Alex wrote in yesterday, asking: Any idea when we might see a Gen 2 Milwaukee 12V circular saw? Their existing one had been out for a while.
He’s looking for something that’s small and nimble that can cover 90% of my light circular saw use.
Milwaukee offers several M18 circular saw sizes now, but only one M12 circular saw, the M12 Fuel 2530, with a 5-3/8″ blade.
I recently compared this saw against a Makita sub-compact 18V brushless model, and made a mental note that its speed could be a little faster, although possibly at the compromise of power or battery life.
Will Milwaukee come out with a larger M12 Fuel saw? I doubt it. To go from a 5-3/8″ blade size to 6-1/2″ would require a big step-up in motor capabilities, and I believe there are too many compromises for them to want to do that.
Would anyone want to buy or use an under-powered 6-1/2″ circular saw? Or a 12V-class saw that’s as large and heavy as an M18 saw that has much more available power?
What about smaller? Well, then blade sizing and availability becomes a potential concern. What would the saw be used for? A circular saw that cannot cut a 2×4 or other 2x material with a single pass quickly becomes a specialty tool.
The current M12 Fuel circular saw has a very balanced design. RPMs are dialed down a little, compared to modern brushless circular saws. Maybe it is possible to swap in a newly designed motor and modernize the ergonomics with lessons and geometries learned in recent years.
Milwaukee has continued to release new M12 tools, such as the new cut-off tool we’ll be posing about shortly.
If you want a smaller and lighter circular saw, there aren’t many 12V-class tools out there. There’s a Makita 12V Max 3-3/8″ saw, the new Makita 18V sub-compact 6-1/2″ saw, and if you’re up for ordering from Europe, there’s a Bosch 3-3/8″ circular saw.
In other words, there’s not a lot of competition; currently there’s nothing else that stands toe to toe with the Milwaukee M12 Fuel model.
I think that it’s safe to say that, although the M12 Fuel circular saw is getting a little long in the tooth, it’s not going to be updated, at least not anytime soon.
Alex mentioned his hesitation:
When I buy new tools or anything, I hate buying something that’s been out 3 years already, knowing it will be likely soon be replaced with something improved. In this case maybe a little smaller or even more capable.
I have the same exact hesitations. But, I tell myself that there’s always something new and better on the horizon. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t. And if there is, I find comfort in knowing that I had several months of use of the tool or other product.
I am nearly convinced that if an M12 Fuel circular saw update or complementary model were about to come out, Milwaukee would have showcased it at their NPS18 media event in May (they didn’t). That’s no guarantee, but I would be very surprised if a new M12 circular saw, Fuel, brushless, or otherwise, were to come out before the end of the year.