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Milwaukee M12 Fuel vs M18 Drill & Impact Driver

It is no secret that Milwaukee offers a wide range of power tools that go well with your tasks – may it be light DIY projects or heavy maintenance works.

The Milwaukee Electric Tool is an American company that began operating in 1924.

With user productivity at the core of everything, the people behind Milwaukee have developed the M12TM and M18TM Cordless Systems, where inefficient manual tools are redesigned into advanced workhorses powered by their own battery technology.

However, with the growing number of Milwaukee tools, it’s also getting a lot more challenging for users to pick which one they have to use.

For that reason, this article aims to help you decide on which Milwaukee cordless impact drill to go for.

Quick Summary

Here, we are going to look into the details of two powerful Milwaukee impact drills: Milwaukee 2404-20 and 2801-20.

Below is a table of their specifications.

Specifications Milwaukee 2404-20 Milwaukee 2801-20
Size 8.1 x 1.9 x 6.8 inches 8.6 x 4.6 x 8.3 inches
Weight 2.8 lbs 2.5 lbs
Battery 12V Lithium-ion 18V Lithium-ion
Battery System M12 M18
Torque 350 in-lbs 500 in-lbs
Speed 0 – 450 / 0 – 1,700 RPM 0 – 500 / 0 – 1,800 RPM
Motor Brushless Brushless
Chuck Size ½” ½”

In the next sections, let’s get to know more about these products so you can decide which impact drill best suits your needs.

Milwaukee M12 2404-20 vs M18 2801-20 Review

Size and Weight 

When choosing an impact drill, most users take a look at the product’s size and weight. It is important to have a tool that is easy and comfortable to use even for an extended period.

As the company ages, Milwaukee has never failed to produce compact and lightweight impact drills such as Milwaukee 2404-20 and 2801-20.

Milwaukee 2404-20 and 2801-20 are both lightweight at 2.8 lbs and 2.5 lbs, respectively. This only shows that both tools can be handled by anyone for any task with less fatigue.

Winner: Both

Motor Type 

Milwaukee 2404-20 and 2801-20 have been equipped with brushless motors, and compared to brushed motors, they are more efficient to use.

It is because unlike most brushed motors that are made of carbon, brushless motors use magnets to generate more power with less heat. And with lesser wear on all parts, brushless motors also prolong tool service life.

Winner: Both

Battery System 

Almost everyone would agree to the fact that battery life greatly affects their overall productivity. To do more work, one needs to have a tool that can last until their task is completed.

So, to address this matter, Milwaukee has restructured its battery systems along with their systems of cordless tools.

Milwaukee 2404-20 uses the M12TM battery system, powered with a 12V Lithium-ion cell. Milwaukee 2801-20, on the other hand, uses the latest M18TM battery system, equipped with an 18V Lithium-ion cell.

Evidently, with Milwaukee 2801-20, you can be more productive on your DIY tasks or maintenance works.

Winner: Milwaukee 2801-20

Protection 

Milwaukee aims to craft power tools that do not just deliver results but also can withstand harsh situations.

Both Milwaukee 2404-20 and 2801-20 come with a REDLINKTM Intelligence technology that protects the tools against abusive applications. This technology is also capable of monitoring the tool temperature to prevent damage and maintain battery health.

However, Milwaukee 2801-20 is further housed in an all-metal gear case, which makes it more durable than the Milwaukee 2404-20.

Winner: Milwaukee 2801-20

Torque and Speed 

Even though these are lightweight power tools, it doesn’t affect how they can deliver high output in drilling/driving jobs. And most users would go for the impact drill which possesses higher torque and speed values.

Milwaukee 2404-20 can deliver a peak torque of 350 in-lbs while getting most drilling/driving tasks done at a speed scope of 0 – 450 RPM or 0 – 1,700 RPM.

Milwaukee 2801-20, on the other hand, can perform a maximum torque of 500 in-lbs while drilling through soft and hard surfaces at a speed scope of 0 – 500 RPM or 0 – 1,800 RPM.

Both Milwaukee cordless impact drills prove that they can power through any surface, but without question, Milwaukee 2801-20 does better in granting its users a higher output towards their tasks.

Winner: Milwaukee 2801-20

Other Features 

It is undeniable that Milwaukee has a line of production that focuses on user productivity and ergonomics.

Milwaukee 2404-20’s handle is remodeled to a pistol type and it is textured as well to make it easier and more comfortable to use. It is also furnished with an LED light positioned perfectly below the clutch to illuminate the driving/drilling spot.

Milwaukee 2801-20 has a micro-textured grip which makes it easy to handle for prolonged use. Just like Milwaukee 2404-20, it also has a bright LED light placed below its clutch to focus on your poorly-lit drilling spot. It also comes with a belt clip so you can conveniently hang it anywhere when not in use.

Winner: Both

Milwaukee M12 2404-20

Milwaukee 2404-20 M12 Fuel 1/2 Hammer Drill tool Only

Pros:

  • It is equipped with a POWERSTATETMbrushless motor that delivers a peak torque of 350 in-lbs. POWERSTATETM is Milwaukee’s proprietary signature for brushless power tool motor design.
  • It can perform up 0 – 25,500 BPM (blows per minute).
  • It includes rotary hammer drill bits in the package.
  • With the M12TMbattery system, it can complete more tasks than charging time.
  • It includes an LED light to illuminate dark areas.
  • It can run using older M12 batteries.

Cons:

  • The battery is sold separately.
  • Some users have reported that the trigger button tends to stick and is difficult to squeeze.

To address this issue, it is recommended that the impact drill must be slightly jiggled to the left.

Milwaukee M18 2801-20

Milwaukee M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2 Inch Compact Drill/Driver (Tool-Only) 2801-20

Pros:

  • It is equipped with a brushless motor for higher efficiency and better performance and to deliver a maximum torque of 500 in-lbs.
  • It is protected with an all-metal gear case for enhanced durability.
  • It can operate using older M18 Lithium-ion batteries.
  • It is ideal for heavy-duty applications.

Con:

  • The battery is sold separately.

Final Thoughts

With their tool technology, the Milwaukee brand is one you should not ignore when making a list of your prospective cordless impact drills.

After an in-depth review of Milwaukee 2404-20 and 2801-20, it makes sense that you will never go wrong settling on either tool.

Both tools are comfortable to use in overhead and tight workspaces without necessarily numbing your arms. Both tools are improved with the REDLINKTM Intelligence that provides further protection. Furthermore, with their battery system and brushless motors, they are capable of more runtime to increase productivity.

Your choice, then, will depend on the type of task you will be working on.

For light drilling and fastening applications, Milwaukee 2404-20 is enough tool for you. But if you are looking for one that you can use on either light or heavy-duty home and maintenance works, then you must go for Milwaukee 2801-20.

Milwaukee 2801-20 delivers higher torque and provides more speed options compared to Milwaukee 2404-20, which makes it more suitable for heavy drilling jobs.

So, which cordless impact drill have you decided to pick? Is it Milwaukee 2404-20 or Milwaukee 2801-20? Don’t forget to comment down below.

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