How Milwaukee is Leading the Way in Cordless Power Tools

Milwaukee Fuel Brushless

Recently we attended the Milwaukee Tool media event and we very surprised to see just how many cordless tools the red team was coming to market with by the end of 2013. As things stand today, if cordless tools were a horse race, it would be hard to argue that Milwaukee isn’t the horse to bet on against Pro brands such as Dewalt, Makita, Bosch, Hitachi, Metabo and others. Taking into consideration not only sheer volume of new products but also price, quality, promotions, technology and plans for the future Milwaukee is the clear frontrunner. Of course we only know what the brands have already launched and what they tell us, perhaps Milwaukee is just the first to show their full hand. We are of course confident they are all working on new cordless projects.

FUEL Brushless Technology

M18 FUEL Grinder

While Panasonic was the first to use brushless technology in a drill and many brands have come to market with brushless drills and impact drivers since, the M18 Milwaukee FUEL brushless drills are the only 18V tools that offer true high torque models. We’ve seen several other brands launch brushless drills in a mid-range product partly because they can use very similar motors to the impact drivers  and therefore are easier to manufacture. Not to say everyone needs or wants a high torque version, for smaller jobs runtime is much better with mid-range tool. Of course Milwaukee has an option for economically priced shoppers looking for brushless tools that don’t need high torque with their M12 tools. As the only manufacturer utilizing brushless in their 12V tools we think this really gives users the widest range of options when selecting the best tool for their needs.

M18 FUEL Sawzall

M18 FUEL Circular Saw

In the very near future we will see some pretty amazing advances that could change the way we think of some cordless tools. Milwaukee is launching the M18 FUEL brushless versions of their circular saw, sawzall, grinder and impact wrenches. Currently, cordless saws and grinders just are not able to keep up with their corded counterparts and for that reason have never been considered real replacements. With the brushless FUEL tools, however, the performance is now equal to (or better than) many corded products and with 4.0Ah batteries the runtime is more than double what we’ve seen from cordless tools in the past. Certainly not going to replace corded tools in every situation but for many people this might be enough to make these true replacement tools.

M18 FUEL Impact Wrench

For the high torque impact wrenches they were not able to give us the final torque ratings however they did say it will be higher than any competition, including the Ingersoll Rand 20v IQv tools which put out as much torque as their top of the line pneumatic impact. This would mean in the future if you wanted the highest torque possible even in a shop with an air system you would have to leave the pneumatic tool on the bench and pick up a cordless. That’s a huge change from just a couple years ago.

Brushed Technology

Milwaukee Cordless Tools

One of the things most surprising to us was that Milwaukee isn’t going to phase out their current brushed tools in favor of the new brushless, in fact they’ve actually redesigned and launch all new M12 & M18 brushed tools. These kits will come with lower cost 1.5 & 3.0Ah batteries and will be designed to hit certain price points you’re used to seeing in the big box stores. The newly redesigned tools have more power, smaller size, better electronics and some additional features like 2 speeds on the new impact driver.

Overall Conclusion

We were very impressed with all the innovation coming from Milwaukee this year and the drive of their leadership team. They seem to be very focused on creating end user specific tools and for general use tools like cordless drills which everyone can use they really seem passionate to outdo themselves year-after-year more than anything.

Personally it is our hope this is just the beginning and we will soon see all of other brands launching their versions of brushless saws and other critical tools. Competition among brands just brings on more innovation and better tools! The landscape could be very different before the end of the year but in the meantime I would like to congratulate Milwaukee on a job well done.



This entry was posted in Milwaukee and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Lenny says:

    The volume and quality from Milwaukee does look impressive. It’s a shame that a Chinese company is leading the market in the US. I hope DeWALT wakes up soon before it’s too late.

    • Jake B says:

      DeWalt Tools are made in China, Mexico, and Taiwan, with a few select tools still being made in Europe.

      • Lenny says:

        I assumed all DeWALT tools were made in Asia so it’s nice to know that some are made elsewhere. I only mentioned them becasue they are at least owned by a US company. When I learned Milwaukee was owned by a Chinese company that was the final straw for me!

  2. Javier says:

    Dewalt and milwaukee both make awesome tools so who cares where they are made. Purchases made here in the usa still stimulate our economy and support jobs. Also theres nothing wrong with helping out china or other countries as we are all brothers worldwide. We as humanity should help eachother out no matter where we live or our race.

