Is m18 fuel worth it

Is m18 fuel worth it DEFAULT

Milwaukee M18 Fuel vs. M18

ihateminimumwage said:

Absolutely. Major difference in power and run time.

Neither of the sets you linked are Fuel, just the 6pc and 9pc sets (just in case that was missed).

Also might want to look into starting out with a drill/impact driver set, and buying separate tools on sale as needed. No point in even having 1 extra $100+ tool that's just going to lay around. Better to buy the Fuel versions of the tools you will use daily, and the brushed version of tools you don't use often.

Click to expand...

whoops, I just looked at the prices for the sets I linked. Its fixed now.

I have a dewalt cordless grinder at work and use it all the time, its been one of the handiest tools I use. I use my cordless sawsall, and circular saws at home on a pretty regular basis.

Maby I will have to price out piecing them together, with Home Depots deal on the drill driver set now, it may be worth it. I'm mainly after the drill, grinder and saws. The impact driver I already have the non fuel version, and I have never used a cordless tool flashlight.



Milwaukee M18 Non-Fuel vs. M18 Fuel: What is the Difference

Milwaukee was established in 1924. So far, you can see that it is one of the oldest power tools companies in America and the world too.

Ever since its establishment, the company has grown over the years to be a sweetheart among professionals.

They love it since the manufacturer makes high-quality and dependable power tools in different categories.

Right now, the company has multiple power tools in its arsenal and one of them is the M18 power tools.

The other flagship cordless tools from the company include M4, M12, and M28. You will find that all these power tools are mostly built for professional applications.

So, which professions mostly use the Milwaukee M18 power tools? We have the plumbing sector, mechanical, construction, electrical, HVAC, and more.

That is why we had to go in-depth on the M18 power tools to understand them better.

The M18 power tools get the name because of the lithium-ion battery they use in their system. From the name, you can tell that it is an 18-volt battery.

If it were an M12 model, you would know it uses a 12-volt battery.

As much as they can use the same battery, you can still find other differences between the M18 power tools. This is where you find some models are FUEL while others are Non-FUEL.

Understanding the differences between these two helps you pick the right power tool for the job.

That is what this guide is all about. So, keep reading to get an idea of how these two differ and which you would buy for yourself.

Table of Contents:

Milwaukee M18 Non-Fuel

The M18 Non-Fuel or regular power tools are among the most resilient cordless power tools you can get for yourself. They are also known for being lightweight.

You would not have to worry about portability since they can be carried to different job sites with ease all the time.

The M18 cordless tools were introduced in 2008 as an upgrade of the existing M12 system.

This line of power tools uses a newer and upgraded 18-volt battery system. Because of the versatility of the battery, more than 200 products can use the same battery. You should then have no trouble using the batteries in different M18 tools.

Even when you put the tools through their paces, you will see that they can deliver on extreme performance. Being Milwaukee, that is not a surprise.

The company always takes its time to come up with amazing tools.

We cannot forget to mention the superior ergonomics too. This allows you to work on a project for longer without feeling too tired.

When you combine ergonomics and being lightweight, you should end up with good performance.

The M18 power tools can either be brushed or brushless. You can get either option when you decide to get yourself such a tool.

Since more people want newer technology, more would now choose a brushless M18 Non-Fuel power tool whenever possible.

Even it is brushed, you will find it also durable and can handle various projects.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel

So, after the introduction of the M18 line of tools, Milwaukee started improving them almost immediately. It was until 2012 when the company introduced the M18 FUEL cordless power tools.

The aim of introducing this new line of cordless power tools is to make them handle their jobs even better.

That is why you would see many contractors using the M18 FUEL models rather than the regular M18 tools.

The M18 Fuel models come with better power performance, durability, and run time. This is because they are paired with a Powerstate brushless motor. More on that later.

For most contractors, having more run time and a tool that can handle the construction hazards better makes the M18 Fuel models worth buying.

Other than the Powerstate brushless motors, the Redlithium batteries and Redlink Plus system generally make the whole thing great.

There are other differences between these two types of tools. We will look at them below so that the next time you are buying one, you know exactly what you are getting.

What is the Difference Between the M18 and M18 FUEL Tools?

Most people who want to buy an M18 power tool might think the difference between these two power tools is that one has a brushless motor while the other has a brushed motor.

All the M18 Fuel power tools have three main technology factors that make them different.

First, they all equipped with a  Powerstate  brushless motor. Secound, they have a more efficient  Redlithium  battery, and lastly, they have a  Redlink Plus  hardware and software system.

Although it is yet to be confirmed, many people say that the term FUEL means Find Ultimate Energy Levels.

If that is the case, you can be sure to get some impressive performance out of the FUEL models.

As much as the Non-fuel models can also have a brushless motor, the Fuel Powerstate brushless motor is better.

It is made to be more powerful, durable, and works efficiently to ensure you end up with a better battery life generally too.

Another noticeable difference is that the M18 Fuel will have a compact design. The redesigned motor is more compact making the tool also smaller.

Most demanding professionals would love the fact that they can now work in tight spaces without a problem.

The Redlink Plus software together with the hardware can work together to ensure efficient power supply from the tool’s battery.

So, the battery would last longer while at the same the tool can be used in tight spaces.

Now you should know the difference. In case you have always thought that the term FUEL means brushless, now you know better.

Do not go around calling a brushless DeWalt power tool FUEL also.

Milwaukee in the past had to publish a release explaining the differences between their models to help avoid the confusion even more.

