World Premiere Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Volt Brushless Circular Saw w/ REDLITHIUM High Output 12 ah battery Review – THD Prospective Season 2
It is not very often that I get an opportunity like this (this actually the first time) to be the first out there to review a brand new tool. Yet, here I am looking at this beauty of a new saw from Milwaukee in the new Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Volt Brushless Circular Saw. Ok, well the M18 FUEL Brushless saw has actually been out for a bit, but just recently them amped it up (literally) with this new kit available exclusively at the Home Depot including the REDLITHIUM High Output 12 amp hour battery. Sounds juicy, Let’s dig in,
15 Amp Power in a Cordless Design
This is by no means the first saw that makes this claim, but it does have a few notable features that make it a valiant entry into this category.
The Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Volt Brushless Circular Saw certainly delivers the 15 amp power, without question. It zipped through rips and cross-cuts of inch and a half plywood like nothing was there leaving a super clean cut off of the Diablo Demo Demon Blade. It had all of the power you would need and didn’t even give a hint of bogging down.
This kit does only add the 12ah battery but also adds a higher RPM specially made motor to add EVEN MORE POWER to the design. The drive is also quieter than some of the other big powerful saws (Dewalt Worm Drive, Makita 36 volt) but still won’t bog down going into even the hardest hardwoods and at full extension.
Along with the 12 amp-hour 18 volt battery, I think you could certainly leave the corded saw in your toolbox.
Ergonomics and Use
I am generally a fan of having the blade on the left side of the tool for better visibility and safety during cross cuts. This saw does have a right hand blade which to me puts it slightly in a different category than the left hand blade saws on the market, but it is still a well thought out right hand blade saw. The grip is comfortable and ergonomic and puts you hands in a safe position relative to the blade. Overall I like it (wish it was a left hand blade though…)
I love the interchangeable shop vac adapter on the dust port. This is huge for reducing the amount of sawdust in an enclosed job site, or in my case a garage workshop. Overall it just makes it a more professional product. It does not sport a dust blower like the recently release DeWalt cordless saw, but does significantly reduce the dust (check out my instagram video to watch it in action.)
A couple gripes on the ergonomics though. The saw has great positive detents at 90 and 50 but there is no detent at 45. I am not a framer, and those dudes up on houses are probably the target market for this tool, but I don’t know why you would have a 50 degree stop? I mean it is great the saw goes past 45, but should have a stop for miters, right? Probably 22.5 while you’re at it too.
The other design element I am not a huge fan of is the depth gauge, sandwiched between the handle and the blade. It is almost impossible to see the demarcations for the depth of cut. I rarely use these demarcations, but if you are going to bother putting a scale in… Why make it so hard to see?
This is where the Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Volt Brushless Circular Saw stands above the rest. This Home Depot exclusive setup runs at 18v and comes with 12ah battery. 12AH!!! That means this thing is an all day contender. Milwaukee claims 750 cuts but off a full battery I was uncomfortable with the amount of sawdust I had to make to run out 1 notch on a fully charged battery. There are other saws with more power but at this point NONE with more battery life. For cross cuts, this could be days of work, if you were using it for rips, this do more linear feet than most guys are going to cut in a day.
Just leave your corded saw at home, she has no place here.
The Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Volt Brushless Circular Saw is a true contender for best full size full power cordless circular saw. The biggest strength of this saw is the battery. with a 12ah battery on an 18-volt tool. The battery life of this saw is market leading. Second for this tool has to be the weight, it is only 12.45 pounds with the battery which puts it near the bottom of the category from a weight perspective. 3rd is again the battery, the new 12ah high output REDLITHIUM Battery packs 50% more power while staying 50% cooler. This means more umph, and less battery overheats on hot days with heavy use. Finally is the addition of a dust port, this is a subtle difference, but makes the Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Volt Brushless Circular Saw a much more professional tool in an enclosed environment, like a customer’s home.
A couple knocks against this saw to be fair; the ergonomics of things like the angle mechanism and depth gauge seem a little phoned in. The right hand blade is a knock for some folks that are used to the long time industry standard SKIL saw.
All things considered this thing is a BEAST!
I am going to be doing a video round up looking at these saw in a Hand Tool Shootout pretty soon. Stay tuned and make sure you are subscribed to my channel on Youtube to catch that. You can also read my previous review of the Dewalt Wormdrive style saw and get subscribed for the upcoming review of the Makita 36v pistol grip style saw.
The Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 7-1/4 in. Circular Saw is available exclusively at the Home Depot for $399, pick one up at the affiliate link below.
This post was written as part of a paid partnership with the Home Depot. All thoughts, impressions, and words are my own.