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At their event this summer, Milwaukee was making all kinds of to-do about their new brushless motors. We were quite literally taken behind a tall black curtain (the kind from which strippers normally pop out) into a hushed little area and shown the brushless rigs. It was our first glimpse of the M18 fuel lineup. I should have been paying more attention to what Steve and the guys were saying, but once behind the curtain I was still hoping for strippers.

Luckily, Milwaukee breaks it down in their press release:

Milwaukee Tool continues to revolutionize cordless power tools with the introduction of M18 FUEL –  an exclusive line of extreme-performance cordless power tools designed, engineered and built by Milwaukee to deliver unmatched productivity. As the clear leader in cordless tool development, Milwaukee has integrated three ground-breaking technologies: the POWERSTATE brushless motor, REDLITHIUMbattery technology, and REDLINK PLUS Intelligence, to provide a new class in durability, run-time and performance for the professional tradesman.

What that means is Milwaukee coupled their 18v Red Lithium-Ion batteries, the new Powerstate brushless motors, and the equally new Redlink plus — a new ‘tronics set that uses the energy from the battery more effectively — and stuffed it into a slightly smaller package. What it means for us, the end users, is more power that lasts longer with motors that don’t need near as mush (read: any) fussing over.

From everything we’ve heard thus far, the new packages start shipping in Jan. ’12 and will run about the same pricing as the current lineup. We’ll see if it holds up to the marketing claims and plays well with the current lineup’s battery packs vs. chargers during our upcoming hands-on testing.

Milwaukee Electric [Website]


16 Responses to Preview: Milwaukee M18 Fuel Line

  1. pete says:

    Afterseeing how amazing brushless motors perform in RC cars, I wondered how long until they came in cordless tools

    • Jason says:

      Festool has had brushless motors in their drills for quite some time, and I know Makita had an impact driver last year that is brushless.

      Glad to see Milwaukee catching up. I wonder how much this design would improve their M12 line?

      • Daniel says:

        Makita was assigned a patent for the first brushless power tool. A fellow by the name of Hirokatsu Yamamoto applied for a patent back in 2002.

        If you know where to look, you will see Makita has way more brushless tools. Milwaukee is not even close.

  2. Gil says:

    So… No strippers?

  3. Chris says:

    Festool have had brushless motors for over 4 years. Makita also released the brushless impact about 2 years ago. It’s nothing new for sure but it’s about time the rest of the pack followed. Dewalt will be the last to add brushless then say they were the first!

  4. PutnamEco says:


    pete says:
    November 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm
    Afterseeing how amazing brushless motors perform in RC cars

    RC guys have all the fun…

    I wonder if the new electronics eliminate the annoying battery protection circuit interrupts whenever doing any heavy drilling with their older model.

  5. Rick says:

    I would be interested in a comparison with these and the new Dewalt 20v line.

  6. Manimal says:

    Makita has several brushless impacts they started making back in 2003 for the aerospace industry. Real hi-tech stuff. From what I remember, the Makita’s also had Bluetooth technology built-in to communicate with a computer. Milwaukee is pretty late to the game with this technology. Ever since Milwaukee got bought out by TTI (company that makes Ryobi and Ridgid) I wont touch any of their products. Why should I pay a premium for tools that come off the same assembly line. Mark my words, Ryobi will have this technology next year.

    • Capetillo says:

      If it is in fact true Milwaukee, Ryobi,and Ridgid are made by the same company, that would explain why my 18v Red Lithium batteries crapped out on me after 3-1/2 months. I was getting 6 months tops out of my DeWalts. I tried returning the Milwaukee kit at Home Depot but the associate didn’t give me back my money or do store credit. I will never set foot in that place again. I went to Berlands House of Tools in Palatine and picked up the Makita brushless; so far I have been getting close to 80 percent more run time than the Milwaukee Red Lithium. That Makita brushless is quite impressive.

      • Jim says:

        TTI owns, among other brands, Milwaukee, Ryobi, and a company called AEG. It looks like Rigid buys some of their tools from AEG and puts the Rigid name on it. If you go to AEGs US web sight there are only a handful of tools, but the Euro web sight has almost the full Rigid lineup. I don’t know the parent company of Rigid though.

        **DISCLOSURE** I am partial to Dewalt, whose parent company is Stanley Black & Decker

        • Chalmers says:

          Jesus!! Stanley Black & Decker owns DeWalt. Does anyone own Makita? Last time I was at Home Depot, the hardware employee told me the Hilti grinder I was buying was actually made by Makita. He showed me a Hilti circ also made by Makita. I have to admit they looked exactly alike except for the color and the name. Does anyone know if Makita owns Hilti, or if Hilti owns Makita?

    • Chris says:

      I’m sorry, but you’re very misinformed. TTI does own Milwaukee, Ridgid, and Ryobi, but they each operate independently. It is absurd to make the statement that the products are made on the same assembly line and thus suggesting that each product has the same level of quality. Come on man…

  7. Randey says:

    Makita is still owned by Makita. Their brushless impact is a great tool. The 3 speeds and longer run time that the battery gets by being a brushless tool is great. It seems that Milwaukee has some catching up to do.

  8. shane says:

    Anyone knows if they use the hall sensors in the brushless motor drill?

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