Reviews You Can Rely On

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Installation Drill Driver Kit 2505-22 Review

Not the most powerful 5-in-1 unit, but just good enough for small home projects
gearlab tested logo
Milwaukee M12 Fuel Installation Drill Driver Kit 2505-22 Review
Credit: Milwaukee
Price:  $199 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Milwaukee
By Austin Palmer and Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  Sep 7, 2023
50
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#17 of 23
  • Drilling - 35% 6.0
  • Driving - 35% 4.3
  • Battery Life - 20% 3.2
  • Convenience - 10% 7.8

Our Verdict

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Installation Drill Driver is an underwhelming offering in the world of convenient and compact 12-volt 5-in-1 drill drivers, and its design leaves you questioning what the designers at Milwaukee may have been thinking when they designed it like a pair of brass knuckles. While many of the 18-volt Milwaukee tools we have tested offered excellent performance, this model from their 12-volt line missed the mark. Our team was genuinely surprised and disappointed with this model, and would only consider this model over other models in our best drill review for those who are already heavily invested in Milwaukee's M12 line of tools.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Swappable heads
Built-in magnet for holding bits
Rapid battery charging
Quick-release attachments
REASONS TO AVOID
Battery tabs can be difficult
3/8 chuck
Short battery life

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $199 List
$152.83 at Amazon
$189 List
$198.00 at Amazon
$169 List
$119.99 at Amazon
$79 List
$69.00 at Amazon
$130 List
$88.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
50
94
89
60
48
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line Not as impressive as other models, but sufficient for home projects, and a good choice for those already using M12 batteriesThis tool delivered excellent results across the board and is a fantastic option to complement the M18 battery systemA drill driver set capable of a wide range of tasksA great budget drill for a homeowners or DIYer and has more than enough power for moderate to light-duty tasksOur favorite compact 12-volt drill when considering overall performance and price
Rating Categories Milwaukee M12 Fuel... Milwaukee M18 Fuel... Kobalt XTR 24-volt... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Bosch 12V Max Drill...
Drilling (35%)
6.0
9.6
9.4
6.6
5.8
Driving (35%)
4.3
10.0
9.4
6.2
4.5
Battery Life (20%)
3.2
9.8
8.4
4.4
3.2
Convenience (10%)
7.8
6.2
6.2
6.0
5.8
Specs Milwaukee M12 Fuel... Milwaukee M18 Fuel... Kobalt XTR 24-volt... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Bosch 12V Max Drill...
Measured Weight 1.96 lb 4.06 lb 4.09 lb 3.44 lb 2.17 lb
Measured Charge Time 43 min 25 min 85 min 58 min 85 min
Measured Length No attachment: 5-1/2"
With 3/8" chuck: 7-1/4"
7" 7" 8-1/4" 6-5/8"
Measured Number of Settings 16 14 22 23 20
Included Battery Pack(s) 2.0 Ah Tested with 2.0 Ah 4 Ah
Tested with 2.0 Ah (not included with kit)
1.3 Ah 2.0 Ah
Max Chuck 3/8" 1/2" 1/2" 1/2" 3/8"
Battery Voltage 12V 18V 24V 20V 12V
Drill Model Tested 2505-20 2803-20 KXDD 124B-03 CMCD700 PS31
Box Model (Kit) Tested 2505-22 Tested tool-only, no kit KXDD 1424A-03 CMCD700C1 PS31-2A
Five Inch Hole Saw Test Timing 95 seconds 15 seconds 17 seconds 55 seconds 70 seconds
Lag Screw Test (What is Left to From Driving) 1.50 in 0.00 in 0.00 in 0.63 in 1.13 in
Manufacturer Stated RPM Low: 0 - 400
High: 0 - 1500
Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1500
Low: 0 - 350
High: 0 -1300
Manufacturer Peak Torque 300 in-lbs 1,200 in-lbs 1,200 in-lbs 280 UWO 256 in-lbs
Battery Indicator Location Drill Battery Battery Battery Drill
LED Location Trigger level on magnetic holder Above the battery Above the battery Above the trigger Above the trigger
Included Belt Clip Yes Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


milwaukee m12 fuel installation drill driver kit 2505-22 - this model is a little underwhelming, especially given the...
This model is a little underwhelming, especially given the performance of Milwaukee's higher voltage models.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Drilling


This metric accounts for 35 percent of each drill's overall score and is divided into three real-world test scenarios. The initial test assessed the speed at which each drill was able to bore a 5-inch hole in a solid 1 ¾ inch wooden door using a hole saw. The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Installation Drill Driver finished the task in a less than impressive one minute and 35 seconds, 55 seconds longer than the top performing 12 v 5-in-1. Our second test measured the time to drill a 1-inch hole in a 2x12 using a spade bit, and this model offered another less than impressive performance, struggling from the start to make a complete hole.

