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A Lot of Value In A Little Box – Impact Bits From Milwaukee.

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This may come across as a “bit” forward but this is one of the best bit sets of this type I have ever owned. The two things that really make this particular bit box stand out to me would be the super hard/durable 76 alloy steel the bits are made from and the well thought-out storage container….not to mention it’s a whopping 30 bucks at The Home Depot. Here’s my take on it:

This is a close up look at the Milwaukee Shockwave Impact Bit Set. We all know Milwaukee has been making great power tools for years. In the 4 short years I’ve been into woodworking and building, I have only ran into one tool of theirs which didn’t cut the mustard….that would be the late cordless 18 volt brad nailer I recently purchased….that one needs some re-thinking. Otherwise, I’ve always loved their tools and consumables.

This kit however is the real deal – starting with the bits. The selection is pretty widespread over phillips, flats, torques, squares, and hex bits in a couple of different lengths. They also threw in a couple of nut drivers and a 3/8” socket attachment. The exact quantities of each can be seen in the image below.

I wanna talk briefly about the bit material choice for this set before diving into how cool this little box is. Milwaukee uses “custom alloy 76 steel” which “maximizes resistance to wear and shock”. Although Milwaukee is kinda hush-hush about the treatment involved in 76 steel, I’ll offer the short end of the story.

76 Steel is some super hard stuff at 70 HRc (compare to 6061 aluminum which is around 40 HRc for perspective). It also has very high resistance to wear that collectively comes from the high levels of chromium and vanadium as well as a controlled tempering process. The metallurgic compound and heat treating process for 76 steel is also used for hard machining and cutting tools. Many broaching, reaming, thread cutting, and gear cutting tools are made out of the exact same stuff you’re getting in one of these little bit boxes…alloy 76 steel.

What this means to the end-user is a durable tool that is damn near bomb proof. If you’re able to trash one of these bits then give yourself a high five!….and then call Milwaukee for a replacement : )

Milwaukee really promotes the custom machined tip geometry in their marketing material. All of the screws I’ve been driving with this set have been a very tight fit and don’t wobble around in the screw head like some others I’ve owned in the past. The bit to fastener fitment is spot on so I won’t carry on about it…..it does what its supposed to.

Last but certainly not the least point I’d like to share is the killer little box these bits come in. I posted a review on a different impact bit set a while back and the box wouldn’t even close properly almost as though the box designer was absent on “box closure day”. Needless to say this box is well beyond that.

The closure is a snap fit latch that is easy to engage and feels very solid. Where it starts getting cool is how Milwaukee designed these little webs in the plastic so a strap or something of the sort could be routed through them for hanging, carrying, or mounting to a surface. I really like that they’re made in a way that would still allow the user to open the box without the strap interfering with the box opening or closing. You can also find this arrangement in modern cooler lids – you can strap them down and still have access to you frosty beverages. It’s a nice touch.

Opening the box you would probably think “cool…it’s a bit box”; but check it out: Conventionally, getting bits out can be a real pain since they’re often packed in there very tight. They’re usually laid over in the boxes which makes it hard to get these little things to slide out of their nests (especially for those with large fingers). Milwaukee totally changed the game in my opinion by making each bit row easy to remove if need be, or you can simply rotate the entire row. Imagine, you can take a whole row out at once…keep your commonly used bits in a complete row, put the row in your pocket before you go up into the attic, stow it back in the box once you return to the truck. Snap in. Snap out……easy peasy.

They also made the end geometry of the bit-rows in a way that allows you to easily rotate the entire row so the bits now point “up and out” instead of laid over flat. Again, this makes it super easy to extract a bit one handed in case you have something in the other hand.

It takes no time at all to see that Milwaukee did their homework on this one. The super hard material equates to a longer bit life. Quality controlled machining = good fastener-to-bit coupling = less cam out and stripping. And a well sorted box design means less time fiddling and fighting to get your bits out of a crowded enclosure.

The holidays are just around the corner; buy your favorite technician, craftsman, creator or homeowner one of these slick little bit boxes…..even if that person is you : )

Thanks for dropping in to learn more about this bit box. If you’re thinking about buying one, consider using this link or one of the others listed above. These are affiliate links I’ve generated through The Home Depot ProSpective campaign. Sales made from these links provide a small kick back to my website which helps this whole machine to keep going. Aside from my appreciation for you just dropping in to read this content, I also appreciate any and all sales through these links.

Y’all take care and have a great day – April

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