Milwaukee M12 Digital Torque Wrench green LEDs Wrenches, Drivers, Pliers & Socket Reviews

Milwaukee M12 FUEL Ratcheting Digital Torque Wrench – Hands-on


Sometimes a company surprises you with something new. That happened when we saw the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Ratcheting Digital Torque Wrench. This tool combines an M12 FUEL cordless ratchet with a digital 100 ft-lb 3/8-inch or 150 ft-lb 1/2-inch torque wrench. Of all the new M12 FUEL brushless tools announced at the NPS19 media event, this one really stood out as being truly innovative.

Check out our extensive Milwaukee NPS19 show video here.

10-Second Summary

With two drive sizes to choose from, the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Ratcheting Digital Torque Wrench covers the basics while combining two tools into one. The 1/2-inch model maxes out at 150 ft-lbs, so you may need to supplement with a higher-capacity tool if you work on larger vehicles. We suspect Milwaukee Tool will find a solution for higher torque requirements down the road.

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Cordless Ratchet Meets Digital Torque Wrench

With most torque wrenches you have to cinch the bolt up manually before you can torque it down. With the Milwaukee ratcheting digital torque wrench, you just pop the tool on the bolt to run it down. Once it gets close to the set torque limit, the ratchet shuts off. Then, the tool functions as a standard digital torque wrench. You apply fastening torque until the LED lights turn green, letting you know you’ve hit your target.

Milwaukee M12 FUEL Ratcheting Digital Torque Wrench

If you over-torque, the LEDs turn red, and you can pull the nut or bolt and install a new one. Given how easily the torque wrench worked, however, we doubt you’ll miss the tactile, audio, and visual feedback it provides.

First Impressions and Testing

Physically, the unit functions as a standard digital torque wrench, but with a cordless ratcheting head that securely bolts onto the handle. The reversible ratcheting head on this tool looks overbuilt and extremely durable. The M12 battery stores safely protected within the bottom of the handle. A rubberized overmold lives on the upper and lower handles. We’d guess the upper handle comes into play during ratcheting mode only (typically you don’t want to grab above the lower handle on a torque wrench).

Milwaukee M12 Digital Torque Wrench

With two different drive sizes to choose from, the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Ratcheting Digital Torque Wrench covers the basics. The 1/2-inch model maxes out at 150 ft-lbs, so you may need to supplement with a higher-capacity tool if you work on larger vehicles. We suspect Milwaukee Tool will find a solution for higher torque requirements down the road.

Fastening speed felt similar to the company’s M12 cordless ratchets. You’ll get bolts and nuts on quickly. Once seated, switching to the digital torque wrench mode occurs automatically. Just torque it down while the LED “cheat lights” tell you exactly when to stop.

Milwaukee M12 Digital Torque Wrench head

We’ve used many digital torque wrenches in our time, and this one makes the job almost ridiculously simple.

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Milwaukee M12 FUEL 3/8″ Ratcheting Digital Torque Wrench Specifications

  • Drive: 3/8-inch
  • Torque: 10-100 ft-lbs
  • LCD display
  • Alerts: LED, alarm, vibration
  • One-Key software for storing data and tool tracking
  • Price: $599 (tool-only), $749 (kit)
  • Kit includes: M12 3/8″ ratcheting digital torque wrench, 2x 2.0Ah batteries, charger, and case

Milwaukee M12 FUEL 1/2″ Ratcheting Digital Torque Wrench Specifications

  • Drive: 1/2-inch
  • Torque: 10-150 ft-lbs
  • LCD display
  • Alerts: LED, alarm, vibration
  • One-Key software for storing data and tool tracking
  • Price: $599 (tool-only), $749 (kit)
  • Kit includes: M12 1/2″ ratcheting digital torque wrench, 2x 2.0Ah batteries, charger, and case

Milwaukee M12 Digital Torque Wrench battery

Buying the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Ratcheting Digital Torque Wrench

Milwaukee priced its newest M12 FUEL digital ratcheting torque wrench at $599 for the bare tool and $749 for the kit. We see digital torque wrenches in this range averaging around $100-300. Some companies like Snap-on can price out a bit higher, but clearly, Milwaukee comes at a premium. The competition lacks a built-in cordless ratchet, however.

With the integration of a Milwaukee M12 cordless ratchet, this becomes two tools in one. It also aims to save time—and it does. Given this, the $599 entry fee doesn’t scare us off, though the kit price may. For Pros looking to shave time off their day, this tool could make sense. Eliminating steps in any process always increases productivity.

We can’t wait for this tool to come in for review. Look for it to go on sale in November.

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