October 22, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

Milwaukee Cordless Vacuums

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum Review

Milwaukee Cordless Vacuums Tackle Every Conceivable Cleanup

For those unaware, Milwaukee has been not-so-quietly expanding their line of cordless vacuums. From wet/dry models to cordless vacuums focused on dust removal and shop cleanup, Milwaukee has both 12V and 18V options to conveniently keep your workspace spotless.

Milwaukee Cordless Vacuums Include:

  • Milwaukee 0960-21 M12 Fuel 1.6-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac
  • Milwaukee 0970-20 M18 Fuel Packout Wet/Dry Vacuum
  • 0880-20 M18 2-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum
  • 0940-20 M18 Fuel Compact Vacuum
  • Milwaukee 0885-21HD M18 Fuel 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum Kit
  • 0882-20 M18 Compact Vacuum
  • Milwaukee 0850-20 M12 Compact Vacuum

Milwaukee Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuums

M12 Fuel 1.6-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum

The Milwaukee 0960-20 M12 Fuel Wet/Dry Vac is the first of its kind. Not only does its 12 volts provide more than 40% more suction than even some 18V models, but Milwaukee claims it is the most compact wet/dry vac on the market.

Milwaukee M12 Wet/Dry Vac

The brushless motor sports 45 CFM and 42″ of water lift, while running at only 87 dB(A). It can run for up to 26 minutes with the kitted 6.0Ah battery. The compact footprint makes the 10.6 lb vac easy to stack or carry around with you. It even comes with a wall mount kit for hanging.

Its attachments, washable HEPA filter, and hose store right inside the 1.6-gallon canister when not in use.

  • Model: Milwaukee 0960-21
  • Brushless motor generates 45CFM and 42″ water lift
  • Washable HEPA filter
  • Up to 26 minutes runtime with 6.0Ah battery
  • 11.9 x 13.7 x 8.7 in. and 10.6 lbs.
  • Wall mountable
  • Internal accessory storage; includes crevice tool, utility tool, hose, and wall mount kit
  • 87 dBA
  • 5-year warranty
  • Available late 2020/early 2021

You can pick up the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Wet/Dry Vac Kit for $199 when it hit stores early 2021.

M18 Fuel Packout 2.5-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

For Packout users, Milwaukee has the 0970-20 M18 Fuel Wet/Dry Vac. Its provides great mobility with its compact, 11.3-lb footprint that stacks and secures seamlessly onto your Packout rig.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Packout 2.5 Gallon Wet-Dry Vacuum

The M18 Fuel Packout Vac features a brushless motor that generates 50 CFM and 47″ of water lift. It sounds off at 87 dB(A), making it a great option for work in occupied space. It can run for up to 50 minutes in the low setting with an 8.0Ah battery.

Milwaukee includes a washable HEPA filter, along with crevice and utility attachments that store away onboard. The 6′ hose stores away in an outside recess that keeps the whole package neat and organized.

Quick Specs

  • Model: Milwaukee 0970-20
  • Suction volume: 50 CFM
  • Sealed suction in water: 47-in.
  • Noise: 87 dB(A)
  • Canister capacity: 2.5-gallons
  • Inlet diameter: 1-1/4 in.
  • Dimensions (HxLxW): 12.8 x 17.1 x 10.5 in.
  • Weight: 11.3 lbs
  • Warranty: 5-years
  • Washable HEPA filter (49-90-1900): $14.99 (one included)

You can pick up the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Packout Vac for $199 when it comes out in the Fall. It comes as a bare tool and includes Milwaukee’s 5-year warranty.

M18 2-Gallon Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum

It’s an older vacuum, sir, but it checks out (click here if you don’t get that reference). The Milwaukee 0880-20 M18 Wet/Dry Vacuum comes with all the tools you need to effectively clean while keeping the airborne dust to a minimum. The Packout vac above might render this one obsolete—but for now, it’s the current compact vacuum solution for Milwaukee M18 tool users.

