Bigger isn’t always better, and it looks like Milwaukee’s looking to offer a smaller, lighter 18V option for the V18 crowd. Specifically, this new “Compact” drill features the same five-cell lithium-manganese battery chemistry as the V18 — minus the V18’s ability to interface with a battery reader — but weighs in at a svelte four pounds versus the V18’s 6.1 pounds.
We’d bet most of that weight savings comes from the smaller cells in the battery, yielding 1.4 Ah as compared to the V18’s 3 Ah pack. There’s also a little trade-off in terms of performance: the “Compact” claims 400 in-lbs of torque with speeds of 0-350 rpm and 0-1,400 rpm while the V18 claims 550 in-lbs and spins either 0-450 rpm or 0-1,700 rpm. Going light also apparently requires you to ditch one of our favorite V18 features: the ratcheting all-metal chuck.
Which isn’t to say that we don’t see the “Compact” 18V as a welcome addition to Milwaukee’s offerings. We love the V18, but not everyone needs — or has the cash to spend on — its raw power, runtime, and durability. The “Compact” will fill the needs of many technicians, and if the price is right, we’d expect to see high sales figures.
Milwaukee tells us these should hit shelves this October, right alongside their new 12V sub-compact. We’ll report back with MSRP — and testing data — as soon as we have the opportunity.