I can’t say I use an Impact Wrench much, but when I do need one, I want one that will do the job (who doesn’t).  I want one that has lots of power, but one I can control for different applications.  Pneumatic air tools are great because of the power, but it sucks carrying a tank or waiting for a tank to refill.  That’s where a cordless impact wrench comes in handy. However, there are downsides to a cordless wrench such as power and run time.  What good is a tool if you can only drive a couple small bolts and then change batteries?  If you’re like me and feel that most impact wrenches have this downside, you have to check out the Milwaukee 1/2″ Impact Wrench.

Milwaukee introduced their new Fuel line not long ago and added the 1/2″ impact to this line.  The model we reviewed is the 2655B-22 which comes with the tool, 2 – 4.0 A/h batteries, 1 hour charger and a case.  If you only need the tool, you can go with the 2655B-20.  So where does this tool stand?  Milwaukee doesn’t call it a compact wrench, but this is a huge improvement over their older compact model which we will compare as we move forward.  However if you need torque, the Milwaukee 2663-22 is still the way to go as it has double the torque.  Obviously you will take on more weight and a bigger tool with the 2663-22.  Even though Milwaukee doesn’t call it a compact impact wrench, this new Fuel looks like it is replacing the older version of the compact.   So what’s different?  The new Fuel has a brushless motor and now has a 4.0 A/h battery which is a win win for the user.  While the balance of the tool is awesome, just like the older compact, the grip is much improved.  Now the grip wraps all around the handle and gives it a much better feel.  The one advantage the older model has is the overall length.  The older model is 5.75″ long while the new Fuel is 6″ long.  I will take the extra 1/4″ all day long to get all the extra benefits of the new Fuel.  More power, more run time and a better feel, plus the speed selector,  that’s a no brainer.

Milwaukee M18 Brushless Impact Wrench 18Milwaukee implemented a 3 speed selector push button switch on the base of the wrench.  This resembles the same speed selector that is on the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Impact Driver.  Now the user has great control over the tool with the variable speed trigger and the push button speed selector.  Here’s what amazes me.  This compact tool puts out 210 ft-lbs of torque with a no load speed of 0-2,400 rpm and 0-3,1000 imp.  Are you impressed?  How about if I tell you this tool only weighs 3.9 lbs.  That’s a lot of power in a lightweight tool.  Milwaukee offers this tool with a pin or ball pin option.  The one we tested has the ball pin.

We took this over to Tony at Reliable Services to let him take it for a run.  We first showed it to him and didn’t tell him about the tool.  The first thing he said is he would give it a try, but he assumed it wouldn’t work for his application.  As we were heading to the back deck, he made sure we brought the extra battery and the charger.  We gave the impact with a full battery so he could attach the back deck to the house.  He was using 5″ lag screws.  Tony sank the first three lags in and really didn’t say much.  After the third lag was installed he stopped and looked at the battery life.  Right away he said how impressed he was.  Before he would use his air impact wrench which meant he would have to run a hose and wait for the tank to fill between lags.  He indicated how impressed he was by such a small impact and said let’s try the rest to see how many batteries we run through.  Well by the time the last of 10 lags were set, he looked at the battery and we still had one bar left.  He stated how much this tool could help him by not having to rely on a compressor and not have to worry about dragging a hose around.  He also said this tool would be great for a lot of applications such as working up in higher places, plumbing and more.  Tony was sold with the performance of this tool.

Overall this is one powerful compact impact wrench.  While the balance is just as good as the older model, the feel is much better with the new grip.  This wrench has plenty of power to drive through most common applications and with a 4.0 A/h battery, you will get more run time.  One of the best features of this tool is the addition to select between three different fastening modes which allows the user to adjust the tool to the application.  With a 5 year tool warranty and three year battery warranty, it’s one of the best compact cordless wrenches on the market.  If you don’t need the 1/2″ wrench, Milwaukee also offers a 3/8″ cordless Fuel.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Voltage18V
BatteryM18 REDLITHIUM
ChargerM18 and M12 Multi-Voltage Charger
Length6″
Weight3.9 lbs
Peak Torque210 ft-lbs (2,520 in-lbs)
Tool Warranty5 Years
Battery Warranty3 Year
Charge Time1 hour
No Load Speed0-2,400 RPM
No Load IPM0-3,100 IPM