Ok here we go. I have been trying to find the perfect combo kit. Guess what, I can’t. No kit is perfect. There are some tools I like in one kit, but not the rest. I like the drill, but not the saw or I like the impact, but not the radio. Yes I could just buy each tool I like, but then I have so much extra money invested in batteries and chargers, plus I have no room for all of the extra chargers. That’s why I love corded power tools. Not only do they have incredible power, but I can pick and choose what I like. Until the day comes where someone invents a charger that will charge every manufactures batteries, I am just stuck. So I decided to go with the Milwaukee M18 line. Your probably asking why. We get to test a lot of tools on the market and I just lean towards Milwaukee. They offer a lot of different tools, they all seem to be well balanced in my hands, they feel great and have lots of power. I also went with the Milwaukee’s M12 line, primarily because they have so many tools in that line up. But again there is a problem. While Dewalt and some other manufactures can charge both their 12V and 18V, Milwaukee can’t. Well enough crying, I am sure you didn’t come here to read some tool guy whine about his power tool problems.
There are a lot of manufactures in the market place and they all offer a great line of 18V. Makita has a great line up and offer a boat load of tools in the LXT line. I did own that set for a while and liked it except the drill and the impact. While they were great, they just had way too much walk in the drill, the chuck wobbled a lot. I owned a couple other kits that I liked, but when it was time to upgrade, I had to pick a line. I went with the Milwaukee because I love their Hammer drill and that is the tool I use most, plus the Sawzall, should I say more? The drill is powerful and light. I decided to go with the Milwaukee 4 piece tool combo kit model 2696-24. I also bought the bare tool circular saw and grinder. Next is going to be the jigsaw.
So far I do have to say, I love this kit. It comes with the following items:
- Hammer Drill – 2602-20
- Sawzall – 2620-20
- Impact Driver 2650-20
- Work Light 49-24-0171
- 2 Red Lithium XC High capacity batteries – 48-11-1828
- Charger 48-49-1802 (1 hour charger for High Capacity Batteries and 1/2 hour for compact batteries)
- Contract bag
The drill, driver and sawzall are great, but not so much the light. I love the hammer drill, my favorite on the market. The hammer dill has a nice feel and good balance. It puts out 550 in-lbs of torque, so it does have some power to it. It’s a two speed drill (o-450/0-1700) and delivers 29,000 BPM which is all I will ever need. The impact is the same way, I have no complaints about it. It has a good balance and feel and puts out 1400 in-lbs of torque.
Ok now onto the three things I don’t like about this kit. The sawzall is awesome. Has a great balance and feel with lots of power. The SPM is 0-3,200 with a 1″ stroke length. So all in all a powerful saw. However, while the shoe pivots, you can not adjust the length of the shoe. Not a huge deal and obviously not a deal breaker, but it would be nice. Next is the light. I love everything about the light and the hook is even cooler how it folds into the handle of the light. But why would Milwaukee go with an incandescent bulb ? I will still use it and won’t think twice, but a bright, white LED would have made this light perfect.
The last item I want to whine about is the DPM or Digital Power Management. The DPM protects the tool under heavy use by shutting the tool down. Now I am not just hounding Milwaukee here, it’s all manufactures. Everyone is getting on board with the so called protection. All I can say is this is very annoying. Now it’s not a huge deal because they start working right away, but it is annoying when your in the process of doing a job and the tool shuts off. In the past they never had this protection, yes we ripped through some tools and burned them out prematurely, but we new that would happen. Most of the time, it would just kill the battery life faster. Some people love this overload protection, but I am just saying I could do without. I did want to note that the Milwaukee seems to have the highest tolerance before shutting down. Just take a look at the Milwaukee Circular Saw. We jammed that through 3/4″ plywood and it just kept going, while the Dewalt shut down about a foot into the cut.
Again there is no prefect kit out there, at least by my standards which isn’t saying much. However I do love the Milwaukee combo kit. I like the name, I like the balance, feel and power Milwaukee put in this kit. I will do a more in depth review of each tool in future articles, but just wanted to touch on this kit. We get to test and review a lot of tools out there and I have to say Milwaukee is one of my favorites.