How nice would it be to have lots of power and quality in the palm of your hands and a tool that is lightweight? Well that is exactly what Milwaukee is doing with their M12 Fuel line. Unless you have been hiding in a cave, you are probably familiar with the new M12 Fuel line, which incorporated brushless motors. While brushless technology isn't new, the application of a small tool with lots of power is new in the M12 line. As with the Milwaukee M12 Impact driver, this tool is a new addition to the ever growing M12 line and provides a big step forward for mobility and cordless tools.
The kit we are going to talk about is the 2454-22 which includes the tool, 2 – 2.0 A/h batteries, 30 minute charger and a case. If you already have lots of 2.o A/h batteries and don't need the case, you can save come cash by buying the bare tool which is 2454-20. Let's first talk about the batteries. If you have been using the older batteries, you know they are 1.5 A/h. The new batteries are now increased to 2.0 A/h. However with the new increased Amp hours, the size is still the same. What does that mean? Basically you get longer run time in the same size, that is a win for anyone. Now add the larger Amp Hour battery with a brushless motor and you have a true winner here. Speaking of brushless motors, let's jump into the tool.
The new Fuel Impact Wrench is their second generation of M12 impacts. While both the fist and second gens are the same length of 6.5″, that's pretty much the only thing they have in common. Well except they are both 3/8″ square drives. As you can see by the pictures, the grip is different. The older model has less rubber on the handle. The Fuel has more rubber that wraps all around the handle to give the user a better feel. Not only does the rubber grip give you a better feeling tool, the handle also helps. The new handle has a much larger indentation where your thumb and index finger wrap around. This little change provides a much better feeling and more comfortable experience for the user.
As noted the Fuel has a brushless motor which means more run time and more power. In fact this little wrench packs a powerful punch of creating 117 ft/lbs of torque or 1,404 in/lbs of torque, which is a 40% increase of power over the first generation wrench. Not only does the torque increase, but the rpms are 0-2,650 and the ipms are 0-3,500 which is an increase of 32% and 16%. This is a big increase in power and speed all while keeping the tool compact and lightweight.
The one thing we would really like to see on the M12 line is fuel gauges on the batteries. Currently all their fuel gauges are located on the tools, unlike the M18 where the fuel gauges are located on the battery. I am sure they do this to keep the batteries more compact, but it would be nice to pick up a battery and know the life, instead of inserting the battery into a tool in order to find out the status. The other item is the LED light. Milwaukee placed the LED in the same spot as the first generation. While it does a great job lighting up your work, it would be nice to see more LED placed on the collar of the tool to eliminate shadows.
I had the chance to use this to help a friend put together some kind of swing/playhouse set. Both him and myself were very surprised on how much power this little wrench has. Fastening the larger lag bolts and lag screws was a breeze, I could only image how much use a small engine tech would get out of this tool. Dan and I also used this to disassemble a power washer. The power washer failed, so we decided to take it apart. Besides having lots of power, it was nice to be able to get in some of the tight spots where the handle bar or something else was in the way.
Overall this is another nice addition to the M12 line. The ergonomic design is a huge improvement over the first generation M12 Impact Wrench. The handle and balance are great, but most important is the power of this tool. Don't be fooled by the size because looks are deceiving as it packs a powerful punch. The new M12 is a huge step over the first generation of the M12 Impact Wrench. If you need an impact wrench that has lots of power, great balance and all in a compact design, the Milwaukee M12 is a winner and is designed for you.