Milwaukee 1680-21 13 Amp 1/2″ Super Hawg Joist & Stud Drill Review

Milwaukee 1680-21 Stud Drill

A joist and stud drill is a useful asset for any timber framer or carpenter. The ability to drill holes in a clean and efficient way will make any job go much smoother. There are many options out there, so it is important to choose a drill that has the qualities you are looking for.

Milwaukee Tool is one of the leading manufacturers in the power tool industry.  For years the name has been trusted by professionals in various trades for its commitment to building high performing and durable products. Although their tools are aimed at professionals, their simplicity and reliability make them a solid choice for those who just plan to use them for the occasional DIY project.

We will be taking a look at the features and quality of Milwaukee Tool’s ½” Super Hawg Joist and Stud Drill. The Super Hawg is marketed as the right tool for drilling holes of all sizes in wood frame construction. As such, it serves a valuable purpose for both amateur and professional wood framers.  The ability to drill holes quickly and safely is an essential part of any job.

First off, the Super Hawg comes in at a total length of 22 inches, which is longer than some drills in its class; however, the added length does give the operator a greater sense of leverage. We did not have any trouble working with the Super Hawg and actually found it quite comfortable to handle. This is aided in part by the inclusion of Milwaukee’s signature soft-grip Roto-Lok rotating handle. The handle features a 90 degree left to right adjustable rotation range, which allows the user the ability to position the handle into a comfortable position. This helps when moving from one task to another and would also make the drill easy to hold for operators of differing sizes. Both handles, including the top handle, are removable, which comes in handy when working in tight spaces.

Milwaukee 1680-21

Along with the additional length, the Super Hawg earns its name in the weight department. The drill weighs in at 20.7 pounds, which again is a little heavier than some, but this does add to the sense of durability we felt when using the drill. The removable side handle definitely gives the operator the required grip to comfortably control the drill. This side handle can be positioned on the left or right side of the drill, depending on the job and the operator’s preference.

The Super Hawg is a powerful drill. We had no problems drilling holes through many different types of lumber. The drill’s relatively powerful 13 Amp motor offers two different operating speeds. The higher setting generates 1750 RPM and the slower setting, which is designed for boring larger holes, comes in at 450 RPM. The settings are controlled with an easily turned gear shift knob and here is a clutch that kicks in when operating in the low gear range. We really liked the flexibility of having two-speed settings as it makes the drill a more versatile tool.

Despite the Super Hawg’s large size and impressive power, we were impressed with the relatively low level of kickback. We really do stress this is a powerful drill, and yet it felt really easy to control. Even smaller cordless drills have a tendency to bind up while using hole saws and we did not experience any of this with the Super Hawg.

To supply the Super Hawg with all that power, the drill is corded.  It uses an 8 foot long fixed grounded cord, which gives you plenty of travel distance. The cord can, of course, be extended with the use of an extension cord.

The drill itself comes in the familiar red and black Milwaukee Tool color scheme. The Super Hawg’s exterior is one of the real selling points. The reinforced nylon resin casing protects the drill and provides a great deal of durability while weighing significantly less than a metal casing would have. This allows the drill to keep its power, without being unreasonably heavy. The resin casing is also designed to dissipate heat and have a resistance to chemicals. Not only can you use the drill longer without fear of it overheating, but the resin case can also take a beating and will help keep the drill working longer. The front and top portion of the drill’s casing is also rubberized in order to give the operator plenty of grip options and to protect the drill in the event it is dropped.

Super Hawg Joist Stud Drill

The Super Hawg comes packaged with a durable carrying case, which is a nice touch. Tools are an investment and protecting them is key. The Super Hawg also comes with Milwaukee Tool’s outstanding warranty. All Milwaukee power tools are guaranteed to be free from defects. The company will repair or replace any of their products if they do not work as advertised.

Overall, what we really liked about the Milwaukee Tool Super Hawg was the great power output and how easy it was to use. The simplistic gear selector really helped in this department. It is not often that you find such a powerful drill that is so intuitive and easy to control. The added length when compared to similar drills also stood out. We liked the sense of leverage it gave us while drilling holes in awkward positions; however, that might just come down to personal preference. The Super Hawg feels extremely durable. The resin casing and rubber padding lead us to believe this tool would have a long life. We found the Super Hawg had more than enough power for every task we put it up against and we would certainly feel comfortable recommending the drill to both professionals and amateurs.

The Milwaukee Super Hawg is available through Amazon HERE. Given the power, durability, ease of use, and outstanding warranty, we believe the price is more than reasonable for such a high-quality drill. The Super Hawg Joist and Stud Drill would prove a valuable asset for any timber framer.

Please note:
Timber Frame HQ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to When you purchase something from Amazon, a small percentage of the sale goes to support the efforts of TFHQ.

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2 thoughts on “Milwaukee 1680-21 13 Amp 1/2″ Super Hawg Joist & Stud Drill Review”

  1. I’m impressed with the features and capabilities of the Milwaukee Tool Super Hawg, especially its power output and the added length for leverage. Given its powerful 13 Amp motor and two-speed settings, I’m curious if there are any specific maintenance or care tips you’d recommend to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of the drill over time? Thanks for the detailed review

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