2018 Gen 2 Milwaukee M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ Circular Saw 2732-21HD HONEST REVIEW. Fuel circular saw

18 Gen 2 Milwaukee M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ Circular Saw 2732-21HD HONEST REVIEW

Milwaukee upgraded their M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ circular saw in 2018 with a completely new GEN 2 model 2732-21HD. Is it better than the original? Let’s find out in this honest review.

Ethic’s Disclosure:

Milwaukee was kind enough to provide the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ Circular Saw 2732-21HD at no cost for review. I am not paid to give a positive review. These are my opinions. Tool Craze cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information/specifications/features of any tool listed in this article. Manufacturer marketing claims may not always meet expectations. Tool Craze is not responsible if products do not live up to claimed expectations. Please do your full research before buying any products. Tool Craze is an Amazon Associate, and also an affiliate with the Home Depot, Acme Tools, Ohio Power Tool, Tool Nut, Lowe’s, Ebay, and Walmart and places affiliate links to these retailers. If you purchase something through a link on the Tool Craze site, Tool Craze may get a share of the sale.

Manufacturer Features and Specs:

  • 5,800 RPM
  • 5/8″ arbor
  • maximum bevel capacity
  • length 16.5″
  • 12 lbs with 12.0ah battery (tested and confirmed)
  • about 9 lbs more or less baretool (tested)
  • 2-1/2 in. of cut depth at 90 degrees /1-7/8″ at 45 degrees
  • POWERSTATE Brushless motor: purposely built for the M18 FUEL 7-1/4 in. circular saw to generate the power and performance of a 15 A corded circular saw
  • REDLINK Plus intelligence: ensures optimal performance and provides overload protection to prevent damage to the tool and battery during heavy applications while still maintaining compatibility across the entire M18 system
  • REDLITHIUM HIGH OUTPUT HD12.0 battery pack: provides 50% more power and runs 50% cooler versus standard REDLITHIUM HD packs. superior pack construction provides the industry’s best protection against jobsite conditions
  • Magnesium shoe and guards for maximum durability
  • LED light for increased accuracy and visibility
  • Integrated dust port on guard and included vac adapter
  • Electric brake for stopping blade after trigger is released
  • Compatible with all M18 batteries and tools

My Thoughts on features and build quality:

Milwaukee released the original M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ cordless circular saw back in 2014 and back then it was one of the first cordless circular saws to sport a full size 7-1/4″ blade and a brushless motor. It had class leading performance in the 18V segment however the competition has hit hard with higher voltage models such as Makita’s original brushed motor X2 36 volt saw using dual 18V batteries that outperformed the original M18 Fuel model.

Since then others such as DeWALT has made 60V cordless circular saws with their two Flexvolt models and Makita fired back with a X2 brushless model of their own with the rear handle worm-drive look alike style cordless circular saw model, all of which take cordless circular saw performance to a whole new level, not seen before.

Fast forward to 2018 and Milwaukee has upgraded their original model with a Gen 2 model 2732-20 as a baretool or 2732-21HD as a kit which comes bundled with the latest in 18V battery tech, the high output HD 12.0 ah battery. The new GEN 2 Milwaukee M18 Fuel circular saw is said to offer performance similar to a corded 15 amp saw when paired with the new 12.0 ah battery. Well see if the claims are true or not in the performance section below.

A lot of what made the original M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ circular saw great is carried over in the Gen 2 2018 model such as similar styling and features and a brushless motor (although the brushless motor itself is a different one – more on that below). In fact, so much so that it’s hard to tell them apart. Both models have a rafter hook to hang the tool next to something nearby on the jobsite such as a 2×4.

Both have LED lights that help illuminate the cut line for starting cuts, however this is only useful for starting cuts as the LED light only illuminates inside the shoe cavity and not the cutting path ahead of the shoe so keep that in mind. You will still need enough light to follow through with the cut.

A laser is not available that casts a line on the cut line ahead but in all fairness, this feature is reserved only for budget saw models for those that are inexperienced to the point that they need a “training wheel” feature such as a laser to aid with the cut. You will not find such a feature on a pro tool such as this Milwaukee saw.

Milwaukee did very well with the construction of the saw and have not skimped out on quality as this saw features strong yet light magnesium shoe and blade guards. You wont find no cheap metals or plastics here. I also like that they included a stamped metal ruler guide in the front rather than a sticker label like Makita did with with the original X2 brushed motor circular saw (XSH01Z).

The shoe seems similar to the one found on the original model which isn’t a bad thing as that was very robust, it appears it might even be the same one. The shoe allows the saw to bevel up to 50 degrees and allows the user to lock into place at any bevel angle however it does not have any detents for positive angle stops at any of the popular angles such as 45 and the like. If this bothers you, you might want to look into either of Makita’s X2 models as they have very good integrated bevel detents and stops at all the popular angles. The fact that the Milwaukee doesn’t have any bevel detents doesn’t bother me as I never cut bevel angles with a portable circular saw as I leave that job to my table saw however if I did use portable circular saws I’d greatly miss the detents. But then again the Milwaukee’s shoe has a bevel degree scale to help find the angle you need, albeit with no hard stops.

The shoe also has a built in slot to use with rip fence guides and a knob is built in to tighten a fence guide, however a rip fence guide is not included and will have to be bought separately. Some might miss an included rip fence guide including me, but to me it’s not that big of a deal as I use my table saw if I need perfectly straight cuts at certain widths. For everything else my cuts are straight enough with a portable circular saw.

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel saw also comes with a hex key included to swap blades, and like the original model has built in storage for the key so it’s always on hand. The handle is also very similar with a nice hefty grip to hold on tight and a fine texture on the rubber overmold for a tight grip. I don’t know if it’s just in my head but the new saw’s handle seems a bit slimmer, hard to tell but still good. The trigger is also activated only after the thumb safety button is activated with a thumb safety button on either side of the grip for right and left handed users.

