Milwaukee 2457-20 M12 vs. 2457-21 vs. 2557-20 Ratchet

Ratchets are mechanical pivoting tools used to fasten or loosen nuts and bolts. It makes a continuous linear and unidirectional motion while precluding any movement in the opposite direction.

Likewise, cordless ratchets are dependable tools commonly used by auto mechanics and other maintenance and tradespeople.

One of the essential features of a cordless ratchet is its portability. Being compact and small is ideal when working in constricted spaces, like a car engine.

It also makes each job a lot easier than when using a standard ratchet. You just need to hold the cordless device still while its head automatically turns to loosen a bolt.

Quick Summary

If you are a repair professional and looking for a quality maintenance tool that has perfect power, durability and speed, then the Milwaukee M12 cordless ratchets are the best bet for you.

However, Milwaukee 2457-21 is ideal if your concern is regarding portability and efficiency, because it will help you make your work easier in restricted spaces.

On the other hand, if you do work that lasts for hours, you should consider the Milwaukee 2557-20. It is built with premium metal components and has 2x longer motor and battery life. Surely, it’s plenty to get the job done.

Let’s Compare Milwaukee 2457-20 M12, 2457-21, and 2557-20

Milwaukee Electric Tool is a trusted American company when it comes to the manufacture of power tools. It is a leading corporation that develops innovative solutions, like the M12 and M18 cordless products. Let us look at three of the most dependable M12 cordless ratchets Milwaukee has to offer.

Milwaukee 2457-20 M12 Cordless Ratchet

Milwaukee 2457-20 M12 Cordless 3/8" Sub-Compact 35 ft-Lbs 250 RPM Ratchet w/ Variable Speed Trigger (Battery Not Included, Power Tool Only)

The Milwaukee 2457-20 boasts of a powerful motor, durability, and speed. Weighing a little less than two pounds and almost 11 inches long, it is one of the most compact and portable ratchet tools that you can find. This Lithium-Ion ratchet is the perfect tool companion for auto mechanics and repair professionals.

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Superior Torque

This Milwaukee M12 comes with a 12-volt motor that gives 35 foot-pounds maximum of torque at 250 RPM. This means that it offers a variable speed trigger that lets you take greater control of any loosening or tightening activities.

Additionally, users love the battery indicator on the side of this ratchet tool. It can quickly see how much power your machine has left. Thus, it lets you know when to charge the cell without disrupting you in the middle of a job.

Enhanced Visibility

This sub-compact tool has a built-in LED light placed near in front of the device. It helps illuminate your work area, making it easier to see what you are working on even in dark and confined spaces.

RedLink Intelligence

RedLink Intelligence is an innovative feature of this cordless device. It is a smart chip that enables your ratchet to link with the M12 battery. This feature prevents the cell from overheating and, consequently, damaging the unit.

What We Like

  • Fuel gauge to determine the power left
  • Front LED light for better visibility
  • Variable speed trigger and control
  • Powerful motor and torque

What We Don’t Like

  • There is no battery included with this bare tool.

The Milwaukee 2457-20 M12 is the perfect portable, compact, yet powerful cordless ratchet tool. This ratchet’s low-profile head design enables you to work even in the narrowest engine spaces.

Milwaukee 2457-21 Cordless Ratchet Kit

Milwaukee 2457-21 3/8-in Cordless M12 Lithium-Ion Ratchet Kit (Ratchet Kit w/Tool Bag)


This compact ratchet comes with a tool belt making it conveniently portable. It is a tool that you can depend upon for so many years. The efficient battery will ensure that you can finish multiple jobs without charging it very often.

Robust Motor

The Milwaukee 2457-21 M12 has a robust 12-volt motor that can produce up to 35 foot-pounds of torque. It provides a multi-speed level from 0 to 250 RPM, which is essential to deal with various nuts and bolts.

This tool automatically shuts off upon hitting the maximum torque level to protect the motor from overload and overheat.

