Milwaukee Tool just held its 2018 New Product Symposium last week and this year, and like every other year, they unveiled a ton of new tools. This was my third year attending Milwaukee’s annual new tools show, and one of the things I’ve learned to pay attention to is how other contractors, reviewers, and social media personalities react to the tools that are introduced.
So to start off the coverage this year, I picked the tools that I believe made the biggest impact on the attendees. Keep in mind this is just an overview of the tools, we’ll follow up with deeper dives on each of the new tools later.
Stuart just wrote about the new M18 High Output batteries last week, and how Milwaukee is doubling down on their M18 Product line. With that in mind, let’s start off with a product designed to utilize this new battery: the M18 Fuel Table Saw.
M18 Fuel Table Saw
One of the most impressive new “Next Breakthrough” tools was the M18 Fuel 8-1/4” table saw with One-Key. Frankly I wasn’t sure that you’d be able to run a table saw on 18V, let alone have it perform seemingly as well as a corded jobsite saw.
Running on only a single HD12.0 battery, the table saw was able to rip a 2x material at 45° while maintaining a decent feedrate. And on that single HD12.0 battery, the table saw can rip up to 600 linear feet of 3/4″ OSB.
What happens if you don’t have a new High Output battery? They said that you could use any M18 battery, but we wanted to see that for ourselves, so they demoed the saw ripping a 2×4 with an M18 5.0 battery. It was able to make the cut, but it definitely sounded like it was working harder.
With the rack-and-pinion fence, the saw has a rip capacity of 24-1/2″ and can make cuts up to 2-1/2″ deep. One-Key integration allows you to track the saw, and it also has a lock-out feature that prevents unauthorized people from using it.
The table saw kit is launching July 2018, while the bare saw will be available in January of 2019.
M18 Fuel Chainsaw
Another product designed to take advantage of the new High Output batteries is the M18 Fuel 16″ chainsaw. Milwaukee is claiming it cuts faster than a 40cc gas chainsaw and will make up to 150 cuts in 6×6 cedar on one HD12.0 battery.
Watching this 14 lbs and 33″ long saw race a Stihl chainsaw through a 12″ ash log was impressive. It seemed to easily cut through the hardwood, while the gas saw bogged down in the middle of the cut… wait a minute.
After looking at this video again, I’m seeing some problems. It looks like the M18 Fuel chainsaw is cutting the top of the log, which is slightly smaller in diameter than the bottom. You can also see the gas chainsaw is spitting out fine dust while the M18 is spitting out chips (look at the ground). It would have been interesting to get them to swap chains and run them again.
Anomalies aside, it still looks like an impressive performance for an 18V chainsaw. I tested Dewalt’s 20V chainsaw recently and this M18 Fuel chainsaw seems like it would smoke that one.
I think the simple visual of the face cord (single row, 4×8 foot stack) of firewood below sums up the saw’s abilities when running on a single charge of a HD12.0 battery.
The M18 Fuel chainsaw launches as a kit with a HD12.0 battery in July 2018.
M18 Fuel 7″/9″ Angle Grinder
Milwaukee is claiming their new M18 Fuel 7″/9″ large angle grinder can generate the same power as a 15A corded angle grinder, while still being almost 2 lbs lighter that the other large angle grinders.
The trigger switch-style grinder can accept both 7″ and 9″ discs on a 5/8″-11 arbor and spin up to 6600 RPM.
It definitely can throw some sparks.
The M18 Fuel large angle grinder kit will launch July 2018.
M18 Fuel Backpack Vac
The M18 Fuel backpack vacuum can be worn like a backpack, but you can also remove the harness with a click of a button to carry it around or hang it up on ladders, scaffolding, or a 2×4.
The cyclonic vacuum can handle anything from sawdust to concrete dust to drywall dust. It has an low-off-high switch mounted on the vacuum.
It’s hard to get a sense of how quiet it is in the video because of the background noise and the speaker’s mic, but you could easily have a conversation while it’s running without having to raise your voice.
The M18 Fuel Backpack is set to launch September 2018.
Finally, what just about everybody was waiting for: more Packout stuff. Unfortunately we didn’t see the Packout radio this year, but they said they’ll be introducing 15 new Packout products next year.
First up is a wall mounting plate for storing your Packout boxes on the shop wall or securing your Packout stack in your vehicle.
Above you’ll see three more new Packout products, full-width and half-width low-profile organizers and a flat dolly. Stack two of the half-width organizers on top of one another and it’s the same size as a regular Packout organizer. The low-profile organizers are impact resistant, IP65 rated, and the lids keep the contents from spilling all over just like the full-height organizers.
The flat dolly can handle up to 250 lbs, has lockable castors, and a locking bar that you can step on to keep the stack from moving so you can dock and undock your packout cases.
The tool cases with foam inserts use a Kaizen-like layered foam — I asked and it is NOT from FastCap. You’ll notice there’s no aluminum rails on the sides of the case, which gives you a bit of extra room inside.
Lastly, Milwaukee introduced 15″ and 20″ tool bags that lock into the top of the stack.
The new Packout components will be launching between September and December of 2018.
Which of these new tools or storage products have made it onto your shopping list?