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Milwaukee M12 vs M12 Fuel – Which One’s Worth It?

Milwaukee M12 vs M12 Fuel
Last Update: June 20, 2023

The tools in your collection are an indication of the quality of your work. Your practice will benefit from high-quality tools since clients are guaranteed to receive the best results.

M12 and M12 Fuels are similar in many ways. They differ only in their motor systems.

There is a brushless motor on the M12 Fuel, and another one with a brushed motor. You can use their batteries interchangeably because they can use the same voltage.

Compared to the standard M12, the M12 brushless performs better.

Why is There Fuel Variants of the Milwaukee M12 Product Line?

Why is There Fuel Variants of the Product Line

Milwaukee’s M18 cordless power tools have been continuously improved since they launched their REDLITHIUMTM batteries.

Power tools powered by Milwaukee’s M18 fuel were launched in 2012.

Contractor-grade power tools, the  M18 fuel is made for tough jobs. In addition to being well built, they are better at controlling vibrations and protecting against water and heat.

With the new Fuel line from Milwaukee, Milwaukee tools offer even more durability, power, and run times than the other Milwaukee lines.

Milwaukee M12 vs M12 Fuel: How Are They Different?


Cordless drill Milwaukee M12 is good for small jobs like hanging pictures and putting up curtain rails. It can be used in tight spaces.

The M12 Fuel is good to complete complex tasks. It can drill and drive screws.

Milwaukee M12 is designed to be compact and sleek. The ergonomic grip makes it comfortable to hold.

This tool has a curved shape that makes it comfortable to hold for prolonged periods of time.

The M12 Fuel, however, appears bulky and big. When using it for longer periods, it feels unbalanced with its straight grip.

Quality of the Build

Quality of the Build

With its magnesium construction, the M12 is strong and durable. M12’s magnesium housing is stronger and has a higher strength level than the Milwaukee Fuel’s plastic housing.

There are two-speed settings on the M12 Fuel, which allows it to drill holes in metal and concrete.

The M12 is good for drilling into wood or meal with just one speed. They are both powerful tools. According to their specifications.

On the other hand, the M12 Fuel is more versatile based on its features.

Motor type

Motor type

Milwaukee offers two types of motors: M12 and M12 Fuel. Despite their similarities, the motors have a few differences.

They offer low, medium, and high-torque M12 motors. Their fuel types vary according to the application. A high-torque and low-torque M12 Fuel motors are available.

The type of motor affects what tool is used for a particular task as well as how efficiently that tool performs.

M12 Fuels are lithium powered and M12 batteries are NiCad powered.

The Drive modes

The Drive modes

The M12 features an electronic clutch that increases the versatility of the tool by giving users the ability to switch between high torque and high speed.

This can be done without adjusting the tool’s settings. For the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Drive Mode, you can select different types like the hammer drill, rotary hammer, and rotary driver settings.

Users can choose between battery or fuel cell power sources, as needed.

The Milwaukee M12 is an excellent tool for light projects around the house and on the job site with less cord wear and more functionality.

Torque Output

The difference here is the fuel has a higher torque output designed for complex jobs.

The fuel has twice as much maximum torque of 360 ft-lbs than the m12.


Among Milwaukee’s most popular tools are the M12 and M12 Fuel.

Despite sharing a lot of similarities, their differences are the noise level and power output.

Compared to the M12 Fuel, the M12 is louder. This is suitable for those that need to cut through masonry or concrete without making too much noise.

It is recommended to get the M12 Fuel instead if you aren’t looking for that level of power.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

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