As mentioned in our Milwaukee Pipeline Episode 3 new tools roundup post, Milwaukee is coming out with a new M18 Fuel Sawzall cordless reciprocating saw, model 2821. Here, we’ll talk about some of the reasons why you should care about this upgrade.
Although it might not seem like a substantial upgrade at first glance, Milwaukee is launching this new M18 Fuel Sawzall reciprocating saw as a replacement to their original M18 Fuel Sawzall.
Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel Sawzall first launched in 2013, and at the time, it was described as being the most powerful 18V cordless reciprocating saw on the market.
The original M18 Fuel Sawzall lost its title when even more powerful brushless-motor reciprocating saws followed in its way, including the Milwaukee “faster than 15A corded” M18 Fuel Super Sawzall.
But, it has and continued to be a very popular reciprocating saw, offering a fair compromise between power, size, and runtime.
Just by appearances, you can tell that the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall (2821) is different from its predecessor (2720). But, most of the upgrades and improvements won’t be very obvious by appearances alone.
Milwaukee has also managed to earn some new titles for the upgraded M18 Fuel Sawzall, boasting that it is now the fastest cutting in class, compared to competitive fixed orbit 18V and 20V max reciprocating saws.
More significant for users within Milwaukee’s M18 and M18 Fuel platform, those who aren’t looking at competitive models but within M18 options exclusively, the new Sawzall was designed to be the most durable Sawzall recip saw yet.
- Blade change mechanism is more wear-resistant
- Anti-corrosion blade clamp
- Metal-reinforced battery connection
Keep in mind that the M18 Fuel Sawzall launched 7 years ago. That’s a lot of time for field testing and failure analysis, not to mention advancements and engineering efforts that contributed to other Milwaukee tool developments over the past few years.
As if greater durability wasn’t enough, Milwaukee made the new M18 Fuel Sawzall lighter, too – the new model is more than 1/2 a pound lighter than its predecessor.
Lighter weight should mean less fatigue.
Here’s a snapshot of the new saw’s features:
- Brushless motor
- Pivoting shoe
- Extendable shoe (can you believe that some saws still don’t have this?!)
- Tool-free Quik Lok blade change – now more durable
- Variable speed trigger
- Metal-reinforced battery rail
And here’s a look at its specs:
- 3000 SPM
- 1-1/4″ stroke length
- Adjustable Shoe
- Anti-Corrosion Blade Clamp
- Rafter Hook
- LED light
- Weighs 6.8 lbs bare tool, 8.4 lbs with 5Ah battery
- 5-year warranty
The new Milwaukee 2821 M18 Fuel Sawzall will be available as a bare tool (2821) and 1- and 2-battery kits, (2821-21, 2821-22). The kits will come with a charger, carrying bag, and (1) or (2) XC 5.0Ah batteries.
Did you notice something in the specs? I missed it at first too, but a reader pointed it out – this new model has a longer cutting stroke than the first-generation model, now matching the 1-1/4″ stroke length of the M18 Fuel Super Sawzall.
Pricing: $199 for the bare tool (2821-20) $319 for the 1-battery kit (2821-21), $419 for the 2-battery kit (2821-22)
ETA: November 2020
Buy Now: Bare Tool via Acme Tools
Buy Now: Bare Tool via Tool Nut
Buy Now: Bare Tool via Home Depot
Buy Now: 1-Battery Kit via Acme Tools
Buy Now: 2-Battery Kit via Tool via Tool Nut
Also Coming Soon: Sawzall with One-Key
A One-Key version will also be available, and it will be replacing Milwaukee’s 2721 model.
Pricing: $259 for the bare tool, (2822-20) $469 for the kit (2822-22)
ETA: January 2021
Buy Now: One-Key Kit via Tool Nut
The newest M18 Fuel Sawzall has been upgraded to be lighter and more durable, and it has a small bump-up in cutting stroke length.
Milwaukee says this is the fastest cutting reciprocating saw in its class.
They also say that this 2nd generation model was:
built from the ground-up with key durability improvements to enhance its life amid the harshest jobsite conditions.
Also keep in mind that roughly 7 years have passed since Milwaukee launched their first M18 Fuel Sawzall, model 2720. Milwaukee Tool has developed quite a few new cordless power tools since then, including Sawzall-family reciprocating saws of different styles. A lot can change in cordless power tool and brushless motor tech in a few short years, and undoubtedly some of those improvements and advancements undoubtedly made their way into their newest brushless Sawzall.
I’d bet that this new Milwaukee 2821 Sawzall will go on to become the defacto standard for the next 5+ years.
Yes, there are more powerful saws, and yes there are smaller and lighter ones as well. This will be the one to get if you want a balanced user experience.
How do y’al think it compares to the Super Sawzall?
Since this one lacks an orbital mode, I bet the Super Sawzall would be faster in wood. Performance with metal might be more comparable.
