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Milwaukee M18 Family

Milwaukee® M18™ Buying Guide

M18™ Tools


Milwaukee M18 tools are an extensive range of power tools from Milwaukee Tools that combine outstanding proprietary technology, lightweight design, compact stature and rugged, durable construction to provide you with outstanding performance. The range offers unrivaled power, durability and efficiency, which greatly improves productivity. You can work anywhere, even in tight spaces, without compromising on power. Due to the lightweight nature of these tools, you can work for longer without feeling muscle fatigue.

With so many items to choose from when buying Milwaukee M18 tools, it’s helpful to be informed, know your options and understand how to choose which M18 tools will get the job done.

How the M18 System Goes Above and Beyond

Moreso than standard power tools, the M18 family of Milwaukee tools offers high-performance, superior control, long run times, higher efficiency and better durability. With each unit equipped with advanced technology, Milwaukee M18 tools really do go above and beyond, allowing you to complete jobs faster and to a higher standard. Read on to learn more about what sets these tools apart from the rest.

Beneath the Casing: 4-Pole Brushed Motors

Milwaukee 4-pole brushed motors are standard in the M18 range, and one thing that makes them unique is that they feature rare-earth magnets. The most durable of any permanent magnet, rare-earth magnets provide a stronger magnetic field than injection-molded composites and ferrite magnets. In Milwaukee’s power tools, these magnets mean a more stable and reliable motor that is considerably more durable and energy-efficient than other models. Milwaukee 4-pole brushed motors are strong and durable, yet lightweight and compact, allowing for smaller, lighter power tools while maintaining performance.

Long-life REDLITHIUM™ Batteries

BA8F024B-2EAA-4E69-B237-E0CCAD5CA3A1The M18 system uses Redlithium batteries that provide more power, a greater lifespan and longer run time. Lasting 40 percent longer between charges than standard 18-volt batteries from other brands, Redlithium batteries allow you to work, without power fading or performance waning.

More Power and Longer Life
With 20 percent more power, Redlithium M18 battery packs rival the power output and performance of large AC power tools, but with all the benefits of cordless. Redlithium batteries are also more durable than comparable models, offering 50 percent more recharges, and this gives them a longer lifespan and cuts down on buying replacements.

Work in Any Condition
To make the Milwaukee M18 tool range even more versatile, these battery packs are suitable for use in temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit, with no reduction in performance. Because the batteries run 20 percent cooler than regular lithium-ion models, they also run for longer and in hot conditions, without power-fade, memory loss or failure.

Compatible with all M18 Tools
The batteries fit all tools in the M18 range, so you can switch battery packs between tools, meaning you don’t have to wait around while the battery charges. To minimize downtime, purchase a battery charger that allows you to charge up to four M18 batteries simultaneously.

For increased strength and durability, these batteries include shock-responsive separators, a single-piece cell carrier, and a rubber overmold. This eliminates the danger of battery damage or failure as a result of extended use, excessive vibration and impact damage. To get even more per charge, you can upgrade to the M18 Redlithium 2.0, which gives you 2 amp-hours of running time and twice as many recharges as standard lithium-ion packs. The M18 Redlithium XC 4.0 offers even longer performance per charge, at 4 amp-hours.

Smarter Performance With REDLINK™ Intelligence

Redlink Intelligence is an on-board electrical system that optimizes tool performance. This technology enhances communication between the Redlithium battery and the motor, which improves overall performance, efficiency and productivity. It also increases safety by detecting early indicators of overheating and protecting against excessive thermal buildup to prevent heat damage and optimize the lifespan of the tools.

Get More From Your Tools With M18 FUEL™

E3DB1799-57B1-4AFF-BA12-3E4F6A757EA9While the M18 range is impressive, Milwaukee Tools’ M18 Fuel range goes a step beyond. Made for the most demanding and grueling conditions, the M18 FUEL range adds a POWERSTATE™ motor to the mix. The Powerstate brushless motor is compact and comparatively lightweight yet still delivers the power you’d expect from corded tools.

