The history of the Milwaukee Hole Shooter

In 1918, A.H. Peterson, a young well-known tool and die maker was asked by Henry Ford to create a lightweight drill for Fords automotive production lines. A.H. Peterson came back to him with the hole-shooter; a lightweight, high-powered and durable 1/4″ drill. This five pound drill would become the benchmark of all drills to follow. Up until that time, only the strongest ape men could use a “hand-held” drill as most were very heavy and cumbersome.

In 1922, A.F. Siebert joined forces with Peterson to form the A.H. Peterson Company which only lasted a year. Between the fire that destroyed their factory and the recession, the company went bankrupt and was auctioned off to A.F. Siebert, later to be called the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp.

During the first years of business, Milwaukee kept its doors open by repairing other company’s tools. This gave them an opportunity to find out what other tool manufacturers were up to. Milwaukee has always been a company who kept its ears to the ground in the industry. Through the process of paying attention to the innovations of other tool companies, Milwaukee continued to improve its Hole-Shooter with better gears, switches, brushes and cords, which earned them a U.S. Government equipment-specification rating.

The U.S. Navy took notice of this and applied its own sets of standards to Milwaukee tools, solidifying them as an industry standard tool company. The hole-shooters were used extensively in WW2 on anything from airplanes to battleships. Some might say that Milwaukee played a significant role in the outcome of WW2.

Since then, the hole-shooter has gone through several iterations and is still available today. The name Hole-Shooter has been adopted to several different drill designs since, which all are generally considered industry standard drills.

The current models offer several attachments: right-angle drill for the plumbing and electrical industry as well as a 30″ extension with 33º angled chuck for drilling joists without needing a ladder and even cordless versions.