Milwaukee M18 2607-20 Hammer Drill Vs Milwaukee M18 2801-20

Milwaukee 2607-20 Angle 5

Milwaukee 2607-20

Quick take

The Milwaukee M18 2607-20 Hammer Drill and Milwaukee M18 2801-20 are comparably priced mid-range drills with different footprints. The 2801-20 is exceptionally compact from tip to tail and is lighter, though it doesn’t include a hammer drill functionality. The 2607-20 is modestly faster under load, resulting in fewer instances of bogging down when boring wide holes. However, the 2607-20 is incredibly long compared to the 2801-20 and many competing drills from other brands.

Brand Milwaukee
Platform M18
Motor Brushless
Speeds 2
Torque in-lbs 500.0
BPM 28,800.0
Clutch settings 18
Chuck size 1/2"
Same as N/A
Brand Milwaukee
Platform M18
Motor Brushless
Speeds 2
Torque in-lbs 500.0
BPM N/A
Clutch settings 18
Chuck size 1/2"
Same as N/A

Editorial opinion

Rating

4.21 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Exceptional drilling performance for the price
  • Includes a hammer drill mode
  • Brushless motor
  • Solid build quality

 

Cons

  • Extended length limits areas it can fit into
  • Hammer mechanism isn’t highly effective

Rating

3.90 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Reasonably lightweight with a narrow footprint
  • Great driving speed
  • Brushless motor
  • Long warranty
  • All-metal chuck

Cons

  • No hammer drill feature
  • Low max RPM slows performance in some tasks

Global rankings

18 models tested

TestResultRank
Drilling speed (sec.)16.09
Driving speed (sec.)13.111
Torque (in-lbs)500.08
RPM1,686.010
Bare weight (lbs)3.0314
Drilling Noise (dBA)97.318
TestResultRank
Drilling speed (sec.)19.012
Driving speed (sec.)10.67
Torque (in-lbs)500.08
RPM1,601.014
Bare weight (lbs)2.406
Drilling Noise (dBA)85.37

Recommended configuration

2607-22

Includes (2) M18 Red Lithium XC 3Ah battery

Lab results

Drilling speed

Drilling speed total time (drill mode, sec.): 16.0
Drilling speed average time (drill mode, sec.): 3.2
Drilling speed total time (hammer mode, sec.): 15.3
Drilling speed average time (hammer mode, sec.): 3.1
Hammer mode speed improvement: 4.4%

The 2607-20 has fantastic drilling performance when put up against similarly-priced budget models in and outside of the Milwaukee 18V lineup.

We designed our drilling speed tests to understand how each drill performs at the top of its range. The 2607-20 is one of the fastest and smoothest hammer drills in our low to mid-range price test fleet.

It’s not fast enough to blast chips out when boring holes like a flagship drill. But it did smoothly and quickly complete our drilling speed test without binding up and easily cleared chips from the hole.

Not as impressive, the hammer drill functionality doesn’t improve speed much. We expect a highly capable hammer functionality to improve speeds by 20.0% or more over the standard drill mode.

The 2607-20’s hammer functionality only improved drilling speeds by 4.4%. A higher hammering rate and more power would improve the speed when drilling into masonry and thicker lumber. We’d consider the unimpressive hammering performance more of a downside if the 2607-20 didn’t quickly bore big holes, which isn’t the case.

Compare drilling speed test results

Drilling speed

Drilling speed total time (drill mode, sec.): 19.0
Drilling speed average time (drill mode, sec.): 3.8
Drilling speed total time (hammer mode, sec.): N/A
Drilling speed average time (hammer mode, sec.): N/A
Hammer mode speed improvement: N/A

The 2801-20 isn’t powerful enough to take the drilling speed crown in demanding tasks. But it is more than capable of finishing any job we threw at it without bogging down.

Our drilling speed test is designed to understand the upper limits of a drill’s capabilities, including learning when to drop down a gear for more torque and the speed when boring wide holes.

We didn’t need to drop down to the low setting to finish drilling a 1/2-inch hole in three stacked 2x6s, and it sustained high enough RPMs throughout the drilling depth to sufficiently clear chips.