The Benefits Of Milwaukee Powerstate Tools

When you first look at Milwaukee tools, you will come across the M18 fuel models and the non-fuel M18 models.

The manufacturer made sure that  all the M18 FUEL models have brushless motors . The regular M18 tools can still have brushless motors, but not all of them.

Now, they can both have brushless motors, but the FUEL models will have a newer version with is called the Powerstate brushless motor and hence the name.

The manufacturer claims that the Powerstate tools are 4 times powerful compared to the regular M18 tools. It is why some people would feel comfortable spending more just to access the Powerstate tools.

Most people who have tested and compared the two tools found that the M18 FUEL models with the Powerstate brushless motor are better by 30 to 50%.

Whenever you start to compare with other brands, you can quickly notice that the M18 FUEL models are quite powerful.

The Powerstate tools are also known for having better control. Those who have used other models before claim vibrations can be an issue.

However, with streamlined brushless motors, the vibrations are kept to a minimum.

Considering these tools are also powerful, you can generally handle more work a lot faster compared to using a non-FUEL model.

Milwaukee Compact Brushless Tool vs FUEL Power Tools? 

This is a common question that people might have at the back of their minds since they will come across different types of Milwaukee power tools.

The compact brushless tool series will have the normal brushless motor. That is how even the regular non-fuel M18 models would also contain brushless tools.

However, all the FUEL tools will have brushless motors with no exception.

The FUEL tools also use an updated Powerstate brushless motor. This motor is expected to perform 4 times better than the other motor types.

So, in case you want more power, you can always opt for the Powerstate brushless motor models.  

M18 vs M18 Fuel: Is the 40% Price Increase for the Fuel Line Worth It?

A quick comparison between the M18 and M18 fuel shows that the two differ a lot in prices. There is a 40% increase in the price when you opt for the M18 Fuel package.

Why is that the case? Here are the reasons you would find opting for such a model is better.

  1. Higher Speed

The M18 Fuel models are generally known for having higher speeds of operation. The brushless design makes it possible to accomplish faster speeds because there is not much in their way.

Being able to work at higher speeds makes the tool more versatile. You can always adjust the speed based on what you need to handle at the moment. Some applications might need more speed while others could use slower speeds.

  1. Lower Energy Requirements

Those power tools running off a battery will need every way possible to keep the power use to a minimum. It is why we have the brushless motors in the M18 Fuel models.

The brushless motors will draw less power than a brushed motor would do. As a result, the battery should be able to last even longer. You will not have to keep recharging it all the time to complete a task.

Generally, brushed motors need more power to get going. There is less friction in a brushless motor, thus the reason it would mostly help keep the energy use low.

  1. Lower Heat Levels

If you have ever worked with a power tool for a long time, it is always possible to end up with a hot tool. This is normal because of friction in the parts.

The brushless motor does not get as hot as the brushed motors. If there is less heat, then the power tool will not wear easily as compared to the brushed motor.

Of course, if the heat is maintained low, then you can operate the M18 Fuel power tool for longer periods.

  1. Safety

A brushless motor design generally makes it hard to generate sparks. This will largely improve the overall safety of the power tools.

This is possible since there will be no physical contact with other different parts when the motor is working. As such, no sparks. In case the power tool is working around flammable material, it will not lead to possible fire breakout.

  1. Better Control

Everyone desires to have better control when working with any power tool. Sometimes the brushed motors make it hard to control them due to the vibrations.

When the brushes vibrate too much, the control is not there. You would also get less precision in most cases. Thus, the reason you should opt for the M18 Fuel models.

The brushless motor in the M18 Fuel model makes it possible for you to have better control since the vibrations are highly minimized.

  1. Lower Maintenance

Brushless motors make it easier for you to maintain them. Since they do not have many moving parts, you will always have an easy time pinpointing a problem. Also, not many parts can wear and need replacements more often. It is why you would get more people opting for such M18 Fuel power tools.

  1. Fewer Parts

In most cases, brushless motors mean fewer parts. If you have fewer parts, then there is less that can easily go wrong. It is true for any motor design that you might have to deal with in the future.

You are likely to notice that an M18 fuel model does not need replacing of core parts more often compared to the non-Fuel models.

A Complete Guide to Milwaukee Tool’s M18 Battery Lineup

Buying your next Milwaukee power tool is likely to include the M18 battery. It is best to understand everything about this battery lineup so that you can make the right decision when buying.

We will start the acronyms you are likely to find on the M18 batteries. These acronyms will help you know which battery you are buying.

  • CP: Compact
  • XC: Extended Capacity
  • HD: High Demand
  • HO: High Output

In recent times, Milwaukee announced the release of a 12.0aH battery. Such a battery can easily be classified as High Demand and High Output.

There is also the CP3.0 battery that can be both Compact and High Output. So, it is expected to have some overlaps of acronyms here and there.

The Battery Cell Technology

The battery cell technology can make a huge difference especially on the runtime, lifespan, heat production, and power output. So, understanding the basic terminology can go a long way in helping you pick the right battery for the job.

The most common battery cell technologies include the 21700 cells and the 18650 cells.

The numbers you see above represent the size of the battery cell. For example, the 18650 battery cell measures 18mm by 65mm while the 21700 cells will be 21mm by 70mm.

The 2700 cells are newer in the market. As expected, they are more powerful and would also be larger. It is expected that your battery pack will also be larger than when using a 18650-battery technology.

Compared to other brands, you will quickly notice that it is only Milwaukee’s HO that uses the 21700 cells. Others are still using the 18650 cells.

