Milwaukee M12 2462-20 Impact Driver Review

Milwaukee 2462-20 Angle 5

Quick take

The Milwaukee M12 2462-20 is a solid impact driver for the right type of user. It has good battery life, casts a thin shadow for nimble handling, is relatively lightweight, and Milwaukee offers fantastic tool and battery warranties, so durability shouldn’t be an issue. However, it uses a brushed motor that isn’t highly efficient, there’s only one drive mode, and it trails behind other 12V impact drivers with its driving speed. Combined, these results make it most suitable for DIYers wanting a compact setup focusing more on precision than brute force. It’s also one of the few budget Milwaukee impact drivers available, making it an exceptional option if you covet the Milwaukee ecosystem and don’t want to break the bank.

Brand Milwaukee
Platform M12
Motor Brushed
Tested torque in-lbs 491.4
IPM 3,300.0
Drive modes 1
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as -

Global rankings

21 models tested

TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)58.321
Torque (in-lbs)491.418
Battery run time (min.)42.010
RPM2,170.021
Bare weight (lbs)1.967
Impacting noise (dBA)98.021

Editorial opinion

Methodology used: Light duty

Editorial rating

2.75 / 5 stars

Pros

  • Moderately lightweight
  • Fantastic tool and battery warranty
  • Solid battery run time

Cons

  • Brushed motor
  • Single drive mode reduces driving versatility
  • Slow driving speed

Recommended configuration

2462-22

Includes (1) M12 Red Lithium CP 1.5Ah battery

Series lineup

Model #PlatformDrive ModesTorqueIPMReview
2462-20M121491.4 in-lbs3,300.0Full review
2551-20M12 Fuel Surge4472.8 in-lbs3,400.0Full review
3453-20 (Gen 3)M12 Fuel4696.0 in-lbs4,000.0Full review

Lab results

Torque

Milwaukee 2462-20 Torquemeter
Milwaukee 2462-20 Torque Chart Image

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 491.4
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): N/A
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): N/A
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): N/A

The 2462-20 is moderately underpowered for a 12V impact driver, and it can’t match the twisting force of more powerful 18V models, which are ideal for heavy-duty tasks. The torque output further highlights the 2462-20’s intended usage, primarily light and medium-duty tasks that don’t demand high torque output.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel 3453-20 has among the highest torque output we’ve tested in the 12V class.

Compare torque test results

RPM

Milwaukee 2462-20 RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 2,170.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 2,045.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): N/A

The 2462-20’s single drive mode has very low measured RPM, great for precision driving but a downside combined with its torque profile for quickly driving big screws and bolts.

There is no significant RPM difference between forward and reverse. Some Makita impact drivers increase RPM in select drive mode settings in reverse to help in loosening bolts and stubborn screws. The 2462-20 won’t bust loose stingy bolts (it doesn’t have the RPM and torque), but it handled removing any difficult screw we tested.

Compare RPM test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 58.3
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 11.7
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 49.1
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 9.8

The 2462-20 scraped the bottom of the barrel in our GRK driving speed tests. However, this test doesn’t tell the whole story, and the 2462-20 can handle similar driving tasks when you don’t have the perfect tool within reach.

All 12V impact drivers bog down driving big structural screws and lag bolts. 12V impact drivers can do the job in a pinch, but their batteries drain quickly with the motors working overtime.

We tested driving other common screw lengths and sizes into different-density materials, such as treated lumber, dimensional lumber, MDF, plywood, and soft and hardwood. Speed isn’t what matters in these tests since speed isn’t markedly different across models. The 2462-20 handily and accurately drove screws in all these situations tested.

Compare driving speed test results

Drive modes

Drive modes: 1
Drive mode 1:  High speed 
Drive mode 2:  N/A 
Drive mode 3:  N/A 
Drive mode 4:  N/A 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

Only one drive mode reduces the 2462-20’s versatility. Additional drive modes would help the 2462-20 tackle differing driving tasks, ranging from precisely recessing screws into soft materials like MDF to driving lag bolts in timber.

This said, the single drive mode is well-balanced. It accurately finished differing-length screws in dimensional lumber, MDF, and drywall, albeit with less brute force than other impact drivers.

Collet

Milwaukee 2462-20 Collet Closeup

Collet size: 1/4-inch hex
Quick-change collet: Yes
Bit-eject collet: No
Easy-insert collet: No

The 2462-20 is not suitable for one-handed bit changes. It takes two hands to change bits, one to slide the collet and the other to insert or remove the bit. The collet has no easy-insert or bit eject feature, which helps with one-handed bit changes.

Milwaukee rarely includes a bit-eject feature on its impact drivers, but some models have a smooth easy-insert design.

Many Dewalt impact drivers include easy-insert and bit-eject collets that are smooth with the best collet design we’ve come across.

Motor

Motor: Brushed
Impacts per minute: 3,300.0

One critical feature cut to make the price point is the 2462-20 uses a brushed motor. Brushed motors are less efficient, less durable, louder, and don’t drive as well as brushless motors, which are commonly used in most models nowadays.

