Milwaukee M18 Cordless SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Review

Tool Box Buzz rating:

Milwaukee M18™ Cordless 5/8″ SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Kit 2612-21

Milwaukee M18 SDS Rotary Hammer

Manufacturer: Milwaukee
Model number: 2612-21
Price: 299.00
Power source: 18 v Li-ion, 4.0Ah
Motor size: M18 drop motor
Weight: 5.5 lbs

I used the Milwaukee M18 Cordless ⅝” SDS Plus Rotary Hammer to drill holes for Tapcon screws to reattach 2×6 ledgers for on-grade landings onto poured concrete foundations.

Job-site Tough

Originally they had been attached with un-coated powder actuated nails that didn’t hold up to the caustic nature of pressure treated lumber.   Typically I’ll get the wood in place and then just drill through the wood and the concrete with the rotary hammer.   This is significantly faster than other methods.

milwaukee SDS Rotary Hammer

Product Features:

  • Charger M18™ and M12™ Multi-Voltage Charger
  • Length 12″
  • Weight 5.5 lbs
  • LED Light
  • Tool Warranty 5 Years
  • Battery Warranty 3 Year
  • Charge Time 1 hour
  • No Load Speed 0-1,300
  • Blow Energy 1 ft.-lb
  • BPM 0-7,000
  • Solid Bit Capacity 5/8″
  • Drilling Mode 2-Mode: Rotary Hammer and Drill Only
  • Handle Style
  • Drop Motor

Compact and lightweight

This surprisingly small and light tool chewed right through the wood and had no problem drilling into the concrete. It’s surprisingly compact which meant that I didn’t have to remove as many deck boards to clear the back of the tool. It also fit very easily between the joists so I could drill through the ledger and into the concrete.

Using The Milwaukee M18 Cordless SDS Plus Rotary Hammer

Vibration was noticeable but not tingle-inducing and the tool was almost entirely useable with one hand when drilling smaller diameter 3/16” holes. I’m really impressed by the combination of a small package, light weight, and power Milwaukee put together here.

I drilled about twenty five, 3/16”x6” holes (through about 2” of wood and 4” of concrete) and I didn’t have to replace the battery. That’s a substantial amount of heavy drilling for one battery charge!

The LED was super convenient for illuminating the joist bay.  It seems like Milwaukee is putting LED lights on all their cordless tools – I like it.

The Usual Suspect

The only downside that I could find is that the cord for the charger was difficult to get into the case. But otherwise the case is well thought out with room for the tool, two batteries, included accessories and most importantly and often overlooked, bits.

Overall Impression

This a great tool that is light-weight, easy to use and feels great to work with.

I’m super impressed by the combination of this SDS drills compact drill size to weight and power ratios.  This drill is Bad Ass!

Anytime I need to drill concrete in tight spaces or just don’t want to deal with cords I’ll be reaching for this rotary hammer. Very nice.

Keeping Dust Extraction in Mind

This tool also works seamlessly with the M12 Hammervac, especially with Milwaukee’s current battery chargers that will charge and M18 and an M12 battery simultaneously.

Milwaukee M18 SDS Rotary Hammer


About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

All posts by Robert »

1 Comment

  1. Oleg Kuperman

    Excellent review, as always, I wasn’t going to buy it before I read it but it made up my mind. I also notice a bit of a kickback vibration at the very start of every operation but it’s a lot better than any Bosch or, pretty much, any other power tool brand rotary hammer that I can think of, yes, that includes Hilty.
    Milwaukee had been steadily driving the innovation forward, knocking on Hilti’s door to remind them that they’re here to stay and, while they didn’t succeed with every single tool (like a couple of their nailers, the multitool and a few others) for the most part, in my humble opinion, Milwaukee deserves the recognition for improving and evolving rapidly, totally reinventing itself as a brand withing a matter of a couple of years!
    All the serious diy guys and professional contractors used to use either Dewalt or Hilti (when the money allowed) but now I see every other guy switching to Milwaukee, especially when it comes to drills and reciprocating saws. Other companies, case in point Dewalt, often find themselves trying to come up with a meaningful answer, such as their Flexvolt line, but, as their fiasco of a reciprocating flexvolt saw will show, coming up with a real improvement on an existing product or an innovation that changes the game is really not as easy as it might look!

    However, because not a single company, in my opinion, has a perfect lineup of tools I will stick with my multi-platform approach that never failed me and never will, simply because I refuse to follow a popular trend of buying crappy tools for the sake of being able to use the same battery.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Product reviews on this site contain our opinion of a product or service. We will always strive for objectivity and transparency in our reviews. Our goal is to provide readers with honest, objective information based on our own experiences. We never have and never will accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the products that we review are provided to us for free by a manufacturer or retailer. In some cases, we also have advertising or affiliate relationships with manufacturers and retailers of products and services we review. For additional information please visit our additional disclosure policies.