  1. Compact Batteries (CP)

The models available are the 1.5 ah and the CP2.0. They use the 18650-battery cell technology.

Such batteries are commonly used in the small Milwaukee tools that are used for repetitive tasks. It can be an impact driver, nailers, or PEX Expanders.

The benefits of such batteries are that they are small, lightweight, have a faster charge time, etc. However, they can also have a few drawbacks. Such include the least runtime and also provide less power.

  1. Extended Capacity (XC) Batteries

You are likely to come across them labeled as XC3.0, XC5.0, and XC6.0. They also have the 18650-battery cell type.

In case you have slightly larger power tools, this is the right battery for you. It offers more runtime and has moderate power. It is why such a battery is used for drills, small lighting, hammer drills, and similar tools.

You should however not rely on them when using larger tools. Their runtime will be relatively short.

  1. High Demand (HD) Batteries

You can get models such as HD9.0. It is still a 18650-battery type. This one would be great if you have to power larger power tools. They also offer increased runtime so that you can work longer without recharging all the time.

As much as it uses old battery cell technology, it would have a better power delivery and runtime than the CP and XC battery types.

  1. High Output (HO) Batteries

The models currently in the market are HO CP3.0, HO XC6.0, HO XC8.0, and HO HD12.0. Such models use the 21700-battery cell technology.

This battery type is seen as a great option for the M18 tool lineup. So long as it is something you need, you can always go for it.

This battery type has the latest battery cell technology. The new technology increases the runtime, produces less heat, and also improves power delivery.

In case you have a power tool that draws a lot of power at once, you can always opt for this model.

The capacity ranges from 3.0ah to 12.0ah. So, you can always pick the right size of tool depending on your needs overall.

New to Milwaukee – Need Buying Advice?

In case you are new to buying Milwaukee tools, you might not be sure why people like the brand so much. Here are some things to help you understand the brand better.

  • The first reason you pick Milwaukee is because of its reputation. The brand is known worldwide for delivering high-quality power tools for different applications. As such, you would know that your money is well spent.
  • The support team at Milwaukee can also help you get the best tool you have always wanted. This is vital so that you end up with a powerful tool while at the same time help you accomplish your tasks.
  • Quality is not an issue with the brand. All the tools have to go through different quality checks to ensure they live up to the brand’s name.
  • There is also value for money. The last thing a person wants is to have a power tool that easily breaks down. You will not have to worry about that when using Milwaukee tools since they are strong and durable thus offering value for money.
  • There are a variety of tools for you to choose from. This means whichever task you want to accomplish; Milwaukee might have the tools for you.
  • The company still has a generous warranty on different tools. Always confirm the warranty of each tool before settling for a model. It helps you know what you are getting for the model.

Milwaukee is known for its innovative power tools that are durable and ideal for professional and home use. Since it started in 1924, the company has committed to delivering advanced and trade-specific products that offer safety and productivity in every job site.

Let us find out more about their two most popular M18 devices below.

Milwaukee 2697-22 M18 Two-Tool Combo Kit

Milwaukee 2697-22 M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Hammer Drill/Impact Driver XC Combo Kit (2-Tool)The Milwaukee 2697-22 is a two-in-one tool that combines the M18 1/2-inch hammer drill-driver and the 1/4-inch hex drive impact driver. The kit comes with two Lithium-Ion batteries, a charger, and a bag.

Highly Durable and Powerful

This M18 tool has a digital power management-overload protection that prevents damage to the machine and battery even if frequently used.

The Milwaukee tool, made of steel and plastic, is a combo kit with a 1/2-inch hammer drill driver and 1/4-inch hex compact impact driver.

Its four-pole frameless motor can deliver a peak torque of 525 inch-pounds, zero to 550 and zero to 1,700 RPM, up to 29,000 BPM, and zero to 3,200 IPM.

Easy to Use and Handle

The M18 impact driver uses a 1/4-inch hex quick-change chuck. It allows you to easily change bits, added with a variable speed trigger for higher functionality.

You can utilize the built-in LED when working in dark areas and corners for better illumination.

Five-Year Warranty

Most power tools offer a one or two-year warranty period. This two-tool combo kit from Milwaukee comes with a five-year warranty.

Milwaukee 2999-22 M18 Fuel Impact and Hammer Drill Combo Kit

Milwaukee 2999-22CX M18 FUEL 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Surge Impact Driver/Hammer Drill Combo Kit (2-Tool)Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL 18-Volt Brushless Cordless Surge Impact and Hammer Drill Combo Kit is an upgraded kit from its M18 product line. It also features an improved speed bump for your impact driver needs that comes in a much compact and smaller package.

Prevents Machine Overload

The REDLINK Plus Intelligence system guarantees maximum performance while protecting the device from overload. It ensures that the tool and battery will not get damaged easily during heavy use. With this important feature, you will be able to use your device daily for longer years.


This hammer drill-driver is one of the best in its class with an all-metal ratcheting chuck. The tool is made of materials that are corrosion-resistant while providing an increased bit’s grip strength. These helpful features provide the most advanced cutting, drilling, and fastening capabilities.

Brushless Motor

The tool’s POWERSTATE Brushless Motor is built explicitly for the M18 FUEL that can provide up to 60% more power than any other power drill. The 18-volt REDLITHIUM battery gives longer running time and more ability to handle a variety of applications.

The combo kit comes with two M18 lithium-ion batteries, a multi-voltage charger, three belt clips, two-bit holders, a side handle, and a heavy-duty bag.

Milwaukee M28 vs M18 Fuel

If you have been reading this whole guide, you already have an idea of what is an M18 Fuel. To recap, this is a line of cordless power tools that uses a Powerstate brushless motor and runs on an 18-volt battery system.

The M28 on the other hand also uses the latest and powerful brushless motor from Milwaukee. However, this time around the power tools run on a 28-volt battery system.

These tools are mostly used in specific professional applications. Also, you will notice the tools that use this system are not as many as the M18 platform.

Most people find the power delivered by the M18 to be plenty enough for them to handle their needs.

The M28 battery is also improved in terms of high-power output. In case you need to use a tool that might draw more power continuously, then the M28 platform is what you need.

Also, the charge time is largely improved. You can always be sure to enjoy using this platform with its reduced charge time.

As much as it might offer good performance in terms of charge time, you may find the M28 bulky and heavy. That is why the M18 tools are still popular since they are compact and lightweight.


If you are still having some doubts about which power tool to buy, here are some questions and answers to help you make that crucial final decision.

Can you use m18 batteries on m12 tools?

No. The M18 batteries can only fit in the M18 tools. The same goes for the M12 tools. You can only use the M12 batteries.

How Long Do Milwaukee M18 Batteries Last?

Each battery will have a specific lifespan you can get with it. The lifespan is based on the number of charges the battery can take before it no longer holds the charge well. So, the lifespan largely depends on how often you will use the battery and if you will store it right.

To get an idea on the lifespan of an M18 battery, look at its warranty period.

Should I get a brushed or brushless drill?

Brushed motors utilize small metal brushes that work with magnets to spin the drill shaft. Meanwhile, brushless drill models have an electronic circuit board and a sensor to trigger the shaft spinning. Brushless motors have the following advantages:

  • Energy-efficient with batteries that can run 50% longer than other tools.
  • Responsive to the task at hand that it adjusts its power depending on the material you are working on.
  • Smaller and more lightweight.
  • Easy maintenance since you will not have to replace any brushes.

However, brushless drills cost more than brushed models. Additionally, you will be able to find brushless motors on heavy-duty power tools. Finally, brushed motors offer a high torque or inertia ratio.

Can I interchange the batteries of M18 with M18 Fuel?

One of the best features of Milwaukee’s M18 cordless tool line is that you can use any M18 battery with it. It makes any user’s life a lot easier without needing to look for one specific battery to make the tool work. You can even use M18 batteries with M18 FUEL tools and vice versa.

How do I store Milwaukee M18 batteries?

Never let your Milwaukee M18 batteries get wet or expose them to rain and water. When cleaning or lubricating a battery pack, do not use any oil or solvent to avoid the casing from becoming brittle and cracking.

Keep your Milwaukee batteries away from moisture at room temperature. Never store it in a damp location or with high temperatures of over 49°C.

Never let your battery pack get immersed in water or any liquid to avoid short circuits or the risk of fire. Finally, dispose of your lithium-ion battery packs following federal, state, and local regulations.

It is most prudent to get in touch with your local recycling agency for recycling locations. You can cover the battery terminals with electric tape before disposal.


Milwaukee M18 products are reliable tools that came from a famous and top-quality product line. Whatever device you choose, whether the M18 brushed drill or the M18 FUEL brushless model, you are guaranteed durable and longer-running equipment.

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Milwaukee M18 FUEL vs. M18 Non-FUEL

One of the most popular brands of power tools, Milwaukee has provided top-of-the-line, high-performance tools for several decades. They have established themselves as one of the best brands for cordless power tools as well. In 2012, Milwaukee has created a line of brushless tools known as FUEL™, which is separate from their standard lineup.

What follows are the basic characteristics and differences between standard Milwaukee tools and their FEUL brand.

Milwaukee M18 Non-Fuel

The M18 is a line of cordless power tools that use lithium-ion batteries. Milwaukee introduced their M18 series in 2008 as an upgrade to their M12 system. The 18V battery offers a more powerful solution than the previous 12V battery packs.

MILWAUKEE'S 2691-22 18-Volt Compact Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit
Milwaukee M18 combo kit brushless – See Price

It should be noted that as with the FUEL line, both types of Milwaukee power tools are designed to be long-lasting, durable, and for professionals such as construction workers, carpenters, and builders.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL

Ever since the launch of their REDLITHIUM™ batteries, Milwaukee has been trying to improve the performance of their M18 line of cordless tools. In the year 2012 Milwaukee launched the M18 FUEL range of cordless power tools.

The Milwaukee M18 FUEL™ tools are contractor-grade power tools that are well built and offer better vibration control and protection from water and heat.

Milwaukee 2767-20 M18 Fuel High Torque 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench with Friction Ring

FUEL represents an advanced line of Milwaukee tools that offers even better power, durability, and longer run times compared to the non-FUEL line that has been in existence for decades. The FEUL tools use the same M12 or M18 battery sizes, but the tools themselves are different in important ways.

M18 vs M18 Fuel

Contrary to what you hear online, the difference between these two versions does not lie in brushed vs brushless motors. In fact, many of the non-fuel M18 tools now come with brushless motors.
Milwaukee M18 vs M18 FUEL power tools
So, what is the difference between the M18 and M18 FUEL tools?
All Milwaukee M18 Fuel tools are equipped with three of their trademarked technologies. They are; the powerful POWERSTATE™ brushless motor, efficient REDLITHIUM™ battery technology, and the intelligent REDLINK PLUS™ software and hardware communication system.
There are unconfirmed rumors that Milwaukee put together a team of engineers for the FUEL project and the term FUEL stands for Find Ultimate Energy Levels.

