Rated 4.9 out of 5 by 56
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Doresoom Awesome Performance!
This was my first experience with using an impact driver, and I'm really impressed. I doubt I'll ever use my cordless drill for anything but drilling again.
The impact driver is really lightweight, well-balanced, and compact. Some of the features I really like about it:
- The driver comes with a belt clip that can be moved to either side to suit both left- and right-handed users. Clipping it on to the watch pocket on my jeans worked really well, even while climbing up and down a ladder.
- A battery charge indicator lights up every time the trigger is depressed. It's got four separate LEDs to indicate charge percentage and the last one flashes when the battery is out of charge.
- There are two speed settings, one for driving screws with precision (0-1200 RPM, 0-2700 impacts/min), and one for driving lag bolts (0-2650 RPM, 0-3550 impacts/min). The speed setting switch is located on the top, and the currently selected mode lights up when the driver is in use.
- The further the trigger is depressed, the faster the driver operates. There's a lock, forward, and reverse setting switch just above the trigger.
- It's really easy to operate the hex drive chuck. Just pull the collar forward to release the detent. Keep in mind that you'll need impact-rated accessories with a detent groove on the shank. I picked up a Milwaukee 3/8" socket adapter to use with the driver right away.
-There's a forward facing LED that lights up the work area every time the trigger is pulled. It's so bright that I've already used it for a flashlight a few times while I was in the attic.
The first thing I did when I opened the box was plug in the charger and charge the batteries. After just an hour, both batteries were completely charged!
I decided to test the impact driver out by driving a 3" drywall screw into two 2x4's. I started with the slower speed setting, and switched halfway through to the second faster speed. The screw pretty much disappeared into the wood! Before I knew it, the head had sunk a good 1/4" below the surface. I switched the driver back to reverse and backed the screw all the way out in a split second.
I got a chance to use it for a project this weekend. I attached hardware for a kayak lift to my garage ceiling using 1/4"x3" lag bolts. After drilling the pilot into the joists with my cordless drill (I haven't gotten impact-rated drill bits for the driver yet), I used the driver in conjunction with a 3/8" square socket adapter to drive the bolts in. All the bolts sank into the ceiling in the blink of an eye. After driving four lag bolts and four more bolts with lock nuts, the driver was still indicating a full charge. While I was driving screws into the wall for the kayak hoist rope cleat, I found out that cheap screws (like those included with my kayak lift kit) are not to be used with this impact driver. The screw hit a knot or something and stopped turning with my drill. Instead of backing it out and trying a different location, I picked up the impact driver and tried to brute force it. The head of the screw snapped clean off. Whoops.
You really can't go wrong with this impact driver. I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of mine for many projects to come.
January 21, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Tom3 Impressive Power For It's Small Size
This is a great cordless impact driver. It feels really comfortable to hold and use, it has a lot of power and it's brushless motor and Red Lithium battery technology should make it last a long time.
There were two main things I wanted to test. How will the power of the M12 12v battery compare with my 18v drill/driver and are the claims regarding the improved battery technology more than just marketing.
First, the power. I posted a video which compares driving a 2-1/4" drywall screw into the side of a pine stud using my 18V lithium ion drill/driver and the Milwaukee M12 Fuel 1/4" Impact Driver. I had my drill set on it's high speed setting and the clutch to the maximum setting. For the Milwaukee Impact Driver I had the speed set to it's fastest setting.
The Milwaukee Impact Driver drove the screw in slightly faster and deeper than the 18v drill/driver. There are 2 speed settings on the impact driver, 1 and 2. 2 is the faster setting but it's also lower torque so I was impressed with how deep the screw went in.
On the lower speed setting the tool has even more torque which is great for driving things like big, long lag bolts if you're building something like a deck. I really wish I had this a couple of months ago when I was driving lag bolts into wall studs to mount a TV bracket. I tested out a few bolts into some scrap studs and they went in effortlessly.
The second issue I wanted to test was the claims about the battery life. Lithium-ion batteries have a lot of great features such as a consistent power curve throughout it's discharge cycle and low self-discharge. The problem is they can be a little finicky. Just ask Boeing about the issues they're having with their 787 Dreamliners. Lithium-ion batteries need more advanced electronics in both their chargers and tools to make sure they're not overloaded and they don't overheat.
I had killed a lithium-ion battery on my cordless drill one time when I used it for an extended period with a wire brush bit when a power outage meant I couldn't use my corded drill. The constant use appeared to have overheated the battery. This was a good name brand cordless tool with batteries that cost close to $100 each to replace.
To replicate that scenario, I set the Milwaukee Impact Driver on it's high speed setting and I used a rubber band to hold the trigger down. I also kept it a good distance away from me and other objects in case it decided to catch fire or explode. The battery was nearly fully charged minus what little I used for the video. I'm happy to report the battery ran for over 38 minutes without incident. The battery did not feel even slightly warm, neither did most of the tool. The back motor housing felt warm to the touch and the front metal body was a little too uncomfortable to hold.
When the first battery died I immediately popped in a fresh battery and the tool worked fine. I put the tortured battery in the charger and after it was fully charged (which didn't take long) that one worked fine as well.
The tool also works well in the cold. During the cold spell we had recently I was using it outside for about 15 minutes with no issue.
The size is great, it's like a cordless screwdriver on steroids. The compact size and the small 2.0 amp hour lithium battery practically disappears into the handle unlike other cordless tools that have that big rectangular pack sticking out the bottom. There is a 3 amp hour battery that has the bigger rectangular pack if you find you need more run time.
