Milwaukee M12 Fuel 1/2″ Hammer Drill/Driver Review 2404-22


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.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hammer Drill 13The 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.

amazon Milwaukee Fuel Line


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.







  1. I am curious to see how Bosch/Dewalt start to answer Milwaukee’s charge in the 12v line… Sure seems like Milwaukee is leaps and bounds ahead

    • Good question. Not sure. It looks like Dewalt might be sticking with their 18V line as we see the compact drill. I am sure the 12V line will expand, but it will be hard to be Milwaukee’s line with their jump start

  2. Nice quick review. I’ve got to say though that I’ve decided Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel line isn’t for me. I bought the hammerdrill, impact driver and screwdriver during the Home Depot free battery promotion, and just returned all 3 last week. After using DeWalt’s 12V Max line for over 2 years, even Milwaukee’s revised handle design is too fat for me. While I find the need for a 12V hammerdrill questionable (even 18V hammerdrills don’t compare to an SDS), the drive control on the impact driver is a great idea that I’d like to see in a DeWalt model.

    I also like the idea that you recommend NOT upgrading; it reinforces the idea that you’re not just here to promote the tool.

  3. Great writeup and pictures Eric, That is one hell of a drill!! Like the Dewalt 20v compact xr, this almost seems perfect for 80%- 90% of applications IMO, it looks and sounds like a top quality workhorse, especially for a 12v. I like that in the kit you get a 2.0 and a 4.0 so you have different options. The 18 position clutch is nice also! Another big thing for me, is the 1/2 metal chuck!, for a 12v to have a metal chuck is great!!!vs Plastic Bosch PS31 and DeWalt DCD710, But then its half inch!!! Thats crazy for a 12v, Milwaukee is really stepping it in nothing but heavy duty, this looks like a great kit for installers, maintenance, electricians, Plumbing, or else anywhere where you need brute power, in a compact package, keep up the great work guys!!

  4. That was a very good review Eric! You are a great writer!! Through, detailed, and real. The best kind of writer.

  5. I already had the regular (non-Fuel) version of this drill bot when the Fuel version came out I bought it anyway. I sold the older one to an employee of mine to recoup some of the upgrade cost. The Fuel version is awesome. I use this drill and the fuel impact way more than I do my 18V Dewalt stuff. Highly recommend any of Milwaukee’s 12 volt line. Appreciate your reviews Dan and Eric. Keep the coming

  6. I love this drill so far I’m using it more than my M18 fuel stuff most days. I bought the bare tool at first then Home Depot ran promotion with a free 4.0 ah battery, so buying it as a kit and getting 2 4.0ah batteries and 1 2.0ah really made it the better deal over the bare tool plus I had no xc packs before. I like how compact the tool is with the small packs, but with the xc packs allowing to tool stand up is really nice also The addition of the 1/2 inch chuck and including a 4.0xc battery really made this tool a much better value.

  7. Like Dan mentioned it seems like Dewalt has lost interest in the 12v line of theirs. With the compact size of the new Dewalt Brushless drill I saw the a video comparing the 2 size wise its crazy how small the Dewalt is. Maybe next year they will update some of the tools right now the 12v battery is only 1.3ah for the Dewalt line of 12v tools.

  8. Great review !!! WOW it have power that is crasy with that big bit just WOW it have more power then my frends 18v Black & Decker and yu r nut a bhad righther !!!! Lol i was planning on getting the Bosch 12v hammer drill but i think i will wait to see if they come out with any brushless 12v tool

  9. This is also a minor detail, but I appreciate that Milwaukee’s tool can stand on its own with its batteries…. Which is something the Bosch 12v cannot do…

  10. But not every one needs a SDS rotary hammer , hammer drill are realy usefull if your just need to do a few holes in concrete ect. and for a home owner who is planning to buy just one drill/driver i would definitively recommend that Milwaukee m12 and Bosch is comming out with 4.0ah batteries so they can stand up

  11. Ive seen this at the store and its nice. It is larger than my 3/8 m12 hammer drill. It had the xc battery pack and when I first seen it I thought I was looking at a small 18v drill. Luckily the battery had a charge in it so I was able to test it out. On my 3/8 m12 I can easily stop the chuck on speed 2 but on the fuel I just couldn’t stop it on the second speed, that alone is enough to make me want to upgrade. Great review Eric. You forgot to tell them all how this awesome drill was able to drill through concrete with a massive hammer bit in your video review.

  12. Have you tried the non hammer version? I already have the 18v brushless but its pretty heavy. I’m thinking of getting 12v brushless non hammer for compact drilling and just use the 18v when I need the hammer.

    Can you please do a review of the non hammer version.

  13. Thanks for the review Eric. I have the DeWalt 12v Screwdriver and was going to continue picking up DeWalt 12v Max line until I found Dan and Your video on the M12 Fuels. I like the idea of brushless tools a lot more as I am also into R/C cars like Dan and have a hatred for brushed motors. Anything that can help keep the tool lasting longer and be more efficient I’m all for. I was looking at the Fuel Drill Driver but saw that the Hammer Drill Driver was only $10 more so I picked this one up instead. Thanks again for the review and getting me hooked on Milwaulkees.

  14. Awesome review guys, I love the new lineup on the M12 platform so much so, I bought the M12 Fuel 2403-22. Having just finished my pellet stove instal I will say that I did not use my Brushless Hitachi Hammer 18v for anything. I used a Lennox 2-1/4 hole saw in my new 2403 to power through my 63 year old house…no problems. Drove a bunch of nuts and screws, yada, yada, yada…so I imagine the 2404-22 must be phenomenal. After all of that I still have three bars on the battery gauge (I did use the 4ah) I will say the size of the tools is pretty massive for a 12v but hey, a half inch chuck is awesome.

  15. I have a question! I’m a technician where I work & I am torn from the 12v fuel hammer version & the 18v fuel hammer for work & to use at home & one of the guys I work with told me that unless you’re doing a lot of construction work that the 12v would be all you would need!! I do have an up coming project that I’m going to drill a few holes in brick then that’s it!! Could you guys please advise


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