This summer I visited Milwaukee's headquarters in Brookfield, Wisconsin for a preview of upcoming attractions – chief among them a number of new brushless tools that will come out later this year.

Milwaukee calls their brushless motor line Fuel, and they are going from three 18-volt (M18) models to over a dozen tools by the end of the year. A drill/driver (2603) and hammer drill/driver (2604) were introduced in March and an impact driver (2653) in June.

As is usually the case at media events, I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement so I can't talk about everything I saw. Suffice it to say that in addition to the brushless tools that are already out, a 3/8-inch impact wrench (2654) and 1/2-inch impact wrench (2655) will be added this fall, with more products to follow.

If you're not familiar with brushless DC motors yet, here are the basics. Instead of having carbon brushes that rub against the commutator bars on the motor's rotor (the part that spins), brushless motors are electronically commutated from multiple points around the rotor. With no brushes to create friction and heat, the motor is more efficient – which makes for increased power output and longer runtime. It also makes for less maintenance because there are no brushes to wear out and replace.

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2603 drill/driver; shown here with 3.0 Ah battery

Specs
Volts: 18V
Torque: 650 in-lbs. with 1.5 Ah battery; 725 in-lbs. with 3.0 Ah battery
Gear box: 2 Speed
RPM: 0-550 / 0-1,850 RPM
Chuck Type: 1/2" Metal Single Sleeve - Ratcheting Lock
Tool Length: 7.9"
Tool Weight: 4.4 lbs. with 1.5 Ah battery; 4.9 lbs. with 3.0 Ah battery

Pricing
2603-22 (kit with two 3.0 Ah batteries) $299
2603-21 (kit with two 1.5 Ah batteries) $229
2602-20 (bare tool) $129


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2604 hammer drill-driver; shown here with 3.0 Ah battery
Specs
Volts: 18V
Torque: 650 in-lbs. with 1.5 Ah battery; 725 in-lbs. with 3.0 Ah battery
Gear box: 2 Speed
RPM: 0-550 / 0-1,850 RPM
BPM: 31,450 BPM
Chuck Type: 1/2" Metal Single Sleeve - Ratcheting Lock
Tool Length: 8.1"
Tool Weight; 4.5 lbs. with 1.5 Ah battery; 5.0 lbs. with 3.0 Ah battery

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2653 impact driver; shown here with 1.5 Ah battery

Specs
Volts: 18V
Peak Torque: 1600 in-lbs.
Max RPM: 0-2900
Max IPM: 0-3600
Tool Length: 5-1/2"
Tool Weight: 3.0 lbs. with 1.5 Ah battery; 3.6 lbs. with 3.0 Ah battery

Pricing
2653-22XC (kit with two 3.0 Ah batteries) $299
2653-22CT (kit with two 1.5 Ah batteries) $229
2653-20 (bare tool) $129


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2654 3/8-inch impact wrench; shown here with 3.0 Ah battery
Specs and pricing has not been released. Tool is expected to come out in the fall of 2012.

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2655 1/2-inch impact wrench; shown here with 3.0 Ah battery
Specs and pricing has not been released. Tool is expected to come out in the fall of 2012.

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

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Michael Springer has worked as a high-end remodeling contractor and is the former Executive Editor of Tools of the Trade.

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