Milwaukee M12 1/2″ Hammerdrill Driver | Review

Milwaukee M12

Milwaukee M12 Drill Driver Kit 2404-22

With age comes wisdom, and I’ll be the first to admit that I just didn’t understand the fuss over brushless motor technology when it appeared on the tool market a short time ago. But when lithium-ion battery tech and brushless motors combined, I saw the light. And it was the Milwaukee M12 1/2″ Hammerdrill Driver that opened my eyes. This combo drill is nothing short of amazing in my eyes.

Milwaukee M12

Don’t let its size fool you. This M12 drill/driver is up for the toughest task, as we discovered on this deck build.

At the risk of gushing over this tool, I will simply say that it may be the most pleasant surprise since the first cordless drill was introduced. Yes, it’s that good – and here’s why: it combines the best of the best. Some of the words I’d use to describe this tool:

  • Lightweight
  • Powerful
  • Exceptional Run time
  • Versatile
  • Ergonomic

Milwaukee M12 2404-22 Drill Video Review

Take a look at our video review and see the features of this tool in action. You’ll also see what I liked least about this drill.



2404-22 Features

  • M12 Lithium-ion Battery Powered
  • 2.0Ah & 4.0Ah Batteries Included
  • 1/2″ Steel Ratcheting Chuck
  • LED Work Light
  • Hammerdrill, Drill, Driver
  • 18 Position Clutch
  • Carrying Case

The listed features really only begin to tell the story of how versatile this drill is. I’ve used it extensively in the shop and on the job site, including a deck build. It became my ‘go-to’ drill for driving 3 inch deck screws, while my 18 volt was relegated to drilling the pilot holes.

Milwaukee M12

Both of these batteries get the job done, but the 4.0Ah is truly amazing.

The power and battery life was more than surprising, in my opinion. With the 4.0 Ah battery installed, this drill had no problem keeping up the pace all day. Even the 2.0Ah power pack kept on rocking a lot longer than I’m used to.

Milwaukee M12

The super-bright LED light is aimed to keep whatever you’re working on nice and bright.

The on-board LED light is actually handy. I think a lot of lights are stuck on tools and are generally useless. This LED is positioned so that it brightens up the area that you’re working on. Plus, it has a delay of several seconds before shutting off. More than once, I used it to find bits stuck in the bottom of a dark tool box.

All of the controls are nicely positioned, at least for large hands like mine. That surprised me, since the drill has a relatively small form factor, which also happens to be its strong point. It’s extremely light, especially when compared to the M18 drills.

Milwaukee M12

The battery indicator lights are a handy way of staying one step ahead in knowing when it’s almost time for a re-charge.

The battery indicator light illuminates each time the variable-speed trigger is pulled and stays on for a few seconds, as well. Another handy feature that keeps you one step ahead of the game, by letting you know when it’s alllmmmoooossstttt time to charge. Can you get a few extra drives or holes before swapping batteries? Just glance at the indicator and you’ll have a good idea.

Milwaukee M12

All the controls are smooth and easy to operate.

While I don’t often use a clutch, this M12 unit operates smoothly, as do all the controls. The 2-speed gearbox adjusts easily and quickly for drilling and driving, and the all-steel ratcheting clutch feels solid. I’ve always preferred a rubber or at least an overmold on chucks, simply for the sake of the grip they provide, but this chuck feels solid and in all but the sweatiest of situations performed like a charm.

Milwaukee M12

If you’re a fan of ratcheting steel chucks, you’ll love this one.

M12 FUEL Opinion

Wow. Just wow. I even told the guy at Home Depot that if anyone ever asked, this drill was bad to the bone, in case anyone asked about it on the shelf. Just like most people, I assumed that 12 volts were for sissies. OK, maybe that’s a little harsh, but 12 is such a small number when compared to 18 or 24 or 28 or 36. I remember thinking when 36 volts was introduced years ago that attaching a cord was the next logical step in power. Much to my surprise, the next big step was…down – to 12. Turns out 12 is a lot more powerful than any of us would have ever thought.

If you’re looking at this drill or thinking about buying it – do yourself a favor and pull the trigger. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

Check price/availability on Amazon: CLICK HERE

More information from Milwaukee: CLICK HERE

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Brad Staggs

Contributing Writer/Producer at Tool Skool
Brad has worked in and around the home improvement and tool industry most of his life. He was host of Talk2DIY Home Improvement, Co-produced DIY Tools & Techniques and is the author of Spend a Little, Save a Lot Home Improvement.