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.
Relatedly, have you got any insight into when Bosch are going to release a brushless, ProCore-optimized 18V circular saw?
I don’t recall hearing anything about this yet.
Stuart, you quote Alex as having said:
“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 think that I’ve observed lots of buyers remorse expressed in reader comments on ToolGuyd over the years. Many seem to relate to having bought a tool that was then superseded by a new one. But my take on tool buying is that you should buy a new tool when you need it and it will make money for you and/or make your next job easier or safer. If you have put it to use – it will have hopefully “paid you back” either in terms of money earned or better/easier/safer work in the time that you have used it. Not every job we do requires the absolutely newest or greatest tool. If we have a situation where we buy a tool that a few weeks or months later is superseded – that sucks – but we will have at least had the use of it during the intervening time. In our business, if we didn’t think that we could pay for a new small tool (under $500) within one year – we generally would not buy it.
The same can be true about price. We can drive ourselves crazy about buying at the absolutely lowest price – but if you need a tool in October- waiting on an upcoming sale period (say November’s Black Friday) won’t do. On the other hand – buying a tool that you don’t really need because its on sale – doesn’t make a lot of sense.
You’re taking all the darn fun out of serial Questionable Tool Acquisition Syndrome. “QTAS”?
And this, certainly, is an era in need of fun.
Fred, this is why I rather splurge on hand tools vs power tools unless the power tool is actively making me money. Power tool design is constantly being improved upon whereas hand tools are kinda what they are. I mean has hand plane design radically changed in 100+ years? Aside from quality and adjust-ability, not much has changed and even those aspects really didn’t change, it’s just that the price point changed to get those same attributes.
Id love to have a 12v saw to tound out my tool kit for the “smaller “ tasks.
Tested the saw at a booth, full charged battery, new blade… ran it through 2×4 and a small knot in the path….totally bogged down, had to reset multiple times to complete the cut.
Not awe inspiring, maybe I should give it another go. If the price is right, may collect one.
Dont think a “new” model is entirely called for, perhaps a promotional program, more comprehensive 4 pc to 8pc style packages. “Fuel” packages for those who want performance.
There is a place for a small saw….however, its hard not to just grab my m18 saw.
Can’t say I’ve had a similar experience, at least not with the 4Ah and 6Ah packs (don’t own any 3Ah XCs). I’ve cut through knotty 2x4s, stacked glued together plywood, 1” MDF, even a laminate countertop piece. As long as you let the saw do the work, I haven’t had any power issues. It is definitely slower than an 18V saw on some of those applications operating that way, and it’s much easier to bog down if you try to do so though. I do notice a lack of power doing bevel cuts over 15 degrees or so, especially using one of the guides that goes through the sole plate and screws down, I think they just aren’t straight enough to keep the saw from turning a bit if you aren’t super careful and precise, and the 12V doesn’t have the power to push through that. But for refular crosscutting 2x4s and plywood, it’s been a champ. My biggest takeaway using it is make sure your workpiece is well supported on both sides, since the saw doesn’t have the power to tolerate the blade getting pinched at all from an unsupported and drooping workpiece. Otherwise, I think it does quite well at what it was designed for, a light saw for crosscutting (or non-bevel ripping) of 2x lumber and plywood.
Makita offers the XSS03Z 5-3/8″ trim saw that directly competes with the Milwaukee 2530. They have very similar specifications.
Maybe, but the XSS03Z is an 18V tool.
Generally, I wouldn’t consider 12V-class and 18V-class tools to be in direct competition.
I can’t imagine they would upgrade this either. If you have one and are wanting more power, stupid question, but have you tried it with the 4 or 6ah batteries? I bought it as a bare tool so never tried it with a 4ah until last year. Noticeable difference in power.
Crazy thought… What about m12x2. Could it work?
I feel like the ergonomics of such a behemoth would make it vastly preferable to just step up to 18V tools, and the power of 12Vx2 still won’t compete with today’s high power 18V tools…
18V x2 tools I think work from an adoption standpoint because there is no step up that can provide more power besides corded (and even not that for much longer). Eventually we’re going to hit a wall of how big people are willing to have their battery packs, and thus how much power we can get out of them, so the only option then is just like computer processors, if you can’t make one any more powerful, add a second one. Poof, 18V x2.
Great, just the article i needed to remind me about my recent mishap with mine. I went to open up my truck door and a 2ah m12 battery fell out and rolled into a storm drain. I heard the splash after the initial thump of it hitting the ground and instantly felt it in the pit of my stomach. I don’t own a business or use the tools professionally so I was pretty upset, especially since it was only the second time I was using it.
Anyone know of any small clamshell type buckets or grabbers that can be lowered about 15 feet to grab something? I tried a 90lb magnet but it just wasn’t enough to lift it. I’m guessing I’m pretty much out of luck at this point.
or these tools:
But the cost is more than the cost of your battery
You can get new batteries on eBay pretty cheap. And no I’m not talking about the fake ones. There are usually several people selling batteries that are takeouts from kits.
Today the 18v tools are getting smaller and more powerful sooner than later I can see 12v line being obsolete, rather have more power than less if size isn’t that big of a difference
80% of the time a tool doesn’t do the job it’s the operator..10% it’s the wrong size batteries, guys using a 2ah on m12 circ saw instead of a 6ah…10% it’s the wrong blades, …cordless saws require thin kerf blades, Diablo blades designed for these tools….
……that M12saw is a good saw,the Bosch is too….for very light work, siding,quick projects etc….
Kind of semi-related. Until i saw an email this morning, I didn’t even know about this M12 Fuel Compact Cut Off Tool and that it even existed and was coming out:
It appears to have just become available for sale. Not sure what this person wants to cut and if he’s just looking for something smaller but worth a look.
I was also going to add, if they did update the M12 circular saw, put it on the other side like the Makita. I don’t understand why a saw that is effectively going to be used one handed would be a left blade orientation. At least to me, thats super annoying and the tipping choice for going with the Makita XSH04ZB.
Some folks are taking pre-orders on this:
For the M12, the 5 3/8″ blade seems fine coving 90%, especially since it can handle 2X lumber. Anything smaller seems like a special application tool.
As for improvements, there is always something can be done better. In this case more power, a few hundred more RPM’s, a little smaller, better visability, improved ergonomics, etc, but the thing would be an accessory track system to go with the saw.
Right time to upgrade for sure is when you need the tool and can make good use of it, unless you aren’t a pro, only use the tool a few times a year and have a shelf of other viable alternatives collecting dust (i.e. capable corded, old 14.4 NiCad, etc.)
I don’t think it needs much of an upgrade. Give it 2mm more cut depth and time the motor for more power. I would be totally happy to trade run time for a little more power.
Looking at my saw I think I could grind a mm or so of the top of the shoe where the motor housing touches to give me the extra cut depth to cut through a 90 x 45, but am a bit reluctant to hack up a saw that’s still under warranty.
This makes me wonder about the M12 Sub Compact Band saw, which I would love to see in a Fuel version, as it is fairly slow when cutting thicker materials like strut or rigid conduit.
What would be the point of the updating a 12v circ saw that’s barely capable of crosscutting a dry1x4 without bogging down. Other than being able to cut very thin sheet materials with very little density what else can this saw effectively
I’m of the opposite mind. If it’s been out a while you know if it has any big problems and have had a chance to see reliable reviews comparing it with other options. Even more importantly, you can be a refurbished one (like i did) for a nice discount.
If it does what you need get it; if not, don’t.
I’m looking at buying the m12 and would like to know if the saw would accept a 51/5 inch blade?