The Makita 12V CXT DT04Z, Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20, and Dewalt 12V Xtreme DCF801 are excellent competing models with a brushless motor.

The 2462-20’s anvil hits with 3300.0 impacts per minute, low compared to most 12V impact drivers. Whether this makes a difference to you depends on your intended usage. The low impacts per minute are one reason the 2462-20 consistently and cleanly finished screws in different work materials in our tests. However, the impacts also explain why the 2462-20 drives big screws and lag bolts slowly.

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 42.0
Battery tested: 12V Red Lithium CP 2Ah (48-11-2420)
Voltage: 12

The 2462-20 turned in a respectable battery run time, especially for a brushed motor, including beating out many 12V impact drivers we tested. The Makita 12V CXT DT04Z and Ryobi 18V One+ PSBID01 are worth considering for improved battery performance.

We tested battery run time with the 2Ah battery version. With a higher Ah battery, expect the battery run time to continue outperforming competing models running the same Ah setup.

Compare battery test results

Charging time

Milwaukee 2656-20 Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Milwaukee M12 & M18 Multi-Volt (48-59-1812)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 38.0
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time per Ah (min.): 19.0
Fuel gauge: Onboard tool

The Milwaukee M12 and M18 multi-volt charger (model 48-59-1812) included in most kits is reasonably fast at charging batteries, including to beat out team red’s most frequent adversary, Dewalt. It takes 38 minutes to charge an M12 2Ah battery, or 19 minutes per amp-hour.

Milwaukee’s 48-59-1812 charger charges multiple battery voltages in one, conveniently saving space in your shop if you have several M12 and M18 ecosystem tools.

Compare charging test results

Design & ergonomics

Stands upright w/o battery: No
Stands upright w/ battery: Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: No
Bit holder: No
Belt hook: Yes
Handle angle (deg.): 90.0
Head angle (deg.): 103.0

Weight

Milwaukee 2462-20 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 1.96
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 2.35
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): Not tested

The 2462-20 is moderately heavy for a 12V impact driver. However, most 12V impact drivers are light compared to bulkier 18V models, great for reducing fatigue over longer driving sessions.

The working weight can differ significantly depending on the battery run in your setup. To keep it lightweight, we recommend combining the 2462-20 with Milwaukee’s M12 Red Lithium CP 2Ah battery for a good balance of performance and weight.

If weight is less of a concern, Milwaukee offers several higher Ah M12 batteries in its lineup. However, you forego the in-handle design for a slightly bulkier footprint and weight. Upgrading to Milwaukee’s M18 lineup may be more suitable as the size increases.

Compare weight test results

Footprint

Milwaukee 2462-20 Size

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.000
Max width (bare tool, in.): 2.250
Collet to back length (in.): 6.375
Base length (bare tool, in.): 1.625
Base width (bare tool, in.): 1.625
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.500
Handle circumference (in.): 6.250

The 2462-20 casts a thin shadow viewed from the front and back. However, it is bulkier from other angles, especially the collet-to-back length. This extended design makes it feel slightly less nimble in hand compared to other 12V impact drivers with stubbier heads.

Compare footprint test results

Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 9.125
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.000
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 7.000

The 2462-20’s uniquely-designed angles and long collet-to-back length don’t make it ideal for driving inside all tight spaces and corners, as demonstrated in our clearance tests. This performance is most noticeable in our 45-degree interior clearance test, where the long length significantly hindered its performance.

Compare driving clearance test results

Noise

2462-20 Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 71.9
Max impacting noise (dBA): 98.0

The 2462-20 is loud when impacting, surprising for such a small impact driver. This impact driver turned in some of the highest decibel noise performance we’ve come across in our tests.

The Makita 12V CXT DT04Z is a better pick for improved noise performance.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20 and Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge 2760-20 are incredibly quiet impact drivers since both are hydraulic impact drivers with far more subtle impacts.

Compare noise test results

Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 14.5
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 0.7

Compare vibration test results

Light

Milwaukee 2462-20 Light
Milwaukee 2462-20 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light on/off: No
Number of lights: 1
Light time delay (sec.): 10.0

The work light brightly illuminates a moderately large work area. As expected with the best budget impact drivers, the work light can’t be disabled and doesn’t act as a dedicated flashlight.

Several Makita impact drivers include a dedicated flashlight functionally with the forward/reverse switch set to neutral.

Warranty

Tool warranty (years): 5
Battery warranty (years): 2-3 (depends on model)

Milwaukee stands behind the durability of its drills with exceptionally long warranties. The 2462-20 has a five-year warranty, which is among the longest offered by any manufacturer. Milwaukee’s M12 Li-Ion batteries have two or three-year warranties, depending on the specific model.

The long warranty removes most concerns over the durability of the brushed motor included in this impact driver.

Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton is the founder of DIY Gear Reviews and a recognized expert in the home and DIY space. He has over 200 bylines covering topics such as power tools, hand tools, and woodworking. Nathan is the strategic director for DIY Gear Reviews, deciding everything from the content covered to designing the testing methodologies for lab-tested reviews. He can be emailed at nhamilton@diygearreviews.com.

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