Milwaukee M18 Fuel Brushless Cordless Drill Review Model 2603-22.
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I’m also thinking about buying some Milwaukee tools but the cost and where they are manufactured is holding me back. I refuse to spend that much money on something made in China. Milwaukee was a well known made in USA brand but became a sell out and now everything is made in China. The whole point of these companies manufacturing overseas is to “lower costs” but how come the prices don’t come down with it? They are charging the same prices as if it were made here in the USA. There isn’t any cordless drills made in the USA anymore but why should i pay more for a name? if they are all made in China. Sure the quality MIGHT be good but the quality control from China is hit or miss.
Something you may or may not know (but definitely should know) about Lithium Ion batteries is they are NOT like older style batteries. They do not have memory, so you can and should charge them whenever. If you drain the battery all the way lithium ion batteries do *not* like it. They do much better if you charge it whenever you’re done using it. Storing them half charged will do more damage to them than charging them all the way, and in fact not using them for months when they’re dead can actually decrease their life considerably. Lithium Ion batteries usually have a state charge and recharge capacity of 1,000 uses to 3,000 depending on quality of the cells, but this will actually be decreased to 500 to 1,000 if you’re draining it to the point where the battery no longer powers the tool. Not only have I read this but I’ve lived it. I’ve had tools and even phones with li-ions that I’ve let drain completely before charging, their life span was dramatically decreased.
Sweet drill. This video is going to get a lot of views. Brushless technology is expensive. The rest of the tool will wear out (including the batteries) before the motor does just like they do now even though they’re brushed tools. You did pay a premium price for it though. You also got a premium product. My brother for my birthday got me a milwaukee 18v impact driver and hammer drill. It is brushed and not brushless. The impact is single speed. I got 2 3.0 batteries, the charger and a case. He picked it up on ebay for $80. What a steal!!!! I couldn’t believe I’m into the milwaukee lineup. I was so happy. I used to use harbor freight drills. Milwaukee is so much better. You will really like the lithium technology. I do. The trouble I have with battery tools if you go to an auction or something similar, you see corded tools that are 20-30 years old and they still work. The battery tools have been thrown away or aren’t any good because the batteries went bad or you can’t buy replacement batteries. Battery tools do have their place though. I would use corded tools in a workshop or something similar but if I need to go somewhere where there isn’t any electricity cordless is the way to go.
I have the Litium version of your hitachi, 18v 1.5ah. I have abused it for 5 years solid, the batterys are like new, no problems. the clutch has started to go ary in the drill it’s self not to bad though, I could fix that. Great drills and really cheep now, im going to buy another. Milwaukee are great drills also im just in Hitachi, bosch and Makita land now :D.
You will love lithium they give almost full power until there dead and stop dead, part of the battery chemistry and battery protection.
I believe brushless motors use less electricity and have more torque.
Bang up job as usual G…thanks
Good review G, Very nice drill. I have a Ridgid with a 3 amp LI battery and I love it. Has a great run time between charges.. I think Rigid has lifetime battery replacement now. That’s not bad at all. good luck with your new toy and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Nice review as usual. You probably shouldn’t use that giant bit with that drill.
My last batch of cordless tools are the Milwaukee m12 line and I couldn’t be happier with them. I would strongly suggest that you pick up one of their 1/4 inch impact drivers next. I have just the basic m12 batteries, not the fuel type and they seem to last a nice long time. They have no trouble driving 4″ construction screws into old dry lumber. Like you I do a lot of DIY home projects. You’ll grow to love that LED light on your tool soon enough. Nice review!
Hey G, as usual excellent review. Myself, I’m trapped with Ryobi products. About 12 years or so ago I bought one of their 18v drills and until about a month ago it served me well, but since I’m invested with batteries and their other tools I replaced it with another Ryobi. Along the way I have bought a variety of other 1+ tools since I had the batteries so I’ve been reluctant to invest in other brands. I’m embarrassed to admit to all of the different Ryobi 18v tools I own now. If I was to start over again there’s no doubt I’d go with Milwaukee, all of my Milwaukee tools have been top shelf. Just wished they were available when I first got hooked… Btw, my old Ryobi failed due to brushes which you can’t replace, the brushless technology it the way to go for sure. Thanks!
Here is one huge gripe I have with milwaukee. Spare room for bits, drill bits etc in the carry case, panasonic and makita to some degree do that ALOT better
Nice one G! These new XC & XCP Li/Lipo batteries are much better now than the earlier ones like my C3 Craftsman. Mine came with 2 Li batteries and charger but killed one of them a couple of years ago using the C3 blower/vacuum – too many amps too long. I know the cells are still good it just blew the fusable link built into the cells. Liked that the Milwaukee has the circuitry to pause it but it might be annoying at certain times. The cost of Li’s is atrocious though…you can buy almost 4 NiCads for the price of a single high output Li. The brushless motors also have much smoother speed controls and really like that especially for drilling metal and keeping a constant speed/feed. A Rippin Good warranty too -WOW! The interesting thing with cordless drills over the old school plug-in’s is the bearing behind the chuck…my ancient 3/8 Craftsman actually has a ball bearing because the nose piece is cast aluminum…most of the cordless I’ve seen are all plastic and don’t think they can support anything but a bushing. My C3 has some pretty good runout after 6 years of use and abuse. Speaking of abuse…that 3″ forstner was quite a TEST! The one thing I didn’t see on it was a level on the butt end which I think is good and check mine regularly on deep drills. Over all though quite a nice unit and the price is comparative, especially with the RT angle freeby. Great review as usual! Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season! ~PJ
my only power tool from milwuakee is my 4 1/2 inch angle grinder and i love it. 11000 rpm, reliable durable yet easy to handle and doest weigh a ton
sure looks like a good strong tool. Milwaukee has a good name and reputation .
So you took the leap huh? Glad to hear it! Big jump to the pricey Milwaukee, but 5 years and 3 years is WOW. Always respected that company brand. I have a 19.2v CM given to me 12 yrs ago as a surprise present and Thank you for work I did for a neighbor. The drill is still great but Ni-Cad was not holding up anymore. Luckily they came out with Li-ion batteries for it and a backwards compatible charger. Love the torque capabilities and quick charge of the Li-Ion. But when they die they die die! Had to laugh when you motioned screwing the drill to finish that last fastener on depleted Ni-Cad. Been there done that many times- haha. But that can’t happen on LI-Ion. Nice family line of add on tools to go with it. Congratulations!
After my Makita batteries died i bit the bullet and upgraded to the Fuel Brushless line. With the promotions they are nearly always putting on at HD the cost of the new Fuel was not that much more than replacing the old batteries. Build quality and operation I’ve had no issue with them in a year of daily use