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Tool Review: Milwaukee Tool M18 FUEL 1" D-Handle Extended Anvil High Torque Impact Wrench w/ONE-KEY

Sept. 10, 2020
The amount of torque this cordless impact provides surprised the reviewer, who also appreciates its versatility and customizable settings.

Larger impact wrenches have historically been pneumatic powered, largely because air offered the most torque for tough jobs like removing lug nuts on heavy duty vehicles. The drawback to using pneumatic tools, however, is the pneumatic part; the tool has to be connected to an air hose, which is connected to an air compressor. This limits the technician's mobility, meaning the vehicle needs to be brought to the impact instead of the other way around.

Milwaukee Tool’s M18 FUEL 1” D-Handle Extended Anvil High Torque Impact Wrench, No. 2869-22HD, is designed to remove the air hose tether, making a portable heavy duty impact. Eric Moore, fleet manager for Griffin Pavement Striping in Columbus, Ohio, says he was impressed by the tool’s ability to do this without sacrificing power.

“There are no hoses or cords limiting the travel of this tool,” Moore says.

When the impact first arrived at Griffin Pavement Striping, Moore charged both of the included batteries and explored the tool’s various adjustments and settings. He notes that the D-Handle is adjustable to virtually anyone, “short or tall, right- or left-handed.”

Technicians can select one of four settings on the impact to determine how much power is applied. Moore notes that the tool also includes Milwaukee’s ONE-KEY feature, which allows users to make adjustments to the tool’s settings via a smart-device app connected via Bluetooth. His favorite function using ONE-KEY is the “Lug Nut” setting.

“The user can choose any of the four power settings to become lug nut specific, which Milwaukee says limits the applied torque to 350-450 ft-lbs,” Moore explains. “[That] is the average specified torque setting on wheel nuts for most of our fleet vehicles.”

When it comes to the tool’s physical abilities, the technicians at Griffin were surprised to find the Milwaukee impact capable of matching the power and efficiency of their 1” pneumatic impact – and exceeding it.

Moore says the first time he used the Milwaukee impact, the technicians were “slack-jawed” at how quickly the tool broke lug nuts free. They decided to hook up their old 1” pneumatic impact to compare the speed with which each could break loose lug nuts on a heavy duty vehicle.

“There was no contest,” Moore says. “The Milwaukee 2869-22HD broke loose all ten nuts before the air impact had broken loose six.”

The Milwaukee impact’s extended anvil makes it easier to reach lug nuts on vehicles equipped with duals or super singles, Moore says, but its weight with the battery connected can make it difficult for some technicians to use for longer periods of time. The technicians at Griffin created their own solution to this problem by connecting a strap to the ring on the top side of the impact.

“The strap helped support the tool’s weight using the shoulders and back instead of basically curling the weight the entire time it’s in use,” Moore explains.

The weight trade-off is well worth the mobility and power the Milwaukee impact provides, Moore concludes, especially since the solution was easy to come by. Every technician at Griffin now prefers the 2869-22HD to any of the shop’s other 3/4” or 1” pneumatic impacts.

“In my opinion, the M18 FUEL High Torque 1” D-Handle Extended Anvil Impact with ONE-KEY is a must-have tool,” Moore says. “No shop that removes wheels on medium [or] heavy duty vehicles should be without one.”

This product will be available in 2021.

About the Author

David Brierley | Editor | Fleet Maintenance

David Brierley is a former editor of Fleet Maintenance magazine.

Brierley’s education and career have been based in the publishing industry. He is an award-winning writer and comes from a background in automotive, trucking, and heavy equipment. Brierley joined the Endeavor Business Media vehicle repair group in 2017 as managing editor for Fleet Maintenance, PTEN, and Professional Distributor magazines, as well as VehicleServicePros.com. In his current role, he writes for and oversees production of Fleet Maintenance magazine. He has worked in the publishing industry since 2011.

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