Milwaukee M18 vs M18 Fuel

Milwaukee M18 vs M18 Fuel – Comparison Guide

If you ever look into power tools, one of the first companies you will come across will be Milwaukee. This company has been a part of the market since 1924. They have a long tradition and a reputation for creating high-performance tools like no other company. They have many different tools, also divided into several tool lines.

Today's guide will focus on the best lines of Milwaukee tools - the M18 and M18 Fuel Milwaukee power tools. These two lines of power tools have many outstanding qualities that make investing in them an easy decision. But it would be wise to explore them in greater detail before making the final purchase decision.

If you want to learn more about these two lines of Milwaukee tools, stick around for the rest of the guide. Let's get right into the Milwaukee M18 fuel vs M18 debate!

Milwaukee M18 and M18 Fuel - What Is The Difference?

Milwaukee M18 and M18 Fuel 2

There are many unique things about Milwaukee's power tools, and the same can be said about the M18 and M18 Fuel lines. While both lines have some similar tools, the tools also come with a ton of differences that could help you decide which is the best option for you. So, here is a bit more on the main differences between the Milwaukee M18 and the Milwaukee M18 fuel lines:

Product Lines

The first difference is the actual products that make up the product lines. The M18 came out first in 2008 as an upgrade to the M12 line, which came earlier that year. It took the company a few years to develop its M18 lines, which came as an upgrade to the M18 regular line.

There might not be as many differences in the look of the power tools. Still, the capabilities and all their parts are quite different. There are not only fewer parts in the M18 Fuel line, but the parts are also much better, more durable, and more powerful. I will discuss the extreme performance and built differences in the following sections.

Milwaukee M18 vs M18
Fuel: Comparison

Milwaukee M18

Milwaukee M18 Fuel


7.0 to 7.8 inches

6.9 inches


3.0 to 3.1 lbs

3.3 lbs



Powerstate brushless motor


500 to 725 in/lbs

1400 in/lbs


0 to 28.8K

0 - 33K


1800 RPM

2100 RPM


18V Redlithium batterye...

18V Redlithium battery

Special Features

  • Good vibration control
  • Low maintenance
  • Portable
  • Ergonomic handling
  • Affordable
  • Great vibration control
  • Better run time
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Lower heat levels
  • Energy-efficient

Design and Specification

The look is pretty much the same on all tools coming from Milwaukee. Milwaukee introduced its first line with a vibrant red color and logo on the side. Since the design became recognizable to customers, they kept it for all their future power tools. So, you will notice that the M18 and M18 fuel look exactly the same - the only difference is that the M18 fuel tools look a bit more modern and are generally smaller.

The M18 fuel is a line of compact tools perfect for handypersons who are often on the go and need to transport their tools from one place to another. The compact design also allows the tools to fit in tight spaces. That makes the tools even more suitable for challenging projects.


The performance is stellar with both lines of power tools, but the M18 fuel is better performance-wise because of all the upgraded parts. It all comes down to the three trademarked technologies used on the newer line - the Redlithium batteries, the Redlink Plus control, and the Powerstate brushless motor with up to 4x more power.

Performance-wise, the M18 Fuel has a better RPM at 2100, while the M18 is at 1800. The torque is two times better on the M18 Fuel, with it being 1400 on that line and 725 on the M18 line. Finally, the BPM is also much better on the M18 Fuel. The company lists M18 Fuel's BPM at zero to 33K, whereas the M18 line has zero to 28.8K BPM.

Motor Design

The motor is among the most significant differences between the M18 and the M18 fuel tools. The motor divides the M18 line into two. The power tools that came out first had brushed motors, whereas the upgraded tools that came later on featured a brushless motor.

As for the M18 fuel line, all tools came out with improved brushless motors, with the brushless technology increasing the quality tremendously.

Brushed motors were a great mechanically-driven option in the past as they provided enough power to finish some smaller, less demanding projects. Once the brushless motors came out, there was no going back. The power doubled, and the motor was electronically driven, whereas the brushless motor design required much less energy consumption.

The powerful brushless motor is a much better option, not because of the power but because of the simple design that makes maintenance and repairs as rare as possible.

Battery Life

Milwaukee M18 and M18 Fuel Battery Life

One of the interesting things about these two product lines is that all the tools use the same battery - the 18V Redlithium batteries can fit all M18 tools!

