I was incredibly excited to finally buy the Milwaukee M18 2763 Impact, considering I've been putting it off since the summer of last year. The claimed torque specs were mouthwatering, and the idea of a battery powered impact replacing the air powered ones was very tempting. You see, air-tools in a work-shop usually require big 120 gallon compressors, and can be complicated. They perform well, although the upkeep can be a headache; you have to deal with utility costs, replacing air lines, fittings leaking, air hoses getting in the way or bursting, and the overall dangers associated with compressed air. So you could see why the idea of an electrical impact that has more nut-busting torque than most air powered ones is so electrifying; all of a sudden, all those problems associated with air-powered impacts are solved by a rechargeable 18V battery. After six months of waiting and considering, I have finally pulled the trigger on the impact, as well as some other 18V Milwaukee goodies.
Before I get into the specifics of the tool, let's scroll back a little bit and go over why I even chose Milwaukee. You see, I was in need of a compact, 3/8" impact wrench that could do most of the tasks that my 18V 1/2" Ryobi, yet Ryobi did not offer a compact 3/8 electric impact wrench. That was when I decided to purchase the Milwaukee Fuel 3/8" impact with the compact 12V battery, and oh boy did I like it. I praised it in my review, and even went and bought the M12 impact ratchet along with the M12 right angle drill, which replaced my 18V Ryobi one. Every Milwaukee 12V tool I purchased so far is mobile, compact, the batteries last a long time, and are very well priced. Their 12V tools were so good, that I was convinced that their 18V line would be even better. And so I purchased their drill, impact driver, and dual battery combo. The drill wasn't much of a surprise, it's hard to make a bad drill nowadays, especially one that runs off of 18V batteries. The impact driver was fairly impressive, although again, nothing too special. So far, I wasn't really sold on their 18V tools, and I was already having doubts about the impact being as good as it was hyped up to be.
The impact came in a traditional Milwaukee box, and once opened, my eyes lit right up and I felt like a kid on Christmas. It was much bigger than I expected, and felt nice and heavy. I loaded the 4.0XC battery up to get an idea of its power, and I must say, it did feel far more powerful than the Ryobi 18V. Yet, I did expect maybe more; I expected the claimed 1200 ft-lbs of torque to rip my wrist out, but this did not happen. Matter of fact, nothing good happened ever since purchasing this impact, as it was nowhere near as good as it was hyped to be. Not only did the tool not match the specs, but it failed altogether. No really, the impact actually broke after two weeks of very minimal usage, and left me at the mercy of a very understanding seller.
It's no secret that Milwaukee is made in China, however their 12V tools did raise my hopes for this 18V "high torque impact". Yet, the "high torque" moniker was incredibly over-stated, and while the impact was just barely more powerful than the 18V Ryobi one, it was not the "air-impact" replacement that Milwaukee played it out to be. It was about as powerful as a Harbor Freight air impact with an extension, which really doesn't say much. The claimed 1200 ft-lbs of torque figure was a blatant lie, and the impact just barely managed to break loose a 36 mm nut torqued to 350 ft-lbs. Anything close to 400, and it would pathetically fall flat on its face. The Milwaukee marketing team then proceeded to inflate the torque figures for tightening, almost as if they had absolutely no communication between the people responsible for gathering the numbers. The claimed 700 ft-lbs was maybe 300 at best, and that's me being nice.
What, you expected me to say something more about this thing? Sorry, I can't, because I didn't get to use it for a long enough time before it broke. Yes, the almighty M18 2763 broke as I was using it to remove a bushing from a control arm. You see, my Ryobi has never ever in the past 3 years of abusive use failed to start back up. I used it in the rain, in sand, dirt, I've dropped it more times than the dollar amount that it cost, and it still worked. And don't forget that it too was made in China, so I can't just blame the Chinese for making a crap product. Then again, who knows, maybe the 9 year old kid responsible for assembling my particular device just started working and spilled his only cup of water of the day on the thing, thus resulting in a defective product. But I really did expect to be blown away by this tool, and instead it is now back in a box, on the way to the seller. I will be giving Milwaukee one more shot in the future to make up for this, because I'm not convinced that the performance was indicative of the product, and I would like to believe that I got a defective unit. In the meantime, though, don't waste your breath and money, and go with the Ryobi one instead. Which reminds me, I really should make a decent review for it shouldn't I?