Milwaukee Tool Releases Improved One-Handed Reciprocating Saw

 Milwaukee's New M18 Fuel Hackzall

Milwaukee's New M18 Fuel Hackzall

When it comes to cordless power tools, you usually have to make a choice between two things: power and convenience.  As technology advances, especially battery technology, the gap is beginning to shrink and smaller tools are becoming more powerful.  One of the clear examples of that is Milwaukee Tool’s new M18 Fuel Hackzall, a one-handed reciprocating saw, which was first announced at the manufacturer’s New Product Symposium in June of this year.

Reciprocating saws, or Sawzalls as most people call them, are typically large, heavy, and extremely apt at demolition.  Compact recip saws are great for fitting in tighter spaces, working overhead, working one-handed, and are generally more convenient to lug around.  Milwaukee’s new Generation 2 M18 Fuel Hackzall (2719-20) brings the best of both worlds, as it’s plenty capable of handling all light to medium duty tasks, as well as some heavy duty tasks, and it’s extremely ergonomic.

Weighing in at a little over 5.5 pounds with a 5.0 Ah battery, the new Hackzall is almost 40% lighter than the weight of Milwaukee’s M18 Sawzall (their full sized version, 8.9 pounds) and is about 2 inches shorter.  It also produces much less vibration than the larger saws, leaving you less fatigued.

Compared to the Generation 1 Hackzall, the new Gen 2 model sports a brushless motor to extend tool life and it cuts much faster thanks to the increased stroke length of 7/8” (Gen 1 has a 3/4” stroke length).  The Gen 2 model is slightly larger than its predecessor, as you can see in the pictures below. The shoe on the new version also pivots. Plumbers will be excited to know that a rubber seal has been added near the blade clamp to prevent water and debris from damaging the tool.

Unless you’re doing extremely heavy duty jobs, like cutting through iron pipe or steel alloy, the new M18 Fuel Hackzall will be a great addition to your tool box. Cutting PVC, wood, EMT conduit, among other materials is no problem for this saw.  For additional power and tool life, try upgrading to carbide tipped saw blades, like the Milwaukee Ax for nail-embedded wood.  They’ll not only cut through material faster, but they’ll also last much longer.

The blade changing mechanism is actually my only complaint so far about this tool.  The blade release is located inside the shoe and has to be twisted to open, so it’s a fairly awkward two handed operation compared to the blade clamp the full-sized saw has.

In addition to demolition purposes, it’s also extremely handy to have for tree pruning.  Combined with a Diablo pruning blade, the Hackzall made quick work of branches that needed trimmed off of an old oak tree.  The relatively light weight of the Hackzall allowed me to keep one hand on the ladder and cut at some weird angles, which would not have been possible or safe with a full-sized saw. 

The kit (model 2719-21) includes the Hackzall, M18 XC 5.0Ah Battery, M12/M18 Charger, a General Purpose Blade, and a Contractor Bag for $249.  The bare tool (2719-20) is also available for $149. Both options are available in stores now.

Specifications

  • Stroke Length: 7/8”
  • SPM 3000
  • Pivoting Shoe: Yes
  • LED: Yes
  • Quik-LOK™ Blade Clamp: Yes
  • Length: 16.3” (14.03” bare tool)
  • Weight: 5.57 lbs (4.07 lbs bare tool)
  • 5 year warranty