Milwaukee M18 Fuel

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Forum topic by Basiliv posted 06-24-2012 02:12 AM 2839 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 3589 days

06-24-2012 02:12 AM

Having long survived on less expensive equipment, I’m finally thinking of taking the plunge and getting a pricey cordless drill, especially now that brushless motors have finally arrived (as a long-time RC hobbyist, I’m in tune with the possibilities).

That being said, the two models I’m debating are the:
Milwaukee M18 1/2 Inch Drill/Driver $229
Milwaukee M18 1/2 Inch Hammer Drill/Driver $249

These two models appear nearly identical, with the exception of the third mode, hammer, on the hammer drill. Other than that, and minor bump in torque, I can’t tell these apart in my hands.

Is there any reason I shouldn’t pay the $20 extra and get the Hammer Drill version (especially since I can turn that mode off and just use the other two modes, driver & drill)?

My only thought is that using the hammer mode will reduce its life far more than either other mode and therefore, for the rare need of such a feature, a $60 generic hammer drill will more than suffice and insure this tool lasts far long.


8 replies so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1526 posts in 5176 days

#1 posted 06-26-2012 01:34 PM

I’m guessing the “hammer drill” mode is just a key slot which keeps the chuck bearing pulled forward so the shaft can’t be pushed up by the hammer platen. Seems like the $20 extra for that is totally reasonable.

I haven’t used the M18s yet. I have a Festool C12, and one of the NiCd batteries was wearing out and I’d bought the Milwaukee M12 ProPex tool, and since I had those batteries and chargers around I bought a cheap M12 kit. My experience from that is that brushless is where it’s at. I should have saved my pennies and bought more batteries or the more recent LiOn Festool drill.

Way more control over the motor, much longer battery life (even with 1.3mAH NiCd). So, yeah: Go brushless.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View jerkylips's profile


495 posts in 3621 days

#2 posted 06-26-2012 01:55 PM

what do you intend to use it for? There have been a couple threads out here discussing differences between drills and impact drivers. I bought a makita 14.4v combo kit a few years ago – included a drill, impact driver, and a fluorescent light. I can tell you that I use the impact driver literally 90% of the time. It’s so much smaller, lighter, & more powerful – any time I’m driving screws/bolts/etc., that’s my go-to. It’s also nice to have both when you need to use a countersink bit & drive a screw since you can set up each & not have to constantly swap out bits.

I didn’t think I would, but I actually use the light a fair amount as well..

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1526 posts in 5176 days

#3 posted 06-26-2012 02:24 PM

So I think that the drill he’s talking about is an impact drill, not an impact driver. It hammers the bit in and out while you’re drilling, useful for drilling holes in concrete and masonry.

As a part of that M12 kit I got an impact driver, and I use it when the battery on the Festool is dead, but … diff’rent strokes, I guess: I find that with the impact driver it’s difficult to feel when I’ve driven the screw to the right depth (I just use the clutch release on a drill), it shears off brass screws, and… yeah: I wouldn’t miss it. So maybe I just haven’t figured out how to use it right yet.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View jerkylips's profile


495 posts in 3621 days

#4 posted 06-26-2012 02:31 PM

Dan – I wasn’t thinking that the hammer drill is an impact driver, was just saying that it may make more sense to look for a combo kit that includes both rather than just buying one.

Your experience with the impact driver is interesting to me – I could see that, but I’ve never had the issue. That said, if I’m doing something where I’m concerned about stripping out or drilling too deep, I do use the drill & set the clutch. I don’t think you could make the argument for ONLy an impact driver because there are some instances where the drill is the right tool for the job (such as….........drilling…. ), but I definitely use my impact driver WAY more than the drill.

View rkober's profile


137 posts in 3344 days

#5 posted 06-26-2012 02:52 PM

I’ve been using the 28v version for a couple years now and like it very much. I also have a 18v Dewalt at work it seems to be on par with the Milwaukee (IMO). With that being said I more recently bought a used 18v because it is much lighter and compliments the 28v well. The 18v seems to be plenty powerful. I have never used the hammer option (on the 28v) and don’t see much use for it unless you anticipate drilling masonry and then I expect a corded hammer drill would be better anyway. As a side note, my 18v has a LED light which I really don’t like simply because the trigger is kind of two stage with the light activating first the then the drill. For me it takes some of the finesse out of it.

-- Ray - Spokane, WA - “Most people don’t recognize opportunity because it’s usually disguised as hard work.” - Unknown

View JayT's profile


6419 posts in 3262 days

#6 posted 06-26-2012 03:01 PM

The hammer drill weighs slighly more than the drill/driver, but since both are quite a bit smaller and lighter than previous brushed drills that may not be an issue. Other than that, there isn’t much difference. If not using the hammer function, lifespan should be about the same on both.

For the $20 difference I would opt for the hammer drill just for the fact of not needing to buy another tool and have it sitting around for the couple times a year I drill into concrete. Right now, many dealers are offering a free battery with purchase of a Fuel drill, so that needs to be factored in to a buying decision, as well.

If, however, you use an impact driver (and I LOVE my M12 impact!), you might want to wait until Milwaukee comes out with a combo kit with the Fuel hammer drill and Fuel impact driver. Generally the combo kits only add a little bit to the price of a single tool. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one launched this fall at a retail of ~$300. I haven’t put a screwdriver bit in a drill since getting an impact driver.

The Fuel impact drivers have a three position switch that electronically controls the power output. The lowest setting for brass and finish screws, middle setting for general use and the highest for lag bolts and other higher torque applications.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 3294 days

#7 posted 06-26-2012 04:11 PM

I only have the M18 impact driver and it’s one of my favorite tools right now since I’ve never had one before. Took a little bit getting used to how much power it can deliver and the trigger is very sensitive (coming from crappy B&D 18v drills anyway.) When I’ve got tons of screws to drive in, this baby delivers in spades. Wish I had gotten the kit and personally, I would probably just get the impact/drill combo and get a seperate hammer drill that’s corded when I actually need one.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View Loren's profile


11141 posts in 4699 days

#8 posted 06-26-2012 04:24 PM

I have a Milwaukee cordless hammer drill and I use
the feature often enough that I’m glad it is there.

It is a heavy sucker though. For shop use it is really
too heavy. 12 volt is a better choice for in the shop.

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