Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Combo Kit Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

Combo Kits

2801 Drill Driver
2850 Impact Driver
Value
Final Thoughts

The 2892-22CT Milwaukee M18 Compact Combo Kit is a really well-rounded drill and impact driver set. Its fairly mundane feature set is offset by quality performance in the class with weights and footprints that are near the most compact for both tools.  At roughly $250 for the kit, this is in a really great spot for Milwaukee fans. Its cost is within reach for serious DIYers and it has the performance for Pros that don't need a ton of power. Since both tools have brushless motors and Milwaukee's 5-year warranty, it's a win. 

Overall Score 4.2 Pro Review

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Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Combo Kit 2892-22CT Review


Milwaukee Compact Brushless Combo Kit Offers Brushless Benefits at a More Affordable Price

Milwaukee first introduced their Compact Brushless line a few years ago. These are drills and impact drivers with brushless motors that aren’t part of the M18 Fuel line. They tend to be a little smaller and less powerful while still offering the additional runtime and long life benefits of a brushless motor. Better yet, they cost less and still have Milwaukee’s 5-year warranty. The Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Combo Kit (Milwaukee 2892-22CT) is a new part of the line that includes a drill driver and impact driver.

Pros

  • Both tools are genuinely lightweight and compact in their class
  • Neither tool struggled to maintain speed in our testing
  • Lower price than M18 Fuel kits ($249)
  • Brushless motors

Cons

  • Drill had lower than expected results in our soft torque test
  • Basic feature sets

Recommendation

The 2892-22CT Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Combo Kit is a really well-rounded drill and impact driver set. Its fairly mundane feature set is offset by quality performance in the class with weights and footprints that are near the most compact for both tools.

At roughly $250 for the kit, this is in a really great spot for Milwaukee fans. Its cost is within reach for serious DIYers and it has the performance for Pros that don’t need a ton of power. Since both tools have brushless motors and Milwaukee’s 5-year warranty, it’s a win.

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Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Drill Driver

Performance

In our 18V cordless drill shootout, the compact models had to drive 3/4″ auger bits and 1-1/2″ self-feed bits for their speed test. Milwaukee keeps the auger bit moving at 1171 RPM—71% of the 1665 RPM no-load speed we measured on our tachometer.

Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Combo Kit

With the self-feed bit in low speed, it averages 408 RPM which is 73% of its 556 RPM no-load speed.

These are mixed results. In the high-speed test, Milwaukee is near the bottom. However, it’s in the top 5 in the low-speed test.

Perhaps the bigger takeaway is in the efficiency—its percentage of no-load speed. While there are some drills that have higher percentages, what this shows us is that the motor isn’t struggling to keep these bits moving. We’re confident that you can handle anything that other compact drills can. You might just trade-off a little speed.

The other side of performance is torque. It’s important to note that our torque test is a soft torque test. Check out our main shootout page for more testing details.

In this test, Milwaukee only averages 121 in-lbs. Soft torque usually runs 50% – 60% of the hard torque, so we expected it to be closer to 250 in-lbs. I don’t have a solid answer for why it’s lower, but Milwaukee isn’t alone here. Seven other compact drills are also in the 120 in-lbs – 130 in-lbs range.

Feature Set

For both tools in this combo kit, the feature set is pretty basic. The Milwaukee 2801 drill driver has a 2-speed brushless motor with an 18+1 clutch, a full-metal chuck,  LED light, and reversible belt hook. It’s basic, but it’s functional and it’s all you really need to effectively make holes and drive fasteners.

Physical Build

We measured the Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Drill Driver at 7.78″ tall and 6.63″ long. Aside from the two sub-compact drills we tested, it’s the most compact in the 18V Compact class.

Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Combo Kit

Bare, it’s 2.45 pounds and 3.43 pounds with a 2.0 Ah battery on our scale. That’s also an impressive feat, with just the two sub-compacts and Skil’s compact model weighing less.

Having a lighter weight and compact footprint makes this a really pleasant drill to use. That said, the Gen 3 M18 Fuel drill and hammer drill models are really compact in their own right.

