While I have one of the early models of the Milwaukee M12 Surge, I haven’t had it long enough to say with 150% certainty what I want to say, which is this: This mighty max is looking like a full-tilt go-go impact driver for an enormous number of tasks from frame to finish.
I’ve only slung in a few deck screws and taken apart a broken power-washer wand, but from what I can tell, it’s blessedly quiet. It has a four-setting, back-lit toggle switch for power output, from Easy (great for the power washer’s soft machine screws) to Drill. Setting 3 was plenty of go-juice to sink deckers.
Milwaukee packed a lot of tool inside a little body and while that’s awesome, it doesn’t change the size of my hands, which are small. So the handle is stout to me and the tool feels a little top-heavy—but those are observations, not complaints. The belt hook is for techs wearing pants, not a tool pouch (see our latest review here). However, the entire tool fits in a nail bag’s main pouch, so that’s not a problem either. It has what I call a 1-step bit holder: You can just slot your driver bit in there without pulling the collar back. Nice!
There is some reaction torque when it starts. This is the same as the last hydraulic impact I had. My elbows could feel it. A few deck screws, who cares? A whole deck? Well, I haven’t tried that yet. Again, no complaint. Just reporting.
You can watch other people talk about it in this Milwaukee Tool M12 video and see a great graphic on how the fluid impact hammer and anvil mechanism works.
This article originally appeared in Tools of the Trade.