Milwaukee 2718-22HD M18 Fuel SDS Max Rotary Hammer with One Key

PTR Review
  • Pro Review 8.8

Milwaukee moves the cordless SDS Max Rotary Hammer from the supplemental tool to the primary tool category. It boasts improvements at every point over its predecessor.

Overall Score 8.8 (out of 10)

Milwaukee 2718-22HD Moves the M18 Fuel SDS Max Rotary Hammer to 1-3/4″ Power

Cordless rotary hammers continue to get more powerful as better batteries offer more efficient energy transfer. The M18 RedLithium High Output battery series does that for the Milwaukee 2718-22HD M18 Fuel SDS Max Rotary Hammer with One Key. Is 8.1 ft-lbs enough impact energy?

I moved this model into my starting lineup to find out.


  • 8.1 foot-pounds of concrete crushing impact energy
  • AutoStop E-Clutch prevents injuries from over-rotation in a bind-up
  • Trigger lock and AVS shock absorption reduce the vibration to your arms
  • HD12.0 battery pack runs much cooler than 9.0HD battery on the previous model
  • One Key app for management and tracking
  • 5-year warranty


  • No major drawbacks

Milwaukee 2718-22HD Performance

We’re on a residential job where the owner scrubbed a house except for a couple of walls and the slab. Out of the box, we first tasked this Milwaukee M18 Fuel SDS Max Rotary Hammer with the demo of a solid concrete window sill.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel SDS-Max Rotary Hammer

I reviewed this tool’s predecessor, the Milwaukee M18 FUEL 2717 rotary hammer, a couple of years ago. With 5.1 foot-pounds of impact energy and 20 minutes of continuous chipping capacity on its 9.0Ah battery, it was (and is) a powerful cordless supplement to my corded version.

But this new Milwaukee cordless rotary hammer – holy moly. It’s got a big 8.1 foot-pounds of impact energy – all the force of a corded rotary hammer. That’s not all – it shores up the weak areas of its predecessor for a remarkably powerful result.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel SDS-Max Rotary Hammer

Even though the 2718 is powerful, it’s not the one rotary hammer to rule them all. There are still times when you need a more powerful rotary or demo hammer in the rotation.

Good Vibes

With all that impact energy in your hands, Milwaukee starts by adding legitimate vibration control. In spec tests, it clocks in at a reasonable 10 m/s². While Milwaukee doesn’t spec the 2717’s vibration, it’s a noticeable improvement.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel SDS-Max Rotary Hammer

In the same anti-fatigue vein is the trigger lock-on feature. When you’re chipping or drilling deep, just guide the tool as it holds its own trigger.

Clutch Play

Automatic clutches on drill/drivers, right-angle drills, and rotary hammers like the Milwaukee 2718-22HD are becoming more commonplace.

Milwaukee calls its version the AutoStop E-clutch and it works flawlessly in our testing. Any time you hit something that binds you up, there’s just 45º of turning (1/8 of a turn) before the drill stops.

Hopefully, injured hands/wrists/shoulders will be a thing of the past as more tools adopt this technology.

Cool Runnings

The Milwaukee 2718-22HD rotary hammer is my first tool with one of Milwaukee’s new High Output batteries. And it’s a doozy – a 12.0 Ah with what Milwaukee says is 50% more power and 50% cooler running than standard HD packs. When I reviewed the 2717 with its standard 9.0 Ah HD pack, the tool/battery got very warm and even trigger thermal shutdown to protect the system.

But even during high-pressure use at full tilt, this new combination doesn’t get that warm at all. It’s a remarkable improvement for just one generation forward. More power, less heat – just more work gets done. It’s awesome.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel SDS-Max Rotary Hammer

It’s hard to compare the 20-minute runtime of 2717 because Milwaukee doesn’t claim a runtime with this new tool (2718-22HD). Instead, they tell us it chips a 1/2-ton of material per charge.