Ratings

  • Speed Under Load: 3.5
  • Torque: 2.0
  • Feature Set: 4.0
  • Weight: 4.2
  • Footprint: 4.8
  • Overall: 4.2 out of 5.0

Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Drill Driver Specifications

  • Model: Milwaukee 2801
  • Power Source: Milwaukee M18 RedLithium batteries
  • Chuck: 1/2″
  • No-Load Speed: 0–500/0–1800 RPM
  • Torque: 500 in-lbs
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Height: 7.75″
  • Length: 6.5″

Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Impact Driver

Performance

Driving 1/4″ ledger screws, the Milwaukee Compact Brushless Impact Driver averages 450 RPM, just 30 RPM slower than the Gen 3 M18 Fuel model. That’s plenty of speed with a fastener and the motor doesn’t feel like it’s in danger of overheating or stalling.

Before we go into torque, it’s important to note that the values we record do not reflect the manufacturer’s testing for specs. However, it does give us a repeatable test for making comparisons. Check out more about our testing methods here.

Milwaukee specs this model at 1600 in-lbs of torque and we really think that’s the sweet spot for impact drivers. It gives you enough speed and power to drive smaller fasteners up to 1/4″ or so without getting to the point that you break socket adapters every time you work on a hex fastener.

For fastening torque, we saw a solid 2088 in-lbs average. The Gen 3 M18 Fuel had the highest at 2656 in-lbs. But what’s really impressive how hard it hits in reverse. While the M18 Fuel model consistently broke 3600 ft-lbs, the Milwaukee 2850 broke 4500 in-lbs.

Feature Set

If the drill’s feature set is light, the impact driver’s is even lighter. It has a single-speed brushless motor, LED light, and reversible belt hook. If you’re the type of Pro that leaves your impact driver in high and feathers the trigger for smaller screws, this feature set is just fine.

Physical Build

Milwaukee’s Gen 3 M18 Fuel Impact Driver already has one of the most compact designs available, but the Milwaukee 2850 is no slouch in that department. Its length is just 5.00″ and it’s only 7.69″ tall, making it the 3rd smallest overall.

Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Combo Kit

It’s solid in the weight department as well. As a bare tool, it’s 2.1 pounds and 3.0 pounds with a compact battery, putting it just 0.1 pounds behind the leader.

Ratings

  • Speed Under Load: 3.5
  • Torque: 4.3
  • Feature Set: 4.1
  • Weight: 4.8
  • Footprint: 4.5
  • Overall: 4.2 out of 5.0

Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Impact Driver Specifications

  • Model: Milwaukee 2850
  • Power Source: Milwaukee M18 RedLithium batteries
  • Chuck: 1/4″ hex
  • No-Load Speed: 0–3400 RPM
  • Torque: 1600 in-lbs
  • Impact Rate: 0–4200 IPM
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Height: 7.75″
  • Length: 5.1″

Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Combo Kit Pricing

There are a couple of ways to get your hands on this kit. The Milwaukee 2892-22CT comes with two  2.0 Ah batteries and a soft bag for $198.89. Some retailers also have it in a Packout and we’re seeing prices around $219.99 for that.

I’d go with the Packout option, personally. Even if you aren’t currently building a Packout system, it’s nice to have the hard case.

If you’re thinking about individual tools, here are your options:

  • Milwaukee 2801-20 (bare drill driver): Check on Amazon
  • Milwaukee 2801-22CT (drill driver with two 2.0 Ah batteries): $189.99
  • Milwaukee 2850-20 (bare impact driver): $63.69
  • Milwaukee 2850-21P (impact driver with one 2.0 Ah battery): $149.99
  • Milwaukee 2850-22CT (impact driver with two 2.0 Ah batteries): $169.99

At most retailers, the upgrade from a single tool kit to the full 2-tool combo is just $50 and give you the versatility of using the two as a drilling/driving combo.

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The Bottom Line

The 2892-22CT Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Combo Kit is a really well-rounded drill and impact driver set. Its fairly mundane feature set is offset by quality performance in the class with weights and footprints that are near the most compact for both tools.

At roughly $250 for the kit, this is in a really great spot for Milwaukee fans. Its cost is within reach for serious DIYers and it has the performance for Pros that don’t need a ton of power. Since both tools have brushless motors and Milwaukee’s 5-year warranty, it’s a win.

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