Milwaukee M18 Cordless Impact Driver Review 2656-22CT

The Milwaukee 2656 is my pick for Best Budget of cordless impact drivers. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at its features and benefits to find out why I think it is such a great deal for the money.

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What’s in the Box?

If you purchase the 2656-22CT as a kit, it comes with the 2656 impact driver, 2.) 18-volt 1.3 ah batteries, M18 & M12 multi-voltage charger, belt clip, and a hard case. If you already have other Milwaukee cordless tools that are part of their M18 platform, the 2656-20 is available without the battery, charger or case. In Milwaukee’s numbering system, if the tool model number is followed by a “20”, it means bare tool (without accessories). Tools ending with “22” denote a kit with 2 batteries and charger.


How Much Power Does It Have?

While the 2656 isn’t the most powerful impact driver on the market, it is not at all wimpy. The brushed motor supplies 1,500 inch pounds of torque, more than enough to sink ½” lag bolts into a deck ledger. With a maximum speed of 2,750 RPM and a hammering rate of 3,450 IPM, it has plenty of power for any job.  


Brushed Motor

Brushless motors in cordless impact drivers are better because their design reduces the friction involved with the brushes, providing more power and extending the battery run time. But the improved performance comes at a steep price. Milwaukee chose to go with a brushed motor to keep the price down- a great tradeoff in my book.


Changing Bits

Change bits by simply pulling out the ¼” hex quick connect chuck that locks the bit in place. The 2656 accepts any standard ¼” drive tips or drill bits.


Variable Speed Trigger

The variable speed trigger is Milwaukee’s familiar design that responds smoothly. Pulling the trigger harder increases the rotational speed.


LED Light

It seems like almost every new cordless tool comes with LED lights these days and the 2656 is no exception. The LED light located above the trigger does a great job of illuminating the work area, and it stays on for 15 seconds after the trigger is released.


REDLINK™ Intelligence

REDLINK™ Intelligence is Milwaukee’s system that provides optimized performance and overload protection using total system communication between tool, battery and charger. The charger is capable of charging any Milwaukee 12 or 18-volt battery.


Battery Fuel Gauge Indicator

Milwaukee’s 18-volt batteries have these nifty indicator lights to show you how much charge is left in the battery. When you press the button, all four red lights mean full charge. Three lights signal 75% of full charge, two means 50% and one light means less than 25%.


How does it Perform?

The Milwaukee M18 2656 is everything you’d want in a no frills, inexpensive cordless impact driver. It has great power and battery life in a super lightweight compact package. If you’re a pro looking for a solid, simple cordless impact driver that will stand up to daily use and abuse, or a serious DIY-er wanting a pro grade tool at a bargain price, you can’t go wrong with the 2656.

Click here to see today’s price for the 2656-22CT on Amazon

Click here to see today’s price for the 2656-20 on Amazon

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Milwaukee 2656-22CT
Milwaukee 2656-20

Steve Wright

Steve Wright is a general contractor who over the last 30 plus years has built hundreds of new homes, ranging from first time affordable homes to multi-million dollar custom homes and everything in between.