Hands-On: Milwaukee M12 Fuel 2nd Gen Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit

Milwaukee sent over one of their new M12 Fuel brushless hammer drill and impact driver combo kits for review, model 2598-22.
I’ve used these tools for a couple of projects so far – hanging cabinets, building a temporary lifting gantry with wood studs, hanging more cabinets, and for an assortment of tasks that have come up.
For the most part, I used them as I would my usual 18V-class drill and driver, or whatever 18V-class tools I’m currently testing out.
They’re more than enough for light duty tasks, and up to heavier applications, such as driving in 3″ lag screws into wood studs.
So far, I’m not finding anything to complain about.
As discussed last month, the new Milwaukee M12 Fuel drills are substantially shorter than previous generation drills. The drill’s E-chuck works well, the tool feels great in-hand, and everything was peachy.
I found myself using the impact driver a bit more than the drill. In general, I’ve taken a liking to impact-rated drill bits, and have not had issues with Milwaukee’s bits. Actually, I really like Milwaukee Shockwave drill bits. They have one-piece construction and have performed better than I expected. This means a lot, coming from someone who usually detests hex-shanked drill bits.
Will I use them on precision projects? No. But for drilling some holes for drywall anchors? Sure. Pilot holes for larger drill bits? Maybe.
I know a lot of users have made the switch to using impact drivers for everything. The marred drawer pull screws on our kitchen cabinets and stripped hinge screws in my parent’s kitchen cabinets are proof that an impact driver isn’t always the best choice of tool.
But with the newest M12 Fuel impact sporting additional speed and torque settings, it’s easier to drive fasteners with greater control, helping to reduce such damage.
I didn’t use the self-tapping screw mode yet, at least not intentionally, but I have used the impact driver’s 3 other speed and torque modes. Usually I’m in the 2 smaller modes, switching to top speed when dealing with longer or larger fasteners.
I forgot to switch back once, and wondered why it was taking so long to drive in a 3″ lag screw. That’s happened before with other impact drivers. Switching between a single-speed impact and multi-speed impacts will do that to you. I hunt for the switch on single-speed impacts and forget that multi-speed impacts have them. I digress.
While I cannot say that these are my favorite cordless tools ever, they do seem to be the most capable 12V-class tools I have ever used. If there were ever 18V replacements, these would be it. They’re powerful, speedy, fairly compact for tools of their capabilities, and comfortable to use.
The kit comes with a compact battery pack, XC battery pack (which is quite handy for setting tools down upright), an M12 charger, and carrying case.
Price: $229
Buy Now(via Acme Tools)
Who should buy this combo kit? Someone interested in using high-performing 12V-sized hammer drill and impact driver for light to medium duty tasks. They’re capable of smaller tasks, as well as jobs that used to be reserved for 18V-sized tools.
I hope to have a “more formal” review soon. In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions or test scenario requests.
Thank you to Milwaukee for providing the test samples!

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