Ditch Gas for the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 8-inch Hatchet Pruning Saw
More and more brands are making the switch to adopting exclusively battery-powered tools. This is especially visible in the lawncare and OPE side of the business, where just a few years ago gas dominated the market. Now, states like California are actually banning gas outdoor power tools. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hatchet Pruning Saw is no exception. Part of the M18 Fuel line, it’s designed for the toughest applications. We got our hands on it at a recent media event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hatchet Pruning Saw: The Big Deal
The M18 Fuel Hatchet Pruning Saw has the power to cut through tough materials like hardwoods. Milwaukee uses electronics and brushless motor technology to maintain speed under load. This allows them to get, according to product managers, the equivalent of 25cc gas power.
Its compact design offers control and maneuverability, even in tight or awkward areas. In fact, without the battery, it weighs right around 5 pounds! For a battery-powered tool, the M18 Fuel hatchet pruning saw reaches full throttle very quickly—less than one second. You also don’t have to worry about the annoyances that come with a gas pruning saw, like fumes, fuel, and maintenance.
We got to do some serious testing with this 8-inch M18 FUEL pruning saw at the August 2022 Milwaukee Pipeline media event. Cutting through a ~6-inch log we made about a dozen cuts and still had 4 bars left on the XC8.0 battery.
In terms of power, the ability I had to leverage this pruning saw into the cut and make quick work of this log impressed me to no end. The tool feels comfortable in the hand, and you can really work it quickly and easily when making your cuts. The full house chain cuts at 5 m/s or about 16.5 fps which definitely gets the job done.
I found that I could not only cut quickly but accurately, cutting off thin 1/2-inch or thinner slices of wood as I went. The trigger ramps up the chain’s speed nearly instantaneously, and the metal bucking spikes let me bite right into the wood. The top guard also gives you a fair amount of confidence and protection as you cut, ensuring you can’t easily injure yourself in the case of a kickback.
- Variable speed trigger
- Lanyard loop
- Easy-access chain tensioner
- Automatic oiler
- Metal bucking spikes
Price and Availability
The M18 Fuel Hatchet Pruning Saw retails for $279 as a bare tool and $528 as a kit that includes an M18 8.0Ah battery and a multi-voltage rapid charger. It’s also available with a High Output 12.0Ah battery for $579 if you think you’ll need a little more trigger time. All three options come with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty from Milwaukee.
The Bottom Line
There’s a lot to like about this M18 FUEL Hatchet. The convenient onboard tool storage, comfortable ergonomics, and cutting capabilities all scores big points in our book. Compared to the Milwaukee M12 Hatchet, this larger model cuts more confidently and with greater capacity. For professional arborists, this tool really fits nicely into an emerging market for battery-powered outdoor power tool solutions.
- Model: Milwaukee 3004
- Power Source: Milwaukee M18 battery
- Weight: 5.1 lbs (bare), 7.4 lbs (with 8.0Ah battery)
- Chain Speed: 975 ft/min.
- No-Load Speed: 2600 RPM
- Chain Pitch: 3/8 in.
- Chain Gauge: 0.043 in.
- Oil Capacity: 2.6 oz.
- Tooth Count: 33
- Bar length: 8 in
- Warranty: 3-year
- Price: $279 (bare), $528 (8.0Ah kit), $579 (12.0Ah kit)
Gonna put their 16″ bar on it and pair it with the SKILSAW SPT1500 full house chain. Tried it with the M12, didn’t have quite enough sauce. Hopefully this M18 version does.