Milwaukee M12 Drill Review





The Milwaukee M12 gave us a run for our money.  Before we tested the Milwaukee M12 Drill, we knew the M12 Lithium Ion line was pretty powerful for such a small power tool.  However, we have tested other small drills before and we were never very impressed.  This drill changed our mind.  The Milwaukee drill is very light weighing only 2.5 lbs., but best of all it feels great in your hand.  The balance is great and very easy to work with.  Also I am sure you have used small drills in the past and sometimes these small drills just feel cheap.  The Milwaukee doesn’t, you can feel that this drill is solid.

The specs on this drill are not too bad, actually they are pretty impressive all things considered.  This drill has all the options the bigger drills have such as a 2 speed and 20 point clutch setting.  The trigger gives the user a variable speed of 0-400/0-1500 RPM.  Best of all this delivers a powerful 250 in-lbs of torque.  One thing to note is the chuck.  The chuck is 3/8″ all metal chuck.  Most small drills come with plastic chucks which tend to strip after long use.  We like the fact that Milwaukee is ticking with a professional grade chuck that can last heavy abuse.  Two other nice options are the fuel gauge that lets the user know how much juice is left in the battery and there is also a small LED light in the front to light up your work area.

Milwaukee M12 Drill Review


There is not much to test on a drill, but we wanted to cover some of the most important aspects of a drill.  First is the balance and feel.  If you have been reading our stuff, you know the first thing we look for is balance and feel.  If you have a well balanced drill or power tool, this minimizes fatigue and lets the user be more accurate and work longer.  The Milwaukee drill is one of the drills that you pick up and right away you can feel that the drill is well balanced, plus the light weight helps.  The pistol grip with the one finger trigger fits nicely even in the biggest of hands.

Another item we really like with the Milwaukee M12 line is the charge time.  With the Milwaukee Lithium Ion, you can charge your battery in 30 minutes.  The quick charge time allows the user to keep working in between charges.  We used this drill on a number of projects and not once did we burn out the battery before the other battery was charged.

As you can see by the video below, we wanted to at least show you some of the power to this drill.  We took a 3″ screw and a ran it through a 4×4 piece of wood.  As you can see we put a lot of downward pressure on the drill to try and get it to bog down, which we thought we could do.  However the drill didn’t bog down, it ran the screw through with no problems.  Maybe Eric is a little weak, but on the video you can see him grabbing the drill to see if he could hold the chuck, but he couldn’t.  We wanted to show a little more in the video, but only have so much time.  We took this drill to a plumbing job and Frank used it for the day, while we watched and ate some popcorn.  Actually we helped carry some toilets in from outside, so we did help a little.  When we first gave Frank the drill to use, he kind of chuckled.  Now he is a huge Milwaukee fan, but as he said, “Milwaukee makes great tools, but they shouldn’t mess with a 12V, stick to the power.”  After the day was over and he used it for a majority of installs, he changed his mind.  He was very impressed at how well this drill handled.  He could get into tight spots and if we didn’t tell him it was a 12V, he said he probably would have thought it was some new 18V line Milwaukee had.

Final Thoughts On the M12 Milwaukee Drill


All said and done this little M12 Drill is pretty powerful.  As Milwaukee grows their M12 line, the M12 line up seems to get better and better.  Before we started, we new the M12 was a pretty powerful tool line, but we were not sure how this drill would match up.  We have seen smaller volt drills before and we were never very impressed until we got our hands on this drill.  The drill packs a powerful punch for being so small and light weight.  If you are looking for a smaller set of professional power tools, take a look at the Milwaukee M12 line up and especially this drill.  This drill is great for the user who will be getting in tight spots as the length is only 7-3/8″ long.


  1. The M12 line is very innovative! Milwaukee does a great job at addind to the M12 product line to keep us guessing at what new tool will come next, and they are all affordable!

  2. I just bought the M12 drill at Home depot, and after using it a agree with your review. It is very powerful for how light it is, but I do wish the battery lasted a little longer on the job before recharge. I love Milwaukee tools, maybe next time I have to buy one, I will try this tyler tool distributor that you guys always talk about, and compare their prices to thses other retailers!

  3. Hey Allen. It depends on what you will be doing. The drill is nice because of the chuck so you can use different sizes and they lock in there very tight. You can also get an extension for the driver, but I have seen problems with the extension. If you plan on drilling a lot, which most of us do, it would be very nice to have.

  4. I bought the M12 drill driver about 2 months ago, use it everyday and just love it.
    Iam a copier repair tech, been doing it for 25 years, for 24 years and 10 months of that time I have been turning the screws by hand. When I seen the M12 drill driver I had to give it shot. Its small and has plenty of power for my use. I turn up the tork to 6 for takeing srews out and turn it down to 2 for putting them back in. It sure sped up the screwin process. The charge will last me about 2-3 weeks depending on how much screwin Iam doing.
    I do wish they made a bit holder about 2 inches longer to reach into those deep holes.


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