Although similar in some ways, the main difference between FEUL and their Non-FUEL counterparts is that all FEUL tools use their POWERSTATE™ brushless motors. This trademarked brushless motor is significantly more powerful and works very efficiently with the Milwaukee REDLITHIUM™ high-demand lithium-ion batteries.

Plus, not all of the compact brushless tools produced by Milwaukee have the drive and torque found in the FUEL lineup.

Another difference is the compact design, something that was demanded by professionals who work in tight spaces. The M18 FUEL models are also equipped with REDLINK PLUS™ software and hardware combination which intelligently control the power supply from the battery. So, the FUEL brand is built around high performance while the compact lineup emphasizes convenience and ergonomics when working in tighter than normal spaces.

That is the major difference between the FUEL and Non-FUEL Milwaukee power tools. Each has its own emphasis, but both types are durable, dependable, and well-designed on their own. One area that both have in common is the use of the brushless motor.

Can I Use M18 Batteries in M18 FUEL?

The M18 batteries are interchangeable with regular M18 and M18 FUEL models. However, the M18 Fuel will give you significantly more battery life with the new REDLITHIUM HD (High Demand) battery pack.
A couple of very old models were non-compatible and Milwaukee offered free upgrades to the owners of those tools.

What is a Brushless Motor?

For many decades, standard motors used in power tools used brushes to create the push-pull effect which creates the motion desired. You can easily see the brushes in such motors and while they have practical advantages there is one significant drawback, friction.

Because there is physical contact, the friction creates heat which in turn brings about complications that can shorten the life of the motor. You can feel the heat generated by a standard brush motor design which limits the time you can use the device unless you want it to overheat. Plus, physical contact also means a greater chance of a breakdown occurring.

Brushless motors essentially reverse the design of a motor with brushes. There are no commuter rings around the armature. Instead, the electromagnet motor is now the outer ring instead of the inner one, eliminating the need for brushes to operate the system. There still an inner rotor or armature which is fashioned from copper wire, but the motor itself has been completely redesigned.

Milwaukee FUEL vs Brushless

All M18 FUEL comes with brushless motors while some of the regular M18 tools also have brushless motors. The difference between Milwaukee FUEL and brushless M18 is that the FUEL version has a much more powerful POWERSTATE™ brushless motor, which according to the manufacturer is 4 times more powerful.

In our experience, we found that the M18 FUEL outperformed the non-fuel M18 brushless by a factor of 30 to 50%. The difference was significant in tools such as Milwaukee M18 FUEL impact drivers and hackzall. The FUEL versions of other power tools like impact wrenches and cordless circular saws also performed better than the non-fuel counterparts.

There are numerous advantages when using a brushless motor as found in both Milwaukee FEUL and Non-FUEL power tools.

Better Control

One of the subtler differences is the control you have over a brushless motor at lower speeds. The vibrations inherent in motors with brushes make them vibrate and more difficult to properly control. At lower speeds, the issues of control become more problematic as the vibrations combined with getting through the material created a less precise operation.

With brushless motors, the vibrations are less which means that you can exhibit greater control over the device even at lower speeds.

Fewer Parts

With fewer parts compared to a motor with brushes, less can go wrong. This is true of any motor design in which more can be accomplished while using fewer parts. The brushless motor consists of a fixed magnet with a surrounding electromagnet, an inner rotor, and the circuit board that controls the signals of the polarity. The fewer parts mean that less gets in the way of the motor operation so fewer things can go wrong.

Higher Speed

With less getting in the way, the device can increase its RPM thanks to the brushless design. With higher speeds comes greater versatility and potential as you can power through tougher material all with less heat and stress on the motor.

Lower Heat Levels

A brushless motor will still heat up, but not nearly to the degree of one that includes brushes in the design. Less heat means less wear on the parts that are inside a brushless motor. Plus, it makes the device easier to handle and operate over longer periods.

Lower Energy Requirements

Because less energy is needed to operate a brushless motor, it draws less power from the battery compared to a motor with brushes. This means that your battery will last longer as less power is being pulled to do the same task. With motors that have brushes, more energy is required to overcome the friction inherent in the design. That is not true with brushless motors.


Brushless motors are safer because they have a design that removes the possibility of sparks being generated. This is because of the lack of physical contact compared to a motor that has brushes.

No sparks mean no chance of getting burned in that manner. Plus, it is safer to use when flammable material is nearby.

Lower Maintenance

A side benefit is with brushless motors having fewer parts, it is easier to diagnose and repair a problem when it occurs. After all, there are only so many parts involved in a brushless motor design. So, you can make the repair and get back to work quicker compared to a motor that has brushes.

Fuel vs Non-Fuel: Which One Should I Buy?

The FUEL line of Milwaukee tools offers considerable innovations that help make them some of the most desired power tools available. Thanks to the advanced technology that incorporates the POWERSTATE, REDLUTHIUM, and REDLINK innovations, the FUEL line offers a powerful set of tools for heavy-duty use.

If cost is your main concern, then you can choose from the non-FUEL line for less powerful, but still very reliable power tools. However, if your need a powerful tool, then get an M18 brushless or M18 Fuel which are more compact power tools designed for tighter spaces.


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Milwaukee Brushless vs. FUEL Tools

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Milwaukee Brushless vs Brushed Power Tools

When you hear the word "Milwaukee," undoubtedly you think of the rugged brand of power tools that many professional tradespeople depend upon. Milwaukee® Tool's power tools and top-quality line of accessories dominate the American residential and commercial construction market. You can expect nothing but the highest performance and greatest dependability when you invest in Milwaukee tools.

