Any dogs in the M12 line?


#1

I am realizing that I am probably sticking to the M12 line for a while, so it occurred to me it might be good to know if there are any tools in the line I should avoid? That line is huge; they can’t all be great, right?


#2

I know that my guys were not fans of the M12 pipe cutter 2471-20. The older Hackzall 2420-20 was rather wimpy - but the guys liked it when it came out for cutting plastic pipe under the sink. I think there is a newer version. We also got a batch of the 2426-20 OMTs as a promotion. They got tossed in a corner with the trash - but the guys were used to using corded Fein Multimasters and Supercuts. That’s sort of what I remember.


#3

fred, they should pay you for posting here!

It seems like small, light recip saws are a Good Thing, even if they are wimpy. I saw some utility guys using the Makita compact or subcompact recip saw down in a trench today. When you see them using it in person, it is hard to imagine them using any other tool in that situation.

But sure, I can imagine it would be hard to beat corded Fein OMTs. It is a little counterintuitive, but power matters even when you have a tiny blade oscillating at 10,000 cycles per seconds or whatever.


#4

I’ll second the M12 OMT being wimpy. It’s one of very very few tools I’ve ever returned for reasons other than a defect or failure. The M18 OMT is better, but not much, and doesn’t even come close to my corded Bosch. Maybe now that Milwaukee bought Imperial Blades they’ll have an incentive to make newer versions of these tools. But yeah, stay away from the M12 OMT.

The original M12 Hackzall was underpowered when stacked up against most other versions, but the newer Fuel M12 Hackzall went a long way to helping that, and I think is a much more capable tool. It still has a shorter stroke length than a regular sawzall, but for cutting pipes or drywall or pruning limbs or similar tasks, it is a good bit lighter than the M18 hackzalls, much less a sawzall, and works great for those tasks in my experience.

The M12 jigsaw is getting a bit long in the tooth, it’s a battery hog, though I like the ergonomics of it myself, and it is pretty powerful for a 12V jigsaw, even being years old now. Might be worth seeing if they make a new M12 jigsaw to match their new M18 ones though.

The M12 vacuum is a controversial thing, and i think it really depends on your expectations. For a vacuum, it’s not great, probably not even good. For a dust buster, it’s great. I use mine for small cleanups or holding up with a drill while making one off holes in drywall, and it does a fine job. The M18 teapot vac is a better all around vac though, I just like keeping the M12 one convenient because it’s a bit smaller and I tend to use it more like a Dustbuster instead of a vacuum anyway, so it works for me. If you expect job site cleanup and vacuum level performance though, you’ll likely be disappointed.

Some M12 tools I really like… the lantern. I use it all the time for all kinds of things, going camping, when the power goes out, charging my phone if I can’t find another of my portable usb battery packs. And for regular work use it puts out a good amount of light, but isn’t too bright like some of the floods i have can be. The stapler, and the rivet gun. These are definitely more specialty tools, especially the rivet gun, but they’re both just fantastic. I do a lot of things that seem to require staples (or maybe I find ways to use staples instead of other fasteners, I don’t know), and the staple gun sure saves my hand from driving them all with a manual stapler. It actually freed up my manual stapler to be loaded with brads now instead of staples, since I use the M12 one for any stapling I need. Last one I really like, the fuel screwdriver. Hex chuck of an impact, but operates like a drill. Yes, you need hex shank drill bits for it then if you go that route, but it’s awesome if you can only carry one tool, but need to drill and drive screws, especially more delicately than an impact driver can do.

Still waiting on my M12 rocket light, but I’m excited for that one, and the stubby impct wrench.


#5

Thank you sir! I’ve had my eye on that jigsaw for a while. I wonder if a Fuel model is in the works.

I’ve given up on cordless vacuums. Corded or nothing.

I am curious about cordless screwdrivers. I guess they are shorter front to back, because they don’t have a screw chuck, and that can be a big deal. But otherwise? Cordless drills can accept hex bit holders, or the bits themselves in a pinch.


#6

I concur with Tim. The M12 OMT is junk. The circular saw is also a no go. The vac is just plain awful. Rotary tool is pretty sweet. Have had great success with all the drills and drivers. Pipe cutter is a great idea, I wanted it to work so badly that I wished it to be good. Truth is, it is too hokey and unreliable. I love the m12 bandsaw, but I only do light duty stuff.


#7

I find my 0880-20 M18 lunchbox vac to work pretty well. Definitely not great battery life, though, at least with 4.0Ah packs.


#8

I actually really like the M12 circular, use it all the time for straight cuts in 2x and tearing up sheet goods. Needs a sharp blade and a 4Ah or larger batt, but I love it, small and light. Only haul out the M18 or corded anymore for cutting marathons or if I’m going to be making tricky cuts of bevels