Easy to Control 

You can easily select and control the rotational direction using the knob placed at the back of the ratchet’s head.

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Using a small slider, you can lock both the paddle and the chuck to use it as a wrench. This feature makes it easier to switch from motor power to manual control.

Long-Lasting Battery Pack

This ratchet, powered by an M12 REDLITHIUM battery pack, can last long. The battery quickly charges in as little as 30 minutes.

It provides optimum performance through its RedLink intelligence feature, allowing a complete communication system between the device, the battery, and the charger. You can accomplish more jobs with just a single battery charge.

Milwaukee 2457-21 3/8-in Cordless M12 Lithium-Ion Ratchet Kit (Ratchet Kit w/Tool Bag)

What We Like

  • Sturdy and durable metal trigger and steel housing
  • Versatile and can function as a wrench
  • Top-quality battery and charger
  • RedLink intelligence to prevent power overload

What We Don’t Like

  • The low contour knob makes it hard to turn while wearing gloves.

If you are looking for maximum performance and productivity, then the Milwaukee 2457-21 Ratchet Kit is the right tool.

It has everything you need from the ratchet tool to the battery and a tool bag for better portability. This high-quality device is engineered for home and commercial use in repair shops.

Milwaukee 2557-20 M12 Fuel Ratchet

Milwaukee 2557-20 M12 Fuel 3/8" Ratchet (Bare Tool)

For mechanic workers who frequently work on numerous jobs with various bolt dimensions, 2557-20 is a must-have tool. It has a compact head design that provides for up to 60 foot-pounds torque.

This allows you to work in tight spaces while providing power for various jobs. The innovative brushless motor of this cordless ratchet provides you with significantly higher efficiency and performance.

It also has lower mechanical wear susceptibility as compared with their brushed counterparts.

Industry Leading Torque Output

It has one of the most powerful torque outputs of up to 60 foot-pounds. This torque is more than enough to cover most of your ratcheting needs at home and work.

Its motor can outlast the motor life of brushed ratchets. This feature allows you to utilize and enjoy this compact and sturdy brushless device longer than other ratchet tools.

Milwaukee 2557-20 M12 Fuel 3/8" Ratchet (Bare Tool)

Robust Built

This tool, made from premium metal materials and over-mold, offers extended durability. This M12 fuel ratchet from Milwaukee features a cast steel yoke housing and premium anvil.

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Further, users will have a comfortable experience with the ergonomic and rubber over-molded handle, protecting the device from corrosion.


With its head size smaller than other cordless ratchets, it is one of the most compact tools you can get out there. Its small size allows you to work in tight spaces with ease and accuracy. This compact and portable tool can easily fit any tool bag.

What We Like

  • Excellent torque output
  • Compact head design
  • Premium metal components for durability
  • Brushless ratchet with longer motor life

What We Don’t Like

  • A bare tool with no battery included

Although this tool is a little bit heavier than other cordless ratchets at less than three pounds, it is a powerful device that will allow you to work on multiple bolt sizes. This sturdy ratchet will serve its purpose for a long time.

Milwaukee 2457-20 vs. 2457-21 vs. 2557-20: Which is Better?

Cordless ratchets are essential tools when work on mechanical, repair, and maintenance works. And, the M12 series from Milwaukee will not disappoint. The 2457-20 offers more portability and convenience than the other models.

On the other hand, Milwaukee 2457-21 is most suitable if you need a tool for extensive work with its battery that can last for hours with just a single charge.

But, if you want a powerful motor with excellent torque, then grab the Milwaukee 2557-20, which offers up to 60 foot-pounds spin. It can make your work much easier and faster to complete.


Knowing the torque requirement you need will enable you to get the perfect ratchet product. The Milwaukee M12 models consistently provide the power to work on a wide range of nuts and bolts.

Also, using a cordless ratchet helps you finish any mechanical job faster without tiring your hands. This type of tool is ideal for those who want to complete multiple jobs in less time.