Are you an electrician, cabinet installer or another contractor who fastens a lot of screws, but hates the weight of the 18V tools? If so this redesign of the M12 screwdriver is right up your alley. This screwdriver is part of the new Milwaukee line of tools called Fuel. The Fuel utilizes a brushless motor which offers more power and better overall efficiency. As with the M12 Fuel Impact Driver and M12 Fuel Impact Wrench, the Screwdriver is a whole new redesign from the ground up.
One thing I have to say about the Milwaukee M12 Fuel line is that Milwaukee didn’t hold back. While some company’s might have opted to just put a brushless motor in an existing tool and call it new, Milwaukee decided to take it one step further. Not only did they create a more powerful screwdriver, they create a tool that feels better for the user.
With the older model, Milwaukee had some rubber grip wrapped around the handle. In this Fuel screwdriver, the rubber grip wraps around the whole handle for a much better grip with or without gloves. The biggest improvement is the design of the handle. As you can see by the pictures below there is much more of an indentation where your thumb and index finger sits, more like a nice feeling handle of an AR15.
The brushless motor and overall set up of this tool creates a much more powerful tool compared to the older M12 Screwdriver. The older version has 175 in/lbs of torque, while the Fuel has 325 in/lbs of torque. That is an 85% increase in torque and considering the tool still weights 2 lbs, that’s a hefty upgrade in power. While the older version is only a single speed, the Fuel now has two speeds which is 0-450/0-1,700 rpm. The compact design lets a user get into tight spots, while the new 2.0 Ah batteries help increase the tools run time. One nice feature of this tool is the 1/4″ hex quick change chuck. Making it easy to switch bits on the fly. Another feature Milwaukee kept was the trigger lock system.
Besides having two speeds the screwdriver also has two modes: Screw and Drill. I do like how Milwaukee put a separate rotating switch to switch from drill to screw mode. This way you can leave your torque setting the same. On the front of the tool a user can select up to 18 torque settings. This makes it perfect for a wide range of application. Compared to the older model, this newer model is a little wider and a tad taller, but feels much nicer in your hands. While the older version had a great balance, the new Fuel is much better and the weight is displaced over your hand nicely.
Milwaukee sells this tool as a kit (2402-22) which has the tool, 30 minute charger, 2 – 2A/h M12 batteries and a nice carrying case. If you don’t need the charger of the batteries, you can also buy this tool as a bare tool which is model 2402-20.
I ended helping a friend put together a play set for his son. This was my first time putting one of these together and probably my last time. The directions were pretty inconstant, we were missing a couple parts, there were about 10,000 different fasteners, well not really, but there were a lot. The directions even had us put a screw through the wood that actually didn’t even do anything. Guess they had a couple extra fasteners and weren’t sure what to do, so heck why not just put it into the wood for no reason. There were a couple things I noticed about this screwdriver. First this thing has a lot of power for such a small tool. Not that it would break your arm, but it definitely has a kick to it once the fastener bites. I also couldn’t believe how much work we did throughout the day with only a battery or battery and half. We drove some 3″ screws and lags, but mostly 2″ screws. The screwdriver was very easy to control and the torque settings were key since we were setting screws into cedar. We could set the torque and not have to worry about stripping. Overall I was very impressed how well this tool performed. I could only imagine how well it would perform for an electrician or other tradesman on the job.
I know we mentioned this in our other reviews of the M12 Fuel tools, but in case you missed the other reviews, we do have two things we would have liked to seen included on the redesign. First is the LED system. The LED is located on the front and provides a single point of light. The light does a great job showing up your working space. However a three LED light system on the front of the tool would be much nicer and eliminate any shadows. The light stays on a while after the trigger is released, where the older version the light went off when the trigger was released. The other item is the battery fuel gauge. The fuel gauge is located on the tool which is very handy, unless you have a box fuel of batteries. It would be nice to pick up a battery and look at the status instead of inserting it into the tool and pulling the trigger to see the status. I am sure the reason the gauge is on the tool instead of the battery is to keep the battery smaller, but that’s just a guess.
Once again we are very pleased Milwaukee did a complete redesign of this tool instead of just putting a new name on the tool like we have seen other manufactures do. The balance and power is incredible for the size and voltage of this tool. Milwaukee has another winner with the M12 Fuel 1/4″ Hex Screwdriver.
If you guys ever get the chance ask the R&D guys at Milwaukee why they don’t have the 3 led’s in the face of the tool. They had the chance to do with when they updated to the fuel product line. I know Milwaukee seems to keep to it’s self from the other TTI brands, but its just one of those things you kind of go what was their thinking on that.
Nice write eric and for a 12v that has some power, its a good looking tool.
They should do like dewalt and make a battery powered framing nailer if they start now they can probably beat dewalt as slow as they have been on getting it here
I always like how you guys have photos of the tools at different angles. It’s like tool porn.
Ha thanks Herald
Dan thats not how to spell the guys name he is not a news paper.
It’s Harold, not Herald gotta keep a close eye on you guys.
LOL good catch! I replied to that on my iPad lol @ a newspaper
I have the pre-Fuel version of this and it’s one of my 3 most used power tools. It’s ironic, but this was one tool I really wasn’t too excited about seeing a brushless version of. The brushed version had plenty of power, excellent runtime, and being a low speed tool there really wasn’t much of a heat reduction benefit to be had. I suppose innovation is innovation though, no harm in that.
Thank you very much Bill! I didn’t want to say anything to upset the tool gods. 🙂
When gripping this tool, do you think it is similar to the Ridgid 12v?
I just don’t get the price on this tool. The old m12 cordless screwdriver was a good bit cheaper than the full m12 drill and hammer drill. This on the other hand is only $10-15 cheaper but comes with just 2.0ah batteries as where the other tools come with a 4.0 and 2.0ah battery.
I just don’t know that I can justify almost twice the price of the older M12 screwdriver. I’m sure that this is much nicer but this really needs too come down in price.
had this tool in start of milwaukee collection .light,powerfull.
gave to my buddy known long time..wish i kept it..left on the porch
in toolbox and stolen.charger screwdriver 2 red battery torpedo ones.all hand tools he owned for with it…used like 15 times on some work
i did.like it..few years ago wife found some things online gave to me
for christmas..first thought were kind silly ..lol now i use them all
time .what it is round disc with 3 led called ufo led tool light.look
it up see how usefull it can be..spin it on everything.lol even dewalt 12 volt screwdriver..like it spinning..for tool without good light this
works pretty good..lucky still have two in rollaway.cheers
i love it and can i have it haha