Milwaukee M12 vs M18 Impact Driver

Milwaukee M12 vs M18 Impact Driver: Which One Packs a Bigger Punch?

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Undoubtedly the Milwaukee m18 impact drivers are overall better than the M12 models. The M18 impact has more fastening torque, high RPM, multiple-speed control, substantially better ergonomic gripping handle. 

On the other hand, the M12 drivers are lightweight, compact, and have adequate torque to hold all the lightweight to medium jobs.

The 3 significant differences between the m12 and m18 impact drivers

Battery Power/Voltage: 

The Milwaukee m18 batteries have more power than the M12. In the M12 battery, three 3.7-volt batteries are connected in series that produce a total of 11.1 volts. On the other hand, in the M18 battery pack, five 3.7-volt batteries are connected in series, which creates a total of 18.5 volts. So, Definitely, the M18 impact drivers will give you an extra boost.  

There are around 7.4 Volts difference between the M12 and M18 battery pack, which makes a major difference between the two. M18 batteries are not compatible with M12 tools. 


In terms of torque delivery, the M12 impact can produce a highest of 1300 in-lbs. It will decrease if you use M12 low amp battery pack. We recommend you use a 4.0 AH M12 battery for maximum performance.  

On the other hand, the M18 impact can deliver over 2,000 in-lbs of torque for most demanding jobs in maximum settings. 

Maximum Rotational Speed:

Mostly, the M12 impact has a maximum of 3300 RPM. On the other hand, the M18 impact has over 3600 RPM. 

Milwaukee m12 vs m18 impact:( 2553-20 -M12) VS (2853-20 -M18) Bare tool only

m12 impact driver

The 2553-20 M12 Fuel impact driver is excellent for driving fasteners. It can deliver 1300 in-lbs of torque in max settings, and the 3300 maximum rotational speed boost power to drive any fasteners with ease, even no issues we have found when driving 5/16″ x 2-1/2″ hex lag bolt screws. It took about 16 seconds to drive a 5/16″ x 2-1/2″ hex screw using the m12 2.0 AH battery. 

The M18 impact driver with a 6.0 AH battery pack took about 6 seconds to drive the same size hex lag screw. It was 3X faster than the m12 impact driver.

In our second test, we drove 6-inch Hex lag screws using both the m12 and m18 impact drivers. The result was similar. The m12 with a 4.0 AH battery pack required 40 seconds to drive the whole screw into the wood. For the m18 with a 6.0 AH battery, it was 33 seconds.

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Milwaukee m12 vs m18 tire Inflator – 6 Differences You Need To Know.

FAQ Of Milwaukee m12 vs m18 impact driver

Which Milwaukee impact driver is better for heavy-duty tasks, M12 or M18? 

Mostly the M12 impact drivers have adequate power 1300 in-lbs that holds you with all the medium to high-demanding jobs. The compact and lightweight yet powerful driver is ideal for heavy-duty tasks and long-time jobs.   
On the other hand, the M18 is the better choice for professionals and heavy-duty tasks as it has more torque, Rotational Speed, and higher impact per minute of 4300 IPM, Making it capable of handling more strenuous jobs.

Can you use the same batteries in both the m12 and m18 impact drivers?  

There are 7.4 volts difference between the battery pack. And the battery size is different, and they are not compatible with each other.

What is the maximum torque difference between the M12 and M18?

The maximum torque output for the Milwaukee M12 is approximately 1300 in-lbs, while the maximum torque output for the Milwaukee M18 is about 2,000 in-lbs. There are 700 In-lbs torque differences between the two. 

Are the M12 and M18 impact drivers Brushless? 

Yes, both the Milwaukee M12 and M18 impact drivers are available in Brushless versions, which provide longer battery life and improved efficiency.

Is the M12 or M18 impact driver more affordable?

The M12 impact driver is typically more affordable compared to the M18, but the price can also depend on the specific model and any additional accessories included.

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