These Milwaukee brushless motors are more efficient and provide more power and torque than comparable motors, to improve performance and reduce the time it takes to finish a job. Powerstate motors also run cooler and quieter and, because of their durable construction and components, need less-frequent maintenance.

Because the Redlithium batteries are compatible with the entire M18 and M18 Fuel range, you can purchase M18 Fuel tools to get more power and tackle even tougher jobs when the need arises, without the need for bulkier corded power tools.

Tools available in the M18 Fuel range include:

Choosing the Right Milwaukee M18 Tools

Whether you want to buy Milwaukee M18 tools or M18 Fuel tools, there’s plenty to choose from, including standalone tools, tool sets, tool kits, and Milwaukee accessories. These high-quality power tools make valuable additions to your tool kit, whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, by helping you work faster, tackling the toughest jobs with comparative ease and giving you greater control.

Milwaukee M18 Sets vs. Single Tools vs. Kits

If you already have an impressive array of Milwaukee M18 tools, a standalone tool or two to round out your collection is a fine choice.

392EF8FF-EC4F-45C2-A1C1-52E1940F4728However, if you like to be prepared for any eventuality and like to have all the necessary accessories on hand, investing in Milwaukee tool sets make more sense. A set usually consists of the tool, all the extras, and a carrying case for easy storage. If you’re looking to seriously improve or expand your tool collection,Milwaukee M18 combo kits are the smart choice, as they contain multiple tools and all the accompanying accessories and offer better value than purchasing each item individually.

The key to making the right purchase is to look at the bigger picture. Think of more than just your immediate needs; take into consideration what you’re likely to need in the future.

Tool Types

There’s enough variety in the Milwaukee M18 tool range to make sure you’re fully prepared for any job. Loaded with technology to help you optimize your productivity and performance, these cordless power tools are compact and comparatively lightweight while still delivering unrivaled power and durability.

Manual applicators are hard to use, require you to exert large amounts of force and offer little in the way of control. With the power and technology of the M18 range, you can speed up the process considerably and get a better finish.

Milwaukee’s M18 caulk and adhesive guns offer huge pushing power, of around 950 pounds and a variable flow rate of up to 21 inches per minute, while the grease guns achieve 10,000 psi and an exceptional flow rate of 10 ounces per minute. CFT, or Constant Flow Technology, provides a smooth, consistent flow rate and even beads, regardless of viscosity. Variable speed dials, anti-drip technology, and quick-change collars increase productivity, efficiency and finish quality.

There’s a saw for every job in the M18 and M18 Fuel range. These Milwaukee cordless tools are essential components for any craftsman, offering power comparable with corded models, without the extra weight and cumbersome cords. Jobsite Armor Technology™, Milwaukee’s proprietary composite construction material, along with crush-zone barriers provide rugged, durable safety and protection.

Large cutting capacities increase versatility, and all-metal direct drives optimize saw lifespan. LED lights illuminate the immediate work area for increased precision.

Choose from band saws, circular saws, jig saws or reciprocating saws, all featuring ergonomic designs for comfortable and efficient use and with carefully balanced weight distribution to reduce vibration and bounce.

Milwaukee M18 cordless drills deliver power and precision, even for the toughest tasks. Select the model that best suits your requirements, including rotary drills and demolition hammers. To save money and space, opt for a drill/driver or other multi-function drill. These drills offer ergonomic grips and vibration reduction to increase comfort, reduce muscle fatigue and provide enhanced user control.

Impacts and Fasteners
Milwaukee M18 cordless impact wrenches offer exceptionally high torque for fast and easy socket changes. In spite of their outstanding power, these Milwaukee M18 tools are lightweight and compact enough to use one-handed and the comfort grip allows you to use the impact wrenches for extended periods.

For sanding and polishing with a high degree of precision and user control, Milwaukee’s M18 multi-tools are a solid option. They feature variable speeds, interchangeable pads, and LED lighting directed at the work area. Versatile and high-quality, these tools allow you to change accessories quickly and easily and cut, scrape, sand and polish. Constant Power Technology ensures you maintain optimal speed and efficiency, even on the toughest jobs.

