2018 Milwaukee M18 Fuel Drill & Hammer Drill – Get the Super Compact Gen 3 Treatment

Revealed at this years Milwaukee NPS18 event were new M18 Fuel Drill and Hammer Drill (high torque) models. What’s impressive about these new models is that even though the torque of 1200 in-lbs stays the same as with Gen 2 models, the newest Gen 3 models shrink into compact drill territory!

Yes both new Milwaukee M18 Fuel drills are now as compact as compact drills at 6.9 inches front to back length yet still maintain massive torque numbers of 1200 in-lbs. Almost makes you wonder why stick to “compact” drills that range in the 400-700 in-lbs range when Milwaukee’s newest Fuel models provide around double the torque? I believe the answer is in the weight of these new machines as they have a high mass for their small size of 4.8 lbs with a 5.0 ah battery. A traditional compact drill will still be about a pound lighter or more and that’s where the advantage is in compact drills.

Milwaukee says they redesigned from the ground-up the REDLINK PLUS™ Intelligence featured in these tools, drastically reducing the size of these sophisticated electronics to save space and increase thermal capacity and communication between the tool, motor, and battery. Both drill and impact mechanisms have been optimized to deliver this incredible raw power in the smallest package possible.

A much loved feature of mine had to go in order to shrink the length of these drills as short as possible. Similar to what they did on the Gen 2 M12 Fuel models, they got rid of the separate mode selector collar. Rest in peace my friend. A sad move in my opinion but this seems to be the direction some tool brands are headed in order to win the “shortest drills possible” war. Dewalt did the same thing when they created their 2nd Gen Brushless high torque drill, the DCD996 by also removing the separate mode selector collar that was found on their previous high torque drills.

I reviewed Milwaukee’s Gen 2 M18 Fuel drills and although they were excellent drills overall, my biggest gripe was the side handle, particularly the fact that it would not stay on the drill under high torque applications. What’s nice to see on the Gen 3 models is that they redesigned the part of the side handle where it connects to the drill. Their design more closely resembles the style connection of the Makita XPH07 hammer drill (but smaller) which should appear to be more secure than the M18 Fuel gen 2 drills. Unfortunately other than this simple connection redesign, they have not added the ability to variably choose the angle of grip like you can on Dewalt and Bosch side handles. All you get is left and right handle positioning, and neither does Milwaukee’s side handle have the ability to use a depth rod which is very helpful in hammer drilling.

Although the drivetrains should be different, they offer the same stats as Gen 2 models at 0-550/0-2000 Max RPM’s in their respective speeds and 0-32,000 BPM on the Hammer drill model. Another change found on the Gen 3 models is that they moved the LED light to the bottom of the handle, above the battery holder and the light faces up towards the bits being used. This doesn’t surprise me as this is where the trend is headed on newer drills

These new Gen 3 M18 Fuel Drills will be replacing the current Gen 2 models and will be available July 2018.

Specifications

M18 FUEL™ 1/2″ Drill/Driver Kit (2803-22)- replacing 2703

  • Volts: 18V
  • Torque: 1,200 in-lbs
  • Speed: 2 Speed
  • RPM: 0-550 / 0-2,000 RPM
  • Chuck Type: 1/2″ All Metal Ratcheting Chuck
  • Tool Length: 6.9”
  • Tool Weight (w/ XC5.0 battery): 4.8 lbs

Includes M18™ FUEL 1/2″ Drill/Driver, (2) M18™ REDLITHIUM XC5.0™ Battery Packs, M18™ and M12™ Multi-Voltage Charger, Side Handle, and Belt Clip.
*Also available as a bare tool (2803-20)

M18 FUEL™ 1/2″ Hammer Drill Kit (2804-22)- replacing 2704

  • Volts: 18V
  • Torque: 1,200 in-lbs
  • Speed: 2 Speed
  • RPM: 0-550 / 0-2,000 RPM
  • BPM: 0-32,000
  • Chuck Type: 1/2″ All Metal Ratcheting Chuck
  • Tool Length: 6.9”
  • Tool Weight (w/ XC5.0 battery): 4.8 lbs

Includes M18™ FUEL 1/2″ Hammer Drill, (2) M18™ REDLITHIUM XC5.0™ Battery Packs, M18™ and M12™Multi-Voltage Charger, Side Handle, and Belt Clip.
*Also available as a bare tool (2804-20)


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