Milwaukee tools have been mainstays in supporting workers’ livelihoods for decades, and Milwaukee technology continues to evolve to match the times. Milwaukee Tool is the country’s leader in cordless tools. That includes power tools with both brushed motors and brushless motors.

Milwaukee is famous for its lines of M12™ 12-volt and M18™ 18-volt FUEL™ cordless tools that use REDLITHIUM® battery and brushless motor technology. Recently, Milwaukee released a compact line of brushless tools separate from the extreme-performance FUEL lineup. Let's explore the differences between Milwaukee brushless vs. FUEL tools.

Milwaukee Tool

Milwaukee Tool: America’s Most Trusted Power Tool Manufacturer

Milwaukee is one of America’s oldest power tool manufacturers. Established in 1924, Milwaukee quickly claimed the top spot in the professional power tool market. Milwaukee Tool started in its namesake Wisconsin city and grew into the country’s leading manufacturer of power tools and supporting accessories. You know Milwaukee tools by their famous brands, like Hole Hawg®, SAWZALL®, Tilt-Lok® and Magnum Hole-Shooter®. Milwaukee names are often used to describe a category of quality tools — much like Kleenex® has been used to describe tissues.

For more than ninety years, Milwaukee Tool has worked side by side with professionals in the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and automotive installation, repair and overhaul industries. Milwaukee’s design engineers discovered exactly how tradespeople put their tools to use. They learned what worked, and they learned what did not work. That drove Milwaukee’s corporate vision to create the finest tools that truly served American jobs.

Milwaukee made an unwavering commitment to tradespeople. It provided innovative solutions for trade-specific problems. That led to pioneering cordless power tools with LITHIUM-ION® technology, resulting in Milwaukee’s M12™ and M18™ battery systems and their support systems. Milwaukee also led American development in perfecting modern brushless electric motors, which are quickly replacing the antiquated brush motor designs. This technological leap led to Milwaukee’s high-performance cordless FUEL tools. Recently, Milwaukee released a compact line of brushless tools to complement the powerful FUEL line and meant for tight spaces.

Brushed vs. Brushless Motors

Brushless motors replace old brushed motor technology and offer more power with less heat. You probably have heard that brushless motor tools require less energy to operate, and they deliver longer battery life. You might think that brushless tools are far more expensive than older brush motor systems.

Most of this is true. Brushless electric motors last longer than brushed motors, and they run cooler, longer and on less current. However, brushless electric tools are not necessarily much more expensive than tools with brush technology. That is especially so with cordless power tools, thanks to leaps in Milwaukee’s technological designs.

If you are not familiar with the difference between brush and brushless electric motors, this description will help you understand today’s electric tool market. Both corded and cordless power tools can have brush designs or take advantage of modern brushless technology. It is not the energy delivery system that matters. It is how the actual electric motors get designed.

Brushed electric motors

How Brushed Electric Motors Work

Electric motors work around magnets. To create energetic motion like a spinning drill bit or a reciprocating sawblade, electric motors convert a direct or alternating current charge into a magnetic field that causes a rotor to turn. Traditional brushed electric motors have four parts:

  • An outer ring of permanently fixed or stationary magnets, creating a charged field
  • Carbon brushes that connect the outer ring to the inner rotor
  • An inner rotating electromagnetic armature comprised of woven copper wire
  • Commuter rings placed on the armature outer surface contacting the fixed brushes

Brushed electric motors depend on the fixed ring and brush components to regulate polarity. What makes the armature spin is continual polarity reversal inside the motor. You know from science class that opposite charges attract, and negative charges repel. A brushed electric motor has two sets of contact brushes. On one side of the fixed outer magnetic ring are negatively charged brushes. On the other side, 180 degrees away, are positively charged brushes.

Once you pull the electric tool’s trigger and deliver a current, the inner rotor consisting of the armature windings and the commuter casing constantly attract to one set of brushes and repel from the other brush set. The constant push-pull effect creates motion.

Within the brushed electric motor design, that continual contact between the fixed brushes and the spinning rotor makes friction. Over time, friction generates heat and contributes to wear. Brushed electric tools run hot and eventually wear out. A sure sign of worn brushes is when you pull the trigger and see an arching spark inside the motor casing.

Milwaukee POWERSTATE tools benefits

How Brushless Electric Motors Work

Brushless electric design turns the motor inside out. When you use brushless technology, there are no brushes. Also, there are no commuter rings surrounding the armature. Brushless electric motor designs still maintain an inner armature or rotor comprised of woven copper wire, but the electromagnet motor component is now on the outer ring.

There is no need for physical contact brushes in a brushless design. All polarity change information gets shared by a computerized circuit board that signals each side of the outer ring to alternate positive and negative charges. This brushless system still creates a push-pull effect to generate motion, but it does so without causing the friction experienced in brushed motor designs.

Brushless electric motors have fewer parts than a conventional brush system. There is less that can go wrong, which means a decrease in repairs and an increase in service life. The only parts you find in a brushless electric motor, other than the housing, trigger and chuck, are:

  • The outer fixed or permanent magnet with an enveloping electromagnet
  • The inner armature or rotor made from copper windings
  • The computerized circuit board controlling polarity signals

The Benefits of Using Brushless Power Tools

You will find a number of advantages when you use brushless power tools. The main return on investment is longer tool service life because of less wear and tear due to brush friction, as well as less strain on other parts, such as the armature bearings and the entire tool housing.

