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Milwaukee unveiled their newest frontline products in the sub-compact cordless wars last week, and the M12 3/8” drill/driver was one of the first out of the gate. This offers a couple of insights:  first, this new drill is proof positive that Milwaukee has no plans to drop their M12 line;  and second, if you’ve been lamenting the limited choice of tools in this line, you’re in for a good year.

From everything we’ve heard, the big red “M” plans to roll out just shy of a dozen new tools in the M12 line alone this year. Their 3/8” drill is a great start. It features a 0 – 1,500 RPM high gear and 0 – 400 RPM low gear as well as a ripping 250 in-lbs of torque that’ll keep it in stride with the other competitors in its class.

With the rising popularity of the sub-compact lines in the market today, it seems Milwaukee’s going to bet heavy on little tools that boast large performance.  From a consumer standpoint we have to agree with that choice — we’ve reached for the high-end Li-Ion subs for the last two years, and they haven’t disappointed us yet. We can’t imagine the M12 3/8” will be any different. We got our hands on one for a short time at the recent Milwaukee event and it seemed very solid.

Pricing looks to be in the $130 – $150 range for the drill, charger, and two-battery set.  No word on what drill-only or combo kit pricing will be just yet, but we’ll keep you updated as rollouts occur.

Milwaukee M12 Line [Milwaukee Tools]


17 Responses to Preview: Milwaukee M12 3/8″ Drill

  1. fred says:

    We have been so impressed with this line that we have bought 1 dozen each 2401 drivers, 2420 hackzalls and 2471 tubing cutters. We have also bought half that many each 2450 impact drivers and 2451 impact wrenches – to have 12 in total.

    The complement our other recent cordless purchases which have been Makita 18V LXT tools.

  2. Matt says:

    I have been trying to decide between this Drill, the similar 12v Rigid one and the 18v compact Rigid. Milwaukee seems to have a wider variety of tools that will run on this battery system compared to the 12v Rigid (are there future Rigid tools in the works?). I am also concerned if it will have enough power for me. I am not a professional, think weekends, planter beds, occasional fences and screwdriving. I was also wondering about the quality of Milwaukee compared to Rigid (or others for that matter). This will be replacing a 10 year old 9v Dewalt, which I have been very happy with. Any opinions would be welcomed.

  3. heywood says:

    I definitely wish I hadn’t bought the original driver at this point. It works great, but I have the impact driver for those situations. This new 3/8 drill would take care of the rest, besides the times when I need a 1/2 inch drill or hammer drill.

    This line just keeps getting better, I wish my company would buy them so I could use them at work.

  4. Chris says:

    I wish Makita would expand their 10v line of tools. I bought the impact driver before they came out with the combo pack with the screwgun, though the screwgun doesnt have a chuck so thats not a big loss. The only other tool they seem to have in their 10v line is an led flashlight. Id love to seem them make a 10v version of their mini sawzall. If you can shed any light on makitas plans for the 10v line please do tell.

  5. fred says:

    Here is what I said on the later post – as a follow-up about the M12 tubing cutter:

    This turns out to have been a very useful post – and I now stand corrected about the tubing cutters.
    I just did a start-of-the-shift survey this morning and learned that 4 out of the 6 tubing cutters no longer work and were silently relegated to the front of the trucks – out of the way of the real tools. They apparrently did not fail immediately – and the failures were not related to battery failure. We have had several problems with some batteries that did not take an initial charge (or at least the charger’s LED’s said that they were broken. I’m told that even though we were using them mostly for tight-spot cutting – and they seemed to work very well initially – they just died – and then out came our old reliable Imperial-Eastman’s.

    I asked about the Hackzalls and the small drivers – and was told that they still seem to be performing – but I now will be watchful.

  6. Phil says:

    My 2401 driver is about a little over a year old and I’m already having trigger switch problems. Although I am able to manipulate it into working, it is an annoying problem.

  7. PutnamEco says:

    Milwaukee has dropped the ball on a lot of their newer products, I don’t think TTI has the same attitude as the “old” made in USA Milwaukee. I think they are more geared towards moving product, than building quality products. I now take a wait and see position, before buying anything Milwaukee. Rather than just buying their tools based on their previous reputation. I”m still not very happy with them for dropping the V18 line so quickly. I know Makita has been getting a lot more of my business now, and I’m leaning more towards Hilti and Festool for my personal tools.
    Now if only Festool would come out with an Impact driver.

