Cordless Miter Saws – Dewalt FlexVolt vs Milwaukee M18 FUEL

Milwaukee Vs Dewalt Miter saw

First let’s start by clearly stating we understand this is not apples to apples comparison looking at a 12” vs 10” miter saw with very different traits and characteristics. That being said the overwhelming feedback we are getting from those actually in the market for a larger capacity cordless miter saw and willing to spend $600 or more they are looking very closely at these 2 options. We had a project to build a workbench our of scrap wood (post/video on that to follow) and choose a design to notch out 4x4s to flush in the 2x4s to add rigidity but really just to give us an excuse to make 500+ cuts with these miter saws. Here is what we’ve found.


Capacity

So what do you really gain going from 10” to 12” in capacity? Vertical Capacity against fence for trim and crown is the biggest difference; with Milwaukee at 5-3/4” vs FLEXVOLT at 6-3/4” also the 90 degree rip capacity goes from 2×12” with Milwaukee 10” to 2×14” with the FLEXVOLT 12”. If either of those 2 capacities are 100% critical for you than you may need to go with the yellow one. If this is not a critical requirement however for your cordless miter saw the Milwaukee offers some other advantages. FLEXVOLT wins Capacity

Portability

M18 FUEL Mitersaw

In our mind the reason you want to choose a cordless saw is if want portability, perhaps working on a job and moving around frequently. The Milwaukee FUEL weights 45 lbs and offers very smart design with handles on the sides of the saw that allow you to carry with 1 or 2 hands as well as actually extend the work surface. Everything about this saw is designed for on the go performance. The Dewalt FLEXVOLT saw weights 65 lbs and is noticeably bulkier, it really begs for a fully wheeled work stand if you are going to get it on and off the job each day. Milwaukee wins Portability

Power

A saw with a larger diameter blade is going to require more power, we feel like the FLEXVOLT saw does deliver on solid power for turning a 12” saw. You can defiantly feel the power just by pulling the trigger. The Milwaukee also delivers, we have used both these saws to cut hard oak with no problem and have nothing but positive reviews on both saws in terms of cutting power. If you are cutting 4×4 lumber both are pretty comparable unfortunately you can’t really take advantage of “More Power” with a miter saw like you can with a grinder or rotary hammer drill.  FLEXVOLT wins Power

Battery Life

Milwaukee vs Flexvolt

Again we know this is not a fair comparison as the FLEXVOLT is actually using 12.0Ah of battery life vs Milwaukee at only 9.0Ah (only 3/4 of the battery power) but we wanted fully charge and drain each to see where we ended up. We were actually very surprised as the Dewalt FLEXVOLT only made 257 cuts, we were well over 300 with the Milwaukee with plenty of life left when the work bench was complete. We continued to run the Milwaukee down in the 4×4 material (continuing to notch ½ way same depth every time) and got to 405 cuts when the M18 9.0Ah battery finally died. Milwaukee wins Battery Life

cut count miter saws

Charge Time / Down Time       

While the Dewalt FLEXVOLT unit does come with a duel bay charger it unfortunately took almost 2 hours to fully charge the 2 batteries again to be ready to use again. This is an eternity on the jobsite if you are down so even with 4 new FLEXVOLT batteries (an additional $300) you could easily still see some down time. The Milwaukee M18 FUEL comes with the newer Rapid Charger which fully charges the M18 9.0Ah in about 45 minutes so we feel confident if you had 2x 9.0Ah batteries (current launch promo, FREE 2nd 9.0Ah) you would never see downtime, even if you used a 4.0Ah or 5.0Ah while the 9.0Ah charged you could get by. Milwaukee wins Charging

AC/DC Power Option

FLEXVOLT Adapter

Dewalt offers an AC adapt or for this Saw and Milwaukee does not. The hope for FLEXVOLT users of course is that this adapter will be compatible with more tools in the future. FLEXVOLT wins AC/DC

Value / Bang for Your Buck

With the current promo on the Milwaukee M18 FUEL 2734-21HD ($599, with FREE 2nd 9.0Ah) this is an incredible deal. Just getting 2x M18 9.0Ah and a rapid charger you could spend $450, yes please give me a 10” miter saw for an additional $149! The Dewalt FLEXVOLT DHS790AT2 ($799, 2x batteries & AC Adapt) is significantly more and again we would still recommend an additional 2x FLEXVOLT batteries. Milwaukee wins Value

Conclusion

At the FLEXVOLT launch event we learned that Dewalt was actually the first to launch the 12” miter saw platform over 25 years ago so it makes sense they would come out with the first with a cordless 12” version. If you are a Dewalt 20V Max user and willing to make the investment in new FLEXVOLT system as well we see a lot of promise in the technology. If you are looking for a shop miter saw that might occasionally be used on the job or remotely the AC/DC option is very nice for that situation. We really like the idea of the 120v power but unfortunately don’t think a miter saw is really the best tool to showcase what that added power can do. Give us a 120v FLEXVOLT breaker hammer where that added juice will mean a little more.