Other benefits from brushless power tools include:

  • Less wear on all parts, which greatly increases tool service life
  • Less heat due to reduced friction
  • Less energy draw due to friction decrease
  • Longer battery charge life on cordless tools
  • Reduced voltage drop on start-up
  • Better tool control at low RPM
  • Higher tool speed due to drag reduction
  • Less vibration, giving better ergonomic control
  • Repair downtime and expense significantly reduced
  • Increased safety due to sparkless design
  • Greater overall economic return on investment

You might think with all the advantages and benefits coming from brushless electric tools that they would be much more expensive. It would be misleading to say that brushless tools are similarly priced to brushed tools. It is fair to say brushless tools are competitively priced. According to Popular Mechanics magazine, brushless electric tools cost about 30% more than standard brush-technology tools.

Return on Investment for Brushed vs. Brushless Power Tools

You have to compare the return on investment on brushed versus brushless power tools. If you are a light hobbyist or an occasional weekend do-it-yourselfer, it might not be worth the additional money for brushless tools. If you are a serious professional or an avid DIY enthusiast that gets a lot of use out of your power tools, then brushless tools are well worth the investment.

Brushless technology gives you superior-performance tools that last far longer than brush-based electric designs. You will experience longer battery life with cordless tools, and you will draw less energy from the grid than with corded tools. Further, you will have safer tools that run cooler and handle better when you invest in brushless technology.

The main increase in brushless tool cost comes from the circuit boards. These are highly advanced, computerized components. Microchips are expensive, and they add to the tool construction expenses. Although there are fewer parts in a brushless tool, the high-tech ones drive up the price. Fortunately, like all technological advancements, that price will adjust downward over time.

The most important consideration when investing in brushless electric tools is the manufacturer. When you buy Milwaukee brushless tools, you get the best available quality with the most up-to-date technology. That is something worth paying for.

Milwaukee Compact and FUEL Power Tools

Milwaukee Tool recently expanded its brushless power tool line. Brushless technology previously had been restricted to Milwaukee’s ultra-powerful FUEL tools, which are available in M12™ and M18™ cordless power options. Now, Milwaukee has responded to consumer demand for making still-powerful but more compact brushless tools that can be easier to maneuver.

All Milwaukee FUEL tools are brushless, but not all Milwaukee compact brushless tools are made with the torque and drive of FUEL tools. That is the real difference between Milwaukee brushless vs. FUEL tools. Milwaukee’s compact power tool selection separates it from the FUEL lineup because the tradespeople demanded a smaller version of brushless tools. Milwaukee responded with a solution.

Milwaukee’s exciting new compact brushless tool series still has Milwaukee’s famous M12™ and M18™ RedLithium battery pack power sources. The M18 tools are 18 volts while M12 are 12 volts. All new Milwaukee compact tools have POWERSTATE™ brushless electric motor technology supported by Milwaukee REDLINK Plus™ energy source intelligence. It is the same powerful system all Milwaukee FUEL tools use but in a smaller package.

The Benefits of POWERSTATE Tools

POWERSTATE is Milwaukee’s proprietary signature for brushless power tool electric motor design. When you see the POWERSTATE emblem, you know this Milwaukee tool is designed to the highest standards available in today’s brushless motor offerings. That includes Milwaukee’s powerful FUEL tools and the emerging compact selection using the same POWERSTATE brushless motors but at a lower cost and smaller capacity.

POWERSTATE brushless motors stem from Milwaukee’s Disruptive Innovation program. In 2007, Milwaukee’s management committed the company to challenge conventional thinking about tool technology. Milwaukee disrupted the electric tool industry and innovative new ways of bringing next-generation advancements into today’s workplace.

That disruptive innovation approach resulted in POWERSTATE brushless motors, which Milwaukee introduced to its top-end FUEL brand. The same innovation is disrupting the compact tool business with the same POWERSTATE brushless benefits carried down from FUEL tools to the compact models Milwaukee now offers. Here are the top Milwaukee FUEL and compact brushless power tools sold by Construction Fasteners and Tools:

All Milwaukee tools respond to heavy-duty requirements of professional tradespersons. In turn, Milwaukee enjoys excellent brand loyalty and feedback from customers across America. Milwaukee prides itself on producing cutting-edge products like brushless FUEL and compact-designed power tools along with offering exceptional customer service.

You can find Milwaukee brushless electric tools and accessories through licensed Milwaukee dealers across the continent. You can also buy top-notch Milwaukee products through specialty suppliers like online distributors. Construction Fasteners and Tools is proud to be a Canadian Milwaukee distributor. We offer all types of Milwaukee professional products, including FUEL and compact brushless tools.

Your power tool expert

Milwaukee FUEL and Compact Power Tools From Construction Fasteners and Tools

Since 2001, Construction Fasteners and Tools has partnered with skilled tradespeople and home renovation enthusiasts. We understand the needs of professionals to get the job done properly, profitably and safely. For that, Milwaukee tools are unsurpassed.

At Construction Fasteners and Tools, we also know homeowners and hobbyists appreciate the quality and performance they get with high-grade Milwaukee products. Whether you are a full-time professional or a demanding occasional, you can be sure every Milwaukee tool delivers exceptional service at a fair price. No matter what you do, Milwaukee provides your best return on investment.

