The Milwaukee M12 cordless drill driver kit features a compact 12V Li-ion battery powered drill/driver that packs in full size tool features like an all metal locking chuck, 250 in-lbs of torque and a two-speed transmission. The M12 line of tools from Milwaukee is designed for the professional contractor that needs more from their tools in a compact form so that they can fit into small spaces and not have the fatigue that is associated with larger, heavier tools.
Our Milwaukee M12 cordless drill driver arrived in a form fitting red molded plastic tool case that had spaces for the drill, 30 minute charger and two batteries. The batteries for the M12 line of tools are rated for a nominal 12 volts DC and use Lithium ion technology. The included charger has LED lights that indicate charge status and progress. The main body of the drill is made of a tough red ABS based plastic with well over half the body of the tool covered in black rubber overmold. The gear box and clutch ring are made of cast aluminum. The 3/8″ chuck is all metal and features a ratcheting locking action that actually bites into your bit to ensure that it holds it in place. Just like other Milwaukee M12 tools, this one also features the battery fuel guage and a LED work light that shines where your bit comes in contact with your work piece. The overall size of the drill is very compact but don’t think that it is small on power because this is not the case at all. With 250 in-lbs of torque, this little drill has more power than some 18 volt cordless drills on the market. Much of this power can be attributed to the all metal gear drive train and the powerful 12v motor that is at the heart of this tool.
Milwaukee M12 Cordless drill Driver Testing and Use
Our first batch of tests involved verifying the manufacturer’s specs and we are happy to report that our findings for both speed and torque closely matched what Milwaukee claims. The listed low and high speeds of the drill are 400 and 1500 RPM respectively and according to our tests we reached maximum speeds of 389 and 1491 RPM for the two settings. For our torque testing, the published torque rating is 250 ft lbs of torque and the average readings from our electronic torque meter measured 242 ft lbs of torque.
As for real world testing we have had this tool in the mix for the last few weeks and we would have to say that it is a go-to tool now. Many times when doing finish carpentry and cabinet installation, large corded and 18V drills are simply overkill. This drill is a stellar performer for drilling pilot holes, sending hinge screws home and drilling holes for cabinet hardware. We really liked the fact that not only does it have a variable speed trigger, but you can shift the speeds on the drill as well. We have even used this drill with a 3/4″ paddle bit to drill out some 2×4’s in a retrofit wiring job. One of the nice touches that one of our trim carpenters pointed out was that when you set the drill down on its side, there is rubber overmold on all the edges that came in contact with the surface you set it on. This is a small but nice touch that comes in real handy when doing punch list type work. Having the protection means that you know you will not damage or mar any of the finished surfaces in the home.
The Milwaukee M12 cordless drill driver kit is an almost perfect replacement to a full size drill for many common applications. With speed and power that is on par with many larger cordless drills, this compact tool will surely become your grab-it-and-go tool for many tasks. For our Performance rating, we gave this drill a 10/10 since it performed flawlessly on all our tests. For our value rating, we gave it an 8/10 because, while it might be a top performer, it comes at a cost with an MSRP that is on par with some larger drills. The good news is that if you shop around, you can find it for a lot less than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.