Milwaukee 2712-20 Review
You need a cordless power tool — a Rotary Hammer, say — and start looking for value.
You note that Milwaukee Tools has been on a tear: the company has enjoyed double-digit expansion worldwide over the past decade, boosted by their cordless innovations.
Milwaukee scored with the market when they put their rechargeable M18 FUEL super-batteries into their Rotary Hammer line.
In this article, we’ll review the Milwaukee’s 2712-20 — specifically, the tool-only model 2712-20 — and see what makes this bestselling tool so popular.
Presenting the Milwaukee 2712-20
The Milwaukee 2712-20 literally contains some of the world’s greatest ground-breaking technology.
It’s easy to work with and faster than most corded units, and can pound rocks all day on a single battery charge.
The model includes Milwaukee’s low-maintenance FUEL system, a proprietary standard which integrates the POWERSTATE Brushless Motor and its REDLITHIUM XC5.0 Battery Pack.
The tool delivers 1.7 ft-lbs of impact energy and up to 1350 RPM/4900 BPM: a big step up in power if you’ve been working with lesser hammers. The onboard REDLINK+Intelligence system monitors and protects the motor against stress and overheating.
You don’t have to worry about electrical outlets and cords with this Milwaukee model, and you don’t have to constantly switch out batteries, either. You can drill and hammer all day, and be recharged by the next morning.
The RED-LITHIUM battery packs offer 20% more energy and have twice the life of typical Lithium-Ion batteries. This machine is versatile enough to deliver on the job site and let weekend DIYers play, too.
Note: The Milwaukee 2712-20 version is only the bare tool. It doesn’t come with the charger OR the batteries. (You can, of course, buy them separately.)
A Look Inside Milwaukee FUEL™ Technology:
Features & Benefits
Innovations have piled up in Milwaukee’s tool line, so it’s easy to mistake the slim profile of the M18 1″ Rotary Hammer for a lightweight unit. It’s just that this compact machine has a lot packed inside. Here’s the rundown.
Powerful Brushless Motor
Milwaukee puts their famous POWERSTATE Brushless Motor to work here, powering 1.7 ft-lbs of impact energy with up to 1,400 RPM and 4,900 BPM.
This popular motor uses expensive rare earth magnets and electronics for optimal energy-transfer, and delivers 25% more torque than comparable models. The peak torque is up to 60% higher.
High torque is great, but it can get you into quite a bind: Milwaukee adds a mechanical clutch.
Diverse Bit Capacity
You can operate the tool in three different modes: Rotary Hammer, Rotation Only, or Hammer Only. In other words: chip, drill, or smash.
The 1-inch chuck holds securely: the solid bit capacity is one inch, and goes up to 2-1/2 inches for a thin-wall core bit. A separate steel depth rod can be inserted into a button-release hole in the housing.
All-day Power Supply
The unit runs off REDLITHIUM XC5.0 Battery Packs. All M18 Fuel drills operate using the same battery — that’s over 170 tools — which can be very convenient on the job.
The charge is strong and will last for hours under normal use, though heavy work does drain power more quickly. Another positive consumer feature is that Milwaukee’s batteries are backward compatible.
The new batteries can power older models — and you can keep using their new batteries as they’re introduced.
Integrated Motor Protection
Milwaukee uses a proprietary monitoring tool called REDLINK+Intelligence to protect the motor and increase performance. The REDLINK system links the battery and charger to the motor, and adjusts to the feedback to maintain proper loading and discharge.
This high-end onboard system is part of Milwaukee’s FUEL integration, a market-leading electronic system for cordless power tools: by putting it into their Rotary Hammer line, Milwaukee effectively “disrupted” the game.
The REDLINK system deliver a longer useful life and up to 25% more power and 50% more run-time than other makes.
The tool’s handle is separate from the business end, and is connected by a rubberized section that expands or contracts independently.
This Anti-Vibration technology insulates you from heavy torque vibration, and minimizes mechanical impact on your hand and arm.
Safe, Comfortable Handling
The distinctive, rugged two-toned housing is unmistakably Milwaukee’s. It’s fairly lightweight at 6.8 lbs, but durable enough to handle full-sized jobs. You can maneuver the tool well, but it’s hefty enough to be steady.
The two-handle grip is comfortable and secure. The barrel handle can unlock to swivel around the unit with a simple unlocking twist, so you can pulverize comfortably from any stance. This makes it great for either right- or left-handed use.
A small LED light is located on the front to provide extra light when sighting a drill location. It’s not much.
Accessories & Service
The Milwaukee 2712-20 is the bare tool model, so it doesn’t include a handy carrying case — or batteries or a charger, either. It’s perfectly usable though, and comes with necessary add-ons like the depth rod and key chuck.
If you already own the battery and just need to replace the machine — or just have enough Milwaukee bling — you can save money on this version without losing performance.
The 5-Year Tool Warranty against product defects is solid enough, and Milwaukee has a decent record of customer support. But do be sure to keep your proof of purchase.
Milwaukee 2712 M18 FUEL 1″ SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer:
If you’re looking for inline configuration with the exact same features, you’re in luck.
Milwaukee offers this Rotary Hammer with a D-Handle for just a few bucks more.
Milwaukee 2713-20 has a few minor alterations, such as in the anti-vibration assembly and how the depth rod is designed, but it delivers the same punch and long-lived battery performance.
The tool – only version is model 2713-20:
- Same performance and specs
- D-handle and inline configuration
- Slightly higher price
Check it out online!
If you’re shopping around, you might check out one of Milwaukee’s competitors: the DeWALT DCH273B Brushless Rotary Hammer.
Milwaukee’s chief worked previously for DeWALT, and the products are strikingly similar.
Overall, the DeWALT is a good choice if you’re looking for a little more punch. Milwaukee’s Rotary Hammer has power, it’s just that this DeWALT is a beast. It can get more done (and eat many more batteries) in the same amount of time.
It might wear you first out, though. Beasts aren’t comfort-oriented as a rule, and the ergonomics and anti-vibration effects are better with the Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee also has better batteries that last longer, and a more convenient M18 system that lets you use the same battery on most of their tools.
The differences aren’t huge, but it’s worth a look:
- Cordless like the Milwaukee
- Half-pound lighter
- Same three modes as the Milwaukee
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Their product has had a lot of development to deliver this feature — and it’s a winner — but corded hammers have had their own innovations, too.
If you could get by with a corded model, Bosch GBH2-28L notches up the power and gives you more control with variable triggering. It weighs just .1 lbs more than the Milwaukee.
In a head-to-head, you can save some money with the Bosch, too. The Bulldog has a little better handling with the D-grip and more power: 2.4 ft-lbs vs. Milwaukee’s 1.7. Just be sure to keep an outlet handy.
- Corded instead of cordless like the Milwaukee
- More power than the Milwaukee for same weight/profile
- Variable-speed reversing trigger for accurate bit starting
- Same three modes as the Milwaukee
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Cordless Rotary Hammers had to wait, because the battery technology to power heavy machinery for long hours wasn’t available. Now it is.
At 6.9 lbs, the Milwaukee 2712-20 is within the range of a homeowner’s tool, but it has the chops to make it on the work site, too. It isn’t the most powerful unit in its class, but there’s plenty here for most jobs … it’s also easy and comfortable to use, and goes for hours on a single recharge.
If you’re looking to drill or bust something up, Milwaukee 2712-20 M18 FUEL SDS+ Rotary Hammer deserves a look.
Click to check it out online!