Leave it to Milwaukee to design a powerful and compact ratchet. The Fuel runs on their M12 battery line which is the largest out of any power tool manufacturer.
Mechanics are starting to be able to work and lose the air hose once and for all with cordless power tools. However there are still applications where the hose is needed, so we can't quite yet throw that pneumatic air hose out yet. But with the Milwaukee new 3/8″ ratchet (model 2557), we are one step closer. So let's jump into the Milwaukee M12 Ratchet Review.
Milwaukee M12 Ratchet Review Overview
As with most of the Milwaukee Tool line up, you can buy the 12V 3/8″ ratchet in three different kits.
- 2557-20 – 3/8″ Ratchet only
- 2557-21 – Ratchet, Charger, Case, 1 Battery
- 2557-22 – Ratchet, Charger, Case, 2 Batteries
One frustration we hear from mechanics is not having the right tool for tight areas. Either the air hose is getting in the way or their cordless tool doesn't have enough power to take off rusted on bolts.
Milwaukee being an innovative power tool company sees problems like this all the time and they find a way to fix these issues and give the tradesman a tough, powerful and useful tool for their arsenal.
Milwaukee M12 Ratchet Review Features
Milwaukee designed the impact with a brushless motor that puts out 55 ft-lbs of max torque. The tool only weighs 2.8 lbs and is extremely short compared to other pneumatic models. The ratchet is only 11.9″ long.
The ratchet is powered by a Milwaukee M12 battery. If you buy the kit it comes with a 2 Ah battery.
The ratchet features a 3/8″ square anvil.
This ratchet has an extremely low profile making this great for tight spots. The forward and reverse are located on top of the ratchet on the head of the tool. As you can see, the forward/reverse doesn't protrude from the head of the tool so it will not get in the way or accidentally switch to a different direction.
The all-metal variable speed trigger is easy to control and offers a range of 0-200 rpm's.
When not in use or during transport, you can lock out the trigger so you don't accidentally have the tool running.
Towards the front of the tool, on the base, is an LED light. The light does a decent job of shining up the area. The LED light comes on automatically when the trigger is pulled. there isn't an option to turn on or off the LED light manually.
The rubber grip is decent and offers enough grip even when you have a little oil on your hands. The red plastic gets a little slippery and would like to see the black overmold grip extend a little further forward. However, if you do that, chances are you will rip the grip considering what you will be doing with this tool.
As with other Milwaukee M12 tools, the battery fuel gauge is located on the tool and not on the battery.
One nice addition to the tool is the removable boot, which protects the work area and the tool.
Milwaukee M12 Ratchet Review Performance
The ratchet performs as advertised. It's powerful and easy to work with. I love the variable speed trigger as it's easy to work with in tight spots and also easy to control the speed.
Doesn't matter if you are working above or below in tight spots, this ratchet gets the job done. It is a little heavy for extended periods of working above your head.
Milwaukee M12 Ratchet Review Value
If you already own M12 batteries you can pick up the bare tool up for about $150 at The Home Depot. If you don't have batteries and want to get into this line, you will pay a little more for the tool, a charger and two batteries which will run you about $230.
Overall for what this tool offers in regards to ease of use, power and being able to get to hard to reach spots, plus getting rid of the air hose, I think this is a great value.
Milwaukee M12 Ratchet Review Final Thoughts
Milwaukee designed the perfect 3/8″ ratchet. The tool is extremely powerful but has a very low profile making this compact. Considering all the other tools in the Milwaukee M12 line up, the warranty they offer and the caliber of this tool, who wouldn't want one?