I know a lot of you have been eagerly waiting for Milwaukee to finally come out with M12 Fuel cordless right angle impact wrenches. Well, now they have!
Milwaukee has announced new cordless right angle impact wrenches in 3/8″ (2564) and 1/2″ (2565) sizes, with both being touted as the most powerful right angle impact wrenches in the industry.
Press materials emphasize 3 takeaways:
- 4-mode drive control
- More access in tight spaces
- Up to 220 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque
Let’s start by talking about the Drive Control. Both right angle impact wrenches have 4 settings:
- Low speed: 0-1550 RPM
- Medium speed: 0-2300 RPM
- High speed: 0-3000 RPM
- Special mode
- Auto shut-off mode – prevents overtightening in the forward direction
- Bolt removal mode – provides more control after bolt breakaway
Makes sense? In an impact wrench (or driver), RPMs, impacts, and torque are directly related. So, the low/medium/high speed modes are also low/medium/high torque modes.
Consistent with Milwaukee’s other 4-mode Drive Control impact wrenches, the auto shut-off and bolt removal modes are very straightforward. In the forward direction, the special 4th mode should act like an e-clutch. In the reverse direction, the motor will slow down after the fastener is loosened, to prevent uncontrolled spin-off.
Fact sheets say that the auto shut-off mode limits torque to no more than 15 ft-lbs.
The new M12 Fuel right angle impact wrenches are just 2.8″ long, giving them a low profile.
You can’t see this, but I have had to correct a mistake I made numerous times. These are right angle impact wrenches, but the geometry of the new tools has me calling them cordless ratchets or cordless impact ratchets.
Milwaukee came out with new extended reach ratchets in late 2019, following the launch of a trio of more compact M12 Fuel ratchets. These new impact wrenches have bulkier drive heads, but they’re not much longer in either direction.
What’s surprising to me is that, at least on paper, Milwaukee’s M12 tools bests Ingersoll Rand’s 20V right angle impact wrenches, with respect to speed and torque values.
These new Milwaukee impact wrenches are said to deliver up to 220 ft-lbs of max torque. I know that IR’s 20V impacts are rated to 180 ft-lbs, but it’s never clear which tools are being references as the “cordless competitor.” Usually it’s the market leader, although IR’s 20V tools are not the ones referenced in the above size comparison. IR’s impacts have 2.2″ long drive head lengths, compared to 2.8″ for these new Milwaukee impacts.
Update: Milwaukee has informed me that IR’s measurement for drive head length does NOT take into account the anvil. These new M12 Fuel impacts measure 2.2″ without anvil, or 2.8″ including it.
The low profile drive heads allow these impacts to be used in tight spaces in automotive applications.
The geometry seems convenient for use under vehicles as well, where there might be ample space to access a fastener but awkward body angles required to do so.
They can be used in the engine bay, of course.
And also deep into hard-to-access spaces.
Here’s another example of an application where you can use a standard impact wrench, but it might be more ergonomic or convenient to use a right angle impact.
Applications extend beyond the automotive and vehicle maintenance industry. In this product photo, the ratchet is used in a commercial or industrial space to set large-gauge electrical crimp connectors.
There are 3 new models:
- Milwaukee M12 Fuel 3/8″ right angle impact wrench with friction ring (2564)
- Milwaukee M12 Fuel 1/2″ right angle impact wrench with friction ring (2565)
- Milwaukee M12 Fuel 1/2″ right angle impact wrench with pin detent (2565P)
Usually, a friction ring (also sometimes called a hog ring) is used for quicker socket changes. A pin detent tool is preferred when used at heights or when unintentional socket removal would be problematic or highly undesirable. Pin detents usually require a tool for socket disengagement.
Milwaukee M12 Fuel Right Angle Impact Wrench Specs
- 220 ft-lbs max torque
- 3,000 RPM max speed
- 3,600 IPM
- 4-Mode Drive Control
- 14.17″ length (w/CP2.0 battery)
- 2.8″ drive head height
- 2.32″ width
- Weighs 3.25 lbs w/ CP2.0 battery
- Milwaukee M12 Fuel 3/8″ right angle impact wrench with friction ring
- Kit (2564-22): $299
- Bare tool (2564-20): $199
- Milwaukee M12 Fuel 1/2″ right angle impact wrench with friction ring
- Kit (2565-22): $299
- Bare tool (2565-20): $199
- Milwaukee M12 Fuel 1/2″ right angle impact wrench with pin detent
- Kit (2565P-22): $299
- Bare tool (2565P-20): $199
The kits come with 2x 2.0Ah batteries, a charger, and carrying bag.
