Milwaukee V18 Drills
Friday 29 August 2008
Colin Eden-Eadon inspects these 18-volt cordless tools from Milwaukee
As you most probably know by now, the premier brand, Milwaukee, is making a much larger presence in the UK these days. Recently I tested their really big gun series - the V28 system. Now they have launched a more regular 18-volt cordless range, to match those of other manufacturers. Based on the same principles as the V28, this is again, a pretty heavy-duty kit, and it is a one-battery-fits-all system.
Currently available are a drill driver, percussion drill, impact driver, reciprocating saw, circular saw, rotary hammer drill, and a work light.
The two power tools I looked at are the drill driver and the percussion drill, which has a standard hammer action.
At first glance, they are all very similar to the V28 range and indeed, the two drills are much the same weight. They are quite heavy on the arms for long-term use - or maybe I'm getting old!
BatteryThe V18 is a single battery Lithium Ion system, with a 1-hour charger, which operates on the same system as the V28. The big difference is that this charger will charge both the new Li-Ion batteries and NiCd, and the V18 batteries themselves will retro fit onto existing Milwaukee 18-volt tools. There is a built-in power gauge, which indicates the level of power left in the battery; the number of LEDs lit indicates the state of the charge - a 10% charge will give a flashing LED. If the battery is attached to the tool and the charge is low, short pulses of power and a ticking noise from the tool, will tell you it needs charging!
DrillsThe V18DD and V18PD have the same specs in terms of their drilling capacities, both being capable of 38mm (1 1/2in) in wood and 13mm (1/2in) in steel. They certainly look and feel the business.
The casing and plastic is high quality and the weight does have a reassuring quality about it. The chucks are very crisply engineered and are from Rohm in Germany. The drill driver has a slightly smaller chuck, as it does not need the heavier build for hammer work. Both are quick-release, as are most these days, and both have two speeds and reverse, of course.
Power build-up in drilling terms is very smooth and these are very nice to use. Although this is only a quick look, it is easy to see these are going to last. All the gearing components are metal so these are not going to fall apart.