Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

Milwaukee seems to be a brand you will spot on virtually every job site. Much like a favorite sports team, Milwaukee is a brand that seems to inspire such dedicated loyalty, you have to wonder why. I have used several Milwaukee tools over the years and I am a huge fan of the blades they launched earlier this year. Until this point though, I hadn’t taken the plunge to own a few of their highly coveted 12V tools. The question is, are these 12V tools really all they are cracked up to be? Let’s dig a bit deeper in the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review Overview

1924 Milwaukee Tools introduced their first portable drill. This invention began a long history that includes at one point being owned by corporate giants Merrill Lynch. One thing is indisputable though, Milwaukee has built a solid reputation as being one of the largest professional power tool manufacturers. Today, Milwaukee Tools is owned by Techtronic, the power tool giant responsible for Ryobi, Ridgid and specialty tool companies like Empire and Stiletto.

One thing I think of when I consider Milwaukee is their Sawzall Reciprocating Saws. I remember seeing corded models everywhere as a child. They had been out for some time by the early ’90s, but they were regarded as the best, and still are. While I may have been a bit intimidated by them as a child, today I can wield a reciprocating saw with the best of them. In recent years Milwaukee has brought a lot of great innovations too, from advances in cordless technology in their table saws to some powerful impact wrenches.

One lineup that receives a lot of love though, is their 12V collection. Don’t let the smaller battery fool you, these pack one powerful punch. A favorite of professionals and DIYers for their robust build and expansive collection they are without a doubt a well known and loved lineup.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review Features

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

The 2596-22 combo set from Milwaukee includes the Drill Driver (2503-20), Impact Driver (2553-20), two 12V batteries (2.0 Ah and 4.0Ah) as well as a bag.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

Both the Drill Driver and Impact Driver feature variable speed triggers providing the user ideal control over driving. Both tools have a standard mode control switch behind the trigger for forward, lock and reverse modes.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

The included FUEL gauge on the tool itself allows the user to automatically see the remaining battery life instead of on the battery.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

Included belt clip provides easy attachment to the user’s belt.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

Front LED lights illuminate the work area and provide better visibility during use.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

The Drill Driver weighs in at 2.3 pounds bare tool and is the lightest drill in its class. It measures in at 6.6 inches long, making it compact for tight spaces.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

Featuring a 1/2 inch keyless chuck that surprisingly is all metal. This feature is something you don’t see often today. Most professional power tool companies have made the switch to ABS plastic chucks, which while they do a fine job, the metal would still be my personal preference.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

The speed selector allows you to switch between Low and High speed. Low features a no-load RPM of up to 450 and high features a no-load speed of up to 1700 RPMs.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

Torque selector collar with 16 options as well as a drill only mode. This gives the user an array of settings to use based on material and bit type. Additional, these settings control a range of torque from 18 all the way to 47 in.lbs of torque.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

The Impact Driver, Model 2553-20 clocks in at 1.76 pounds bare tool, with a length of only 5.5 inches.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

This Impact Driver features a 1/4 inch hex quick-change chuck.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

There are four modes-

Mode one features up to 1300 RPM’s

Mode two features up to 2400 RPM’s

Mode Three features up to 3300 RPM’s

The fourth mode is a dedicated self-tapping screw mode and is designed for use with common self-tapping screws. This mode reduces “walking” as well as overdriving and stripping of the screws.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review Performance

When I think of 12V tools, I don’t necessarily equate power to them. Their biggest benefits seem to lie in their lighter weight and smaller footprint. This year has been a bit eye-opening to me though, specifically with Bosch introducing their 12V Router and 12V Planer. Much like my surprise with those, these tools from Milwaukee provide a serious amount of power in a small footprint.

The mode select on both tools is well designed and easy to operate. Without a doubt that side of these tools serves an important function for a professional needing control in their applications. I did notice on the Drill Driver that the mode control switch did seem to stick just a but in the beginning, but after use, this seems to be a non-issue. I liked the fuel gauge on the tool instead of the battery as it located well and with it coming on automatically during use, you will have plenty of advanced notice before the battery runs out.

Both the drill and the driver had impeccable construction. The all-metal chuck on the drill driver was shocking as today, very rarely do you see all metal chucks. It certainly adds to the rugged and well-built design. I felt both tools were comfortable to use and the lighter footprint certainly gives these tools an advantage over larger 18 or 20V battery platforms.

I use both Drills and Impact Drivers daily, and this set from Milwaukee has become my go-to in a very short time.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review Value

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review

This set from Milwaukee is priced at 229.00 and is available at the Home Depot. There are numerous sets available from Milwaukee to suit your needs. These tools both ring up to be about 120 dollars each individually, so the packaged deal is a great value with it including a bag and batteries. Some people may feel this is expensive for a drill and impact set. That is a matter of use and preference, but to me, their overall quality and performance warrant the price tag.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill and Impact Driver Review Final Thoughts

The biggest question I had when looking at 12V tools is can you really get the power and performance you need in a battery that small? Well, Milwaukee certainly makes that possible. What’s not to love about the Milwaukee 12V Drill and Driver Set? I am hard pressed to really come up with anything negative to say. They are a hair pricey but they are professional tools and are designed as such. When you feel the build quality and test their performance, it is fairly impossible to be anything but impressed. Milwaukee devouts will love this set to add to their lineup, where the compact design and power shine.

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milwaukee-m12-fuel-drill-and-impact-driver-reviewMilwaukee is known for their stellar lineup of professional tools. Their well-loved lineup of M12 tools is regarded as the pinnacle of 12V tools, and with good reason. Combining two toolbox staples with batteries and a bag and you've also managed to get a lot of bang for your buck. This Drill Driver and Impact Driver is the perfect combination of compact design and steller ergonomics with power and performance that doesn't disappoint.


  1. I’m not a construction professional – just a DIYer. I purchased these last Fall at Home Depot during the holiday season. The new Milwaukee tools replaced 10 year old Ryobi and Makita tools.

    These are awesome tools and I would recommend them to anyone without hesitation.

  2. In my teaching job, I watch contractors bring tools in and question them about why they use the brand they do. Most use Milwaukee. When I went to buy a cordless drill today, Home Depot had few brands in stock but in the corner was the little M12 Fuel Drill/driver. So I bought it. As someone with arthritis in my ha do and wrists, this light tool is a godsend, and I will keep an eye out for more!

  3. Love these tools,fair price strong enough to get the job done.I’m will be buying more of there stuff.I have used rigid, craftsman,dewallt,ryobi they lasted a very short get what you pay.Ive tried the rest but now I’m staying with the best AWESOME TOOLS.


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