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Old 05-24-2018, 08:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Must-have M12/M18 tools?

Earlier this week, I got suckered into Milwaukee's new M18 string trimmer since my ~20-year-old 23cc Craftsman doesn't warrant yet another rebuild, and chain saws are about the only 2-strokes I really want to deal with anymore. Home Depot is running a promotion that threw in their new axial fan blower for free (2728-20), and the kit came with a charger and 9.0 Ah battery.

Needless to say, the trimmer kicks ass, and I promptly ordered the 2780-20 4.5"/5" brushless angle grinder and a compact 2.0 Ah battery for smaller tasks. Not a big fan of the safety on the paddle switch compared to my other paddle grinders, but I'll either defeat it or get over it at some point.

That being said, I feel like I'm about to lose a couple of paychecks to the rest of the M18 Fuel line-up. The 2863-20 has definitely caught my eye given that all my old pneumatic 1/2" impacts are getting a bit long in the tooth (and the "best" one is a Kobalt, if that says anything).

The 2668-20 3/8" right-angle impact has also caught my eye, but I'm not sure if it'd be more prudent to reach into the M12 range for their proper battery ratchets since I'd use it almost exclusively for run-downs prior to torquing.

What say you? I know their commitment to the M12/M18 power sources have resulted in a borderline fanatical user base, which is why I finally decided to jump in myself. What tools in their lineup have you found to be indispensable?

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Old 05-24-2018, 08:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Get the big 1/2" impact, a 1/4" hex impact and a drill... Make sure the impact and drill are the fuel models. Put a 1/4" hex to 3/8" anvil in the impact and use it for a shit ton of smaller mechanic jobs and then you can always swap in a phillips or torx bit and go do carpentry shit. Also if you have much equipment to maintain the grease gun is worth its weight in gold...
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Must have all of them I have 2 angle grinders,skill saw,chop saw, grease gun,3 impacts,2 hammer drills,3 sawzalls 5 lights and a raido n battery charger combo.I would buy every one of them again.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Get the big 1/2" impact, a 1/4" hex impact and a drill... Make sure the impact and drill are the fuel models. Put a 1/4" hex to 3/8" anvil in the impact and use it for a shit ton of smaller mechanic jobs and then you can always swap in a phillips or torx bit and go do carpentry shit. Also if you have much equipment to maintain the grease gun is worth its weight in gold...
Is the 2863-20 the big one? Milwaukee's site sucks and I'm giving myself migraines switching between tabs to compare specs. Ring detent, 1,000ft-lbs fastening torque and 1400ft-lbs loosening torque.

The compact 1/4" hex impact has also caught my eye since I pretty much exclusively use hex bits in my 18v Makita cordless, and would like to relegate it to drilling use only.

Regarding the grease gun: dear god, I want one, but the only use it'd see would be on the 14+ lubrication points on my Jeep.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Must have all of them I have 2 angle grinders,skill saw,chop saw, grease gun,3 impacts,2 hammer drills,3 sawzalls 5 lights and a raido n battery charger combo.I would buy every one of them again.
Damn, son. Well, I guess I should consider myself lucky that my girlfriend gets just as excited about new tools as I do. Hell, she lined me up with one of her AC suppliers to get me a smokin' deal on a Mitsubishi 15k BTU in-ceiling ductless mini-split for the garage.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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2767-20 is the impact you want. 1400/1000 ft lbs, high torque, Gen II, friction ring. I just joined the club this week as well. My boss presented me with a $250 Amazon gift card, so I chipped in $50 and got the 1/4" driver & 1/2" hammer drill 2897-22 combo with the charger and a couple 5.0 mAH batteries. Then I stopped by Home Depot an picked up the 2767-20. The little driver is pretty bad-ass; I gave it a quick trial in driving some wood screws into a 2x4; still looking for some rusted bolts to try out the impact

The string trimmer is a potential future purchase - most of the lawn is just cut with the zero-turn, and Round-up, but having a string trimmer would be helpful for a couple occasional areas that need attention. Which one did you get?

Was also thinking about the circular saw - how do these compare to regular corded versions? Would use occasionally, not as a profession. I have a 30+ year old JC Penney Industrial 71/4" circular saw, made in USA that still works fine, but was thinking a cordless might be a good replacement. Any inputs?
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Is the 2863-20 the big one? Milwaukee's site sucks and I'm giving myself migraines switching between tabs to compare specs. Ring detent, 1,000ft-lbs fastening torque and 1400ft-lbs loosening torque.

The compact 1/4" hex impact has also caught my eye since I pretty much exclusively use hex bits in my 18v Makita cordless, and would like to relegate it to drilling use only.

