Milwaukee announced 300 new accessory products in three different categories (concrete, metal, and wood). First up was the second generation of Milwaukee Shockwave bits which use a custom alloy 76 steel that can resist high shock. The heat treatment used is 4x longer than the original Shockwave bits. For a great overview of what to expect with respect to impact-ready bits, check out our article Impact Rated Bits: Dispelling the Myth.
We saw a ductility test of a Shockwave bit vs three competitors using a specialized machine that measured twisting force (torque) applied to the bits while locked down into a secured fastener and torqued to insane levels. This was a very entertaining demo that really showed off the capabilities of the new Milwaukee Shockwave bits as well as the limitations of some of the competition in this particular area.
The competition were all second generation accessories, including one standard bit and two impact-rated bits (we recognized several products from our original impact rated bits testing article. The results were enlightening, with the Milwaukee bit showing far more ductility before breaking than the others (it handled a lot more torque). The Milwaukee bits also broke right at the “Shock zone” area in the middle of the bit (where it was designed to break) whereas the other bits broke at the tip. The new second generation Shockwave bits will be available in Phillips, square, Torx, hex, and Milwaukee’s patented ECX tips (in various sizes for each).
Another test dealt with more of a real-world application on steel over wood. This is similar to what you might see with the fastening of a Simpson Strong-Tie product. The goal was to see what happens in your typical impact driver application when the bit suddenly makes a hard stop against steel (with the driver still torquing behind it). The results weren’t pretty for most of the competition, but the Milwaukee Shockwave bits seemed to do way better than the first generation models, driving in dozens of screws. We’ll have to get these in-house and do some of our own testing applications, but what we saw looked very promising.
The second generation Milwaukee Shockwave accessories will launch in September 2015 at various price points and will be packaged both as smaller bit packs as well as in larger kits.
Milwaukee Red Helix Twist Drill Bits
New to market are the Milwaukee Red Helix twist drill bits which use a continuously variable helix that ejects material (both metal and wood) at a remarkable rate. They utilize a 135 degree split point bit that holds in place really well to resist walking, and there’s also a nice chip breaker to keep the debris flowing.
It’s also available with a Shockwave hex shank so you can toss it in your impact driver and go to town when needed (as a lot of guys do since it’s so convenient).
Milwaukee M/2 and MX4 SDS Plus Bits
New M/2 2-cutter and MX4 4-cutter SDS-Plus and SDS-Max drill bits have some very unique features that should give them more speed and longer life than previous models. First, the new bits come with an enhanced rebar guard that keeps you from locking up should you hit some rebar. There’s also integrated breaker points that pulverize material faster during boring. Finally, like the Red Helix drill bits, the Milwaukee M/2 and MX4 SDS bits utilize a variable flute design to get more material out faster and deliver more holes drilled per battery charge.
There’s also a unique tip design that keeps the bit from walking, and an integrated wear indicator to let you know when it’s time to change out the bit.
Getting and testing some of these new bits will be a lot of work—but also a lot of fun. Accessories make all the difference—it’s where the rubber meets the road. Needless to say (but we’ll do it anyway), it’s great to see advances made in the area of impact bits, wood & metal drill bits, and SDS bits for concrete.
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