Also just like the original model, the blade is to the right of the saw like a traditional sidewinder model. Personally I prefer the blade on the left side since I am right handed but it’s not a big deal as most of us right handed users have been accustomed to using blade right circular saws. I do however wish that Milwaukee would make a right handed version of this saw with the blade on the left side.

There were three physical differences that I found on the new model. The first one is that the motor is larger, roughly about twice as large as the original model which also leads to the next difference which is weight as the new saw is about a pound heavier at about 9 lbs without battery. That makes it about the same weight as the original model with a 4.0 ah battery, but without a battery. When you install the included battery which is around 3 lbs by the way, it makes it a hefty saw at 12 lbs with battery, yikes! That has always been one of the positives about cordless circular saws is that they were always lighter than a corded model, but that has changed with the Gen 2 model. It’s still light at about 10 lbs with a fatpack battery like an XC 4.0 or 5.0 but then again, Milwaukee makes the claim that it’s as powerful as a corded 15 amp saw only with a 12ah battery, not with a 5.0ah battery.

But don’t worry, I compare both 12ah and 5ah batteries in the performance section to see if there is any difference in performance depending on battery size. But either way you look at it, this is a heavy saw for cordless when paired with a 12ah battery. Luckily the handle is closer to the center of the saw making it evenly balanced and not front heavy when holding. The same is not true about Makita’s X2 rear handle saw which weighs about the same but because the handle is extended to the rear, makes the saw unwieldy when holding with only one hand since it’s entirely front heavy. Still, it’s too bad the Gen 2 Milwaukee Fuel model isn’t lighter.

The last difference I found on the new Gen 2 model was that the side dust chute on the upper blade guard now has a plastic insert installed. Why is a cheap plastic insert installed? It’s so that you can swap that out with an included vacuum port accessory for cutting with less mess when using a vacuum. This is a very well designed accessory and when used with a vacuum will lead to cleaner jobsites and less mess to pick up at the end of the day. What’s also interesting is that this is a feature usually only found on UK and similar market’s circular saws and traditionally was a feature absent in USA models. This is a big deal to us Americans.

Pricing

The Gen 2 Fuel circular saw is priced at 399 in the one 12ah battery kit. This makes it a bit more expensive than one of it’s peers but not by too much and the same as one of it’s other peers. For example the Makita XSR01 kit is priced at 299 and it comes with two 5ah batteries and dual charger making it an entire benjamin cheaper than the Milwaukee kit, however I will say that the single 12ah Milwaukee battery is larger in capacity than two 5ah Makita 18V batteries by 2 whole amp hours so the difference in price isn’t that big after you factor in that the Milwaukee though pricier offers a larger battery. Next on the list is DeWALT’s 60V Flexvolt cordless worm-drive style circular saw which is priced at 399 in kit for with one 3ah Flexvolt battery which is equivalent to 9ah in 18 volt terms. Priced exactly the same however the Milwaukee offers the better value as it’s bundled battery has a larger capacity by 3 amp hours more than DeWALT’s. So Milwaukee’s 399 price point for the kit is actually not bad considering the bang per buck.

Sidewinder Not Worm-Drive Style

One thing that’s interesting to note is that while other brands like Makita and then DeWALT came out with pseudo worm-drive cordless circular saws. I’m sure they no doubt went with these fake worm-drive styles to give the impression that they were more powerful cordless versions. Fortunately, I was able to test out Makita’s X2 rear handle circular saw that has fake worm-drive styling. And yes it’s worm-drive looks are fake as it does not have a worm-drive and is actually a sidewinder saw made to look like a worm drive saw. However, the Makita X2 rear handle saw did prove to be a very strong cordless circular saw, much more so than the already strong original X2 model. So while the worm-drive style looks do give users an impression of strong performance, that model does have the performance to back up it’s looks, it’s fake worm drive style looks have nothing to do with it’s performance, but instead has to do with a strong motor in a sidewinder configuration.

Going back to Milwaukee’s 2018 Gen 2 M18 Fuel circular saw model, Milwaukee did make it stronger motor over the original Fuel model but yet kept the standard sidewinder style. Personally I like this direction as this saw is not trying to bait you into thinking you’re buying something that it’s not. However it’s traditional sidewinder looks do not tell you it’s more powerful over the original especially since it looks almost identical to the original, only Milwaukee’s marketing department does. Luckily for you guys, I’ve tested this saw out and can tell you if it’s actually more powerful over the original and by how much AND if it can keep up with the higher voltage competition including the pseudo worm-drive look alikes. Enter the performance section below.

Performance

So the first thing I do with all my circular saw reviews is to test them while cutting 2×4’s to get a general sense of how powerful they are and also to test for runtime (how many cuts they can make before the battery runs out). As I made my first several cuts, I noticed this saw was strong. So powerful it was able to cross cut 2×4’s in less than a second each cut and with hardly any drag even with an average blade. Milwaukee supplied me not only with the included Milwaukee OEM blade but they also sent me one of their fancy new white blades but I test new circular saws with the same type of blade on each saw (but new) not only for consistency but I choose an average quality blade (Avanti Pro framing blade) so that I can determine how strong a saw is rather than blame excellent cutting performance due to a better blade if the blade is engineered to cut faster and smoother.

I also constructed a new test board piece made up of 5 stacked pieces of OSB glued together. The thickness of this piece is 2-1/4″ and the length is 24 inches, so each cut is 24 inches long at a thickness of 2-1/4″ inch. The original Milwaukee fuel was able to cut through a similar test, however the original piece was only 4 pieces of OSB stacked and was not glued together. This poses as a stronger stress test for any circular saw and yet the Gen 2 2018 model was able to fly through the cut at just under 4 seconds, wow! This new Gen 2 model has serious huevos! You can see both tests in the above video if you don’t believe my words, at least you can believe your eyes.

