House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver Review 2023 – Pros, Cons & Final Verdict

Milwaukee 2853-20 M18 FUEL One Fourth Hex impact Driver (Bare Tool)

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Build Quality: 4.5/5
Power: 4/5
Features: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5

divider 4

Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver – A Quick Look

  • Maker: Milwaukee
  • Tool:  M18 Impact Driver
  • Item Number:  2853-20
  • Drive Size:  ¼-inch hex
  • Impact: Yes
  • Power Source:  Milwaukee M18 18-volt lithium-ion battery
  • Torque:  2,000 pound-inches
  • Top Speed:  3,600 RPM
  • Weight:  2.5 pounds
  • Dimensions:  ‎9.2 x 4.7 x 6.7 inches

The Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver is an excellent hand tool designed for the average user. The blend of power, quality, and price makes this a tool that is going to appeal to a wide audience. This particular driver is super lightweight and extremely comfortable to operate. But it does not skimp on power and performance. The specs on this driver match those of other brands but at a much smaller size.

This driver is perfect for the mechanic on the go. Its size and weight make it the perfect portable impact driver that does not compromise on power. This driver will also appeal to the hobbyist mechanic who likes to get under the hood on the weekends but does not need to purchase expensive mechanic’s tools to get the job done.

However, the lack of extra features and durability might exclude this driver from being used every day by professional mechanics. If your primary tool is your impact driver and you use it for hours a day, six days a week, this particular drill might not hold up in the long run. If you are a professional who occasionally uses an impact driver, but it is not your main tool, then this drill will fit in perfectly with a set of similar products.

  • Great price
  • Trusted Milwaukee engineering and construction
  • Amazing power
  • Lightweight and ergonomic
  • Above-average battery life
  • Simple and portable
  • Few extra features included
  • Only ¼-inch hex
  • Reports of bits falling out over time

divider 5

Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver Details

Brushless Motor

The Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver comes standard with a POWERSTATE brushless motor. Brushless motors offer extended power and performance over older brushed motors. This particular motor offers 30% more power than the previous models that did not feature this particular setup. The extra power is reflected in the specifications that boast a top speed of 3600 RPM and 2000 pound-inches of torque.

Brushless motors also use less power than the more inefficient brushed motors. This plays into the already excellent M18 battery system meaning that you get more power and more battery life. Those two things are usually mutually exclusive.

Powerful Milwaukee Battery

One of the best features of this drill is the battery. The M18 battery system provides hours of flawless usage and fast recharging speeds. The M18 battery is not only long-lasting, but it is powerful. One of the upsides to this battery is that it can be used with any M18 Milwaukee tool so that you can get a variety of uses out of one battery system. However, this particular model does not come with the battery included so that will have to be made as a separate purchase.

Trusted Brand at a Great Price

Milwaukee is one of the oldest tool brands in America. The company was founded in 1924 and continues to provide excellent tools and customer service to this day. This impact driver features Milwaukee’s attention to detail, experienced design, and warranty. Unlike some other name brands, this driver is extremely affordable and can be had for a fair price.

Compact, Ergonomic Design

The pistol grip on this model impact driver is extremely comfortable. The drill feels balanced in your hand at all times. There are no pinch points or sore spots after extended use. The ergonomic design improves comfort over extended periods of use which is great for both the prospective professional buyer as well as the Saturday garage dweller. The ergonomic pistol grip design really shows an attention to detail and shows that time has been put in to eliminate the biggest sources of discomfort found in most standard drill grips.

The Milwaukee M18 Impact Drill also comes with the benefit of being under 5” in length meaning it is perfect for getting into those hard-to-reach spaces. This comes in handy for anyone that has tried to use a driver in a tight engine space or under a car.

Simple With No Frills

This drill is very simple. Some might even say basic. It does not come with a lot of new features and upgrades right out of the box. It is just an impact driver with four variable speeds. It does not have an LED light. It does not feature the latest hydraulic technology. It is very focused on its functionality and intentional with its design. The result is an impact driver that is sleek, light, and comfortable but does not weigh you down with optional extras.

divider 4

FAQs for the Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver

Does this product come with a warranty?

Yes. All new Milwaukee tools come with a standard limited lifetime warranty. Defective tools will be replaced under warranty. There are even cases in which your drill breaks during the warranty period that Milwaukee will cover the cost of an official repair. In order to get warranty coverage, you must keep your proof of purchase, have made the purchase in the USA or Canada, and you must send the tool to an official Milwaukee factory center.

For more information about Milwaukee’s warranty policy, you can check out the complete terms here.

Is this drill good enough for professionals?

Possibly. This is a great drill for the hobbyist or weekend warrior, but it might not hold up to extended hard use. Many professionals use Milwaukee tools, but there are models that are designed for more consistent use than this particular impact driver. For example, there are hydraulic impact drivers made for daily use that will not wear out as quickly over time.

However, this drill is perfect for the person that likes to work on their car on the weekends but has no intention of using it all day every day in a mechanic shop.

Is this the hydraulic impact driver?

No. This model is not the hydraulic impact driver. Milwaukee makes a hydraulic impact driver that is very similar to this one. Hydraulic impact drivers have a different configuration to improve smooth function over time. Hydraulic drivers are some of the latest technology in the impact driver market but they are more expensive than the older brushless models.

Is this drill portable?

Yes. This drill is supremely portable. At just 2.5lbs and 9.2” long, this drill can easily fit on your belt. It will also fit nicely in your bag or toolbox. Bulky drills take up a lot of space but this drill is much more compact than other impact drivers of similar power. That makes it very easy for anyone to grab this driver and go wherever the job may take you.

divider 4

What the Users Say

The Good

Users constantly praise the power of this driver. For the small size, this impact driver packs a lot of punch. Many of the buyers of the Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver are weekend mechanics who are using this particular model to help them fix or restore cars as a hobby, and they praise the power to size ratio.

People also love the battery life. This drill’s power can last for hours. That is due to the M18 lithium-ion battery system that provides consistent 18-volt power output across a range of Milwaukee products. The M18 receives almost universal praise, and this driver uses that popular system to run.

Everyone also seems to love the drill’s size and weight. It is very compact and very lightweight. Those specifications combined with the ergonomic pistol handle design leaves users gushing about how comfortable this impact driver truly is. Verified buyers claim to use this drill for hours and not suffer from discomfort. Some say that this is their favorite impact driver and their go-to tool of choice for many of their projects. All of this praise flows from the design of the grip and the body.

The Less Than Good

Many users warn against using this particular drill for undoing lug nuts. Lug nuts are one of the most common things to use an impact driver on. The reason for the warning comes from the fact that the Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver only features a ¼-inch hex which is too small for most lugs.

The other big complaints revolve around the lack of included upgrades featured in this model. This drill does not feature an LED light for spotting things in the dark which is one of the most common features of the latest generation drills.

Lastly, there are some scattered reports of the fastener wearing out. Some users claim that after a few months of hard usage, the chuck will not stay in place. Something loosens up or wears out in the mouth of the drill causing your bits to come loose and fall out during use. These reports are not widespread, but they are worth mentioning in case a similar issue arises in the future.

divider 1


For those people looking for a well-built impact driver at a fair price, the Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver is one of the best options on the market. This small comfortable driver does not compromise on power or performance and offers a lot for the price. While this drill does not come jam-packed with extra upgrades, its simple design and functional nature make it appealing to the casual weekend mechanic or the part-time builder.

Featured Image Credit: Amazon

Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools