Milwaukee M18 Saws: Any feedback?


#1

I’ve been thinking about purchasing two Milwaukee M18 saws: the Milwaukee 2730-20 M18 Circular Saw (Milwaukee Circular Saw: )
and the 2625-20 Milwaukee M18 SawzallM18 Milwaukee Sawzall. I already have several M18 Milwaukee Brushless tools that I’m very happy with (the ratchet, the 1/2" impact, the impact driver, and a drill). What has been your experience with these? My two biggest concerns are that the power required to run the circular saw will drain the battery quickly and if the sawzall packs the punch it needs to cut through exhaust systems.


#2

What’s your planned usage for the circular?
I have the larger 7.25” M18 circular, and love it. Runtime with the 9Ah battery has been great, Ive used it cutting plywood and 2x4s for a whole day building a playing field, and still had a bar left. The 5Ah batteries work fine as well. I haven’t found the power lacking at all normally, the only time I have to remember to slow down and let the saw do the work is cutting a full-depth 45 degree bevel, even then it’ll make it through fine as long as I’m not forcing it through. The 6.5” saw supposedly is a bit better than the 7.25” in this regard, so I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it.

The second item you link is a hackzall, but you mention sawzall, so I don’t know which you’re looking at. I have both the m18 fuel hackzall and fuel sawzall, but mostly use them for lighter duty tasks. I probably use the hackzall more than the sawzall, and most of my tasks I use the sawzall on would probably be fine with the hackzall. Unfortunately I can’t speak to your usage, since I don’t cut anything that heavy, so can’t make a recommendation between the hackzall or the sawzall or the fuel or non-fuel version. I can say I’m very happy with both the fuel saws I have for my light usage, particularly the hackzall.


#3

Wouldn’t be using the circular constantly. Just small projects from time to time. Need to put up a new deck on the back of the house next summer. Stuff like that.

The Sawzall would be used for cutting exhaust pipes when we have cars on the lift at work, so not for extended periods of time, but it would need the kind of power to cut through metal exhaust pipes.


#4

I have the 7 1/4" circular saw that I use daily with 5 amp hour batteries. Typically, a battery lasts all day. Unfortunately, the one area the saw has trouble is with PT, which I’m guessing you’ll need it for when you build your deck. The density and moisture content of the wood really bogs down the saw and eats up the batteries. I’ve used Makita, DeWalt and Ridgid cordless saws and none of them hold a candle to the Milwaukee, but when it comes to PT, I’ll stick to corded.

I also use the M18 fuel saws all everyday. Almost as powerful as corded. That’s really the best compliment one can give a cordless tool. However, if I’m looking at an all day demo with lots of sawsall work, I’m going corded. Experience tells me I will have a bunch of hot batteries in no time otherwise.


#5

The 6.5” saw with a good quality thin kerf blade will likely have less of an issue with this than the 7.25, because of the smaller blade, but I have had the same problem with my 7.25. It can make it through, you just can’t rush it and it will try to bog down on you if you get off straight. For cross cutting PT I didn’t find it too annoying, but my 15 amp corded saw definitely ate through it a lot better. For a whole deck YMMV, the cordless saw will be able to do it, just have to use some extra care and bit more time.

Something I thought of on the sawzall, you might see if you have any friends with a regular M18 fuel sawzall (or rent one), and also try the one-key version. For heavy applications I hear the ability to tune the saw to the material is a actually a good savings in time and blade life, and presumably stress in the saw. You might see what it can do for you, and use the base fuel saw as a comparison. In a production environment, if you’re using it daily or so, the time and blade savings may make the one-key worth it, just to tune in the right settings.


#6

To try to be rational about this, I think you need to ask yourself: when does the extra convenience of having a cordless saw become inconvenient and costly? A corded circular saw - especially something like a Skil77 wormgear saw - is so much more powerful than a cordless saw - and has no restriction resulting from battery life. What you get for the extra expense of cordless is an ability to use it in places where the cord would be a nuisance or possibly unsafe. Building a deck or a dock out in the woods, cutting into a roof for a skylight or ventilator, cutting sheathing up on a third story while standing on some staging, cutting framing at elevation - all are good applications for cordless - and justify its expense. But building a deck with pressure treated lumber or IPE in your back yard - you will probably be better off using a decent quality corded saw - and a corded miter saw with an appropriate blade.


#7

My reason for going cordless was a little different, but I do agree with what Fred says. Knowing particularly in this case of a possible performance concern with cordless in PT, unless you have a reason for wanting cordless over corded, corded will always be more powerful and typically cheaper, sometimes by a lot.

I’m rarely in a place where I couldn’t plug in a corded saw, but for me it is usually the convenience of not having to that makes me reach primarily for the cordless. I do have a corded one and it does get used as well, if I could only have one, it’d definitely be the corded. The few times I’ve needed the power I’ve been glad to have it. Ripping sheet goods, particularly in full 4’ or 8’ cuts, I like the cordless, because I don’t have to feed the cord over the edge of the workpiece, or have it drift along a side edge, which also wears on the cord. I also go help do projects at friends houses, some of whom don’t own a circular saw. Rather than figuring out which circuit they’ve got their high powered computers plugged into so I don’t plug into the same circuit with a 15 amp saw, or if we’re running a shop vac and/or sander from the same circuit at the same time, it’s just easier to take a cordless. Those applications though rarely involve PT or similar challenging materials, so I know my M18 saw will get the job done for those, and I have no qualms about leaving the corded at home. At Habitat projects, I’ve even used the little M12 circular in a pinch for cutting 4x4 PT fence posts to height (it takes at least two passes at its lacking depth and sometimes leaves a twig in the middle), and it got it done. I definitely could have used just the corded for all those and been plenty happy, but the grab and go and not worry about plugs or extension cords or where I’m plugging in was enough convenience to justify the price premium. Plus I was already on the Milwaukee platform, so have oodles of batteries.


#8

My brother has the m18 fuel circular saw. It is pretty sweet, I’ve used the dewalt 18v saw and it feels like a toy compared to the corded ones. the milwaukee though, can’t even tell the difference. Weighs just as much as the corded ones though…heavy and not cheap.