18 Volt Cordless Combo Kit Head to Head
Milwaukee M18 Cordless Lithium-Ion 4-Piece [Circular Saw Purchase Separately] Combo Kit
Model # 2696-24 – $429 Added Circular Saw Model 2630-20 – $119
5 Year Limited Warranty (Tool), 3 Year Limited Warranty (Battery)
Milwaukee Tool Company is well known for producing some of the best cordless tools on the market. Generally they’ve catered to the electrician and plumbing trades but they make some excellent tools for carpentry as well. Milwaukee has made a big impact with their premiere brushless FUEL line, but their brushed M18 line is a shining example of professional grade tools and compared to the cost of the other premium options out there, the M18 line is great choice for almost all trades.
Milwaukee’s M18 line tools we tested included 4-piece Combo Kit, drill/driver, impact driver, recip, and flashlight, with the addition, of the circular saw.
- 2607-20 Compact ½” Hammer Drill – 1/2 in. metal single sleeve ratcheting chuck locking mechanism, LED light, 500 in-lbs of torque, mode selector which allows quick transition between driving, drilling or hammer modes without changing the clutch setting.
- 2656-20 ¼” Hex Impact Driver – 1,500 in-lbs of torque, LED light, ¼” hex quick-connect chuck.
- 2620-20 Sawzall Recip Saw – Patented gear-protecting clutch, Lever Action Quick-Lok blade clamp, variable speed trigger.
- 2735-20 LED work light – Sealed aluminum head: designed for impact- and weather- resistant durability, 135 degree, rotating head, provides flexible, focused illumination, integrated hook for hands free use.
- 2630-20 M18 Circular Saw – Heavy-duty magnesium guards, electronic brake, aircraft aluminum shoe, 50 degree maximum bevel capacity.
The circular saw performed well but, compared with the other tools in the kit it doesn’t quite have the power and runtime of the other tools. This makes it fine for plumbers and electricians for cutting some blocking or notching some framing, but might leave a carpenter, or framer frustrated. However, because the circular saw is a separate bare tool, you can upgrade it. For about eighty bucks more than you’d pay for the saw we’ve included in the kit you can get yourself a Fuel circular saw. Or depending on the trade a metal cutting circular saw (2682-20) or a band saw (2629-20) might be a better fit. If you do a lot of wood cutting and want a cordless saw with excellent performance the Fuel is a worthy upgrade. And in any case you can opt for a full kit with one or two more batteries, charger, and case or bag for the tool.
The kit bag is good sized but only barely large enough to hold the 4-tool kit it comes with adding the circular saw makes the bag a little cramped for the tools. It’s a decent bag as far as those that come with kits go. But if you’re going to add to your cordless kit or want to carry a lot of accessories you’re going to need additional storage. With all 5 tools batteries and charger in the bag the whole kit weighs in at 29 lbs making it pretty manageable to carry to and from the jobsite.
The batteries that come with this kit are 3.0 amp hour which means a shorter run time. However it also means a shorter charge time. A couple of kits we tested come with 4.0 amp hour batteries (Milwaukee FUEL, and Ridgid) which is definitely something to consider when buying a cordless kit.
Our expectation was a solid all around cordless tool kit with good performance and that was exactly what we got. Overall we give this 3.75 out of 5 stars. While the kit is slightly more suitable for plumbers and electricians due to the setup of the Sawzall and the circular saw isn’t up to the new standard set by the Fuel circular saw the kit is easily tuned with the purchase of a Fuel saw to be a great kit for the carpenter. The tools in this kit may not be premium tools but they still get the job done better than most of what’s out there and for less money than the top-of-the-line tools.
About the author
Product reviews on this site contain our opinion of a product or service. We will always strive for objectivity and transparency in our reviews. Our goal is to provide readers with honest, objective information based on our own experiences. We never have and never will accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the products that we review are provided to us for free by a manufacturer or retailer. In some cases, we also have advertising or affiliate relationships with manufacturers and retailers of products and services we review. For additional information please visit our additional disclosure policies.