Milwaukee M4 2-Speed Screwdriver Kit Review

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M4 SetWhen I was first asked to review the Milwaukee M4 ¼” hex 2-speed screwdriver kit, I was a bit skeptical. I thought for sure that this little screwdriver was going to be just like all the other battery powered handheld screwdrivers I’ve used in the past – worthless. But ever since Milwaukee sent it our way for a review, I can’t stop finding loose screws around the house.

The Quest for Loose Screws

Once the batteries were charged, I was ready to put this tool to good use. That’s when I began my quest to tighten every loose screw in the house. The bathroom door handle, the loose knob on my desk, a light switch plate and a few fan blades — all tightened to perfection. I used the lower settings on the screwdriver to complete these simple tasks since I didn’t want to start stripping screws out everywhere. I took it easy, which you can do with this driver. But the M4 has 21 auto stop clutch settings and I was determined to use them all. I was ready to do some serious screwing.

Out in the Garage

Screwing Around with the M4
Screwing Around with the M4

I really love my garage. It’s my man cave, workshop and home to my tools, so I gravitate towards this side of my house most frequently. I busted out a box of screws, found some scrap wood and started screwing them in. I really didn’t think the M4 was going to last that long. With such small batteries, I was sure it would peter out quickly. I was definitely wrong. These little RedLithium 2.0 battery packs really hold a charge. And with two packs and a charger in the kit, I could have screwed drywall screws into scrap wood all day long.

The Power Test

Using the M4 in "Straight On" Mode
Using the M4 in “Straight On” Mode

After the M4 passed my battery test/screw challenge, I was really starting to change my mind about this lightweight screwdriver. Weighing in at just a pound, I could easily see this being carried in a pouch or work bucket on any jobsite (it would be especially useful for electricians). But was it powerful enough to use on a real job? Milwaukee claims that the M4 has 44 in-lbs. of torque and sports a two speed gearbox to really provide the power, but was it true? That’s when I got out the big boy screws and put it to the test.

I took out a few 3” woodscrews and attempted to power them through an old table leg. At first, it bogged down when the screw got about halfway through the wood. I had to shift the gears so I flipped the setting to one and powered through the material. Success! The M4 isn’t going to screw in a bunch of window frames or fasten mountains of sheathing to a subfloor, but it certainly surprised me how much power this tiny tool really had.

One Thing I’m Not Keen On

While the M4 is a great handheld battery powered screwdriver and I’d recommend buying one, there is one design feature that I’m not so keen on. The trouble is with the switch that turns the driver in forward or reverse. It’s set on a weird angle on the side of the screwdriver. That works fine for when the tool is in its straight forward position, but when it’s bent at the shaft and resembles a screw gun, it can make it a little bit uncomfortable to operate. Once you get used to using your thumb versus your pointer finger to operate the trigger, it’s smooth sailing, but we would have rather seen a more conventional trigger design.

Five Things About the M4 I am Keen On

Operating the M4 with the Handle Bent
Operating the M4 with the Handle Bent

Here are my five favorite things about this nifty little battery powered screwdriver kit.

  1. It’s lightweight — won’t break off your arm
  2. The batteries actually last for more than five minutes
  3. Powerful enough so you won’t be made fun of for having a puny screwdriver
  4. ¼” hex quick change chuck allows you to change bits faster than you can change your mind
  5. Lighted fuel gauge lets you know how much battery power is left

All in all, it’s a pretty good tool to have on your workbench, in your tool bag or in your tool pouch. You can snag the
Milwaukee 2101-22 4V Cordless M4 Lithium-Ion 1/4-in Hex Screwdriver Kit
from our sponsor Tyler Tool for just $129, or get just the
Milwaukee 2101-20 4V Cordless M4 Lithium-Ion 1/4-in Hex Screwdriver (Tool Only)
for a measly $66 if you already have the M4 charger and batteries. Happy screwing!

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About Eric

Since Eric built his first skateboard ramp in his parents driveway; he’s breathed, slept and eaten DIY construction. As a second generation master carpenter who runs two Florida-based construction firms, Eric’s had the chance to work on everything from Mcmansions to your local mall to the cat lady’s bathroom. So when it comes to dealing with construction s@#t; he’s the man—literally. There isn’t a tool or construction material that Eric hasn’t used and abused, and if there is; it’s rocking in a dark corner nervously waiting for him to show up for work.

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