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You do not have to overload your tool backpack to the job site with so many power tools just to prove your worth. Gone are those days when a contractor’s skill was measured by the number of tools he/she carries. Today, you can show up for the installation job with only a single tool and still get the job done. All you need is one of these versatile multi-head installation drill driver kits! Any of them can help you get that installation job done better than the person who shows up with a million tools.
An installation drill driver is a tool that performs all or some of the functions of a drill and a driver. It is also known as a combination power tool because it combines additional attachments to perform different functions. Currently, there are just a few versatile drill/drivers that can provide at least 4 dedicated functions. In other words, one tool can perform the functions of at least 4 different individual power tools, including a regular drill, driver, angle driver, and offset driver.
In this article, I will provide a detailed head-to-head comparison of the Bosch Flexiclick and Milwaukee Installation drill driver. The aim is to help you choose the handiest modular combination tool kit that best meets your installation, repair, and home improvement needs.
Bosch Flexiclick vs Milwaukee Installation Driver Full Review
Milwaukee 4 in 1 Drill Driver Review
The Milwaukee Installation Drill Driver Kit (4 in 1) is probably the most versatile combo kit for medium duty applications ever made by Milwaukee. It takes the D – design just like the Festool CXS that was released 10 years earlier.
The Milwaukee drill driver features a powerstate brushless motor that delivers up to 300 inch-pounds of torque at a maximum speed of 1600 RPMs. It is powered by a 12V lithium battery of the M12 Fuel RedLithium platform. This tool has a slim profile and weighs just about 2.0 pounds with battery, making it extremely light on your hand.
The key features of the Milwaukee M12 fuel drill driver include:
- Onboard magnetic bit holder for holding extra bits.
- Built-in LED light with a 10-second delay to light up dark work areas.
- Variable speed trigger for controlling speed
- The speed selector switch on the head
- 2 speed settings and operation modes
- Forward, reverse, and lock/safety digital buttons
- Includes 4 additional attachment adapters
- 1/4 inch hex spindle on the head
- 16 clutch settings
In summary, the Milwaukee multihead drill/driver has a magnetic bit storage that is in line with the handle. It holds securely the extra bits and fasteners thus saving you from having to fish screws from your pocket. As a result, you spend the most time working and not looking for bits and screws. The magnetic storage also acts as a handle and as a knuckle guard.
This tool accepts all M12 batteries and has a fuel gauge on the side to indicate the battery charge level. At the front of the head, there is a built-in LED work light for lighting up dark areas. The light also makes it easy for you to do your finish job at night. The light remains on for 10 seconds after releasing the trigger to allow you to inspect your work.
The Milwaukee M12 drill driver offers very good operation control. For speed and torque control, the tool has a speed selection button that lets you choose between low speed and high speed. The low speed ranges from 0 – 400 RPMs while high speed reaches up to 1600RPMs. Furthermore, the speed trigger provides variable speed control. The more you depress the trigger switch the more speed and torque you get.
There is also a speed direction pushbutton on the top rear of the tool that allows you to choose between reverse and forward. However, the button on this tool is different from other M12 power tools because it lacks tactile feedback. It is also not located on the side, which feels a little bit less intuitive. The button is very effective nonetheless.
The M12 installation driver also has a third button for locking and unlocking the device to prevent accidental turning on. The tool also features a selectable clutch that lets you choose a different clutch setting between 1 to 20.
You can control the amount of torque and speed for driving bits by adjusting the manual clutch setting. This prevents overdriving screws or stripping screw heads.
Accessories and adapters
The Milwaukee 4-in-1 drill drive kit has four different attachments that help to unlock the tool’s four different dedicated functions. These attachments include:
3/8″ Keyless Chuck
The keyless chuck easily converts the tool into a 3/8 inch Milwaukee drill for light and medium duty drilling tasks. The chuck has nice deep grooves on it that give you a good grip when adjusting the jaws. With the right drill bit, the drill driver can drill holes into softwood and metal sheets. It can also be used with holesaws to drill circular holes into material when carrying out installation jobs.