As I commented earlier, Milwaukee makes the claim this saw has performance similar to a corded 15 amp circular saw when paired with the new 12ah battery. I believe this claim as it’s performance easily backs it up. But then that got me thinking, would this same saw perform the same or similar with a smaller battery? I know many of you still have XC 4.0’s and 5.0’s since the newer 9.0’s barely came out and the new 12.0 literally just came out this year so how does this saw perform when used with a smaller more common fatpack XC battery? I ran the same stacked OSB test with the XC 5.0 ah to find out and surprisingly this saw is just not nearly as powerful as when paired with the 12.0 ah battery. In the same test but with 5.0 ah battery, it took the saw over 9 seconds to do the same stacked OSB cut test. That’s more than twice the time it took the saw with the 12.0 ah battery. This means that this saw is optimized for use with the larger 12.0 ah battery. As seen in the above video, yes you can use smaller batteries as it’s still backwards compatible with all M18 batteries, but if you want to take full advantage of this saw’s raw performance, you can only do so with a 12.0ah battery.

Other performance features include an integrated dust blower to keep the line of sight ahead nice and clear and it works good on this saw. It does what it’s supposed to do with no problems. It also has a side dust chute which does a pretty good job at spitting dust outward to the side as it cuts. Although not all the dust makes it out the side dust port with some of it falling behind the saw. I found this to be a bit of a nuisance as I had to dust it off the work piece several times. Not the biggest of deals but it had to be done and I’d prefer not to.

Performance VS The Competition

Recently I was able to test out Makita’s latest and greatest cordless circular saw, the rear handle XSR01z model. Up to that point, that saw was the best I had tried, and by a long shot! Getting much stronger performance than even the still strong X2 brushed motor XSH01z model. However when I tested that saw and previous saws, I had run out of the board I had built with 4 stacked pieces of OSB, that and I forget to measure how long the cutting length was so I couldn’t recreate that cut perfectly on new tests. But luckily I still have that saw and others including the still new Makita X2 brushless rear handle beast of a saw so I can test with my new 5 stacked piece of OSB glued together. The fastest cut on the new test piece was about 4 seconds with the Makita X2 rear handle saw using a pair of 6ah batteries which is still very darn fast and powerful, however the new GEN 2 2018 Milwaukee M18 Fuel model surpasses even the Makita X2 rear handle beast just by a bit making it slightly more powerful. What doesn’t make sense is that the Milwaukee is an 18V saw while the Makita is a 36V saw, so how could it be an 18V model is more powerful? Whatever it is, you have to give props to Milwaukee for doing the impossible.

And to satisfy my curiosity and yours, I also tested the original M18 Fuel model but with the new 12.0 battery and the original Makita X2 brushed motor circular saw XSH01z with a pair of 6.0ah batteries under the same stress test. What was interesting is that the Makita XSH01z kept up very well just slightly behind the new brushless X2 rear handle model at about 5 seconds, no doubt thanks to the pair of 6ah batteries. The original Milwaukee M18 Fuel saw was easily the slowest at 8 seconds with the same test cut. This shows us that the new 12.0 ah battery is not the only reason the new Gen 2 model is so powerful, it’s also because of a stronger motor as well because the new larger battery doesn’t automatically make the older M18 Fuel model perform like the 36V saws.

While the Gen 2 Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2018 circular saw model is technically faster than the Makita X2 rear handle saw at handling demanding cuts, I will say that the Makita X2 brushless rear handle model seems faster in real world use. How so you ask, especially since the above comparison video shows the Milwaukee Gen 2 model beating all others? It’s simple really, because even though the Milwaukee is technically faster, the motor sounds like it’s getting pushed to the limit when making demanding cuts and sounds like it will give out at any moment unless you slow down the cut. The Makita on the other hand, even though slightly slower, doesn’t feel strained when making demanding cuts as you can hear the motor whizzing at full strength throughout the cut. The Makita inspires confidence when making a demanding cut and makes you feel like you can push the saw harder, although you can’t go faster than the above video even if you tried otherwise it will overload and stall (yes I tried it and that’s what happens). While the Milwaukee Gen 2 feels like you need to lay off the speed so as to not overload the motor, even though it cuts faster. However, either way you look at it, this Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2018 Gen 2 model not only can hang with the big boys, it can outrun them, even if it sounds like it’s struggling when pushed to the max!

Runtime

The runtime on this saw when paired with the new 12.0 ah battery is simply incredible as it was able to make 6oo cuts into 2×4 with one battery! This means it gets about 50 cuts per amp hour. One thing people always told me (that have tried cordless tools in the past but not today’s cordless) is that cordless has a short runtime, along with poor performance. We’ll let me tell you guys something, the day’s of cordless tools with crappy runtime and crappy performance are over. The M18 Fuel 2 Gen model in this review is a fine example of this regard. With 600 cuts per charge, that’s at least 3 work days straight if not a whole week of cuts without having to change the battery. That makes this the saw with the best total runtime I’ve tested so far – easily! And I’ve tested some with quite impressive runtimes in the past such as the original M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ circular saw with 9.0 battery at 456 cuts into 2×4 making it 50.6 cuts per amp hour. The Makita X2 XSR01Z also got an impressive 458 cuts into 2×4 with a pair of 5ah batteries making it about 45.8 per amp hour in 18V equivalent terms.

Final Thoughts and conclusion

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Milwaukee’s been up to their technological wizardry by pushing the limits of what 18V can do and offer performance similar to high voltage cordless power tools and the 2018 Gen 2 Milwaukee M18 Fuel circular saw is yet another example. Honestly, after trying the Makita X2 rear handle circular saw which is a 36 volt tool by the way, I thought there would be no way any 18 volt tool could ever come close to it’s performance but yet here we are today with the Milwaukee not only coming close to it in terms of performance, but slightly edging it out in terms of cutting speed in high demand cuts as seen in my 5 stacked OSB test. It’s runtime is also fantastic with 600 cuts into 2×4 tested with the bundled 12.0 ah battery. This is a full featured saw with quality components such as magnesium shoe and blade guards, integrated flip out rafter hook, LED light and brushless motor. All is not perfect though, as powerful and fast as the Milwaukee saw is – it can handle very demanding cuts but it sounds like the motor is being taxed. It still competes with and slightly outperforms even the mighty Makita X2 rear handle saw however the Milwaukee doesn’t exactly give you confidence when maxing out it’s performance, while the Makita X2 rear handle saw (with slightly slower cutting speed) gives the user confidence to power through demanding cuts because it’s motor does not seem stressed the slightest. Either way, at the end of the day, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Gen 2 circular saw is one of the strongest and fastest performing cordless saws on the market and it’s hard to believe that such performance can be squeezed out of an 18 volt tool.