  8. Zeros says:

    Chris: Makita does have a 10/12v version of the drill with a chuck, the DF330DW. I bought the combo pack with the impact and drill with quick change socket for $130, but wanted the one with a chuck as well. I ended up ordering the parts from ereplacementparts.com to convert my drill to have the chuck. $35 in parts and shipping got me a makita 10/12v drill with a chuck. I’m happy with that.

  9. bc says:

    If they break down they are covered by a 5yr warranty.

  10. Al says:

    This M12 line looks to be getting more awesome. Glad I chose Milwaukee over Bosch and Makita. The copper tubing cutters are awesome(other plumbers get jealous), the Hackzall has infinite uses and the 1/4″ hex drill was bought mainly for extra batteries but has proven useful(and very light to boot). I hear there is a bunch of tools for electricians, a laser level, a stud and pipe sensors, a PVC cutter, right-angle drill, radio and a higher capacity battery coming. Good stuff.

  11. PutnamEco says:

    Al Says: This M12 line looks to be getting more awesome…..

    Ryobi is also expanding their 12 volt line. TTI is the parent company of both Milwaukee and Ryobi, What I’m wondering is the only difference between the two going to be cosmetic. As I posted earlier, I think Milwaukee is now concentrating more on quantity of tools rather than than quality of tools.

    In regards to the tubing cutter, I also have heard it is fragile and breaks often when used in an production environment. One of the reasons I’ve taken the wait and see approach to my future purchases of Milwaukee tools. The other being the flexi flyer of a shoe they put on their new 10 1/2″ circular saw.

    They may be all right for homeowner/hobby use , but,in a professional environment an unreliable tool often costs you more than a slow reliable(manual)tool. It takes me approximately 2 hours to deal with a down tool, to either replace or repair, even if it is under warrentee, that is two hours I’m not making money, Tool takes that much time from me, more than once, I’m looking for its replacement. Or even better, to learn from others mistakes before I make them. That’s why websites like Toolmonger are great, makes it easy to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    Shame to start thinking of Milwaukee as a used to be professional tool manufacturer , like Black and Decker, Rockwell, etc. It is starting to look like even Bosch and Makita are heading towards the “make it cheaper in China” route, too.

    I can only hope that some new start up will see the value of an American made ultra reliable, easily repairable, highly functional tool, one of those tools that you would want to hand down to your kids, rather than throw in the dumpster after three years on the job. even if it does cost two or three times what the competition does.

  12. Nick says:

    I’ve had the M12 Hackzall and Driver (kit) for about 6 months now and although I initially had a hard time justifying $279 (CAN) for what kinda looked like toys, I’m thoroughly impressed and happy with the purchase.

    As an electrician I use them extensively everyday, and unfortunatly, abuse them everyday, and so far have had absolutely no problems. Both tools and batteries have perfromed beyond my expectations and a number of guys in company have purchased similar kits after using mine…. alot. Bastards.

    Of course I’m pissed that they release the “chucked” driver now but hey, what can you do? I’m looking forward to the rest of the M12 line.

  13. TomJ says:

    The Ryobi, Ridgid, Milwaukee tools start looking more and more alike. TTi has really taken these tools in a different direction.

  14. Install says:

    I like this drill, but the chuck keeps loosening on bitholder.
    This is not a good situation, they need to fix this–it is a problem.
    The drill has more power than the chuck has “hold”.

  15. Install says:

    Chuck keeps loosening on bits, they know about it…
    My guess… that particular chuck can’t handle the braking
    from a 1500rpm motor keeps auto rotating until bit, drill or other
    tool is loose.

  16. IMD says:

    Bought the Drill and Stereo combo kit. Straight out of the package we got 5 hours worth of drywall done on the factory charge (ok that’s a lie, it was 4 hours, 1 of those hours was extended Fridee lunch). Even had it out for some hole sawing for running pipe, performed like a beast. It even kept up to a V28 hammerdrill in terms of battery length.

    The stereo actually proved to be the most surprising thing in the package though. iPod support, an excellent receiver for radio and unbelievably powerful speakers puts this as my favourite M12 item so far.

    Up next week, the Hackzawll!

  17. dani says:

    i am having problems getting the charger to charge my battery. the red and green light flashes when i insert the battery. don’t know what’s wrong.

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