Milwaukee 2656-20 M18
Cordless Drill Review

Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Cordless Drill Review cover photo

Whether you are a homeowner who enjoys DIY projects, or a professional contractor with heavy duty jobs to be done on a daily basis, when you are in the market for a new drill or impact driver, you have a lot of options to consider. Be that as it may, the Milwaukee brand is probably on the top of your list of manufacturers to investigate, and rightly so.

With its over 90 years of tool manufacturing and expertise, Milwaukee has often led the way in durable, quality tools that push the industry to the next level with regards to technological advancements.

Milwaukee tools certainly have led the industry for its compact cordless drills and impact drivers, with incredible quality and leading innovations like its REDLINK INTELLIGENCE technology that helps protect their drills and drivers from overload and improves their longevity. Their drills and drivers always take it to the next level and rarely disappoint.

Their light, compact Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 ¼” Hex Impact Driver meets this same high bar. One of the lightest and most compact of its class, it has an astounding power to weight ratio and provides quite the punch for such a comparatively small driver.

In this Mikwaukee 2656-20 M18 impact cordless drill review, we will go over its features, specifications, and jobs its best at before delivering a verdict to help you determine whether this is the next tool you want/need to add to your collection.

Product Features:

Milwaukee 2656-20 M18

As mentioned above, the Milwaukee M18 is incredibly compact, making it great for use in tight work spaces and one of the best in its class for a power-size ratio.

It's light weight and easy to use nature makes it perfect for those wanting to add an impact driver to their home tool collection for DIY projects around the house, but its power and special features also make it perfect for those doing intense contracting work on a daily basis.

Here are just some of its features:

  • 4-Pole Frameless Motor: since a brushless motor means less resistance and friction, this robust motor design ensures longer engine life, while simultaneously increasing its power and runtime
  • Milwaukee Impact Mechanism: Milwaukee’s proprietary impact mechanism technology provides max power and speed to the effect of greater on the job efficiency without leaving your arm feeling wasted from the impact
  • REDLINK Intelligence: Milwaukee’s proprietary advanced technology that communicates with every element of the tool (body, battery, and charger) to protect it from overload during intense, abusive work situations, and offers improved temperature control to increase drill life, a must have feature to protect your investment
  • ¼” Hex Quick-Connect Chuck: saves time by simplifying how you change out your bits for a speedier and smoother transition on the job
  • LED Light: lights up your work space in dark or cramped working conditions and keeps you from having to hold or have an additional flashlight
  • Fuel Gauge: fuel gauge located on the battery helps you know how much life your drill has left and better time your charging and work sessions
  • Low Profile Battery: the M18’s battery pack is rather low profile, making it lighter weight without lessening its power
  • All-metal reversible belt clip: durable metal belt clip that can reverse for easier tool storage
  • Compact & Light Weight: this Milwaukee weighs in at only 3.1 pounds and is a compact 5-1/2”; its small size and light weight make it perfect for more cramped, awkward work areas as well as for longer use without tiring the user

Product Specifications:

For all its power and features, the Milwaukee M18 truly is one of the most compacts in its class. A look at its specs makes its excellent power/weight ratio much more tangible:

  • Voltage: 18V Lithium-Ion battery
  • Length: 5-1/2”
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs with compact battery
  • No Load RPM: 0-2,750
  • On-Board FUEL Gauge: Fuel gauge featured on battery
  • Anvil Size/Type: ¼” Hex Quick Change
  • No Load IPM: 0-3,450
  • Torque: 1,500 in-lbs
  • Package: tool (battery and charger not included)
  • Warranty: 5-year warranty

What Can the Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 Be Used For?

Like other impact drivers, the Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 is ideal for jobs that require an exorbitant amount of screws, or that need long or thick screws or fasteners to be screwed into dense, sturdy materials. It is perfect for driving screws and fasteners and is easy to use and manage.

Customer testimonials assert that the Milwaukee M18 is ideal for jobs like:

  • Driving lag bolts
  • Drywall
  • Metal Fab
  • Woodworking
  • Mounting TVs and CCTV cameras

Any job that will require a lot of repetitive and hefty driving, especially if it’s in a tighter space, can be accomplished by this little Milwaukee M18 impact driver.

So, Should You Buy It?

All in all, the Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 ranks high up among cordless, compact drills in its class. True to the Milwaukee brand, it is made with excellent quality, and Milwaukee’s proprietary technologies, like the REDLINK Intelligence and Impact Mechanism that help improve its longevity and its efficiency.

Both professional contractors and DIYers report the M18’s ease of use and its impressive efficiency, especially for something so lightweight and compact.

The only drawback to the M18 is that it is not sold with its battery and charger, which makes getting started with it a bit more expensive, and there is an apparent tendency for the battery to start draining more quickly. However, many customers report that once they got the whole tool assembled, its performance is excellent, and just replacing the battery after its time restores it to “like new” power and battery life.

Another option which resolves the above drawback is to buy it in the combo kit, which includes the M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill, the battery charger, two batteries and the 2656-20 M18 Impact Driver, which comes in at approximately only a hundred dollars more than buying the impact driver by itself.

For an impact driver of such high quality from a manufacturer like Milwaukee, it is worth the price and will meet all of your basic driving and fastening needs. It’s a must have in your tool collection.