FREE SHIPPING - Milwaukee M18 Cordless Combo Kit - 4-Tool Set, 18 Volt, Model# 2690-24
A Very Good Cordless Power Tool Kit
I have had this particular Milwaukee Kit for 3+ years and I am very happy with it. It is definitely better than the comparable DeWalt kit, however I cannot speak for a comparison with Makita as I have no experience with that brand, though I hear they have comparable quality. My usage of this tool kit has been mainly in heavy industrial and some commercial electrical work and often in very dusty environments which are hard on any power tools.
This is a multi-tool kit, so I will review the tools separately and then give a summery/overall rating.
1. The work light: This is an ordinary flashlight. It works. It is a cheep addition to the kit so they can market it as a 4 tool set. It is useful on occasion, though I usually wear a cheep LED headlamp on my hardhat which is much more useful.
2. The Drill: The basic Milwaukee M18 drill is probably their most widely used product and it is a very good cordless drill, though they do have better, more expensive models. It has many features I will tackle one at a time:
a). LED light: this is a useful feature of the drill, a light that shines on the surface you are drilling, and it comes in handy especially in dark or hard-to-reach locations.
b). Hammer-drill: the hammer-drill feature is pretty durable for a cordless drill (though again they have better more expensive models); I have used this feature extensively. I have used it about 75% for 1/4 in. holes or smaller, 13% for 3/8 in. holes and about 2% for larger holes. (Note: the effectiveness of your hammer drill depends a lot on the quality of the drill bits you use). It is very effective for small holes and pretty good with 3/8 in holes, and it can drill larger holes in a pinch but if you will regularly be drilling larger holes I would recommend one of their SDS hammer drill models.
c). Torque setting: this is a good feature for sheet metal screws, especially in commercial jobs where you will be mounting devices and brackets on steel studs. It will keep you from stripping out the hole. It is also good to prevent over-torquing small machine screws.
d). Regular drill feature: There are 2 speeds a high-speed setting, and a low-speed/high-torque setting. The low-torque setting is good for larger drill bits, uni-bits or hole saws, however, the drill heats up faster (this is probably do to the motor running more slowly and not cooling itself so much). If you drill too many holes at one time, the drill will heat up very hot, and if you aren't careful the hot air venting from the motor can burn you. This isn't good for the drill either and I have smelled a burning smell after heavy use, however the drill still runs.
* I have replaced my M18 drill after I stripped out the gears on the low torque setting, but this was after 2 plus years of nearly daily use and often abuse in some harsh environments. The drill still runs, however in the high speed setting and I still often use it in more abusive situations so my new M18 drill will last longer.
3). The circular saw: This is not a particularly useful tool in my line of work, however, it is nice to have every now and then. Circular saws use a lot of amperage and run down the batteries quickly, so if you will be needing to use a circular saw extensively, I would not recommend a cordless tool. That being said, I used to have a Ryobi cordless circular saw that would run down the battery in about 2 cuts on a 2x4, the Milwaukee can do maybe 10 to 15 cuts on a battery.
4). The reciprocating saw: This is not Milwaukee's best reciprocating saw though it is definitely better than the comparable DeWalt model. It bounces around more than some more expensive models which can make it hard to start a cut, but it is much smoother than DeWalt's comparable product. It can cut for a while on one battery and is easy to use. As far as durability goes, I can't say much as someone stole my first one and I had to replace it, so the new one hasn't even seen a year's use yet.
5). The batteries: Milwaukee lithium batteries are the best on the market for cordless tools; they charge quickly, hold their charge for a long time, and deliver power for a long time during use. They have computer chips that help them deliver the most power for the longest, shut them down before they overheat or drain too much (which helps them last much longer), and keeps them from developing a "memory," meaning they will charge fully every time and not diminish much in capacity over time. I have been using my oldest batteries for 3+ years and they are still working great, though I suspect I may have to replace them in the next year or so.
6). The charger: The battery charger charges the batteries quickly, is relatively small, has a long cord and can be mounted on a wall or sit on the floor or tabletop. What else can I say? It charges the batteries.
Overall, this is a good toolkit. It is expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for. It is a high quality, professional tool. For someone who will use it, it will be worth more than cheaper brands, though probably a bit much for Mr. Harry Homeowner who will not use it much. The circular saw is not a strong feature of this kit (though better than other brands); I would recommend the kit that replaces the circular saw with an impact driver, which is a much more useful tool in an industrial setting. It is definitely a better value than buying the tools separately.
If you are looking for something that you will only use once or twice a year in home fix-it projects, you might do better getting the Ryobi kit which will meet your basic needs for about 70% less, but if you are a professional or someone who likes to get the best product available and want to step up to the next bracket, don't even bother with DeWalt, get the Milwaukee kit (or look into Makita, though I cannot personally vouch for that brand).
August 25, 2012
I've had this set for a couple years now and can't say enough good things about it. Great battery life, tons of power, well designed all around.
I've had family members that are in the trades pick these up and be blown away by them. You'll be very happy.
May 14, 2012
I know this probably goes without saying, but this is a money maker. You know you will always have power, and the variety of tools for any situation. It does not make sense to pay less for questionable quality. This is a case where a name brand means something. I have dropped these tools from the tops of ladders, and they still keep kicking!
October 17, 2011
I have had this set for a while and it's the greatest thing sense sliced bread.
March 22, 2011
Professional Quality, Superior Tool !
We have tried most cordless tools on the market, the Milwakee 18 V Lithium Ion should get the best in class award ! Great torque, Long battery life and great design for comfortable all day use.
March 21, 2011