Construction Fasteners and Tools is one of Canada’s largest online tool and fastener suppliers. We handle all types of Milwaukee power tools and accessories, including the increasing popular M12™ and M18™ compact tool lines. Whether it is brushless FUEL tools in cordless and corded models or any of Milwaukee’s standard brush technology tools, we stand behind every product sold.

It is easy to believe in Milwaukee Tool products. That is because Milwaukee’s technology and manufacturing techniques ensure you get the finest-quality tools every professional tradesperson must have. Milwaukee’s tool warranty is among the best in the business. We can meet your every need with:

  • Drills
  • Hammer drills
  • Impact wrenches

Like Milwaukee Tool, Construction Fasteners and Tools prides ourselves on our customer service. Our staff representatives know our products and have a thorough understanding of what Milwaukee tools can accomplish. We also know what is right for your business, and we strive to supply you with the best return possible. With Milwaukee Tool, value is built in for long-lasting and dependable performance.

Our sales and service folks at Construction Fasteners and Tools are well-trained in Milwaukee’s latest tool technologies. That includes what products are currently available on Milwaukee’s market, like FUEL brushless power tools and their accessories. Our representatives also know what future products Milwaukee will offer. We’re happy to discuss all Milwaukee tools with you so you can benefit from the latest in Milwaukee’s lineup.

Construction Fasteners and Tools Is Your Power Tools Expert

Make sure to browse our Construction Fasteners and Tools online catalog. Have a look at the details for M12™ and M18™ FUEL brushless power tools along with the new compact line. All have POWERSTATE brushless technology as well as RedLithium battery packs and REDLINK intelligent design.

Construction Fasteners and Tools maintains a large, in-stock inventory of Milwaukee brushless power tools as well as the traditional line of Milwaukee tried-and-proven brush technology motors. We have fast turn-around on orders and provide free shipping for orders over $99. We also have excellent options for other brand names that you will recognize and appreciate.

For more information on Milwaukee POWERSTATE compact brushless tools and full-sized FUEL products, call Construction Fasteners and Tools today at 866-238-8880. You can also reach our knowledgeable service representatives online.


Worth fuel is it m18

Milwaukee Tool makes one of the deepest lines of cordless tools available, so when it comes to Milwaukee M18 vs M18 Fuel tools, what’s the difference?

Milwaukee M18 vs M18 Fuel Tools

At its most basic level, the difference between Milwaukee M18 and M18 Fuel tools is that most M18 products have a brushed motor and all M18 Fuel tools have a brushless one.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Impact Driver with One-Key

We’ve written much more about brushed vs brushless motors. Here’s the short version:

Brushed and brushless refer to the carbon brushes in a DC motor that a brushed motor uses. They wear over time and have to be replaced. Brushless motors don’t require them and are controlled electronically instead.

The result of brushless technology is primarily three things: longer runtime, higher performance, and longer motor life.

There are some additional benefits as well. Because those motors require electronic controls, there’s an opportunity to dial in more advanced controls, such as additional speeds, assist modes, advanced thermal protection, and more.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel products take advantage of that brushless technology.

Can I Use the Same Batteries in Milwaukee M18 Vs M18 Fuel Tools?

One of the great things about Milwaukee’s M18 and M18 Fuel systems is that all the tools work on the same RedLithium M18 batteries.

Using the Same Batteries | Milwaukee M18 Vs M18 Fuel

Have a 2.0Ah M18 RedLithium battery? It works in the Milwaukee M18 brushed drill driver and their M18 Fuel jigsaw.

Have a 12.0Ah High Output M18 RedLithium battery? It also works in the same drill driver and jigsaw, though we wouldn’t recommend using that big of a pack on those tools.

The point is, if the tool has M18 in the name and the battery says M18 on the pack, they work together. Power tools, lighting, lawn care equipment, and more all work on the same battery.

Where you’ll notice a difference is when you use one of Milwaukee’s advanced M18 High Output batteries. The electronics in M18 Fuel tools are able to communicate with those batteries to call on significantly more power. The brushed models might see a minor bump in performance from the additional cell density and overall capacity, but not at the same level as the brushless tools.

Milwaukee M18 Vs M18 Fuel: Putting It All Together

When you see an M18 Fuel product, you might notice the specific technology Milwaukee references. PowerState is the name they’ve given their premium brushless motors. RedLink Plus intelligence is what they call the premium electronics package that makes it work. RedLithium is the name of the battery technology that powers it all.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Brushless Tools Tech

What About Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Tools?

Earlier, we mentioned most Milwaukee M18 tools have a brushed motor. A few years back, Milwaukee introduced a handful of M18 Compact Brushless Tools. Designed to fit between their standard performance brushed tools and high-performance brushless models, they offer the benefits of brushless at a more approachable price.

Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Combo Kit | Milwaukee M18 Vs M18 Fuel

They have a Milwaukee brushless motor in them and RedLink intelligence. However, those aren’t the same as the step up to the premium PowerState motors and RedLink Plus controls. Like all M18 and M18 Fuel tools, they can use any M18 RedLithium battery.

There are other exceptions as well. Milwaukee’s M18 lighting products and radios don’t require a motor at all, but they still get the M18 designation because they work with M18 batteries.

What About Milwaukee M12 Vs M12 Fuel Tools?

It’s the same story for Milwaukee M12 vs M12 Fuel. The M12 tools have brushed motors and the M12 Fuel tools have PowerState brushless motors and Redlink intelligence. It’s a different battery system, but the concept is the same.

Shop Milwaukee at Acme Tools

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Gen3 Impact and Drill Driver with One-Key REVIEW! (2996-22) #toolreviews #tools


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