Milwaukee seems to be very committed to this new battery technology as they have developed dozens of tools that use it. Tools I didn't even know existed. This is important because you can save money on batteries by sticking with the same line of cordless tools. If you ever do need to replace a battery they are reasonably priced.
Some other nice features are:
- the bright work light on the front which will continue to stay on a few seconds after the trigger is released and can be turned on by slightly depressing the trigger without the bit spinning
- battery charge indicator on the side of the tool to let you know how much power is left
- metal belt clip on the motor housing which I find easier to use than the one mounted near the battery pack on my drill
- sturdy hard shell case that can hold the driver, charger and extra battery. The case can also accommodate the 3.0 ah batteries.
- tool less bit holder. The bit holder is nifty. To insert a bit, just push it in. This is unlike other tools I have where you need to pull up the bit holder first. To remove the bit you need to pull up on it.
It takes standard 1/4" hex bits which are easy to find. If you already own some sort of quick change bit set you should have bits that will work with this impact driver.
There are three things I wish would have been different. (I have a pre-production version and maybe some of these have changed in the production version.)
The speed change button is on the top of the tool. I would have liked it to be on the back of the motor housing so that you can change the speed with the thumb of the hand you're holding the tool with.
The hardshell case is nice and can accommodate the 3.0ah batteries as well as the 2 included 2.0ah but there doesn't seem to be a secure way to hold additional bits other than the one mounted on the bit holder. The kit doesn't come with any bits. It's a small inconvenience but it would have been very nice.
The variable speed trigger works well but I wish it was just a tad smoother.
Overall I'm extremely impressed with this impact driver and it's battery technology. Milwaukee is a well respected tool maker and I would highly recommend the M12 1/4" Impact Driver.
February 2, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Cutworm Unbelievable
So far I have driven 2 1/2" deck screws down to #6 x 3/4" screws and it's just amazing. First the driver doesn't slip and round off the screw heads like my drill driver and I'm using the same bit. With mode 2 selected it drove the deck screws into southern yellow pine like it was a stick of butter. I switched to mode 1 and it drives small screws very nicely without over torquing them. Very compact driver that gets in tight places that my drill driver just won't fit in. I attached a photo of it in my hand to demonstrate the size. It has a built in light for getting under cabinets etc and a gauge that shows battery charge - a very nice feature.
I have used it to drill 1/8" holes for wood screws and it does great there as well. Very versatile tool and it will not disappoint. Comes with a nice case that keeps the drill, charger and spare battery good and secure. Charges in about 30 minutes and hold a charge longer than my 18v nicad.
January 25, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by dcmikez love this driver
There's always been something great about Milwaukee Tools and this hex driver doesn't dissapoint. It's very small and lightweight, but strong. It comes with two batteries and a nice case but I wish it came with a couple of hex bits too. Other than that there's nothing but good things about this.
It has a trigger LED that illuminates and stays on for a few seconds after the trigger is released which is a nice touch if you need it to illuminate the area you're trying to get into.
Because it's so light you don't get fatigued easily using it and it's a bear for strength. Two lithium batteries are great.
January 22, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Texas Lots of power
Using this driver, I installed some heavy duty shelving that I suspended from a ceiling using 5/16 lag bolts. This driver drove them home effortlessly. I was amazed how much power such a compact driver had. The driver has a battery indicator light built in to the shaft of the driver that shows how much charge is left in the battery.
The impact driver is supplied with an extra battery, and a charger. Each of the two supplied batteries are 2 amp hours. You can swap out larger batteries from other tools in the M12 range, including using the larger 4 amp hour battery in the M12 drill. This provides a lot of versatility if you own more than one M12 tool.
The light weight, and plentiful torque, make this the first tool I grab for projects around the ranch.
January 23, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Jaye l've been converted
Basically I'm just your average DIY guy & have been using ryobi interchangeable tools for the last 5 years, don't really have any complaints about the tools as for the money they are fairly good. Just the other day I got given the new milwaukee m12 fuel torque wrench as a gift, man this thing is awesome ! I can't believe how much torque you can get out of something that's so small & the battery life is great to.tempted to go out & purchase some more m12 tools now. Well done Milwaukee.
May 7, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by mixmox Brilliant!
The M12 impact driver feels nicely engineered and solid in the hand. It is really nice and compact and light to hold too.
The electronic control and battery management system is a plus. - You can see when the battery is nearly used up and needs charging soon.
The brushless motor is very smooth and responsive.
No impact bits come with the unit at all and you need to get bits that are designed to withstand impact driver use. Since these bits are typically a bit more expensive than regular driver bits - it is actually a good thing that you buy the bits separately - since only the customer knows what type of bits we are going to need, though at least a single #2 bit would be useful.
Belt clip is strong and does not get in the way.
A push button switch on the top switches between the two power modes and a small light shows which mode you have selected. The lower power mode delivers 175-in-lbs up to 1200 RPM and the higher setting delivers 1200 in-lbs and 2650 RPM.
Attaching bits is very quick and easy.
Supplied charger is simple to use and charged up the battery pretty fast.
January 26, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by chesthing Monumental leap in drill design
I figured the new brushless models were more hype than reality, but I bought one of these anyway. Turns out they are the for real monumental step in drill design that people say they are. To test this, I drove and removed a 3" lag screws with 1/2" head into solid wood over and over until the battery pack failed. With the Fuel 2453 I was able to do this 38 times. With my old school Dewalt 18v hammer drill on the low speed setting with fully charged battery pack I was able to do it 36 times. Not only did this tool perform as well, it of course took much less effort and was much easier on my wrist. All I can say is wow, 18v brushed tool performance in a much smaller, lighter and easier to handle package.
September 13, 2014