I do like that Milwaukee’s new Gen 2 Fuel Circular saw doesn’t try to fool you into thinking you’re getting something it’s not. They didn’t do what Makita and DeWALT did by making it look like a worm drive saw when their’s are in fact not true worm drive saws. Makita and DeWALT’s rear handle worm drive style saws are purposely made larger in size to make you think they are better. Sure the performance part is true on those saws but they really don’t need to be so large because they don’t offer a real worm-drive configuration – so the large size on fake worm-drive saws is not necessary.

One big drawback of the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Gen 2 circular saw is that to take full advantage of it’s strong motor, you NEED to pair it with the new 12ah battery if you want class leading cordless performance. If you plan on using this saw with smaller batteries, it will simply not perform anywhere near as good as with it’s 12ah battery. It’s still a powerful cordless saw even with a smaller battery such as an XC 5ah battery but simply not as fast, yet it can still handle the same demanding cuts but at a drastically slower speed. It’s weight with a 12ah battery makes it heavy for cordless circular saw at 12 lbs. Compare that to the 9 lbs of the original M18 Fuel model with XC 4.0 battery. Sure, you can place a smaller lighter XC battery on the Gen 2 model to keep the weight down to 10 lbs but then you sacrifice lighter weight for decreased performance. Still 12 lbs isn’t that bad and since it’s a sidewinder makes it have a balanced center of gravity making it easy to hand hold it one handed.

However even though it has a couple of drawbacks, it’s still noteworthy that as a whole, it delivers not only outstanding performance in any voltage class, but the fact that it’s coming from only 18 volts is incredible. That plus extreme runtime and although it’s not exactly cheap at 399 in a kit, it offers a good bang for buck value. Because it’s positives outshine a couple of negatives, I can easily give this saw a recommendation!

Pros

  • outstanding class leading performance outperforms higher voltage cordless circular saws
  • similar performance to 15 amp corded saws
  • extreme runtime at a tested 600 cuts (2×4) per charge (50 cuts per amp hour)
  • magnesium shoe and guards
  • rafter hook
  • LED light
  • bundled with 12.0 ah battery in kit form
  • included hex key with built in storage
  • although heavy for cordless, it’s balanced center of gravity makes it easy to wield one handed

Cons

  • heavy for cordless at 12 lbs with 12ah battery
  • performance decreases drastically with smaller batteries
  • no popular angle bevel detents

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Concord Carpenter

My main experience with cordless saws has been with my brother in law’s old 18 volt trim saw that was barely capable of cutting 3/4-inch strapping and trim stock much less cutting framing lumber or ripping sheathing. That tool is still kicking but its descendants are a far cry from its underpowered, low run-time performance.

Cordless circular saws have come a long way. The introduction of lithium ion 4.0 amp hour (Ah) batteries has drastically improved run-time, and now brush-less technology has arrived on the scene improving power and run-time even further. When combined, you’ve got a cordless 18v saw that can perform repetitive and heavy cutting tasks in a way that was not possible a few years ago.

Out of the box

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw Kit comes with a combination charger that can charge a 12 volt or 18 volt battery. Additionally it comes with two 4.0 Ah XC batteries and a kit bag. The first thing I noticed on this tool was the easy to read; depth of cut, bevel, and width-of-cut scales. The scales for width of cut and bevel are machined from steel and then attached to the magnesium base-plate. It’s as if they took a cleanly stamped ruler from a combination square and screwed it to the base-plate.

At 8 lbs, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw Kit is much lighter than my corded worm drive saw. Adjustment levers and knobs are hand-friendly and easy to turn. The magnesium base-plate is completely flat on the bottom and quite smooth. To keep strength up and weight down Milwaukee incorporated a magnesium blade guard, and this is a nice contrast to a lot of competitors who have moved to plastic for this part. In general, the saw has a nice feel to it, with good balance and a well-formed handle that fits the hand very well.

Performance

In our testing we repeatedly cut ½” rips off of ¾” Advantech sub-flooring, we also cut stringers from #2 Douglas Fir, 2×12 framing stock and finally we performed 1/2″ thick rips in a, 1-7/8″, eight foot long LVL. Cutting the sub-flooring was a straight-up endurance test. We cut the ¾” stock, non-stop until the battery died to test battery life and overall performance under demanding continuous use conditions. The battery got warm but not hot and the Fuel cut an impressive 204 linear feet of Advantech (that’s 25.5 rips in 8 foot sheets).

We used stringer cutting to test ease of use and performance in one of the more difficult cutting applications performed on the job-site. Even when trying to bind the saw up (within reason) it wouldn’t bind or stall. In other words, this saw is very unlikely to bind up or stall during normal use.

In the LVL test the Fuel ripped 48 lineal feet, or 6 rips of 8 feet of 1-7/8″ LVL. That is seriously impressive for a cordless saw.

4.0 Ah batteries and brush-less technology make for a huge jump in performance. The Fuel has excellent run time and power for a cordless circular saw. The Fuel is a real deal, practical tool that can make a surprisingly large number of cuts in plywood or framing lumber before needing a charge. On smaller framing jobs you could get away with using just this saw. My corded saws are going to see a lot more downtime now.

If you’ve shied away from cordless saws this is the time to take another look at the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw Kit.

