While we already posted about the lineup of new Milwaukee Hand Tools for 2015 and 2016, in the realm of power tools, the company really blew us away with their focus on premium second generation brushless Milwaukee Fuel tools. The M18 Fuel line came to market back in 2012, and the line has expanded rapidly ever since—including the introduction of Milwaukee M12 Fuel tools. Now, the goal with Fuel is to literally redefine what cordless tools can accomplish—and quite possibly obsolete some more corded tools in the process. Given what we’ve seen so far, and the emphasis Milwaukee is placing on cordless over corded, this seems to be a goal that’s got some weight behind it.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel 1-1/2″ Magnetic Drill
We started off looking at the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel 1-1/2″ Magnetic Drill (model 2787-22) and Milwaukee M18 Fuel 1-1/2″ Lineman Magnetic Drill (model 2788-22). This tool took over three years of development and drove over a dozen innovations for the category. The idea was to deliver portable freedom with a tool that normally required a bulky cord—often extended far into the air on a lift or other device. Eliminating generators and hundreds of feet of power cords offered the potential for a while new way of drilling and working. Of course, designing the tool to hold its magnetic grip even without power and be ergonomic for both horizontal and vertical cutting applications were some of the key challenges.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Magnetic Drill Features & Specs
- Drills up to forty (40) 13/16″ holes per charge
- Features a patented magnetic base that delivers the strongest magnetic hold on 1/4″ steel
- Utilizes permanent magnets so the base holds fast without electricity
- Auto-Stop lift-off detection cuts power to the motor if excess rotational motion is detected while drilling
- Uses 3/4″ Weldon quick-change chuck
- Includes 3/4″ Weldon to 1/2″ chuck adapter
- Tool-free motor head height adjustment
- 2-speed gearbox
- Optimized for annular cutters up to 1-1/2″ and twist drill bits up to 1/2″
- Available July 2015
Check out the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Mag Drill going head to head using a 13/16 bit drilling through half inch steel:
Milwaukee Fuel Braking Grinder
The new Milwaukee Fuel Braking Grinder (model 2783-22) address new safety features including dual actuation switches, an advanced clutch, and electric brake (a world first according to them). It’s a much improved model over the current Milwaukee Fuel Grinder. Of course, eliminating the cord also eliminated a major issue. A braking grinder slows the accessory down very quickly and eliminates accidental version and injury from the wheel coming contact with something it shouldn’t. In fact, the Milwaukee “RapidStop” brake stops the wheel in less than 2 seconds. The new braking grinder also has a paddle switch—my personal favorite. The new M18 Fuel Grinder is also completely tool-free. That means you can adjust the guard or swap out discs without a wrench thanks to a handy FIXTEC nut with flip up handle. This new Fuel grinder will be available July 2015.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Drill and Hammer Drill
The newest Milwaukee Fuel 1/2″ hammer drill (model 2703-22) takes a full 1/4″ off the length of the previous model and delivers 1200 in-lbs of torque! It also comes with a 5.0 Ah battery. Milwaukee reduced the girth size of the gearbox, adding just a little bit of diameter to the spindle. We got to test out the Milwaukee 2703-22 against Makita, Hilti and others using a contraption that lifted weights, testing torque across a longer range of sustained use. The new Milwaukee Fuel drill driver and Milwaukee 2703-22 Fuel hammer drill will be available starting August 2015.
Milwaukee Compact M18 Fuel Impact Wrenches and Impact Driver
A new line of Milwaukee Compact Fuel impact wrenches and drivers with 25% more run-time and a 4-mode drive control were shown to us at the media event. These include the 2754-22 (3/8″) and 2755-22 (1/2″) impact wrenches and also the 2753-22 impact driver. The first thing we saw with these drivers—an improvement over their predecessors—was the way Milwaukee sealed the electronics inside the handle, giving the tool components more protection. It also slimmed the handle profile in the process.
A brand new lug design also helps improve the performance of the impact mechanism on Milwaukee’s new Fuel impact drivers and wrenches by giving more surface area to the point of impact. The current Milwaukee M18 Fuel Impact Driver uses the traditional lug (see below). All of these new Milwaukee Fuel tools also launch with a four mode drive control and 5.0Ah RedLithium batteries. The drive control is an improvement in that it gives you special speed & torque settings that aren’t the same for all tools. For example, Mode 4 for the Milwaukee 2753-20 M18 Fuel impact driver is designed for self-tapping screws. It starts quickly to maximum RPMs for the self-tapping to engage the metal, then slows to 750 RPMs near the end, saving you from stripping out the screw. For the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 3/8″ impact wrench and the 1/2″ impact wrench, Mode 4 engages a special torque control—shutting off the rotation of the tool automatically when the fastener stops. This prevents over-driving and damaging fasteners and work materials.
Editor’s Note: See our 18V cordless impact driver shoot out for a comparison of the current models.
These new Milwaukee Fuel impact drivers and Milwaukee Fuel impact wrenches will hit the shelves September 2015.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Super Hawg 1/2″ Right Angle Drill
Available with both 1/2″ and Quick-Lok chucks, the new Milwaukee M8 Fuel Super Hawg right angle drills exceed even the Milwaukee M18 Hole Hawg we were so impressed with last year. This new tools lets plumbers truly drill cordlessly on the jobsite—a huge necessity since they’re often there before power is hooked up. And this drill is incredible, offering support for up to 4-5/8″ self–feed bits and up to 6″ hole saws—no joke, we tried it!
The Milwaukee Fuel Super Hawg delivers up to 1000 in-lbs of torque before the clutch kicks in (Milwaukee was kind enough to not let the tool unleash its full potential on your arms). That clutch control is a necessary and welcome addition for a tool with this much torque. We were invited to bind it up using a large hole saw, and the automatic clutch saved our wrists and arms every time. With the included 5.0 Ah battery the Super Hawg can drill seventy five (75) 2-9/16″ holes in 2×4 on a single pack! Possibly the best news is that you can look forward to getting your hands on this tool this winter (2015)!
Milwaukee SDS Max Fuel Rotary Hammer
Yes, you read that right—SDS MAX. The Milwaukee SDS Max Fuel rotary hammer is the first of its kind, and it has a 1-9/16″ maximum hole drilling capacity. In chipping mode it can go a full 20 minutes with continuous use on the included 9.0 Ah RedLithium battery. This is Milwaukee’s first tool to come with their brand new 9.0 Ah Lithium-ion M18 battery pack. We’ll go into more detail on that in another article, but it’s this additional power that enables the type of capacity and run-time demanded by this SDS Max rotary hammer.
There’s a call for patience on this one as Milwaukee is promising this new tool in January 2016…but I believe it will be worth the wait. We’ll look forward to reviewing this powerhouse when it comes out.
There’s no doubt that the second generation of Milwaukee Fuel tools are going to change things up dramatically this year and next. Far from just modest upgrades to motors or batteries, Milwaukee pulled out the stops and made some highly advanced changes to the electronics, build quality and capabilities of these tools. And, if the availability of a cordless SDS Max tool and cordless Super Hawg are any indication, Milwaukee has set its sights squarely on the elimination of the power cord for most applications. We can’t wait to get these tools in for review—several requests have already been submitted!
Shop Milwaukee power tools from our friends at Acme Tools: