volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/28/21 9:11 a.m.

A few years back, after reading several posts about how awesome they were, I bought a Milwaukee M12 cordless ratchet.  And it was a good little tool, at first.  After about a year it quit working- the ratcheting mechanism got goobered up and basically acted as if it were stripped.  It would turn free wheeling, but as soon as I tried to use it on a nut it would just make noise and not turn.  I sent it back to Milwaukee and they promptly sent me a replacement, free of charge, per their warranty. 

Now, about another year later, the replacement ratchet has failed- in exactly the same way.  I'm about to send it back; hopefully they honor the warranty again.  Still, I'm a bit peeved; I'm not a commercial garage, and I don't use the tool every day.  It ought to have lasted longer than a year.  Has anyone else had the same issue with this thing?

Honestly, I love the Milwaukee tools, but have had somewhat mixed experience.  The batteries seem to last - I've yet to have a pack go bad on me.  And most of the tools have been fine.  But I did have an impact driver quit on me (bad trigger switch) and an angle grinder die.  Irritatingly, they didn't warantee the angle grinder, as they said the bad bearing that killed it was a result of excessive dust getting in it.  Yeah.  No E36 M3.  It's an angle grinder- it's job is to make dust.  I did upgrade to the Fuel angle grinder, and so far it's been pretty good.  *knock on wood*

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
12/28/21 9:17 a.m.

I have the fuel M18 stuff and I have enjoyed it above the Dewalt equivalent that we have at work.

 

I think you and I are tougher on tools than most are, though. I have replaced my chuck once on the drill, and I expect that from the abuse that I dish out. I suspect the M12 stuff just isn't up to our expectations of an expensive tool that won't be treated very well.

 

The dust thing is obviously very silly. I still use that corded Metabo you liked. What ever happened to the corded grinder that you tried to cut your hand off with? That thing was pretty good as I recall.

 

I think the moral here is that we use tools far above the average shadetree mechanic, and the days of an insanely overbuilt tool are gone.

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cheap-tools-race-bottom-brian-bassett/

 

 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
12/28/21 9:18 a.m.

Interesting. jh36 has one. He's had it for maybe three years now. No issues I know of. And I really enjoy using it. Been meaning to buy one myself. Maybe it's a hit or miss thing. But he appears to have one that holds up.

Edit based on Tuna's post: Yeah, I don't think jh36 is very hard on this tool. He doesn't use it every day probably and it's mostly used to quickly drive or remove fasteners that have already been broken free. Not really using it like a mini torque gun.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/28/21 9:44 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

At our work place I have only seen the Red tools.  They seem to be the preferred tool for the trades people around here.  Although my contractor uses DeWalt, and seems to like them.

I will grant that we are likely more demanding of our tools than most.  But I think that's just who we are at our core- hardworking folks who value a dollar and expect the same out of others. 

I picked up a corded Bosche angle grinder a few years back.  It will run circles around even the Fuel cordless Milwaukee.  But the cordless is still very handy for working in areas where the cord becomes a nuisance.  It's also nice to have multiple angle grinders so I don't have to switch blades all the time.  Typically I'll keep a cut off wheel on the corded Bosche and a flappy wheel on the cordless Fuel. 

Incidentally, I tried to cut my hand off with the Milwaukee Sawz-all, proving it truly does live up to its name; it will saw all:  Metal, wood, flesh...

Good post on Linkedin.  100% true.  Frankly, I think that every product nowadays fits that mold, unfortunately.  Why build something once, sell it once, and be done when you can sell someone the same thing every few years...or annually...or every 6 months.  I think all they're trying to figure out now is the shortest period of time they can design for and peeve off the fewest number of people. 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
12/28/21 9:49 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

In reply to tuna55 :

At our work place I have only seen the Red tools.  They seem to be the preferred tool for the trades people around here.  Although my contractor uses DeWalt, and seems to like them.

I will grant that we are likely more demanding of our tools than most.  But I think that's just who we are at our core- hardworking folks who value a dollar and expect the same out of others. 

I picked up a corded Bosche angle grinder a few years back.  It will run circles around even the Fuel cordless Milwaukee.  But the cordless is still very handy for working in areas where the cord becomes a nuisance.  It's also nice to have multiple angle grinders so I don't have to switch blades all the time.  Typically I'll keep a cut off wheel on the corded Bosche and a flappy wheel on the cordless Fuel. 

Incidentally, I tried to cut my hand off with the Milwaukee Sawz-all, proving it truly does live up to its name; it will saw all:  Metal, wood, flesh...

