Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drill & Hammer Drill 2nd Gen Models 2503-22 & 2504-22

When Milwaukee introduced their 12 volt and brushless M12 Fuel drill and hammer drills, boy did they shake up the power tool industry with strong performance that was unseen in 12V cordless drills at the time with 350 in-lbs torque. That was years ago and several years later, the original M12 Fuel drills still stand on top when it comes to raw power although their biggest drawback was how big they were compared to the other compact 12V drills. Pick up any 12V drill and compare it to the Milwaukee M12 Fuel drills and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Luckily for us, Milwaukee has now come out with second generation M12 Fuel Drills with a new drill/driver 2503-22 and new hammer drill 2504-22 that addresses the size issues that plagued the original models.

Lighter and More compact

The new M12 Fuel models are very compact, now at 6.6 inches in length which is more compact than the majority of 12V drills available today. Two models that I can think of best Milwaukee’s newest M12 Fuel drills such as the Bosch PS32 which is 6.5 inches and the Makita FD07R1 which is 6-1/16 inches in length. Both of those other two models are also brushless but yet do not have the torque performance of the Milwaukee M12 Fuel models. I’m surprised Milwaukee was able to shrink down their M12 Fuel drills down to such a short size while still retaining 350 in-lbs of torque. The weight also went slightly down at 2.8 lbs although they don’t mention which battery whether it’s the compact are XC battery, but my guess is that it’s with the compact battery.

Reduced size and weight comes at a cost

Who wouldn’t want a smaller and lighter tool, right? Most would prefer those features and Milwaukee delivered however they did have to sacrifice a couple of things in order to make a smaller and lighter M12 Fuel drill. The biggest sacrifice they did was to do away with the separate mode select collar next to the torque collar that was found in the original M12 Fuel drills. The separate mode select collar made quick and easy mode changes on the fly without having to fiddle with the torque clutch settings. In my opinion this is a great feature to have and I view it as a premium feature. But the separate mode collar adds length to the drill and had to be sacrificed to shorten the drill, I’m sure they also did other stuff to the gearbox and motor as well to make the length as compact as possible. The other downside I see is that they stuck with 350 in-lbs of torque for the second gen model. I’m sure Milwaukee could have easily made a 12V drill the size of the original Fuel model and given it considerably more torque. In fact, I was hoping for a high torque 12V drill that pushed close to or more than 500 in-lbs. For all you nay sayers that don’t think it’s possible to make a 12V drill that powerful, think again as it’s been done before and with a brushed motor, check out my article on one by clicking here. So in other words, to keep the new M12 Fuel drills as small as possible they had to keep the same torque numbers. Still an impressive feat if you think about.

Milwaukee could’ve also added more mechanical speeds like 3 or 4 speeds but I think you get the point that in order for that to happen it would need to be longer to fit the extra gears. Fein managed to make a 4 speed drill however is barely smaller than the original Milwaukee M12 Fuel hammer drill.

Even with the sacrifices Milwaukee did to the 2nd gen M12 Fuel drills, they are some of the most competitive 12V drills around today. You still will not be able to get a more powerful 12V drill and users will love their much more compact size. Pair their compact size, with class leading torque, 1/2″ metal ratcheting chuck and a brushless motor and you have a package that’s hard to beat.

The new Milwaukee M12 Fuel models still maintain the other features of the originals such as durable 1/2″ metal ratcheting chucks, on board fuel gauges, belt clips, slimmed down more ergonomic handle and an updated cosmetic design that’s very familiar to the original models. Prices for the new M12 Fuel models are the same as the first gen models ($169 for 2503-22 and $179 for 2504-22) which leads me to believe that they will replace the original models. The new M12 Fuel drills will be available in January 2018.

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M12 FUEL™ 1/2″ Drill Driver (2503-22) – $169

  • RPM: 0-1,700
  • 350in-lbs of Peak Torque
  • ½” All Metal Chuck (include)
  • Length: 6.6”
  • Weight (w/ battery): 2.8lbs

Includes M12 FUEL™ 1/2″ Drill Driver, M12™ REDLITHIUM™ 2.0 Compact Battery Pack, M12™ REDLITHIUM™ XC4.0 Extended Capacity Battery Pack, Charger, Belt Clip and Carrying Case

*Also available as a Bare Tool (2503-20) – $119

M12 FUEL™ 1/2″ Hammer Drill (2504-22) – $179

  • RPM: 0-1,700
  • 350in-lbs of Peak Torque
  • ½” All Metal Chuck (include)
  • BPM: 25,500
  • Length: 6.6”
  • Weight (w/ battery): 2.8lbs

Includes M12 FUEL™ 1/2″ Hammer Drill, M12™ REDLITHIUM™ 2.0 Compact Battery Pack, M12™ REDLITHIUM™ XC4.0 Extended Capacity Battery Pack, Charger, Belt Clip and Carrying Case

*Also available as a Bare Tool (2504-20) – $129

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