I know when I make this statement we’re going to receive a lot of emails from people who both agree and disagree with my statement, kind of like Ford and Chevy lovers.  Okay here it is, this is the best power tool of 2012.  No, brushless isn’t new and no, the impact isn’t new, but when Milwaukee merged the brushless with the impact, balance, feel and power, they created the perfect tool.  Okay, now that I made this statement, bring the emails on.  Wait, never mind, let me explain first and then if you still have a beef with me, then you can bring the emails on.

I have never been one to use an impact driver until recently when I started using my Milwaukee Brush Impact.  I am a little slow to make changes.  I figure if my drill/driver was doing the job, why would I need an impact?  Well after using the impact, I can now say I use this tool far more than my drill/driver.  Now that the Milwaukee Brushless is in my hands, I grab for this tool far more.  So what’s so special about this impact?

First and foremost is the feel and balance of the tools.  The kit I am using is the 2653-22CT which has the compact batteries.  The compact batteries are 1.5 Ah, thinner and lighter than the high capacity 3 Ah battery.  Don’t get me wrong, the high capacity batteries are nice, but for me, the compact feels so much nicer in your hand.  For the stuff I am doing, the compact batteries are more than enough.  I can use this tool all day without recharging it.  The days I am doing heavier stuff with this driver, then I just charge it at lunch or use the extra battery the kit came with.

Next, is the power of this tool.  As you can see by the pictures below, this tool has 3 drive controls.  A user can make the changes by pressing a button at the base of the tool.  One thing to note is if the tool is sitting around, you can’t just pick it up and change the speed.  You have to activate the tool by pressing the trigger and releasing the trigger, then you can change speeds.  Still not sure if I like that option or not.  It would be nice to be able to just press the speed control and make the necessary changes, but on the other hand, maybe I would be bumping the button and changing the speed when I didn’t want to.  Either way, no big deal.  Mode #1 is for precision work (0-850 RPM, 200 in-lbs of torque,) Mode # 2 helps prevent damage to fasteners and materials (0-2,100 RPM, 700 in-lbs of torque) and Mode #3 delivers maximum performance for the toughest applications (0-2,900 RPM, 1600 in-lbs of torque.)   I really only use this impact in speed 3.  While it is nice to have the option to make the changes, for my applications, 3 speed is just the best.
Finally, the Milwaukee Fuel system.  This is something I don’t see or even think about unless I am writing an article.  However it’s nice to know Milwaukee is making the tool, charger and battery all talk to each other to give me optimal performance, while protecting my investment.

Brushless vs Brush Impact

Milwaukee made some changes with the new impact.  Besides the tool being brushless, the biggest thing I am happy Milwaukee implemented was the one handed bit change system.

So far I have used this on a basement framing project, a couple exterior projects and more.  Each and every time this tool has done what it’s supposed to do, make my life easier.   There are a lot of tools on the market, but this is one that just fits in your hand like a nice glove or a great hammer.  It just feels good, it is easy to control, has lots of power and great balance.  Really what else could I ask for in a tool?  Okay, maybe a bottle opener so at the end of the day I can have a nice refreshment.  Well come to think of it, the metal belt clip hook might just do the trick.



Peak Torque1600 in-lbs
Max RPM0-2,900
Max IPM0-3,600
ChargerNEW M18™ and M12™ Multi-Voltage Charger
On Board Fuel GaugeFuel Gauge on Battery
LED LightYes
Tool Weight (w/battery)3.0 lbs
Tool Length5-1/2″



  • 2653-20 M18 FUEL™ 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver
  • (2) M18™ REDLITHIUM™ Compact Battery Packs
  • 30-Minute Multi-Voltage Charger
  • Belt Clip
  • Carrying Case