Milwaukee M18 2656-20 vs 2753-20

Impact drivers were once considered tools that only the most serious carpenters and mechanics needed. Nowadays, it’s considered a vital tool for basic home and furniture repairs. The magic behind an impact driver is the hammer-like blows with each rotation, giving you maximum torque for loosening and driving screws and bolts. If you need to break a nut or loosen a screw that hasn’t moved in over a decade, the most reliable handheld power tool to turn to is an impact driver.

Milwaukee Impact Drivers

Milwaukee M18 2656-20

Milwaukee has been one of the most popular manufacturers of power tools, and their line of impact drivers is a testament to how well-designed their products are. In this article, we’re going to take a close look at two of their most popular impact drivers – the Milwaukee M18 2656-20 and the M18 2753-20. Despite both of these tools coming from the M18 cordless system, there are a few significant differences that need to be addressed. Without further ado, let’s jump into our comparison.

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The 2656-20 features a 4-pole frameless motor. Don’t be tricked by the name; it’s still a brushed motor, meaning that you’ll need to replace brushes every so often, depending on how frequently you use the tool. Even as a brushed model, it does extremely well in keeping the heat down to a minimum when used for extended periods.

Milwaukee 2753-20

Milwaukee M18 2753-20

2753-20 comes with a brushless motor, meaning you don’t need to worry about replacing brushes, and other maintenance issues are few and far between. Like any brushless motor, the Power state motor fitted into this tool produces very little heat so your machine won’t suddenly die due to heat exhaustion.

Conclusion: One of the most important considerations to make when purchasing an impact driver is the type of motor it comes with. There are two types to choose from: brushed and brushless. Even though 2656-20 features a 4-pole frameless motor that does well in dissipating heat, it’s still a brushed motor that will experience maintenance issues, whereas 2753-20 has a brushless motor that produces very little heat, thus extending its battery life considerably.


This tool’s motor can reach speeds of up to 2,750 RPM while producing up to 3,450 IPM. For every hobbyist and most professional mechanic, these ratings should be sufficient for work and time spent on driving or taking out screws or bolts. If you’re looking at other impact driver models, we highly recommend looking at tools that can reach at least 2,500 RPM and 3,000 IPM.

Milwaukee Impact Drivers

Milwaukee M18 2656-20

2753-20 is marginally better than 2656-20 regarding speed and hammer-like blows per rotation. It has a maximum speed of up to 3,000 RPM and 3,700 IPM. This unit’s motor exceeds our minimum performance requirement. However, practicality-wise, it’s not much better than 2656-20.

Conclusion: The RPM and IPM ratings are also important considerations to take into account when looking for the right impact driver. These two numbers show how quick and powerful the tool is.

Looking at their respective ratings, honestly speaking, there’s hardly any difference. The slight advantage that 2753-20 has over 2656-20 regarding performance is mainly due to the efficiency of its brushless motor.


Torque is what truly separates an impact driver from a cordless drill. Having high torque is what gives an impact driver the ability to drive screws through dense materials such as masonry. 2656-20 can produce up to 1,800-inch-pounds of torque. This far surpasses the power needed to unscrew greasy bolts, let alone drive screws through the wood.

Milwaukee 2760-20

Milwaukee M18 2753-20

If you thought 1,500-inch-pounds of torque was impressive, take a look at the 2753-20’s amazing efficiency at producing up to a 1,800-inch-pound rating. This tool is the more powerful tool of the two. However, with this much torque, be sure that you have perfect control when driving screws.

Conclusion: There’s no point in investing in an impact driver if it doesn’t produce very much torque. We’re glad to say that both of these Milwaukee models can provide more than enough torque for some of the toughest jobs at home and under the hood of your car. However, when it comes to torque, more is better, and that’s why we favor 2753-20 over 2656-20.

Size and Weight

2656-20 and 2753-20
The size and weight of an impact driver do help in determining whether a certain model is a good fit for you. You’ll most likely use your impact driver in tight quarters (e.g., under the hood of your car or in other dark, hard-to-reach spaces) to loosen greasy bolts.

The last thing you need is a heavy tool weighing your arm and shoulder down when working at awkward angles. With either the 2656-20 or 2753-20, you don’t need to worry about this problem at all. Both of these tools are compact (less than 6 inches from chuck to end) and lightweight (2.65 pounds, not including battery).

Milwaukee Impact Drivers

Milwaukee 2656-20 M18 18V 1/4 Inch Lithium Ion Hex...
  • LED LIGHTING: Keep your work illuminated with the LED lighting array located just below the quick-connect...
  • TEXTURED HANDLE: The compact design of this power tool is complemented with the textured rubber grip, which...
  • VARIABLE SPEED TRIGGER: Apply pressure to the trigger to match the amount of power you need on the job. This...

Last update on 2023-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Chuck Size

2656-20 and 2753-20
The size of the hex chuck is an indicator of how powerful an impact driver is. Despite both of these tools being able to reach high speeds and produce a high number of IPMs with massive torque, these are not the most powerful impact drivers on the market.

Both the 2656-20 and 2753-20 come with ¼-inch hex chucks. The most powerful chucks you’ll find in home-use, and even professional-grade impact drivers should be at least half an inch in size. That being said, you shouldn’t worry too much about either of these tools not having sufficient power to tackle even the toughest jobs you have at home.


Despite their minor differences where it matters the most (RPM, IPM, torque, size, and weight), we feel obligated to state that the better Milwaukee impact driver to choose between these two tools is the M18 2753-20. The reason behind our choice is simple: it has a brushless motor. This means 2753-20 runs much more efficiently, reducing battery consumption, and heat production, and extending the tool’s life.

The Milwaukee M18 2656-20 is not a bad choice at all, considering that its 4-pole frameless motor is still technically a brushed motor, we were rather impressed that it worked so efficiently at dissipating heat and maintaining battery power after several hours of usage. However, in the current state that the power tools industry is in, there’s no substitute for going brushless.

Milwaukee 2757-20

Milwaukee 2753-20 M18 Fuel 1/4 Hex Imp Driver tool...
  • M18 fuel 1/4 hex imp Driver tool only
  • The product is easy to use and easy to handle
  • The product is highly durable

Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3 Recommended Impact Drivers

Our Pick No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Impact Driver Kit,...
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Our Pick No. 2
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill and Impact Driver,...
  • DCD771 in cordless drill combo kit features 2 speed transmission (0-450 / 0-1500 RPM)
  • DCD771 high performance motor of cordless tools combo kit delivers 300 unit watts out (UWO) of power ability...
  • DCD771 compact, lightweight design of the drill/ impact driver combo kit fits into tight areas

Last update on 2023-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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