Milwaukee FUEL Brushless Tools | Overview

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Milwaukee FUEL Technology Overview

I’ll be the first to admit I was confused when brushless motors made their way into the tool realm. I think the fact that nearly every tool company chose to brand theirs differently contributed. Now that the dust is settling, the overall landscape of brushless is  more than promising. The technology has given us longer run times, extended battery life, and in the case of Milwaukee’s M12 FUEL Hammerdrill/Driver, an incredible user experience. That review will post this week. In the meantime, here’s a look at Milwaukee’s version of brushless tools – and they have quite a lineup.

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Milwaukee’s M12 and M18 FUEL cordless tools have longer run time, longer motor life and improved efficiency, according to the manufacturer.

Milwaukee FUEL Video Overview

Paul Fry is the VP of Product Marketing for Cordless Tools (he says it’s tough fitting all that on a business card) and he’ll walk us through the technology and lineup. Enjoy and read on for more information!



Brushless Motor Technology

The basic concept of brushless tool motors replaces the “old-fashioned” carbon brushes with a digital control center. This is good news for anyone who’s ever had to change the brushes on a worn out tool motor, but could be a little scary for anyone who’s worked with computers. The reason? If it’s controlled or runs on zeroes and ones, it’s gonna go down at some point during its life.

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The brushless motors inside Milwaukee’s FUEL line replace traditional carbon brushes with ‘digital command center’.

That being said, I am in love with the M12 FUEL Hammerdrill/Driver. Maybe love is too strong a word….nah. That bad boy is nothing short of amazing to me, and it has plenty of brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins just waiting for me to test out in the upcoming months. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Brushless SawZall Benefits

If you thought it wasn’t possible for Milwaukee to improve on their venerable workhorse, think again. Brushless has once again made it the king of the hill when it comes to runtime and performance.

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The iconic SawZall in its FUEL form. Milwaukee says it even outperforms one of their own. Details in the video above.

The testing we saw at Milwaukee’s New Product Symposium (we investigated – it was fair and square to our eyes) was impressive. According to Fry, the newest member of the SawZall family even beats one of its own.

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During the ‘competition testing’ at the New Product Symposium, the FUEL SawZall outperformed other models.

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Here’s a look at the internal workings of the SawZall. See it in action in the video above.

Read more about FUEL SawZall in Milwaukee’s press release HERE.

Milwaukee FUEL Grinders

As explained in the video, rarely have they been called “cordless grinders” in the past. Instead, they were simply known as “cut-off” tools – basically it was a way of avoiding any over-promising of performance. With the increased efficiency of brushless technology, these tools can now safely be called cordless grinders and live up to that moniker, according to Milwaukee. From what we saw during the demonstrations, it looks like there might be a new sheriff in town.

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Traditionally, grinders in this genre were called ‘cut-off tools’, but with the advancements made in brushless motor technology, they can “officially” be called Cordless Grinders.

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The improved motor and Red Lithium Battery technology give Milwaukee’s line of cordless grinders increased power, efficiency and run time.

FUEL Circular Saws

I’ve been using Milwaukee’s M18 Circular Saw for several months and have been more than impressed with its power and performance. Now, they tell me that the M18 FUEL will put the model I have to shame.

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The M18 FUEL Circular Saw cuts through layered OSB with ease.

I’m anxious to see if the new motor will extend the run time of the M18 Li-ion batteries, as that has been my only (and very minor) concern about my current M18 circ saw.

Read more about Milwaukee’s FUEL circular saws in their press release HERE.

Milwaukee FUEL Brushless Opinion

Overall, I think that everyone at Milwaukee’s event was impressed with the FUEL line of tools. The brushless tech is certainly making big differences in what we’ll expect our cordless tools to do in the future. Todd Fratzel at Tool Box Buzz was one of the first to see and appreciate the new trend. He predicted that we’ll see the biggest benefits in the 12 volt tool category, and after a lot of studying and researching (it’s hard to keep up with really smart people like Todd), I agree.

The future of cordless is brushless. That is, until the next big thing comes down the ‘tooltech’ superhighway. Stay tuned for updates.

Check price/availability on Amazon

M18 1/2″ Drill/Driver 2604-22: CLICK HERE

M12 1/2″ Hammerdrill/Driver 2404-22: CLICK HERE

For more information from Milwaukee: CLICK HERE