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May 17, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Milwaukee M18 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Review 2836

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Review
PTR Review
  • Pro Rating 9.6

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel oscillating multi-tool's performance and vibration control are top-notch. The blade change might be a sticking point for some folks, but its significantly lower cost compared to Fein's SuperCut is likely to add more red to remodelers' toolboxes.

Overall Score 9.6 (out of 10)

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Stakes its Claim as One of the Best

Milwaukee made some major changes to their latest generation of cordless oscillating tools. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel oscillating multi-tool (2836-20) is the crown jewel in the line and makes some bold claims. We were impressed with the performance of the M12 Fuel version, and we have high expectations for what this 18V brushless model has in store.


Pros

  • Outstanding cutting and sanding speeds
  • Outstanding vibration control
  • Auto-Load automatic speed control
  • Variable speed dial
  • Wide-angle LED light
  • Comfortable barrel grip design

Cons

  • Slower tool-free blade changes than other models we’ve tested

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Performance

Milwaukee boosted their performance from 18,000 OPM on the M18 multi-tool to 20,000 OPM on the M18 Fuel. Additionally, they gave it a 4.2º oscillating angle that’s wider than most.


After running it through a series of test cuts and on the PTR Oscillating Multi-Tool Test Track, it’s clear that the Milwaukee M18 Fuel oscillating multi-tool is one of the fastest-cutting cordless models available.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Cutting Drywall

Milwaukee’s only real competition is from Fein’s SuperCut Cordless. Between those two models, we couldn’t convincingly tell which one cut faster. What we could tell is that they are in a higher class than any other cordless model when it comes to cutting speed.

Milwaukee’s vibration control is outstanding as well—every bit as good as the SuperCut’s. In fact, only the M12 Fuel model seemed to have less vibration while cutting.

Removing Grout

The only hiccup we’ve found made itself known during our Test Track runs. Milwaukee brings over its blade change from before and it has a threaded bolt that slows it down. With two accessory changes required during the Time Trial, it moved Milwaukee into the lower end of the group with a total time of 2:17.

PTR Oscillating Multi-Tool Test Track Setup

  • Cutting out a door jamb
  • Cutting out a gang box hole in drywall
  • Removing crown by cutting 5 finish nails holding it in place
  • Removing an 18-inch line of grout
  • Sanding a 6-inch section of 2 x 4 stud

Check out our full list of recommendations in our Best Oscillating Multi-Tool article.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Design and Features

Ergonomics

The design of the Milwaukee M18 Fuel oscillating multi-tool doesn’t stray far from the M12 Fuel’s. It shares a very similar barrel grip design that’s narrower and more comfortable to use than models from Bosch or Fein.

The bare weight is pretty manageable, too. At 2.56 pounds, it’s only a few ounces heavier than the M12 Fuel. Of course, that all changes once you put the battery on. The kit comes with a 5.0Ah battery bringing the weight to 4.18 lbs, but we prefer using a 3.0Ah High Output pack to lighten and shorten things up a bit.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Beauty Shot

Feature List

  • Variable Speed Dial
  • Auto-Load (automatic speed control)
  • 180º LED Light
  • Tool-Free Blade Change with Magnets to Hold Blades
  • Compatible With All M18 Batteries

Tool-Free Blade Change

The blade change mechanism is the same we saw on the older M18 version of this tool. You release the lever on top, and use your fingers to unscrew the threads until you can get the blade off.

Because the bolt is threaded, it’s a longer process to change accessories than most tool-free systems. If your favorite accessories don’t have the back section cut out, you’ll have to completely remove the bolt every time.

Milwaukee Blade Change

Auto-Load Feature

We love the Auto-Load feature found on the variable speed dial of the Milwaukee 2836-20. Working with it, the speed increases as you put more pressure into the cut. Combined with Milwaukee’s narrower barrel design, we found it highly effective when we were looking for better control.

This is a feature that’s not very common. Among cordless oscillating tools, Metabo HPT (Hitachi) is the only other model we’ve used that has it.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Auto-Load Feature

Milwaukee Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool Comparison Chart

M12 Fuel (2526)M18
(2626)
M18 Fuel (2836)
Power SourceM12M18M18
Speed10,000 – 20,000 OPM11,000 – 18,000 OPM10,000 – 20,000 OPM
Angle3.9ºNot Listed4.2º
Bare Weight2.35 lbs2.65 lbs2.56 lbs
Length11 3/16 in11 7/8 in12 3/16 in
Advanced Vibration ControlYesNoYes
Variable Speed DialYesYesYes
Auto-Load ControlNoNoYes
Price$149/$219$99/$199/$319$229/$329
M12 Fuel kit includes 4.0 Ah battery | M18 kit includes 1.5Ah or 3.0Ah battery | M18 Fuel kit includes 5.0Ah battery

Milwaukee 2836 Pricing

You can pick up the Milwaukee 2836-20 M18 Fuel oscillating multi-tool for $229 as a bare tool or in a kit with a 5.0Ah battery for $329.

That’s on the pricier side of cordless oscillating tools. However, with performance and vibration control that rivals Fein’s SuperCut Cordless, it’s pretty compelling against Fein’s $509 – $662 price tag.

Note that both Fein kits include two batteries rather than one.

The Bottom Line

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel oscillating multi-tool is a huge step forward and goes toe-to-toe with the best cordless options out there. Its performance and vibration control are top-notch. The blade change might be a sticking point for some folks, but its significantly lower cost compared to Fein’s SuperCut is likely to add more red to remodelers’ toolboxes.

Learn more by visiting Milwaukee’s website.

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elspodulate

m12 v m18 shootout please….

Art

TTI needs to transfer some of this wonderful ‘red’ magic to the ‘green’ tool line. The Ryobi multi-tool situation is no brushless and one that’s ‘jobmax’ and one that’s only sold in a 6 tool combo kit.

Lewis Hart

Until they adopt the starlock plus system, it’ll only ever be an average tool. The fein 18v supercut will leave it in the dust

Tony Jones

Did u watch it

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