on April 27, 2006
I've been using this tool kit at least once a week for the past 2 months or so and I can definitely say that they perform as expected. I'm not sure that the lower weight or extended run time is really the best reason to upgrade from your current cordless tools given the price of this kit. However I didn't own any other cordless tools, so purchasing this slightly more expensive set was worth the money. The sawzall and drill are definitely the two tools that I use the most and they have held up wonderfully. The drill (set to hammer) eats through concrete surprisingly fast.
I would have given this set 5 stars, except for the following:
1. The batteries are much more expensive than other sets (a reason contractors may be wary of upgrading their existing job tools to these)
2. The flashlight isn't all that bright, especially compared to LED lights that are out now. It's also bulky with the battery and lacks a "lantern" ability to illuminate 360?.
3. The kit comes with one screwdriver tip, but holds two. Why not just throw in an extra $2 tip?
4. The current selection of 28V tools is not very large, so if you are looking for a variety of tools that use interchangable batteries, this may not be the kit for you.
The things I like about the set:
1. You get three high quality tools (sawzall, circular saw, drill), a charger, two batteries and a tool bag to carry them all in. In addition you get the clip lock system and the flashlight, a circular saw blade, 2 sawzall blades and a screwdriver bit.
2. The battery life is exceptional.
3. The power actually lasts as Milwaukee claims, high power through the whole battery right until the end.
4. The batteries are definitely lighter and easier to use for extended periods of time.
on March 18, 2007
+ power to do almost all real-world tasks
+ quality is high
+ circular saw is best cordless ever
+ battery life is good and meter is useful even for contractors
+ bag is *much* better than one of those formed cases
- pricey compared to 18-volt
- cold performance is poor, especially disappointing due to marketing claims
- easy to switch drill to hammer mode when adjusting clutch
- drill is great, but heavy
I've been using this tool set for more than a year now in a residential construction job. Though I am an HVAC contractor, I do lots of wood carpentry as part of the job. I bought the V28 set primarily after searching for the best cordless circular saw. Well, this is it. I haven't plugged in a circular saw since I've had the V28! I use all of these tools on a daily basis and they do everything I ask them to do. There's only one job where I even notice that I have a cordless tool in my hands: ripping treated or other hard lumber. Ripping is a hard job and I've melted the bearings/bushings our of corded saws while doing it. The V28 never gives the impression that the saw is being harmed, but it does bog down when ripping difficult woods. In such situations, a corded saw would be more powerful, but I like the V28 saw so much I don't bother with cords. I've yet to find anything that the drill or sawzall won't do. From hole saws to ship augers, the drill just goes through anything until the battery dies. You pay for this power in weight, though, as this is the heaviest cordless drill I've used.
I've found one Achilles heel with my V28 tools and it's cold-weather performance. I leave my tools on my van as it's inconvenient to take them home with me , so they sit out all night in the cold weather. When the batteries are stored below freezing, you will notice the difference come morning. The tools just won't have much power at all until the batteries warm up. Milwaukee claims that you can simply use the batteries for a few minutes and they will "warm themselves up" and operate normally, but any battery will warm up during use, so this is not a novel feature. What happens with the V28 batteries is that they will indeed warm up if you use them enough, but by the time by the time they are warm enough, they will be out of juice. This is rather confusing, because I know that lithium-ion batteries generally work better in the cold than NiMH. I've had lots of experience with NiMH cordless tools, though, and am convinced that the V28's are noticeably worse in the cold than my old NiMH tools, which were much, much cheaper. I am willing to put up with this poor cold performance in light of how good the tools are in every other respect, but I don't care for Milwaukee's marketing claims that their lithium-ion batteries offer cold-weather performance superior to the standard NiCd/NiMH types. I beg to differ. My V28 batteries spend a *lot* of time in the charger during the winter. An electrician that I work with liked my V28 tools and bought his own set and he has independently experienced the same cold-weather disappointments that I have.
In short, these tools are good enough to satisfy almost any contractor-grade user out there. They only leave you grumbling during the winter, though I typically manage to avoid the extension cord even then. Corded tools are still much cheaper and should provide a longer life than even the best cordless tools, but the convenience is worth it for me considering the way I use power tools. If you do framing or other major carpentry in one place, you'll prefer to run a cord and use cheaper, more powerful, corded tools. If you move around the job a lot and do many smaller, but still demanding jobs, you will probably be quite happy with the Milwaukee V28. Unless you only need one specialized tool, I highly recommend this 4-tool set, since the individual tool/battery combos are outrageously priced. With the V28, you are mostly paying for the batteries, so you might as well get the tools all together.