Offset adapter driver
The offset simply has a 1/4 inch hex drive at the edge. It allows the tool to drive screws and other fasteners in very tight corners, making it suitable for cabinet installation jobs. The offset attachment can be rotated to 16 different positions thus increasing its versatility. It uses the quick connect mechanism that makes it extremely easy to install and change bits. However, when driving screws downwards, the tool can drop a driver bit especially if it is heavier than the magnetic force of the adapter.
1/4″ Hex Collar
The collar adapter allows the tool to be used like a Milwaukee 1/4 inch driver. It has a quick change mechanism that makes it easy to remove and install bits. To change the bit, you only need to pull it out together with the sleeve. The bits are tightly held in place to avoid wiggling during operation.
Right Angle adapter
The right angle adapter allows the tool to be used as a right angle driver. The downside, however, is that the adapter cannot be used alone. It needs either the chuck, offset, or the collar. The right angle adapter helps to access very tight spaces that the tool head cannot access. It is suitable for driving fasteners in awkward installations and fixture works.
- Excellent build quality
- The tool has a slim profile for easy handling
- The onboard battery fuel gauge helps to know when to recharge battery
- The onboard magnetic fasteners holder helps save time
- The tool is compatible with other M12 batteries
- The contractor bag for the tool has straps to keep the tool and accessories in place
- Hex collar attachment has an intuitive locking mechanism for ease of use
- Onboard hex head and right angle adapter cannot be used alone without other attachments
- The tool loses balance when you put larger M12 batteries
- The soft carrying will not last a long time and makes it difficult to keep the unit with other tools in the toolbox.
- Magnetic storage/knuckle guard may come in your way in very tight spaces
- Quite expensive
The M12 Fuel Installation Drill/Driver is a contractor-grade cordless tool kit for light and medium-duty installation works. It is a nice addition to your collection of power tools and the best solution for tight spaces among the Milwaukee line of tools. Furthermore, its battery is compatible with other M12 tools. For an electrician, plumber, or carpenter, this Multihead drill driver will make light all your installation works. It holds screws and bits for you so that you can keep your hands on the job. This compact drill driver also has a belt clip for hooking it onto your toolbelt as you set up fixtures.
However, three things about the Milwaukee installation driver might turn you off:
- The awkward position of the forward/reverse buttons
- Lack of a bit locking mechanism on the offset head attachment
- The inability to use the angle attachment or the tool alone without other adapters.
Some of these shortcomings might make you consider the Bosch Flexiclick or the Festool installation driver
Bosch Flexiclick 5-in-1 Drill Driver Review
The Bosch Flexiclick driver kit is similar in functionality to the Milwaukee Installation driver. However, there are certain differences in features that set these tools apart. For example, the Bosch drill driver is less powerful than Milwaukee as it only delivers 265 inch-pounds of torque and up to a maximum speed of 1400 RPMs. It also has a T-design compared to Milwaukee’s D-design.
Bosch flexiclick gives you as much control as the Milwaukee as it has a 2-speed selector on the top and a variable speed trigger for regulating the amount of torque and speed. The reverse/forward button is located on the side and is as intuitive as in other Bosch power tools.
The tactile feedback on the button lets you feel when you change the direction of rotation. You do not need to look. This is a very convenient feature, especially when working in very tight spaces. However, the button can easily be snapped accidentally causing the direction to change unintentionally.
Additional features include:
- LED light with 10 seconds timeout for lighting up dark work spaces
- Offset and angle attachment can turn 16 positions
- Instant braking
- Intuitive mechanical direction selector on the side
Accessories and adapters
Bosch drill driver kit also includes the same number of attachments as the Milwaukee. It has the 3/8″ keyless chuck, 1/4″ hex locking bit holder, 1/4″ offset hex, and 1/4″ right-angle adapter. The tool also has an onboard 1/4″ hex that lets you use it without adapters to drive bits and screws. The onboard bit driver is magnetic and this prevents losing fasteners.
