Back in 2017, Milwaukee came out with new M12 Fuel brushless motor cordless ratchets. Now, they’re expanding their lineup of M12 Fuel cordless ratchets with two new extended reach models.
Sometimes you want the most compact tool you can get. Other times, you need more reach. The new Milwaukee M12 Fuel extended reach ratchets are designed for accessing fasteners in tighter spaces.
For reference, this is what a standard M12 Fuel ratchet looks like.
The new Milwaukee ratchets will be available in 1/4″ and 3/8″ drive sizes.
When Milwaukee launched their M12 Fuel brushless ratchets, they claimed that their then-new cordless power tools would compete favorable against leading air-powered models. The same should apply to these new models, although it should be noted that some brands of air ratchets are available in even longer lengths.
Milwaukee M12 Fuel 1/4″ Extended Reach Ratchet (2559)
- 1/4″ square drive
- 40 ft max torque
- 250 RPM
- 14.4″ length
- Weighs 2.5 lbs with battery
The 1/4″ ratchet will be available in a kit, 2559-21, for $339, and a bare tool for $239. The kit comes with a 2.0Ah battery, charger, and carrying case. A protective rubber boot is also available, 49-16-2559, for $29.
The optional rubber boot adds minimal size and weight to the tool, and is made of a durable rubber material that can withstand corrosive chemicals typically found in automotive maintenance environments.
Buy Now(1/4″ Kit via Tool Nut)
Buy Now(1/4″ Bare Tool via Tool Nut)
Milwaukee M12 Fuel 3/8″ Extended Reach Ratchet (2560)
- 3/8″ square drive
- 55 ft-lbs max torque
- 200 RPM
- 15.1″ length
- 3.1 lbs
The 3/8″ ratchet will be available in a kit, 2560-21, for $329, and a bare tool for $229. The kit comes with a 2.0Ah battery, charger, and carrying case. A protective rubber boot is also available, 49-16-2560, for $29.
Buy Now(3/8″ Kit via Tool Nut)
Buy Now(3/8″ Bare Tool via Tool Nut)
The ratchets are expected to start shipping this month (September 2019).
In my opinion, this type of tool caters towards users who know they need it. In case there will be questions about whether one should buy the standard-length ratchet(s) or these extended length ones, I would remind everyone that there’s a reason why the standard-length ratchets came out first.
Milwaukee says that these ratchets have the most compact head profile size and extended neck in the industry, but there’s a small pool of cordless ratchets styles and sizes. I think that Milwaukee is offering these ratchets as an alternative to extended-length air ratchets, or at least mid-sized extended-length air ratchets.
Milwaukee says that power rivals pneumatic [capabilities]. If you use extended-length air ratchets, here are your 1/4″ and 3/8″ brushless-motor cordless alternatives.
The standard-length 1/4″ and 3/8″ M12 Fuel ratchets measure 11.18″ and 11.8″, respectively. Thus, the extended-length 1/4″ and 3/8″ ratchets are approximately 3.2″ and 3.3″ longer than Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel standard-length cordless ratchets, respectively.
If you’ve used their M12 or M12 Fuel cordless ratchets before, have you wished for a model with a little extra reach?
I don’t own a cordless ratchet – though I think I would like to. Just curious, after tightening under power, can you finish manually so you can feel the torque you are applying? If so, is it safe to exceed the 55ft/lbs the tool is capable of applying? Just curious whether that would damage the tool -especially with these extended models where it would presumably be easier to apply more torque with your hands.
Just FYI Stuart, couple minor typos:
Missing an “s” in: “For reference, this is what a standard M12 Fuel ratchet look like.”
Then under the 3/8 ratchet details it repeats: “The 1/4″ ratchet will be available in a kit…”
Thank you! *Fixed*
I’ve turned cordless ratchets by hand, but it’s not exactly comfortable due to the tools being much bulkier than unpowered hand tools. 55 ft-lbs might be the limit of what the motor can deliver, but the gearing should be able to sustain hand torque, although a cheater bar wouldn’t be recommended.
Update: Milwaukee says this is not recommended!
It should be no weaker than a standard ratchet. It operates in a pretty similar manner. If the motor isn’t turning the socket, it’s locked on the pawls.
AvE just did a teardown of a normal M12.
AvE’s teardown was an M12 Fuel model I believe, not the old M12 model.
If you’re a patron of his you can see that he did an old m12 brushed 3/8 as well. It’ll probably be on YouTube in a week or two
Where is the steel head piece attached to the handle? If theres a full steel casing that goes to the battery housing, I’d agree. If you have a couple screws holding a plastic handle to a steel shank not far off the fulcrum, your plastic is going to fail under heavy torque.
Yes, you can crank on it until your hearts content. The 55 ftlb rating is what the power the tool can deliver.
As tough as it is, I’d not recommend really applying much more torque than the motor can deliver, by using your hands. The plastic housing is durable, but I’m not sure about repeated stress. Also, its very easy to apply torque stress to the battery, with the potential to damage that area, I own a Milwaukee M12 fuel ratchet, and as much as I love it, I’m aware of its limitations.
Yeah you can most definitely go over the 55 ft lb by hand. And it does work as a ratchet when it dies or if you need to tighten something tighter or break it loose . I use mine every day usually. Pretty vigilantly too. I’ve loosened some bolts that I know were torqued to 95ft lbs. using it as a regular ratchet.
a quality air or cordless ratchet will still be a ratchet head. So usually you use the handle to break free a bolt – then hit the switch to pull it out.
