We all know just how critical a drilling tool can be for a professional contractor like me. After struggling with my corded drilling tool, which had reached its breaking point, I decided to go for a new drilling tool to meet my requirements.
After doing a lot of research, I zeroed in on the Milwaukee 2803-20 and 2804-20. It then wondered what the difference is between Milwaukee 2803-20 and Milwaukee 2804-20?
The Milwaukee 2803-20 is a normal drill driver while 2804-20 is a hammer drill driver which makes 2803-20 lighter in weight compared to 2804-20 while maintaining the same power, torque, and dimensions.
Here is a list of the technical specifications of both these products for those of you who may want to geek out on this information right now.
|Milwaukee 2803-20||Milwaukee 2804-20|
|Drilling mechanism||Normal drill||Hammer drill|
|Weight||2.02 lbs||5 lbs|
|Battery system||M18 RED LITHIUM||M18 RED LITHIUM|
|Maximum torque||1,200 in-lbs||1,200 in-lbs|
|Check Latest Price||Check Latest Price|
If you are curious to know more about the differences between these two models, then do read on as I explain the differences in detail. I will also explain the similarities between the two to help you get a better understanding of these two drills from Milwaukee.
In the next section, I will review these two products independently based on my experiences of using them. This will help you understand the features that worked well for me, as well as the practical hits and misses of these two drills.
Stick around for the conclusion as I reveal to you the tool that I personally preferred. I have also added a Frequently Asked Section (FAQs) at the end to give you some clarity about these tools that most people have.
Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links.
Table of Contents
Milwaukee 2803-20 vs 2804-20
Milwaukee is one of the most reputed manufacturers of power tools and cordless tools. Since 2016, the company has sold the most cordless power tools in North America thanks to their durability and performance.
The company has a diverse range of cordless tools that are used for different purposes. One of their most popular products is the Milwaukee 2803-20 drill driver, which offers a great blend of performance and affordability. It soon became one of the most popular models for DIY customers and professional handymen alike.
They also released the Milwaukee 2804-20 hammer drill driver which had a fundamental difference in how the tool worked. It catered to a different audience with a different set of requirements.
In the next section, I will be elaborating on the fundamental differences between 2803-20 and 2804-20. It is then followed by the similarities, as these two tools manufactured by Milwaukee are very similar in nature.
The major difference between the Milwaukee 2803-20 and 2804-20 is in the internal drilling mechanism. 2803-20 is equipped with a normal drill driver while 2804-20 has an additional hammer drill mechanism provided by the manufacturer.
In a normal drill, the bit is rotated along a fixed axis in a circular motion only. This is the simplest mechanism found commonly in most drills available in the market today.
This mechanism is ideal for drilling into softer surfaces like wood, as the force minimizes the damage caused to such materials while maintaining precision and accuracy.
In a hammer drill, an additional hammer mode is provided. This combines the rotational motion of the bit with a linear motion that effectively chips at the material.
This can be extremely useful with materials like concrete and bricks, as it allows for faster material removal.
2803-20 as a result is better suited for applications in which the primary material used is wood. On the other hand, 2804-20 is preferred in situations like masonry and construction that deal with harder materials on a regular basis.
2804-20 is also a much more versatile model as it can do everything the 2803-20 can and more.
Another major difference between these two models is the weight of the drills. 2803-20 is considerably lighter as it does not include the hammer drill mechanism of 2804-20.
As a result, it weighs just 2.2 lbs in comparison to the 5 lbs weight of 2804-20. However, this results in increased vibrations as there is much less mass to dampen it.
The final difference that one can expect in the Milwaukee 2803-20 vs 2804-20 is in the pricing. 2804-20 is essentially 2803-20 with a hammer drill, which means it is usually more expensive.
As I mentioned before in the previous section, 2804-20 is the same model as 2803-20 with an additional hammer drill mechanism included. This is evident in the fact that these tools share the same dimensions.
Both these drills from Milwaukee run on the same battery system as well, being powered by batteries from the M18 series. They both come with a REDLITHIUM™ XC5.0 Battery Pack that ensures better run time and higher power output.
In terms of performance, both these tools are equipped with the same motor that provides similar output figures of 1,200 in-lbs and has the same number of clutch settings (14). They also have similar ergonomics that give you a good amount of comfort and ease of use.
Other features that are similar in both the 2903-20 and 2804-20 include an LED light placed on the foot, REDLINK PLUS intelligence integration to protect the tool, and accessories such as belt clip holder, side handle, and bit holder.
In the next section of this Milwaukee 2803-20 vs 2804-20 review, I will be discussing these two tools independently from an owner’s perspective.
This will give you a better understanding of these models from Milwaukee, helping you decide which product suits your needs.
Milwaukee 2803-20 Review
Milwaukee Tools released the 2803-20 drill as a part of its premium M18 FUEL tool series. This cordless drill promised its customers the perfect blend of power and performance while ensuring that they did not have to shell out an obscene amount of money.
While the model delivered on the performance front, it also added a couple of useful features and accessories that made the user experience a hassle-free experience.
This made it one of the most popular drills amongst amateur enthusiasts and professional handymen alike.
Read on as I explain in detail a few features that stood out for me while I owned the Milwaukee 2803-20 drill.
- Compact and handy design
One of the things that I was looking for in my new drill was a small footprint. I needed something that could fit in tight spots without affecting my ability to work. The Milwaukee 2803-20 did just that, thanks to its 6.9” tool length.
