Whenever you’re doing a repair, large or small, you want to have the right set of tools on hand. There’s nothing more frustrating than needing to stop in the middle of a task to run to the store because you don’t have what you need. To be prepared, you might want to purchase a comprehensive set of reliable tools, and Milwaukee makes sets for just about every repair need.
Milwaukee has been manufacturing quality tools for nearly 100 years. Besides selling tools individually, the company also offers a wide variety of tool sets that are curated to match various home repair needs. However, with hundreds of tools available and numerous possible combinations of those tools, you might need a little help determining which set is best for you.
This buying guide walks you through your options to help you make the most informed choice. It covers what tools you can expect to find in various sets and offers some safety tips as well. If you’d prefer to make a quick selection, consider one of the Milwaukee tool sets that we’ve spotlighted above.
What is in a Milwaukee Tool Set?
Each combo kit includes two or more cordless Milwaukee tools, batteries, and chargers- everything you need to get right to work. The contents of each kit vary based on current combo kit offers. The most common cordless tools included in Milwaukee combo kits are: drills, hammer drill/drivers, impact wrenches, saws, blowers, radios, sanders, and grinders. However, there are many other tools and options to choose from. Milwaukee cordless tool combo kit is also available in M18 and M12 series.
Why Buy a Milwaukee Cordless Tool Tool Set?
Whether you’re a rookie or experienced contractors, deciding to buy a Milwaukee cordless tool kit or combo kit because it is a cost-effective way to buy Milwaukee tools. For example, bundling Milwaukee tools into a combo kit often gives you cost savings, so it’s a more cost-friendly way to buy your first Milwaukee tools, upgrade to new Milwaukee tools, or add tools to your current Milwaukee tool collection.
What to know before you buy a Milwaukee tool set
Deciding which tool set is best for your needs depends on the range of tools included. Most kits contain a drill, which may be paired with other power tools such as circular saws, reciprocating saws or grinders. Some sets are more extensive than others, with up to seven different tools being included.
When deciding which Milwaukee tool set to buy, your primary concern is choosing the battery system. This is important because there are two and they are not compatible.
- M12: This is a 12-volt system. The battery is smaller and lighter, and the tools are smaller, lighter, and less powerful than those in the M18 system. The M12 tools are best for the homeowner who doesn’t have a need for heavy-duty power tools.
- M18: This is an 18-volt system. The battery in these tools is larger and heavier. The M18 tools are larger and heavier too, making them slightly more difficult to wield. These tools are designed for situations where heavy-duty usage is required. Also, there is a wider selection of tools available in the M18 battery system.
Milwaukee tool sets come in various combinations of function-specific tools. Here are some of the most popular:
- Drills and drivers are used for drilling holes and driving screws into metal and wood and are one of the most frequently used tools in any set. Some sets come with impact drivers that are made to handle longer screws. Impact drivers are also handy when you have to drive a lot of screws for a big project. Hammer drills are the tool of choice when you have to drill through hard concrete.
- Saws are used to cut wood, metal and plastic substances. Circular saws spin circular blades and are one of the most useful carpentry tools to have in your set. Jigsaws, also called sabre saws, have straight blades that are driven in an up-and-down motion similar to that of a sewing machine.
- Grinders use abrasive blades to chip away at hard surfaces and can also be used to cut, sharpen and polish.
- Orbital sanders come in handy for smoothing rough surfaces and for removing old paint before applying a new coat. Random orbital sanders are preferred because they are less likely to leave circular marks on your finished work.
- LED work lights let you see what you are drilling, cutting or sanding in dark places.
- Blowers are handy little tools that look like small leaf blowers and are used to clean up the jobsite quickly when you’re finished with your work.
What to look for in a quality Milwaukee tool set
As a drill features in most of these tool kits, it’s essential to select one with the right kind of drill for your needs. A drill driver is used for boring small to medium holes and for inserting fasteners. An impact driver is a high-torque tool used for larger fasteners and nuts. A hammer drill is used to bore large holes in solid materials like bricks and stone.
