Review: Milwaukee 2650-20 18v


As a part of the Milwaukee M18 line of tools (cordless, 18 volt lithium ion), the Milwaukee 2650-20 combines huge torque with a long lasting battery to create a rugged and tough tool that will perform on the job site.

At a Glance
List price $162
Sale price $0.00 (as of 9pm, 02/27/2020)
Voltage 18V
Torque 1,400 in-lbs
Drive size 1/4″ hex
Weight (w/o battery) 2.6 lbs
Length 5-3/4″
Battery RED LITHIUM lithium-ion
Impacts/Min 0-3,200 ipm
Speed (no load) 0-2,200 rpm
Resources Manual
Mfr. Data Sheet
Warranty 5-Year Tool / 2-Year Battery
Kit part number 2650-21

Although a slightly heavier than other cordless impact drivers in its class, the Milwaukee 2651-20 also has the highest torque – barely. At an even 1400 in-lbs, its a little over 5% more torque than the Makita BTD141Z and DeWALT DC825b choices.

The extra weight gives this tool a sturdier hand-feel than the very compact Makita. Milwaukee brands itself as being “nothing but heavy duty,” and you certainly get the feeling that this one will hold up to abuse and heavy work. While we didn’t intentionally abuse it, many people report accidentally dropping, kicking, and generally banging around the driver with little negative side effects.

As for power, this has plenty of it. While battery strength can be a factor in all tools, this one was able to drive 8″ lags through pre-drilled wet, pressure treated 4×4’s with only minor bogging down at the end. And of course it works great with smaller fasteners.

The Milwaukee 2650-20 is compact – but of course all impact drivers seem small when you are used to a cordless drill! At 5 3/4″ from front to back, it is the same size as others in its class. If you are used to a drill, you will be amazed at the much tighter spots in which you can work.

It’s a decent performer in the drilling arena as well, although for lots of repeated or precise holes a regular drill would be a better choice. Still, if you only need the occasional or quick pilot hole this will work just fine.

Bits are held by a typical 1/4-inch hex “quick change” chuck. Pull the sleeve out, release the bit. Milwaukee has a number of attachments available for their impact driver (nut drivers, sockets, etc), although obviously you can use any 1/4 hex bit that’s rated for impact shock.


The RED LITHIUM brand batteries are great. They last a long time with this tool. There are 2 types of RED LITHIUM that are compatible: Compact and XC High Capacity.

Compact RED LITHIUM are 1.5 Ah batteries weighing just 0.95 lb. Charge time is about 30 min.

Buy XC High Capacity
XC High Capacity are 3.0 Ah batteries, weighing in at only 1.6 lb. Charge time is about an hour.

Both types have an on-battery fuel gauge to show you how much life is left. And both are built with “Milwaukee Digital Power Management” – this is technology the provides “overload protection, temperature management, individual cell monitoring, and discharge protection“. Both types of batteries are compatible in all M18 tools.

Milwaukee has a 2 year warranty on their batteries.

If you choose to buy a kit, as opposed to the bare tool, you can choose a kit with a pair of either the Compact or XC High Capacity batteries.

  • Low-end trigger control is not very sensitive. It is difficult to achieve a super-slow start or maintain very low speeds. Be careful when working with small or soft screws to ensure you don’t over-torque them.
  • Higher weight than some competitors. If you use the lighter XC Compact batteries, this is not an issue.
Additional Features
  • A belt-hook. It’s hard to describe how handy this small feature is. If you plan on doing any sort of climbing or reaching with an impact driver, belt-hook should be a real consideration.
  • LED headlight with a delayed shutoff. Staying on for a few seconds after you release the trigger, it becomes much easier to inspect your work when in dim, dark, or close quarters.
  • Variable speed trigger.
Bottom Line

This is a really, really nice impact driver and you won’t be unhappy with it. If you are looking to go to a new tool-line, M18 series is a great choice. If you already have a number of Makita or DeWALT tools with lithium ion batteries – it may make more financial sense to stay with those lines. But, if all you have are NiCad or NiMH batteries do yourself a favor and make the switch to M18.

Milwaukee 2650 info and prices at Amazon

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