Batteries and Chargers
Because batteries are interchangeable in the M18 range, purchase spare batteries and a multi-charger so you always have one ready to go. If you have both M18 and M12™ tools in your arsenal, or you want to add something from the M12 range, such as a Milwaukee rotary tool, choose chargers that have docking space for both M18 and M12 batteries.

M18 Accessories
To complement your Milwaukee M18 tools, select workspace lighting from the M18 range that’s lightweight and easily portable, with a bright directed beam and rotating head for precision lighting. M18 radios keep you entertained while on a job site, while also offering additional functionality. Charge your devices while the radio plays, and even charge your M18 tools directly. The durable radio unit that features robust construction to withstand the rigors of any job site.

Head to Head: Milwaukee M18 vs. M12™

Milwaukee M18 tools, as well as those from the Milwaukee M12 tool family, are all made to withstand heavy use from amateurs and professional tradesmen alike.

While the M12 range consists of subcompact tools, designed for tight spaces and boast exceptional lightweight yet rugged construction, M18 tools are slightly heavier and larger, although still comparatively small, but they deliver considerably more power.

Both systems make use of Redlink Intelligence and Redlithium, and the Fuel range always includes Powerstate motors. The M18 and M18 Fuel tool systems are best suited to professional tradesmen and enthusiastic amateurs who need maximum power and versatility on a regular basis without compromising on comfort and performance.


    • Acme Tools

      January 30, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Hi Jay, Thank you for your comment. The batteries that come with your M18 Fuel tools are compatible with all M18 tools. Milwaukee has taken great care to make sure that as long as the battery is a type of M18 (Compact, Standard, XC, or High Demand) they will fit on all M18 tools. There may be some limited communications between the battery and the tool but they will still power the tool.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

        • Acme Tools

          April 14, 2017 at 2:19 pm

          Hi Bob, Thank you for your comment. Milwaukee did a good job when they came out with their M18 battery platform. If you have a M18 battery it will fit all M18 tools, no matter if it is a compact, full size, FUEL, One-Key, or High Demand tool. All M18 batteries fit in all M18 tools and all M18 tools can be run off any M18 battery.

          Thank you,
          ACME Tools

          • Phil Ward

            April 24, 2017 at 6:39 pm

            That is not true as I have just found out. I have a M18 drill/driver and impact driver kit from a couple years ago and just bought a M18 6.5″ circular saw and it will not accept the batteries from the drill driver kit. There is an extra tab on the battery next to the electrical connector. 48-11-1815 battery.

          • Acme Tools

            April 25, 2017 at 9:36 am

            Hi Phil, Thank you for your comment. We apologize if we stated some incorrect information. We will be checking with Milwaukee to see if anything has changed on their batteries but the information we have is that they should fit. It could be caused by an older version of the 48-11-1815 battery.

            Thank you,
            Acme Tools

          • Kris

            May 24, 2017 at 11:47 pm

            Hi there, I’m in the same situation Phil was in–I have an older M18 drill & impact driver set. Have you found out any more about this issue? How can I tell if my batteries will be compatible with a new M18 circular saw?

            Thank you.

          • Acme Tools

            May 25, 2017 at 8:19 am

            Hi Kris, Thank you for your comment.
            We have not been able to get a clear answer out of Milwaukee regarding the 48-11-1815 battery. If you have this battery in your M18 Drill & Impact Driver Set you may want to physically take a battery with you to look at the saw you are interested in to see if it will fit. If you have any battery part numbers that are 48-11-1830 or higher (1840, 1850, 1860, or 1890) they will work. We have seen this issue in the past with Makita batteries where they will not let lower Amp Hour batteries on certain tools because of performance limitations caused by the smaller battery but we were told that Milwaukee had not done this. Unfortunately this could be the case for the 1.5Ah Compact M18 48-11-1815.

