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Looking at buying a combo kit. I know the M18 has significantly more power. Does the M12 do a good job for the average homeowner? Some nice deals right now. I have a corded impact for lugs etc.
 

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I've found the M12's to be mostly for just the rarely piddling around light duty work. I have an M12 sawzall and it does OK for trimming a few limbs or cutting some bits of this or that during remodeling. But if you want to cut out some 2x4 wall studs or do multiple cuts of exhaust pipe then you really do want to upgrade to the bigger M18. I don't have an M18, but I do have another brand equivalent. For a quick cut I'll grab whichever is closer but to do bigger stuff I 'll go get the bigger one. There's not really all that much difference in size between the M12 and the smaller M18. (There's a bigger one).
Drills I could go either way. I like a lighter drill and could do an M12 but the M18 was on sale, so... Most heavy drilling I just use a 110 volt one for anyway. But having a cordless one is very addictive. You end up wanting to use one for everything. The 1/4" M12 driver is THE business for driving screws. Deck screws, wallboard, whatever. I didn't think I really needed it when I had drills. Wrong. No drill drives screws like it. It's a really nice and handy size too.
I love my M12 soldering iron. No M18 equivalent. I love my honking great M18 1/2" impact too. Good thing they have chargers that not only can charge both batteries, but do both at the same time. So I have M12's, M18's, and only one charger for all.
Oh, and I really like the M18 chainsaw too. Pricey but works great. It will run a battery dry quick though. I've been eyeing the circular saws lately.
 

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I love my M18 gear. The Sawzall is awesome and the grinder is also fantastic, the drill motors are good - I have ones out of a combo so aren’t the big ones. I have the small impact which is fine for most car stuff up to 5/8 SAE.
5amp batteries last plenty long and even a 2amp for the drill motor is handy and keeps it light. The grinder does tend to use battery but they charge that quick that two 5amps is enough to keep me going without a break.

I would like an M12 3/8th socket impact ratchet as its nice and compact.
 

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I work in a rock quarry. We only buy M18 because its so strong and seems to be pretty durable. The charge on the batteries are impressive. I wouldnt get the big extra large batteries (6.0) unless you plan on running them 8 hours a day. All our contractos have switched over as well. If you need to, the drills have adjustable setting so you dont over power everything. We have the band saw, sawzall, grinders, almost every drill and impact. Only downside is they can overheat if you are work outside all day.
 

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I have a mix of M12, M18, and M28.

The M28 stuff I bought as a combo kit back in 2008/9 when I bought my first house. 1/2 Drill/Hammer Drill, Sawsall, Circular saw, Flashlight, and 1/2 impact. I've had to replace the batteries once, from the V28 to M28. The 1/2 drill is the workhorse. It's been with me through my entire mustang build as my work horse. It's been through home renovations and demos. It just goes and goes.

The only M18 stuff I have is my yard working stuff, the weed eater, edger, and hedge trimmer. So much power it's unreal. The edger has crazy amounts of torque.

The M12 3/8 drill and impact driver are my favorites. They are light and versatile. They are my go to for most work if it's suitable.

Bringing up my mustang again - the M12 drill holds my 1/8 drill bit and the M28 drill holes the spot weld cutters, larger drill bits, and uni-bits. They were/are my star combo for not only removing all the sheet metal, but also for prepping all the new sheet metal. The M12 is worth it's weight in gold just to only drill 1/8 pilot holes for it's entire life. It's light and the battery will last for as many holes as the M28 doing the heavy lifting for doing the next step with the pilots, either spot weld cutter or uni-bit for the plug weld holes. They replaced my pneumatic drills I thought I was going to use for my restoration - plus they are quiet.

M28 is what I have because I think it was before M18 stuff came out. I'm sure the M18 drill/hammer drill would work just as well with the improvements in batteries and brushless motors.
 

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I have the M18 fuel Hammer drill/driver combo, sawzall, grinder, and blower. They are all workhorses and I haven't had any issues with any of them. Batteries last a long time even when not being used for a while. I'm looking to add to the collection. I would buy them again if I had to.
 

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Be aware both Milwaukee and DeWalt make 2 grades of cordless tools. The big box stores where you stumble across what appears to be a good deal often have motors with brushes, while the more expensive and better quality are brushless. Know what you're buying because there is, in my opinion a big spread in quality between the 2 designs. I learned about the difference the expensive way.
 

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All the current battery powered Milwaukee "Fuel" tools are brushless and the same. That doesn't apply to the 110 volt tools though. Dewalt on the other hand makes like three different battery tool lines. The third being the ones they make for Mac tools.
A big Milwaukee selling point is that most of the power tools have a five year warranty. But that warranty is based solely on the serial number on a sticker on the tool. If the number gets beat up and unreadable or the sticker comes off, end of warranty. There may be an "authorized" tool repair place near you, so if you need to use the warranty you can just drop it off and pick it up later. That way no need to fool with shipping.
 

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I also have both the M12 & M18 tools. M12 are nice for average around the house type stuff and limited car work, but are going to show their limits if you use them for construction work. M18 is where it's at if you're doing home renovation or want to use them in the garage extensively. I use the M18 1/4" hex impact in the garage all the time, just slap on a hex to socket adapter and go to town. Last year I treated myself to the M18 Fuel trim nailer and it's impressive, love not having to drag out the air hose. A friend has the M12 3/8" ratchet and 3/8" impact, he loves them and uses them all the time.

Only issue I ever had was battery related. Sent in a couple batteries that wouldn't charge and a charger that I suspected was bad, they replaced everything with new, no questions asked.

One tool that really impressed me was the M12 Hackzall. It's amazing how handy that little bugger is.
 

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Be aware both Milwaukee and DeWalt make 2 grades of cordless tools. The big box stores where you stumble across what appears to be a good deal often have motors with brushes, while the more expensive and better quality are brushless. Know what you're buying because there is, in my opinion a big spread in quality between the 2 designs. I learned about the difference the expensive way.
All Milwaukee Fuel is brushless. That’s what the fuel line of their tools is.


I have all M18 Fuel stuff and it’s fantastic. I started upgrading from the 12V Dewalt stuff about a year ago and have been very happy. 12V are like neat little hobby tools. If you need to do some work, you’ll want the 18.
 
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