Business Magazine

My Favorite Tool: the Milwaukee M12 FUEL™ 1/4" Hex Impact Driver

By Homesmsp @HomesMSP

Back when I first started inspecting houses, I’d bring along my 18-volt drill and use it to remove electric panel covers, bath tub access panels, and anything else I didn’t want to use a screwdriver for.  It’s a big, heavy tool, but I also have an 18-volt hand vacuum, which is convenient to use any time I make a mess of insulation on the floor that my tarp or painters plastic doesn’t catch.  It takes the same battery, so I never have to worry about having a charged battery with me.

At some point, I started using a 4-volt Ryobi screwdriver, which is a great little tool.  The battery lasts a long time, and the drill is small enough to slip into a tool pouch.  The obvious downside to any electric screwdriver is that it’s just a screwdriver, and it’s slow.

Drill vs driver vs screwdriver

About eighteen months ago, I started using a Milwaukee 1/4″ hex impact driver in place of both a drill and an electric screwdriver, and I’ve fallen head over heels in love.

Impact driver in bed

What’s the difference between a drill and an impact driver?  Check out this nice description at Popular Mechanics.  Also, check out this short little video clip of my neighbor trying an impact driver for the first time.

This little cutie isn’t the first impact driver I’ve owned, but it’s without a doubt the best.  I’ve gotten so spoiled with this thing that I basically refuse to use my screwdriver for anything.  I need the impact driver.  I used to just wear a tool belt with a tool pouch during my inspections, but now I also use a drill holster so I always have this drill by my side.  I can’t live without it.  Even if I have small projects that I’m working on inside my house, I go out to my truck and grab the impact driver.

Hex adapter
It took me a while to start using an impact driver for everything because someone had told me they’re only good for driving screws, but that’s definitely not the case.  Impact drivers do a great job of drilling holes too.  The only drawback is that your drill bits need to have a 1/4″ hex shank, or you need to use a hex shank adapter, shown at right.  During my recent urinal install, I used my impact driver to bore 1-1/4″ holes through the top plates of my wall, and it went through them like butter using a Milwaukee Speed Feed Wood Bit.

Check out the video clip below for a nice comparison of an 18-volt drill and this impact driver being used to bore holes through a pressure-treated 4×4.  The impact driver takes about twice as much time to get through the wood, but it also does so with basically zero effort on my part.  I struggled to keep the 18-volt drill steady with one hand, but I could easily hold the impact driver with just my fingers and thumb in my left hand.

So what’s so great about this tool?

  • This is the most comfortable trigger tool I’ve ever owned.  The grip is just the right size, and the tool is balanced just right.
  • It’s extremely compact; while it’s a little thicker than my 4-volt screwdriver, it’s actually a little bit shorter, making it easy to fit into tight spaces.
  • The battery life is phenomenal.  I’m certainly not a ‘power user’, but I’ve probably only gone through about ten battery charges in the last 18 months.
  • It has a brushless motor, which apparently gives it three times the motor life and twice the battery runtime.
  • The 4-light battery life indicator is handy.  If all four lights start flashing, I know I need to swap batteries soon.  I don’t think I’ve ever used one of my batteries to exhaustion.
  • This driver also has a nice LED light in front, which does a nice job of lighting up whatever is being worked on.

For someone who doesn’t own a drill or an impact driver, I recommend buying an impact driver first.  I know, that’s contrary to most of the advice you’ll see online, but I stand behind it.  There are very few projects I’ve taken on over the past year that I couldn’t use my impact driver for.  If you don’t own an impact driver, put one on your wish list.  If you want to treat yourself, buy this one.  Just in case I haven’t sold it enough, check out the reviews on  Almost all of them are 5-star reviews.  You can’t go wrong with this tool.

p.s.  – It’s tough to go wrong with anything that Milwaukee makes.  I use a Milwaukee tape measure, utility knife, voltage sniffer, drill bits, and several other products.  They just make great stuff.

Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections

My favorite tool: the Milwaukee M12 FUEL™ 1/4
My favorite tool: the Milwaukee M12 FUEL™ 1/4
My favorite tool: the Milwaukee M12 FUEL™ 1/4

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • How to Make Packing and Moving Easier

    Moving is definitely a hectic task, but with some proven ways, it can be an easier job. Moving needs organization and proper planning. With some simple steps,... Read more

    10 hours, 6 minutes ago by   Meet Rv
  • Unique Ways to Back-Up Your Data

    Imagine how you would feel having burnt the midnight oil preparing your work presentation, only to wake up the next morning to find your computer has crashed.... Read more

    10 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Meet Rv
  • A Rare Mutation: The Answer to Obesity?

    Rare Mutation: Answer Obesity?

    Would you believe it if I told you that there are people who are genetically incapable of getting obese? Well, it's apparently true! Researchers have found... Read more

    10 hours, 31 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
  • Star Citizen - Roadmap Update - Wot No Multi-system?

    Star Citizen Roadmap Update Multi-system?

    after someone in the dev team accidentally uploaded a 3.3-3.6 Roadmap a couple of weeks ago that was all sortsa wrong, RSI aka CIG aka makers of both the Star... Read more

    11 hours, 56 minutes ago by   Freeplanet
  • A Gay with a Bun in Bungay

    with Bungay

    Last month’s prolonged heatwave, reminiscent of our Turkey days, drove us from the sticky city to the cute little towns of Bungay and Beccles, just across the... Read more

    12 hours, 32 minutes ago by   Jackscott
  • Josie Entertains the Old Folks

    Josie Entertains Folks

    Read more

    15 hours, 32 minutes ago by   Vickilane
  • An Everyday Thing by Nancy Richardson BLOG TOUR

    Nancy Richardson's poems concern coming of age in the rust-belt of Ohio during a period of decay of the physical and political structures that made the region... Read more

    17 hours, 1 minute ago by   Pamelascott