99 Power Tools

Milwaukee M12 vs. M18 Impact Driver: Neck-to-Neck Comparison!

These days, impact drivers are one of the most famous cordless power tools on the earth for both professional and hobbyist craftsmen. And when it comes to brand, the chapter can’t close without mentioning the giant brand named “Milwaukee!”

That might be the reason why people often get confused about Milwaukee’s M12 vs M18 impact driver. They can’t find out which is the most suitable for them. Now, we are here to assist you. So, just wave off your worries!

Here, we will compare the tools in almost every aspect, including motor, speed, battery power, maximum torque, usability, etc. So, stay tuned till the end.

Milwaukee M12 vs M18 Impact Driver

Here, we will compare Milwaukee impact driver M12 vs M18 head to head. From the type of motor to torque, every single detail we will compare here, what exactly you do need. So, without further ado, let’s jump into the details.


Impact drivers generally feature 2 types of motors to choose from. We prefer brushless motors over brushed motors. Because the brushless one produces relatively less heat during operation. And also saves battery energy and gives you a better battery backup. Furthermore, brushless motors also last longer compared to brushed motors.

Milwaukee impact driver M12 comes with a brushless motor. That is a plus. On the other hand, M18 features a brushed motor. This is a four-pole motor and gives you more power.

Alongside that, the motor of M12 is 12V while the motor of M18 is 18V.

With M12’s brushless motor, you can expect longevity of the power tool and better battery life.


In a word, the speed is in the RPM metric. When comparing Milwaukee m18 vs. m12 impact driver in speed, we can see that the m18 comes with a speed of 2750 rpm. On the flip side, m12 features 2650 rpm.

Both drivers have only two-speed options, low and high. There is the only difference of 100 rpm, which is a pretty small distinction. But when you think professionally, you can get many advantages of just 100 rpm.

If you’re trying to sink screws on any hard materials, you can feel the difference of just a 100 rpm, yep!

That said, most people don’t need the extra speed until they do some project that includes hard materials.

If you want to buy an impact driver for just home projects, you don’t need to hurt your wallet for the M18.


Torque is the heart of any impact driver. This is one of the main factors you should focus on. All you need is the torque from pushing a stubborn screw to come out of a hard surface.

M12 delivers 1200 inch-pounds of torque. This is the highest torque among all 12V impact drivers. On the flip side, M18 has 1500 inch-pounds of torque. The extra 300 torque is possible for the 18V battery.

As you can see, M18 is more powerful than the small M12. But there is a question, who needs the extra torque? Well, for household projects, 1200 inch-pound of torque is enough. But if you are a professional and you need a heavy-duty impact driver, then M18 is the go for you.


Another essential thing is IPM. It is measured by how many hammer-like blows the impact driver delivers to help the tool for driving and pulling out the screw. Comparing the Milwaukee m12 fuel vs. the m18 impact driver, we found that the m12 comes with 3550 IPM, while the m18 features 3450. As a result, if you want to work for a long, you should choose m18.

Product Weight

When it comes to portable tools like an impact driver, weight is a compulsory factor to consider. With battery, the M12 is around 2.6 pounds. That is much good if we compare it to its competitors. People can use impact drivers on the one hand and often in an awkward position, so lightweight is obviously a plus.

On the other hand, M18 is around 3.1 pounds, which is a bit heavier. So, if you don’t need the extra power and torque of M18, then you should go for M12.


M12 supports 12V batteries with a capacity of 1.5, 2, and 3 amp-hours. Further, you can get a heavy-duty battery of 3, 4, and 6 amp-hours. The M12 batteries are very versatile and come with overload protection.

The batteries also come in a rubber base, which helps the stability of the battery when they are not in use.

When we talk about M18, it supports an 18V battery of three types: Red lithium CP, Red lithium XC, and Red lithium Demand. The Redlink batteries are known for their high performance. They are suitable for heavy-duty purposes.

Best Milwaukee M12 Impact Driver: My Recommendations

1. Milwaukee MLW2553-20 M12

Milwaukee MLW2553-20 M12 Fuel Hex Impact Driver is a top-rated impact driver in budget. It is about 2 pounds in weight and 3 x 7 x 8 inches in size. Isn’t it too handy? Yep, your hands can grip it strongly and easily. It comes with a maximum of 800 watts of power.

Another interesting feature is that it comes with four-mode speed control! So, you have more control over its speed and power. The MLW2553-20 M12 can deliver up to 1300 inch-pounds of torque. Further, it supports only 12V batteries.

Note: To get familiar with the best impact driver under 100, you can check the link.

2. Milwaukee 2598-22

What if you get a complete package that features everything you need, from a superior impact driver to lithium-ion batteries? Yes, this is what you can get from this wonderful model of Milwaukee.

Weighing only around 9.0lbs in total, you’ll find each of these hammer drills so easy to hold in order to perform household projects. Besides that, you’re getting a portable bag to transfer them with ease from place to place. Inside the box, a combo pack of power tools, 2 pieces of batteries, and pneumatics will be available.

Best Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver: My Recommendations

1. Milwaukee 2656-20

This top-rated M18 impact driver comes with a beautiful LED lighting array and 1500 inch-pounds of torque. The top speed it offers is 2750 rpm. Isn’t it impressive?

Moreover, The Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 offers 3450 IPM with 800 watts of power. And what about the weight? It’s only around 2.65 pounds, which is relatively lightweight in the M18 series. Lastly, it supports only 18V batteries.

2. Milwaukee 2760-20 M18

The Fuel Hex Hydraulic Driver from Milwaukee equips a handy size. Just about 9 x 6 x 5 inches. It features four-mode speed control to choose from, so you have better control of speed. The maximum output it can provide is 800 watts. Milwaukee 2760-20 M18 supports only 18V batteries.

It weighs about 2.81 pounds, making it incredibly lightweight. I think it is more than enough for the day-to-day task of home and small projects.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

Which is better, Milwaukee m12 or m18?

In terms of performance, M18 is the winner. But it’s equally true that M12 is versatile. So if you want to get an impact driver for household works or small projects, then M12 is your good to go. On the flip side, if you need a heavy-duty tool, then you should go for the M18.

What’s the difference between m12 and m18?

In a nutshell, M12 has a Brushless, and M18 has a Brushed motor. Speaking of the overall functionality, M18 can provide higher performance and higher torque compared to M12, while M12 is lightweight and has better longevity.

What if the drill bit gets stuck in my impact driver?

From using pliers to wires, there are two effective ways available in terms of getting a stuck bit out of your impact driver.

Wrap Up!

In this writing, I’ve compared the m12 vs. m18 impact driver in every aspect. Motor, Speed, Torque, Power, and Battery are all the necessary topics I’ve included in the article. So I believe that now you have a clear idea about both power tools, and you can choose what exactly you do require.

Good luck!

About the Author


Leave a Reply