Milwaukee 2853-20 M18 Fuel 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver Review

The Milwaukee 2353-20 is the way to go if you’re looking for a powerful, fast, and compact impact driver.

The model comes with many features that can attract the harshest tool critic. So, it should be easy for DIY enthusiasts and contractors to embrace this sturdy model to Milwaukee’s range of quality tools.

Asides the tool’s incredibly fast feature, and it comes with four-speed settings. Also, Milwaukee 2853-20 has a phenomenal torque.

What more can you get from Milwaukee 2853-20?

Here’s a summary that will help you decide if the model is ideal for your next project:

  • Brushless motor that delivers up to 2000 inch-pound of torque
  • Four-mode drive control that offers increased Control over output speed and power
  • Up to 30% faster-driving speed that boosts user’s productivity
  • 4.59-inch compact driver that allows easy access to tight spaces
  • REDLITHIUM battery pack that helps users deliver more work per charge
  • LED light that illuminates your workspace
  • A self-tapping screw mode that offers faster installation time
  • Premium rubber overmold that boosts comfort when in use and withstands corrosive materials
  • Single-handed bit insertion for easier and speedier changing of bits
  • REDLINK PLUS intelligence that ensures maximum performance

Features

The Milwaukee 2853-20 packs a lot of speed for driving fasteners easily. Also, you can purchase the tool with Milwaukee’s M18v REDLITHIUM 2.0 compact battery pack and the M18 REDLITHIUM 5.0Ah battery. 

In addition, this impact driver has enough power to handle the most demanding applications and features that can greatly increase your productivity. Moreover, the Milwaukee 2853-20 is one of the fastest impact drivers on the market.

So, let’s get into the detailed features of this tool.

Ergonomic Design

One amazing feature of the Milwaukee 2853-20 is its ergonomic and lightweight design. 

The previous generation of power tools featured a less compact design that made it less portable. However, the impact driver has an ergonomic design that can snugly fit into your hands—while using it.

With this feature, you’ll experience less fatigue and reduced wrist pain—when operating the impact driver.

The tool packs a lot of power into its small design. Plus, its ergonomic design can save you a lot of stress and pain.

Another cool feature of the Milwaukee 2853-20 is its compact design. The impact driver features a tiny front-to-back length that gives it a compressed size of 116mm. As a result, you can get into tight spaces where other drivers won’t work.

So, if you’re going to be handling complicated and heavy-duty tasks—with little or no stress to your wrists, consider Milwaukee 2853-20.

Power and Speed

The Milwaukee 2853-20 is an extremely powerful tool, maybe the most powerful in its class. For this reason, it’s one of the best tools to consider when you’re faced with lots of heavy-duty projects.

So, the tool features a brushless motor that produces an impressive maximum torque of 2000 in-lbs and delivers up to 30% more driving speed for you. The best part is, the tool generates up to 3400 impacts per minute. That’s over 56 impacts per second.

It’s easy to believe that the tool’s small frame may limit its prowess, but that isn’t the case. Instead, the Milwaukee 2853-20 can easily outperform other bigger devices in the market—thanks to its powerful motor. As a result, you can garner enough power to complete the toughest tasks you encounter.  

Also, with the power of this tool, you can fasten or release large screws without facing any damage. Plus, you can powerfully drive through hard materials—easily.

The only snag with this impact driver is the job hazards you’re exposed to—because of its high power. If you don’t properly handle or grip this tool while operating it, you can face possible injuries or even destroy your wooden materials and accessories.

Like most impact drivers, the Milwaukee 2853-20 is incredibly versatile. Hence, you can use it for a wide variety of applications, whether you’re a contractor or DIYer.

But that’s not all.

The impact driver can handle even the most basic driving projects and the most complex jobs that require fastening a lot of screws.

Though impact drivers are ideal for fastening jobs—primarily, it doesn’t limit the efficacy of the Milwaukee 2656-20. Hence, you can always count on the tool’s powerful impact action to nullify any resistance when operating.

So, here are few projects you can use this tool for:

Replacing old doors

Building decks

Installing plywood subfloors

Ease of Use & Convenience

The Milwaukee 2853-20 emerged as one of the topmost convenient tools I’ve ever reviewed. No doubt, there are a ton of features to love about the Milwaukee 2853-20.

But first, I’d to talk about the conveniently placed selector button at the bottom front of the tool’s handle, which makes the driver easy to use.

Also, LED lights are a trend for newer impact drivers, and the Milwaukee 2853-20 is no exception. This model comes with a flashlight—installed between the trigger and the chuck.

What’s more?

The flashlight is bright enough to properly illuminate your workspace, especially when you’re working in tight and dark corners. So, I advise that you make use of the flashlight every time you use the impact driver, whether it’s bright or dark in your workshop. That way, you’ll get a clearer view of what you’re working with.