I don’t often like to use air ratchets as they can be inconsistent – again air supply dependent. I’ve thought about getting into the milwaukee 12v line just for this tool.
the Dewalt/MAC tool is also 12 V and I sort of want that one but I also have no dewalt 12V batteries. Minor issue.
Only other one I know of is IR – which is a fantastic tool – as I suspect these are. They do make an extended reach model or they used to. anyway again these cost quite a but. I work on cars as a hobby and I wouldn’t even get to use one monthly.
But if I was to get one I would probably get the standard length depending on the cost. Nice to know they are making these.
One thing I sort of which all the cordless ratchets would get is a light that aimed at the the socket end. no it wouldn’t always be useful but it would be nice to have.
Snapon makes both long and short length in their 14.4v line.
Milwaukee cordless ratchets are designed as a ”Nut Runner” not for torquing. After running the nut, complete with a calibrated torque wrench. Failure to do so, will render the cordless ratchet damaged.
Not true. See Gordon’s explanation above.
I think the damage will be where the power head attaches to the plastic handle, not at the gear and pawl
This looks pretty nice. I have the original 3/8 non-Fuel ratchet and had resisted buying the Fuel since the size of the Fuel was so much larger in the body and ratchet head.
This might actually present an advantage and I may consider this. The size of the ratchet head does not appear to be as big and i probably wouldn’t opt for the rubber cover.
I have the rubber covers for the original shorter models and to my mild annoyance none of us have bothered to use one. But they’re in waiting and that’s better then waiting to ship them in. As no local vendor seems to stock them.
I still use my original 3/8” M12 ratchet and didn’t dish out the money for the new brushless for the same reason. The brushless versions are too bulky IMO. I haven’t had any issues with my ratchet thus far but these extended head ratchets caught my eye. Will see what the street price is on them once they are made available.
If the standard length one is too short, space is probably a premium as well. I find the Milwaukee ratchets are just too big. The old ones were better, but still large. I just feel they don’t offer any advantage over using a cordless impact wrench. Cordless impacts are really small now, and have better features and torque than the ratchets.
Very much agreed. Was working on my truck this weekend, and the bigger body and head of the fuel 3/8″ ratchet made it mostly useless. I just ordered another set of 3/8″ impact sockets so that I can have one socket on a regular ratchet and one on the M12 ratchet. Switching back and forth is a pain.
I wish the M12 put out more torque in reverse, like the IR 1099 I recently got. I think that one is 75 ft/lbs? That marginal increase is enough to make it way more usable for most of the small bolts on a salt-rusted truck.
I would buy the 1/4″ drive M12 if the head was smaller. It needs better engineering and not just use the same mechanical as the 3/8″ version but with a different drive size (as near as I can tell). Who makes a 1/4″ ratchet that is identical in size to a 3/8″ one? Seems silly.
The extended reach 1/4 ratchet does have a smaller head. If you want to see a comparison of size between the two and even with snap on ratchets look at “The Flat Rate Master” YouTube channel
Our older Makita non impact wrenches have a very much smaller head and variable torque.
But I can’t even remember their voltage.
We don’t use them in any automotive situation though.
I only reach for the ratchet when an impact won’t fit, and usually the size of that head is a factor. As such, I’ve never “upgraded” beyond my gen 1 3/8” model. These fuel ratchet heads are just too big and the extra torque is almost never needed. I wish they had made this extended reach version based on the gen 1 models.
Flat Rate Master did a comparrison video with the Snap On extended reach ratchets. The Milwaukee 1/4″ head is a little smaller than the Snap On. But the 3/8″ head is much bigger than the Snap On. The 3/8″ is more powerful, but it all depends on what you need. These are for had to reach spots, and it doesn’t really matter how much power your tool has if it doesn’t fit where it needs to.
Biggest problem with the new fuel ratchets, their just to big and bulky…
What is the manual breakaway spec on the 1/4 and 3/8? They don’t advertise it. Is it only the rating of the mechanical power?
That’s not a published specification, at least not one that I’ve seen. They don’t recommended the tools for final tightening or initial loosening, and so the breakaway torque is unlikely to exceed the max torque rating.
I have the std 3/8 and all it is, is a nut or screw runner. I agree. It has no balls.
Recently bought the brushless 3/8, and glad I did. It’s what I wanted the original brushed one to be. Its for small fasteners and great on the basic Jeep/ truck interior stuff. I don’t expect to do suspension work or ripping down a motor. But did want the electric driver cause I hate the air powered knuckle busting ratchets that couldnt break a brake caliper bolt loose, but would be sure to make you skin your knuckles. The nonbrushed Milwaukee ratchet has as much balls, but it manages the stalls far better so it’s not twisting up in your hand when it hits the end of the bolt or it can’t break the fastener loose.
As I said before; it’s just a ”nut runner.” here’s why… All ratchet tools are made for speeding up the process of running nuts. Run the nut until near tight, then use your torque wrench for final tightness per inch/foot-pound specification. Exceeding ratchet stall with brute force will break the ratcheting mechanism and render the ratchet in need of repair. Think of your ratchet as a speed wrench to be used in tight areas. Used properly, your Milwaukee M12 Ratchet Wrench will serve you a lifetime of appreciation for it’s time-saving ability.