Milwaukee 0300 20 1/2 In. Magnum Drill, 0 850 Rpm (MW030020) Reviews

Milwaukee 0300 20 1/2 In. Magnum Drill, 0 850 Rpm (MW030020)

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Reconditioned but good as new & a five year warranty too !

Feb 28, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Excellent value, silky smooth power control under load.

Cons:Does ABS mean Awfully Bad Substitute material ?

The Bottom Line: Buying reconditioned is a super value. Don't be put off by ABS assist handle. Gobs of torque !


I needed a new 1/2 drill last month so after considering a few choices I settled on the Milwaukee 0300-20. This is a corded drill as I am not a big fan of any battery powered drill. I use large auger, spade and fostner bits in addition to pencil sharpener type tenon cutters in my line of work. Batteries just cannot produce the torque I need in a drill. I wanted to get a quality tool because I have discovered the old saying; 'You can’t afford to buy cheap tools.', is true. After getting sticker shock whilst perusing new drills on-line, I decided to look into factory
reconditioned tools.

I purchased mine as a bare bones drill, no case with a relatively short attached 8’ cord from a vendor on E-Bay for $79.00 plus $19.99 for UPS standard delivery. Six days and $99.90 later a bright red box appeared inside my front door. The box bore a sticker proclaiming; 'This tool has been reconditioned by factory trained personnel. ...Because it is a reconditioned product it may contain some blemishes
and/or evidence of previous use. ....blah, blah, blah'. The sticker also stated; 'However it is covered under Milwaukee’s full (5 year!) warranty for defective material and workmanship.'. Not a bad way to save money and not have to go of going out to the store and pay full retail !

Well, I unboxed my new-to-me drill and yes, it did have some
blemishes on it, but nothing worse than it would get after a week in my shop. I plugged it in to check it out, and the motor went smoothly to life from just bearly turning to a nice whirr when I gave the trigger a squeeze. The directional switch is positioned directly above the trigger
and has three positive detents, forward, neutral and reverse. A lock button on the left side of the handle right behind the trigger keeps the motor on at your selected speed as you grip it. Great for right handers, southpaws may disagree. There was no scream from this drill, it’s
geared for a maximum of 850 RPM. That’s relatively slow and slow usually translates into torque. (No exception here) The body of the drill is mostly a light metal with ABS covers. There are key slots machined into the body behind the chuck for the assist handle. (More on this later.) My drill arrived with a 8ft. non-removable cord. You can also get this drill with either an attached or a removable 25ft cord. OK. let’s go out to the shop and put a hole in something !

I build rustic log furniture and had some well seasoned Rock Maple branches configured to go together for the frame of a settee. I grabbed a long bit and tightened the keyed chuck with the included chuck key. Now, some namby-pambies might whine here about the lack of a keyless chuck on this drill. My point is, on a drill with this kind of power, you DON'T WANT A KEYLESS CHUCK. (With that said you can get one with a keyless chuck but I wouldn’t recommend it.) After
securing a 1/4in. diameter, 8in. long bit, I drilled into the end grain of a couple of branches smoothly with no binding at all in one pass. Hmmm.


OK, I dry fitted the frame and chucked a nut driver bit in securely. Then I brought out a box of 10in. timberscrews (Not a brand name) to secure the frame with. I placed the driver bit onto the screw and slowly squeezed the trigger. The big screw slowly and smoothly disappeared into both the leg and stretcher of the frame. Before I could feel the screw seat against the bottom of the hole the drill twisted itself out of my hand. I didn’t expect that. I’m a large man. How large? Try 6ft.7in, 315lbs with 18in. forearms. I crack walnuts with one hand and this thing escaped my
grasp like a rottweiller chasing a meat truck. There are actually two cautions in the manual about always using the side handle and to -Brace and hold- securely. But hey, who’da thunk it? I digress. I grabbed the aforementioned handle and attempted to seat said screw. Something unexpected happened. The 3/8in. thick steel screw snapped like a proverbial twig. After digging it out with a pair of vise grip pliers I tried again, more carefully with success. The frame of the settee went together quickly. Next I chucked a plug cutter and drilled the cutter into a Maple board to make some plugs for the countersunk timberscrews. This went well also.

One thing about this assist handle. It’s an ABS material which could mean Awfully Bad Substitute material. ABS is fine for things like covers and some housings but not this. I’m kind of antsy about dropping this onto the concrete floor in my shop and watching it snap off. The retaining bracket appears to be aluminum with keys machined into the
inner perimeter and is nice and strong. I just don’t like the choice of material. (-Tapping on inside of computer screen - Hey Milwaukee you listening?)

All right, on to test three. The tenon cuter test. With the settee framed out I started fabricating a chair frame. Again I was using well seasoned
Rock Maple. I secured a stretcher for the chair and chucked a 1/2in. Tenon cutter in the drill. (I’ll review the tenon cutters soon.) I did brace myself for this operation as I know these cutters can bind. Placing the tenon cutter on the end of the branch, I applied power and the drill
twisted the cutter smoothly around and around forming a nice even tenon. If the drill was under powered the cutter could stall and the finished tenon would have a spiral appearance and fit a bit loose. Later in the week I used this drill with a tenon cutter to make some 1in. tenons
and this went very well also, much better than my old drill ever did!


In closing I will say I did not attempt to drill any holes in metal as I do not work with it but the manual states you can use twist bits up to 3/4” and hole saws up to 2in. . This drill performed very well for me and has more than enough power for the average homeowner, as well as some
professional users. You really should use the assist handle because if you are using this with the lock button -ON- this could get away from you and helicopter out of control. At best it would wrap the cord around itself, at worst it could beat the hell out of you until it wrapped enough
cord around itself to pull out it’s plug and finally stop.


The ABS material of the assist handle still bugs me but I am actually going to get myself another one of these drills so I don’t have to keep changing back & forth from drill to driver bits. If you intend to lug yours around from
one job site to another get the case from Milwaukee, it’s solid metal and built to take banging around in the back of a pick-up truck.


Recommend this product? Yes

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