A brief review of the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Ratchet (2556-22). See why this cordless ratchet is the first to beat pneumatic ratchets in both power and convenience.

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As a Professional Auto Body Technician, I know how frustrating it can be when you have a fastener in a tight area and a ratchet is the only tool you can use to get it out.  And in an even worse scenario, you can get the ratchet on it, but don’t have any swinging room to get it out.

I’ve dealt with this situation many times.  And when you want to be as efficient as possible you need to find a solution to this problem.  

For me, that solution was the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Ratchet (2556-22).

Check it out on Amazon here! (Affiliate Link)

Check out the Table of Contents for technical information or specifications, Otherwise, keep reading to find out why I chose this ratchet.  



Why Milwaukee?

Cordless ratchets aren’t exactly new to the tool market.  Several of the big name tool companies have their own version of the tool and the differences between them can be subtle if you don’t know what you are looking for.  

So why did I go with Milwaukee?  I took several factors into consideration with my purchase.  I wanted the smallest, most powerful, best battery, and longest/best warranty I could get.  

After talking to the other technicians I work with and trying out their Snapon and Matco ratchets

the Milwaukee stood out to me.  


Yes, size does matter!  

While some technicians go after the highest torque of a tool they can get, I cared more about the size.  Working on cars requires you to be able to put your tools in some pretty tight quarters from time to time.  

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel ¼ Cordless Ratchet has one of the smallest footprints in the industry.  At just over 11” long with the battery, and a 20% smaller head size, you will be able to get this ratchet in places others won’t fit.  

And weight won’t be an issue either.  The total weight of the ratchet, including the battery, is 2.3 lbs.  So you won’t have to worry about holding a heavy ratchet above your head while you are trying to hold up a heavy engine component because you forgot to unbolt the wiring harness bracket.  


Small, yet Powerful!

Do not let the small size of the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Ratchet fool you.  This ratchet delivers an industry-leading torque up to 40 ft-lbs. The nice thing about Milwaukee is that different amp batteries are offered for all of their power tools.  

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Ratchets provide the first brushless motor in a battery ratchet.  And the PowerState motor gives up to 2x the motor life than its competitors.

The Redlithium batteries deliver more work per charge and more work over the life of the battery.  The Milwaukee M12 kits come with a 2.0 Amp battery. The ¼ Fuel Ratchet delivers 30 ft-lbs with the 2.0 Amp battery, but with the 4.0 or 6.0 Amp that can be jumped up to 40.  

I personally like to use the 4.0 Amp battery the majority of the time.  It’s nice to have that little boost in torque when I’m trying to break a stubborn bolt loose.  However, Because they are bigger in size as well, they can tend to be bulking and not fit in some tighter areas.  That’s why I keep a 2.0 Amp battery charged up, for the times I need to get in tighter quarters.


Best Warranty in the Business?

Well, I sure think it is, but let’s let the 5-year tool, 3-year battery warranties talk for itself.  That’s right, Milwaukee has an industry leading warranty on all of their power tools.

I have personally dealt with Milwaukee’s warranty and it is virtually pain-free.  If you have a tool representative, it’s is as easy as giving the tool to them and letting them handle the paperwork.

But if you are like many consumers, that order their tools online, then it is still pretty simple.  Just log on to the Milwaukee website, file out the simple form for warranty repairs, and send your tool off.

Features That Stand Out

So the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Ratchet is more than a pneumatic ratchet killing machine when it comes to power.  Convenience is another reason to buy this ratchet. For one thing, you won’t be tied to an air hose and compressor.  And pneumatic maintenance is a thing of the past with this thing. As long as your battery is charged, you are good to go!

All Milwaukee ratchets feature a variable speed trigger.  But instead of a small button that you have to hit square on to engage the motor, you have a longer paddle trigger that is about 3ish inches long.  So if your reaching under a car and can’t quite reach that bolt, you can adjust your grip to the end of the trigger and still be able to take the fastener out.  

A Bright LED light illuminates the head of the ratchet and shines light on what fasteners you are working on.  The led will also stay lite up for a few seconds after you have released the trigger. Which is nice if you are working in a darker area and need light to find your next fastener.  

An on-board fuel gauge is also built into the handle of the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Ratchets.  Allowing you to monitor the battery level and make sure you always have full power when you need it.  No more guessing how much battery power is left!



Battery Voltage 12 V
Weight 1.93 lbs
Length 10.39″
Warranty 5-year tool / 3-year battery
Peak Torque 30 ft-lbs
No Load Speed 250 RPM
Compatible Batteries All M12 Battery packs
Compatible Chargers All M12 Chargers
Battery System M12


Final Thoughts

There are several options of Battery Ratchets on the market that I could of chosen from.  And after having used the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Ratchet (2556-22) for several months now, I can honestly say that I made the right decision.  

Now, of course, this is just my opinion, but the features and benefits of this ratchet far outweigh the few foot-pounds of torque that it lacks to the competition.  

The Fuel lineup of Milwaukee Ratchets feature the first brushless ratchets in the industry, providing 2x longer life out of the motor.  And paired with REDLINK PLUS technology it is almost impossible to hurt this ratchet due to overloading or overheating the tool or battery.

But in the event that you do manage to have an issue with this ratchet, Milwaukee’s outstanding warranty is hassle-free and extremely easy to use.  

Take a look at the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Ratchet (2556-22), (Affiliate Link) you won’t be disappointed you did!

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