Milwaukee 2456-20 vs. 2556-20 Ratchet

For more than 90 years of delivering innovative solutions worldwide, Milwaukee continues to manufacture quality power tools.

Their breakthrough M12 and M18 Cordless and Fuel products have become essential tools of workmen at home and for work. For every tough job you have, Milwaukee has the perfect tool for you.

It is the same for their 2456-20 and 2556-20 M12 ratchets. These two similarly high-quality, yet distinct tools are compact and cordless, providing the much-needed convenience for extended use. Let’s find out which one of these ratchets will suit your work requirements and needs.

Quick Summary

Both the Milwaukee 2456-20 and 2556-20 M12 ratchets provide top-performance and portability. Notwithstanding these tools being compact, both machines will undoubtedly last for years.

Both these robust, yet lightweight ratchets run on a 12V lithium-ion battery with the top speed of 250 RPM. So how does one differ from the other? That is what we will know in this article.

Let’s Compare Milwaukee 2456-20 and 2556-20

Being aware of each tool’s technical specifications will help you decide which model is appropriate to get your jobs done.

Knowing that any product from Milwaukee offers high-performance and robustness, there might be some more features you are trying to look for in the best cordless ratchet tool.

However, it would help if you first determined what you are looking for in a ratchet tool so that you can arrive at the best decision.

Milwaukee 2456-20 M12 Ratchet

Milwaukee 2456-20 M12 1/4 Ratchet tool Only

The Milwaukee 2456-20 ratchet is one of the most favorite working tools of shop mechanics due to its power and portability.

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Professionals recommend this tool for its long-lasting, robust battery. And, the LED work light for convenience makes this ratchet more appealing.

Extended Battery Life

This device has a remarkable battery that can last for days, even with daily use. You will not worry about interruptions in the middle of a job due to power loss.

Users can also check the precise battery gauge to know when it is time for a cell recharge.

Convenient and Comfortable to Use

Any worker can use this tool for an extended period since it is comfortably designed and easy to hold. The trigger is strategically located where you can quickly press it without accidentally bumping it and making a false start or stop.

It weighs less than two pounds, which is a nice feature if you need to hold into it for a long time each day. Finally, the LED light helps illuminate your workspace for better visibility and accurate work.

Tough Performance and Safe

Working on delicate car parts can be tricky. A single wrong movement can easily break or strip out engine fasteners. But with the Milwaukee 2456-20 M12 ratchet, you don’t have to think about over-torquing any bolt.

It will automatically stop and flash to signal you that you cannot go any tighter when it reaches the 30 foot-pounds peak torque. The tool allows you to work faster with its 250 RPM speed.

Meanwhile, the RedLink intelligence system provides for optimum performance without overloading the motor.

What We Like

  • Its powerful 12V motor has a torque of up to 30 foot-pounds.
  • The built-in LED light provides perfect illumination for higher accuracy when working in dark areas.
  • It has a variable speed trigger that can produce a top speed of 250 RPM.
  • The total communication system between the tool, battery, and charger provides for an optimum performance.

What We Don’t Like

  • The tool does not include a battery.

Final Thoughts

For an easy-to-use and easy-to-handle ratchet, the 2456-20 M12 ratchet is the ideal too. You can easily maneuver this compact and lightweight device in tight spaces.

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This ratchet is made from highly-durable stainless steel, which is sure to last long even with regular and continued use.

Milwaukee 2556-20 M12 Fuel Ratchet

M12 FUEL 1/4" Ratchet (Tool Only)

Another top-quality tool from Milwaukee is the 2556-20 M12 Fuel ratchet. Its brushless motor is an innovation that makes it perform more efficiently.

Despite its powerful engine, you do not have to think about overheating due to the intelligence system built-in to this tool. It maintains its temperature at a warm feel even under prolonged usage.

Powerstate Brushless Motor

This M12 ratchet by Milwaukee has a Powerstate brushless motor with a 12V system. You are ensured that you will get a controlled and adjusted speed of up to 250 RPM without heating up. This speed is more than enough to work on various nuts on long bolts.

M12 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack

This tool is an absolute powerhouse. The M12 Lithium-Ion battery pack does not quickly lose charge even after many hours of work.

Hence, you can concentrate even more on your tasks than thinking about losing battery power while trying to complete a job.

Longer Life Powerful Motor

The Milwaukee 2556-20 M12 Fuel ratchet offers one of the industry’s leading torque of 40 foot-pounds. With its more compact and small head, this tool shows an impressive power to work on a wide array of nuts and bolts.

As one of the first brushless ratchets, this machine has almost over twice longer motor life than its competitors. Finally, made from premium metal over-mold materials, this little tool can endure even the toughest jobs for many years.

What We Like

  • The ratchet offers a leading torque output of 40 foot-pounds.
  • It has a longer motor life than other brands.
  • The tool comes with a five-year warranty.
  • It is made from superior metal components and over-mold for added durability.

What We Don’t Like

  • The ratchet adjustment lever could have been improved for more natural direction changes

Final Thoughts

Once you have experienced using this M12 ratchet, it will be difficult for you to switch to another brand. We don’t need to say too many words to convince you that this is one of the best compact cordless tools you can ever own. The performance of this tool will speak for itself.

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Milwaukee 2456-20 vs. 2556-20: Which is Better?

Moreover, the Milwaukee 2556-20 is one of the most compact ratchets with its head smaller by 20% than other brands and models. This portable yet durable tool will make you work better in the tightest spaces.

Moreover, you can be sure that these ratchets will serve its purpose for a long time with the five-year warranty that comes with each device.

If you are looking for more power, then the Milwaukee 2556-20 with the max torque of 40 foot-pounds will be your perfect choice. However, there are specific mechanical and repair jobs that don’t need as much torque.

Therefore, the Milwaukee 2456-20 will be enough to finish each task efficiently. Also, the 2456-20 M12 model comes with a lower price compared to the Milwaukee 2556-20. Finally, it also could have been better if both tools come with a battery pack already to save on more expenses.


Whatever you choose between the 2456-20 and 2556-20 M12 ratchets, you are sure to get 100% satisfaction. These two machines have been built to last for so many years.

And, they are also famous for being easy to use and control. So, whether you are your family’s handyman or a professional, these two cordless ratchets will surely make every repair and maintenance a lot easier.