Well Milwaukee Tool is at it again with another tool in their M18 line. As you know, Milwaukee likes to think outside the box. They want to design tools for the tradesmen to solve their problems and make their life easier. When I say tradesmen, I am not talking about just electrical or plumbing, they are building tools for all the trades. Milwaukee doesn’t look at designing a product based on the traditional methods, such as they will build it only if there is a big enough audience. Instead Milwaukee looks at the problems tradesmen are facing and designs a product around them, even if it means the target audience is smaller. Just take a look at their M12 line and you can see exactly what I mean. So speaking of that, they designed a new impact driver, the Milwaukee Surge.
Doesn’t matter what brand, but everyone has used an impact driver. There isn’t a better tool available for all around fastening. Impact drivers are powerful, fast and a huge time saver. However there is a downside to impact drivers, the noise. Impact drivers are extremely loud by themselves, but get into a closed room such as a basement and it sounds like a war zone with all the noise. The reason impact drivers are so loud is because the internal mechanism is metal against metal. An impact driver rotates an internal hammer that compresses a spring. When that spring is released, the energy drives the hammer down while simultaneously twisting it. Here is where Milwaukee comes into play and the Milwaukee Surge impact driver. Instead of having metal on metal, Milwaukee uses a hydraulic system with an enclosed chamber where the fluid sits. So in essence, they are taking away the hard metal hitting metal with a fluid-drive hydraulic powertrain system. By taking this away, they reduced the noise level down by 50%. In fact, when you are using the Milwaukee Surge, it only produces 76 decibels. Another plus to this design is the vibrations. So not only do you get a much quieter impact driver, but you get about 3 times less vibrations because you don’t have the metal hitting metal.
Milwaukee designed the Surge around their brushless motor. On the bottom base of the driver, there are 4 modes, low, med, high and finishing. The Surge has a 1/4″hex which has a great design. Instead of having to pull the sleeve out and insert the bit, all you have to do is push the bit into the sleeve and it will automatically lock into place.
Okay, so let’s talk stats. The Surge is extremely light weighing only 2.1 lbs and is only 5″ long, making it great for tight spaces and all day use. The weight is right over your hand and isn’t front heavy. RPM’s come in at 0-3,000 and ipm’s are 0-4,000. All great and dandy, but what about torque? As you probably know the Milwaukee Fuel 1/4″ impact driver 2753 delivers 1,800 in-lbs of torque, which is awesome. The Milwaukee Surge delivers only 450 in-lbs of torque, well that is a huge difference. Now if we are just looking at numbers, I am sure this isn’t a tool to turn heads and it would be a no brainer to buy the 2753. However you have to look at the whole tool and not just the torque number. As I said earlier, Milwaukee is about solving problems and that’s what they did with the Milwaukee Surge. Milwaukee does a ton of research and during their research, they found that most tradesmen didn’t need all the torque. Most of the applications for impact drivers were decking, drywall and other applications that don’t need all the torque. So Milwaukee went to the drawing board and wanted to design a better tool for these types of applications. So here we are with the Milwaukee Surge. They were able to lower the noise level, reduce the weight by 1 lb, reduce the length by 1/4″, cut the vibrations down, increase ipm’s and make an everyday impact driver.
We have had a chance to play with this tool over the last couple of days and compare it side by side with the 2753 and other brands. Besides being extremely comfortable, quiet and less vibrations, the speed is awesome. We were able to drive 3″ screws and other lags with ease. One reason this tool is packed with speed is because of the longer sustained torque. While other impacts have a high peak, they tend to peak very quickly. The Milwaukee torque is lower, but its torque is longer per impact.
Now I know some people will balk at this tool since it’s torque is lower than what you are used to. This isn’t a tool that is designed to put an adapter on it and pull off lug nuts. This tool is designed for the tradesmen who want speed, low vibrations, something that doesn’t break your ear drums and an all around everyday impact driver. I know another issue some people will have is the longevity of the tool. I am sure some people will question on how the hydraulic powertrain will hold up over time since this is a newer technology to impact drivers. Milwaukee being Milwaukee, they do extensive testing, so while it’s a valid point, I am not too worried especially since the tool has a 5 year warranty.
Bottom line, I think this tool is a home run. Now if you’re looking for the biggest, baddest impact driver, then go with the Milwaukee 2753 or another brand. If you are looking for a solid, every day impact that will do a majority of different applications, then the Milwaukee Surge 2760 is the way to go. The tool is lightweight, has a great balance, low on vibrations, plenty of speed and best of all, it’s quiet.