The primary advantage you get moving from the mid-tier of power to a higher tier is improved speed throughout the depth of the hole bored, not so much being able to complete a task a mid-tier drill couldn’t handle in a pinch.

But consider that the 2801-20 doesn’t include a hammer drilling feature, which is helpful when drilling masonry efficiently and speeding up drilling deep and wide holes in lumber. Upgrade to the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2904-20 Hammer Drill if you anticipate using a drill frequently for these tasks.

Compare drilling speed test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 13.1
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.6
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 9.6
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 1.9

The 2607-20 won’t win any driving speed contests when driving big lag bolts and other structural screws. You need to open up more of your wallet to secure that crown. But the 2607-20 is more than capable of driving long lag bolts in the high setting, as seen in our video above.

Context is important when reviewing our driving speed test. There isn’t a massive time difference between the fastest drills and those finishing in the middle of the pack. For example, middle-of-the-test pack models like the 2607-20 averaged roughly 2.5 seconds per GRK RSS screw. The fastest, highest-end drills were around 1.5 seconds on average.

There’s no denying how satisfying it is to quickly finish a screw with brute force driving power. However, the time savings of roughly one second per screw isn’t a game changer for most people considering this hammer drill.

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Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 10.6
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.1
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 8.8
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 1.8

The 2801-20’s drilling speed is more impressive than its drilling performance in our tests. We found that it capably and powerfully finishes big lag bolts and other structural screws, such as the GRK RSS screws used in our driving speed tests. The 2801-20 delivered results that were right up there with far pricier flagship models.

Critically, the 2801-20 completed our heavy-duty driving speed test without dropping a gear into the low setting for increased torque.

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RPM

Milwaukee 2607-20 RPM Chart

Max RPM speed 2: 1,686.0
Max RPM speed 1: 429.0

One downside is that the 2607-20 isn’t a high RPM hammer drill. Its RPM output in the high setting is average, whereas the RPM in the low setting falls near the bottom of the pack.

As a result, in practice, the 2607-20 doesn’t set screws quickly, leading to occasionally fumbling the screw before the tip grabs the work material. This drill will also drive and drill more slowly than most in the low setting, albeit the torque increases.

Compare drill RPM test results

RPM

Milwaukee 2801-20 RPM Chart

Max RPM speed 2: 1,601.0
Max RPM speed 1: 519.0

One letdown in specific scenarios is the 2801-20’s comparatively low RPM output in the high setting. This drill doesn’t quickly set screws into wood, leading to us occasionally fumbling a few screws. Faster drills drive a screw so it grabs onto wood easier.

Interestingly, we found with our contact tachometer that the 2801-20 has moderately high RPMs in the slow setting. While we didn’t test how the RPMs are sustained under a heavy-duty driving load, expect that the 2801-20 will outpace some other drills when gearing down for extra torque in select scenarios. Expect that this performance nugget also won’t be noticed by many and isn’t a game-changer.

Compare drill RPM test results

Torque

Advertised max torque (in-lbs): 500.0
Advertised max torque (ft-lbs): 41.7

While 500.0 in-lbs of advertised torque won’t secure a podium position for the highest torque output, it beats most drills we’ve tested around the same price point. This data point further evidences why it’s one of the best budget drills around, with unmatched build quality and performance in its category.

Note: We don’t currently test drill torque in-house, as we do for impact drivers using a torque meter. The torque commentary discussed here relies upon both advertised torque specifications provided by manufacturers and practical insights learned from performance in our various drilling and driving tests.

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Torque

Advertised max torque (in-lbs): 500.0
Advertised max torque (ft-lbs): 41.7

Note: We don’t currently test drill torque in-house, as we do for impact drivers using a torque meter. The torque commentary discussed here relies upon both advertised torque specifications provided by manufacturers and practical insights learned from performance in our various drilling and driving tests.

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Chuck

Milwaukee 2607-20 Chuck Closeup

Chuck size: 1/2″
Chuck sleeve material: Metal

Impressive for this price point, the 2607-20 includes an all-metal chuck sleeve. Many competing models choose plastic instead. Opting for metal makes the drill feel more premium and improves durability.

