Milwaukee M18 FUEL 7-1/4” Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

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Milwaukee M18 Cordless 7-1/4″ Miter Saw 2733-21 Review

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 7-1/4” Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

4.5/5
Manufacturer: Milwaukee
Model number: 2733-21
Price: 399 bare tool / 499 kitted
Power source: M18 battery
Motor size: Brusless 5000 RPM
Weight: 28
The miter saw is a tool that brings carpentry cuts to a higher level of accuracy. Miter saws provide quick, accurate cross cuts at angles. While designed for finish carpentry, like molding and trim cutting applications, they are now being utilized in all phases of construction.

“First Impressions” Matter

The Milwaukee M18 FUEL 7-1/4” Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw runs off of one 18-volt battery, features a 7-1/4 blade and weighs 28 pounds. Trust me when I tell you that this saw is light and compact.

In fact, my very first impression when I picked up this saw was, ” WOW this things light!” This saw has the potential to be the quintessential trim saw. It’s size bridges the gap in the power tool space for siding, flooring and trim contractors who don’t typically need a large capacity saw.

We took this saw to our remodeling job site to see how it would perform.

How Big Do You Need?

9 out of 10 times Im cutting a 1×8 or smaller board or smaller. This far along in my career, I’ve learned that I don’t really need a 12″ sliding saw weighing in at 50 or 60 pounds to cut 4″ window trim. To put this into perspective think about carrying your current saw up three flights of stairs, sound fun?

Integrated side table handles and a single top carry handle make this saw a breeze to carry, and setup. The saw table has cut outs that not only reduce the tools weight but also give an excellent, well balanced, hold on the saw. We found it super easy to carry one-handed.

Its compact size takes up less space in my truck, or trailer shelf, which is always a plus.

As I age and do this more, I’ve come to realize that I can perform most of my work with lighter, more portable tools. I still own a corded 12″ Dewalt slider, but it sits idle waiting for that rare soffit or stair job.

When used in conjunction with Milwaukee’s newest Miter Saw Stand, the Miter Saw still weighs in at 59 lbs. which is what most competitor miter saws [without the stand] weigh in at.

Milwaukee 7-1/4” Miter Saw Motor

The M18 FUEL 7-1/4” Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw has a slanted, direct drive, soft start, brushless motor that spins at 5000 RPMs.

This saw motor is basically the same motor that Milwaukee uses in their 7-1/4″ circular saw. This slanted motor design [angled gears] allows the saw to achieve a dual bevel to the right at 48 degrees. The soft-start feature on the motor is nice and we noticed that you don’t get that big “Head-Bob,” as the blade starts spinning. An electric brake safety feature also stops the blade quick.

Pronated Hand Grip / Ambidextrous Trigger

Most miter saws these days are using a pronated grip. We find that this hand position is best suited to control the saw and cut, resulting in accurate, clean cuts.

A dual action trigger allows ambidextrous use and we found the switches easy to reach and activate.

LED Shadow Line NOT Laser

I’m not a fan of lasers since they often come out of calibration and are affected by blade diameter.

The Milwaukee M18 FUEL 7-1/4” Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw utilizes a strong LED light that lights up the work table and casts a shadow line down and across both sides of the saw blade, indicating the saw kerf. We found that this shadow line is bright enough to see in most daylight conditions and works on different saw blade widths.

This LED light is activated when the tools trigger is pulled, or through a  separate switch, easily accessed off the handle.

Let’s Talk Capacity

Lots of you are thinking why did Milwaukee make a saw with a 7-1/4″ blade?  Well lets flush that out.

A blade this size can handle most of the core tasks we do, that’s a fact, and it also means a lighter tool. The smaller 7-1/4″ blade also means less deflection, and more accurate cuts. With all things being equal, you’ll see less deflection when you step down any blade. Finally the saw is compact – which is a goal for many of us.

This saw has a dual bevel feature which is important to us, and what we do. The fact that this saw is dual bevel and cordless is a win. In fact, we were able to make 45 degree bevel cuts without removing the fence. You do have to slide the fences all the way out to the sides.  When making bevel angle of 48° either left and right, you have to remove the fence.

An adjustable stainless steel detent plate includes 11 detent stops and a detent override lets the you lock the saw, exactly in place. The detent override and lock allows you to set the saw a”smidge,” off the detent, which we all know, can be useful at times.

