At Milwaukee Tool’s yearly New Product Symposium (NPS) media event in May of 2018, the tool manufacturer was excited to announce what they call “The Next Breakthrough.” Harnessing the latest battery technology, Milwaukee launched the supercharged – and supersized – 18-volt 12.0ah battery, which they have promised will provide 50% more power, run 50% cooler, and provide 33% more runtime versus their previous most powerful battery, the HD9.0.
The large battery is optimized to run high output tools, like Milwaukee’s new 7-14” circular saw (review coming soon), the world’s first cordless Super Sawzall (review coming soon), the M18 Fuel Chainsaw, the new 9” large angle grinder, and, of course, the M18 Cordless Table Saw with ONE-KEY (model #2736-21HD, $549 on Ohio Power Tool).
Many were surprised to find out that Milwaukee stuck with the 18-volt lineup for a piece of equipment as high powered as a table saw, but they have made it themselves very clear each year: they will not alienate their customer with a new battery platform. While the new 12.0ah battery can certainly be used on any of your other M18 tools, its weight and size will most likely keep you from wanting to use it on many smaller tools. If it doesn’t fit in any of the tools you have, Milwaukee will also upgrade your tool for free…more info about that here.
If you haven’t already noticed, this new Milwaukee 8-1/4” cordless table saw is very similar to DeWalt’s 2 year old Flexvolt 60V 8-1/4” cordless table saw in size and specs, so we’ll be mentioning that throughout the review. I will say that I’ve used the DeWalt table saw for the past 2 years and it’s definitely been a great saw.
The Milwaukee M18 table saw has a variety of features that are well-liked amongst table saw users, like the beloved rack and pinion fence and two miter gauge slots. They’ve also included several upgrades that many other table saws don’t currently have.
First and foremost, the addition of ONE-KEY, Milwaukee’s Bluetooth connected tool app, allows users to disable their table saw when they leave the site or just don’t want anyone else using it. Other useful features include a one-wrench blade removal, a hassle-free lever for installing the riving knife and blade guard, and the ability to use a 6” dado stack.
The DeWalt Flexvolt saw, on the other hand, only has one miter gauge slot, a two-wrench blade change system, a slightly annoying riving knife installation processes, no dado stack ability, and no Bluetooth connectivity. Milwaukee also has a better ON/OFF switch than the DeWalt, which tends to turn the saw off if you drop the off paddle too quickly. DeWalt does have one advantage in this category, which is that the gear for the rack and pinion fence on the DeWalt is metal and the Milwaukee uses plastic. At this point, we’re not sure of the durability of Milwaukee’s plastic gear.
Blade Size: 8-1/4”
Blade Speed: 6,300 RPM
Rip Capacity (right of blade): 24-1/2”
Rip Capacity (left of blade): 12”
Max Cut Depth (at 90°): 2-1/2”
Max Cut Depth (at 45°): 1-3/4”
Weight: 45.8 lbs (42.5 lbs bare tool)
5 year warranty
Included Accessories: 24 tooth framing blade, push stick, blade guard with riving knife, riving knife, miter gauge, blade wrench, and anti-kickback pawls.
The included accessories and their designated storage are functional, but are a bit underwhelming. The miter gauge feels like it’s lower quality and the storage systems throughout the tool feel a little flimsy. The riving knife, blade guard, push stick, and blade wrench feel about the same as most contractor table saws I’ve used.
I can’t say DeWalt’s accessories are much better, however, although one upside to the yellow saw is that the blade guard also has a dust port for vacuum hook up. The Milwaukee does not.
Being that this table saw is one of the few cordless options on the market, it should score high points in the ergonomics category. It’s easy to maneuver around and set wherever you need it to be, no dealing with cords and sharing power on the job site. Weighing in at 45.8 pounds with the 12.0ah battery, the side handle and grooved finger notches on the left and right side of the table top make it a comfortable carry one or two-handed. I’ve found the DeWalt equally as comfortable to carry around.
Can 18-volts provide enough power to tear through materials on the job site? You bet it can. With higher RPMs than the DeWalt, this saw rips 2x material with no problems. Even with the stock blade, I have not felt the saw bog down much at all in the variety of materials I’ve cut with it.
Milwaukee claims that a single charge of the 12ah battery can cut up to 600 linear feet of ¾” inch OSB. While I haven’t tried to cut a full 600 linear feet of OSB on one battery, I did rip over 200 linear feet of 2x material through the saw with no problems. Once the battery gets down to 1 bar, I do feel a slight power drop, but not as dramatic as the DeWalt. Since it will take around 2 hours to fully charge a 12.0ah M18 battery, you may want to invest in an additional 12.0ah, if you work your saws hard every day. You can always use other M18 batteries in the meantime, but you won’t get the performance you will out of the 12.0 or even the new 6.0ah High Output batteries with the upgraded battery technology.
I don’t currently have the new DeWalt 12.0ah battery to compare runtime.
Since this saw is a portable, cordless jobsite tool, I’ve mainly used it with a dust bag or without any dust collection. With the still relatively limited runtime on most battery powered vacuums that are currently available, I doubt that many people that would use a cordless table saw would opt for using a corded vacuum anyway. At the suggestion of Austin from @tools_at_work on Instagram, I picked up this Bosch Table Saw Dust Bag for around $10 on Amazon and it has worked incredibly well. After ripping over 100 linear feet of 2x material, there was only a light dusting on the ground.
There are not a lot of 8-1/4” table saws available currently, so you’re pretty much down to the cordless Milwaukee and DeWalt saws. Kitted with the 12.0ah battery and a charger, the Milwaukee (2736-21HD) retails for $549. The DeWalt kit, which comes with a 6.0ah (2.0ah equivalent) 60V battery, retails for $499. The DeWalt 12.0ah battery comes retails for $249, if you wanted to upgrade, but I recently saw Home Depot is offering an extra 6.0ah battery for free when you but a Flexvolt table saw kit in-store and online.
Given the slight variations and feature set, I’d say the two saws value are about equal.
If you’re looking for a cordless jobsite table saw, you have two very solid options in the Milwaukee and DeWalt. If you are already committed to the battery system of one of the brands, then your choice should be easy. If not, the Milwaukee offers very similar performance with several feature upgrades over the DeWalt.
Check out a quick video of the saw in action below:
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A quick overview of the new @milwaukeetool M18 Cordless 8-1/4" Table Saw. Overall, I've found it to have great power, solid runtime, and a lot of great features that other cordless table saws don't have (like the quick release riving knife latch, single wrench blade removal/install, ONE-KEY lockout, and the ability to accept a 6" dado stack). Dust collection has been fantastic with that Bosch table saw dust bag, as well. ⠀ ⠀ The rack and pinion fence is a solid feature too, but I know many have worried that the gear is made of plastic, instead of metal. Like the other cordless table saws that I've used, I did notice a slight power drop when the battery was at 1 bar, but it doesn't feel quite as dramatic as the Flexvolt table saw. The accessories aren't super high quality, but they're almost identical to the Flexvolt. #nbhd #nothingbutheavyduty #milwaukeetool #newtools #cordless #cordlesstools #tablesaw #batterypower #M18 #carpenter #carpentry #framer #framing #toolsofthetrade #keepthecraftalive #onekey