            Thank you,
            Acme Tools

      • Terry menefee

        September 21, 2018 at 7:46 am

        I have recently just purchased an M18 Style fan to say I’m impressed is an understatement. I operate an orphanage in the Philippines the electric in the Philippines if so undependable it is physically turned off 8 to 14 hours at a time at least once a week. It’s hot in the Philippines a fan that runs on a battery that actually works is wonderful. That is the first of the M18 Milwaukee Tools I have $10, 000 worth of corded Milwaukee Tools what I want to know is can I buy used Milwaukee Tools to keep the expense down for use in the orphanage that are not m series tools and still use M18 batteries on the older tools I physically cannot justify the expense of new M18 tools for occasional use there considering how much rice I can buy to feed homeless children with that money. Please tell me a way I can use my M18 batteries with your older Milwaukee Tools

        • Acme Tools

          September 21, 2018 at 8:27 am

          Hello, Thank you for your comments and question. At this time there is not a way to run the M18 batteries on older Milwaukee V18 Tools. The battery connection is reversed between those 2 platforms.

          Thank you,
          Acme Tools

      • mark

        February 15, 2019 at 12:02 am

        My circular saw is a wimp when used with the batteries that came with my drills (1.5ah). My blower only runs for 4 minutes on that same battery. I had to buy other batteries to make these tools perform as they should. Milwaukee should clearly recomend batteries and display expected perfor.ance based on different batteries you might use. They are being deceptive and it has been costly for me.

    • Acme Tools

      November 27, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Hi Ron, Thank you for your question. The Milwaukee 18V battery warranty does depend on the actual model number battery you have. Generally the M18 batteries have a 3yr warranty but some models do have a 2yr or 2yr + Pro-Rata warranty.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

  • Bruce Lee

    June 20, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I might be able to help with the battery fitment situation listed above. There was a relatively short time in the past(about 11 years ago), when Milwaukee made an 18volt line that was just an upgrade from their old 14volt line. they only made it for a VERY short time, and NONE of those tools or batteries will work with the m18(or m18fuel) series of tools.

    • Acme Tools

      June 20, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Hi Bruce. You are correct and those tools and batteries were labeled V18 and as you stated those will not work with tools or batteries labeled as M18.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

    • Acme Tools

      November 6, 2018 at 8:16 am

      Hello, Thank you for your question. The High Demand 9.0Ah battery is a newer technology battery and has more capacity than the XC 4.0Ah and 5.0Ah batteries. The tool connection end is identical on the batteries so you don’t have to worry about which ones will fit your tools. Most people I have talked to about using the larger High Demand 9.0Ah battery use it on tools that are more stationary or ones that they don’t have to lift over their head all day long. The trade off of more capacity is a larger battery and more weight. The XC 4.0Ah and 5.0Ah batteries work great and with the addition of the High Output 6.0Ah battery these batteries will be the mainstay of hand held tools while the High Demand 9.0Ah and High Output 12.0Ah battery will power larger tools that are being introduced.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

    • Acme Tools

      January 22, 2019 at 9:21 am

      Hi Adam, Thank you for your question. If you currently have a Milwaukee M18 tool that uses the Compact 1.5Ah battery you can upgrade to a M18 XC 4.0Ah battery. This change will give you increased run time and depending on the tool it might increase performance as well.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

  • Luke Vanderhoff

    March 5, 2019 at 8:27 pm


    I am in the market for some new tools. I have a set of porter cable right now. I am impressed by the deal Milwaukee is making available online. 5 tool kit w/ 2 batteries and the pack out for $499. It has all the tools I would want for now and use all the time. However, it’s not fuel or even brushless. I’m wondering, if it’s even worth it? I am on a tighter budget, but was wondering if this was still a good deal or if I should spend the extra for the fuel or at least a brushless kit?

    What’s your opinion?

    Thank you!

    • Acme Tools

      March 6, 2019 at 8:07 am

      Hi Luke, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately our opinion does not matter. We suggest that you weigh out the benefits of the FUEL Kit versus the standard 5pc combo kit and then see if the increase in cost is worth it for you. In our experience the Milwaukee standard and even compact tools are great for the occasional user and the FUEL tools are built more for the person who will be demanding more of their tools on a more regular basis. The important factor is that all Milwaukee M18 tools work with all Milwaukee M18 batteries so once you have chosen an initial kit you can expand your tools with the ones that make the most sense for your needs.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools


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