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I bought a Milwaukee M4 cordless screwdriver (Milwaukee 2101-22) from Home Depot. Home Depot has plenty of Milwaukee screwdriver bits and I bought a set.

The bits are too short. The head of the bit is nearly inside the socket; it's hard to even reach it with my fingers to remove it, let alone drive screws with it.

Reading the label on the bits more carefully, I realized that it says "SHOCKWAVE Impact Duty". So my best guess is that this set of bits was intended for use in a Milwaukee impact driver. (I guess with an impact driver a shorter bit is better, for strength.)

The cross-sectional size of the bits seems identical (1/4" hex drive), but it seems that the M4 screwdriver needs longer bits. Yet it's nearly impossible to find the suitable bits on the Home Depot web site; almost all they have is SHOCKWAVE.

It seems strange to me that there should be two standards for screwdriver bits, differing only in length. And if there are two standards I would expect the Milwaukee web site would make it easy to search for exactly the kind of bits you need, but there's no obvious way to search for non-SHOCKWAVE bits.

Am I correct that there are two standards and I need different bits for the M4 screwdriver? Or will the SHOCKWAVE bits work somehow with the M4 screwdriver? Maybe there is some kind of common adapter I could get?

P.S. I believe I found one set of bits that would work with the M4 screwdriver. Here's the link, and a link to a SHOCKWAVE bit set for comparison. Sorry for using a Home Depot link but I cannot even find non-SHOCKWAVE bits on the Milwaukee web site at all! Not even using Google to search for part number 48-32-1552!

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-Screwdriving-Bit-Set-64-Piece-48-32-1552/306715205

https://www.milwaukeetool.com/Products/Accessories/Accessories-Sets/SHOCKWAVE-Driving-Set/48-32-4062

EDIT: Thanks for the responses. Now that you educated me, I checked to see if the SHOCKWAVE bit set I bought includes a bit tip holder, and it does. (In fact it has two bit holders, a 3" and a 6"!) I feel silly that I wasn't able to figure this out on my own, but with your help I eventually figured it out.

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Those little bits aren't really made to go straight into the chuck. Even if the chuck is made to grip the little grooves, it's hard to see the tip with it so close to the chuck. There might not be enough room to get the whole nose of the driver in that close to the screw. Those bits

bit

are best put into a bitholder - the bitholder will grip the little grooves so it doesn't fall out, and it gets it away from the chuck a bit.

bitholder

You can also buy screwdriver bits that are made for the chuck, and these bits will be long enough that they are easy to use placed directly in the chuck. You can see it has the same style shank as the bitholder.

screwdriver bit

There are about four million of these in HD, L's, etc.

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Get a bit tip holder like this one

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  • Your link didn't work for me at all, but doing a search for "bit tip holder" I found plenty, including one made by Milwaukee. It doesn't seem to appear anywhere on the Milwaukee website but Home Depot has it for $4 and other sites have it for around $5. Thank you! – steveha Sep 13 at 1:34
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Some useful terminology:

  • The short bits with at most a small notch on the shank are known as "insert bits".
  • The long bits with a wide groove on the shank are known as "power bits".

When you have a tool that takes power bits, you use an adapter for insert bits. Many adapters of this type have no moving parts and use a magnet to retain the insert bit, so they look like a plain cylinder with a power bit shank sticking out one end and a hex hole on the other end.

Impact drivers, as far as I have heard (I don't currently own any), do not use a different bit attachment type from other hex bit screwdrivers.

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