Milwaukee M12 FUEL HATCHET Pruning Saw Review

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Milwaukee M12 FUEL HATCHET 2527-21

Milwaukee M12 FUEL HATCHET Pruning Saw

Manufacturer: Milwaukee
Model number: 2527-21
Price: 179.00
Power source: M12 Cordless
Motor size: Brushless
Weight: 4.85 lbs
The Milwaukee M12 FUEL HATCHET Pruning Saw was recently released as a super portable, maneuverable, and compact mini chainsaw. Dubbed “The Hatchet,” this saw can cut 3” hardwoods, and delivers up to 120 cuts per 4.0 ah battery charge. It’s a welcome and certainly interesting addition to the outdoor power equipment [OPE] tool market.

Weighing less than 5 lbs the M12 FUEL HATCHET features a 6-inch Oregon bar & chain. The chain leverages a full-house design with a cutter on every drive link as opposed to every other drive link on a standard saw chain. This full-house design delivers cleaner cuts and less vibration. The tool also features an automatic oiler, easy access chain tensioner, metal bucking spikes, and on-board wrench storage.

Milwaukee M12 FUEL HATCHET Pruning Saw

Milwaukee M12 FUEL HATCHET Pruning Saw Specifications

M12 FUEL™ HATCHET™ 6” Pruning Saw Kit (2527-21)

  • 6” Oregon® Bar & Chain
  • Full House Chain
  • Speed: 5 m/s
  • Chain Gauge: .043”
  • Chain Pitch: 3/8” Low Profile
  • Oiler: Automatic
  • Easy Access Chain Tensioner
  • Metal Bucking Spikes
  • Variable Speed Trigger
  • Onboard Wrench Storage
  • Length: 18.49”
  • Height: 9.12”
  • Width: 3.76”
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs w/battery
  • 3-year warranty
  • CHAIN 49-16-2733


Impression After Using The M12 HATCHET

Three words come to mind, compact, portable, and powerful. The M12 Hatchet is about the strangest and coolest chainsaw I’ve used yet. First off it’s incredibly comfortable to use and feels like an extension of your hand. Hackzall users will understand this right away when they pick it up. It just feels “right” in your hand.

The HATCHET is incredibly comfortable to use and that’s mostly because we’ve been a Hackzall for 5 years or so. It follows the same form factor, except that it has a bar and chain where a reciprocating blade usually resides. The other difference is the top handle guard. Placing your hand here isn’t necessary but ensures that you can’t slip into the chain thanks to its wrap-around design.
Most of the time we found ourselves operating the saw one-handed (like a Hackzall) and my other hand is stabilizing the tree/branch getting cut. This saw is optimized to cut wood 3″ or smaller in diameter so it’s easy to hold the branch with your support hand while cutting.

Killer Application

If you’re reading this and struggling to see how you might use this beauty of a saw let me present you with some scenarios that I think are the killer applications of this tool.
1.) Camping/trails 
This thing is small, light, portable, and capable. Perfect for taking camping to help gather small bits of firewood or clear trails. Clearing/maintaining trails is what we used this saw for mostly. It easily straps to the front fender of a dirt bike so that it’s accessible to maintain/clean up trails while out on a ride.
2.) Pruning in your yard
One of the best features of this saw is that it can be used one-handed. That means that you can easily maintain your three points of contact on a ladder while using it. Set your ladder up at your tree, climb up, and safely prune it.

We also used the M12 HATCHET in our yard cleaning up after a storm.  This saw has excellent power and cuts fast.

HATCHET Improvements

I know we’re not the first to say it but we need this tool on the M18 platform too. Much like the M18 Fuel Hackzall that took like 4 years to come out. We’re not disappointed in the M12 power but you have to be mindful to let the tool do the cutting. If this was on the M18 platform, you would gain better performance and run time, but at the cost of additional weight.


The M12 HATCHET sells as a kit for $249.00. The Kit Includes the 6” Pruning Saw, M12™ REDLITHIUM™ XC4.0 Battery, M12™ Charger, 6” Oregon® bar and chain, Scabbard, and Wrench. A bare tool also available (2527-20)

Overall Impression

The M12 Hatchet saw is a cool and strange-looking tool. As a mini- chainsaw is compact, portable, and powerful. We see this tool filling a void in OPE and pro pruning tasks by giving the professional landscaper a small and powerful mini chainsaw to get into tighter spots like in ornamental trees and shrubbery.



Milwaukee M12 FUEL HATCHET Video Review

#HomeDepotPartner and #THDProSpective

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

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1 Comment

  1. OldDominionDIYer

    I love my Milwaukee Hatchet, it has been more useful than I imagined when purchasing it. I am so happy with it and “brag” about all the uses and how light and nimble it is! Definitely has it’s own niche and can be a very handy tool to both pros and DIYers alike.

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