Milwaukee M12 Right Angle Drill Driver Review

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Milwaukee Tools sent us their tasty M12 Right Angle Drill Driver to both review, and provide free to some lucky reader at the end of the month. Getting things right on a right angle drill can be tricky, but Milwaukee did a nice job with the M12. In our review, we’ll cover the general features, likes and a couple minor dislikes, and we’ll even throw in a few comparisons to the Bosch PS10 right angle drill.

The Milwaukee Drill Driver kit (2415-21) comes with the drill (duh!), a handy soft carrying case, a speedy charger, and one M12 battery. If you’re not already tooled-up with other Milwaukee M12 tools, the lack of a second battery might be a little disappointing. Despite the single battery issue, there are several things I love about this right angle drill driver:

  1. A real, 3/8″ spindle chuck. Definitely a big plus if you like using standard drill bits rather than hex accessories.
  2. Nice big paddle trigger.  The trigger is huge, which comes in very handy when you’re drilling at awkward angles and positions, or if you have immense digits.
  3. Handy fuel gauge.  Four little LED’s in the handle keep you posted on how much juice you have left, and they help you avoid the embarrassment of running out of gas on the job.
  4. LED under the chuck.  Helps shed a little light on your work area. Great for spelunking or just cabinetry work.

So, how does the Milwaukee compare to the Bosch PS10? First off, the Milwaukee is a tad longer. Not a big deal in most cases, but if you’re in a really tight spot it might make a difference. The Bosch is also a bit chunkier in terms of barrel size. The Milwaukee definitely sports several features the Bosch PS10 doesn’t including: standard chuck, LED light, and the fuel gauge. Both the Milwaukee and the Bosch have easy to adjust clutch settings. I do have to give the power and speed advantage to Milwaukee. The Milwaukee M12 drill driver has a 800 RPM no-load speed and 100 in-lbs of torque compared to Bosch’s 600 RPM and 80 in-lbs. They’re both great tools, but Milwaukee definitely has some stand-out features and spec’s.

What didn’t we like about it? Not much. The forward and reverse switch is located at the bottom of the paddle trigger, which doesn’t seem super ergonomic to me. I prefer being able to quickly use a push button with my thumb, which is how the Bosch PS10 is setup. And the solo battery was a bit of a minus. Like any cordless, compact drill driver, you have to know it’s limitations. I wouldn’t plan on using the M12 or any other compact cordless drill driver for huge spade bits, or for repetitive drilling through studs. For those tasks, I’d grab a right angle driver with a cord. But as long as you are not running spade bits over an inch or so in diameter, I think the M12 will serve you very well.

If you don’t already own a right angle drill driver, you’ll be amazed that you ever survived without it after getting your hands on one. They come in very handy for all kinds of awkward, tight clearance jobs I seem to inevitably get involved with. Both the Milwaukee 2415-21 M12 12-Volt 3/8-Inch Cordless Right Angle Drill/Driver Kit and the Bosch PS10-2A 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Impact Driver Kit are priced within about $10 of each other, (around $120).

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About Marc Lyman

Marc grew up under a brave single mom who "encouraged" home improvement on the family home. Early toddler gifts included a tool set, and even a cordless Bosch drill when cordless drills first came out. In grade school (give or take a few years), Marc's mom said, "We need to cut down some trees. . . . here's a chainsaw." A father figure also involved Marc in many home improvement projects, including a summer of home remodeling in Palo Alto, CA. Toss in some Obsessive Compulsive personality traits researching everything home improvement related. The end result: a genetically pre-disposed, socially sculpted home improvement machine! For his complete profile, please visit our About page. Really, it's worth it.

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2 thoughts on “Milwaukee M12 Right Angle Drill Driver Review”

  1. I’ve never owned a right-angle drill, but working on cars and various things around the house, I have frequently thought “Wow, a 90* drill would make this job a whole lot easier”.

    How does this one compare to a standard cordless drill in terms of drive?
    I mean, could it do reasonable double-duty driving screws? That would be a big plus as I often find myself swapping bits back and forth- drilling pilot holes, then driving fasteners. Two drills would make that, um, drill, a lot less chaotic.

    • A right angle drill like the Milwaukee can definitely handle duty as both a drill and a driver. If you want to swap bits more quickly, the Bosch is a good bet due to it’s quick release hex chuck (but if you’re drilling with the Bosch, you’ll need special hex drill bits). The Milwaukee right angle drill has a standard chuck which can accept hex accessories, or just standard round drill bits. It also has a bit more juice than the Bosch, which can be handy depending on what you’re doing with it.


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