Accuracy

The scale for depth of cut, bevel angle, and cut width, are etched, high contrast, and very easy to read. The depth setting lever is plastic but feels solid and is easy to use, not requiring too much force to lock or release. The depth of cut scale faces the back of the saw, which is a feature I haven’t seen on many other cordless saws.

This makes for an unobstructed view of the depth scale for easier adjustments, rather than having to sight the gauge through the handle of the saw. The scale has notches every half inch and a red stripe which makes for faster rough depth settings.

Excellent depth of cut gauge

Bevel range is from 0-50 degrees. The bevel gauge was spot-on and the lines are narrow enough that you know you’re very close to your desired cut angle.

When zeroed out, the blade was completely square to the base-plate. The bevel locks solidly with a twist of the knob but doesn’t fight you when you need to loosen it. There are no detents or stops other than 0 degrees so you’ve got to double-check your bevel for critical cuts, but the scale is accurate enough for any framing tasks you’d put it to.

Durable and easy to read bevel gauge.

In Use

Blade changes were pretty straightforward with an easy-to-access arbor lock in the usual spot between blade housing and handle. The included Allen wrench has on-board storage. However, the wrench was a little loose in its molded slot right out of the box so I’m pretty sure that wrench won’t stick around long.

The arbor bolt is both Allen and hex so you can always fall back on a box wrench or even an adjustable wrench for your blade changing needs.

The 4.0 Ah batteries charged in 82 minutes. The battery gauge is easily visible from the back of the saw and lights up with a push of a button. When mounted in the saw, the battery does have some play.

Features

Not only is the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw an excellent performer in run-time and power, but it has a lot of useful features as well. These features really add to the ease-of-use of the Fuel and make it stand apart from the crowd.

Dust Blower : There’s a port that directs air from the motor fan and out a nozzle at the front of the blade housing. This blower is aimed at the cut lines for zero and forty five degrees on the front of the baseplate. We made an awful lot of sawdust during our testing so I had ample opportunity to see how this feature worked and I found that the blower did a pretty good job clearing dust away from your cut lines.

LED Light : Next to the blower is an LED that lights up the darker side of the cut on the motor side of the blade. The LED is quite bright and this kind of feature is a huge help to re-modelers or anyone working in lower light situations. When moving from the sunny side of a building to the shaded side, the light can make the difference when your eyes haven’t adjusted to the shade.

Rafter Hook : Not many 18 volt saws have rafter hooks but the Fuel does. The rafter hook on this saw is well placed on top of the saw, with a large enough opening to grab 2x framing with no problem. When you don’t need it, the hook easily folds out of the way, nesting securely into the top of the handle of the saw.

Room for improvement

Blade Wrench : On-board wrench storage is a nice thing to have but only if it works well. The Allen wrench started shifting around just during our initial preparation of the saws for testing, which involved checking accuracy and putting in batteries and blades. With a little wear I’m pretty certain that the wrench will fall right out. On the up side, the arbor bolt is machined for both an Allen key and a wrench so there shouldn’t be any problem finding a way to change blades even after the included Allen key is long gone.

Sight Lines : Sight lines could be better. The saw guard and blower make for a slightly cramped front end of this saw and make for an obstructed view where the blade meets the wood from the motor side of the blade housing. But from the outside the sight lines are excellent. Since this is a blade left saw most “righties” should be happy with their sight lines on this saw.

Overall Impression

With top-notch power and run-time, along with some really useful features and excellent ergonomics, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw Kit is really raising the bar on cordless saws. The days of the get-it-in-the-huge-cordless-kit-and-forget-it cordless circular saw are coming to an end.

The Milwaukee Fuel circular saw is amazingly powerful for an 18 volt saw. I can already tell that unless I’m setting up to cut down a pallet full of 2x’s, the Fuel is going to be my go-to saw. Which stands to reason, since the Milwaukee Fuel is arguably the best designed, feature laden and best performing 18v saw out there.

Specifications

  • 18 volt
  • No load speed 5,000 RPM
  • Blade Diameter 6-½”, (165mm)
  • Bevel Capacity 50 degrees
  • Arbor size ⅝”
  • Depth of cut at 45 degrees 1-⅝”
  • Depth of cut at 90 degrees 2-3/16”
  • Tool weight 8.0 lbs

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw Kit

  • (1) M18 FUEL 6-1/2″ Circular Saw (2730-20)
  • (2) M18 REDLITHIUM XC 4.0 Extended Capacity Battery Pack (48-11-1840)
  • (1) M18 M12 Multi-Voltage Charger (48-59-1812)
  • (1) Blade
  • (1) Blade Wrench
  • (1) Contractor Bag

Also available as a bare tool or with a single battery.

Spot on at forty five degrees. Spot on kerf notch at zero degrees. Nice functional rafter hook.

Tool Junkie: Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel 7-1/4” Circular Saw (2732-20)

Welcome to the first edition of Tool Junkie, which will be a regularly occurring feature on Construction Junkie in 2019. It’s important for everyone in the construction industry to keep up with new tool developments, from the trades to those in charge of purchasing. Our goal is to better highlight noteworthy tools throughout the year. We’ll start with a familiar brand to our readers: Milwaukee Tool.

Much like Milwaukee’s recently released M18 cordless table saw, the new M18 Fuel 7-1/4” Circular Saw (model #2732-20) is part of “The Next Breakthrough” line for the tool manufacturer. Harnessing the brand’s newest supercharged – and supersized – 12.0 amp-hour battery, the company has promised 50% more power, 50% cooler running temperatures, and 33% more runtime versus their previous largest battery, the HD9.0.

This new circular saw is the replacement for Milwaukee’s 5 year old model #2731, which, at the time, was the world’s first cordless 7-1/4” circular saw.

Features

In addition to the upgraded battery technology, the new circular saw features a new brushless motor and new powerhouse to increase the performance over their previous model. The saw, which is constructed of magnesium, also includes many features that are common to any worthy professional circular saw, like tool-free bevel and depth adjustment, an on-board Allen wrench for blade replacement, and a rafter hook. For dust sensitive areas, the tool also comes with an optional dust port for easy hook up to a vacuum.