The Milwaukee 2853-20 also comes with a quick bit insert that makes the bits easy to attach—with one hand. Plus, the tool features a belt hook on one side and a bit holder on the other—for more convenience. So, you can switch the positions based on your preference—which makes the operation even more convenient.

Battery

The Milwaukee 2853-20 doesn’t have the strongest battery life, but you can solve this by leaving a spare battery to charge while operating.

To get a more detailed result, I tested the batteries in two different operations. I even fastened fourteen ledger screws and drove a ½-inch x 3-inch lag bolt in and out. I repeated this exercise until the device ran out of juice.

It wasn’t that powerful, but I completed four rounds of both the lag bolt and ledger screw driving and removal exercises. Unfortunately, the battery ran down before I entered the fifth round—after fastening four ledger screws.

Noise Level

Finding the exact noise level of the Milwaukee 2853-20 required a different exercise. So, I used a sound pressure level meter to get this done. With this, I calculated the average noise level of the tool when driving ledger screws into a piece of lumber. And I arrived at an average of 99dB.

It wasn’t the worst in the noise category, compared to other painful loud drivers, but that didn’t place the Milwaukee 2853-20 among the noiseless league.

In short, its 99dB noise passed my average for the group (98dB) by a tiny bit. So, before using this tool, I recommend you look for a nice pair of ear protection gear, which will save your eardrums—while you’re driving.

Thus, the Milwaukee 2853-20 ranked second to last on my noise rating chart, among other impact drivers I’ve reviewed before now.

So, if you’re looking for a noiseless impact driver, the Milwaukee 2853-20 isn’t the way to go. But considering its performance level, I’m sure it’s an aspect you can overlook.

Value

The Milwaukee 2853-20 isn’t the most affordable option out there. So, if you want this tool, you may need to spend a few bucks above the normal. However, if you already own Milwaukee batteries, then this cuts down the costs. And if you don’t, this model becomes quite an expensive option.

Overall, I think this impact driver is worth the extra cost, especially if you’re looking for an impact driver that can serve you for a long time.

Bit Compatibility

One great feature of an impact driver is its compatibility with many bit types, and the Milwaukee 2853-20 doesn’t fall short.

It has a 1/4-inch hex shank with a quick bit change. With this, you can easily change screws that are compatible with the 1/4 -inch hex bits, depending on the application.

So, here are some examples of bits that work with the Milwaukee 2853-20:

1/4 inch Ledger Screws

You can use ledger screws with the Milwaukee 2853-20 to join a deck ledger board to a rim joist. The best part is; it requires no pre-drilling. Ledger screws serve the purpose of deck ledger board joiners and replace through-bits and lag screws.

Star or Torx screws

You can use the Torx screw with the Milwaukee 2853-20 for applications in vehicles, hard-disk drives, consumer electronics, and computer systems. The star-shaped head makes the Torx screw sturdier than the standard cross-head or flat-head screws. Plus, you get a higher torque transmission with this screw.

1/4 concrete bits

You can use the concrete bit with the Milwaukee 2853-20 to drill holes through any form of masonry. You can also bore holes into brick and stone—with these bits.

The best part is; the concrete bits come equipped with a tungsten carbide tip that can drill through solid concrete with ease.

1″ Spade bit

You can use the spade bit with the Milwaukee 2853-20 to drill holes into all kinds of wood. It has two sharp lips that can quickly scoop out materials when boring holes into wood.

Safety Tips

Impact drivers can get dangerous when used wrongly. But thankfully, Milwaukee knows about this issue. So, they gave a stern warning to their users, telling them to read their operator manual—to reduce the risk of injury. And you can find this manufacturer’s notice at the side of the tool.

So, with that said, here are the safety tips provided by the Milwaukee brand:

1. Work Area Safety

To avoid accidents, don’t work in cluttered or dark areas. Also, don’t operate your impact driver in a highly flammable area because the sparks from the tool may cause fire accidents. Additionally, make sure there are no bystanders or children around you while operating.

2. Electrical Safety

Avoid contact with earthed or grounded surfaces like radiators, pipes, and refrigerators. Otherwise, you risk getting electrocuted. To further protect your device and yourself from electric shock, keep your tool away from rain or wet areas.

3. Personal Safety

Always stay alert and watch what you’re doing. Using an impact driver when distracted or tired could lead to serious personal injuries.

Also, remember to equip yourself with protective gears to protect critical areas of your body. And always ensure to wear eye protection, non-skid safety shoes, hearing protection, and a dust mask to reduce personal injuries.

Furthermore, confirm that the switch is in the off position to avoid accidental startups when connecting to a battery pack or carrying the tool.

Again, try to remain balanced and keep your proper footing while operating the impact driver because if you’re unstable—you could get seriously hurt.

Additionally, avoid loose clothing and keep your hair, clothing, and jewelry away from moving parts.

Lastly, do not make careless actions because of familiarity with the tool. One mistake can cost you.

4. Power Tool Use and Care

You should also take your power tool’s safety seriously. If you don’t know how to use your impact driver, refer to the operator manual for proper instructions.