Good post on Linkedin.  100% true.  Frankly, I think that every product nowadays fits that mold, unfortunately.  Why build something once, sell it once, and be done when you can sell someone the same thing every few years...or annually...or every 6 months.  I think all they're trying to figure out now is the shortest period of time they can design for and peeve off the fewest number of people. 

ok the cutting event I am thinking of was moments after you told me how you liked the angle grinder without a guard. It was a long time ago, and memories fade, but as I recall, you cut your wrist with the cutoff wheel, and then one of us 'helped' by pouring some random alcohol you had in the garage on it, and then I drove you to the clinic for stitches, whereupon hearing about our cleaning method, the doc stopped to laugh at us for a bit.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
12/28/21 9:52 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

In reply to tuna55 :

I will grant that we are likely more demanding of our tools than most.  But I think that's just who we are at our core- hardworking folks who value a dollar and expect the same out of others. 

This exactly. I am totally fine with Harbor Freight selling a cordless drill for $99.99 before coupon if I can spend $300 on a Milwaukee and have it last me a decade. What has happened instead is that people are totally fine to buy 3 HF drills instead, so every real tool manufacturer has decided to cheapen their tools to play the same game but with a different sticker on the front. It's like tools are NASCAR cup cars, the same stuff with different sponsors and grill stickers.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/28/21 10:07 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

I recall you driving me to the clinic for stitches (the first time I'd ever gotten stitches in my life) and I had been sawzalling the door jamb of Charlie to fit the roll cage.  The sawzall slipped and I fell back, slicing my wrist on some sharp metal.  So it actually wasn't even the sawzall that cut me, but the racecar. 

I later recall calling the doctor about getting the stitches removed, and upon finding out how much it was going to cost, sitting down with a bottle of rubbing alcohol, a tweezers, and a razor blade, and removing them myself. 

Of course, considering how I used to Sawzall, none of this should be any surprise.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/28/21 10:11 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Right.  And it's further confused by the fact that while you can buy the Gen-You-Wine Milwaukee battery packs for $150 each, there are some thoroughly convincing ones on Fleabay for 1/3 the cost.

Image 1 - 2-PACK For Milwaukee M18 Lithium XC 6.5 AH Extended Capacity Battery 48-11-1860

https://www.ebay.com/itm/384401425571?chn=ps&_trkparms=ispr%3D1&amdata=enc%3A1YzQDEmdEQwiMJHdpRAcXFA92&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-213727-13078-0&mkcid=2&itemid=384401425571&targetid=4580702890871448&device=c&mktype=&googleloc=&poi=&campaignid=418640321&mkgroupid=1233652283797640&rlsatarget=pla-4580702890871448&abcId=9300602&merchantid=51291&msclkid=915f214fa44e1fd12d6240848cce6558

 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
12/28/21 10:13 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

In reply to tuna55 :

Right.  And it's further confused by the fact that while you can buy the Gen-You-Wine Milwaukee battery packs for $150 each, there are some thoroughly convincing ones on Fleabay for 1/3 the cost.

Image 1 - 2-PACK For Milwaukee M18 Lithium XC 6.5 AH Extended Capacity Battery 48-11-1860

https://www.ebay.com/itm/384401425571?chn=ps&_trkparms=ispr%3D1&amdata=enc%3A1YzQDEmdEQwiMJHdpRAcXFA92&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-213727-13078-0&mkcid=2&itemid=384401425571&targetid=4580702890871448&device=c&mktype=&googleloc=&poi=&campaignid=418640321&mkgroupid=1233652283797640&rlsatarget=pla-4580702890871448&abcId=9300602&merchantid=51291&msclkid=915f214fa44e1fd12d6240848cce6558

 

Interesting. FYI you can buy the cells which fail for single digit dollars if you're brave. I did that on my EGO trimmer.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
12/28/21 10:15 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

In reply to tuna55 :

I recall you driving me to the clinic for stitches (the first time I'd ever gotten stitches in my life) and I had been sawzalling the door jamb of Charlie to fit the roll cage.  The sawzall slipped and I fell back, slicing my wrist on some sharp metal.  So it actually wasn't even the sawzall that cut me, but the racecar. 

I later recall calling the doctor about getting the stitches removed, and upon finding out how much it was going to cost, sitting down with a bottle of rubbing alcohol, a tweezers, and a razor blade, and removing them myself. 

Of course, considering how I used to Sawzall, none of this should be any surprise.

Huh. OK, well, I guess my memory is faded pretty badly.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/28/21 10:22 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Yep.  I even saw this neat little infographic on Northern Tool.

I've not needed to replace any of the cells yet, but I figure I'll give it a try perhaps.  Your experience gives me optimism. 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/28/21 10:24 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

"OK, well, I guess my memory is faded pretty badly."

In fairness, it wasn't your hand that was severely lacerated.  I do recall the top-notch bandaging method you all did, using paper towels and blue painter's tape.  I also recall wanting to get back to work afterwards, and you saying something along the lines of, "uh, this might be one of those things you ought to go to the doctor for".  Recall, this was in the pre-Mrs. VCH days, so I had no one around me regularly to make sure I did stuff to stay alive. 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
12/28/21 10:25 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

A soldering iron, a bit of patience, and this site https://www.18650batterystore.com/ will get you there for a tenth of the price of a replacement pack.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/28/21 12:16 p.m.