Ergonomics

Weighing in at over 12 pounds with the 12.0ah battery installed, this saw is certainly one of the heaviest blade right circular saws on the market. The weight is more in line with worm drive style, or blade left, cordless options, however, so the power to weight ratio is fairly on target. The DeWALT Flexvolt circular saw weighs in at just over 10 pounds, but that is with a smaller capacity battery (6.0ah equivalent).

If you’re looking to reduce the weight, but keep the same performance, I would recommend grabbing one of the new XC6.0 High Output Milwaukee M18 batteries (Model # 48-11-1865), which uses the same technology as the 12.0, but is smaller and lighter.

You may notice the extra weight throughout a long day initially, but it could be an added benefit to horizontal cutting.

Performance

This saw is an absolute beast, there’s no way around it. Whether ripping 2x material or plywood, it’s near impossible to apply enough pressure to bog the motor down. While the blade right DeWALT Flexvolt is a worthy competitor, it doesn’t pack nearly the same punch that this new Milwaukee does. There are some worm drive style cordless circular saws out there that are more powerful, however, but that is up to personal preference.

Runtime on the 12.0ah battery is impressive, as it can crosscut 2×4 up to 750 times on a single charge. That will be plenty of runtime on small to medium sized jobs, but heavier workloads may require additional batteries. Non-High Output rated M18 batteries can be used on the saw with no issues, but you won’t get the same performance as you would with the new 6.0 and 12.0 batteries. The current Milwaukee fast chargers will take 2 hours to completely recharge a depleted 12.0ah battery, so that should factor into your decision, as well.

Value

With the kit retailing for 399 and the bare tool for 249, it is priced above its competition from DeWALT and Makita, but none of the kits are truly an apples to apples comparison. The standard DeWALT DCS575T1 kit features (1) 2.0ah 60V Flexvolt battery (6.0ah equivalent on 20V) and retails for 299. The Makita XSH01PT Circular saw kit operates on (2) 5.0ah batteries and costs 349.

Overall, the Milwaukee will set you back more than its competition, but I believe its performance warrants the higher price. I’ve used the Flexvolt extensively and believe that it’s a great saw, as well. I’ve unfortunately not had the opportunity to use the Makita much, however, but I have heard good things. While you can opt for the bare tool of the Milwaukee, it’s optimized for use with the high output 6.0 and 12.0 batteries, so you should at least start with one of those.

Overall Impressions

The Milwaukee 2732 is built for a jobsite. It’s big, it’s powerful, and it’s fun to cut with. That amount of power may not be necessary for many users, but for those of you who are waiting for cordless technology to match up to the performance of corded tools, this saw has done it.

Total Tools. Low Price Guarantee Policy (Terms Conditions)

At Total Tools we offer Low Prices, every day, guaranteed. We will not be beaten!

We check our daily against our competitors to ensure you can shop online or instore with the confidence you are buying at the very best price, every day.

Milwaukee 7.25-in FUEL Circular Saw Hands-on Preview

Should you find a lower advertised price for the identically stocked product elsewhere, we will happily match the price. [Subject to Terms Conditions – see below for details]

At times have moved in the market, and our in store and online price for printed catalogue items may be lower. Check online or instore for the latest price.

How to Price Match

Simply visit a Total Tools Store or contact our online team with evidence of a cheaper price (print out or website link). We will verify the price, and then immediately match any current advertised price (Terms Conditions apply).

Terms Conditions

For eligibility, the following terms and conditions need to be met;

  • Product must be identical (same brand, colour, model #)
  • Product must be currently advertised in print or electronic media (Including newspaper, catalogue, radio, television advertising or online)
  • Product must be in stock at the competitor
  • The competitors price of the product must be inclusive of delivery fees, taxes and charges
  • The competitors price is lower than our price on the day the price guarantee is requested (day of purchase)
  • The competitors price excludes finance, installation, bundling, rebates, cash back, coupon offers, loyalty rewards or free bonus goods.
  • The competitor is located in Australia

The following exclusions apply;

  • Trade/commercial quotes and/or large volume/bulk purchases
  • Products for sale via auction, stock liquidations, fire sale, sale or clearance (including eBay)
  • Blemished, seconds, refurbished, damaged or ex demonstration stock
  • Advertising errors where competitor has published a rectification notice
  • Products distributed by unauthorised dealers / parallel importers
  • Special event, club or membership offers, third party promotions or not available to the general public
  • Special order products
2018, milwaukee, fuel, circular, 2732-21hd, honest

Total Tools reserve the right to terminate or amend the price guarantee policy at any time without notice.

For Further Information

Further information may be obtained in-store at any of our stores nationwide or online at www.totaltools.com.au/priceguarantee. For the most effiicent response please use the contact us page, or alternatively email onlinesupport@totaltools.com.au.

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Pickup In Store

If you don’t want to pay for delivery or need to ASAP, you can pick it up in store. Just bear in mind not all stores will have everything in stock. You’ll be able to see if they do during the checkout process.

Free Delivery

Most products are included in free delivery, however some are excluded as follows:

  • Orders and/or items under 99.
  • Orders and/or items that are deemed bulky, large or heavy.
  • Clearance items.
  • Orders that include or items that are classed as dangerous goods.
  • Remote areas are excluded from free delivery and you will either be charged delivery at checkout or may be contacted prior to delivery to confirm delivery charges if necessary.
  • Interstate deliveries.

Total Tools reserve the right to change or withdraw free delivery at any time.

Estimated Delivery Timeframes

If you opted to collect in store you will receive an email to inform you when your goods are ready for collection.

If you opted for delivery, you will receive an email when the goods have been despatched to the couriers with details so you can track our order.