Regarding the grease gun: dear god, I want one, but the only use it'd see would be on the 14+ lubrication points on my Jeep.
2863 is the big one (-20 is bare tool, -22 is a kit with a battery, -other is different kits). It's the "One Key" or like Giles said, 2767 without one key. I wouldn't pay extra for one key (seems more gimmicky than useful to me) if you don't have to. I second the hex drive impact for small stuff, and the Fuel 1/2" drill as well.
I barely use my corded Sawzall since getting a Fuel cordless. The Fuel 5" grinder isn't as strong as my corded Hilti, but it's plenty for most of what I need.
The right angle ratchet looks cool, but also at 30 or 60 ft-lb, that's pretty low ratings. I think I'd hold off on that and see what they come up with over the next year or two to improve on it.

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Old 05-24-2018, 09:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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2767-20 is the impact you want. 1400/1000 ft lbs, high torque, Gen II, friction ring. I just joined the club this week as well. My boss presented me with a $250 Amazon gift card, so I chipped in $50 and got the 1/4" driver & 1/2" hammer drill 2897-22 combo with the charger and a couple 5.0 mAH batteries. Then I stopped by Home Depot an picked up the 2767-20. The little driver is pretty bad-ass; I gave it a quick trial in driving some wood screws into a 2x4; still looking for some rusted bolts to try out the impact

The string trimmer is a potential future purchase - most of the lawn is just cut with the zero-turn, and Round-up, but having a string trimmer would be helpful for a couple occasional areas that need attention. Which one did you get?

Was also thinking about the circular saw - how do these compare to regular corded versions? Would use occasionally, not as a profession. I have a 30+ year old JC Penney Industrial 71/4" circular saw, made in USA that still works fine, but was thinking a cordless might be a good replacement. Any inputs?
Hmmm... It seems as though the 2767-20 is the same as the 2863-20, except the latter has their ONE-KEY crap and costs $50 more. Am I missing anything else?

The string trimmer (linked) is far better than I expected, but a little pricey at $300. At the same time, though, I think the 9.0 Ah battery and M12/M18 charger included with it justify the cost (along with the free blower - I think that Home Depot promotion goes through mid-June).

I'm also still rocking a 30+ year old Mikita 7-1/4" circular saw, but it also needs to see retirement soon (or a thorough rebuild and alignment). Given the reputation of the rest of their tools, I think theirs would be rock-solid. I might end up buying the same thing since I have a shitload of plywood to cut in the next week for the garage shelving.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Was also thinking about the circular saw - how do these compare to regular corded versions? Would use occasionally, not as a profession. I have a 30+ year old JC Penney Industrial 71/4" circular saw, made in USA that still works fine, but was thinking a cordless might be a good replacement. Any inputs?
I just bought one when I purchased my house, since I didn't have one anyway. I dunno if it would have the same balls as a corded, but it's not bad at all. Just being able to carry it out in the yard, to the side of the house, and then go cut something in the garage is pretty nice. I used it off the tailgate once to cut down a bunch of wood scraps so they could fit in the trash. I love the lack of cord. Battery life is not bad at all. The Dewalt model has more oomph but it runs batteries down faster.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yep - that was what I saw. One Key sounds interesting, but not $50 interesting. I guess if you are someone who has lots of Apps on their phone to do things and really has a need or specialized programs it might be worth it, but I'm not that guy...

I just checked out the trimmer, and looks like the bare tool is $199, so the $300 is a deal, but not sure I need a third battery and another charger though.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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...but not sure I need a third battery and another charger though.
Of course you do

Dr. Danger - do you have the 6-1/2" brushed or 7-1/4" brushless model? Huge price difference from what I'm seeing. I'd like to stick with 7-1/4" to be able to reach through the long edges of 2x4's (along with 4x4's).
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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2.0 batteries are a waste of money.

2 Grinders.
1/2" impact fuel only
1/4" hex impact fuel only
Compact porto ban
1\2" drill fuel only
4,5 and 9.0 batteries.
6pak charger.
Football light
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I use the 1/2 impact sparingly, but it's really helpful when I need it. It always goes on trips, it's changed a few tires for relatives/friends who have blown tires on the side of the road. We have one at work (gen I fuel) and the guys regularly just snap off seized stainless hardware with it instead of cutting it out on repair jobs.

Go to tools each weekend are the 1/4 driver, 1/2 drill, and Fuel grinder. 3/8 impact is not used as much, but it drives lag bolts and pulls truck stuff apart quick that the 1/4 rattle gun won't touch. The grinder is just a great tool to deburr or make a a couple of quick cuts. My corded ones sit unused for the majority of the time.