This saw will make the following cuts:

  • 3-1/2” vertical capacity for cutting base up against the fence
  • 2×8 Horizontal Capacity
  • 3-5/8” nested crown
  • 45° Bevel Capacity 3/4”
  • 90° Cross Cut Capacity 2”
  • 90° Cross Cut Capacity (max width) 2×8
  • 45° Miter Cut Capacity (max height) 2”
  • 45° Miter Cut Capacity (max width) 2×6

Runtime

Everyone wants to know how many cuts a cordless saw can achieve. When equipped with a 5.0 Ah battery, this saw can complete over 600 cuts in 3-1/4” base board and up to 300 cuts in 2×4 stock.

Using the Milwaukee M18 Miter Saw

We didn’t have a trim job to set this saw on, so we decided to use this saw on a small addition we were framing. We used it to cut 2×4, 2×6 studs and some exterior window trim. The saw is not a saw mill in the power department, but it is powerful enough to cut this lumber.

We were careful not to plow through the material, but used regular feed rate to make our cuts. I’ll be honest, I did not expect this saw to keep up or last with framing lumber but it did.

As far a saw operation goes, the saw controls, bevel and slide rails are smooth and easy to operate.

We noticed that when we plugged in a 9.0 Ah battery we got a little bump in saw power. This is the battery I’d recommend using when cutting framing.

One important observation was that we did not notice any excessive flex in the saw head when fully pulled back on the rails. The saw head was sturdy, and the rails, are similar in design to the 10″ saw, slide smoothly on bearings and feel good.

This saw does not require a lot of force to make a cross-cut.

Dust Extraction

The miter saw comes with a large black cloth dust bag, that was designed to be able to be filled up to the top. Typically most miter saw bags fill up and block the dust port or spews dust back through the dust chute when the saw head is pushed down.

This bag has a plastic “snorkel-like” tube attachment that directs the saw dust to the back of the bag. It keeps the dust from falling out and gives you better collection capacity.

One cool thing about the saws rear dust port was specifically designed to accommodate seven [7] different dust extractor nozzle fitments. [hose attachments]

This multi-purpose port has a slight taper built into the port design, the sizes are:

  1. 1-1/16
  2. 1-1/4
  3. 1-7/16
  4. 1-1/2
  5. 1-7/8
  6. 1-15/16
  7. 2-1/2

Milwaukee 7-1/4” Miter Saw Specifications

  • M18 FUEL™ 7-1/4” Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (2733-21)
  • Blade Diameter 7-1/4”
  • No Load RPM 5,000
  • Arbor Size 5/8”
  • Bevel Dual
  • Slide Yes
  • Weight 28 lbs
  • Max Bevel Angle (L/R) 48/48
  • Max Miter Angle (L/R) 48/48

Milwaukee 7-1/4” Miter Saw Cost

The Milwaukee M18 FUEL 7-1/4” Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw sells as a bare tool (2733-20) for  $399; and $499 (2733-21) as a kit.

Overall Impression – Work Smarter Not Harder!

The skilled trade gap is real. Compounding this problem, a whole generation of younger workers are no longer even considering construction as a viable career option.  Many high schools have phased out shop classes, and parents increasingly have steered graduates to four-year colleges and white-collar careers. Now, as older workers are retiring, there simply isn’t anyone ready to take their spots.

This leaves guys, like me, middle aged and working in the trades. As I get older, and hopefully smarter, I’m looking ways to improve my productivity through performance driven tools and trade-focused solutions.  This includes lighter, more compact tools that can still achieve my core tasks.

Having a cordless miter saw, with an 8-inch plus rip capacity, that weighs 28 lbs, is one of those “better ways!”

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 7-1/4” Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Video Review

 

 

 

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is also the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the editor of the blog, A Concord Carpenter and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. As a carpenter and web editor, Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals. He is the carpenter correspondence for and writes a Q&A column, in the Sunday Boston Globe, called "Ask the Carpenter."He hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show,, offering the do-it-yourself audience in Boston’s Metro West region expert advice on home repairs and maintenance. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, where we post all of our tool reviews and video editorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/@https://twitter.com/robertrobillardRob Robillard

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