You can put the battery back on the tool with little effort, taking it out only when it needs to be recharged. It offers better battery life than the battery pack on tools from other manufacturers. Point taken - those tools operate with regular lithium-ion batteries, so they do not even stand a chance against the Milwaukee tools.

If you use one tool at a time, you can buy only one battery pack and use it on all the tools. However, it could be wise to have at least a couple of packs in case you need them.

Charging Time

Another difference between the lines is the charging time. The M18 has a shorter charging time on the battery with regular capacity. It could take only 30 minutes to fully charge the battery and continue working on your project. If you use a battery with extended capacity, it could take up to 60 minutes to charge.

The Redlithium battery used on M18 Fuel tools is very powerful and capable. Because of that, it needs to charge for longer periods of time. It could take up to 60 minutes for a full charge, which is not that long. You should be back at your project in no time and in full effect!


Both tool lines are very durable and could take years to show signs of wear and tear. The simplified and powerful motor design makes durability slightly better on the M18 Fuel brushless tools. The brushless motor technology allows the motor to function flawlessly without even making a spark, so you can use the tools around flammable material.

Apart from that, I love Milwaukee power tools because they come with extended warranties of up to 5 years. But you must buy the tools from a reseller or company to get a warranty. You should check the manual to see how long the warranty is for your specific tool and what it covers.


All Milwaukee tools are reliable tools - there is no doubt about it. Due to the brushless motors, the Milwaukee M18 fuel line is more reliable. The motor allows the tools to control vibration, less heat, higher speed, and efficient energy use. If that is not enough to convince you that you can trust the Milwaukee Fuel tool lines, I do not know what is!

Price Range

The price is something to consider when looking into these tools. I would say that all tools are worth the investment, with the M18 Fuel being a line with high-performance tools that are always in high demand. The price of these tools is a bit higher, with the simple M18 Fuel impact driver or hammer drill being at least $50 more expensive than the M18 counterpart.

Still, it all comes down to your budget. If you can splurge on the tools, the M18 fuel is better. However, the Milwaukee M18 line is also a splendid option for those on a tight budget and planning smaller, less demanding projects.

Value For Money

The Milwaukee Fuel version's advanced technology, features, and capabilities make the line worth every penny. You get your money's worth with all these tools, but most of all, with the FUEL tools from the M12 fuel, M18 fuel, and other fuel lines.

Still, you need to consider whether you need such powerful tools. If you plan occasional smaller projects, spending as much money as the M18 line requires might not be wise. If you are a handyperson doing repairs and large projects often, you will benefit from the Milwaukee M18 fuel power tools.

Advantages of Milwaukee M18

Here is a quick rundown of the main advantages Milwaukee 18 tools have over the other lines of tools from the company:

  • Cordless tools that do not need to be used close to a power source
  • Easily portable
  • Lightweight design
  • Great ergonomics for comfortable extended use
  • The option to choose between brushed motors or brushless motors
  • A powerful 18V battery with quick charging
  • Pristine performance across all tools
  • More affordable than the M18 fuel tools

Advantages of Milwaukee M18 Fuel

As for the Milwaukee M18 fuel tools, I can mention many more advantages. Some I already included in the detailed review above, but here is another quick rundown on the most important things to remember:

  • Cordless power tools
  • Redlithium battery pack with lasting battery life
  • Better run time than any other Milwaukee tool
  • Extremely powerful Powerstate brushless motor
  • Redlink Plus system for ideal operation
  • Energy-efficient operation
  • Better vibration control than the M18
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Resistance to corrosion (on some M18 tools)
  • Easier maintenance
  • Better value for money

Which one to choose?

Now that you know all about the brushed and brushless tools from Milwaukee's M18 and M18 Fuel lines, it all comes down to your preference and actual needs.

Think about the projects you would be working on - do they require extra power, or can you finish them with any regular tool? What about the investment you are prepared to make - do you want to make a bit of investment, or do you want to get more for the price of less?

Answering these questions could help you make the final decision. If it takes you a while, do not hesitate to return to this guide and read through it to refresh your memory on the advantages and disadvantages of these tools.


Thank you for reading this detailed Milwaukee M18 and M18 fuel version guide. Remember that while powerful, the brushed models are not as good an option as the brushless models. Whatever brushless tools you decide to get, you can rest assured that they will be able to handle any project you have for them.

I would love to hear what you say about these power tools and their characteristics. Have you ever used one of them? If you have, please share more about your experience and recommendations to those still trying to decide which power tool is best for them. I cannot wait to read all your stories!

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