We aim to despatch all orders within 1-2 business days. In the unusual event of a delay to the despatch of your order you will be contacted at the earliest opportunity. Once the order has been despatched the estimated delivery time is as follows:

  • Metro (Excludes Hobart Metro) 1-2 business days
  • Hobart Metro 3-4 business days
  • Regional Areas 3-4 business days
  • Remote Areas 6-9 business days

Please note that these delivery timeframes are estimates and are not guaranteed.

Returns

Changed your mind? No worries. You just need to get the product back to the store it was shipped from (this is on your receipt) within 30 days, unused and in its original packaging and we’ll give you a refund (excluding delivery costs). You can read our full returns exchanges policy here (special order items are excluded from this returns policy).

Total Tools. Low Price Guarantee Policy (Terms Conditions)

At Total Tools we offer Low Prices, every day, guaranteed. We will not be beaten!

We check our daily against our competitors to ensure you can shop online or instore with the confidence you are buying at the very best price, every day.

Should you find a lower advertised price for the identically stocked product elsewhere, we will happily match the price. [Subject to Terms Conditions – see below for details]

At times have moved in the market, and our in store and online price for printed catalogue items may be lower. Check online or instore for the latest price.

How to Price Match

Simply fill in price match form available on every product page or visit a Total Tools Store. We will verify the price, and then immediately match any current advertised price (Terms Conditions apply).

Terms Conditions

For eligibility, the following terms and conditions need to be met;

  • Product must be identical (same brand, colour, model #)
  • Product must be currently advertised in print or electronic media (Including newspaper, catalogue, radio, television advertising or online)
  • Product must be in stock at the competitor
  • The competitors price of the product must be inclusive of delivery fees, taxes and charges
  • The competitors price is lower than our price on the day the price guarantee is requested (day of purchase)
  • The competitors price excludes finance, installation, bundling, rebates, cash back, coupon offers, loyalty rewards or free bonus goods.
  • The competitor is located in Australia

The following exclusions apply;

  • Trade/commercial quotes and/or large volume/bulk purchases
  • Products for sale via auction, stock liquidations, fire sale, sale or clearance (including eBay, Amazon)
  • Blemished, seconds, refurbished, damaged or ex demonstration stock
  • Advertising errors where competitor has published a rectification notice
  • Special event, club or membership offers, third party promotions or not available to the general public
  • Special order products

Total Tools reserve the right to terminate or amend the price guarantee policy at any time without notice.

For Further Information

Further information may be obtained in-store at any of our stores nationwide or online at www.totaltools.com.au/price-match-guarantee. Alternatively, contact onlinesupport@totaltools.com.au.

Description

The M18 FUEL 165mm Circular Saw is the fastest saw in its class, offering fast cutting speeds, maximum runtime and longer tool life. The POWERSTATE Brushless Motor outpowers all other 18-Volt cordless circular saws and allows you to perform jobs that previously required a corded tool. The M18 REDLITHIUM-ION 5.0Ah Extended Capacity Battery Pack (not included) delivers maximum runtime and provides more work per charge and more work over the life of the pack. The saw also features an integrated LED light and a rafter hook for convenient storage on the job. The saw includes a blade wrench and a blade.

POWERSTATE Brushless Motor: Outpowers all other 18-volt cordless circular saws and provides longer tool life

2018, milwaukee, fuel, circular, 2732-21hd, honest

REDLINK PLUS Intelligence: The most advanced electronic system on the market maximises performance

REDLITHIUM-ION 5.0Ah Battery Pack: Offers more runtime, more power and more recharges.

  • Magnesium upper and lower guards provide best in class durability for impact resistance
  • Integrated dust blower keeps cut line clear
  • Hang hook allows safe storage of the tool
  • Magnesium shoe reduces weight and maximises durability

Includes:

Battery and charger not included

Specifications

Part No

Barcode

Corded / Cordless

Voltage

Blade Diameter

No Load Speed (RPM)

Brand

Warranty

Net Weight (kg)

Product Length (mm)

Product Width (mm)

Product Height (mm)

M18CCS550
4892210128782
Cordless
18V
165mm
5000
Milwaukee
5 Year
3.08
343
174
102

Pickup In Store

If you don’t want to pay for delivery or need to ASAP, you can pick it up in store. Just bear in mind not all stores will have everything in stock. You’ll be able to see if they do during the checkout process.

Free Delivery

Most products are included in free delivery, however some are excluded as follows:

  • Orders and/or items under 99.
  • Orders and/or items that are deemed bulky, large or heavy.
  • Clearance items.
  • Orders that include or items that are classed as dangerous goods.
  • Remote areas are excluded from free delivery and you will either be charged delivery at checkout or may be contacted prior to delivery to confirm delivery charges if necessary.
  • Interstate deliveries.

Total Tools reserve the right to change or withdraw free delivery at any time.

Estimated Delivery Timeframes

If you opted to collect in store you will receive an email to inform you when your goods are ready for collection.

If you opted for delivery, you will receive an email when the goods have been despatched to the couriers with details so you can track our order.

We aim to despatch all orders within 1-2 business days. In the unusual event of a delay to the despatch of your order you will be contacted at the earliest opportunity. Once the order has been despatched the estimated delivery time is as follows:

  • Metro (Excludes Hobart Metro) 1-2 business days
  • Hobart Metro 3-4 business days
  • Regional Areas 3-4 business days
  • Remote Areas 6-9 business days

Please note that these delivery timeframes are estimates and are not guaranteed.

Returns

Changed your mind? No worries. You just need to get the product back to the store it was shipped from (this is on your receipt) within 30 days, unused and in its original packaging and we’ll give you a refund (excluding delivery costs). You can read our full returns exchanges policy here (special order items are excluded from this returns policy).

Review: Milwaukee M18 Fuel Metal-Cutting Circular Saw

Back in the “Your Favorite Tools of 2018?” post, I commented that the Milwaukee M18 Fuel metal-cutting circular saw was one of my favorites even though it came out in 2017.

