We met with members of Milwaukee’s PR and product team, to discuss their new Shockwave Matrix Carbide screwdriver bits.
Recently, we learned more, and I was hoping to have more time to work it into a review of the new accessories as they came to market. There are a lot of fascinating little details that make the Shockwave Matrix Carbide tools interesting to talk about, not to mention potentially game-changing to use.
Earlier today, Milwaukee sent over a brief clarification about the intended use for the new accessories. It seemed to be that if reviewers could benefit from a quick clarification, it was worth a quick post.
Milwaukee’s Shockwave Matrix Carbide screwdriver bits and accessories can be summed up in 3 words:
Extreme wear resistance.
If you’re wearing out screwdriver bits, these might provide you with great longevity benefits. If you’re breaking bits, you’re probably just going to break these too. It’s possible that the higher hardness might make them a little more brittle, but I have not experienced this at all so far.
The much higher hardness of these impact-rated bits make them better suited for applications where you’re running through many hundreds and even thousands of screws. They’re going to wear down slower than traditional impact-rated bits.
If you’re working with drywall screws, decking screws, or doing steel stud framing, that’s where these bits could provide you with wear resistance and longevity benefits.
But if you mainly drive screws into thicker metals or hard plastic materials, or in other applications where you break bits before you wear them down, Matrix Carbide might not be the best choice.
Consider drill bits, for a moment. You’re not going to have a good experience using a brad point drill bit on stainless steel, not matter how good the bits are.
Milwaukee designed their Shockwave Matrix Carbide accessories for specific applications. Just like certain fasteners are appropriate for specific applications, Matrix Carbide is specifically designed for applications where bit wear is the common failure mode.
The same is also true for the Matrix Carbide bit holder. Using it with other accessories, such as a 1/2″ nut driver bit, is not advised.
Make no mistake, this isn’t a “one bit fits all” type of product line. For that, look to Shockwave 3.0, the next generation of Shockwave screwdriver bits and accessories.
Frankly, I love the idea and tech behind Milwaukee Matrix Carbide screwdriver bits and accessories, and almost can’t believe how far they went to create what looks to be the hardest and most wear-resistant impact-rated accessories on the market. From what I can tell, the bits are everything that Milwaukee says they are. Still, I’m very eager to see what the public opinion will be after a few months.
The bits are set to reach stores in a few weeks.
Buy Now(via Acme Tools)
So far, Milwaukee product pages and listings seem to accurately portray the Matrix Carbide features and benefits, but they’re going to have to contend with established user expectations. Users are accustomed to screwdriver bits being one-style-fits-all.
I had assumed that the premium price might be the challenge. But, if these bits deliver on the promises, the math would work out in users’ favor.
Honestly, an education campaign is the easier task. After all, these bits do have a lifetime tip warranty. Still, you won’t want to have to break a bit or three to learn what Milwaukee Matrix Carbide bits should and shouldn’t be used for.
If looking only at Milwaukee’s Shockwave screwdriver bits, you could consider Matrix Carbide as the premium choice for extreme wear resistance and Shockwave (3.0 is the upcoming generation of bits) for pretty much everything else. You’ll still get improved wear resistance with the latest Shockwave bits too.