22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Very Nice, but wish it had a 2 speed gearbox (faster RPM for drilling)
, December 14, 2008
This review is from: Milwaukee 2401-22 12-Volt Li-Ion Compact Driver Kit (Tools & Home Improvement)
I own the Milwaukee 2401 driver and have been using it daily. I have also used the Hitachi, Makita and Bosch 10.8 volt drivers. The Milwaukee is my overall favorite sub-compact driver, but the Makita and Hitachi have some enticing features that I wish were incorporated into the Milwaukee.
Hitachi's 10.8 Volt driver uses a light ring as the clutch face which allows the entire work area around the bit to be illuminated as opposed to simply having a LED above the trigger (below the clutch) which only illuminates the lower work area below the bit. The Hitachi also free stands upright on the base of its battery like many of the larger cordless power drills & impact drivers. Standing upright is nice and convenient, but it wasn't a deal breaker for me.
Makita's 10.8 Volt driver has a 2 speed gear box which allows speeds of 0-350 RPM and 0-1,300 RPM. When set to the low speed (0-350), the Makita produces 200 inch pounds of torque and it definitely out drives the Milwaukee (100 inch pounds of torque) in terms of power based on my own testing from driving 1/4 x 3.5" hex head screws. The Milwaukee would drive the hex head screws so the base of the head was flush with the wood, while the Makita (in low speed) would continue driving the head into and well below the surface. When the Makita was in High Speed, it would sometimes drive the screw ~70% to ~90% of the way at best, but it sure is nice to have that 2 speed gear box because it really does add versatility to this driver. And the other thing I really like about the Makita driver is that it leaves the LED illuminated for several seconds after removing your finger from the trigger.
One thing missing from these compact drivers is an extra bit holder. The other day I had to remove a couple dozen project boxes from a support rail, take them apart, remove the connected wiring, install strain reliefs, tighten the ground screws and put them back together while on a ladder. I had to switch between phillips, square drive and two different sizes of slotted bits for each project box. A spare bit holder would have been very convenient for this and other jobs I do where I have to frequently switch bits. My magnetic tray comes in handy for holding bits, screws, etc, but Milwaukee could have added a simple low profile spare bit holder into the top moulding for very little money and it surely would have been useful to many people besides myself. Even now, they could probably make a small 'optional' bracket to hold an extra bit or two that's simply secured by the two upper screws on top of the body just behind the clutch.
I still prefer the Milwaukee 2401 driver over the other models because of ergonomics (fits mys hand very well), the quick bit loading chuck, the battery fuel gauge, the smooth progressive trigger, the tool selection using this same battery, the 5 year tool warranty, its ease of use, etc. But this could be a better product if it incorporated the following features:
1) 'Light Ring' for better illumination all the way around the bit / work piece
2) Keep the LED's illuminated for several seconds after letting off the trigger
3) 2 speed gear box to improve torque for driving and a higher speed for drilling
4) Add a bit holder of some sort so we can keep different bits readily available on the tool.
5) Consider allowing future versions to stand upright if enough people think it's important to them. I'm happy with its current form factor.
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