Shop Tool Reviews
The Milwaukee 2860 Mid Torque impact wrench passed our real-world tests with flying colors. With the Mid Torque weighing in less and smaller in size, it’s much easier to use this over the big brother Milwaukee.
Cordless Impact wrenches are infiltrating technician’s toolboxes more and more. On the surface, it seems that power is all the rage. However, talk to a mechanic that works with an impact often, and they’re likely to mention size and weight. Our mission here is to give the new Milwaukee 2860 Mid Torque impact wrench real workout.
Obviously, Milwaukee sees the niche for a lighter and smaller tool, but yet still pack punch. Yet, we want to see can it live up to the marketing hype. Our testing includes tearing apart an old-school Chevy small block (350ci), every nut and bolt. In addition, we’ll run-in some long 6+” spax screws, then rotate wheels and tires on a 3/4-ton Chevy 2500HD.
Spoiler alert: the Milwaukee 2860 handled it all – with ease and plenty battery left. Read on.
Milwaukee 2860 Mid Torque Impact Wrench Features
The Mid Torque impact comes as a 1/2” drive, available with pin detent or hog-ring style anvil. This is part of the M18 FUEL line that delivers maximum power while keeping electronics safe. Milwaukee Tool technology in these FUEL tools allow the battery to talk to the tool, and vice versa. When the battery is on the charger, battery and charger communicate as well. A Powerstate Brushless motor provides the power to the 1/2” anvil.
The Milwaukee 2860 Mid Torque impact wrench can be purchased as tool-only, model 2860-20 for pin detent. To purchase as a kit, model 2860-22. That kit includes two (2) Redlithium 5.0Ah batteries and the M12 & M18 combo charger. For the hogring-style anvil, models are 2861-20 (tool only) and 2861-22 (kit). Both the tool only model and the kits come with a blow-molded case.
As a mid-sized impact, the Milwaukee Mid Torque impact weighs in at 5.3 lbs and is only 6.77 inches long. Compared to the Milwaukee 2762 High Torque big brother, which weighs 7 lbs and 8.75 inches long. While this may not seem to be a lot, it’s very noticeable after lugging it around for a while. The smaller size is definitely noticeable in and around wheel wells and engine compartments. In addition, the Mid Torque 2860 saves in the diameter of the main body as well.
Obviously, with the down-sized size, you suffer performance, but not so much. The full-sized 2762 Milwaukee claims only 600 ft-lbs fastening torque. The 2860 Mid Torque delivers 450 ft./lbs of fastening torque and 600 ft./lbs of breakaway torque. That’s not a lot of suffering with the weight and size savings. It seems there may be a lot of power packed into this Mid Torque 2860.
Mid Torque 2860 M18 FUEL Impact Performance
While we’re not attaching the 2860 to any boring gauges, we will put it to some real work. Our intentions are to see if there is room in the tool box, and does it make sense, for a mid-sized mid-torque impact. Real world testing, meet the Milwaukee Mid Torque 2860 impact wrench.
Let’s set the stage on the SBC teardown. This is no spring-chicken. The motor is put together mainly with parts from 1969 and 1970 motors. I originally rebuilt the motor in 1995, and installed it in my S10 truck. I ran it like it was stolen for four (4) years. Since 2001, the motor has sat on an engine stand under a lean-to shelter. A roof with no walls. That means 4 years of abuse with my foot in the carbueretor and 16 years of weather abuse. As you can see in the Milwaukee Mid-Torque M18 FUEL Impact Wrench video, there are mud-dauber nests in nearly every bolt hole.
My concern for the M18 FUEL Mid Torque was going to be the head bolts – did I mention that I ran this motor hot with my foot on the floor…a few times. (If you ever see me, just ask me about the water pump on this motor). In addition to the head bolts, the main journals could potentially be an issue as well. Lastly, the crankshaft bolt can sometimes be a bear.
Piece-a-cake! Within eleven (11) minutes, the complete motor teardown complete. Every nut and bolt gave way to the Milwaukee Mid Torque 2860. One particular head bolt gives it a little trouble, but a quick forward burst followed by reverse again breaks it loose. The only thing left in the block is the camshaft, hence it has no fasteners holding it in.
Now – to put this thing back together! I’ll have to use our trusty ACDelco ARM303-4A Digital Angle Torque Wrench to ensure longevity.
To simulate some work on the woodshop side of things, what better than to run-in ten (10) 6-1/2” and 8-1/2” spax screws. We are running these screws thru a 4×4 and into a 6×6. The Milwaukee Mid Torque 2860 impact wrench doesn’t break a sweat. With 2/3 of the testing complete, the Mid Torque is begging for more.
Wheel and Tire Rotation – 2500HD ¾ Ton Truck
In case you may be new to this game, rotating the tires doesn’t mean jacking up the truck and spinning the tires. In addition, this is a ¾ ton truck with aftermarket wheels, lift kit and oversized tires. Lugnuts on vehicles this large can sometimes pose a problem. This is 8 lugs per wheel, removing and re-installing, so that’s 64 lugnuts (32 remove, 32 re-install).
Again, victory to the Milwaukee Mid Torque 2860. In fact, we are using the Mid Torque to do all the wheel work (rotations, brakes, spare tires, etc.) and it works great. We usually drag around an air impact with an air hose getting tangled at all four corners. With the Milwaukee Mid Torque impact, it’s nice to get rid of something while moving around the vehicle.
Performance is not everything with a cordless tool, and it’s not the only expense. Batter life definitely comes into play when testing. After all our testing discussed above, we still have 3 out of 4 bars left on the battery. Mind – blown!
Overall Final Thoughts
Without a doubt, the M18 FUEL Mid Torque passes our tests with flying colors. To be honest, we expected the Milwaukee Mid Torque to make it through victorious. What we didn’t expect was the battery performance. Unless you change tires for a living, we don’t see how you could wear-down a full battery in a workday.
I like to put the 80-20 rule into effect with my work/tool life. If I can get 80% of my work done with a lighter tool, then it’s worth using and having. Why carry around a heavier tool if you don’t have to. That 20% of the time, go get the big brother tool. Truth be told, the Milwaukee 2860 Mid Torque impact wrench probably does everything that many mechanics need.
With a 5-year warranty on the tool, this is a great addition to any mechanic’s toolbox. The Milwaukee Mid-torque 2860-20 kit can be had for $399,and the bare tool for just $189. The M18 FUEL Mid Torque gets our recommendation with two (2) thumbs-up.
Milwaukee 2860 Mid Torque Impact Wrench Specifications
- Milwaukee 2860 Mid Torque Impact Wrench Voltage: 18V
- Battery: M18 Redlithium
- Battery Warranty: 3-Year
- Length: 6.77″
- Weight: 5.3 lbs.
- Light: Single LED
- Height: 10.1″
- Width: 2.7″
- Tool Warranty: 5-Years
- Modes: 3 (1,700, 2,100, and 2,400 RPM)
To get your Milwaukee 2860 Mid Torque impact wrench, click here.