Milwaukee Cordless Vacuums

The M18 2-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac generates 45 CFM and 32″ of water lift from its motor. It can run for over 30 minutes (using a 9.0Ah battery), and all of the included attachments store away onboard for organized transportability.

Quick Specs

  • Model: Milwaukee 0880-20
  • 2-gallon capacity
  • CFM: 45
  • Water Lift: 32″
  • Inlet Diameter: 1-1/4 in.
  • Built-in blower port
  • Weight: 10.1 lbs.
  • L x W x H: 16.92 in. x 8.46 in. x 12.12 in.
  • Includes 6 Foot Flexible Hose, Crevice Tool, Utility Nozzle, and HEPA Filter
  • Warranty: 5 years

With an older model, you’d probably expect some significant savings. In this case, you’d be right, as we now see the 0880-20 priced under $100 for the bare tool.

Milwaukee Cordless Compact Vacuums

M18 Fuel Compact Vacuum

The Milwaukee 0940-20 M18 Fuel Compact Vacuum brings both versatility and performance to the job site. Optimized for dry applications, this vac features two-stage debris separation that divides small and large particles before it hits the bagless canister, making it an ideal solution for small area and spot pickup.

Milwaukee Compact Vacuum

The brushless motor generates 32 CFM and 80″ sealed suction water lift for 50% more sustained suction than competitors (according to Milwaukee). It comes with a variety of quick-change tools that let switch from upright use to ground level to overhead use easily.

  • Model: Milwaukee 0940-20
  • Air Volume: 32 CFM
  • Sealed Suction: 80 in. water lift
  • Air Performance: 98 air watts
  • Canister Capacity: 0.25 gallons
  • Inlet Diameter: 1-1/4 in.
  • Height: 11.65 in.
  • Length: 13.07 in.
  • Width: 6.39 in.
  • Weight: 4.35 lbs.
  • Warranty: 5 years

Accessories and More

You can pick up the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Compact Vacuum this fall. We expect it to sell as a bare tool, retailing for $199. It comes with an extension wand, powered floor tool, floor tool, flexible hose, crevice tool, utility tool, brush tool, accessory holder, HEPA filter, and foam pre-filter. About the only negative we can point out on this vacuum—it might do a little too much.

M18 Fuel 3-in-1 Backpack Vac

For the best mobility, take a look at the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum. As one of the only vacuums of its kind (the Makita backpack vacuum is similar), it takes a versatile approach that excels at spot, area, and final cleanup applications. With a cyclonic action that provides twice the suction as traditional jobsite vacs, this grab-n-go solution tackles drywall dust, wood and metal shavings, and concrete dust with ease.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum

Its brushless motor provides 55 CFM and 76″ water lift while only generating 76 dB(A). Milwaukee claims this is 3X times quieter than other cordless vacuums, and while this doesn’t seem like a claim that’s easy to substantiate, 76 decibels makes this an ideal solution for working in occupied spaces.

As far as versatility goes, this backpack gives you options. You can throw it on your back for mobility, hang it from the integrated nail hook, or remove the harness and set it on the ground. It includes a 6′ flexible hose, telescoping extension wand, floor tool, crevice tool, and dust extraction adapter. All of the attachments store onboard so that you’re never caught without them.

Finally, the backpack vac qualifies as an OSHA-compliance solution with its HEPA filter, keeping you safe from respirable silica dust.

Quick Specs

  • Model: Milwaukee 0885-21HD
  • 55 CFM
  • 76” Water Lift
  • 159 Air Watts
  • 76 dB(A)
  • 1 Gallon Capacity
  • Filter: HEPA
  • Telescoping extension wand: 25” – 40”
  • Kit Includes M18 Fuel 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum, 9.0Ah battery, charger, HEPA Filter, Flexible Hose, Telescoping Extension Wand, Floor Tool, Crevice Tool, and Dust Extraction Adapter.

