Its been over a year since NPS 17 and we caught our first sight of the much awaited compact brushless M12 impact driver. Milwaukee hit a home run with their first generation Fuel 12v tools, they were powerful and only on a 12v battery but what they missed on was a compact design. The 2453 impact driver was a great tool when released. It was the only 12v impact driver equipped with multiple speed settings but the size was of its larger voltage counter parts. The whole idea of 12v tools in the modern lithium age is power but in a compact form and the second generation of M12 FUEL has delivered.
The 2553-20 is the newest and tiniest Milwaukee 12v Impact. Still bearing the FUEL labeling with its brushless motor, it is shorter at just over 5″ in length and boasts a four mode electronic speed setting. Modes 1-3 are sequential in speed and power (S1 – 1300 RPM, S2 – 2400 RPM, S3 3300 RPM) but the fourth mode is Milwaukee’s infamous self tapping mode which is designed for self tapping sheet metal screws. The electronic control starts the impact off on high speed to initiate “tapping” into the sheet metal, but will back of on RPMs to prevent stripping and snapping of fasteners. It is a brilliant setting especially in a compact 12v setting. All of these modes are available at your finger tip on the top of the tool with a simple press of a button.
One thing the 2553 lacks that many other new impacts have on the market are light settings such as Makita and Bosch with the ability to turn the tool lights off. Milwaukee decided to stick with its single LED on the underside of the main body. With the new shape of the impact housing, it would have been great to see some variety of either an LED ring or a a triple-ring LED similar to what Dewalt uses. As much as I love Milwaukee tools, the competition has an advantage in tool lighting, namely Dewalt.
At a glance other than size not much has changed with the new model, the grip is still the same, comfortable but on the fatter side due to the stick style batteries. Having a stick pack battery design the tool can be even more compact with a smaller battery installed for ultimate fitting in tight places. My favorite feature on this impact, and those who know me understand how much of a stickler I am in this subject, the one-handed chuck. So many manufacturers skimp out on this but Milwaukee has a great one handed chuck, that allows the user to slip a bit in one handed. So many times I find myself with multiple things in my hands while I am using an impact driver, the ease of this chuck makes projects so much easier.
One other minor change from the 2553’s predecessor is the updated belt clip. The location has been changed as well as the size. The new style clip allows the tool to be slid on belts and pockets much easier than the 2453. The clip has a smaller foot print but still holds the tool well.
All things set aside this is a great and welcomed edition to the already impressive M12 line of tools. The compactness and power are an attractive combination that over powers many 18v tools on the market. Milwaukee has dominated the 12v tool market and with the updates too it will continue for the foreseeable future. The 2553 delivered an awesome compact chassis that as we saw at NPS 18, a new line of compact FUEL impact wrenches. The only change from this 1/4″ hex model is the head of the impact housing. The 2553 baretool is $119 but can be purchased in a two battery kit for $169 or a two tool combo kit with the new FUEL drill for $199. These are all available from ACME TOOLS.