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drill driver or impact driver for around the house

James Duncan

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Hey guys new poster here :)


anyways im looking at the m18 fuel brushless series to replace my old 14.4 yellow drill which doesnt hold a charge. I do some light woodwork (shelves small projects etc) and regular diy house stuff.I am not sure if i should stick with a drill/driver or get an impact..


I am considering the 2653-22ct  http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M18-FUEL-18-Volt-Brushless-Lithium-Ion-1-4-in-Hex-Impact-Driver-Compact-Battery-Kit-2653-22CT/203272114


and the 2603-22ct http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M18-Fuel-18-Volt-Lithium-Ion-Brushless-1-2-in-Drill-Driver-Compact-Battery-Kit-2603-22CT/203221910?N=5yc1vZc7jjZzvZ1z0ulnw



can i get away with just one? i have litte exp with impacts (other than playing with them at home depot screwing in a piece of demo wood) they seem really nice im a tiny bit concerned of the noise and control on small fasteners in weaker woods or sheetrock but i also know the 3 speed milwaukees are supposed to be good for that..i can really only afford one ($275 budget plus new shcokwave bits etc) which one will be the better overall choice ( i screw more than i drill but will still need to drill holes from time to time)


if you had to pick one which would it be?   or should i maybe get a combo set and save up for it ...   any thoughts or tips would be great!

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 I like using an impact more myself. My little M12 fuel is my go to fastener to be honest now. The only thing is you have to use 1/4 hex drill bits if you get an impact. I doubt it would be a deal breaker but just wanted to let you know.  For diy unless you want a brushless drill you could save some money and get a brushed combo kit with both for the same money. Milwaukee makes great tools but their bits suck. I'm not a fan of the shockwave bits the tips garbage up fast. Dewalt or Makita seem to be better.

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First off, welcome to your forum!

Secondly....if you are buying one tool....I'd go with a drill. The reasoning is that the drill is going to drive screws, it will also drill holes. The impact driver can drill holes too but...it is really and ideally used to drive fasteners. The impact mechanism allows you to use the high torque and impacts to really pound in large fasteners.

One could argue either way but the impact gun is a phenomenal tool all around but the drill is my go to tool. If you think about what you are going to be using the tool for mostly then it is easier to make that purchase. Keep in mind, when you purchase either Dewalt, Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee you are really buying in to a tool platform powered by one battery platform.

That first purchase can quickly lead to a cordless circular saw, jigsaw, recip saw, impact gun, right angle drill, lights, radios, sweet Lord Above the trail never ends. However, for my two cents, I'd get a drill. It's going to do light duty fastening, medium duty drilling and make life happy. The get your impact. Then the smiling starts. Also, don't think that an impact gun is going to take lug nuts off of tires, you need an impact wrench in most cases for that.

Good luck dude!

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thanks for the replys :0 i saw you mentioned the m12 series... interesting story i bought the original m12 series (not fuel or brushless) and i was less than happy with it .. home depot has some crazy deals on m12 with free tools etc   also i noticed this brushless m12 impact and drill driver set ..the small size would be a plus since i do alot of small work on my bench etc but have they really fixed their power and battery issues?





or just the m12 drill/driver and a 2.0, 4.0, and a free 4.0 battery combo




it starting to look like i just need a drill/driver so should i go m18 set with 2 batteries or  would the lower m12 series be ok?  i worry about lower voltage models crapping out on me etc in those rare occasions i need to drive a 3 in screw etc... (my yellow drill has failed me many times)

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other have already said, but my summary thoughts:

  • drill is most important, but impact driver is worth getting
  • you don't need brushless
  • 2.0ah batteries will be sufficient and keep the weight down
  • M18 tools are far more comfortable in the hand and not really any longer, so I think M12 should be selected with caution
  • i think this kit is perfect - http://www.milwaukeetools.com.au/power-tools/cordless/m18/show/m18bpp2d-202c(couldn't find US link)
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I've got both the M18 Fuel and M12 Fuel drills / impacts.  (well perhaps all 4, not both?)


Anyway, I have to say that for most things around the house, I go for the M12s.  I've had zero problems with power and battery life is fantastic.  I've even attached a drillbrush to my drill to scrub the shower and tubs and it works like a champ.


