Gregg wrote in, asking for advice in selecting a 12V cordless hammer drill:
I have been recently reading a lot on your website. I am looking to purchase a 12v hammer drill/driver for med use. Most of the holes drilled in masonry will be 1/4″ or smaller. The rest would be wood, drywall, fiberboard or thin SS with a step bit. Would you have any recommendations? I have been looking at the Milwaukee, Bosch. Ridgid and Dewalt. Thank You!
To my knowledge, Dewalt does not offer a 12V hammer drill, and I don’t think Ridgid does either. I would generally recommend Bosch’s 12V PS130 and Milwaukee’s three M12 hammer drills equally, but gave some thought about which one would be best.
12V Hammer Drill Options:
(Prices are for the 2-battery kits.)
Between the Bosch and Milwaukee 12V hammer drills, you’re going to see comparable performance. I tested both a while back (although I don’t think I shared the results in a review), and the difference in power between the two was very slight.
Milwaukee offers brushed and brushless motor M12 hammer drills, so the decision between Bosch and Milwaukee depends on whether you want maximum runtime at premium pricing.
If you opt for Milwaukee, make sure you get the 2408-22 and not the 2411-22 kit (or bare tool models). The 2408 is the newer one. Both should be comparable in performance, but at the same price (~$149 for the 2-battery kit), you’ll want the newer model. Both bare tools are priced at around $89.
From what I can tell, Milwaukee’s newest M12 drills and drivers are similarly spec’d to the models they replace, but the ergonomics have been ever so slightly tweaked and improved. At the same price, why buy the older design over the updated model?
(It is also likely that Milwaukee updated their brushed motor drills and drivers so as to share production elements with the Fuel brushless tools. This could help reduce manufacturing costs in the long run, and also allows for the ergonomics R&D of the Fuel line to benefit the brushed motor tools as well.)
The Bosch PS130 bare tool and kit are about the same price as well.
Any of the 3 models (M12 2408, M12 2411, PS130) will serve you well. If you’re not yet invested in either brands’ 12V system, think about which other tools you *might* want to buy in the next year.
The M12 Fuel hammer drill kit is priced a little higher at $189, but comes with (1) compact battery and (1) high capacity battery. So for the extra $40 compared to the non-brushless model, you get more powerful and more efficient motor, a 1/2″ chuck, and a higher capacity battery.
What would I pick? Milwaukee’s M12 2408, as I really like some of the other offerings in Milwaukee’s M12 lineup. If I needed to drill a lot of holes in masonry products on a regular basis, rather than only occasionally, I would instead invest in a non-hammer brushless drill/driver and Milwaukee’s M12 rotary hammer. Home Depot currently has a special version of this kit that comes with a free bonus 3rd battery.
The 2408 might not be the best, but I feel it’s the best pick given Gregg’s criteria.
M12 Special Buy(via Home Depot)
If anyone disagrees (or agrees) with my recommendation, please chime in!