I love trying and testing new tools, who doesn’t? We get to check out all the lastest and greatest tools that come to the market. The only thing I don’t like about this gig is trying to explain tools to people. For one, I am a bad writer. The biggest thing I hate is trying to explain the balance, power and feedback of a tool. How do you really explain that in words. Well here we go again with the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hammer Drill. We did a review of the M12 brush (2411) version a while back and when we heard about a brushless version, well we had to get our hands on that. I have to say this is one of the most underrated tools on the market, along with the M12 Rotary hammer. I am sure there are thousands of people out there like me and when I heard about a 12V hammer drill, you just kind of chuckle. What real work can a 12V perform? Sure it’s a cool idea, but when it comes down to doing some work, how much can I get out of a 12V. Well let me tell you that you have no idea. If this is how far technology and battery power has come in the last ten years, I can’t wait for the next ten years.
Okay, now is the time I am going to try and explain to you how well built this tool is and why you should seriously take a look at an M12 Hammer Drill. First, is the weight and balance of this tool. For me this has a little bit better feel than the older model. Where your thumb and index finger wrap around the tool, there is more of an indent so it feels more comfortable. In regards to weight, this tool is light and it’s nice not having to carry around an 18V all day. Now Milwaukee could have made this a little lighter by using a different chuck, but that’s not what Milwaukee is all about, which is one reason I am a Milwaukee fan. They fitted this hammer drill with 1/2″ metal ratcheting locking chuck, which is a chuck that can take abuse. To take abuse, you must be able to produce abuse, which this tool does.
The kit comes with the hammer drill, case, battery charger and two batteries. Not just two batteries, but you get one compact 2 A/h battery and one XC 4 A/h battery. This might not seem like a big deal, but for me it’s huge. Not all applications are going to be easy and not all applications will be hard. If you are working on something that will demand a great load, you can use the XC battery. If you’re drilling a couple holes or using small fasteners, you can use the compact battery and save a little weight. So I do like how they included both battery versions. So what are these batteries powering? They are powering a brushless motor that delivers a peak torque of 350 in-lbs, a 0-25,500 bpm and a speed of 0-450/0-1,700 rpm. Not bad for a 12V and all in a small package of 7.75″ long.
So is this a work horse? Yes, without a doubt. If you get a chance, you have to pick this up and give it a spin. You will be surprised how much power is packed in this small tool.
So what is new with the 2404 over the 2411?
Actually there are a lot of differences. First, the new 2404 has a bigger chuck, 1/2″ compared to 3/8″. You also get a brushless motor for longer life. You also get the newer batteries and instead of just getting compact batteries, you get a compact and a high capacity battery. Does it stop there? No, all this means more power. You get an extra 75 in-lbs of torque, 2,500 bpm and a higher rpm of 50 and 200.
So is it worth the upgrade?
If you already own the 2411 M12 Hammer Drill, I would stay put. I wouldn’t upgrade. Instead I would either buy the new batteries or better yet, buy a tool from the M12 line you don’t have. That way you can get the new batteries and a tool to add to your arsenal. Now if you don’t have the M12 hammer drill and you’re looking to jump into getting this tool, I would go with the brushless version, 2404-22. Yes, you will pay a little more, but for the extra cost you get more. You get more power and a longer lasting tool with the brushless motor. Plus you get a compact and XC battery.
Overall this is one of my favorite tools, well this and the Hilti TE 30 A-36. Funny, they are on the two opposite extremes. The M12 is a great tool to have around. Lots of power, great balance and just a well built tool. Having the option of having the compact or high capacity battery is a great option for the user. If you are tired of the weight, tired of having to work with an 18V all day for overkill on your applications, take a look at the M12 Hammer drill. Trust me, this will not disappoint you.