10 Best Milwaukee Impact Drivers of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks
Impact tools drivers have many uses around the home. The advancement of battery power has made it possible to use a tool like an impact driver without an expensive air compressor or another fuel type. Milwaukee has been at the forefront of pioneering these new tools, and they have several models for sale.
We’ve chosen 10 different Milwaukie impact drivers to review for you so you can see what some of the differences are between them and decide what features you would like to have in the model you choose for your home.
Join us while we discuss weight, Torque, RPM, battery power, and more to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Milwaukee 2853-20 M18 FUEL Hex Impact Driver||
|Best Value||Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Hex Shank Impact Driver||
|Premium Choice||Milwaukee 2753-22CT M18 Fuel Hex Imp Driver Kit||
|Milwaukee Electric Tools MLW2553-20 M12 Fuel Hex Impact Driver||
|Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Hex Impact Driver||
The 10 Best Milwaukee Impact Drivers – Reviews 2021
1. Milwaukee 2853-20 M18 FUEL Hex Impact Driver – Best Overall
The Milwaukee 2853-20 M18 FUEL Hex Impact Driver is our pick for the best overall Milwaukee impact driver. It’s a battery-powered tool that uses an 18-volt battery to deliver up to 2,000 inch-pounds (in-lbs) of torque, which should cover most jobs in the workshop. The brushless molder reduces friction and heat and allows you to work up to 30% longer on a single charge. The 4-mode drive control allows more control over the tool’s speed and torque, and its compact design allows you to get into tight-fitting spaces.
The Milwaukee 2853-20 M18 is the most pleasurable impact driver to use on this list, but it’s not without some flaws. Like most battery-operated tools, it does not come with a battery or charger. It also doesn’t come with a carrying bag, so you’ll need to find somewhere safe to store it, and there is no manual, so if you’re not familiar with how this tool works, you’ll need to look up some instructional videos online.
2. Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Hex Shank Impact Driver – Best Value
The Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Hex Shank Impact Driver is our pick for the best Milwaukee impact driver for the money. This battered powered unit features a brushless motor for increased battery life, and it works with any of the Milwaukee batteries. It’s lightweight and only 1.37 pounds and delivers 1,000 in-lbs torque at 2,500 revolutions per minute (RPM). An LED battery indicator tells you how much charge you have left, and an LED headlight illuminates the project area so you can see better while you work. Milwaukee’s unique Red Lithium technology prevents the battery from overheating or drawing too much current.
The Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 is a fantastic model that’s not quite as powerful as our top choice, but it gets the job done. The only problem we had is that it’s a little hard to change the bit and requires two hands.
3. Milwaukee 2753-22CT M18 Hex Imp Driver Kit – Premium Choice
The Milwaukee 2753-22CT M18 Fuel Hex Imp Driver Kit is our premium choice Milwaukee impact driver. This model uses two batteries to deliver up to 1,800 in-lbs of torque at a speed of up to 3,000 RPM. Four-mode drive control allows you to adjust the RPM and torque strength based on the project at hand, and Redlink Plus helps protect your battery from damage due to overheating. The brushless motor allows you to get more work accomplished per charge and the batteries and charger come with the tool as well as a handy storage case.
The biggest downside to the Milwaukee 2753-22CT M18 is that it requires 2 batteries, which adds quite a bit of weight to the tool (9.23 pounds), so it’s not comfortable to use for a work session. It also means the tool will require plenty of charging to keep it prepared for the next job.
4. Milwaukee Electric Tools MLW2553-20 Hex Impact Driver
The Milwaukee Electric Tools MLW2553-20 M12 Fuel Hex Impact Driver is a battery-powered unit that can use any Milwaukee 12-volt battery to deliver up to 1,300 in-lbs of torque at a speed of 3,300 RPM. Its compact design is only a little over 5-inches long and is easy to get into tight spaces. It’s also a lightweight adjust 2 pounds and is perfect for the long workday. An adjustment dial allows you to alter the power to conserve battery power.
The Milwaukee Electric Tools MLW2553-20 M12 doesn’t come with any batteries, but it works well otherwise. The forward and reverse switch feels a little flimsy compared to some of the other models.
5. Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Hex Impact Driver
The Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Hex Impact Driver is another model that features a convenient LED headlight to help illuminate your work area. Its textured handle enables you to maintain a firm grip and a variable speed trigger allows you to get the correct RPM for your project. The powerful 18-volt battery allows the motor to run at a speed of 3,450 RPM, and RedLink technology helps prevent the unit from overheating by drawing too much current.
The Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Hex Impact Driver is a very capable impact driver. Our only problem with it was that it didn’t have as much torque as many other models (1,500 in-lbs), particularly in the 18-volt category.
6. Milwaukee M18 2850-20 Brushless Impact Driver
The Milwaukee M18 2850-20 Brushless Impact Driver is an 18-volt impact driver and features a brushless motor and a compact design. At just a little over 5 inches long, it can fit into many places other tools cannot. The battery-power can deliver 1,600 in-lbs of torque at 3,200 RPM. A variable speed trigger helps you get the speed you need.
The only real problem we had with the Milwaukee M18 2850-20 was the variable speed trigger did not work well, and it pretty much only allowed full speed. It also doesn’t come with a battery or a charger.
7. Milwaukee 2753-20 M18 Fuel Hex Imp Driver
The Milwaukee 2753-20 M18 Fuel Hex Imp Driver is an easy to use impact driver that features a compact and durable design. It uses an 18-volt battery to create up to 950 in-lbs of torque at a speed of up to 3,000 RPM, which should be more than suitable for most jobs around the home. Multiple drive modes allow you to dial in the correct speed for your project.
