Milwaukee MX FUEL Core Drill Review

Milwaukee MX Fuel Equipment on My Job (An Ongoing Series) – CORE DRILLING!


Manufacturer: Milwaukee
Model number: MXF301-2CXS
Price: 3,999.00
Power source: MX FUEL
Motor size: 790/1550 RPMs
Recently, I got a chance to try out two of the products on the Milwaukee MX Fuel lineup of light equipment  — the MXF314-2XC  Cut-Off Saw and the MX301-2CP Core Drill Kit. Simply put, these tools saved me time and money right out of the box.

This is the second article of the series – if you haven’t had a chance to read up on my experience with the Cut-Off Saw check it out here! This article is all about my experience with the Core Drill!

Milwaukee MX301-2CP Core Drill

Recently, our electrical subcontractor needed to core several 4-½” holes in a recently installed electrical manhole. While the structure came with cast-in-place openings for conduits, the job requirements called for six additional holes. We initially tried to schedule a concrete coring company to do this work. They were currently scheduled out a couple of days out and could not immediately core the additional holes. When I told the electrical subcontractor that I had the use of the Milwaukee MX Fuel Equipment  MX301-2CP core drill, they jumped at the chance to try it out and core those holes.

A Safety Consideration

I also acquired a drill stand in addition to the core drill, knowing I would use this for larger diameter wet coring operations. While the MXF301-2CP has compelling safety features like an advanced clutch design and AUTOSTOP, I wanted to use the core drill with the Milwaukee MX Fuel Core Drill Stand 3000. That way, whatever we were going to core could be accurately located and safely executed for large diameters.

MX301-2CP Features and Specifications

  • Patented clutch design.
  • Low speed: 790 RPM
  • High speed: 1550 RPM
  • Onboard LED level
  • Onboard LED performance gauge
  • Wet/dry coring
  • 2-year warranty
  • Push-button activation
  • ONE-KEY compatible
  • AUTOSTOP capabilities

Milwaukee 3000 Drill Stand Features

  • For use with MX FUEL™ handheld core drill
  • Delivers faster setup and more versatile coring
  • Tool-free removable carrier
  • Lightweight – 32 lbs.
  • 2 handle positions on either side of the stand
  • Tool-free removable wheels
  • Tool-free angle adjustment
  • Vacuum connection coupler
  • The vacuum pressure gauge on base
  • Quick-connect feed handle
  • Measurement markings along the mast
  • Bit center pointer
  • MX FUEL battery storage location

Coupling the MXF301-2CP core drill with the 3000 Drill Stand made for a very effective core drilling system.

Using the MXF301-2CP Drill to Core the Manhole

The first task was to core two holes in the manhole that allowed two additional conduits to go from the transformer secondary feeder cubicle into the distribution manhole. We located the holes at the bottom of the excavation. I was curious to see how easily the crew set up the Milwaukee equipment in a  constrained space.

Vacuum Feature

It is interesting to note that the 3000 drill stand is equipped with a vacuum system to hold a position on a surface. We noticed the quick connect coupling right away, and we explored its use. The 3000 drill stand also has a vacuum gauge on the top side of the base. We did not have a vacuum pump and did not use this feature, but it is an option for mounting the drill stand. We often use such vacuum systems to lift and position large granite slabs so we know how effective an attachment like that can be. I took a picture of the vacuum system below.

Instead of the vacuum system, the electrician used a drilled-in concrete anchor with a threaded rod protruding out of the concrete. He then aligned the elongated hole in the center of the drill stand over the threaded rod. He used a small Uni-strut piece on top of the stand base to secure the equipment.  See the picture below for the mounting arrangement.

Milwaukee MX Tools

Milwaukee M18 Batteries Also Powered the Operation

We used a Milwaukee 4-1/2″ wet core bit to make the holes. We worked remotely from and building services, so the M18 Switch Tank provided the water service for the coring operation. Like the laborers at the road cutting site with the Cut-Off Saw, the electricians also loved the tank/pump equipment. The ability to adjust the flow rate to the correct amount meant that they would not have to fill the tank so often.  They also commented that if the M18 battery ran out, they could take one out of their nearby Milwaukee SDS drill used for the drilling in the inserts. That is why it is great to have a consistent platform – interoperability.

Using the MXF301-2CP in the Trenches

Once they positioned the equipment, the coring proceeded with no issues. During the operation, the electrician experienced two of the safety features of the core drill. First, the clutch disengaged the motor when the core occasionally bound up. The first time that happened, he looked up, smiled, and said, “That’s impressive!”

The AUTOSTOP was another feature that he liked. When the motor goes from a state of being loaded to a sudden unloaded condition, the motor shuts off. That way, coring blindly into a space means that the user knows the core drill will not be cutting cut into something unforeseen behind the wall.

It took only a couple of minutes to core the first hole. The setup time is about 5x-8x longer than the coring operation. In less than two hours, the electricians made the four cores on the south side of the manhole. The electrician started to lay in the conduits. Late in the afternoon, the work downstream of the manhole was ready for the electrical inspector.

Having the MXF301-2CP core drill and stand allowed this project to proceed immediately and do productive work the same day that the need arose. This Milwaukee equipment saved our project the delay in waiting two or three days for a specialty coring subcontractor to arrive on site.

