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If you’ve been looking for a pro-level li-ion cordless screwdriver, Milwaukee may have your number.  A few weeks ago they gave IBS attendees a preliminary look at their new V4 li-ion cordless screwdriver.  It’s one of the first “traditionally-shaped” cordless screwdrivers we’ve seen to incorporate li-ion and a pro feature set.

Besides the standard two-position handle, the V4 includes a two-speed gearbox (200 or 600 RPM) and a 21-position clutch.  (There’s a clutch-disabled “drill mode” for drilling small pilot holes.)  The battery is a 4V single-cell version of the V28’s 7-cell (and the 20V V18’s 5-cell) battery — a 3.0 Ah monster that should provide some pretty hearty runtime.

It’ll MSRP at around $110.  The only bad news: These won’t hit shelves until summertime, so you’re gonna have to stretch that old NiCd ‘driver a little farther.


9 Responses to Preview: Milwaukee’s V4 Cordless Screwdriver

  1. nrChris says:

    I still want to know if the Li-Ion drivers are hot or not. I know they’re hot if you don’t consider price, but I am looking at the overall picture here.

    This is the best looking one that I have seen so far–most of the others have a “ray gun” appearance to them. This looks like a real tool.

    I will wait to hear reviews for dropping that kind of money on upgrading from NiCad.

  2. I wonder how this compares to the Bosh PS10 (http://toolmonger.com/2006/06/21/hands-on-boschs-i-driver/). Based on the above it’s cheaper, but uglier and not able to fit into the same small spaces as the Bosch.

  3. Chris S. says:

    Good Lord, the form factor on that thing is atrocious.

    I think that, by far, Milwaukee builds some of the ugliest power tools on the market. Good quality, but compared to Ryobi, Bosch, Ridgid (not to mention the high-high end like Festools), their products fail to excite or inspire confidence.

  4. NickC says:

    This isn’t entirely on subject, but one thing I have always wondered is do clutch settings on drivers like this directly correlate to ft lbs like a torque wrench? This one has 21 settings; the 21st I assume is the disable. But how are these 20 settings measured and what do they mean? Are they normally linear? (20 takes twice as much as 10 to slip) If they don’t correlate to anything real then why have 20 settings? Wouldn’t 5 settings of really loose, loose, sort of tight, tight, and really tight be enough?

  5. MikeR says:

    nrChris: the Bosch Li-Ion driver is defanitly hot. I drywalled a room with one of these recently and it worked great. It was nice and light and easy to use overhead and seemed to have a much longer runtime than my Makita 18v Ni-MH driver.

    I think the less expensive Skil and B&D models would be less hot.

  6. Chuck Cage says:

    Patrick: We’ll know in a few months when test tools are available. 🙂

    As far as form-factor goes, this would fit into some spaces that the PS10 (and certainly the PS20) can’t, so I think the handiness (or suckiness) of the form factor is really going to be a factor of what kind of work you do.

    We’ve run into a number of people that haven’t moved “up” to the PS10 or PS20 from their old cordless screwdriver because they like the standard format — the one shared by the new Milwaukee. We figure this is interesting because those people will finally have a solid (we hope) li-ion option.

  7. Phillip says:

    Actually, I wonder how this will compare to the Hitachi DB3DL (rather than the “massive” 10.8v Bosch’s) – since it is the same type and size of power cell and size.

    I can’t wait to try this one out. I always felt the 2.4 volt screwdrivers were kind of light duty with an extremely short run time.

    BTW Chris, professionals (whom Milwaukee products are squarely aimed at) rarely care how aesthically pleasing the tools are – only that they perform, and I’m sure it will be a top performer.

  8. NikFromNYC says:

    I get these like I buy new ballpoint pens, and am very happy this long line of Milwaukee/Panasonic/Matsushita line of SMALL and FOLDING screwdriver/drills is again being updated.

    You see, I use them in a production environment, making lamps all day long. The latest model charges fast enough that only one spare battery is needed to run it all day. The torque setting also includes a 22nd “drill” icon, in which there is no shut-off, and doing studio renovations, I can mount shelves with a carbide bit on the fast/drill setting then the slow/drill setting. If the wall is made of cement I need to get my hammer drill, but normal plaster walls in NYC are easy to do.

    McMaster.com and most any huge hardware store sells a 1/4″ Jacobs chuck hex bit. That’s what the metal tip is, a one-handed pull-back bit locker, unlike the old snap or magnetic ones.

    Ergonomically, the fact that if folds means that you can switch from folded casual use to straightened out use to change wrist positions, which is a godsend if you are using the tool all day for six hours!

    The torque settings are great, through I only use No.1 (for machine screw attachment of crackable acrylic mirrors), No.4/5 (depending on the sharpness of the bit) for tapping screws in Bakelite holes with a collar on the tap to make the tool’s clutch kick in at a certain depth, and “drill” mode. But if you are using many types/sizes of countersink screws in wood, then that vast range of torque settings would indeed be useful, even if you only use a few specific numbers after some trial an error.

    Last, if you put it on infinite “drill” torque, it *can* be used as an angled manual screwdriver, within limits. I once really overdid this and destroyed the planetary gear shaft holes.

    For up to 1/4″ I would consider this a rather good drill, too. Besides the hex bit chuck I mentioned, McMaster.com also sells hex bit drills, as well as (kind of hard to find on their site), collet-based chucks for any drill size from very tiny to 1/4″, for quick change work. I mount taps in these, for quick-change work tap/screw/tap/screw….

    It has the type of power supply that doesn’t slow down, it just pulls more battery juice, gets hot, and you hope the spare battery is ready in time. Be careful of 3rd party batteries though. They may put up a picture of the real thing then ship a physically longer, lower-capacity substitute, then haggle about issuing a real refund instead of credit, since they don’t even carry the real ones.

    It requires those long, hubbed locking bits. On rare occasion, you will get a bit that needs to be sanded down a bit or it wont come out easy. McMaster also sells diamond coated phillips bits that seems to grab longer than basic hardware store ones.

    In a production environment, this is, unlike my pneumatic riveter, glue gun, buffer etc. one of the few “home craftsman” quality tools that I can avoid having to “go the $1600 route” with, which is what a professional electric screwdriver goes for. Sure, they are much higher RPM, but they also have a CORD.

  9. Walter says:

    After looking at the specs it still don’t beat my Makita DF010DSE. Still it’s a nice driver..

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