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Milwaukee 2604-22 vs Makita LXPH05 Brushless Hammer Drill Testing

Milwaukee 2604-22 vs Makita LXPH05 Head to Head Testing:

Years ago I used my cordless drill for drilling light duty holes and occasional light duty fastening. Let’s face it, that’s all they could really do. Today, cordless drills and drivers comprise almost 99 percent of my drilling and driving applications. It’s amazing how much torque, power and run-time they have and how much I’ve come to rely on them to increase my speed and efficiency.

These days the big talk on cordless tols has been the changeover from Ni-Cad to Lithium Ion and even more recently cordless “brushless” technology. The cordless industry has improved so much, making lighter, more powerful, more efficient cordless tools that it’s hard to think of what else they could do to improve these tools.

There are a few advantages in going with brushless tools, including, longevity of the tool itself as well as longer run-time on the battery.   The brushless motor, battery and related electronics control and optimize the battery energy which manufacturers claim give you up to 50-Percent longer run time per battery charge.   The brushless motor also eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the motor to run cooler and more efficiently.   An electronic controlled motor uses energy to match torque and RPM to the drilling application which is a more efficient way for the tool to operate.

Let’s face it time is money and to make money you need to use tools that save you time and make you money.  That means finding tools powerful enough to do the job but faster than others in their class.

The quest to find the perfect cordless tool on the planet is never that easy, there are many and many quality brands to choose from, there are a lot of variables, and each manufacturer seems to be fighting for that 2 percent improvement or performance rate.

Battery Platform: battery gauge

I’ve never understood the guys that have a slew of cordless tools from all different brands – the number of chargers alone on the job-site is enough for me to loose it.  I like a neat, organized and efficient job-site and having 4 different chargers is crazy.  These days many manufacturers are offering dual chargers and if you are loyal to one brand that means one, two or maybe three less chargers needing to be lugged into the job-site power station.

When on a remodeling site I’m more concerned with having a variety of time saving tools that run on the same platform of battery. So when the topic of runtime comes up I always say that it is less important to me – why?  I try to run all of the same platform of cordless tools / battery and always try to keep a slew of similar batterys charged to stay ahead of the tool.

With these Lition-Ion batteries and brushless tools the electronics allow the tool to work right right up to the point that it stops working and either needs a charge or needs to cool down.

One feature that you may want to pay attention to is battery gauges and how long it takes to charge your battery.  the battery guage will allow you to anticipate your drilling application to your charging situation.

The Milwaukee 2604-22 has a battery gauge and takes approximately one hour while the Makita LXPH05 does not have a battery gauge and takes approximately thirty minutes to charge.

Milwaukee Vs Makita

Milwaukee sent me two brushless tools to test:  the Milwaukee  M18 FUEL 1/2″ Brusless Hammer Drill/Driver 2604-22  and the Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2” Hammer Driver-Drill Kit LXPH05.

They also sent  two 1″ drill self feeding auger bits to perform the head to head testing of these two drills

The Test:

In my test I put the two drills into a continuous drilling shootout.   I wanted to see which tool could drill the most holes and how long it took before the tool stopped working.

Each tool was tested in first gear with two fully charged 3.0ah batteries.  I used two new 1-inch Milwaukee auger drill bits.  The Milwaukee auger bit was used because it is self feeding and requires no additional downward pressure.  During the test I also stayed cognizant to allow the drills to do the work and NOT apply excessive pressure. [Not perfect but the best I could do]

I purchased  two 4×4-8 foot pressure treated Douglas fir posts for the testing.  With exception of Oak, this material is probably the toughest and high resin material on my job sites.

I marked horizontal lines on the 4×4 posts and then drilled side by side holes with each brand using one drill until it stopped working and then tested the other drill.  I timed the procedure.

For the second test, I let the tools cool down for 20-25 minutes, installed a fresh battery and performed the same test on a fresh PT 4×4 post – same drill bit.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  this is the most stressing test I could think of.  Running a drill continuously with a 1″ auger bit is not a test of realistic drill use – it’s a torture test.

Had I wanted a realistic test I would have drilled five holes at a time and then alternated tools.  By drilling five holes and allowing the tool to rest a minute I would be simulating a more realistic scenario that these drill will be used for, as well as allowed the drill to cool down.   My guess is if I had done a 5 hole test the results would have resulted in more holes drilled.

Head to Head Testing Video:  [3:00 minutes]

Milwaukee Features:

The Milwaukee 2604-22 is  a noticeably bigger tool than the Makita and  weighs more.   This drill is a SUPER power house and the included side handle for high torque applications should be a tip off.  I have no doubt that this drill can handle a 4 or 5″ hole saw.

Ergonomically speaking the tool is comfortable but heavy.  The charger takes one hour to completely charge the battery.

Makita Features:

The Makita LXPH05 is the smaller of the two and lighter.   It is a comfortable tool to use and for its size is powerful but it clearly lacks the torque or high speed the Milwaukee offers.

Bottom Line:  Milwaukee won!

Both the Makita LXPH05 and the Milwaukee 2604-20 have two gears which allows you to choose the torque needed for the application.   The testing was done in first gear.

The Makita drilled 51 holes in 14:27 minutes on the first test and 44 holes in 12:55 minutes on the second test

The Milwaukee drilled 59 holes in 12:51 minutes and 48 holes in 12:00 minutes

Milwaukee clearly drilled more holes and drilled them faster.  When deciding how to test these tools I tested them on Speed 2 [high] first.   the Milwaukee was able to drill  the holes but the Makita smoked on the second hole.  After seeing that I made the decision to test the tools in first gear, speed 1. [Low]

One thing I noticed is that the higher the rpms on the drill the faster you’ll find the bottom of a hole when drilling!  In my opinion, these are two very different tools- Miklwaukee is clearly the faster more powerful tool and provides you with more drilling applications, more power and speed.   The Makita is a lighter duty drill.  Both tools retail for approximately $299 and can be purchased here:



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