Fuel sawzall is great, I got rid of my corded one, it just took up space and I never used it. It lasts a solid amount of time on the 5.0XC batteries.

The 2361-20 light got me through my house remodel. When I had no power in what was left of the kitchen for a year, it was the kitchen light and worked great. It lives in the trailer now. It's a silly item but having a lot of light without a cord is really great. Battery life is pretty good.

I've got the 6 pack charger on the wall and it's nice for just me, but it will only charge 1 battery at a time, so if you're burning through them with a couple of guys it won't keep up and a couple of single chargers are the way to go.
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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i do mostly construction...
fuel hammer drill also kicks ass, if you only own 1 cordless drill make it a hammer drill
it put a 3'' hole in a block wall 2 weeks ago with a single 4ah battery and 1/2x18'' harbor fright bit
fuel 1/4'' impact has 3 speeds which is nice over the non-fuel
non-fuel sawzall is a beast, it cut 4- 4x4pt fence posts off below ground on a single batt with plenty left over
with a 8'' pruning blade i rarely have to find a chainsaw AND the wife loves it for yard cleanup
non-fuel circular saw works well, really haven't put it thru the test, blade on left side makes it easy for trimming rafter tails overhead
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Old 05-24-2018, 02:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Of course you do

Dr. Danger - do you have the 6-1/2" brushed or 7-1/4" brushless model? Huge price difference from what I'm seeing. I'd like to stick with 7-1/4" to be able to reach through the long edges of 2x4's (along with 4x4's).
I bought the 7 1/4. Probably would have gone corded if the 6 1/2 was all that was available. Not gonna lie, the youtube vids sold me. Over 300 cuts in 2x4 isn't bad at all, and will last me through just about any home projects. Now, you won't be finding one of these out on the construction site here at work. But for smaller jobs or home stuff they're fantastic.

Surprised so many here opt for the 1/4 hex impact over the 3/8. I use my 3/8 all the time and haven't wanted a weaker one. I also haven't really needed a stronger one either. If I wanna drive hex bits, I have a $5 adapter to do it. The 35, 65-75, and 205-210 settings work really well for most of what I do. If I was doing a lot of smaller fasteners and body work, I'd absolutely want the little hex driver style.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The 2361-20 light got me through my house remodel. When I had no power in what was left of the kitchen for a year, it was the kitchen light and worked great. It lives in the trailer now. It's a silly item but having a lot of light without a cord is really great. Battery life is pretty good.
I got the 2352-20 with my 1/2" impact. It is nice for working under hoods and outside lighting up dark spots when welding, etc.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwauke...2-20/205410872
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This might be a dumb question but...

I have the Fuel 1/2 in impact.

If I want to use 1/4 hex shank bits like the dewalt drill/tap/deburr bits, can I just get a $3 1/2 to 1/4 hex adapter off ebay or is there a big advantage to having a real 1/4 impact drill?
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Here's what I have, and my comments/experience with them

2704 gen II hammer drill Awesome drill, fast, powerful, and more power than my big D handle 1/2" However, a drill is the only place I would pay for the one key feature. The ability set RPM's on the drill without using the trigger would be nice.

2753 gen II 1/4" impact driver Awesome, I'd never live without one, I use it for all screws vs. the drill like I used too. has enough power to snap 3/8" lag bolts, and with the 3/8's and 1/2" adapters, its the most used power tool i own. I did the lug nuts on a trailer, and checked with a torque wrench afterwards, all clicked at the 100ft-lb torque spec. The shockwave impact rated drill bits kickass as well...

2520 m12 fuel hackzall This is probably my favorite tool. The ability to cut shit with one hand is extremely handy. Cutting pvc pipe, random pieces of wood, tree limbs, etc. I would consider this a must have, even before a proper sawzall.

2446 M12 grease gun I had a big barrel mounted pneumatic greaser, it was a total pain in the ass. I sold it to buy the m12 one, zero complains. If you go through more than 1 tube a decade, I would consider it a must have.

2363 M18 lantern Buy it, right now... I use the shit out of it in the garage. During a power outage it lit my living room better than the 3 lamps plugged into the wall. Being able to charge your phone off it is huge for camping.

2753 Gen I 1/2" high torque impact It's a monster, more power than my IR231. It's definitely nice to have when you need it. BUT, it's big, its heavy, its slow. Had the 1/2" mid torque been out at the time, I would have bought that instead.

