Milwaukee M18 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool Review 2836
The Milwaukee M18 Fuel Oscillating Multi-Tool claims it is one of the best
Milwaukee did some head Changes to the latest generation of cordless vibratory tools. The swinging multi-tool Milwaukee M18 Fuel is the crown jewel of the line and makes some bold claims. We have been impressed with the performance of the M12 Fuel version and have high expectations for what this 18v brushless model has in store.
- Excellent cutting and grinding speeds
- Excellent vibration control
- Automatic cruise control will load automatically
- Variable speed dial
- Wide angle LED light
- Comfortable barrel handle design
- Tool-free blade changes are slower than with other models we tested
Milwaukee increased its performance from 18,000 OPM on the M18 multitool to 20,000 OPM on the M18 fuel. In addition, they gave it a 4.2º swing angle, which is wider than most of the others.
After a number of test cuts and on the PTR oscillating multitool test track, it is clear that the Milwaukee M18 Fuel oscillating multitool is one of the fastest cuttable cordless models on the market.
Milwaukee’s only real competition is Fein’s SuperCut Cordless. Between these two models, we couldn’t convincingly say which one cut faster. What we found is that they are in a higher class than any other cordless model in terms of cutting speed.
Milwaukee’s vibration control is also excellent – just as good as that of the SuperCut. In fact, only the M12 Fuel model appeared to have less vibration when cutting.
The only hiccup we found was noticeable during our test track runs. Milwaukee brings its blade change from the past and has a threaded bolt that slows it down. With two additional changes required during the time trial, Milwaukee moved into the lower end of the group with a total time of 2:17.
PTR Oscillating Multi-Tool Test Track Setup
- Cut out a door jamb
- Cut out a gang box hole in drywall
- Remove the crown by cutting 5 end nails that hold it in place
- Remove an 18 inch grout line
- Grind a 6 inch section with 2 x 4 studs
Read our full list of recommendations in our Best Oscillating Multi-Tool article.
The design of the swinging multitool Milwaukee M18 Fuel does not differ much from that of the M12 Fuel. It has a very similar barrel handle design that is narrower and more comfortable to use than models from Bosch or Fein.
The sheer weight is also pretty manageable. At 2.56 pounds, it’s only a few ounces heavier than the M12 Fuel. Of course, that changes as soon as you put on the battery. The kit comes with a 5.0 Ah battery that increases the weight to 4.18 pounds. However, we prefer to use a 3.0Ah high capacity package to make the job a little easier and faster.
- 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 changing mechanism is the same that we saw on the older M18 version of this tool. You release the lever on top and unscrew the threads with your fingers until you can remove the blade.
Since the bolt is threaded, it takes longer to change accessories than most tool-less systems. If the back section of your favorite accessory is not cut out, you will have to completely remove the screw each time.
Auto load function
We love Milwaukee’s auto-load feature on the variable speed dial. As you work with it, the speed will increase as you put more pressure on the cut. Combined with Milwaukee’s narrower barrel design, we found it very effective when we were looking for better control.
This is a feature that is not very common. Among the cordless oscillation tools, Metabo HPT (Hitachi) is the only other model we used.
|M12 fuel (2526)||M18
|M18 fuel (2836)|
|speed||10,000 – 20,000 OPM||11,000 – 18,000 OPM||10,000 – 20,000 OPM|
|angle||3.9 °||Not listed||4.2 °|
|Bare weight||2.35 lbs||2.65 lbs||2.56 lbs|
|length||11 3/16 in||11 7/8 in||12 3/16 in|
|Advanced vibration control||Yes||No||Yes|
|Variable speed dial||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Auto load control||No||No||Yes|
|price||$ 149 / $ 219||$ 99 / $ 199 / $ 319||$ 229 / $ 329|
The M12 fuel kit contains a 4.0 Ah battery The M18 kit contains a 1.5 Ah or 3.0 Ah battery The M18 fuel kit contains a 5.0 Ah battery
Milwaukee 2836 pricing
You can purchase the Milwaukee M18 Fuel swinging multi-tool for $ 229 as a tool alone or in a kit with a 5.0Ah battery for $ 329.
That’s the more expensive side of cordless oscillating tools. However, with the performance and vibration control that can rival Fein’s SuperCut Cordless, it’s pretty compelling at Fein’s price of $ 509 to $ 662.
Note that both of the Fein kits contain two batteries instead of one.
The bottom line
The Milwaukee M18 Fuel oscillating multi-tool is a big step forward and offers the best of wireless options. The performance and vibration control are top notch. Blade swapping may be a sticking point for some people, but the significantly lower cost compared to Fein’s SuperCut should add more red to the toolboxes of the transformers.
Visit the Milwaukee website for more information.