Tired of lugging that 18V monster drill/driver around just to drive small screws and assemble stuff? Bosch’s PS20 sub-compact driver has provided an alternative for the last few years, but it’s seen little competition.
Until now. Milwaukee’s new sub-compact is similar in size and claims slightly better specs. But we needed to see it – and put it to the test in the Toolmonger shop — to believe it. Read on past the jump to see how it fared.
Inside the Milwaukee’s shipping box we found a pretty sturdy-looking soft case with room to hold the drill, two batteries, and the charger. There’s also a little extra space that could hold, say, a couple of small boxes of screws, a drill bit set, or some fastener bits. If you leave the charger at home, you might fit all three inside.
The lights on the front of the Milwaukee’s charger are labeled only with pictograms, but a quick look in the manual explained that the charger’s red light is on while the unit is charging, and it flashes when the battery is too hot to charge. A solid green light indicates that the battery is fully charged, and an alternating green-red means that the battery is unchargeable (read: kaput).
Our test driver shipped with a battery in it, and though the instructions require a full charge before use our battery indicator displayed half a charge – and the driver had enough juice out of the box to drive screws.
The driver itself features a quick-release bit collar, which Milwaukee claims provides “true one-handed operation.” What this means is that you don’t have to hold the collar out to insert the bit. When you pull the collar out, it stays out, only snapping closed when you push in a bit. Pulling the collar forward causes it to forcefully eject the bit. Result: you don’t have to hold the collar with one hand while you insert or remove the bit with the other.
A fuel gauge on the side of the driver – as opposed to on the battery-like larger drivers – indicates battery charge via four red LEDs when you slightly depress the trigger.
The Milwaukee is roughly the same size as the PS20 but has a slightly larger battery and is about an inch longer; however, if they weren’t standing side by side it’s difficult to tell the difference in their dimensions. Like the PS20, the Milwaukee also includes an LED worklight that illuminates a small area around the collar.
Read on to page two for our in-use experiences.