Buy Now via Tool Nut (Listings for all models)
Individual Model/SKU Links:
- 1/2″ Pin Detent Kit (2565P-22)
- 1/2″ Pin Detent Bare Tool (2565P-20)
A protective boot will also be available, for ~$29. The same SKU fits all three tools.
- Protective Boot (49-16-2564)
The impact wrenches are expected to start shipping June 2020.
Can the new Milwaukee M12 Fuel right angle impact wrenches be used manually, in the same manner as a cordless ratchet?
The M12 FUEL™ Right Angle Impact Wrenches use an impact mechanism rather than a ratcheting mechanism, therefore they will not be able to fasten manually.
Will the 2668 M18 Cordless 2-Speed 3/8″ Right Angle Impact Wrench be discontinued?
The 2668 M18 cordless 3/8″ right angle impact wrench will not be discontinued and will [continue to] be available for purchase.
Why do the 3/8″ and 1/2″ M12 Fuel right angle impact wrenches have the same torque rating?
Since we use high strength metal alloy material for these product’s anvils, the 2564 3/8” anvil can withstand the increased torque output by the tool. This is a testament to the advanced engineering and technology Milwaukee Tool incorporates in impact wrenches.
Will the M12 Fuel right angle impact wrenches be rated for use in High Voltage environments?
Yes, Both M12 FUEL Right Angle Impact Wrenches have a high voltage rating of 69kV.
This looks to be a very exciting new release from Milwaukee. With the M12 Fuel brushless-motored ratchets released in recent years, it seemed that they were looking to provide cordless tools that replaced manual-use tools. With these new right angle impact wrenches, they’re going after higher-voltage cordless products and even pneumatic tools.
These aren’t the first M12 cordless power tools that set their sights on the pneumatic air tool industry, or look to expand Milwaukee Tool’s foothold into the automotive maintenance industry. Other new tools include:
- M12 Fuel straight die grinder and right angle die grinder
- M12 Fuel extended reach ratchets
- M12 soldering iron (mainly for installations)
- M12 inflator
- M12 underhood LED worklight
The new M12 right angle impact wrenches look to have decent torque specs, with Milwaukee describing them as the industry’s most powerful tools.
220 ft-lbs is 2640 in-lbs, which seems to be quite a lot for an M12 cordless power tool. It’s impressive.
The drive head height is low-profile, although not quite industry-leading, but that won’t matter as long as it fits where it needs to go.
While there are capable 18V and 20V Max – powered cordless right angle impact wrenches, I don’t think there are many that come close to being able to do what these new Milwaukee tools can do. My background research into competitive models is slow and tedious, as most models are low-powered, similar to Milwaukee’s M18 2668 impact.
It’s going to be a tough choice if it comes down to pitting one of these Milwaukee brushless impact wrenches against a competitive’s higher-voltage impact wrenches.
Taking the IR wrenches into consideration, they’re a little slimmer in front (see the update below for correction), but heavier in back. 18V/20V Max cordless power tool batteries can hold higher charge capacity than an M12 battery, but with added bulk and weight. But, some of the runtime or power efficiency benefits are going to be lost if the higher-voltage tool is powered by a brushed and not brushless motor.
Update: Milwaukee has informed me that IR’s measurement for drive head length does NOT take into account the anvil. These new M12 Fuel impacts measure 2.2″ without anvil, or 2.8″ including it. In other words, they head height is the same for these M12 tools as IR’s 20V.
I think the tools’ size, shape, weight, relatively low-profile drive heads, and especially their power are going to make them very popular.
The multi-mode feature is always a benefit, with low, medium, and high speed and torque settings, but the 4th mode is especially beneficial. In the forward direction, you have a torque limiter for quick and non-damaging assembly or re-installations, and on reverse you have the slow-down function to prevent successfully loosened fasteners from spinning away uncontrollably.
You can preoder right now, or wait for the June launch. I included a bunch of purchase links, above.
Thoughts? A very welcome solution, or who really needs a powerful cordless right angle impact wrench anyway?