In my testing, the 2718’s muscular HD12.0 Ah battery didn’t last as long as the 2717 with the 9.0Ah battery. But in that shorter timeframe, the Milwaukee 2718-22HD did more work. For the kind of jobs I’m on, work per charge is a more valuable stat.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel SDS-Max Rotary Hammer

If you want to use it heavily all day, plan on cycling 2 or 3 total batteries with a couple of rapid chargers to keep up.

On Track

So I finally took the plunge and entered the world of Milwaukee One-Key. I don’t usually get excited over the smart tool category, but I have to admit that I like it. Since I only run a 3-man crew, I’m don’t worry about who has my Milwaukee M18 Fuel SDS Max Rotary Hammer or how they’re using it.

But knowing that I have a chance to recover it if it’s stolen after work gives me some peace of mind. Anyone using the One-Key app passively scans for other tools to update locations for their owners, including in a pawn shop.

Not Interested in Cordless?

Milwaukee says this has all the power of a corded model and they mean it. If you prefer the unlimited runtime of corded tools, you can pick up the Milwaukee 5546-21 instead as its corded twin.


If you want the latest Milwaukee 2718-22HD, it’ll set you back $999 as a kit with two 12.0 Ah batteries. That ain’t cheap but that doesn’t mean it’s overpriced. And a 5-year warranty sweetens the deal.

Check out the competition:


  • DeWalt FlexVolt 1-9/16″ DCH481: $449 bare, $799 kit (2 x 60V, 3.0 Ah)
  • Milwaukee 1-9/16″ 2717: $499 bare, $799 kit (2 x 18V, 9.0 Ah)
  • Makita 1-9/16″ XRH07: $599 bare, $799 kit (2 x 18V, 5.0 Ah)
  • Hilti 1-9/16″ TE 60-A36: $1149 bare, $1949 kit (2 x 36V, 9.0 Ah)


  • Milwaukee 1-3/4″ 2718: $799 bare, $999 kit (2 x 18V, 12.0 Ah)


  • DeWalt FlexVolt 1-7/8″ DCH733: $649 bare, $999 kit (2 x 60V, 3.0 Ah)


  • DeWalt FlexVolt 2″ DCH773: Upcoming model, pricing TBA

Most of the cordless SDS-Max rotary hammers are in the 1-9/16″ class and only Milwaukee and DeWalt move up from there currently. DeWalt gives you more impact energy at the $1000 kit mark – 9.8 ft-lbs compared to Milwaukee’s 8.1. It’s a bit lower in speed and impact rate, though.

*The corded 5546-21 is $649.

The Bottom Line

With the impressive 2718, Milwaukee moves its cordless SDS Max rotary hammer from the supplemental tool to the primary tool category. It boasts 8.1 foot-pounds of impact energy and improvements at every point over its predecessor.

The 12.0 Ah High Output battery doesn’t have the runtime of the 9.0 Ah packs on the 2717. However, this model cranks out more power and gets more work done in a shorter timeframe.  For big jobs, you’ll need two to three packs and a multiport or multiple chargers – but you won’t need a cord.

Milwaukee 2718-22HD M18 Fuel SDS Max Rotary Hammer Specifications

  • Model Numbers:
    • 2718-20 (Bare)
    • 2718-21HD (Kitted with one HD12.0Ah battery)
    • 2718-22HD (Kitted with two HD12.0Ah batteries)
  • Voltage: 18V
  • Warranty: 5 Year Limited Warranty
  • RPM: 380
  • Impact Energy: 8.1 foot-pounds
  • BPM: 2900
  • Width: 6.4 inches
  • Length: 21.02 inches
  • Height: 16.4 inches
  • Weight: 19.7 pounds
  • Prices:
    • 2718-20 (Bare): $1,019.24
    • 2718-21HD (Kitted with one HD12.0Ah battery): $899
    • 2718-22HD: $1,286.21

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