All Milwaukee tool kits come with at least one battery and a charger. Their regular charger charges an 18-volt battery in 2-3 hours. Some kits include a rapid charger, which brings this time down to under an hour. For heavy-duty use, look for a kit that contains two batteries and a rapid charger.
Many of Milwaukee’s power tools now have a built-in LED work light. This is a useful feature, especially for those who need to work in poorly lit areas. However, be aware that using a light on a power tool will reduce the battery life.
Our Top Picks
Consider the following list of top-rated combinations to find the best Milwaukee tool set for you.
1. Milwaukee 2997-27 Fuel Combo Kit
The Milwaukee 2997-27 7-tool combo kit is our top pick because it delivers an advanced and comprehensive set of cordless tools that every craftsman and hobbyist will find useful. It includes a hammer drill, an impact driver, an impact wrench, a reciprocating saw, a circular saw, an angle grinder, and an LED light.
Bundled with the tools are also two M18 batteries, a charger, several accessories, as well as two heavy-duty bags.
The M18 Fuel 18 Volt battery system is fully compatible with the standard Milwaukee M18 18-volt cordless system. The Fuel technology, however, uses brushless motors for longer motor life and REDLINK PLUS Intelligence and REDLITHIUM battery technology for longer run time and more power.
While not as powerful as the high-torque impact wrench Milwaukee makes, you will still find this one more than powerful enough in most situations. It uses the Milwaukee REDLITHIUM battery pack which provides more run-time, power, and longer battery life than many competitors.
In addition, it uses REDLINK PLUS Electronic Intelligence technology for higher levels of performance, protection, and productivity.
2. Milwaukee 2997-25 Fuel Combo Kit
Our runner-up is the Milwaukee 2997-25 combo kit which contains five M18 FUEL brushless cordless tools including a hammer drill, an impact driver, a reciprocating saw, a circular saw, and an LED light.
These power tools are all compatible with the FUEL battery packs two of which are included in the kit. Just like the top pick, this kit also comes with a charger, a number of other accessories, and a bag to fit all of the items into.
Unlike the top pick, this kit doesn’t include a grinder and a torque wrench, but if you don’t think you’ll need those items, this is a great option.
The Milwaukee 2695-24 combo kit includes a hammer drill, a mini reciprocating saw, an impact driver, and a work light. Just like the tools in the other kits on this list, all items in this set are powered by M18 FUEL batteries. Besides batteries and a charger, the set also comes with a tool bag.
3. Milwaukee 2691-22 Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit
This kit includes a drill/driver, an impact driver, a pair of batteries and a charger, and a bag. While I won’t be looking closer at the impact driver since it’s the same 2656-20 model included in the previous kit, below is a look at the drill included in this kit.
It features a four-pole frameless motor that can output up to 500 inch-pounds of torque and up to 1,800 RPM. At only 7-1/4 inches long, it can be used in the tightest workspaces and has an all-metal gear case and a 1/2-inch metal chuck.
This drill has a lot of power for its size and can be used for installing wires, drilling holes, and other similar tasks. It is comfortable to use. All that said, in some cases, the chuck has been known to release the bit while drilling.
Whether you are a professional contractor or a DIYer, Milwaukee tools will not disappoint you. With that in mind, if you need to fully equip yourself, I recommend getting the Milwaukee 2997-27 7-tool combo kit.
4. Milwaukee 2696-26 M18
As the name suggests, the 18V tools found in this kit are based on Milwaukee’s proprietary M18 lithium-ion technology – they are cordless, feature an innovative motor design, and have superior ergonomics. They deliver more torque and have a better runtime than most other tools in the same price category, and are accompanied by a REDLITHIUM battery, a multi-voltage charger, and a 23″ contractor bag.
The 2607-20 hammer drill/driver is a well-constructed, compact device that operates on a 4-pole frameless motor. This engine is capable of delivering 1,800 RPM of speed and 500 in-lbs of torque, which makes the model suitable for most drilling and driving jobs. As it is only 7-3/4″ long, the 2607-20 easily fits into tight spaces.
