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August 3, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool
PTR Review
  • Pro Rating 9.4

If you've been waiting for a cordless multi-tool that can compete with Fein in cutting performance and vibration, the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool is that tool. We're thoroughly impressed with the massive leap this brushless model has over its previous brushed version.

Overall Score 9.4 (out of 10)

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Cuts Down Vibration

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool makes some bold claims regarding its ability to maintain cutting speed and vibration control. We’ve tested nearly every multi-tool on the market. If Milwaukee can deliver, it’s going to be a really big deal in a sector where nearly every brand is chasing Fein.


Pros

  • Impressively low vibration
  • Excellent cutting and sanding speeds
  • Variable speed via dial (10,000 – 20,000 OPM)
  • Lightweight M12 design
  • Brushless motor
  • Tool-free blade changes

Cons

  • No significant drawbacks

Recommendation

If you’ve been waiting for a cordless multi-tool that can compete with Fein in cutting performance and vibration, the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool is that tool. We’re thoroughly impressed with the massive leap this brushless model has over its previous brushed version. Combined with some of the combo kit deals we’re seeing at Home Depot, it’s a solid value, too.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Design

Looking over Milwaukee’s design, the foundation is a barrel grip housing that’s a bit slimmer than similar designs. While models such as Ridgid and DeWalt have a more ergonomic shape, the rounded handle lends itself to a more natural grip when you need to cut at odd angles. Top, bottom, and side grips are all comfortable, even if you don’t have large hands.

Barrel Grip

Milwaukee keeps its tool-free blade change design. You start by lifting the release on top of the tool and then unscrewing the bolt below. For most blades, you just need to loosen the bolt and slide it off. Accessories such as sanding pads require you to remove it fully.

There are magnets on the interface that hold your blade in place while you tighten the bolt back up. It’s certainly not as cumbersome as models that require a hex wrench, but it’s not as convenient as Starlock.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Performance

Vibration Control

When I turn on most multi-tools, I expect a pretty decent amount of vibration. The exception is my Fein MultiMaster that somehow seems to defy physics.


Milwaukee says the M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool has the “lowest full-tool vibration” without qualification. I’ve been swayed by low-vibration claims before, so I braced my hands for the vibration levels I nearly always feel…

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Testing vibration control

…and it wasn’t there. I turned the tool off and stared at it in amazement for a moment. Then I put some scrap wood in a vise and started cutting. If I’d closed my eyes, I would have sworn I was cutting with a Fein—the vibration control is that good!

Speed

With vibration control so much better than the older M18 multi-tool (and most every other brands’ offerings for that matter), you could certainly forgive the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool for cutting a bit slower. But it’s not slow. Not compared to 12V models and not compared to 18V/20V max models.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Plunge Cutting

Plunge cutting into studs, it’s agreeably quick and it does a fine job cutting through screws quickly as well. That comes from oscillations that run up to 20,000 OPM on the top end and a 3.9º oscillation angle.

Its variable speed dial can also drop you down as low as 10,000 OPM. It didn’t escape us that the M12 multi-tool has 12 steps on its dial. Well-played, Milwaukee!

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Sanding

Even sanding feels competent. It’s not as fast as larger dedicated sanders, of course, but it’s better than most multi-tools we’ve used. Its small delta pad is genuinely helpful at working into areas that our other sanders have a hard time reaching.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Price

As a bare tool, you can get the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool for $149. Moving up to a kit with a 4.0Ah battery, the price is $219. We also noticed that Home Depot has the tool with a 2.0Ah battery for $149 (no charger). But the best value is in the combo kit deals that are currently running with two 3.0Ah batteries and a charger.

M12 Fuel Multi-Tool With…Price
M12 Fuel Surge$298
M12 Jigsaw$248
M12 Fuel Hackzall (our top pick!)$298
M12 Fuel 3/8-Inch Ratchet$328
M12 Crown Stapler$248
Bonus M12 Fuel Multi-Tool$298

Milwaukee 12V Multi-Tool Comparison

There are some big differences between the brushed and brushless 12V multi-tools in Milwaukee’s lineup. Here’s how they stack up:

M12 (2426)M12 Fuel (2526)
Oscillation Range5,000 – 20,000 OPM10,000 – 20,000 OPM
Oscillation AngleNot Listed3.9º
Accessory ChangeHex WrenchTool-Free
MotorBrushedBrushless
Bare Weight1.6 lbs.2.3 lbs.
Length10 1/4 in.11 1/4 in.

Aside from the blade change, the brushed M12 appears to be the better option. But what this chart doesn’t show is just how significant the M12 Fuel’s vibration control and cutting performance is. In our opinion, taking the Fuel upgrade is a no-brainer.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve been waiting for a cordless multi-tool that can compete with Fein in cutting performance and vibration, the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool is that tool. We’re thoroughly impressed with the massive leap this brushless model has over its previous brushed version. Combined with some of the combo kit deals we’re seeing at Home Depot, it’s a solid value, too.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Specs

  • Model: Milwaukee 2526-21
  • Motor: Brushless
  • Height: 3.77 in.
  • Depth: 11.2 in.
  • Width: 2.29 in.
  • Weight: 6.725 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $219

Discover more at Milwaukee’s website.

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