Milwaukee M18 Fuel Utility Fencing Stapler Saves Massive Amounts Of Time
Whether you’ve hammered staples into a power pole or stretched miles of barbwire, it’s a painstaking process. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel Utility Fencing Stapler promises to ease that pain. We connected with Luke Smith out at his property in Georgia to see how it compares to other fencing stapler options.
- Fast stapling
- Battery-only: no need for gas cartridges
- Fully drives 9-gauge staples
- Easy reloading
- Dry fire lockout
- Easy access to clear jams
- Tether loop for linemen
- Over 11 pounds fully-loaded
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Utility Fencing Stapler Performance
The first thing you need to know is Milwaukee’s stapler can fire 9-gauge staples and that’s a big deal. 10-gauge staples are easier to fire and there have only been a couple of other successful 9-gauge models so far. The adept Stockade ST400i uses a gas cartridge and battery for its fence and post stapler. We’ve also tested the DeWalt cordless fencing stapler battery-only tool after its launch.
As an M18 Fuel tool, the Milwaukee 2843 uses brushless motor technology to get better performance and runtime, and those runtime estimates are impressive. Using a 3.0Ah High Output battery, Milwaukee tells us to expect up to 600 staples on a charge. For most folks, that’s all-day runtime without having to increase the weight with a higher-capacity battery.
In terms of speed, Milwaukee claims you can set your staples up to six times faster than manual hammering. Plus, it has the power to sink into tough utility poles and fence posts.
In practice, it might be even faster than that. Luke and I got to work on some wire fencing he was installing to create new paddocks for the horses, and the stapler drove staples deep as quickly as we could get the nose set. With just the time it took to move from one post to the next, the tool had time to keep up our pace with no problem.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Utility Fencing Stapler Design Notes
Size and Weight
The overall shape of the tool is different from the Milwaukee cordless framing nailer. Its handle area is specifically designed to let you work easily when you’re wearing leather or insulated gloves required for utility work. There’s also a large lanyard loop to tether the Milwaukee 2843 while you’re off the ground.
This is a beefy tool, though. Bare, it’s just under 10 pounds and a 3.0Ah High Output battery gets it to 11.2. Add in a full magazine of staples and you’re hovering north of 11.5 pounds.
Despite that, the design team spent a lot of time in the lab dialing in the ergonomics. The tool is balanced really well not only holding it in your hand but also when you’re driving staples.
Here’s the caveat: you have to use Milwaukee brand staples with this nailer. They have a diamond crown shape specifically designed to work with this nailer’s driving mechanism. When it comes to these cordless staplers, we’ve had to buy tool-specific staples before, so this isn’t a huge surprise.
Look for Milwaukee 9-gauge staples in 1 1/2, 1 3/4, and 2-inch lengths. Adjusting the firing depth to account for different sizes is as simple as turning the thumbwheel to the side of the nose.
Here’s the skinny on the staples:
- Hot dipped galvanized
- Barbed and coated divergent legs
- Diamond crown design
- Only compatible with the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Utility Fencing Stapler
The good thing is a pack of 960 staples runs $89 – $109 and you can order them from Home Depot for home or store delivery at no extra charge. That’s quite a bit less than the fuel/staple combination of our Stockage gun and a few dollars more than DeWalt’s.
The only thing we wish would change is to have some in-store stock available, at least in rural areas. No matter how well you plan, there comes a time when you need a box or two to get through a job. Of course, that might not make sense from a retailer’s perspective, but it’s something Milwaukee’s competition isn’t doing and would make another solid selling point.
The magazine holds up to 45 staples and they’re super-easy to load. Drop the pusher down until it locks, slide the staples across the back of the magazine, and release the pusher. Thanks to the exposed design, it takes just a few seconds.
When you’re close to out of staples, a dry fire lockout prevents the stapler from firing until you reload.
If you happen to get a jam, getting to it is simple. Above the magazine, there’s a tool-free latch-style access. Drop the pusher, remove the loose staples, and then open the top access to clear it.
- Electronic power button
- Temperature and low battery indicator
- Robust belt hook/fence hanger
- Lockout button to prevent accidental firing
- LED light
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Utility Fencing Stapler Price
Look for the Milwaukee 2843 to retail for $599 as a bare tool and $799 as a kit with two 3.0Ah High Output batteries and a charger. Milwaukee backs it with a 5-year warranty.
The Bottom Line
Milwaukee made the M18 Fuel Utility Fencing Stapler easy to use and highly effective. While it is heavy, you’re stapling so much faster that you can literally save hours on big fencing jobs over manual staple hammering. If 9-gauge stapling is part of your job, this is one of the easiest recommendations we’ll ever make.