Throughout testing, we were also impressed with how well the three-jaw chuck locked onto bits and retained them when frequently switching between forward and reverse during regular testing. Some other hammer drills inadvertently loosen the chuck when releasing the trigger and switching between forward and reverse without holding the chuck.

Chuck

Milwaukee 2801-20 Chuck Closeup

Chuck size: 1/2″
Chuck sleeve material: Metal

The all-metal chuck is an excellent feature of the 2801-20 that is certain to improve durability with extended use compared to models that use plastic for the chuck sleeve.

We were also impressed that the three-jaw chuck locked onto bits tightly and didn’t loosen inadvertently throughout testing. Lesser drill chucks need frequent re-tightening as they loosen up when drilling and driving repeatedly.

Motor & BPM

Milwaukee 2607-20 Drill Modes

Motor type: Brushless
Action modes: Drill, hammer
Advertised blows per min. (speed 2): 28,800.0
Advertised blows per min. (speed 1): 7,200.0
Variable speed trigger: Yes
Kickback control technology: No
Trigger draw length (in.): 0.375

Impressively at this budget price point, the 2607-20 includes a brushless motor, improving the motor longevity and driving efficiency over brushed motors. Even as brushless motors have become commonplace, many drills in this price range still opt for a brushed motor to cut costs.

The brushless motor has three action modes. The driving mode engages the clutch to fine-tune the driving profile based on the torque needed.

The drill mode disengages the clutch for unfettered torque performance.

The hammer mode acts like the drill mode but layers in a hammering mechanism that generates 28,800.0 blows per minute in the high setting.

While the hammering functionality improves drilling speed, the comparatively low hammering rate doesn’t drastically improve speeds, as evidenced by our drilling speed tests below.

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Motor & BPM

Milwaukee 2801-20 Drill Modes

Motor type: Brushless
Action modes: Drill only
Advertised blows per min. (speed 2): N/A
Advertised blows per min. (speed 1): N/A
Variable speed trigger: Yes
Kickback control technology: No
Trigger draw length (in.): 0.375

The 2801-20 is not a hammer drill, so its drilling features are naturally limited to only a drill mode that disengages the chuck for unfettered torque.

Including a brushless motor was the right call at this price point, even knowing brushless motors are mostly table stakes in anything but the cheapest drills. While we haven’t tested the motor’s long-term durability, brushless motors offer better efficiency and durability than their brushed counterparts.

No kickback technology is included with the 2801-20, which is expected at this price point. You’ll need to upgrade to a flagship Milwaukee drill to get features that reduce the risk of wrist injuries when the drill binds.

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Clutch & speed settings

Milwaukee 2607-20 Clutch & Speed

Speed settings: 2
Clutch settings: 18

The 2607-20 includes a familiar two-speed gearbox to run the drill at a high or low RPM in any action mode. There are also 18 clutch options, which is modestly high. Whether the number of clutch settings is a pro or con depends on how you use the drill.

Access to more clutch settings allows you to drive screws with more precision, albeit most people don’t use the full clutch settings available.

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Clutch & speed settings

Milwaukee 2801-20 Clutch & Speed

Speed settings: 2
Clutch settings: 18

The 2801-20 has a two–speed transmission and 18 total clutch options to fine-tune the torque output for precision driving. Two-speed drills are standard, allowing you to operate the 2801-20 in the low or high-speed setting in any clutch setting and drilling mode.

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Charging time

Milwaukee 2607-20 Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Milwaukee M12 & M18 Multi-Volt (48-59-1812)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 41.0
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): 98.0
Charging time per Ah (min.): 20.1
Fuel gauge: On battery

The Milwaukee M12 and M18 multi-volt charger (model 48-59-1812) included in most kits is reasonably fast at charging batteries, including to beat out team red’s most frequent adversary, Dewalt. It takes 41 minutes to charge an M18 2Ah battery and 98 minutes for a 5Ah battery, or approximately 20 minutes per amp-hour.

