Milwaukee has (finally!) come out with a new M18 Fuel cordless air compressor.
The new Milwaukee 2840-20 air compressor features a 2 gallon capacity and is said to be “the industry’s quietest cordless air compressor for professional carpenters and remodelers.”
Milwaukee also says that their new cordless air compressor is 2X quieter than standard corded models.
The new Milwaukee M18 Fuel air compressor weights 31.2 lbs without battery, and can be carried with one hand.
It has a low profile design, which gives it a lower center of gravity (our words), and Milwaukee says its stackable design aids in storage as well.
With the compressor being stackable, it can be transported on top of a rolling stack of Milwaukee Packout tool boxes.
However, the M18 Fuel air compressor has 4 feet and does not look to be Packout-compatible.
It looks like the feet can fit within Packout tool box grooves, but there’s no active locking mechanism.
Features include a quick-connect coupler, roll cage design, and compact user interface in close proximity to the battery port.
The roll cage is welded to the tank itself, as is the side handle for one-handed carrying. The whole system looks to be configured as compactly as possible.
Taking a closer look at the user controls, there’s an on-off rocker button, tank pressure gauge, and one-touch regulator control for outlet pressure.
The over-pressure release port is at the side, near the coupler, and the moisture drain is at the rear.
Milwaukee says that the new compressor can fire up to 1600 18 gauge brad nails on an M18 High Output 12.0Ah battery.
M18 FUEL 2 Gallon Compact Quiet Compressor (2840-20) Specs
- 2 gallon capacity
- 135 PSI max pressure
- 1.2 CFM at 90 PSI airflow
- Brushless motor
- 68 dBA noise level
- Oil-free pump
- Measures 18.2″ wide x 16.25″ long x 10.62″ tall
- Weighs 31.2 lbs without battery
Price: $349 for the bare tool
ETA: June 2020
I know that a lot of you have been waiting for this release for a while. So, what do you think about Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel cordless air compressor?
The low-profile – and more easily stored – design seems like a good idea, and I love the idea of quieter operation.
Digging around, we see that the new Milwaukee air compressor delivers 135 PSI max. It has a 2 gallon air tank, which is slightly smaller than Dewalt’s 2.5 gallon capacity. Ben reviewed Dewalt’s FlexVolt air compressor here.
In March, I posted about my Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless air compressor predictions, and there I said that it would be nice to see such a tool featuring:
- Corded or cordless operation
- At least a 2.0 gallon capacity air tank
- Packout-compatible design, possible with internal hose (and cord) storage
Well, I was right about the 2 gallon capacity part. The new compressor isn’t Packout-compatible, but it does at least look to be “Packout stackable” due to its low profile design and the shape of its bottom feet.
Here’s a look at the other cordless air compressors on the market. I have not yet updated that post to include Metabo’s model.
Milwaukee said their 2840-20 M18 Fuel cordless air compressor can drive up to 1600 nails when powered with an HD 12.0Ah battery pack. What if you want to use it with a lower capacity battery?
- 12Ah (HD High Output): 1600 brad nails
- 8Ah (XC High Output): 1000 brad nails
- 5Ah (XC): 600 nails
According to this, we could perhaps expect to see slightly longer runtime or faster performance when using a High Output HD battery (12Ah), compared to using High Output XC or standard XC batteries.
My guess is that the higher capacity and larger for factor batteries might enable higher current flow, for faster tank fill-up, but if so the difference is likely slight. We’ll check with Milwaukee about this and report back once we learn more.
Milwaukee takes a shot against Dewalt’s FlexVolt cordless air compressor, and how their M18 Fuel 2 gallon compact quiet air compressor is substantially quieter.
We hope to be able to test out Milwaukee’s cordless air compressor once it launches, but comparisons will be complicated. Dewalt’s compressor has a pancake-style air tank form factor, giving it a small and compact footprint. It also has a 2.5 gallon air tank, which means it’ll hold up to 25% more air. Both compressors have max pressures of 135 PSU.
Dewalt’s is also less expensive, at $299 for the kit, compared to $349 for Milwaukee’s bare tool option.
Overall, we’re quite optimistic about Milwaukee’s design. The new M18 Fuel air compressor has most of what we’d like to see in a product like this – 2 gallon capacity, portable design, a simple pressure gauge and regulator user interface, and the quiet operation is an unexpected and pleasing bonus.
The price seems a little high – $349 for the bare tool, but I’d rather that than a compromise on quality or features.
While the air compressor isn’t Packout-compatible, it does at least look like it can be securely transported on top of a Packout rolling tool box stack.
An AC power option might have been nice, but where would it go? There’s also the possibility that the motor operates better on DC M18 battery power. To date, we’ve seen DC/AC options on cordless worklights, radios, and some other accessories (mini shop vacs), but I can’t recall any brushless motor-equipped tools that have hybrid or dual power as an option. In other words, while it would be nice, I can understand that it might not have been possible.