Is this Milwaukee’s best M12 screwdriver yet?
Name: M12 FUEL 1/4″ Hex 2-Speed Screwdriver Kit
Best Price: Amazon
Overall Rating: 10/10
Who it’s for: Professional use
Milwaukee is a name synonymous with producing built-to-last, high performance power tools and with their latest compact screwdriver, the new M12 FUEL 1/4″ Hex 2-Speed Cordless Screwdriver, it looks like they have done it again.
In the professional flat pack furniture assembly industry we need to use the best quality power tools available to get the job done as efficiently as possible. But it would appear that not all power tool brands are created equal, which is what I discovered two years ago when my Bosch cordless screwdriver decided to give up the ghost halfway through a big furniture installation job.
I went to my local tool supplies shop in search of a replacement and told the sales guy I was looking for a replacement Bosch cordless screwdriver. Without hesitation he advised me to steer clear of Bosch (which surprised me as they were a main dealership) and then pointed me in the direction of the Milwaukee display cabinet. To be honest, up until that moment I didn’t know anything about Milwaukee. I had heard the name and just assumed they were like any other power tools brand. But apparently not.
I was told that if I were a professional tradesmen and wanted the best performance and long-life from my power tools I should consider Milwaukee from now on, and after a brief demonstration he had convinced me to make the purchase, of what has now been my favourite and most faithful 1/4″ Hex screwdriver to date, the original C12D-202C, which I still use for work every day.
Overview of the M12 FUEL
The Milwaukee M12 FUEL 1/4″ Hex screwdriver is aimed squarely at the professional tradesmen market. The feature list is incredible; boasting some very impressive ‘in-house’ innovations, such as Milwaukee’s new REDLITHIUM™ battery technology, which is said to give 20% more power and last up to 2x more charges than conventional Lithium-Ion batteries. I can back this up having used the same batteries for more than 2 years under a constant charge and dump cycle.
Milwaukee has also introduced into its new heavy-duty POWERSTATE™ brushless motor system. I’ve tried this screwdriver and it has some serious torque – 325 in-lbw no less! And Milwaukee claim that it outperforms all of its competitors and that it runs cooler and has no wearable parts. This is truly impressive stuff indeed and great news for the user, if like me you will be using it for up to 8 hours per day, every day.
Technical Specifications for the M12 FUEL 1/4″ Hex
An interesting feature the company mentions on it’s website is the use of its new REDLINK Plus™ system. I don’t really no much about how this works other than clever microchip technology but Milwaukee describe it as “”The most advanced system of cordless power tool electronics. Providing optimised performance and overload protection using total system communication between tool, battery and charger”
The really handy LED work light is also included for working in dark, confined spaces and this is as focused and bright as ever. And you still get Milwaukee’s excellent ‘fuel’ gauge on the side of the body which lets you know when you’re about to run out of battery juice.
Add to these the fact that Milwaukee has put 2-speed variable motor in the M12, which allows the user to select between 0-450rpm and 0-1,700rpm (variable) through its all-metal gearbox with an 18-step clutch and the M12 FUEL really does set the bench mark for compact cordless screwdrivers, leaving its competition well and truly trailing behind.
Video courtesy of www.milwaukeetool.com
What’s in the box?
As with all Milwaukee drills and screwdrivers, you get everything you need to not only get you up and running but to last you for several years to come. I really like the overall high-quality of Milwaukee products. Not just their power tool equipment but also the accessories, right down to its clothing range. Again, other manufacturers seem to lag behind here.
With the M12 FUEL™ 1/4″ Hex you get a very sturdy and hard plastic carry case emblazoned with the Milwaukee logo with M12 FUEL also stamped on it, which looks really cool in my opinion and will certainly impress your work mates.
Inside the box you get the brilliant M12 1/4″ Hex screwdriver itself, alongside the awesome REDLITHIUM™ 2.0 compact battery pack and the heavy-duty but lightweight 12v Lithium Ion battery charger.
This M12 battery and charger combination, in my experience, really is the best available on the power tool market today. There is no competition. I have seen charge times of 15 minutes from empty to full and then had up to 8 hours of use on a single battery. Truly remarkable technology, especially at this price. And the charger is so small it fits neatly in your tool bag without getting in the way.
Would I buy the new M12 Fuel Hex Screwdriver? Very much so! I already own and use its predecessor as my primary power tool for assembling flat pack furniture, all day, every day, and it is showing no sign of giving up on me just yet. Its over two years old now and still performs like the day I purchased it, albeit looking a bit tatty. The REDLITHIUM™ batteries still hold their charge, day after day, and ultimately it gets the job done with no fuss. I should point out that even after 8 hours of use, it is light and well-balanced enough to not cause any fatigue to the wrist or hand.
I can only see this new M12 FUEL 1/4″Hex screwdriver being slightly better than its predecessor in every way. From the excellent 2-speed high torque motor to the extended battery life and even more compact design. I honestly do not think there is a better cordless screwdriver available on the market today at this price. It really is that good. And this is why I have given it a 10/10 rating in this review.
If you don’t believe me just take a look at these Amazon reviews!
At the time of writing this review the cheapest price for the Milwaukee M12 FUEL 1/4″ Hex screwdriver I could find on the internet was at Amazon.
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I hope this review has been helpful. More Milwaukee power tool reviews coming soon.