Milwaukee’s 48-59-1812 charger charges multiple battery voltages in one, conveniently saving space in your shop if you have several M12 and M18 ecosystem tools.

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Charging time

Milwaukee 2801-20 Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Milwaukee M12 & M18 Multi-Volt (48-59-1812)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 41.0
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): 98.0
Charging time per Ah (min.): 20.1
Fuel gauge: On battery

The Milwaukee M12 and M18 multi-volt charger (model 48-59-1812) included in most kits is reasonably fast at charging batteries, including to beat out team red’s most frequent adversary, Dewalt. It takes 41 minutes to charge an M18 2Ah battery and 98 minutes for a 5Ah battery, or approximately 20 minutes per amp-hour.

Milwaukee’s 48-59-1812 charger charges multiple battery voltages in one, conveniently saving space in your shop if you have several M12 and M18 ecosystem tools.

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Design & ergonomics

Stands upright (no battery): No
Stands upright (w/ battery): Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: No
Bit holder: No
Belt hook: Yes
Lanyard compatible: No

Design & ergonomics

Stands upright (no battery): Yes
Stands upright (w/ battery): Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: No
Bit holder: No
Belt hook: Yes
Lanyard compatible: Yes

Weight

Milwaukee 2607-20 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 3.03
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 3.97
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs): Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 4.64

The 2607-20 is moderately heavy for an 18V drill, weighing in at 3.03 lbs in its bare form. Over longer and repetitive drilling sessions, expect minor muscle fatigue in your hand, wrist, and forearm.

We tested different battery configurations since the working weight can differ meaningfully from the bare tool weight. We recommend combining the 2607-20 with Milwaukee’s M18 Red Lithium CP 2Ah battery for as lightweight of a setup as possible without limiting performance meaningfully.

Pair the 2607-20 with Milwaukee’s M18 Red Lithium XC 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved drilling performance if weight is less of a concern.

Compare drill weight test results

Weight

Milwaukee 2801-20 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.40
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 3.34
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs): Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 4.01

The 2801-20 is light for an 18V drill, weighing in at 2.40 lbs in its bare form. Fitted with a battery, this drill retains its lightweight status, perfect for reducing arm, wrist, and hand fatigue with prolonged use.

We tested different battery configurations since the working weight can differ meaningfully from the bare tool weight. We recommend combining the 2801-20 with Milwaukee’s M18 Red Lithium CP 2Ah battery for a good balance of drilling performance and weight in a lightweight setup.

Or pair the 2801-20 with Milwaukee’s M18 Red Lithium XC 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved drilling performance if weight is less of a concern.

Compare drill weight test results

Footprint

Milwaukee 2607-20 Footprint1
Milwaukee 2607-20 Footprint2

Max height (in.): 8.875
Max width (in.): 3.125
Chuck to back length (in.): 7.750
Base length (in.): 4.625
Base width (in.): 3.125

The 2607-20 is moderately svelte when looking at its height with a battery and head width, helping it fit into some tight areas. However, the 2607-20 is incredibly long from tip to tail, with a significant portion of the chuck and head in front of the trigger.

The almost comically elongated nose section biases the weight at the front of the tool, causing it to not stand upright without a battery and leading to some hand fatigue when holding the drill flat.

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Footprint

Milwaukee 2801-20 Footprint1
Milwaukee 2801-20 Footprint2

Max height (in.): 9.125
Max width (in.): 3.125
Chuck to back length (in.): 6.625
Base length (in.): 4.625
Base width (in.): 3.125

The 2801-20 casts a reasonably thin shadow from behind and isn’t overly large in any of its dimensions, giving it a svelte feel in hand. Many other drills that have come through our lab are bulkier and less agile.

The appearance and feel are primarily a result of its moderately short tip-to-tail length and narrower-than-average head.

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Drilling clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 9.375
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.375
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 7.750

If you frequently drill flatly between two vertical boards, then the 2607-20 isn’t the drill of choice. The extremely long tip-to-tail length limits the spaces it can fit into without operating the drill at awkward angles.