I still have Craftsman tools that have been going for decades but as Sears started the long decline I found their batteries were junk and I got tired of having them fail after few months. I went all in on Milwaukee stuff after Sears went bankrupt and I now have three drills and an impact sitting on the shelf with bad switches. I am not a fan. I don't need the best tools, but I do need reliability and a good warranty. Milwaukee has failed me on both counts.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/28/21 2:51 p.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

The warranty is the one shining spot of the Milwaukee tools.  5 years, don't need a receipt.  They just go by the S/N of the unit, so even if you got the tool second hand, theoretically they should still warranty it.  If nothing else, you can open a warranty claim and send it back and they'll tell you if they'll honor it.  Or just do a search for the P/N of the switch if you want to try fixing it yourself. 

e-Service is the name of their system.  It's all online.

https://service.milwaukeetool.com/

https://www.milwaukeetool.com/Support/Registration-and-Warranty

I defintely agree the reliability has been variable on their tools.  If I had it to do over I would look at the Rigid tools, I think their warranty is better.  Their product line isn't quite as vast as Milwaukee's though.  I just got an M18 hedge trimmer for Christmas.  The thing is a real beast, I already tried it out on the hedges and it chewed through some 1/2" thick branches like nothing.  There's parts of my property that are hundreds of feet from any electricity that I've always had to trim by hand, till now. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
12/28/21 2:58 p.m.
tuna55 said:

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

A soldering iron, a bit of patience, and this site https://www.18650batterystore.com/ will get you there for a tenth of the price of a replacement pack.

thanks I have been looking for something like that .....

The cheap replacement batteries are hit and miss , mostly miss  if you talk about how long they last "working" before they need a charge.

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon Dork
12/28/21 4:16 p.m.

The standard M12 ratchets are not very heavy duty, the fuel ratchets are bulkier but much stronger.  The Fuel ratchets have a different and stronger gear train in the ratchet mechanism. Which one did you break?

I've seen several non-fuel ratchets break, never seen a broken fuel ratchet.

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
12/28/21 5:29 p.m.

Not sure if there's a grease port on the ratchet head on those tools but my Snap-On power ratchets appreciate a couple shots of grease every few months.

If there isn't a grease port, Milwaukee needs to do their homework.

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/28/21 6:04 p.m.

I have the non-Fuel M12 and it's held up well in admittedly light use (I never abuse it).  I use it a bunch when I'm in the engine bay (timing belts, valve cover gaskets, etc), but when I'm working on brakes and suspension I typically reach for either my HF extendable 1/2" ratchet or my M18 mid-torque impact first.  I got the non-fuel version of the M12 ratchet because the Fuel version is significantly larger, but I always treat it as a light-duty tool.

Before I bought my M12 ratchet, I did see some reviews on Amazon that were very similar to what you're describing. It sounds like there's either a design flaw or a manufacturing defect that's causing an issue.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
12/29/21 9:38 a.m.

In reply to RacetruckRon :

It's not a Fuel.  I didn't even know the Fuel was a thing on the M12 stuff.  For the M18, all of the failures I've had were the non-Fuel tools.  Seems to be a common theme. 

In reply to ShawnG :

No grease port on any of the M12/M18 tools that I've seen.  Perhaps if/when they send me a replacement ratchet I'll do a pre-emptive greasing. 

In reply to dJ06482 :

I really don't feel as though I abused the ratchet.  Like you, I pretty much only used it for spinning fasteners on and off, after breaking them away with a regular ratchet.  And usually it was just spinning them on, as I have a 1/4" and a 1/2" impact to do the dirty work.  A few times I did use it like a regular ratchet, that is, broke the fasteners loose by hand ratcheting them, and then spinning them off under power.  I wouldn't _think_ that would break a tool, but then again, my expectations may well be unhinged from the reality of Chinese-made battery toys. 

cengizsur
cengizsur
1/17/22 5:28 a.m.

I will grant that we are likely more demanding of our tools than most.  But I think that's just who we are at our core- hardworking folks who value a dollar and expect the same out of others.  talktowendys surveyzop

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/17/22 7:59 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

In reply to dJ06482 :

I really don't feel as though I abused the ratchet.  Like you, I pretty much only used it for spinning fasteners on and off, after breaking them away with a regular ratchet.  And usually it was just spinning them on, as I have a 1/4" and a 1/2" impact to do the dirty work.  A few times I did use it like a regular ratchet, that is, broke the fasteners loose by hand ratcheting them, and then spinning them off under power.  I wouldn't _think_ that would break a tool, but then again, my expectations may well be unhinged from the reality of Chinese-made battery toys. 

Your use mirrors mine, I call that being mechanically sympathetic.  I've seen people put pipes over them, bash the end with hammers to break a bolt loose, etc. so I always ask.  I wouldn't expect it to fail that soon in non-commercial use like you described.

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