Outdoor Power Equipment Reviews

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet 6-Inch Pruning Saw


Get Better Maneuverability with Milwaukee M12 Hatchet Pruning Saw

You could use a chainsaw to deal with your garden pruning needs, but why deal with the unwieldiness? The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet Pruning Saw applies the same general principles to pruning as your standard chainsaw, but only brings 6 inches to the party. This results in unmatched control and access to your gardening, even with hardwoods.

10-Second Summary

  • Model: Milwaukee 2527-21 (kit); 2527-20 (bare tool)
  • Brushless motor cuts up to 3″ hardwoods
  • Up to 120 cuts per charge (in 2″ oak with 4.0Ah battery)
  • Full-house 6″ Oregon bar and chain
  • Instant throttle response from variable control trigger
  • Automatic oiler
  • Easy-access chain tensioner
  • Metal bucking spikes
  • Onboard scrench storage
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $249 (kit), $179 (bare tool)

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Control Your Cuts

For light-duty garden pruning, the Milwaukee M12 Hatchet improves upon the design of your standard chainsaw. Rather than utilizing a 12-inch or larger chain, the Hatchet employs a 6-inch Oregon bar and chain that makes for a much more maneuverable garden tool.

With its brushless motor, the Milwaukee Hatchet has the power to cut through up to 3-inch hardwoods. Milwaukee opted for a full-house design that features a cutter on every drive link. On a 6-inch bar, it should increase the smoothness of the cut. It also demonstrates that Milwaukee has a lot of faith in the power of this tool. This type of chain should optimize small limb-cutting where a smooth cut helps in pruning.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet features a variable speed trigger and instant throttle response. We like a quick startup on our saws—this makes the tool better for pruning when you’re constantly letting on and off the trigger.

Oddly, it comes with metal bucking spikes which should see limited use on a saw this small. You also get an easy-access chain tensioner and onboard storage for the scrench.

Runtime and Final Thoughts

For runtime, Milwaukee tells us that, with the kitted 4.0Ah battery, the M12 FUEL Hatchet gets up to 120 cuts per charge (in 2-inch oak). That’s not bad at all.

Of course, it remains to be seen how well this compares to using a reciprocating saw with a 3TPI bare wood blade for pruning. That works fairly easily, but the Milwaukee 2527-20 might have some tricks up its sleeve.

We do like it much better than the Stihl GTA 26 Garden Pruner. That tool seems to emphasize safety with a guard that gets in the way of certain cuts. It also uses a 12V battery platform that Stihl currently only has on—you guessed it—exactly one tool.

Pricing

For folks who already have a stable of M12 batteries, you can pick up the Milwaukee Hatchet Garden Pruner as a bare tool for $179.

If you’d prefer the kit, which includes the tool, an XC4.0 battery, and M12 charger, it retails for $249. Both options come with Milwaukee’s 3-year limited warranty.

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Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet Pruning Saw Specs

  • Model: Milwaukee 2527-21 (kit); 2527-20 (bare tool)
  • 6 -inch Oregon bar & chain
  • Full house chain
  • Speed: 5 m/s
  • Chain: 0.043 in. x 3/8 in.
  • Oiler: Automatic
  • Easy access chain tensioner
  • Metal bucking spikes
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Onboard scrench storage
  • Dimensions (LxHxW): 18.5 x 9.1 x 3.8 in.
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs w/battery
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
  • Kit includes: M12 Fuel Hatchet 6” Pruning Saw, M12 RedLithium XC4.0 Battery, M12 Charger, 6” Oregon bar and chain, Scabbard, and Scrench
  • Price: $249 (kit); $179 (bare tool)
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Don

Chris: Please comment on the chain tensioning mechanism. I was ready to buy the M18 16″ version but a significant % of reviewers had the same chain tensioning problem, all related to the nuts being pressed into the plastic case and breaking or not holding the bar. I like this little guy even more, lighter for ladder work. I am heavily invested in M12 and M18 Milawukee tools and generally like them. Maybe those guys were just ham-handed but all reported exactly the same problem unlike someone who gives 1 star for the wrong color or for breaking when it… Read more »

Tommy

Wonder if the guy who put a rc gas motor in the Bosch mini chainsaw would it will put a gas motor on this. I’m sure it will be a neat little tool if it’s anything like the mini 3 inch cut off tool. Very handy and great for some jobs.

OldDominionDIYer

Love it! 12V and less than 5lbs! Gonna be handy in the right situation, looks solid and enables various and versatile grips that would seem comfortable in most positions. Way to go Milwaukee!