Unfortunately, we had several problems with the Milwaukee 2753-20 M18 while we were using it. The high-speed gear didn’t work on the model we reviewed, so we were forced to use a lower setting. When you try to turn the unit off, it tends to get stuck in the lowest setting, which you might not notice at first, but it will quickly drain the battery. It also does not include a carrying case, so you will need to purchase one from a third party.
8. Milwaukee 2553-22M12 Fuel Hex Impact Driver
The Milwaukee 2553-22M12 Fuel Hex Impact Driver features a brushless motor and includes two 2-amp Red Lithium batteries, which hold a charge longer and provide more power. The tiny battery can deliver up to 1,300 in-lbs of torque at 3,000 RPM and the 4-mode drive control makes it easy to dial in the correct power for your project. Besides the batteries, it also includes a durable and attractive storage case.
Unfortunately, the Milwaukee 2553-22M12 didn’t seem to provide much torque despite its rating on the package. Although we were extremely happy the batteries came with the device. They take forever to charge, so you can only do a small amount of work at a time.
9. Milwaukee 2850-21P SB M18 Impact Driver
The Milwaukee 2850-21P SB M18 Impact Driver uses an 18-volt battery to deliver up to 1,600 in-lbs of torque at a 3,200 RPM speed, and the brushless motor reduces friction for a longer run time between charges. It includes the battery, charger, and a convenient nylon storage bag to help protect your tool when you are not using it.
The problem we experienced with the Milwaukee 2850-21P is that it starts out spinning very quickly and is hard to control, especially if you are using it to turn screws. Since it starts so rapidly and maintains such a high RPM, it also loses charge fast.
10. Milwaukee 2657-22CT M18 Hex Impact Driver
The Milwaukee 2657-22CT M18 Hex Impact Driver features a double battery design that provides you with plenty of torque to get the job done. It includes 2 batteries and a charger so you can get to work immediately. A selector switch allows you to choose between 2 speeds to match the job you are trying to accomplish. The hard shell will do a great job of protecting your tool for many years.
The main problem we had with the Milwaukee 2657-22CT was that it just wasn’t adjustable enough. Like the last model, it starts too quickly, so it’s hard to use in certain situations. It’s also quite heavy and weighs almost 11 pounds, so it can become tiresome to use. The batteries wear out quickly and require a long time to charge.
Less discuss a few things you should look for when choosing a Milwaukee impact driver.
The first thing you should look at is the battery size. A larger battery can deliver more power, and more powerful units are typical of higher quality. A 20-volt impact driver will be more feature-rich than a 12-volt model, and they are usually more durable. For anything more than casual work, we recommend an 18 or 20-volt Milwaukee impact driver.
Torque is often closely linked to battery volts, and we recommend being skeptical of models that claim high torque with low voltage. More torque will give you the power to turn tougher bolts, so you choose the model with a higher torque value in most cases. We recommend looking for an impact driver that delivers at least 1000 in-lbs to have enough power for most at-home work.
RPM is a little trickier than torque because you want enough speed for the project you are doing, but not too much that it’s hard to control. Many people use these tools for driving in screws, and a model with too high of an RPM can be difficult to keep in the groove of the screw. The best way to have the correct speed is to use a model with variable speed control, or at least a switch that allows for multiple speed settings. We tried to point out which models on our list allow for variable speed or multiple speed settings.
The machine’s weight is likely to be your next biggest concern. Since these machines are handheld, holding them for a standard work system can become tiresome if they’re more than a few pounds. Your tool’s ideal weight will vary depending on your physical strength, but we recommend keeping it under 5 pounds for maximum usability. We tried to list any tools that exceeded this limit or felt heavy in our reviews.
If you must work in an enclosed area, you might want to choose one of the compact models from our list as some of the larger models can get quite bulky.
When it comes to accessories, the main thing you are looking for is a storage case, and whether or not it includes batteries and the charger. Battery-powered impact drivers are sensitive to moisture, and you should place them in a protective case when not in use. Batteries and the charger can often cost as much as the tool itself, so you want to check on this added expense beforehand.
When choosing your next to Milwaukee impact driver, we highly recommend our choice for the best overall, the Milwaukee 2853-20 M18 FUEL Hex Impact Driver. It has a brushless molder to reduce friction and increased torque. A 4-mode drive control allows you to obtain the ideal strength and speed for your project without a lot of complex adjustments.
Another great choice is the Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Hex Shank Impact Driver, our pick for the best value. This model has a little less power than our top choice, but it provides the user with an LED headlight that illuminates the work surface and is perfect for working in dimly-lit conditions often found in the home. It’s also extremely lightweight and weighs well under 2 pounds. It also features an ambidextrous belt clip, so you can use it if you are right or left-handed.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews, and they have helped you learn more about the different models of Milwaukee impact drivers. If our buyer’s guide has helped answer your questions, please share these 10 best Milwaukee impact drivers on Facebook and Twitter.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Milwaukee Impact Drivers – Reviews 2021
- 1. Milwaukee 2853-20 M18 FUEL Hex Impact Driver – Best Overall
- 2. Milwaukee 2462-20 M12 Hex Shank Impact Driver – Best Value
- 3. Milwaukee 2753-22CT M18 Hex Imp Driver Kit – Premium Choice
- 4. Milwaukee Electric Tools MLW2553-20 Hex Impact Driver
- 5. Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Hex Impact Driver
- 6. Milwaukee M18 2850-20 Brushless Impact Driver
- 7. Milwaukee 2753-20 M18 Fuel Hex Imp Driver
- 8. Milwaukee 2553-22M12 Fuel Hex Impact Driver
- 9. Milwaukee 2850-21P SB M18 Impact Driver
- 10. Milwaukee 2657-22CT M18 Hex Impact Driver
- Buyer’s Guide