6-1/2″ Circular Saw 2630-20 is yet another well-built cordless power tool in this toolset. Great for applications such as framing, plumbing, and carpentry, it has enough torque to complete even the most demanding cuts. One of the best things about it is that it features magnesium-made upper and lower guards which protect the blade. There is also a soft-grip handle and battery fuel gauge.
The 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver (code-named 2656-20) offers a pretty good power to size ratio and comes with a couple of interesting features. Some of these are the all-metal reversible belt clip and the integrated LED light. With 1,500 in-lbs, 1,450 IPM, and 2,750 RPM, this impact driver can be used for a wide variety of driving applications.
Next up is 2680-20 cut-off/grinder, a potent device that provides ease-of-use, durability, as well as speed. With a 4-pole motor at its core, this grinder produces enough power for most of your standard grinding and cutting jobs. It’s one of the only devices of this type to sport a user-preferred paddle switch, while its L-shaped intake vents keep the harmful debris away from the tool’s vital components.
5. Milwaukee 2896-26 M18 Fuel Tool Set
Milwaukee’s 2896-26 M18 Fuel combo kit consists of six well-built and powerful tools that are accompanied by two 5.0Ah batteries, one charger, and two contractor bags. It’s one of the best toolsets that the company has on offer. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the tools that come in 2896-26:
The 1/2″ Hammer Drill/Driver 2704-20 is undoubtedly one of the most powerful 18V cordless drills currently on the market. At its heart is a potent brushless engine that effortlessly delivers 1,200 in-lbs of torque and reaches the maximum speed of 2,000 RPM. The model’s design takes the user comfort into consideration – it’s a relatively short and lightweight unit.
The 2730-20 circular saw is yet another exciting device in this 6-piece tool set. Its powerful brushless engine and outstanding construction quality are the primary reasons behind its best-selling status. It offers twice the runtime and speed of the competitive saws, allowing one to use it for jobs that previously required a corded circular saw.
The grinder, code-named 2780-20, supplies enough power for the successful completion of most grinding, cutting, and surface-preparing applications. Its brushless engine works in cooperation with Milwaukee’s signature REDLINK PLUS system of electronics and easily delivers outstanding results. However, it is also worth mentioning that the device has a great balance thanks to its thin body design and anti-vibration side handle.
Another tool in the 2896-26 combo kit is the 2720-20 reciprocating saw. As a part of Milwaukee’s highly-praised M18 Fuel lineup, it is twice as powerful as most other reciprocating saws in the same price category. Moreover, the model comes with a keyless blade clamp that quickly turns the process of blade switching into an absolute breeze.
How did Milwaukee Tool get its start?
Over 100 years ago, Henry Ford commissioned a Wisconsin manufacturer named A. H. Petersen to develop a compact version of a 1/4-inch power drill. Petersen successfully created the first industrial drill that was light enough to be held in one hand. At just 5 pounds, the Hole-Shooter was a success. Petersen went on to found the A. H. Petersen Company with business partner Albert F. Siebert. After a fire put the young company out of business, Siebert purchased the company’s surviving assets at auction and reopened as Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation.
What is Milwaukee One-Key?
Milwaukee One-Key is a premium feature that allows you to control every aspect of your tool usage via an app. You can set running speeds, torque, and even program a saw to automatically stop when you finish a cut. One-Key also allows you to track every One-Key tool you own, so you always know its exact location. Additionally, if a One-Key tool is ever stolen, you can disable it remotely, so it no longer functions.
Are Milwaukee tools durable?
Over several decades, Milwaukee has gained a solid reputation for high quality and dependability. They develop and manufacture their own battery packs and motors to the highest industry standards, and offer 5-year warranties on all their power tools.
What’s the difference between M18 and M18 FUEL?
Although both systems use an 18-volt battery, the M18 FUEL is a contractor-grade tool with a brushless motor. It has better protection against water and heat and produces up to four times the power of the M18.