Milwaukee M12 vs M18 Impact Wrench

There are plenty of power tools out there based on what you will be using them for such as Milwaukee M12 Vs M18 Impact Wrench. In general they will be more powerful than common impact drivers but similarly, different options offer different capabilities and while the two are equally useful, you may prefer one of them better. Before deciding the option, let’s see below about what they can offer and which of them will be your best choice.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What is Impact Wrench
  • What are Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench
  • How are the Design of Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench
  • How are the Specs of Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench
  • How are the Performance of Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench
  • What else Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench can offer
  • Milwaukee M12 Vs M18 Impact Wrench

Impact Wrench

The world of power tools can be quite complicated, one time you grab a drill driver and it turns out to be a hammer drill. The other times you may want to find an impact driver but the product description says it is an impact wrench. These tools share so many similarities but the main function stays the same which is to help you in the daily task as a DIYers or professional worker. It is important to know which tools to buy and which of them will match the application.

Our focus today is about impact wrench and as we all know, they are very similar to an impact driver. The difference is that you often use an impact driver for screw driving tasks by attaching Phillips, Torx, square, and other types of fasteners while on the other hand an impact wrench is often used for fastening and loosening nuts or bolts. You may also use them when removing longer or thicker fasteners like timber screws so in general the overall power they have is stronger than typical impact drivers.

The drive style of these tools are also different because you will see impact drivers using 1/4-inch hex collet which accept 1/4-inch hex shank bits while on the other hand impact wrench is using a square drive we attach a socket to. Both may come in a wide range of sizes and performance capacity but impact drivers only have few different styles with all featuring a 1/4-inch hex collet. For impact wrench, besides the typical trigger style, there are some straight handles and body too, for reaching into tricky space.

To achieve the level of power, an impact wrench uses a hammering mechanism in the housing that delivers strong and concussive blows at an extremely fast pace. You will notice how the socket attached to an impact wrench will move slowly when loosening a lug then faster as the lug is loosened. It is important to be cautious when tightening lug nuts using an impact wrench as it is easy to overdrive them.

On the selection side, when shopping for an impact wrench chances are you will meet an 1/2-inch size in most cases. There are terms like mid-torque or high-torque on the product to give users an idea about what they can offer yet, don’t let this define what you need since they vary widely among models and brands. Besides for DIYers and weekend warriors or construction purposes, this tool is also often used in the automotive section, specifically as pneumatic-powered tools.

 Milwaukee M12 M18 Impact Wrench
Product Dimensions‎8.1 x 6.3 x 3.4 inches
‎9.4 x 4.2 x 11.8 inches
Shipping Weight‎2 pounds
‎7.5 pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price

About Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench

If you are here then we assume that an impact wrench is a great solution for your type of work and similar to most power tools out there, you can find plenty of them to choose for. It can be confusing at first but it is better to give you the freedom of selection in order to find the perfect option. We can choose based on the power rating required for the job, brands, or even the budget as not all of us will have the same purposes and what is desired from the tools.

It is easier to shop for your tools as we can narrow down the options too, and among those promising choices, Milwaukee is a great brand to get your tools from. They are one of the best power tool brands in the market not because of their popularity but because they carry powerful and dependable tools, often in a more affordable price range than its competitors. Their tools are also long lasting and don’t let the lower power rate distract you because they are often more reliable than alternatives with higher specs.

Just like with most power tool brands, there are plenty to choose from based on your application or the job they are going to handle, such as Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench that are rated different for different main tasks as well. Both of them are going to work the same in terms of mechanism but the latter is built for the more serious and heavy jobs while the former is considering the size as well if you are working on a smaller space.

The specific models we are talking about today are the 2555 and the 2767 variants which are all available with the charger and battery or just the tool if you want. These are not exactly close brothers since the power rating is quite far from each other so it is best to shop based on which seems to match within your application but, for most people the M12 should be enough for typical application like changing the tire or fastening nuts. Read also: Milwaukee M12 Vs Ryobi 18V.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench Design

When you see a Stubby following behind an impact wrench model number then it means that this specific model has a short head since in comparison you can see that it is also more compact, just like the typical impact drivers. On the other hand the M18 is longer and in a glance without seeing its head, its shape is almost like a hammer drill. The short head is very useful if you are going to use the wrench on a narrow space or tricky angle.

The build is no different to the other Milwaukee tools in the collection as they are equally robust too. They have variable trigger style and the battery is attached at the base of the tools but in different mechanisms. The M12 is using the lower rated battery so it is smaller either and it slides vertically while the battery of M18 is larger so it needs to be installed horizontally. On the weight, without the battery M12 is less than half of M18 in comparison at 2 lbs. vs 5.9 lbs.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench Specs

Now for the most important part, let’s see what Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench can offer starting from the basic specs. Both of these tools are already using a brushless motor which makes the performance even quieter while keeping the torque reliable. It also helps with the lasting ability to make sure they can last longer. In comparison, for the speed Stubby is going to be faster at maximum 2,700 RPM than M18 at 1,750 RPM and for the impact per minute it is also faster at 3,200 compared to 2,100 IPM.

What makes the M18 more reliable when it comes to heavy duty applications is the nut-busting torque which is often the highest they can go rated by the company itself; it is almost like the lumens brightness in the projector so we have to take it with a grain of salt. What they tell you is the M18 has a nut busting torque at 1,400 ft-lbs. while the M12 is 250 ft-lbs. They may not be exactly as listed but should be able to get closer to these numbers.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench Performance

On the performance side, both Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench are very reliable, even the Stubby can deliver some serious work as well. The amount of torque applied seems to be different especially when you need the higher power setting or to drive and loosen larger nuts. In comparison we feel Stubby to be lighter and comfortable but for the larger bolts, it can’t provide as much torque to work as effectively as the M18. Sometimes the heavier and larger tool improves the comfort too because it feels more stable for more serious tasks.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench Features

Lastly on the additional features, what we love the most besides their adequate power for the size is their variable settings. In M12 this is located at the top or main housing and there are 4 of them in which are similar to speed settings in drill drivers to adjust the impact and rotation in order to match with the application or task you are currently doing. The highest nut buster torque mentioned above is achieved at the highest setting as well or at least closer to what the company has listed. 

In addition, you can find an LED light on these impact wrench yet they are located at different spots. This light is not very bright but is still very helpful in darker spots. The orientation of M18 LED light however may get in the way of your battery indicator when you need to check on them.

Milwaukee M12 vs M18 Impact Wrench

Both Milwaukee M12 and M18 Impact Wrench are good options based on which seems to fit you the most. There are so many differences here or the speed rating and the impact per minute which are both higher on the M12 and this is helpful when you need to drive or remove smaller nuts faster yet, when it comes to larger and heavy duty applications, it is better to use the higher torque at lower speed which is what M18 wrench is offering.

- 20V max* 1/4 in. Cordless impact driver features a drop and load one handed bit change
- Both units feature an LED light for improved visibility
- Compact designs and contoured overmolded handles make working in tight spaces easier and more comfortable
- Storage bag is included for ease of transportation and storage
- Includes impact wrench with friction ring, two battery packs, and charger
- Ideal for use on stubborn and rusted bolts
- Compact design for easy use in tight spaces
- Rubber grip for comfort during use


You can go well with any of them since there is no bad option here but, if this wrench is only meant for light duty and if you are going to drive smaller screws or bolts, we highly recommend the M12 because it is lighter and more comfortable to hold for a prolonged time.

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