Milwaukee M18 FUEL™ 7-1/4” Circular Saw Review

Tool Box Buzz rating:

M18 FUEL™ 7-1/4” Circular Saw – Model 2731-22

Milwaukee 18V FUEL 7-1/4" Circular Saw

5/5
Manufacturer: Milwaukee
Model number: 2731-22
Price: $429 (2 Battery Kit)
Power source: 18V Li-Ion
Motor size: Brushless Motor
Weight: 7.5 lbs
Milwaukee has stepped up their game again and given us a full size 7-1/4″ circular saw using their 18V FUEL cordless platform. Just last year I reviewed their 6-1/2″ version and gave it 5 out of 5 stars because it was an absolute beast when it came to power and run time. In this article I’m looking at the big brother, Model 2731-22 (two battery kit) which should prove the final blow on cutting the cord for circular saws.

I first got my hands on this saw at the 2014 New Product Symposium at the Milwaukee headquarters and I was very impressed. In order to truly dive into this new product I’ve spent the last few weeks putting it through some testing on the job and in the shop. After spending some quality time with this saw I can definitely say I won’t be needing an AC power supply anymore for circular saw tasks.

Milwaukee 18V FUEL Circular SawM18 FUEL 7-1/4″ Circular Saw Features & Specifications

  • POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor: Increased cutting speed and power
  • REDLINK PLUS™ Intelligence: Provides optimized performance and overload protection using total system communication between tool, battery and charger
  • REDLITHIUM™ Battery Pack: 4.0 Ah pack for extended run time
  • 2-1/2″ Cut Depth for greater range of applications
  • Integrated Rafter Hook for easy storage between uses
  • LED Light for great cutline visibility in low light situations
  • Tool Warranty: 5 Years
  • Magnesium Blade Guard and Shoe
  • 50 Degree Maximum Bevel Capacity

Todd Fratzel using M18 FUEL Circ Saw

Power For The Toughest Applications

Over the years there have been steady improvements to cordless circular saws but most of them just couldn’t keep up with day to day applications like cutting framing lumber and heavy sheet goods. That all changed last year with both the 6-1/2″ FUEL from Milwaukee and also the 7-1/4″ (Dual 18V Battery) Circular Saw from Makita. Both saws made a huge impact and proved that cordless circular saws are ready for prime time especially in the power category.

However, both saws had small issues that I think this new saw overcomes. The Makita saw uses a full size 7-1/4″ blade but it’s powered by two 18V batteries and weighs 10.1 lbs. The older 6-1/2″ Milwaukee only weighs 6.8 lbs because it runs on a single battery yet it uses a smaller less popular blade size. The new 2731, 7-1/4″ M18 FUEL circular saw weighs only 9.0 lbs (with the battery), uses a single battery, and offers the full size 7-1/4″ blade.

Cutting 4 Sheets of OSB

So you might be asking yourself if the Milwaukee saw is as powerful as the Makita. The answer likely revolves around the fact that Makita is using a standard brushed motor and Milwaukee is taking advantage of a brushless motor. The result is a circular saw that has ample power for even the toughest materials like engineered lumber.

Both myself and Rob Robillard have been testing this new saw and we both feel it offers corded power. There simply is not noticeable difference in performance when we tested it cutting engineered LVL’s,

M18 FUELPortability When It Counts

With a cordless circular saw that offers this amount of power the portability of being cordless becomes even more useful. The M18 FUEL 7-1/4″ Circular Saw is great for tough jobs like overhead cutting and working on roofs and scaffolding. When you consider that some of the most popular corded circular saws on the market weigh between 10lbs and 14 lbs (Makita 5007, DEWALT DWE575, Bosch CS5), the 9 lbs of the Milwaukee 2731 is a welcome attribute when working up high.

Rob Robillard using M18 FUEL Circ SawRob recently used the 2731 on a window replacement job and had the following to say.

“The M18 FUEL 7-1/4″ Circular Saw gives me the power I need to get the job done while allowing me to work several stories high without fear of tripping over a cord. Tools like the 2731 are allowing me to be more productive and work safer on a daily basis.”

M18 FUEL Circular Saw

Full Size – No Need for Special Blade Sizes

One of the things that I like most about this new model is the fact that it is a full size circular saw. Full size in the fact that it uses a 7-1/4″ blade instead of some “special” size that can be hard to find when you really need it. Now you can use any 7-1/4″ blade that you’ve got in your trailer or job box and keep working instead of searching for that needle in a hay stack!

M18 FUEL Circ Saw

Warranty – Long Enough To Matter

Another feature that I feel is worth mentioning is the warranty for both the tool and batteries. Milwaukee offers a 5 year warranty on the tool and 3 years on the battery packs. In a world that often sees warranties of consumer goods in the one year range it’s nice to see a lengthy warranty that covers a time period appropriate to the construction industry.

Run Time – No Longer An Issue

Run time used to be one of the big factors with cordless circular saws and I think that is a dead issue now. With just two batteries there are very few tasks that a carpenter can perform that will drain one of the batteries before another can be charged. The 4.0 Ah XC battery packs can cut over 200 2×4’s on a single charge and the charger can fully charge the battery in one hour. Later this year Milwaukee is also introducing 5.0 Ah battery packs which will offer up to 30% more run time!

Final Thoughts – Milwaukee M18 FUEL 7-1/4″ Circular Saw

I know many of you will continue to be skeptical about a cordless circular saw. All I can say is get your hands on the 2731 and you too will ditch your corded circular saw. This tool is powerful, light weight, and very well built. Not much else to say other than I can’t wait to see what’s next for this successful line of FUEL tools from Milwaukee. Do yourself a favor and save some money so you can buy this bad boy!

Milwaukee 18V FUEL 7-1/4" Circular Saw
$429 (2 Battery Kit)

 

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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5 Comments

  1. […] Click here to read more about the Milwaukee M18 7-1/4″ Circular Saw – Model 2731.22  […]

  2. […] day tools but are still indispensable on the job site. The pro carpenters and framers have the M18 FUEL 7-1/4” Circular Saw or the M18 FUEL 6-1/2” Circular Saw but other trades didn’t necessarily need that big of […]

  3. dave paff

    I just recently bought this saw and I do love the power. It takes some getting used to though. I think this saw would be even better if the blade were on the other side if the saw where I can more clearly see my cut line.
    Most framers today are using wormdrive saws that offer high visibility and although they are heavier, that weight is used as leverage to power through cuts in a downward motion.
    I would be really curious to know why Milwaukee thought it was a good idea to make this saw “left handed”.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Dave – I’ll be out in Milwaukee later in June, I’ll try to ask them their thoughts on this. Stay tuned!

  4. […] have taken the industry by storm with better than corded performance out of almost every tool from circular saws to rotary hammers. This can come with a price though, battery chargers everywhere. Milwaukee is […]

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