*** UPDATE May 5, 2010 ***
The batteries in my V28 system suffered a very poor lifespan when compared with Milwaukee's warranty coverage. My batteries each show about 800 charges at the time of this writing. Though they are covered by a 5-year warranty (2-year full replacement, next 3 years prorated), I noted serious drops in performance after only one year. After another year of use and further degradation (2008), I had the batteries tested by my local Milwaukee repair center. All cells checked out at normal voltage (4V), so they could not help me as they only measure unloaded voltage in order to detect dead or shorted cells. Long-term observation shows that overall capacity and voltage under load are definitely reduced in these batteries, however. When new, I could do hard work with these tools for hours before needing to recharge, but by the second year I was leaving one battery on the charger much of the time. The power available also suffered noticeably, so that I can no longer rip regular 2-by pine in reasonable fashion. Ripping untreated pine was easy when the batteries were new. The drill now binds up with large bits where before it would twist itself free of both your hands before binding.
My tools are still in fair shape, though the drill and circular saw both make minor whining noises implying that bearings might be wearing out. These noises go away once the tools are heated up to operating temperatures. I still believe that the tools are built well and that this is the best cordless circular saw I've used.
Cold weather performance grew even worse as these batteries degraded. At the 4-year mark, they are too cold to do even minor work after being exposed to 55-degree air for a few minutes (in the back of a pickup, for example). In my experience, V28 batteries only work when they are warmer than room temperature. Milwaukee obviously feels the batteries will last a long time, since they offer a 5-year warranty on them, but the two batteries in my kit have been charged and used equally and have degraded to equal degrees. I must assume that my experience is fairly typical, but perhaps both batteries suffer from the same manufacturing defect.
I am now considering the purchase of replacement batteries, but they are quite expensive and I'm concerned that the new ones will degrade just as rapidly as the first set. Since I know what to expect this time around, I would be more likely to ask for warranty replacement despite the test results. When you use your tools daily, it is difficult to ship the batteries to Milwaukee, especially when you have serious doubts that they will consider them worthy of replacement when the idle voltages report just fine. Do not consider this addendum to be critical of Milwaukee's customer service, since I did not actually call the company itself. My local repair shop simply implied that my batteries were fine and that Milwaukee would probably agree with that assessment.
It is not surprising that performance has degraded after 4 years of ownership as even the best rechargeable batteries have a finite lifetime. It was surprising just how rapidly these V28 batteries degraded right from the beginning, however. I have never owned another set of cordless tool batteries that suffered so badly from cool temperatures, either. At work I quickly developed a habit of sitting them in front of a heater or in the sun just to keep them warm, even when it was more than 50F.
on June 4, 2006
I have worked with this kit for several weeks and I am convinced that Milwaukee has hit the bull's-eye.
Apart from the revolutionary V28 Lithium Ion battery technology, the tools are perfectly balanced, powerful, versatile and rugged. They are contractor-grade and ready to work as hard as their corded equivalents.
V28 is something unto itself. If you've ever thought that cordless tools were more trouble than they were worth (I did!) V28 will make a cordless convert of you. I bucked 2X10 joists all day with the circular saw without a recharge and it is very quiet to boot. The drill and reciprocating saw are equally capable. The battery packs last all day, don't have a recharge "memory" and recharge very rapidly. I was so pleased that I ordered the V28 jobsite radio!
Milwaukee did it right. I expect to see this technology expanding across their entire line of portable tools. One thing for certain: everything Milwaukee manufactures is rugged. There's no downscale line of tools for the "occasional" user.
At the price that Amazon offers this kit, it's a no-brainer. Highly recommended!
on August 19, 2006
This tool set is the best I have used! I have experience with the 18 volt Dewalt and Milwaukee sets as well as extensive experience with 18 volt ridgid tools. This set surpasses in all aspects of tool performance. The drill has more torque than any of its 18 volt competitors and drills long screws with ease. My friend borrowed my set(maybe the sets only downfall: all your friends want to borrow it) and built a 10x12 deck and used the drill for running screws. He only needed one full charge to finish. He also loved the power. The drill eats studs using the 2 1/8" self feed bit better than any of its competitors. The circ saw is great for cutting 2x material and OSB board. It is really handy when cutting out our registers in the floor. I normally use a corded model but do not have to anymore as this does an equally good job without the cord and the battery doesnt fade. My favorite tool is the sawzall. You can do anything with this tool. I use it to cut holes in the roof for our vents, cut holes for the tub drain, cut PVC, cast iron pipe, copper pipe, etc. Ive even used it at home to cut up limbs in the yard. The light is pretty bright but I find that it isn't that much better than it's counterparts besides of course the longer run time. The batteries are the heart and soul of this set. The benefits are too many to mention and I will leave it to you to check up on them but just know that the claims milwaukee makes about their batteries are accurate. All in all this tool set is a must buy for contractors and plumbers as well as the avid DIYer.
on November 9, 2006
I've used the drill the most so far and definately has my approval. (Wish I had another because it alway seems I'm switching from drill bit to screw driver). I've also used the saw and have no complaints. I haven't used the saws-all, so I can't honestly say anything good are bad about it.
