Milwaukee M12 Surge – Inventing A Unicorn

Milwaukee M12 Surge – Inventing A Unicorn

Milwaukee M12 Surge -is tiny in the handThe tale of the M12 Surge… Join me in my time machine for a moment if you will and lets wind the clock back three years. The year is 2016 and the M18 Surge has just hit the market. I remember when it first came out thinking, “How great can this tool really be?” and “Are impacts really that loud?” I imagine a lot of other tradesmen had similar thoughts. It wasn’t until the videos started hitting social media that I knew I needed to get my hands on one as well.

Then came the true moment of realization when I finally got one and used it for the first time. It’s like the tool just willed the screws into the wood. I mean, I was used to all the noise and rattling with a regular impact, the Surge just didn’t have that. I’m sure a lot of other tradesmen had the same realization. I know they did because I started to see less and less impacts come out on the jobsite except for particularly long or difficult fasteners.

It also didn’t take long for guys to start longing for an M12 version. If driving fasteners can be this nice on M18, why can’t it be for guys on M12? After all, they’re the ones reaching into the small, confined spaces to drive fasteners. As the next couple years went by what once seemed like a pipe dream now started becoming that tool that contractors asked for on the regular.Milwaukee M12 Surge -wood framing

The Wait Is Over

Finally the red team in Wisconsin has heard our pleas and has delivered the M12 Surge. It is as you would expect from a M12 driver, it’s light and compact but not toy like. It has the pod style battery that is a signature of M12. Putting the batteries in the handle (unless you’re running an XC pack) helps contribute to the tools ability to get into small spots.Milwaukee M12 Surge -steel stud install

Give Me The Deets

So what makes this thing special besides being small? It is 2x quieter than a normal impact. It has the same 450 in-lbs of torque as its M18 brother. M12 Surge has 4 driving modes like any of the other fuel offerings and one of those modes is a tek screw mode that’s perfect for steel stud or other tin applications. It only weighs 2 lbs. It fits in your tool bags. The surge has less vibration than normal impacts. Faster driving speeds for small to medium fasteners. The list of benefits just goes on and on.Milwaukee M12 Surge - fastening hangers

How Do I Get In On This Action – Where to buy the M12 Surge

The tool doesn’t start shipping until the middle of August but you can preorder from the following retailers.

Milwaukee M12 Surge -rain leader clamps

About the author

Jeff Williams

Contributing Editor Jeff Williams is a carpenter for a commercial General Contractor specializing in concrete, steel, and wood buildings. Jeff comes from a long line of contractors. His parents started a commercial General Contracting firm many years ago and it has afforded him life-long, hands-on learning opportunities from rough and fine carpentry all the way to structural steel and concrete. Jeff has a Construction Management degree and loves the thrill of coordinating and successfully managing large jobs from start to finish. Inspired by the difficulties sometimes encountered to complete punch lists his motto is, "Work hard until the job is done."


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  1. Corey Moore

    Does 2x quieter mean half as loud? Not trying to be picking, but that’s confusing.

    1. Jeff Williams

      I think the marketing team likes “2x” because it looks more impressive on a box. That was their language, not ours.

  2. Peter

    Bought one. Really like it

  3. Macho chamacho

    Just picked up one from the homeless guy outside my local Mac Donald’s an I must admit it’s been the best things I bought for 20 bucks in a long time. I love the quit as 450 pounds worth of torch rip throw concrete footings like a hot knife through butter mmmm I’m hundry

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