. It isn’t very fast or have a long runtime since it is a NiCad battery but I have more than gotten my $69 out of it.

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4856 days

#6 posted 10-23-2013 03:56 PM

Thanks for the review well done.


View Hawaiilad's profile


3382 posts in 4300 days

#7 posted 10-24-2013 09:25 PM

Glad to hear of all you having good luck with the B&D drills. I have a new 18 volt with a charger and couple of batteries. The switch to turn it from forward to reverse broke..something inside broke, then the chuck fell off and will not stay attached very long…and the batteries would not hold a charge or work with the other tools in the set. I didn’t pay for it, so I guess I’m not out anything. But this drill along with the older DeWalt and the Porter drill that have broken, I am back to using a corded drill..until can purchase another.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4928 days

#8 posted 10-24-2013 09:32 PM

nice review.

may I ask – how long have you had this (higher cost of some units is due to the fact that they simply last forever, and the batteries last longer)?

edit: just to clarify so that I don’t come off as negative – I am curious how well this driver does over the long haul in terms of robustness, parts not breaking, and battery keeping charges and length of time battery will last after charge…

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View smitdog's profile


471 posts in 3385 days

#9 posted 10-24-2013 09:36 PM

+1 with DonB. I got the 20V one too and I can’t think of a better tool value that I’ve ever purchased. I think I picked it up for around $65 at Lowes. The weight feels perfect to me, stands up on it’s own nicely too so I guess the extra size of the 20V battery must balance it out better than the 12V. The thing just feels solidly built and it just runs and runs. I like being able to pick it up after sitting for a week and it still has plenty of juice left. Only takes 30 or 45 min to recharge too, I haven’t even thought of buying an extra battery for it yet as I don’t use it all day every day. Love this driver! My only negatives are the chuck seems small in my biggish hands and it’s a bit slippery so it’s hard to tighten really well, especially if you try to do so by squeezing the trigger and holding on to the chuck. It has so much torque it easily twists out of your grip when trying to tighten that bit in the chuck. That being said I have never had a bit get loose on me so maybe I don’t have to gorilla grip it down like I did my last driver in order to get it to hold!

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View mikema's profile


180 posts in 3865 days

#10 posted 10-25-2013 01:28 AM

Drills are something B&D do right. I have 2 18v Firestorms, and they are great.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog:

View BernieMay's profile


31 posts in 4317 days

#11 posted 10-26-2013 12:21 AM

I bought two of their drills about seven years ago, and if you dropped them, the plastic broke. I got tired of repairing them and threw them away and bought some Ridgids and Bosch, all of which are giving me years of service. You can drop the higher priced/ name brand drills and nothing happens.

View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 3117 days

#12 posted 01-21-2014 03:23 AM

Hey just back visiting this review…

PurpLev, I’ve now had it for about three months and I’ve used it pretty much every day. It’s doing great.

I’m also working on my new workshop (I refuse to call it a shed LOL!) and I’ve driven over 500 2” decking screws with it. It’s a champion. Seriously, it’s been fantastic. I’m the first one to tell it like it is about two things; tools and musical equipment. This drill/driver has performed exceptionally well.

Case in point, my buddy Don came over to help me the first day and he brought his M12. I let him use the BD for a while and he was thoroughly impressed with it.

I got through about 300 screws before it needed to be charged. Took about 1/2 hour or so and I was running again. I should have bought the one with dual batteries but I’m actually considering picking that version up seeing how well this one performs. The honeymoon is definitely over and it’s doing great. And no, not once did I think you were being negative. Realistic, yes. :)

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

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