Like other makers of 18-volt pro-grade tools, Milwaukee ventured into brushless technology (its FUEL line) with impact drivers, drill/drivers, and hammer drill/drivers—the most common categories of cordless tools. With the launch of eight new FUEL models in October 2013, Milwaukee is extending brushless technology into cordless categories where it was not available before. Introductions include a recip saw, a circular saw, two grinders, an impact drill, and three heavy-duty impact wrenches.
The new FUEL tools are available in kits or bare. The kit versions include a case, one or two 4.0 Ah XC (Extended Capacity) packs, and a multi-voltage charger capable of charging M18 and M12 batteries. These tools are premium models and are more expensive than their brushed counterparts. That's to be expected given the higher cost of brushless motors, advanced electronics, and energy-dense batteries. In return for the expense, users of brushless cordless tools can expect greater runtime, longer life, and better performance than are available from brushed cordless models (for more on brushless tech, see Brushing Up On Brushless).
Milwaukee unveiled the new FUEL tools at a media event I attended this summer. While there, I was able to try most of them. In the coming months, we will follow up with actual testing of many of them. Click the photo on the left for specs, pricing, and my comments on the new FUEL tools.