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Not all of our favorite tools are inexpensive. In fact, Milwaukee’s V18 was one of the more expensive drivers to grace TM’s shop last year. And that’s saying something, because if there’s one tool we see a lot here at TM, it’s cordless drill/drivers. But the V18 won over even our cheap-ass hearts. Read on past the jump to see why it’s one of our top ten of 2007.

With at least four or five drivers in the shop at any one time, we find ourselves reaching first for the V18. Why?

Four words: kick-ass metal chuck.

Sure, the V18′s 20V lithium-ion power cells last a long time, both in use and in the toolbox. And it pushes enough torque to drill big holes in masonry. And its now-ubiquitous battery charge gauge makes it easy to keep the tool ready-for-use. But it’s the V18′s metal chuck that kept this driver out of the cabinet and in use constantly.

The chuck’s ratcheting mechanism is first class and makes tightening the chuck around a new bit painless and effective. It’s one of the few keyless chucks that really tightens down well — without leaving marks on your bare hand.

One downside: don’t drop the V18. Milwaukee’s battery mount system suspends the battery below the tool, and it’s relatively easy to break the battery mount if you drop it onto concrete. So don’t drop it.

As you can see from the photo, our V18 has seen massive use throughout 2007. It’s our go-to choice for drilling holes in steel — and especially for driving large wood screws because the combination of its accurate clutch and sensitive trigger speed control make it easy to wield high torque in a controlled manner.

At a street price of around $300, we view the V18 as a long-term investment — made easier by the fact that you can use the batteries that come with the V18 in your existing 18-volt Milwaukee tools, upgrading them to the current battery tech and lending them new life. Plus, Milwaukee offers a variety of other options in the V18 line in tool-only form, so if you’re not already a Milwaukee user you can stock up.

V18 1/2″ Hammerdrill/Driver [Milwaukee]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

 

12 Responses to TM’s 2007 Favorites: Milwaukee’s V18 1/2″ Hammerdrill/Driver

  1. Mark says:

    I have this drill too and also love it. Be warned, though, that if you are driving a lot of screws, it will give you a workout. All that metal makes it heavy. It is times like those when I feel like I should get a Milwaukee 2401-22 compact drill driver. You guys had a chance to test drive the compact drill driver from Milwaukee?

  2. PutnamEco says:

    Toolking has a deal for the drill and driver combo kit.

    http://www.toolking.com/milwaukee_0824-24p.aspx

    V28 is not really much heavier. Nice being able to use V18 batteries on the old nicad tools.

    Of the impact drivers that I’ve used, the Makita is my favorite.

  3. l_bilyk says:

    Have you looked at the chuck used on some dewalt drills? It’s even better

  4. bc says:

    too heavy. check out the panasonic lithium. 14.4v.

  5. Mel E. says:

    When is Milwaukee going to get with the program and make a good drill? i get exposed to drills from all the big names everyday through my work. Milwaukee consistently puts out the largest heaviest drills with the worst ergonomics. I do know the milwaukee products end up in the shop for repair the most. My experience with the warranty for milwaukee is not a great one. Was the only time I ever had a manufacturer turn down a repair. I say for my money to stay with a black and yellow, or blue and red product.

  6. Boss717 says:

    Speaking of the black and yellow, I bought a DC900KL 36v hammer drill at Sears Essentials yesterday for only $154. Complete kit with 2 batteries, charger, drill, handle and case.

  7. john says:

    If you like the Milwaukee then you’ll love any other brand since the Milwaukee is like a brick to use everyday.

  8. PutnamEco says:

    Re:
    Milwaukee consistently puts out the largest heaviest drills with the worst ergonomics.
    =====================================================
    Most of the guys I know like to get the largest, heftiest drill they can, We tend to leave the dainty ones to the women folk. ;-) :wink:

    My local tool repair shop seems always to have mostly yellow in the repair cue, and I think he is supporting himself selling replacement batteries for Dewalts.

  9. Fred says:

    While there certainly is a place for higher battery voltage (reciprocating saws for one) I have a few 12 volt Makita impact drivers that I’ll stack up against this – and they do not bust anyone’s wrist. Think strong like Bull – not dumb like Ox – not everything that weighs more is better

  10. Jack says:

    I think PutnamEco said it best, there seems to be alot of Milwaukee haters here. Just remember, heavy duty tools generally weigh more, if you do not need the extra umph buy the lighter duty tools. I have Makita, Dewalt and Milwaukee drills (and other tools) although I love my Dewalt’s the Milwaukee’s are always used for the heavy duty jobs. I do love the feel of power though.

  11. Johnny says:

    A drill weighing more has no value whatsoever. Weight has nothing to do with power or durability. If you like lots of power try the newer Makita’s. They are lighter and have more power than the Milwaukee. Think how much nicer it is to have the power and not have to lug around a heavy tool. This is the 21st Century, heavy does not equal power. Heavy today means outdated and old technology.

  12. Jack says:

    Makita’s are not in the same league as Milwaukee for heavy duty tools. My Makita tools are only used for around the house not on the job site. If you think you need more power than the industrial Milwaukee tools you must have arms the size of tree trunks. Anyway Makita for daily contractor work spells trouble. Not a dig on Makita just the way it is, they make fine home use tools and I use mine once in a while. : ) However you are very wrong about the weight of power tools and power, the heavier tools generally have more power.

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