Milwaukee M18 Fuel Mid-Torque Impact Wrench Review
Milwaukee M18 Medium Torque Fuel Impact Wrench shows versatile size and performance
As part of the new Pipeline line of products, we received our wheel nuts for the next generation Milwaukee M18 Fuel medium torque impact wrench. Not only is it much smaller than the previous model, but it’s also the most versatile cordless impact wrench in Milwaukee’s impressive arsenal.
- 550 ft-lbs attachment and 650 ft-lbs loosening torque
- Incredibly compact design for this level of performance
- Much more powerful than a compact impact wrench with little loss of size
- Enough power to eliminate the need for a high torque impact wrench for many professionals
- Only 6.0 inches long and 5.1 pounds with a 5.0 Ah battery
- New three-beam LEDs
- Increased lanyard hole size
- 3 drive types available
If you’re thinking of starting big with the high torque or starting small with the compact, the first thing to do is look closely at the Milwaukee’s medium torque impact wrench. It’s much smaller and lighter than the high torque torque, yet it has the ability to cover a surprising range of applications that you might not expect from a medium torque model. Even if the compact version is good in the tightest of spaces, the mean torque won’t leave you wanting to have more power, and it’s only about an inch longer.
Milwaukee M18 Medium Torque Fuel Impact Wrench
This second generation Milwaukee M18 Fuel mid-torque impact wrench has more power than its predecessor from the get-go. The torque of 650 ft-lbs is 50 ft-lbs more. When it comes to fastening, you have to work at 550 ft-lbs.
We like to test these crazy claims on our test bench. We have 7/8 in. Hardened steel grade 8 bolts and nuts and use a digital torque wrench with a 6x torque multiplier to set them to specific levels.
Up to 500 ft-lbs, this new mean torque zipped them off like it was nothing. It worked so fast that we couldn’t even get a good stopwatch time to measure how long it took to break.
Then we found the limits of our screws. Somewhere between 550 and 600 ft-lbs, the threads eventually failed. Since we couldn’t do any more testing with our current setup, we took a look and saw just how impressive this tool really is.
“Before reaching for that high torque, take a close look at the Milwaukee medium torque impact wrench. It’s smaller and lighter than high torque torque – but you won’t wish you had more power. “
– Kenny Koehler
Just consider for a moment how many times you legitimately need to break more torque than a 7/8 in. Class 8 screw can hold. It is certainly possible, but outside of heavy equipment and diesel mechanics or industrial applications, it’s quite rare.
Even with rusted lugs on many passenger cars, you are more likely to shear the bolt before you hit the Milwaukee mean torque limit.
height and weight
When compared to the first generation model in Milwaukee, the updated version is 0.8 inches shorter by our measurements and has a 6.0 inch head. This is Really Compact for an impact wrench with this power.
There is a little weight loss that comes with the smaller size too. With a 5.0 Ah battery it is now 3.5 pounds and 5.1 pounds.
For smaller jobs, we are happy to switch on a 3.0 Ah high-performance battery to save even more weight. With that, you’re looking for 4.8 pounds for weight.
A new auto mode is at the center of the updated range of functions. In addition to the standard three electronic speed settings, this mode works differently in the forward and reverse directions.
Forwards it prevents over-revving by automatically switching off after the first bumps. For torque specific bolts, use this mode to get your fastener in place, then switch to your torque wrench to finish it off.
When you’re working on a $ 100,000 car with this much available power, making sure you aren’t creating an expensive problem to fix is of great help.
There is an aid in removing the screws in the reverse direction. With this, the shocks start lightly and slowly and increase until the bolt is loose. It doesn’t stop there. Instead, it continues to dissolve at a slow rate.
Triple beam LEDs are awesome and we love that Milwaukee put them on their medium torque impact wrench!
3 LEDs surround the drive, illuminating your work area much better than any foot-mounted LED and eliminating virtually all shadows.
The lanyard hole size is slightly larger on this model. This may not be a big deal for on-site mechanics, but it makes tying up easier for tradespeople who work at height.
- Brushless motor
- Standard 3-speed electronic control (plus the automatic modes, 4 modes in total)
- Reversible belt hook
- Variable speed shutter release
- 3/8-inch friction ring (Milwaukee 2960)
- 1/2-inch friction ring (Milwaukee 2962)
- 1/2-inch pin lock (Milwaukee 2962P)
Milwaukee hasn’t released a one-key version of the Gen 1 medium torque impact wrench, and there hasn’t been a word on whether Gen 2 will get the nod. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if one comes as this should be the new model for most users.
Comparison Chart for Medium Torque Impact Wrenches and Milwaukee M18
|Previous gen.||Next Generation|
|Maximum torque||600 ft-lbs||650 ft-lbs|
|Speeds||0 – 510/2100/2400 rpm||0-1250/1950/2575 rpm|
|Impact rate||0-3000 IPM||0 – 3100 IPM|
|Automatic modes||None||Automatic shutdown / screw removal|
|One key option||No||Not yet|
|Head length||6.8 in||6.0 in|
|Weight||3.8 lbs||3.5 lbs|
Based on 1/2 “friction ring models
The current medium torque impact wrenches will sell for $ 199 as a tool only, and the updated models will be slightly higher at $ 219. The extra $ 20 is totally worth it for the added performance and smaller size, in our opinion.
Here is a breakdown of your kit options:
-22CT contains two 2.0 Ah batteries. -22 kits contain two 5.0 Ah batteries.
The bottom line
If you’re thinking of starting big with the high torque or starting small with the compact, the first thing to do is look closely at the Milwaukee’s medium torque impact wrench.
It’s much smaller and lighter than the high torque torque, yet it has the ability to cover a surprising range of applications that you might not expect from a medium torque model. Even if the compact version is good in the tightest of spaces, the mean torque won’t leave you wanting to have more power, and it’s only about an inch longer.
When you put it all together, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Medium Torque Impact Wrench is sure to be the most versatile in its lineup. All models are scheduled to hit the market in November 2020.