About the Milwaukee M12 Hex Driver
Milwaukee is really trying to capture the sub-compact power tool market. Lately, they have been coming out with new tools for their M12 line. One of the Milwaukee power tool originals is the Hex Driver. Milwaukee has one main model, but you will see two model numbers, the 2450-22 and the 2450-20. The only difference is the 2450-20 is the bare tool while the 2450-22 comes with 2 batteries, a charger and case. We have the bare tool because we were using the batteries we had from the M12 kit we reviewed.
The Hex Impact Driver is a Sub-Compact driver and only weighs 1.9 lbs, and with the battery 2.5 lbs. The power tool uses a Lithium Ion battery to produce a whopping 850 in-lbs. of torque. Pretty hard to believe this little guy puts out that much power. The great thing about this driver is you get a lot of power in a small tool which allows the user to get into tight spaces. The overall length of the tool is 6-1/2″. The trigger allows the user to control the speed from 0-2,00 rpm and has an IPM of 0-3,000. The Anvil size is 1/4″. Some of the other features on this driver are an LED light to light up your work, and a built in fuel gauge to let the user know how much life is left on the battery before it needs to be recharged. With all the M12 line, the charge time is 30 minutes.
So what is an impact driver? An impact driver is basically a tool that delivers a strong, sudden downward force. So what are the advantages? There are a couple advantages. One advantage is it gives the user more control over the application, plus it helps loosen or tighten screws easier than just a screw gun. Have you ever stripped screw heads before? Sometimes you can strip a screw head because the screw is made of cheap material, you have an old bit that doesn’t grip the head correctly or you don’t have enough pressure on the screw gun, so the bit slips in the screw head. Well, an impact gun helps prevent these problems as it not only turns, but provides a small hammering effect when using the tool.
There are many applications for an impact driver, but one of the most common uses, for carpenters, is the use for drywall. Now for drywall you can use other tools, such as a drywall screw gun, but they can be heavier than a sub-compact impact driver.
When you first pick up this driver, the first thing you will notice is how light the tool is. As we noted above, it only weights 2.5 lbs. with the battery, so this is a tool you can use all day without getting fatigued. The variable speed trigger is concave to fit your finger. Even though this is a sub-compact driver, the grip has more than enough room for even the biggest hands. On the grip there is a nice rubber grip, so when your hand gets sweaty or you have gloves on, you can still grip the handle with no problems at all. The forward and reverse trigger is located just above the grip, so you can easily switch direction with your thumb and index finger.
For our review we wanted to show the driver screw into drywall. Instead of using a metal stud, we used a wood 2×4. The reason being, a metal stud is constant through out the whole stud, so once you get the feel down, you can zip right through hanging drywall. A wood 2×4, because it is a natural fiber, has different fiber consistency, drilling one hole to another can be different. So the main reason we used a wood 2×4 was to show you how easy it is to control when screwing a screw into wood. Obviously, the metal stud will be a lot easier to control.
With drywall you have to be careful. If you don’t put the screw in far enough, you can mud the wall. If you go in to far and break the paper, in essence the screw is not holding the drywall in place. As you can see by the video, it is very easy to control the depth of the screws. We were able to put the screw in just the right depth each and every time without breaking the paper.
We gave this driver to a local contractor we work with who was doing drywall and some piping. We wanted to get their opinion on this driver. Overall they loved this and actually bought a couple of kits for the guys on the job. Some of the feedback we received was very positive. One nice thing to note was at no time did they out work the battery life. Since this only takes 30 minutes to fully charge, they could keep working and never had to wait for a battery to charge before they could go back to work. Another interesting thing they brought up was how they were holding the driver. Because it is compact, they were actually using their middle finger for the trigger, their index finger was higher up on the driver and their thumb was placed on the back of the tool. Each one was saying this gave them greater control over the driver and was very easy to use.
All in all this is a great sub-compact hex driver. This delivers a lot of power for such as small driver and only being a 12V. The driver is very small and light weight to get into tight spots. If your looking for a nice small driver, take a look at the Milwaukee M12 Hex Driver.