Furthermore, both the offset and the collar adapter have a locking mechanism, though not as intuitive as the one on Milwaukee Hex collar. For the Bosch, you have to pull out the sleeve to install a bit, which is sometimes not possible with one hand. The Bosch’s angle attachment does not have a bit locking mechanism but it is magnetic. As far as the build is concerned, the bosch flexiclick is nice and compact but Milwaukee feels better.
- Compact design and light on your hand
- Provides excellent speed and torque control
- Cheaper than most competition
- The tool can be used without attachments to drive screws and small bits
- Utilizes one-click technology that allows you to fit attachments super fast
- The soft zippered carry case has loop straps and velcro straps for keeping the tool and accessories in place
- Angle attachment can be used alone or with other attachments
- The tool uses a brush motor which is less efficient than brushless motors
- No belt clip for hanging the tool on the waist or tool belt
- The cloth carry case is not durable
Bosch Flexiclick 5-in-1 drill driver is better than Milwaukee installation drill driver in terms of accessing very tight spaces but it delivers approximately 30 inch-pounds less torque. It is also fairly priced and delivers plenty of power for its size. However, the Flexi click lacks exciting features such as an onboard bit holder and a belt clip. Its battery also sits in very tightly making it very difficult to remove sometimes. Nevertheless, bosch 5-in-1 drill driver is a great addition to your cordless power tools more so if you have other Bosch tools and if you are DIY person.
Is an installation drill driver kit worth it?
Definitely yes especially for light and medium-duty applications! It is more economical to buy a single tool with multiple interchangeable heads than to pay for two tools, four batteries, and 2 battery chargers. Unless you want powerful tools for heavy-duty applications.
Another reason why you need a drill driver installation tool is for working in tight spots. The offset and elbow chucks will save you lots of grief when installing screws and fasteners in hard-to-reach cabinet corners or appliance repairs.
Which drill driver is the best between Bosch flexiclick and Milwaukee
Overall, if you have a tight budget, the Bosch Flexiclick 5-in-1 drill system is a great consideration. Its price is right for home DIY. You can use it for appliance repairs and cabinet hardware assembly at home. Bosch flexiclick requires less headroom with some of the attachments. This makes it a good option for cabinet installers.
On the other hand, if you want a contractor-grade multi-head driver kit, the Milwaukee installation driver is the best. It has the muscle, a very quality build, and a wide array of compatible milwaukee power tools. The M12 also offers top-of-the-line protection of the battery from overcharging and overheating.
The downside of both drill drivers is that they ack the hammering feature. So you cannot use them as a hammer drill or impact driver. Also, both tool kits don’t come with a hard carry case. You might have to buy a more durable toolbox separately for better storage and stackability of the drill/driver kit with other tools in the workshop.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are some common applications of drill drivers?
Drill drivers are small, compact, and powerful tools that are designed for light installation jobs such as installing communication equipment and kitchen cabinets. The different attachments also make these tools good for tight spaces and odd angles.
Does Bosch flexiclick come with a hard case?
No. Bosch 5-in-1 flexiclick comes with a soft carrying bag. No inlay or insert is included for use with bosch tool boxes.
Do the installation drill drivers have a clutch?
Yes. Both the Milwaukee 4-in-1 and Bosch 5-in-1 drill/drivers have a clutch to prevent overdriving or stripping screws.
Are both the Milwaukee installation drill driver and bosch flexiclick brushless?
Milwaukee drill driver has a brushless motor whereas the bosch counterpart has a brushed motor. Therefore, the former is more efficient than the latter
What is the purpose of the hand guard on the M12 installation drill/driver?
Besides protecting your knuckles, the hand guard on the M12 drill driver helps with balance and keeping the drilling and screwing level. In addition, the front of the handle is magnetic to hold fasteners and bits.
Is speed variable in the Milwaukee drill/driver?
Yes. The tool has high and low speed settings and variable torque settings for screws.
Is a drill driver an impact tool as well?
Drill drivers are not impact power tools. They are just bit drivers with drilling capabilities. They are also not as powerful as impact tools.