2018 Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw VS Makita X2 Rear Handle Saw Comparison

I received a sample of this saw back in 2017 and have been using it occasionally to cut some steel bars and angle iron, but until I joined a Maker Space last fall and got into welding, I haven’t been able to give it as much attention as I should have.

Cutting metal with a circular saw is nothing new – many years ago I trimmed a steel-clad door using a standard circular saw with a carbide blade. They even make special standard-sized circular saw blades you can use for cutting metal. Still, this new breed of battery-powered saws is designed specifically for metal cutting. They’re lighter and designed to prevent metal chips from flying everywhere.

I had been using a 14″ Evolution saw for cutting metal stock, until I jammed it and broke off a bunch of teeth. Without the use of a metal cutting saw, my project was on hold util I remembered the M18 Fuel metal-cutting circular saw I had sitting in my basement.

Specifications and Features

Stuart wrote a preview article about the saw back in 2017, so I’m just going to summarize the relevant specs and features.

  • 5-3/8″ to 5-7/8″ blade size with 20mm arbor hole
  • Brushless motor delivering 3,900 RPM
  • 2-1/4″ cut capacity (with 5-7/8″ blade)
  • Weighs 6.5 lbs with 5Ah M18 battery
  • Hanging hook
  • Stainless steel shoe
  • Impact resistant window
  • LED light

The included 5-3/8″ 30T carbide blade is meant for cutting EMT, strut, sheet metal, angle iron, and other ferrous materials. The stated battery life is 370 cuts in 3/4″ EMT — presumably with the 5Ah battery.

The bare tool comes with a 5-3/8″ 30T blade and sells for 219, while the kit adds two 5Ah batteries, an M18/M12 charger, and contractor bag for 419.

Buy Now (bare tool via Acme Tool) Buy Now (kit via Acme Tool)

It turns out that some of the Home Depots around me have the bare tool in stock, and so I’m also including a link to Home Depot so you can check the availability near you.

While looking on the Home Depot website I also found a pretty good deal: the M18 Fuel metal cutting circular saw kit with a M18 mud mixer for 419, the same price as the metal cutting circular saw kit alone. This deal appears to be online-only.

Usage

In the past 3 months, I’ve been using the M18 Fuel metal-cutting circular saw quite a bit. Here are a few examples of what it can do.

Above you can see a closeup of the dolly feet. One thing that’s easier to do with a circular saw than a stationary chop saw is to notch out angle iron like I did for the feet. Ideally a Band saw would be a better tool to use, but I didn’t have one available at the time.

I had an idea to organize a file drawer, and it involved cutting 45° notches in two matching pieces of 3/16″ angle iron. After marking out the cuts I proceeded to clamp the stock in the vise and make 3 to 4 passes with the circular saw. It took a lot of cuts to make, but the saw handled it easily. I would probably have been able to complete the project on a single charge, but I had started with a half-full battery.

For another project, I needed some small rectangles of 1/4″ steel for the base of a stool. The steel needed to be thick enough so I could tap it and screw casters into it.

2018, milwaukee, fuel, circular, 2732-21hd, honest

Before anybody Комментарии и мнения владельцев on the horrible weld, although I’m just a beginner, I am not that bad. I had just started run out of shielding gas on the left side and it took me the entire length of the weld to figure why it was sputtering so badly.

It took the M18 Fuel metal-cutting circular saw a little longer to cut through the 1/4″ steel plate, but it was able to handle it. I wouldn’t recommend cutting through yards of steel plate this thick, but it works well for small cuts.

Issues

I left the saw at the Maker Space for several months, and the people that I talked to that had used it were really impressed with the saw. Although, one day I walked in and tried to use the saw, but I couldn’t see the cut line and the saw was having trouble cutting even 1/8″ steel.

Above is what the view of the blade should look like through the protective window. It’s even easier to see the blade and the cut line when the LED is shining after you pull the trigger.

This next photo is what the guard looked like after I picked up the saw that day. It’s not dirty, it’s scratched beyond repair. There’s a long shaving trapped inside the guard and I suspect this was part of the reason it was scratched.

Nothing I had cut had ever created long shavings, and I suspect the material was either not ferrous or there was something wrong with the blade.

I went online, located the service parts list (PDF), and found the part number for the clear guard (44-06-0201). Then I found the nearest Milwaukee Service Center and called to see if they had the part. Unfortunately they had just sent an order, so it would be two weeks before I could get a new guard, but it would cost me less than 2.

While I was waiting, I picked up a new blade at Zoro for 40 after shipping and tax. Comparing the new and old blades, I could see the carbide teeth on the old blade were severely worn down to the point where the carbide was the same height as the back side of the tooth. This blade was toast, no wonder it wouldn’t cut. It’s possible that the teeth might be able to be reground, but it would require reshaping the steel tooth as well as sharpening the carbide.

Since I didn’t have a guard I could see though yet, I tried to use the saw without the guard in place and that was a mistake. I was continuously pelted with metal chips in the face. I had already taken the precaution of wearing not safety glasses, but safety goggles, but it was too distracting. I definitely do not recommend trying this.

Danger aside, I was able to determine that with the new blade, the saw was back to it’s former steel-eating glory and I was eagerly awaiting the new guard so I could use the saw again.

Final Thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the M18 Fuel metal-cutting circular chews through ferrous metals like steel with the included blade, but that’s not all this saw can cut. You can also buy other blades to cut aluminum, brass, copper, plastics, plexiglass, PVC, and more, but I have yet to try that.

As I wasn’t there, and nobody approached me about the damage to the saw, I don’t know how the extreme wear to the blade and guard occurred. It very well just could have been used so much the blade dulled naturally, or it could have been abused. Such is the nature of a communal work space when you leave your tools for general use.

I haven’t tried the other cordless metal-cutting saws like the Makita or Bocsh yet, and I suspect they probably perform just as well. The purpose of this review wasn’t just to try out this saw, but to show what a saw in this category can do. They are definitely quicker than using a cutoff wheel on a grinder, and probably safer on the whole too.

Thank you to Milwaukee for providing the review sample.

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