2457 M12 3/8's ratchet Decent, it has its purposes(think engine bay bolts, spark plugs), buts its very under powered...

2792 M18 Jobsite charger/radio Must have... good sound quality, amazing tuner. Mine usualy resides in the kitchen, the wife hated "that big red thing on the counter" But also uses the shit out of it with the bluetooth for her phone.. so...
Every fall it spends 2 weeks at the deer camp, you can play music in the shack all day on a 5.0Ah battery, then at night when you start the genny it recharges, also used for charging phones

2592 M12 Jobsite bluetooth speaker This one is the wifes, she uses it in the barn/riding horseback. good sound. good battery life on a 4.0, and also charges your phone..

49-24-0171 M18 work light Meh, got it free with some used batteries I bought. It's ok, the LED version would be better

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Old 05-24-2018, 08:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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This might be a dumb question but...

I have the Fuel 1/2 in impact.

If I want to use 1/4 hex shank bits like the dewalt drill/tap/deburr bits, can I just get a $3 1/2 to 1/4 hex adapter off ebay or is there a big advantage to having a real 1/4 impact drill?
You can, buts its going to suck. rpm and bpm on a 1/4" are way, way, way higher..
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:00 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I started with the 3/8" impact and promptly dropped $2k the next week to continue my collection. Been collecting ever since. Awesome tools. My list is all fuel items. M18- bandsaw, 1/4"hex, 1/2" hammer drill, 1/2" impact gun, 3/8" impact gun, finish nailer, Sawzall, hackzall, blower, fan, vacuum, and 2 5" grinders. M12- inspection camera, fuel 3/8" ratchet, non fuel 3/8" ratchet, and the soldering iron. I have 5.0 or 9.0 batteries for each M18 tool as I hate swapping batteries mid job. 2 bigger M12 batteries and 1 smaller M12 battery.

Only thing I'm less impressed with is the vacuum. It's really nicely portable but it's not the greatest sucker. I killed the first Sawzall when the blade slammed something pretty hard on a body mount. Returned it to home depot with no questions and haven't had a problem since. I don't really use air tools any more and I'm a auto tech/shop owner. Only thing I use air for is precision blowing, air hammering, and small grinding.

More to buy. A buddy of mine is collecting the Milwaukee stuff snap on doesn't make. He just picked up their rivet gun today. I'm anxious to hear how it works.
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Old 05-25-2018, 02:54 AM   #21 (permalink)
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My Milwaukee drill/driver combo is probably 5 years old at this point and it shows no signs of slowing down, same with the batteries. Iíve got a few other pieces too. The Hackzall that I initially didnít like, but that thing is so convenient to pop in a battery and take it wherever. My corded Bosch stays on the rack most of the time now.

M12 drill and driver are great for some of the finesse carpentry stuff.

Watch here for good deals or reviews on some of the stuff you might be interested in.

https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/...d.php?t=244666
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:33 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Riles View Post
This might be a dumb question but...

I have the Fuel 1/2 in impact.

If I want to use 1/4 hex shank bits like the dewalt drill/tap/deburr bits, can I just get a $3 1/2 to 1/4 hex adapter off ebay or is there a big advantage to having a real 1/4 impact drill?
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You can, buts its going to suck. rpm and bpm on a 1/4" are way, way, way higher..
Not to mention that 1/2" is going to be way heavy to use for something like that, plus you'll be more likely to break bits with it over the 1/4" hex. With how cheap a 1/4" hex impact is I would just buy one...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Milwauk...oAAOSwX3FbBnce

Once you have it you'll use it all the damn time. I use my 1/4" hex impacts probably 10x as much as I do the big 1/2" one, but when you need the 1/2" one it is nice to have it too!
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:33 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Not to mention that 1/2" is going to be way heavy to use for something like that, plus you'll be more likely to break bits with it over the 1/4" hex. With how cheap a 1/4" hex impact is I would just buy one...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Milwauk...oAAOSwX3FbBnce

Once you have it you'll use it all the damn time. I use my 1/4" hex impacts probably 10x as much as I do the big 1/2" one, but when you need the 1/2" one it is nice to have it too!
I use my M12 1/4 hex all day long, I like the smaller size of it.
But for 60 bucks I just bought the 18 you linked.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:36 AM   #24 (permalink)
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If your going to get a reciprocating saw, I recommend the hackzall over the regular one. I have both, and I've never used the regular one (came in a kit I bought years ago). It's balanced very well for one handed use.
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:14 AM   #25 (permalink)
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If your going to get a reciprocating saw, I recommend the hackzall over the regular one. I have both, and I've never used the regular one (came in a kit I bought years ago). It's balanced very well for one handed use.
depends on the intended use. for general construction the sawzall is an invaluable tool
most of the time i keep the 12 inch rough cut blade in it for demo work
around a vehicle the hackzall might be better
i've gone thru 2 corded sawzalls over the year, now have the m18
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