    • nietzsche says:

      It gas nothing to do with helping china. It has everything to do with greed and lack of pride as americans. Factories could be here. The jobs supported by tool purchases are crap paying home cheapo garbage. Shove your liberal horsecrap up your ass.

  3. Pingback: Milwaukee M18 FUEL Saws, Impacts & Grinders Almost Here |

  4. Serin8 says:

    Neitzsche, ( i’m guessing a name you picked after someone you have never bothered to read as is evident in your slave mentality like defensiveness) the post you responded to has nothing to do with being Liberal as it sounds like a conservative excuse for sending jobs to other countries. Why don’t you check the bills filibustered this year by Republicans that included many of which would provide incentives to bring jobs back to the US, and penalize those who close up and set shop in China. In other words, get a clue. You are an embarrassment.

  5. damba says:


  6. wrought says:

    Milwaukee is crap. see my pile of dead cordless crap..
    they don’t cover normal wear and tear.. they do not last not buy this crap.. and don’t tell me china makes good tools.. plz
    they should stick to smart phone

  7. Pingback: Cordless 1/2” Impact Wrenches High Torque – Ingersoll, Milwaukee, Dewalt, Makita -

  8. Chevy513 says:

    I was lucky enough to get 7 Dewalt 18 volt NiCad tools in the early 2000s while they still made them in the USA later I got 3 new Lithium tools and batteries and was able to use the lithium batteries in my older tools, I used those tools (the older ones) for 10 and never had one break and they always ran great unfortunately they “walked away” after that I ended up getting into the Ridgid 18 volt line (Ridgid, Milwaukee and Ryobi are all owned by TTI a Chinese company) I was really impressed with Ridgid’s tools, and they have really stepped up their game in the past few years with innovative and durable tools things that 10 years ago I never thought would be cordless tools, wet dry vac, fan, bluetooth stereo, 5″ orbital sander, a jobsite blower, a floodlight and panel area light, hell I even have a Ridgid 7-1/4″ brushless sliding miter saw with a dual bevel and it works so good and gets such good runtime I use it for 95% of my cuts, my 10″ corded miter saw rarely gets used now, 10 years ago I never thought a cordless miter saw would be possible and I know that Dewalt has the big 12″ flexvolt saw now with 2 60 volt batteries and I can see 120 volts powering a miter saw fine but to have 1 18 volt battery power a miter saw like the Ridgid is amazing and I know Dewalt has the 20 volt 7-1/4″ miter saw and Makita offers one as well, it amazes me how far power tools have come. Back to the point though I liked my Dewalt tools I bought them for the name and they lived up to their reputation. After they were stolen I got into Ridgid cuz I needed good tools but I wasn’t using them as much so I didn’t want to shell out a lot of money and Ridgid impressed me so much that 5 years after buying my first 18 volt cordless Ridgid power tool I now own 20 tools in their 18 volt lineup and I haven’t had a single problem with any of them and I have 9 Ridgid Lithium batteries 2-1.5ah, 2-2.0ah, 3-4.0ah 2-5.0ah and all 9 of them still hold a charge and work great, I also own a Ridgid 7″ wet tile saw with rolling stand and a Ridgid 10″ jobsite table saw with rolling stand both of which are great and have never had any problems. As I said I bought Dewalt cuz of the name and ya they did live up to it but I bought my first Ridgid 18 volt tools in a pinch and they impressed me and they earned my business because of the quality, innovation and performance of their tools and ya they offer that lifetime warranty (which I have never had to use cuz I have never had one of my Ridgid power tools break) but I don’t buy Ridgid tools for the lifetime warranty I have kept buying their tools I buy them cuz I think they are good tools and I trust them to get the job done and at an affordable price too. Basically I have drug it out but what it comes down to is virtually all the major power tool companies tools are made in China it’s just a fact of life but just because China has gotten a rap for crappy stuff doesn’t mean that they can’t make good stuff, I personally have Ryobi, Dewalt, Makita, Ridgid all made in China and they are all good tools, in my mind what it boils down to is you get what you pay for and I don’t care that these tools were made in china because I paid a premium price for these tools and because I paid a premium price it reflects on the quality of the tool and they were built with better materials to higher specs with better parts and better technologies and to make a high quality tool and because I paid that premium price I got what I paid for and got a quality tool and when I pay that premium price for a professional power tool I will get the quality I paid for regardless of where that tools is made

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *