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M12 Fuel vs M18 Fuel


wildroamer

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Hey gang,

I see there is a smoking deal on the M12's that @khariV posted. I also see that CPO has a pretty sweet deal on a free M18 circ saw with drill and impact driver purchase. Help a brother out! I'm looking to retire my tiring Dewalt DC390 drill and DC390 circ saw that are the 18v XRP. Also have the recip saw and light. I figure I can CL the whole shebang and get much of my purchase price back. Thoughts on the M12 vs M18 Fuel's as a replacement? Would I miss power/duration going with the M12 and saving a few bucks? Is the M18 a no-brainer as it is so much more powerful than the M12?

Hmmm..... Decisions, decisions...

 

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What do you need to get in a drill? M12 has plenty of power but the m18 is going to have more, as a homeowner there's not much you can't do with the m12 though it will handle most needs, it can run paddles and even a 1" auger

Jimbo

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Well, I'm replacing a deck for my father at some point this summer. I guess I would probably find myself using the impact driver mostly for that? Don't know, never had one before, mostly used that Dewalt hammer drill in those situations. Also, have access to power for this job, obviously, so will be using my Mak 5007mga for cutting. 

 

I see from specs on the M12 Fuel circ saw that it as a 3600 rpm no-load, and 1 5/8" depth of cut on it's 5 3/8" blade. Compared to the Dewalt I have, which has/had a no-load rpm of 3700 and same depth of cut on it's bigger 6 1/2" blade.

 

Edit to add: Also see that there is both a M12 Fuel drill driver and a hammer drill driver for around $10 more. Any reason for one vs the other? 

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M12 is great for lighter weight and good performance, especially the fuel variants. I'm of a different mind than many here I would think. Personally I tend to like the m18 fuel line for all out performance but they aren't lightweight. They aren't crazy heavy either but the M18 fuel hammer drill, impact driver, sawzall and circular saw are top of class power, the later two give you essentially corded performance. The m12's are better in my book for specific needs not so much m18 -pro and m12 homeowner. M12's are great imho when you want a little less weight and size for easier one handed less fatiguing operation where finesse is required more than ultimate power.

 

I own tools in both lines and for example say you cut lots and lots of sheetstock- the m12 fuel circular saw will eat that up all day and the smaller lighter form factor would be better for constantly reaching one handed over broad swaths of plywood whereas the 7 1/4" fuel circular saw might have power to spare it might be a little more awkward and fatiguing. If you are framing or cutting 2x4's or larger you'd want the 7 1/4".  It really all comes down yo what you want. If you can only have m18 or m12 I'd lean toward the 18 just because there's no substitution for power and capacity but if buying for specific tasks that are more finesse than power oriented the m12 line might suit you better.  

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Sheesh, enough to make your head spin looking at all the 18v Milwaukee drill offerings. I see at least 3 or 4 that are M18 Fuel with different numbers. Does anyone know the difference between the 2705-20 and the 2703-20? Am I really spending $50 more just to control it with my phone, or is there something else to it?

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Thanks Jerry, good points. Maybe I should just buy one of each, haha! I'm a bit concerned the 12v drill will not have the power, but then again don't necessarily need to overkill either. I also question the need for a standalone drill driver if I am getting the impact driver. Won't that impact driver also function the same as a drill?

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Here are the best prices for those tools

 

M12 combos

http://www.homedepot.com/p/M12-FUEL-12-Volt-Brushless-1-2-in-Hammer-Drill-Driver-and-Impact-Combo-Kit-with-M12-12-Volt-Lithium-Ion-4Ah-XC-Battery/207069998 and http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M12-12-Volt-FUEL-Brushless-5-3-8-in-Circular-Saw-with-Free-M12-12-Volt-Lithium-Ion-4Ah-XC-Battery/207069983

 

top of the line M18

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M18-18-Volt-FUEL-with-ONE-KEY-Brushless-Hammer-Drill-Impact-Driver-Combo-Kit-with-Free-M18-FUEL-7-1-4-in-Circular-Saw-2796-22-2731-20/206955669

 

Pay attention to what batteries come with what.  You'll be very disappointed with a compact battery in a circular saw whether it's M12 of M18.  I don't suggest buying milwaukee tools that aren't listed as a special buy or on sale because usually you can get something on sale that's a lot better for a lower price.  For example, an M18 fuel 7-1/4 circular saw is $229 without batteries which would make getting it with the cheapest M18 kit you can find $429.  Add $70 to that and you can get not only the top of the line brushless fuel drill and impact that you can even program from your phone, but also xc batteries instead of compact, plus the same great circular saw.

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7 minutes ago, wildroamer said:

Thanks Jerry, good points. Maybe I should just buy one of each, haha! I'm a bit concerned the 12v drill will not have the power, but then again don't necessarily need to overkill either. I also question the need for a standalone drill driver if I am getting the impact driver. Won't that impact driver also function the same as a drill?

Impacts can easily be used as drills but you can only use drill bits with hex shanks. Milwaukee's impact shockwaves are very good drill bits. That said impacts make for poor drilling in masonry and for hole saws. If buying a standalone drill it probably is a good idea to spend the little more for the hammer variant for the occasional job you need to go into stone or cement etc...

