Review: Milwaukee 2653 M18 Brushless

Milwaukee 2653-22CT M18 Fuel 1/4 Hex Imp Driver Kit W Cmpt Bat
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Milwaukee’s first brushless impact driver is a solid addition to their M18 FUEL line. Like their other tools in the line, the goal is on durability and power – and like the other tools, they achieve this pretty darn well.

Besides having a brushless motor, the 2653 also is a 3-speed tool. The ability to drop the torque and speed allows additional finesse on smaller jobs – which means you won’t need to switch to a drill in many situations that may call for more care and control than you typically may associate with an impact driver.

At a Glance
Sale price $0.00 (as of 7pm, 08/23/2017)
Voltage 18v
Torque 1,600 in-lbs
Drive size 1/4″ hex
Weight (w/o battery) 2.1 lbs
Length 5.5″
Battery Li-Ion
Impacts/Min 0-3600 ipm
Speed (no load) 0-2900 rpm
Resources Manual
Mfr. Data Sheet
Warranty 5 year tool
Part numbers 2653-20, 2653-22, 2653-22CT,
2791-22CT
Compare with DeWALT DCF895

Description

Like their brushed 18v driver (the Milwaukee 2650), this is a rugged feeling tool. Although it is relatively light, it is compact and gives the impression that it will hold up to some abuse. While it isn’t the most comfortable driver you can find, it isn’t uncomfortable by any stretch – it balances well in the hand and the rubber grip doesn’t feel too soft or loose.

Because they shortened the tool’s nose, the LED – mounted under the collar – has a wider illumination angle than the 2650. This lights up the workpiece and fastener better than before, although we hope a future version will include a delayed-shut off like some other manufacturers.

Performance wise, Milwaukee delivers. The top-level torque is a whopping 1600 in-lbs, putting it at the top of the pack, even ahead of DeWALT’s brushless offering. At 133 ft-lbs, this is starting to brush up against low-end impact wrench range now. We didn’t test it, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this take off lug nuts on some smaller cars with no problem (don’t forget your socket adapter).

Milwaukee 2653 M18 FUEL Mode Selection Setting this apart from many of the drivers out there is the 3-mode DRIVE CONTROL™. Pressing a button on the base of the tool cycles through modes, indicated by a set of 3 leds near the button. At the lowest speed/torque setting, the driver can be used as a cordless screwdriver and drive soft fasteners without any worry of ripping them apart.

The medium range is a little faster than a typical cordless drill. The torque maxes out at 700 in-lbs which should be plenty strong for most driving of regular screws. This also is low enough to prevent over-driving and sinking the screw too deep into the work piece.

Finally, the top setting puts the driver in full-impact mode. With 1600 in-lbs of torque at hand, there is enough power to handle everything else. Long screws in hard woods, lag screws, bolts, Tap-Cons are all no problem.

Mode Speed (rpm) Torque (in-lbs)
1 0 – 850 0 – 200
2 0 – 2100 0 – 700
3 0 – 2900 0 – 1600

One of the claims of brushless motors in general is decreased battery usage resulting in longer run times between charges. In this case, it appears to be proven true. The battery lasts a long time under heavy usage, and Milwaukee’s battery fuel gauge lets you know when you are finally getting to the end.

Additional Features

  • LED
  • Belt hook
  • Carrying case
  • Multi-charger lets you charge both 12v and 18v tools

Problems

  • On-tool bit holder is sold separately.
  • Only single LED, no delay

Bottom Line

This is a great impact driver that will not disappoint. It is evident that the M18 FUEL line has a lot of great tech behind it and Milwaukee didn’t sacrifice the durability and ruggedness you would expect from them.

However, since it is a top-line driver it commands a top-line price. But if you have the extra money, you won’t be disappointed spending it here.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 2653 info and prices at Amazon
Milwaukee 2653-22CT M18 Fuel 1/4 Hex Imp Driver Kit W Cmpt Bat Milwaukee 2653-22CT M18 Fuel 1/4 Hex Imp Driver Kit W Cmpt Bat
18v brushless impact driver, two M18™ REDLITHIUM™ compact battery packs, 30-min multi-charger, belt clip, carrying case
Milwaukee Electric Tool 2653-22 M18 18V Impact Drive Kit Milwaukee Electric Tool 2653-22 M18 18V Impact Drive Kit
18v brushless impact driver, two M18™ REDLITHIUM™ XC battery packs, 30-min multi-charger, belt clip, carrying case
Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/4in. Hex Impact Driver- Tool Only, Model# 2653-20 Milwaukee M18 FUEL 1/4in. Hex Impact Driver- Tool Only, Model# 2653-20
18v li-ion brushless impact driver, bare tool (no battery)
Milwaukee Electric Tool 2791-22CT M18 Lithium Comb Kit Milwaukee Electric Tool 2791-22CT M18 Lithium Comb Kit
18v brushless impact driver, 2603-20 Drill/Driver, two M18™ REDLITHIUM™ 2.0 battery packs, 30-min multi-charger, belt clip, carrying case
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