Don't get me wrong, the M18s are really, really nice.  However I just don't usually need the extra runtime and power for most of what I do around the house.  I recently hung a 28" extension ladder from my portico roof joists, which required building a bracket mount point out of triple stacked PT 2x's assembled with 4" lags.  My M12 impact (2453) drove every one of them without a hitch. Since there was drilling and screwing, I carried both the drill and the impact driver on my belt for the project and I have to say, it weighed a whole lot less than if I would have had to carry my M18s.  If you were carrying them all day at work, the M18s would certainly be worth the weight, but for home projects the M12s are quite nice.


You really can't go wrong with either, but for the money, the FUEL combo with an extra battery is under your budget and will give you a lot of bang for the buck.  





As far as bits go - I bought quite a few of the Impact bit sets during the EOY sales and they've worked out fine.  I do like the Milwaukee bit holder better than the Dewalt ones that I used to have - better magnets.  I've got a set of the FlexTorque ones, but I haven't had the need to break them out just yet.

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hey i know this is a yellow one but i just tried it in the store with 31/2 in torx screws in a 6x6 and it was pretty sweet 


they have it as a set http://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-20-Volt-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Brushless-Compact-Drill-DCD790D2/204210639?srccode=cii_15053889&cpncode=42-5258904


and as a combo set with an impact for about what i was going to pay for the m18 drill alone..how is their track receord lately or should i just stick with the milwaukee


2 tool set on sale


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that Dewalt 2 piece set is nice, i have it and love it. I would definitely choose that over the M12 FUEL.


Not because of power, and not even so much about runtime. They're just much more comfortable in the hand, and hardly any bigger for most real world applications. If you were constantly inside cabinets and very tight places, then go M12 for sure.



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milwaukee is releasing a new set of tools called m18  compact they are comparable to the dewalt xr compact 20v series  


would it be worth picking this up for $269?


you can preorder the milwaukee combo kit (out march 1st)  but its $269


would it be better than the dewalt combo?




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Well dude, your on a slippery slope. I'll tell you that the M12 Fuel drill is a really powerful drill. And my M12 Fuel impact (thanks Eric and Dan and Milwaukee) kicks some serious hiney.. But regardless if you buy Milwaukee, Dewalt, Makita or Bosch, you are opening yourself into a realm of possibilities for DiY and anything else. I don't make a,living with my tools but I can do mostly anything I need to do.those brands are all great. I've recently been working with my new Bosch' and they are wonderful to work with. My Dewalt 20vs are powerful and my M12 Fuels are compact monsters.

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if your going to go 18v then i would suggest you seriously consider that new brushless milwaukee kit.. i would take that over anything yellow in an instant.   


but.... my suggestion would be to go Milwaukee m12   get the kit with the fuel impact and drill.   its great to have them both, the impact is really much nicer for driving screws and the drill fills in everything else   also if you on a project that requires pre drilling and driving screws then it is really nice to have two units going. 

I know dwain mentioned the feel in the hand but i would just say head to a store that has m12 and check them out for yourself.. keep in mind that the handle was slightly redesigned for the fuel models so make sure you test one of those. 


right now you can take advantage of the free tool/battery deal home depot and others are having   that will really stretch your dollar. 


the m12 line is huge and they are continually expanding it so if you ever wanted to add tools to your arsenal like a multi tool, reciprocating saw, circular saw etc. etc. etc. you know they will have it.. also m12 bare tools tend to be a lot less expensive than the m18 which will help save you money down the road. 


I have a huge assortment of Makita 18v tools and also a good selection of milwaukee fuel m12    I do residential remodeling and finish work and the Milwaukee will do %99 of what i do    i am pretty confident they will do everything you need



also, as others have said.. steer clear of the shockwave bits..  they are junk..   makita golds are the best bet but honestly a nice ryobi assortment will probably serve you just fine and will be much cheaper.

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Both are great, but I would probably go with the drill myself. If you're just going to be around the house I think that would be sufficient for your uses. The drill is obviously going to fasten screws, but it can also drill holes and so forth. Unless you are getting into concrete applications I don't see why you would need an impact IMO.




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If you can only have one, drill. That is the Jack-of-all-trades power tool. Tons of capabilities.

However, like NERemodeling says, find a deal on a combo kit. The new brushless M18 kit or the M12 Fuel kit I would highly recommend. I have experience with (and own) plenty of M12 and M18 Fuel and would recommend them both. Go with whatever has the lineup that appeals to you most. M12 is plenty for homeowner needs.

So would it be weird to run a 5aH battery on a compact brushless drill? LOL

these new entry level brushless promote extended runtime. Add a 5.0 to the equation and that thing ain't got no quit! Juice for days haha.
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