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Drilling clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 8.125
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.375
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.675

The 2801-20 is moderately narrow and competitively short from tip to tail, explaining some of its performance in our clearance tests designed to uncover how well each drill in our test fleet fits through narrow spaces and into tight corners.

The 2801-20 performed well in our interior width and top-edge clearance tests. In practice, this means the 2801-20 fits reasonably easily between two vertical boards and when drilling close to a top edge when its head is obstructed, such as drilling under a shelf.

Compare drilling clearance test results

Auxiliary arm

Auxiliary arm: No

The 2607-20 doesn’t include an auxiliary handle to control recoil and enhance stability during heavy-duty drilling tasks. But we don’t see this as a downside. The 2607-20 isn’t designed to tackle the heaviest-duty drilling tasks, such as drilling wide and deep holes in masonry or wood, where an auxiliary handle is helpful.

We’d see not including an auxiliary arm as a downside if it had more muscle.

Auxiliary arm

Auxiliary arm: No

The 2801-20 doesn’t include an auxiliary handle to control recoil and enhance stability during heavy-duty drilling tasks. But we don’t see this as a downside. The 2801-20 isn’t designed to tackle the heaviest-duty drilling tasks, such as drilling wide and deep holes in masonry or wood, where an auxiliary handle is helpful.

Check out the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2904-20 Hammer Drill, Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2903-20, or Makita 18V LXT XPH14Z Hammer Drill if you want a powerful drill with an auxiliary arm.

Noise

Milwaukee 2607-20 Noise Chart

Max no-load noise (dBA): 82.2
Max drilling noise (dBA): 97.3

In hammer drilling mode, the 2607-20 is loud under load. The hammering mechanism is significantly louder than most hammer drills, rivaling the noise output of the best impact drivers.

Compare drill noise test results

Noise

Milwaukee 2801-20 Noise Chart

Max no-load noise (dBA): 82.8
Max drilling noise (dBA): 85.3

Drills without a hammering functionality tend to be quieter under load than a hammer drill, which is the case with the 2801-20. It is moderately quiet when drilling compared to other models in our test fleet.

Compare drill noise test results

Light

Milwaukee 2607-20 Light Wall
Milwaukee 2607-20 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light location: Near trigger
Light positions: 1
Customizable light settings: None
Light count: Single LED
Light active time (sec.): 15.0

The 2607-20 has a no-frills light that gets the job done. The single LED bulb is bright. But the extended nose of the tool creates shadows on the drilled surface, limiting its utility as a flashlight or spotlight in a pinch.

There are also no advanced features, like a spotlight mode or the ability to disable the light, like some Dewalt drills.

Light

Milwaukee 2801-20 Light Wall
Milwaukee 2801-20 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light location: Near trigger
Light positions: 1
Customizable light settings: None
Light count: Single LED
Light active time (sec.): 15.0

A single LED work light is positioned just above the trigger, sufficient for most lighting needs when operating this drill. Some Dewalt drills include advanced features, such as a spotlight mode and the ability to turn off the work light when pulling the trigger.

Warranty

Tool warranty (years): 2-3 (depends on model)
Battery warranty (years): 5

Milwaukee stands behind the durability of its drills with exceptionally long warranties. The 2607-20 has a five-year warranty, which is among the longest offered by any manufacturer. Milwaukee’s M18 Li-Ion batteries have two or three-year warranties, depending on the specific model.

Warranty

Tool warranty (years): 2-3 (depends on model)
Battery warranty (years): 5

Milwaukee stands behind the durability of its drills with exceptionally long warranties. The 2801-20 has a five-year warranty, which is among the longest offered by any manufacturer. Milwaukee’s M18 Li-Ion batteries have two or three-year warranties, depending on the specific model.

Picture of Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton is the founder of DIY Gear Reviews and a recognized expert in the home and DIY space. He has over 200 bylines covering topics such as power tools, hand tools, and woodworking. Nathan is the strategic director for DIY Gear Reviews, deciding everything from the content covered to designing the testing methodologies for lab-tested reviews. He can be emailed at nhamilton@diygearreviews.com.

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