Milwaukee M18 Brushless vs M18 FUEL

M18 Brushless

We’ve been fighting for a few years now to tell everyone there is NO difference between Brushless and FUEL but that’s all about to change. Starting in February (2015) Milwaukee will add 3 new “M18 Compact Brushless” tools to the lineup which will have much less power than their M18 FUEL Brushless Tools. FUEL is still Brushless but means the top of the line Brushless. It was only about a year ago Milwaukee updated their compact tools with the brushed motors, drill/driver 2606, hammer drill 2607 and impact 2650. The new Milwaukee M18 “Compact Brushless” have almost identical torque ratings to brushed, with very similar size and just a bit higher price. The new units are M18 brushless drill/driver 2701-22CT ($199), M18 brushless hammer drill 2702-22CT ($229) and M18 brushless impact 2750-22CT ($199).

Milwaukee Brushless

The very interesting thing here is that these Milwaukee brushless tools will not carry the Milwaukee “FUEL” name as their other M18 and M12 brushless currently does. The FUEL will continue to be reserved for the high performance tools with the “POWERSTATE” brushless motor, as more of their cordless tools move to brushless it would appear they want to differentiate the various motor technology. Brushless in general seemed to have hit volumes where price is no longer a constraint and before long we would predict all the Milwaukee brushed motors M18 or M12 will get converted over to the longer tool life, better run-time brushless technology.

Interesting to see if this causes any confusion as we’ve heard guys on several occasions calling the Dewalt brushless the “Dewalt FUEL”. With Milwaukee having done such a good job making brushless mean the same as FUEL will this cause confusion? Or was this a very cleaver long-play marketing plan in action from the red team, time will tell. Look for these new Milwaukee Tools in early February and for more information please see the full Milwaukee press release below.

brushless Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, WI – Milwaukee Tool continues to position themselves as the industry leader in drilling and fastening solutions with the launch of three new M18™ Compact Brushless products that deliver over 50% longer run-time than their brushed counterparts. The most compact drilling solutions on the market, Milwaukee’s new offering will cater to users that desire the run-time advantages that a brushless motor provides, and prefer the size advantages of more compact tools.

“Milwaukee introduced their award-winning M18 FUEL™ line in 2012, and not only redefined industry standards in performance, durability, and run-time, but mainstreamed the use of brushless motors in power tools,” said Cole Conrad, Product Manager for Milwaukee Tool. “As the power tool industry evolves and expectations increase, users continue to demand drilling & fastening solutions that provide longer run-time than brushed motors can deliver. Milwaukee’s new offering will utilize an efficient brushless motor to meet the run-time and size needs of users that need professional power, but do not need the extreme performance that the M18 FUEL™ line delivers.”

Milwaukee M18 Compact

The new models will include the M18™ 1/2” Compact Brushless Drill/Driver (2701), M18™ 1/2” Compact Brushless Hammer Drill/Driver (2702) and M18™ 1/4” Hex Brushless Impact Driver (2750). Each the most compact in their respective classes, the new tools feature improved ergonomics for greater accessibility into tight work areas, as well as superior balance and control. With best-in-class power to weight ratios and brushless motors that are optimized for efficiency, users are able to work 50% longer on one battery charge.

The new tools are compatible with the entire M18™ System, now offering more than 70 cordless Lithium-Ion products. Milwaukee® is committed to the ongoing development of this platform and will continue to provide innovative solutions that offer industry leading reliability, performance and ergonomics.

M18™ 1/2” Compact Brushless Drill/Driver (2701-22CT)

500 in-lbs of Peak Torque
2-Speed Gear Box (0-450/0-1,800 RPM)
1/2” All-Metal Ratcheting Chuck
6-7/8” long
3.7 lbs w/ battery

Includes M18™ 1/2” Brushless Drill/Driver, (2) RED LITHIUM™ Batteries, Charger & Carrying Case

*Also available in Bare Tool (2701-20)

M18™ 1/2” Compact Brushless Hammer Drill/Driver (2702-22CT)

500 in-lbs of Peak Torque
2-Speed Gear Box (0-450/0-1,800 RPM)
0-28,800 BPM
1/2” All-Metal Ratcheting Chuck
7-3/8” long
3.9 lbs w/ battery

Includes M18™ 1/2” Brushless Hammer Drill/Driver, (2) RED LITHIUM™ Batteries, Charger & Carrying Case

*Also available as bare tool (2702-20)

M18™ 1/4” Hex Compact Brushless Impact Driver (2750-22CT)

1,500 in-lbs of Torque
0-2,800 RPM
0-3,600 IPM
1/4” Hex Quick Change
3.1 lbs w/ compact battery

Includes M18™ 1/4” Hex Brushless Impact Driver

*Also available as a bare tool (2750-20)



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  1. Pingback: Milwaukee M18 Brushless vs M18 FUEL | The Tool Reporter

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  3. Matt says:

    when will they be released? I’ve heard February or March

  4. Marian says:

    I think this website may help you if you want to have a Milwaukee m18, check this

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  6. Andrew says:

    I have had milwaukee drills for some time useing them all day everyday…the brushed motors are waaaay better, I bought a new brushless and had to return the first day for a badly out of round chuck, thought it was just a lemon….the next one in 3 months of continuous use had many problems, the auto brake stopped working, the light stays on and it emits a high pitched continual beep for minutes at a time, the drill goes forward when putting in reverse, reverse when put in forward only sometimes….I returned it and went back to the compact brushes motor….

  7. Jim Schafer says:

    The brushless units are more difficult to repair and will not take moisture. The brushless units have a circuit board and any moisture….. They definitely do not stand up in the mining industry where there is wet dusty conditions.

  8. Ted Brydges says:

    What’s going on? Are the m12’s discontinued? Home Depot have them in their flyer this week but say they are no longer available when you try to order one of the drill/drivers. I assumed the brush less tools were a step up from brushes but by the comments, they’re not. I’m not sure what to buy.

    • Jay Amstutz says:

      Ted the M12 tools are certainly not going away from what we know. They do continue to update model #s so it could be something is getting replaced a newer version but M12 should have both brushed (cost less) and brushless (more power) options for the foreseeable future.

  9. Christopher says:

    I have both brushless and brushed motor milwaukee tools. I prefer brushed in my line of work. They seem to stand up to harder work environments and take the abuse alittle more than the brushless. Plus the brushless you have be gentle and they seem to me the perfect home owner tool

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  11. David says:

    I bought the 2702 hammer drill/driver and the 2750 impact driver kit and just realized that they don’t have the word Fuel on them like my 2603-20 drill/driver. I wanted to find out the difference between them and found this article that explains the difference, so thanks for clearing it up for me. I know I’m not comparing equals, and I realize that the 2702 hammer drill is larger than the 2701 drill, but the 2702 is only slightly smaller than the 2603 drill. I imagine if I compared the compact 2701 to my 2603, there would be a more noticeable difference. Not only in size, but weight, because as it is, the 2702 hammer drill is noticeably lighter than the 2603 drill. Does the Fuel motor add that much weight on its own?

  12. Ray says:

    What is the most recent date which you have updated information on M 18 fuel tools?

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