Summary of the Milwaukee MX Fuel Equipment

An investment in Milwaukee MX Fuel equipment is a lot of money for any contractor. The MXF301-2CP with the drill stand is just shy of $4000. Is this kind of investment justified for a commercial contractor? My personal answer is an unqualified – YES. The bottom line is the new Milwaukee MX FUEL Core Drill offers a very versatile cordless option for concrete core drilling in remote locations. It won’t replace a corded core drill for high production use, but there are many situations where this unit will shine with no electricity needed.

Here is why the MX Equipment is Worth the Investment.

In my company, we hit the start of a job very hard because our experience has shown that getting a job underway is often a slow ramp-up. But in my case, I push the job start as the most critical time in the job because it is the time where I can make up or better the time in the schedule at a minimal cost. Tell me which is easier. Saving (or not losing) time when you have about 12 guys and two subcontractors present, or scrambling to save time when you have 150 personnel and 15 subcontractors tripping all over themselves near the end of a job? At the end of jobs, I have seen contractors and owners throw barrels of money away just to save (or pick up) a few days on the schedule. Those dollars are often spent with questionable actual results.

But let me bring the discussion back to the case at hand. My current job has a liquidated damages clause that would cost my company an amount that equates to $2,095/ workday.  With the Milwaukee MX Fuel equipment, I avoided wasting three days on the roadwork to start the test pits. I also avoided another three days of delay in starting the electrical conduit work. Both of those delays would cost me valuable time at the critical start of the job. by my calculations, having the Milwaukee MX Fuel equipment available to go with minimal startup timing was worth $12,600 to me. That value is just shy of 2 times what the equipment initially costs.

Many Many More Uses

In the future of this project, I will guarantee that both of these pieces of equipment will be used repeatedly during the next 25 months. So right out of the box, I saw that the investment was more than paid off and the rest of the use will be additional justification for having made the investment in this Milwaukee MX Fuel Equipment.

Both the MXF314-2XC 14″ cutoff saw and the MX301-2CP Core Drill saved us extremely valuable time in the critical start of the job. Also, the Milwaukee 2819-21WS  Water Supply Kit aided in delivering water supplies to both machines. Both of these use cases were in remote locations that did not have external power sources or water feeds available. With this equipment system, the work proceeded as soon as we showed up with the equipment. These real examples are why the MX line of Milwaukee tools is an excellent investment to save time and money in the commercial contracting world.

Check Back for More!

As I mentioned, this is the second of two MX FUEL products I’ve gotten a chance to try. Make sure you check out my experience with the Cut-Off Saw! Hopefully, over time as the MX FUEL System grows, I can try out some more and report back!


About the author

Stan Durlacher

Stan has been involved with Design and Construction in the commercial industry since 1975. He is currently the President of Design and Construction for a major St Petersburg, FL developer. Before that, he was a Project Executive for a prominent Boston Construction Manager, building high-rise apartment and office buildings. One of the hallmarks of his career has been innovative problem-solving. As Assistant Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Stan was instrumental in bringing the hydro mill slurry wall machinery and technology to Boston in the 1990s for use on the Central Artery Third Harbor Tunnel Project. Stan has been an avid woodworker since college and brings an innovative point of view to this field. Before Florida, he owned an 1886 farmhouse near Concord, Mass, and his skills and time were never idle for long. His barn and attached spaces serve as his ever-expanding workshop. Stan is a self-avowed tool hound. In 2013, Stan decided to design and build his own CNC router. This machine has become a centerpiece of his woodworking and craft focus. Stan will share many of the ways that this innovative technology has solved many current problems and how CNC will begin to impact the woodworking and home renovation businesses.

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  1. Kyle

    I think the chuck is very very sensitive, too the point it seems like the drill is broken . Without the stand the drill cannot be used . Properly anyways , or with someone watching you who is paying you by the hour too core the good cause it’s going to take you 3 times longer then any other concrete corded drill I’ve used.
    What a disappointment honestly. Don’t but this crap drill with high hopes , wait and do more research. Ps this is not even a hammer drill ! Please do your homework

    1. Stan Durlacher

      Kyle: Without hesitation, I agree with you that the MX FUEL Core Drill needs to be used with the stand.
      I have also seen that either the stand was not well-anchored or the user was advancing the tool too aggressively that caused the clutch to disengage often.
      If you compare the cordless tool to a corded equivalent, you will be choosing the corded version every time. But the point I tried to make is that for a heavy duty need in an environment where you may not have line voltage power or water available, this tool will never disappoint. Since I wrote this review, I noticed that my electrician, plumber and mechanical contractor all started using the MX FUEL core drill on floors in our high rise construction where the infrastructure for a corded tool was not available. It gives them a great timesaving advantage to continue working independently of power and water availability. This may not be the case for your work.
      The MX FUEL core drill was never contemplated to be a hammer drill. No homework needed there.

  2. John Cairns

    Nice looking machine. Can’t drill a 75mm 200mm deep hole on one battery charge. Very disappointing when you have many holes to drill and you only have 2 battery.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      what battery are you using? We’ve had much better performance than that.

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