We recently took a healthy mix of corded and cordless multitools to test out for our Best Oscillating Tool head-to-head article. The noise levels were high and the sawdust was a-flyin’, but we were able to narrow down from worst to first based on a variety of factors. This week, we’re taking a look at the M18 Milwaukee Oscillating Tool (model 2626-20).
Most oscillating multi-tools opt for an on/off switch, though Ridgid and DeWalt go the trigger route. With a grinder-style body, the on/off switch makes it easier to find the best grip without having to worry about holding a trigger down. The Milwaukee 2626-20 also gives you a 12-speed dial with positive stops. With that many speeds, it should be no problem to dial it in where you want for the accessory and material you’re working with.
Finally, the Milwaukee 2626-20 M18 oscillating multi-tool includes an LED light to help you see your cut. This tool also lacks a brushless motor. An M18 Fuel version is more than due and would surely boost cutting speed.
Blade changes have come a long way in the past five years or so and our Pro team is unanimous in their distaste for any that require a tool to change. Milwaukee is technically tool-free, but it’s a weak area for it.
You flip the lever and unscrew the bolt to release the blade. The potential downside is that the bolt isn’t very finger-friendly. It doesn’t take much overtightening before you’ll reach for a screwdriver for help. There’s also no mechanism to hold the blade while you tighten it back down, so there’s the potential that it can move around on you. Milwaukee earns 3 stars for its design and is in 21st place in this category.
The Milwaukee oscillating tool won’t offend anyone from an ergonomics standpoint. The handle feels comfortable with its reasonable diameter and overmold placement. Ridgid and DeWalt still have a step up with their designs, but as far as the traditional grinder style goes, Milwaukee does well.
The Milwaukee M18 Multi-Tool loses a little bit of ground overall when it comes to weight. With the battery pack, it weighs in at 3.7 lbs. This puts in firmly in the middle of the pack in terms of weight. Even among just cordless models, it’s on the heavier side.
For overall ergonomics, Milwaukee earns 3.9 stars – good enough for 19th place.
With 18,000 OPM speed, Milwaukee doesn’t have the fastest speed on paper. However, it still plunge cuts through untreated 2x pine in less than 20 seconds – well within our expectations for Pro-level cutting speed. A 19.6-second average earns the Milwaukee oscillating tool 4.2 stars and 11th place overall in cutting speed. For the cordless models, it’s in 2nd place behind DeWalt.
Vibration control is an area where everyone is looking up to Fein and wondering how to catch up. Compared to everyone else, the Milwaukee oscillating tool settles into the middle. There’s clearly vibration there, but it’s at a level that you can work with on a day-to-day basis. Milwaukee earns 3.8 stars and sits in a tie for 12th place. Looking at just the cordless offerings, it’s in 5th place.
It didn’t take long to realize that there are vast differences in noise levels when cutting with our group of oscillating tools. Milwaukee leads everyone else in this category, corded and cordless, with a 92 dB(A) reading that earns 5 stars and 1st place.
Since it’s above the 85-decibel limit OSHA has for hearing protection, you may want to wear ear protection. You’ll want it when you’re working inside where those 92 decibels can reverberate off the walls.
Milwaukee 2626-20 Value
We look at more than price when it comes to determining a value rating. We dig in to work out how much you’re getting for the money you’re paying. Pick up the bare tool for a cool $129 right now at Acme Tools.
When you look at our entire group of 25 oscillating tools, Milwaukee comes in 18th place with 3.9 stars. Considering just the cordless group, it’s in the middle of the pack in 6th place.
Included in Kit
- Cordless M18 Milwaukee Oscillating Tool 2626-20
- M18 & M12 Multi-Voltage Charger
- Two M18 RedLithium XC Extended Capacity Batteries
- Contractor Bag
- Sanding Pad
- Wood Cutting Blade
- Five Assorted Sanding Sheets
Considering the Milwaukee oscillating tool has been around for nearly 5 years, its overall 12th place finish really isn’t bad. What might surprise you is that the 79.8 total points it earned puts it in 3rd place for the cordless models, just 0.7 points behind Bosch.
Milwaukee’s M18 Multi-Tool does well by leading the pack in noise level and maintaining a high cutting speed. While it’s average in vibration control, value, and ergonomics, it’s accessory changes that are a low spot for the tool.
It will be interesting to see if Milwaukee comes out with an M18 Fuel brushless version. If they do, it will certainly surpass Bosch in second place and if they develop some innovation in vibration control, we might see it overtake Fein at the top of the cordless sector.
Milwaukee Oscillating Tool Features
- Powerful motor: Delivers 11,000 to 18,000 OPM
- RedLithium Battery Technology: Superior pack construction, electronics, and performance deliver more work per charge and more work over pack life than any battery on the market
- All-metal gear case: Provides added job site durability
- Tool-free blade change: Offers faster changes and no tools to misplace
- Built-in LED light: Illuminates dark work spaces
- Milwaukee’s Constant Power Technology ensures that the blade speed remains consistent
Milwaukee Oscillating Tool Specs
- Model: Milwaukee 2626-20
- Power Source: 18V
- Oscillations: 11,000 – 18,000 OPM
- Oscillation Angle: Not Listed
- Weight: 2.65 lbs.
- Length: 11-7/8″
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price (Bare Tool): $119