I’d think this would be the better all-around saw, and the Super Sawzall for more demanding tasks. The Super Sawzall has an orbital mode as James mentioned, and was also designed around their HD and High Output batteries. This one is smaller and lighter.
6.8 lbs without battery vs. 8.8 lbs.
The M18 Fuel Super Sawzall is kitted with a 15-cell 12Ah battery, this new M18 Fuel is kitted with a 10-cell 5Ah battery.
F150 vs. F250
Mac vs. Mac Pro
3/8″ ratchet vs. 1/2″
Nail hammer vs. framing hammer
There’s a point of inflection where using a lower-powered tool requires more effort, time, and user fatigue to accomplish a task than a higher-powered one.
It comes down to the question – what do you want to use the tool for? For all-around tasks, I’d want this M18 Fuel Sawzall. For high frequency heavier cutting tasks, maybe the Super Sawzall.
I’ll see if I can get some more specific examples.
The Super Sawzall is very powerful, but man, its friggin heavy! 9 pounds may not seem like much, but I find myself needing to use one hand to stabilize material or pull something back here and there. Using it one-handed shreds my forearms.
That being said, unless you need orbital mode, I’d probably just go with the new standard sawzall for the weight difference alone.
Exactly my experience too. And I still have my original steel case removable cord Sawzall if I were to consider its weight (no battery) as a needed advantage.
Time marches on.
I agree. The super is more of a niche tool considering the other versions are plenty capable for most tasks. Funny, I have the m12 non-fuel hackzall and the m18 super – opposite ends of the spectrum! I think I did that wrong.
I’m amazed how some people don’t seem to consider or care about weight of their tools, especially when using them all day. I think it’s too often a macho type of thing.
I do understand that some workers are particularly strong and it really doesn’t matter to them but that’s really the exception.
Why I rarely use a 12ah battery on any tool. On occasion the chainsaw, otherwise I stick to 8 HO, 5, 3 HO, and 2s. The 12 typically stays in stationary tools, and more of a just in case.
Besides weight, I’d rather have three 8’s than two 12’s in order to rotate out batteries and always have one charging &/or another tool at the ready to go.
The anti-corrosion blade clamp will be nice; I wonder if that would be available as parts/compatible with the gen 1 saw. I’ve had mine rust shut a couple times, once so badly that I had to tear the saw down to take it apart. Lesson learned to spray it periodically with WD-40, but definitely a nice upgrade. A 25% stroke increase is nice, for sure.
If I had to guess, I’d say probably not, but I just emailed Milwaukee Tool with your question to be sure.
The stroke length increased from 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″, which is about 11% longer.
I wish, too. I have the 1st gen fuel saw and I recently had to break free/ lube the blade clamp. Something about cutting out old galvi. pipes with some water left in them near the same time as cutting wood, drywall and plaster.
I also have an well used older corded sawzall in storage that the only issue is a messed up blade clamp( I found a replacement a few years ago, used with the metal box)
I didn’t know my sawzall had an extendable shoe until someone pointed it out. It’s a brilliant feature especially since you rarely cut things anywhere near blade depth.
For some cutting the extendable shoe can help you stretch blade life. If you’ve worn out the teeth close to the shoe with repetitive cutting of the same-sized material – then extending the shoe will expose fresh teeth.
It is also useful when you encounter situations where the tip of the blade might encounter a wall or some other obstacle – an reducing the depth of cut will help.
A modern reciprocating saw that did not have this feature would be a “no-buy” for me
It bothers me seeing people, especially “construction professionals” not using the shoe.
In some cases it’s like night and day when what you’re cutting is in the middle of space and vibrating like crazy, or the blade is jumping around.
It’s one of the reasons I was turned off a long time ago by Dewalt recip saws. I used a corded one without adjustable shoe and found it way less usable.
I noticed two things that aren’t covered in the marketing material or by Stuart (at least I didn’t notice it).
1. They changed the shoe release from that “super stiff” lever to a push button…sweet, because I get tired of taking off gloves or peeling a nail back on the super sawzall.
2. The battery holder has a higher offset where the battery gauge is located. Is this a sign of bigger/different batteries to come? As far as I’m aware, all batteries fit in the current model.
I saw the button design, forgot to mention it – whoops!
It’s too soon to comment on – it might work easier or harder than the larger folding lever on the older model. Having less exposed movement is probably a good thing regarding durability, but is it as user friendly?
I don’t know what can be surmised from the battery compartment design. It doesn’t necessarily indicate new batteries, could just be an optimization of some kind.
These are great improvements. However, what is in store for the Super? I mean, this is nice and all, but there are some features on the Super that can make your job a lot easier, especially in the Demo phase of the job.
The original was no doubt durable. I’m sure I’ve made miles of cuts with mine and the only issue is the blade clamp is a bit finnicky and needs oiling to work right, which makes it collect debris even more quickly.