The M12 Fuel Installation Drill Driver quit a little earlier than the rest of the 5-in-1 models tested.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Finally, we used a 16-gauge steel sheet with both ¼" and ½" spiral drill bits to test drilling performance. And again, the Milwaukee M12 Fuel was outperformed by another 12-volt model in half the tasks, only rising to the occasion to outperform other 12-volt models by one second when drilling a ½ hole in 16 gauge steel — a task completed in 6 seconds. All around, the M12 Fuel's mediocre drilling performance wasn't the best and an unpleasant surprise to our test team.

milwaukee m12 fuel installation drill driver kit 2505-22 - testing the battery life on this model compact 5 in 1 drill driver.
Testing the battery life on this model compact 5 in 1 drill driver.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Driving


Our second evaluation metric, accounting for 35 percent of each model's total score, assesses their driving capabilities. For this, we used the drills to drive five-inch lag bolts through a 2x4 placed on a 4x4. We recorded the exposed portion of each lag bolt when each model ceased driving. Additionally, we used the drills to secure 3-inch number 9 Torx T25 flat head deck screws into the same material to evaluate their ability to drive screws flush with the materials's surface.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Installation Drill Driver continued a lackluster performance, trailing the top 12-volt 5-in-1 model. It left twice as much of the lag bolt exposed as compared to the top performer and struggled to drive deck screws completely flush. The M12 Fuel Installation Drill Driver left our team expecting more.

milwaukee m12 fuel installation drill driver kit 2505-22 - tapping out on a lag bolt.
Tapping out on a lag bolt.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Battery Life


Our testing used real-world applications to provide an accurate account of how long these batteries last. We drive deck screws and drill one-inch holes until each drill runs out of battery. Our team repeated these rounds of testing until the drills could no longer perform drilling or driving tasks.

Unfortunately, the Milwaukee M12 Fuel exhibited one of the worst performances we've seen from a 12 volt system, failing to finish three full rounds of testing. Fortunately, poor battery life is somewhat offset by one of the fastest chagrin times, meaning you'll be able to return to your task more quickly than with other models.

milwaukee m12 fuel installation drill driver kit 2505-22 - battery life isn't exceptional, but with a fast recharging rate and...
Battery life isn't exceptional, but with a fast recharging rate and two included batteries, you are unlikely to encounter any downtime.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Convenience


In our last evaluation metric, we assessed the convenience aspect of each model, which accounted for 10 percent of the overall score for each drill. Convenience factors include the ease of changing heads, tool belt clips, bit holders, the presence of work lights, straightforward operation of chucks, buttons, and triggers, as well as compactness and the ability to swap batteries, all of which significantly influence the overall convenience of a drill. Like other compact 5-in-1s our team tested, the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Installation Drill scored well, but our team did take issue with its goofy, 'brass knuckle-like' design, that detracts from compactness and provides a strange location to secure extra bits with a magnetic strip. While not our favorite design, as it increases the size of this otherwise compact model, the magnetic strip is useful. Angle-changing attachments are also easy to swap and stack, and a 1/4 inch hex shank makes changing drivers and drill bits a breeze.

milwaukee m12 fuel installation drill driver kit 2505-22 - a magnetic strip can hold screws or bits, enhancing convenience.
A magnetic strip can hold screws or bits, enhancing convenience.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Installation Drill?


The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Installation Drill was a surprisingly underwhelming 12-volt 5-in-1 drill driver compared to its competition, and it is also more expensive than other better-performing models in the 12-volt lineup. It is not what we expected ahead of our testing, but data cuts through bias, and we have to recommend better performing and cheaper 5-in-1 options and suggest passing on the Milwaukee unless you are already heavily invested in Milwaukee's M12 Fuel line of tools.

What Other Drill Should You Consider?


The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Installation Drill is only an average drill. As such, if you are dead set on a 12-volt compact system, take a good look at the best performing 5-in-1 12-volt drill we tested, the Dewalt Xtreme 12V 5-in-1. It is a very capable 12-volt drill, offering lots of convenience in a compact package. For greater power and performance, you should consider the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 1/2 Drill Driver. If your budget allows for it, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel offers the best overall performance of all the models we've tested and won't let you down, but it isn't as compact or convenient as the 12-volt models. If the top-tier models we tested are too cost-prohibitive, you should explore the more budget-friendly Craftsman V20 1/2-In. Drill/Driver, which delivers good performance at a more affordable price point.

Austin Palmer and Benjamin Hickok