You ask a professional drill user to think of a cordless impact drill and the name Milwaukee will definitely cross their mind. It is therefore by no doubt that that Milwaukee’s cordless system are among the best if not the best in the market.

Having settled for a Milwaukee product, the next question is usually which one. This is because the company has come up with two types of great cordless impact drills known as the Milwaukee 2453-20 M12 and the Milwaukee 2656-20 M18. These two have been designed to produce more power with the technology of their batteries.

The excellence in these tools now leaves customers in a limbo when choosing which tool to go by in regards to the nature of work they have. In this editorial, we are going to break down the two impact drills and help you come up with a clear-headed choice.

In breaking down the two, we will look at various properties which make up the impact drills.

milwaukee M12 milwaukee M18


Milwaukee M12 is assembled with a brushless motor which improves their efficiency. This is because it produces lesser heat and hence requires lower maintenance. This impact drill is produced with double batteries each taking about half an hour to be charged fully. The batteries are 12-volts lithium-ion batteries.

Milwaukee M18 on the other side comes in two categories, Milwaukee 2801-20 which has brushless motor and Milwaukee 2656-20 which comes with 4-pole brushed motor. The brushless motor usually has a longer service life because of their application of magnets to produce power in place of carbon. Like the M12, M18 set comes with 2 batteries each taking approximately thirty minutes to be fully charged. These batteries are usually 18-volts batteries. It is so clear that M18 with its 18V batteries, produced higher power and is my recommended drill where higher power is the playing field.


The fact that these tools are lightweight does not interfere with their powerful output in handling work. A crucial part to look when settling for a drill is its speed ratings which are calibrated in revolutions per minute (RPM). Milwaukee M12 has its speed rating calibrated in two scopes. The first scope is applied when working on light and soft materials and surfaces and it ranges from 0 RPM to 450 RPM.The second scope is efficient when dealing with hard materials and it ranges from 0RPM to 1700 RPM.

Milwaukee M18 on the other category has the first scope ratings running from 0 RPM to 500 RPM and the second scope running from 0RPM to 1800 RPM.Both impact drills show that they are capable of completing a task on any material and surface without raising concerns.M12 will work best when dealing with household duties like driving screws. M18 however, will do better in helping the user with higher output in the work with the extra 100 RPM on the upper scope.




This is without doubt the game changer in this two types of cordless impact drills. Torque is important because it determines to what extent you can drive a nail or screw and how comfortable you can do it.M12 with its 12V impact driver can produce to a maximum torque of 1,200-inch pound. The drill also provides an IPM (number of times the drill produces hits like blows to drive and remove screws) of 3,550 IPM.On its side, M18 delivers an amazing torque of 1,550-inch pound which is 300-inch pound higher than M12.This is in addition to some 3,500 IPM making it good for working on hard and persistent screws.

For yet another time, M18 comes out as a stronger tool and more powerful tool, this however does not rule out M12 because it has adequate strength to do most jobs but personally I would always run for that extra toque offered by M18.


Both drills have almost the same features with a few discrepancies.M12 is usually fitted with a double 12 V lithium-ion batteries which usually are accompanied by a charger and a contractor bag. The only difference that M18 batteries have over M12 is the fact that M18 batteries are 18V lithium-ion cells compared to 12V M12 cells. One notable similarity in the two types of batteries is a fuel gauge which is unique to Milwaukee products. The gauge shows the level of charge remaining in the batteries and helps one to keep track of how further you can go hence reducing the risk of a battery dying when you are halfway with your work.

Both drills have an in-built LED light strategically placed under the clutch and slightly above the trigger. This light turns on every time the trigger is squeezed. Another additional feature that these two have in common is racketing chunk which aids in fastening the grip of the drill and drill bit. One stunning feature that M18 has is the Redlink intelligence technology. The intelligence tech allows synchronization in the drill, charger and battery allowing maximum performance with minimum heat production. When one is working for long hours, this technology comes in handy.

In terms of features, both tools are great with the Redlink intelligence technology giving M18an upper hand for those who work for long.

Weight and size

Among the major benefits of cordless impact tools is their lightweight nature which is ergonomically friendly hence great in working at hard angles and tight spaces.M12 weighs around2.6 pounds with the battery included.M18 is however quite heavier weighing roughly 3.1 pounds but still these weights are fairly friendly and will save you a lot of fatigue. With these small differences, you might actually not tell which drill is M12 from M18 unless you get a closer look.



Having looked at both drills, I can confidently say that there are few traits which distinguish the two such as the Redlink plus protection in M18.Other small specs discrepancies include nose to lent difference of half an inch and a hex-chuck difference of a quarter inch.

Following these comparisons, it is fair to say that M12 is a best option to a wide range of audience because it can handle almost any task.M18 on the other hand will be fulfilling to those who work continuously for its protection from overloading and speed.