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel 3-In-1 Backpack Vacuum comes either as a bare tool or kitted with a 9.0Ah battery and charger. It retails for $299 as the vac only, or $449 for the kit. Milwaukee warranties the tool for 5 years.

M18 Compact Vacuum

Milwaukee’s M18 Compact Vacuum provides another inroad to small area and spot cleanup jobs with this handheld solution. With a couple of extension wands, a 4′ hose, a floor tool, and a crevice tool, this vacuum gives you a lot of versatility across the jobsite.

Milwaukee M18 Compact Vacuum angled

It features a high-performance motor that can pull 40 CFM, which seems impressive for a brushed tool that weighs in at just over 4 lbs. Though it is sold as a bare tool, we got around 25 minutes of runtime from it using a 5.0Ah battery. When we swapped that out with one of our High Demand 9.0Ah batteries, that runtime jumped to 43 minutes.

  • Model: Milwaukee 0882-20
  • Suction: 40 CFM
  • Removable HEPA filter
  • Clear view 36 oz. canister
  • Inlet Diameter: 1-1/4 in.
  • Runtime: 25 minutes (XC5.0 battery); 43 minutes (High Demand 9.0Ah battery)
  • Dimensions: 16 x 7 x 8.6 in.
  • Weight 4.22 lbs
  • Includes: Extension wands (2), 4 ft. flexible hose, crevice tool, floor tool, and removable HEPA filter
  • Price (bare tool): $99

The Milwaukee M18 Compact Vacuum retails for $79 as a bare tool and comes with a 5-year warranty.

M12 Compact Vacuum

Rounding out the line of Milwaukee Cordless Vacuums, the M12 Compact Vac presents Milwaukee’s version of a “dust buster”. Only, this handheld solution provides a bit more versatility and a good deal more power.

Milwaukee Cordless Vacuums

Perhaps you wouldn’t think it by looking at it, but the M12 Compact Vacuum can pull 33 CFM. The high-performance motor generates enough power to attach the included extension wand for working floors without bending over.

Using a 4.0Ah battery (not included), the 0850-20 can run for up to 29 minutes. A lock-on switch lets you run continuously without fatiguing your fingers. A clear window shows you when you need to empty the canister or clear the pleated filter.

  • Model: Milwaukee 0850-20
  • Suction: 33 CFM
  • Length: 18.5 in.
  • Weight: 2.25 lbs.

You can pick up the Milwaukee M12 Compact Vac as a bare tool for $69. It comes with an extension wand, crevice tool, utility tool, and filter cartridge. Milwaukee warranties this tool for 5 years as well.

Related articles

Best Cordless Impact Driver Reviews 2021

We’ve tested dozens of the impact drivers currently available to find out who makes the best impact driver in multiple classes. There are some impressive new players entering the scene that look to challenge the traditional powerhouses. When it was all said and done, the biggest names still stepped up to the plate. Our impact driver reviews […]

Types of Adhesives for Projects, Construction, Repairs, and More

When determining the right types of adhesives for a project or repair you need to understand how each reacts with various materials. Manufacturers design adhesives for nearly every kind of application. We will cover some general classifications of adhesives as well as specific recommendations for each. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of where to […]

Milwaukee Portable 6-Inch Tripod Chain Vise | 48-22-8690

Take Milwaukee’s Chain Vise Anywhere Chain vices see a lot of use in the field for electrical, plumbing, and mechanical contractors. But, according to Milwaukee, most of the vices we see on the market are difficult to transport, inefficient to deploy, and become unstable as the joints wear down from use. The Milwaukee Portable 6-Inch […]

Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
David S

What a Markup Acme Tools has! The article states the backpack vacuum is $499 for the kit, but Acme artificially inflates the list price to $787, and then “discounts” it to $539!
The M12 compact vacuum is not much better though; the article states the bare tool is $69, while Acme again artificially inflates the price to $171, then “discounts” it to $99, and then has it on sale for $79. Their “sale” price is still more that the article states. I think you need to get a new sales affiliate.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x