Milwaukee M12 FUEL ¼ Inch Impact Driver

By Robert Robillard on Tool Reviews

Milwaukee M12 FUEL ¼Inch Hex Impact Driver, Model 2453-22 Milwaukee M12 FUEL ¼ Inch Impact Driver

Recently, I was given the opportunity to test and review the M12 FUEL impact driver by Milwaukee.

I have been hesitant to jump into the subcompact market due to limitations in battery life and power. When tool manufacturers began introducing brush-less technology to this market, I was immediately intrigued by the increases in run-time and power.

The Milwaukee M12 line has a HUGE selection and the impact driver is probably the most often grabbed tool on the job site. After several weeks of strenuous testing and use, all I can say is, Wow!

What is the Milwaukee M12 FUEL ¼” Hex Impact Driver?

It is the newest installment of the ¼” impact driver in the Milwaukee M12 FUEL line. With adjustable toque settings, improved ergonomic grip, and increased battery life and torque, this tool is a real work horse in a very small package. Geared towards PRO’s and DIY’ers alike, this driver has the ability to handle everything you can throw its way.

What’s included?

  •  1 – M12 FUEL™ 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver (2453-20)
  •  2 – M12 REDLITHIUM™ 2.0 Compact Battery Pack (48-11-2420)
  •  1 – M12™ Lithium-ion Battery Charger (48-59-2401)
  •  1 – Belt Clip
  •  1 – Carrying Case


  •  Voltage – 12V
  •  Length – 6″
  •  Peak Torque – 1,200 in-lbs
  •  Tool Warranty – 5 Years
  •  Battery Warranty – 2 Year
  •  Charge Time – 30 Minutes
  •  No Load Speed – 0-2,650 RPM
  •  No Load IPM – 0-3,550

First Impression

As with the majority of Milwaukee tools, the M12 FUEL impact driver felt solid, well balanced and sturdy out of the box.

The ergonomic grip has been improved upon since my M18 impact driver came out. This grip feels like you could work comfortably with it for hours. I was impressed with the packaging as the kit box was sturdy and had the description of the tool on the outside of the box if you prefer to store your tools in boxes.  I like the ease of being able to stand the tool up and the increased run time.

The only thing I wished were included would be a 4.0 battery.

Using the Milwaukee M12 FUEL ¼” Hex Impact Driver

From the get-go, this tool performed flawlessly. The compact size made the tool light enough to use for extended periods of time, but the increased power the brush-less motors provide, give the tool ample power to handle the toughest tasks.

The driver was packed with wonderful features including a one-handed, quick-release chuck, an LED work light, LED battery indicator and a belt clip. Although these are becoming the status-quo for many manufacturers, they needn’t be overlooked as they are very useful.

I began by rebuilding a porch on a rental property we own. We drove 3/8” x 4-1/2” lag bolts to fasten our ledger board to the rim board. We attached all 2×8 joists and the 2×6 pressure treated deck boards using 3” screws. The porch was 7’x16’, and we accomplished all of this on ONE battery charge. I was blown away by how much the brush less technology improved run time.

This model includes an electronic adjustable torque/speed setting that is located on the top of the tool and is illuminated with an LED light. It can only be changed with the trigger partially pulled to prevent accidental changes.

  • Setting 1: 0-1200 RPM, 0-2700 IPM
  • Setting 2: 0-2650 RPM, 0-3550 IPM

I wanted to test how well this worked so I installed an entire set of kitchen cabinets using only this tool. I used 3” screws to fasten the cabinets to the wall and I also used a 1-1/4” spade bit to drill holes for the dishwasher and microwave. I hung the doors using euro-style hinges with the lower setting. This setting allowed very precise control over the speed and the lower torque prevented any screws from stripping which was unheard of with previous impact drivers.  The versatility of this driver is undeniable.

Overall Impression

I have been testing this tool for several weeks now. I have used it for every imaginable task. Its small size, ample power and durability (I dropped it off a two-story roof with no visible damage), make for one of the finest and most convenient tools I own. This tool has replaced another brand as my go-to impact driver. For any PRO or DIY’er, I whole-heatedly recommend this product and feel it has proven to be a game changer in the subcompact market.


Will Endicott is principal of B & J Construction LLC. in Joplin, Missouri. He oversees the daily operations of the business and its staff and sub-contractors. He enjoys all aspects of construction, but particularly enjoys using his knowledge and experiences to help and educate people on the correct practices of the construction trade. Will and his wife Ashley, have 2 children.



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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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