Milwaukee have one of the best-regarded ranges cordless power tools around. Their M18 and M12 cordless ranges in particular, boast a superb combination of heavy-duty build quality, cutting-edge technology, and a fair price point, Milwaukee has been growing in popularity in the UK for the past ten years and now easily rivals their yellow and blue cousins!
Amongst the raft of recent technology win’s that Milwaukee can boast of is their FUEL range. The Milwaukee FUEL system has been on the market for about six years, and despite its popularity, most people I speak to in-branch or online don’t know what FUEL is or what it means! They know it’s ‘Good.’
Well, I will do my best to cut through the jargon and break it down so you know exactly what you’re getting when you invest in the FUEL range.
Now, first up – to understand what FUEL is, you need to understand what ‘Brushless’ motors are! If you’re not already clued up on those, don’t fear because I wrote this handy breakdown (it was a few years ago, and I was barely a pup, so please don’t judge my writing skills too harshly). You can check that article out here.
Milwaukee FUEL Power Tools
As I mentioned above, Milwaukee has two main ranges, M12 (12V) and M18 (18V)… both of these battery platforms boast over 100 cordless tools, batteries, and chargers. Now within those platforms, you have FUEL, Brushless, and standard tools. For a Milwaukee product to qualify as ‘FUEL,’ it needs to combine all three core technology innovations.
Powerstate Brushless Motor
Redlink Plus Technology
Are Milwaukee FUEL classed as brushless?
Not all brushless tools are created equal! Some are just brushless…..these are great – just not as good as FUEL.
All FUEL tools are brushless…. PLUS, they have the other benefits of POWERSTATE motors, REDLITHIUM batteries, and REDLINK tech built into them! The combination of these three factors is what makes a tool worthy of the term FUEL.
The 3 Pillars of FUEL are explained below:
Powerstate™ Brushless Motor
As Milwaukee themselves put it, a POWERSTATE brushless motor aims to give you three benefits:
More Motor Life
Milwaukee says POWERSTATE is the best-in-class brushless motor that works harder and lives longer than all leading competitors. They say their motors offer up to 4X the amount of power as other competitors’ standard brushless motors. Something that stands out for me is that each POWERSTATE motor is uniquely designed for each M18 tool (and their applications) to deliver optimal performance. Basically, motors aren’t created and then shared around loads of slightly different tools. No. Each POWERSTATE motor is unique to the model number and application that it was specifically built to do!
Redlithium™ battery Pack
Simply put, Milwaukee claims that REDLITHIUM™ batteries last longer, think faster, and work harder than all other pro-level batteries. The stats they throw around are:
REDLITHIUM packs provide 5X more run-time, 35% more power, and 2X longer life than standard lithium-ion packs.
So there you go, a FUEL product is a professional standard heavy-duty, top-of-the-range tool from Milwaukee which utilises all their latest tech to achieve great performance and run-time.
Redlink Plus™ Intelligence
Milwaukee’s game-changing REDLINK PLUS™ is essentially hardware and software (and computer chip) that lives within the tools themselves. It offers best-in-class communication between tool, battery, and charger, which in turn means that it offers overload protection and prevents damage to the tool and/or the battery caused by overloading or overheating.
In addition, it optimises the power generated by the battery and specifically uses the amount you need for the application and the settings you’re using – as a result, you get more power when needed and more run-time overall.
Does Milwaukee FUEL also apply to M12 Tools?
Yes – Milwaukee’s FUEL system is alive and kicking in both the M18 range and M12 range, so you can make the most out of this technology whatever platform you’re running! You can view the M12 range here.
What about normal Milwaukee Brushless tools?
As mentioned above, Milwaukee has a range of standard brushed cordless tools in M18 and M12, and then they have their top-of-the-range, heavy-duty ‘FUEL’ range. In recent years they have introduced a few ranges of ‘Compact Brushless’ tools, which utilise standard brushless tech, but without all the bells and whistles of FUEL. It allows them to hit another price point for people first getting to grips with the brand and wanting the benefits of brushless – but needing to go that bit further and invest in FUEL.
What does Milwaukee FUEL stand for?
Well, as a final note, I’ve tried digging and finding out what FUEL means. None of our reps at Milwaukee themselves knew, so I wondered if it’s some ancient secret or that the marketing guys just figured that it sounds cool (like something Jeremy Clarkson would blurt out). However, after many hours and numerous BuzzFeed & Youtube rabbit holes, I did find a video that suggests the origin of the term FUEL has its origins in the engineering team at Milwaukee HQ, who were tasked with one simple rule:
Find the ultimate energy level!
Whether that’s true or not, I cannot say – but it sounds pretty cool and pretty legit. (I can see the meeting in my head)
Popular Milwaukee FUEL Power Tools
So there you go. That’s Milwaukee’s FUEL range summed up in a nutshell. I hope that clears up any confusion, and remember, ITS.co.uk stocks a huge range of FUEL tools, so you know where to come if you want to get into the platform… If you have ANY further questions, please drop me a comment below.