As part of our paid partnership with Home Depot, they sent along several Milwaukee cordless power tools for review consideration – the new M12 Fuel brushless cut-off tool, and an M12 Rocket LED worklight.
Milwaukee M12 Fuel Cut-Off Tool
Milwaukee came out with an M12 Fuel cut-off tool, and although it’s not quite the first cordless saw of its kind, as the Bosch 12V Max brushless cut-off tool came out earlier, it is perhaps the most versatile tool of its kind, corded or cordless.
First introduced at NPS18, the Milwaukee M12 Fuel cut-off tool (2522-20) is a compact 3″ saw that can cut metal, plastic, tile, drywall, cement board, or PVC, depending on the blade style.
It is also worth noting that it can cut ceramic or porcelain tiles wet or dry.
Following is an intro video we took at NPS18. (I promise, I’ll bring a tripod or image stabilization gear to NPS19.)
Here’s what I like about the Milwaukee M12 Fuel cut-off tool so far:
- Great performance – fast-cutting
- Optimized for one-handed use
- Can use with out without the depth guide
- Can be used with dust collection, and the accessory guard/adapter is included
- Tool-free shoe attachment
- Tool-free guard adjustment
- Can work with (widely available) Dremel Saw-Max accessories
So far I’ve used it on metal tubing, a metal rod/shaft, 1/4″ threaded rod, and small PVC pipes.
One of the standout features is that you can use it in forward or reverse directions. That means that you can push OR pull the saw to make a cut, depending on the application and how you want to control the cut.
- 20,000 RPM
- 0.64″ cutting depth
- 8.9″ long x 4.7″ wide x 3.5″ height
- Weighs 2.4 lbs with 4.0Ah XC battery
Although it only has a 0.64″ cutting depth, it does a great job with tubing that can be rotated through a cut, and the results are relatively (and surprisingly) straight, at least in my experience thus far.
Replacement consumables are now easily available.
- Metal cut-off wheel (49-94-3000)
- Carbide abrasive cutting wheel (49-94-3005)
- Diamond tile cutting wheel (49-94-3010)
Price: $129 for the bare tool
The bare tool comes with the accessory guard and shoe, and one of each style of blade.
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
So far, I think the cut-off tool is a great addition to Milwaukee’s M12 cordless power tool line. Its small size makes it exceptionally comfortable and convenient for cutting smaller materials that can be awkward for larger tools. Plus, since it’s designed for one-hand operation, it allows you to use one hand to hold or position the material, while the other guides the tool.
I find it to be easier than using something like a die grinder, and it feels a little safer and more accurate too.
Milwaukee M12 Rocket LED Light
I am a big fan of Milwaukee’s M18 Rocket LED lights, and was gleeful to receive a test sample of the new M12 Rocket worklight.
Our electrician came over back in November, to add recessed lights in my office so that I could work more comfortably at evening and nighttime hours. They had to do some wire-routing in the attic. “Hey! I got just the thing,” and I ran to get a newly received Milwaukee M12 Rocket LED stand light.
Surprisingly, the legs met the cross-beams just perfectly. An M18 Rocket light might have been awkward in this space, given its larger footprint. The electricians carry Milwaukee Radius lights in their truck, and they might have been better even than the M12 Rocket. But it was raining and I figured I’d save them a trip outside.
I think this was the perfect example of places where the M12 Rocket light can shine. The M12 Rocket was placed near the stairs, and it lit up the work area without getting in the way. The M18 Rocket has a larger stance and would have gotten in the way or required careful positioning.
Plus, it was easier to carry up the pull-down stairs than the larger and heavier M18 light would have been.
I already had an M12 Rocket from Milwaukee that I had started testing, and so I sent the new M12 Rocket light off with the electricians for field testing. They mainly use M18 tools and accessories, and I thought it would be interesting to see what they thought of the M12 light.
Here’s a quick look at its pros and cons:
- Very compact
- Light and easily portable
- Adjustable illumination angle
- Works with M12 batteries
- Height extension isn’t as good as on the M18 Rocket
Functionally, the M18 Rocket lights are more adjustable, as you have collar clamps to hold the extended lamp head in place where you want them. With the M12, you have to raise it all the way, and with enough force to engage the spring locks. If you don’t, it can slide back down (and being used to the M18 design, that bugs me a little). The M18 Rocket’s lamp head is easier and more adjustable to extend, but the M12 Rocket is smaller and more portable.
Personally, I think that the M12 Rocket is nicely balanced. It’s very compact in size, and less expensive than the M18 Rocket. There have to be compromises. The M12 Rocket light isn’t as bright as its higher-voltage siblings, but I think it’s bright enough.
Unexpectedly, but welcome, the M12 Rocket can also be powered by an AC extension cord. Milwaukee has been adding this functionality to a lot of their cordless LED lights, and I don’t hear anyone complaining. It’s a surprise because I don’t think I’ve seen this on any 12V-class cordless power tool brand LED worklights before.
I can absolutely recommend the Milwaukee M12 Rocket LED worklight.
- 1400 lumens on high, 700 lumens on low
- 45% smaller footprint than M18 Rocket tower lights
- Collapses down to 31″
- 3 side handles
- Extends to 5′ 8″
- Weighs 6.65 lbs
- Up to 10 hours runtime with 6.0Ah XC battery
- Light head rotates 210° and pivots 270°
- Impact-resistant design
The M12 Rocket LED light is bright, light, and despite that one niggle I can’t shake about its height extension, it seems perfect.
Buy Now(via Home Depot)