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Milwaukee M12 FUEL 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver

Milwaukee M12 DriverMilwaukee M12 FUEL

Guest Post:  Jeff Kirk

The first tool from Milwaukee that I’ve gotten the chance to review is the Milwaukee M12 FUEL 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver, model number 2453-22. My first impression was this is driver is bigger than other 12 volt impact drivers on the market but it did not disappoint me in performance.

Whats Included


Feel of the tool:

Right off the bat I noticed how well balanced and light the Milwaukee M12 FUEL driver felt while using it.  It is perfect for light duty situations or for times when you’re in a odd spot such as up on staging and you want to be able to fit a cordless driver it in your tool belt.   The Milwaukee 2453-22 drill nests perfectly in the hand, the profile of the handle and the head follow the contour of the hand.


Right out of the package the batteries were charged about 3/4 full.  I’m not used to that an liked it.   I was able to pull the tool out of the box and go right to work.   I have to admit I used this 12 volt driver like it was an 18 or 20 volt tool.

On the job site we were installing building a large wood deck and had to install numerous 3- 1/2 inch long,  #10 deck screws with ease.   I was totally blown away by how easily it was was to use and how easily the Milwaukee 2453-22 drove the fasteners.

We drove somewhere in the range of one hundred of the 3 1/2″ screws with ease and on one battery charge. With the fuel gauge on the tool we were able to keep an eye on how much “juice” was left in the battery before having to switch to a fresh battery.

I own a 18v compact impact made by a competitor and it struggles to drive large screws.

Cool New Feature:

One very cool new feature I haven’t seen before on a impact driver is the dual settings.    There is a selector switch on the top of the tool that allows you to choose either the low torque setting called “Precision” which is designed for finesse work.

This setting is ideal and well suited for electricians, cabinet installers or HVAC intallers that are installing finished fixtures with screws that are made of softer metal that can strip easily.  I found myself usingthis driver in situations where I never would have dreamed of using an impact driver on.

The 2nd setting is the “performance ” mode.   This is the setting for driving large fasteners.  On the second day of the deck build I put the Milwaukee up against Makita’s 10.8 v impact which is basically in the same class though not brushless.   We both drove one of the 3 1/2″ screws into a pressure treated 4×4, from start to finish the Milwaukee did not struggle at all to sink the screw, it didn’t slow down at all and it finished three seconds faster than the Makita.   The Makita on the other hand was struggling to sink the screw as it got closer to sinking the screw, it was nearing its maximum torque load I almost thought it was going to stall.

The only drawback about the Milwaukee Impact driver is the belt clip, its too small to realistically use.   If you plan on hanging it off of your pants pocket or leather belt, I fiddled with it quite a few times trying to get it to clip on.   The only time it wasn’t hard to clip on was when hooking it on to the metal tape measure clip on my tool-belt.  The designers could switch to the same belt clip found on the 18 volt models – that clip is better suited to job-site work.

In close, if your in the market for a new compact impact driver you wont be disappointed with the Milwaukee M12 FUEL 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver.

Jeff kirk is a Journeyman Carpenter in Halifax, Canada.  He works for


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