That said, here are some safety tips for your device:

  • Don’t force the power tool to perform tasks not fit for it. Instead, ensure you use your impact driver for the correct application to avoid damaging it
  • If the switch does not put on/off your power tool, do not use it. You must repair such power tools before use
  • Make sure you remove the battery pack before adjusting the tool or changing accessories. With this measure, you can prevent accidental startups
  • Keep idle tools away from children and laypeople—who don’t know how to use the tool
  • Regularly maintain your tool and accessories. For example, check if the moving parts are properly aligned or if any parts are broken 

5. Battery Tool Use and Care

Your batteries can permanently run out of juice if you don’t use them properly.

So, here are some tips to follow if you want to maintain good battery life:

  • Use only chargers specified by Milwaukee. Using other chargers might damage your batteries or even cause a fire
  • Don’t use battery packs not designed for your impact driver. Otherwise, you risk starting a fire and damaging your tool
  • Keep the battery pack away from other metal objects when idle to avoid shorting the battery life.
  • If abused, your battery may release a certain liquid, which is detrimental to your skin. So, the rule of thumb is to avoid contact with this liquid.  But, if it accidentally touches you, wash it off immediately. And if it makes contact with your eyes, seek medical help
  • Do not use a damaged battery pack for your tool. Doing this will result in unexpected behavior.

Specifications

  • Cordless power source
  • Voltage: 18V
  • Length: 4.59 inches
  • Weight of tool only: 2.2 lbs
  • RPM: 0 – 3,600
  • Drive Control: four-mode
  • Single hand bit insertion
  • IPM: 0 – 4,300
  • Belt clip
  • Maximum torque: 2,000-inch pound
  • Chuck type: 1/4 inch
  • Dimension: 4.3 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Battery system: M18

Set-Up

The Milwaukee 2853-20 doesn’t require any form of assembly or professional help to set up. However, if you need help setting up the tool’s accessories, refer to the operator’s manual.

What’s In the Box?

There are no batteries, bits, or chargers included in the package, only the bare tool. If you want these accessories, you can easily purchase them from amazon or your local hardware store. You can also buy the device with the battery packs.

Applications

I was quite curious about the power of the Milwaukee 2853-20; so, I purchased one to test it out myself. At first glance, the tool looked impressive. And when I got up close, the impact driver didn’t disappoint. In short, it had a snug fit in my hands, and I got excited to work with it.

Moving on, I tested the performance of the tool with a few applications. I used a 3-5/8-inch ledger screw and a 1/2 x 3-inch lag bolt to test the speed. In the end, the results were impressive.

The Milwaukee 2853-20 took 3.3 seconds to drive the ledger screw fully. However, the tool showed it had no competition in the speed race. It took a mere 12 seconds to drive in the lag bolt and 4 seconds to remove it. That was faster than the other impact drivers I tested—from other brands.

Next, I tested the torque delivery with a 3/4 -inch bolt. Afterward, I welded and tightened the bolts to an I-beam with a lot of torque. Then, I measured the torque the Milwaukee could dish out to loosen the screws with a mechanic-grade torque wrench. Again, I wasn’t surprised to find that the tool passed this test by fully releasing the tightened bolts.

As I mentioned earlier, the Milwaukee 2853-20 isn’t the best for battery capacity. Honestly, it didn’t pass the test, but that doesn’t mean it had the worst results. It performed better than the DeWalt DCF815S2 and the Bosch GDR18V.

The final test measured the noise level of the tool. I also mentioned this earlier, and I stated that the Milwaukee 2853-20 fell short of expectation; but certainly not the worse option. My test results showed that the tool produced 99dB of sound—enough to get yourself a pair of earmuffs—while using the device.

FAQs

What is Milwaukee’s eservice?

Milwaukee’s eservice gives you access to a quick and convenient tool repair by accredited factory-trained technicians. So, you don’t need a warranty to use this service, and all repairs get completed in 7-10 days

How to use Milwaukee’s eservice?

It’s simple. All you have to do is register or log in for 24/7 access to Milwaukee’s eservice. Plus, you get free shipping to Milwaukee’s tool repair facility with FedEx.

Final Words

The Milwaukee 2853-20 is an incredible, powerful, compact, and fast tool. Hence, its amazing features make it appealing to even the toughest power tool critics.

I can’t deny that the tool has downsides; the battery is not the best, and it’s not a very quiet tool. But that didn’t stop it from going head-to-head with some of the best impact drivers in the market.

So, the Milwaukee 2853-20 is a great option if you’re looking for a powerful, small, and versatile tool to get most of the work done and fast.

Well, that’s it for this product review.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section. Also, let us know how the Milwaukee 2853-20 driver works for you!

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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About The Tool Square

James Thomas

Hi, I’m James. I created The Tool Square to help as many understand and know how to use Table Saws, and many other tool-related products. About Me.

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