When it comes to a cordless miter saw we really need to judge these saws based on why people want to go cordless in the first place which is portability and convenience. Milwaukee wins in battery life, charging time, portability, value and providing more than adequate power for any miter saw cut we have seen, which make this the clear cordless miter saw winner for us.

Was the $199 extra battery Milwaukee just threw in there a response to FLEXVOLT hitting the market? Probably so but we will take it! The FREE 2nd 9.0Ah M18 FUEL batteries is a limited time introductory offer which may or may not last until the holidays, depending on supplies. There is defiantly a hurdle in people’s minds in going cordless on a miter saw once these get into the market we think that will be gone and this could be the last time this extra 9.0Ah battery deal happens. It makes the story very compelling and having spent some time with this system we feel confident in saying you won’t miss an AC adapter if you do have two 9.0Ah batteries.

Comments

comments

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Comments

  1. john says:

    Did not expect the milwaukee to last longer than the dual battery dewalt.

    Which makes me wonder if dewalt will release a 10″ version that is much more efficient? How many of us would use the extra cut capacity? Im sure the general public would prefer longer lasting.

    I like the idea of having a wall outlet adapter. I hope milwaukee comes out with something similar.

    • Brian says:

      Most people expected the Milwaukee to last longer, heck on a 5.0 battery you might get the same number of cuts as the Dewalt.

      I thought the 10″ vs 12″ would be an issue until I read that the M18 will cut a 4×4 in 1 cut, who the heck needs to cut a 2×14.

      Glad to see the Milwaukee is overall the better option, as long as you dont care about a cord. Flexvolt is such a SCAM.

      • john says:

        Went ahead and bought the M18 since it comes with a free 9.0 battery. Seems like milwaukee made the right choice in sticking with 18v with higher capacity.

        Im looking forward to upgrading my lawn equipment to all electric when the new M18 lawn stuff comes out.

  2. David says:

    I have the 7 1/4 Dewalt 20 volt and it smokes them bolt in portability and value. Less capacity but that’s not why I bought it. And with the small blade it does well on battery life.

    • Jay Amstutz says:

      The Dewalt 20V 7-1/4 is a very versatile miter saw and at 32 lbs is built for portability. A FLEXVOLT battery (6.0Ah in 20V) running on this saw would also get a ton of run time. If money were no object having both 7-1/4″ 20V and 12″ 120V FLEXVOLT might be the way to go.

  3. Adam Moore says:

    The dewalt does NOT have 6.0ah at 60v it’s only a 3.0ah battery at 60v.

    • Mark says:

      Actually it’s only 2 amp hour at 60 volt. This must be the reason for the shorter run time.

    • Doug says:

      Actually 2.0ah at 60 volts, and 6.0ah at 20 volts.

      • David KLINE says:

        Dewalt does sell separately a battery that has 3ah 60v capacity with 9ah 20v capacity buy is is $200 i have the 60v saw and the batteries that are larger and i have never run out of charge on a job and i have a moderate to high useage based on the day

  4. Brian says:

    Just because the Dewalt feels more powerful, doesnt mean it is. Of course it probably has a higher sound and more impact feel because its spinning a 12″ blade versus a 10″ one. Would like to see a test of actual power not percieved.

  5. John says:

    The dewalt is running 120v on battery power while the Milwaukee is only a 18v saw, the dewalt is for someone who likes the power of a corded saw but occasionally has a off grid type of job to do.
    Both saws are great in their own right
    I personally like my dewalt 7 1/4 20v miter saw better

  6. Steve says:

    Milwaukee sounds like a good buy! I’ve seen a heap of people complaining about the Flexvolt because it’s a new battery platform (to get the newer tools) which means investing in a new charger (to get decent charge times) and batteries but what id love to see is someone comparing the performance and runtime of say a 4.0 M18 vs the 9.0! It sounds like the 9.0 would need to be used on the saw to get full performance from it which would mean investing in new batteries and a new rapid charger anyway?

  7. Trevor bonnell says:

    A 2pk of the 60v battery from Dewalt sells for 179 99 not 150 per battery

  8. Gary says:

    With the option of being able to plug the DeWalt into a cord is a big point in their favor. Unless I’m bringing the saw up on staging, i have cords run for the vacuum, and many times router,jigsaw, etc. run to the miter saw anyway.

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