The tools looked great out of the box with their red paint scheme and graphics. However, it felt even better in my hand as the weight was much lighter compared to other cordless drills I have held before.
It was also quite comfortable to grip thanks to its oversized grip, which gave me more than enough room to wrap my hands around it.
- M18 battery system
It is now common knowledge that the major tool manufacturers have started introducing unified battery systems for their cordless products. The M18 FUEL was one of the first models to be released, while also offering excellent performance and life.
I was quite pleased that the tool was provided with a battery while purchasing it. It also allowed me to interchange the battery with other batteries that came with other cordless tools from Milwaukee.
Coming to its performance, the runtime was quite impressive, lasting me for much longer than I needed. It also charged quickly, allowing me to depend on a maximum of two batteries to help me get the job done on sites with irregular power.
- Rugged performance
The main reason I prefer cordless tools nowadays is that it gives me the flexibility to travel outdoors with my own tools. With the Milwaukee 2803-20, I knew I did not have to compromise on performance thanks to its powerful brushless motor.
The tool was more than capable of handling heavy-duty applications when required, with the high torque output in a compact design making it all the more useful.
However, I feel they could have done something to dampen the vibrations, as it has a negative impact on the accuracy while using the tool single-handedly.
I also found that the construction of the tool was quite sturdy, allowing it to withstand accidental falls without causing damage to the internal mechanisms, which was a lifesaver on a couple of occasions.
PROs & CONs
- LED placement on battery holder helps minimize shadow on the work area
- Works well in extreme weather conditions without seizing
- High power and torque to tackle heavy-duty situations
- Great value for money proposition for those on a tight budget
- High possibility of the trigger getting jammed
- Flimsy plastic below the trigger area can get warped easily
- Vibrations can be felt a bit too much
Milwaukee 2804-20 Review
With the success of 2803-20, Milwaukee Tools won over a number of customers, new and old alike. At the same time, they also released 2804-20, which included a hammer drill mechanism inside the drill.
This was to cater to specific requirements of being able to drill into harder materials.
One of the most fascinating aspects about this tool is just how similar it looks and feels to 2803-20. I was quite pleased that the dimensions of the tool were not changed, which made it all the more convenient to use in those tricky situations where space was at a premium.
While 2804-20 shares the same features as 2803-20, here are a couple of useful features that I noticed much more than the others, which also made it slightly different from 2803-20.
- Versatile operation
No one buys a tool to get it to do a single job. When I purchased 2804-20 from Milwaukee Tools, I was hoping to use it to drill through a variety of surfaces when required.
Thankfully, this tool allowed me to do just that with the hammer drill mechanism.
I was quite pleased with just how easily the tool was able to drill through concrete. It helped me get the job done rather quickly, allowing me to make multiple holes at once.
Another point that I must highlight is the temperature resistance that this tool has. I could use it in sub-zero winter conditions or on a blistering summer afternoon, and there was no performance drop whatsoever.
- Useful accessories
The Milwaukee 2804-20 comes with a belt clip that allows you to attach the drill to your belt. This can help save a lot of time while having to change between multiple tools on the job site.
It also prevents accidental damage to the tool by stepping on it or dropping it while having to keep it elsewhere.
It also comes with a side handle that allows you to steady the tool while drilling through tougher materials. However, it is a fixed handle that does not rotate, which would have been a nice touch to add.
- Overload protection
This feature can be extremely useful for amateurs with relatively less experience in handling power tools like a drill.
Engaging the trigger continuously can lead to overheating, which can then cause internal damage to the sensitive components housed inside.
With the REDLINK PLUS sensors, it ensures that the tool is functioning at maximum efficiency without overstressing the battery or motor. This ensures better safety of the tool, while also ensuring the extension of its lifetime in the long run.
PROs & CONs
- Withstands continuous heavy-duty drilling with ease
- Compact design ensures usage in tight spaces and better portability
- Compatible with M18 batteries and tools for additional versatility
- Improved side handle for better grip
- Gets heated very quickly
- On the heavier side compared to other tools
- Requires a 220V adapter
- Chuck is difficult to set
At the end of this Milwaukee 2803-20 vs 2804-20 article, it is now time to reveal which model of drill I prefer from the Milwaukee cordless tool range. The answer to that question is Milwaukee 2804-20.
Both the models had very similar performance and ergonomics that barely distinguish one from the other.
However, 2803-20 does not have a hammer drill mechanism, which makes 2804-20 much more versatile. It allowed me to drill into materials like concrete, which was not possible with 2803-20.
If you are someone looking for a simple drill that is sufficient for DIY projects on materials like wood, then I would highly recommend the Milwaukee 2803-20. Its lighter weight, as well as straightforward operation, makes it a very easy tool to use.
On the other hand, if you are a professional contractor looking for a more dynamic option when it comes to drilling options, then I would suggest that you choose 2804-20, which will give you better versatility to meet your requirements in different settings.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
What is the difference between Milwaukee 2803-20 and 2804-20?
The Milwaukee 2803-20 is a drill plus driver tool, while the Milwaukee 2804-20 also has the additional feature of being a hammer drill as well.
The Milwaukee 2803-20 is the lighter model at 2.02 lbs while the Milwaukee 2904-20 weighs around 5 lbs.