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Also keep in mind that an Impact isn't a screw gun, no adjustable clutch...you really should have both a drill and an impact if you're a home owner. But be realistic with yourself, I don't use my m18 drills enough to justify a Fuel. I've also never had either of my m18s bog down on me, plenty of power there.

 

I bet the m12 Fuel will perform as well as the old Dewalt 18v...but at some point you will find yourself wanting a m18. For doing the deck, I would definitely get an impact, though you probably don't need the Fuel if you're not going to use it a lot. It's definitely worth the cost to buy a brushed m18 impact for a big job like that even if it's a one time thing, you'll find other uses for it. If you really want to save, you can find used m18 impacts for pretty cheap because there are a lot of people buying kits to sell the impact and recoup some of their money.

 

I also prefer the m18 impact because it stands up soo well. The m12s even with the 4.0 battery aren't as stable for standing up. I've never had a space issue where the m18 impact didn't fit that the m12 would have, either one you'll want a 30/45/90 degree impact rated bit holder for getting to things that are right up against an obstruction...if not for fit just for comfort and not having your wrist in an awkward angle.

 

Circular saw, I really only see the point for the big boy m18 Fuel. Certainly that's what you'll want for a deck. I don't really see the point in smaller circular saws to be honest. I've never once thought that I wish I had a small circular saw.

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Thanks for all the input guys. I don't really need the circ saw for this deck, however, I can see it will be needed at some point for some work on our camp. No power there.

 

So, how many of you guessed that I would end up going the M18 route? Haha! The home depot deals basically get me 18v Fuel hammer drill, impact driver, and circ saw for $499. Or, the same tools in 12v Fuel versions for $418. Not enough savings to justify going with the M12 for me.

 

That said, I'm going to get the same deal at CPO, $499, but save myself the taxes. 

http://www.cpooutlets.com/milwaukee-2796-22-m18-fuel-18v-cordless-lithium-ion-2-tool-combo-kit-with-one-key-connectivity/miln2796-22,default,pd.html

 

Thanks again!

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Glad to help, should have mentioned I like having the m18 tools and supplementing with the m12 tools, depending what I'm doing I might run the m12 impact and the m18 saw, nice to have the best of both worlds

Jimbo

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1 hour ago, wildroamer said:

Yup, I can see that. I can definitely see where I might be tempted to get a more compact drill/driver for tight places.

I have the M18 fuel2 impact for most of my projects and the right angle m12 impact for tight spaces. I've only had the right angle for a short time and it made easy work of getting into multiple tight spaces without me having to bend over backwards. One project today where it was invaluable was securing some 2x4 cleats to a wooden kitchen floor to secure an island. I have the stone coming Wednesday and forgot to actually secure it to the floor after experimenting with its final position. I had to raise it up on blocks and screw the cleats down to the floor and with almost no clearance the right angle M12 made short work of it. 

 

 

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I have the M18 fuel2 impact for most of my projects and the right angle m12 impact for tight spaces. I've only had the right angle for a short time and it made easy work of getting into multiple tight spaces without me having to bend over backwards. One project today where it was invaluable was securing some 2x4 cleats to a wooden kitchen floor to secure an island. I have the stone coming Wednesday and forgot to actually secure it to the floor after experimenting with its final position. I had to raise it up on blocks and screw the cleats down to the floor and with almost no clearance the right angle M12 made short work of it. 

 

 

That is why I need to get that tool lol

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I have the M12 brushed drill and impact, M18 brushed hammerdrill and impact and the M12 Fuel hammerdrill, impact and circular saw. I will say the M12 Fuel will impress you and for deck screws, small lags, and any homeowner jobs the m12 fuel impact is my go to tool. For drilling 99% of the holes I have needed to drill the m12 fuel drill has been excellent. The only hole I grabbed my M18 for was the 1 1/4" auger. The m12 ran it but the M18 was faster. As for the circular saw, it eats right through 2x's and smaller. It is not common for a homeowner to need to cut deeper than 1 5/8" anyway. If you need to cut deeper buy a cheap corded saw as a backup.

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6 minutes ago, wildroamer said:

Hmmmm, I wonder if the 18v right angle 2667 would accept the 5 amp battery that comes with the M18 fuel? Home depot shows it maxing out at the 4ah version, but maybe?

It will. I have the 3/8 right angle impact and it will work with no problem.

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Like Jimbo said, I have both lines and I see the benefits to each for each specific tool.  My total line up consists of M18 brushed hammer drill, impact, blower, Fuel Sawzall and One Key Fuel hammer drill. M12 Fuel hammer drill, impact and circular saw plus M12 brushed Hackzall, right angle drill/driver and the brushed drill and impact I am giving my dad.  I love the M12 brushed Hackzall for its size, but for bigger jobs (and because of the crazy deal I got) I bought the M18 Fuel Sawzall. You will be happy with either line and if you start out with the M18 set the charger will also charge M12 batteries so you can take advantage of the bare tool with a free 4.0 battery they have now. Something to keep in mind...

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Might as well post my lineup dano you've inspired me!

M18 fuel - gen 2: hammer drill, 1/4 impact driver, 3/8 impact wrench, 1/2 impact wrench, Sawzall, 6 1/2" circular

M12 fuel - hammer drill, impact, hackzall

M12 brushed - screw driver, right angle drill, 3/8 ratchet, hackzall, jigsaw, Palm nailer, speaker, rotary tool, copper tubing cutter, led flashlight

Jimbo

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