The batteries work great. I like the feature of having full power or nothing at all. The batteries charged up in very little time, but I did invest in buying a couple of more batteries so I wouldn't have any down time. They're not cheap, but I hope I get some reasonable life out of them. A couple of reviews claim they had pproblems with the batteries, but I don't think they knew how they work. They won't immediately start to charge if the battery is warm from being used, but once they cool down they always charge right up.
on January 9, 2009
I have a corded version of each one of these tools - that are all very good - these v28 Milwaukees are nearly as good and so much more convenient. I bought the V28's about 10 months ago, and none of the corded tools have been used since. I'm a pretty aggressive home user, so I can't comment on their use by a contractor - however I use them hard enough to know whether they're good. And, I've used the batteries enough to know they are excellent. Some of the early battery reviews here made me put off buying the v28's for about a year - which was a mistake on my part.
So here are my thoughts about the tools:
Hammer Drill - It's overkill for most jobs. It's big, and heavy and powerful. I used the hammer function for about three hours straight one time I was cleaning out a container that had hardened sand in it. Sand got everywhere. I burned up 5 drill bits loosening the stuff. My arm went numb. I went through three batteries. The drill didn't even slow down. The drill did get mighty hot to the touch which is my only complaint with it. If you're just driving screws, it's way overpowered, but it'll drive deck screws all day on a single charge.
Sawsall - Surprisingly, this is the worst tool in the kit. It vibrates a lot, and it just doesn't seem to be as well balanced and cut nearly as well as my Tiger saw. It works OK, and is certainly convenient, but I actully thought about getting my corded saw out a while back - haven't even thought about it with the other tools.
Light - Works fine - this is where the batteries are really great - the light will run for hours on a charge.
Circular saw - Best tool in the kit. Powerful - goes a long time on a charge - it will cut 2x lumber easily. I cut up a big pile of used plywood so that it could be put into trash bags and discarded. I cut about a hundred 2x4's and the ergonomics and accuracy I think is better than my corded saw.
When I bought the kit, I went all out and bought the V28 bandsaw, the impact wrench, the three bay charger, the radio, and even the toolbox vacuum cleaner. Each one of these works well also. The impact wrench is awesome - and is used so much it already looks 10 years old. It made easy work of changing the struts on a car recently. The vac is a mini shop vac - really convenient and useful all over the house.
I'm quite happy with these tools. If they broke or were stolen I would replace them immediately.
on February 27, 2008
I have had 8 of these batteries fail, all so far have been replaced under warrenty,
i own the hammer drill, impact , sawzaw each has cooked batteries with small poof of smoke from battery and its dead
i advised Milwaukee of what i believe the problem is and the batteries failing they advised that ITS me causing the tool to fail. but they have replaced batteries under warranty
when i first phoned into their support they advised me of AN ISSUE with the batteries which caused them to fry under load/stall. Since that point if i call back they deny they ever told me this and turned the blame on me
if your using the drill and or sawzaw and the bit or blade binds/stalls for a split second it fries the battery.
bottom line dont risk it and buy this tools , mine have been broke more then they have worked
i have used a cheap 30$ walmart drill to finish the job that the milwaukee fried on,
still currently fighting Milwaukee to fix my issue, this time they are CHARGING ME to mail my batteries back in for inspection
BOTTOM LINE IS IF THE DRILL CANT TAKE A SLIGHT STALL OF THE BIT THEN IT SHOULDNT HAVE A DIRECT DRIVE MODE. OR Should say you cant use a spade bit or hole saw bit with this tool. the sawzaw smoked batteries when a slight pinch on the blade while cutting a drain pipe.
Since i thought ok maybe its me, i let others use the tools, a professional mechanic at a auto shop used the sawzaw for 5 mins and fried batteries and proceeded to laugh at the crappy quality of the saw
DONT GET ME WRONG WHEN IT WORKS ITS GREAT.. MOST OF THE TIME I HAVE HAD IT ITS WAITING ON ME TO RETURN THE PRODUCT FOR REPLACEMENT