Milwaukee M18 Fuel Super Sawzall 2722-21HD REVIEW

In this review we will be taking a look at Milwaukee’s latest cordless reciprocating saw, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Super Sawzall 2722-21HD and we will discuss it’s feature set and performance.

Ethic’s Disclosure:

Milwaukee was kind enough to provide the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Super Sawzall 2722-21HD at no cost for review. However as with all my reviews, I am not paid, sponsored, or obligated to give a positive review. This review is my opinion of the product based on my usage and knowledge and my review will reflect what I like and dislike about the product. I will do my best to provide you with an unbiased review.

Manufacturer Features and Specs:

  •  POWERSTATE™ Brushless motor: purposely built for the M18 FUEL™ SUPER SAWZALL® to generate the power and performance of a 15 A corded reciprocating saw
  •  Compatible with all M18 batteries and tools
  •  REDLINK Plus™ intelligence: ensures optimal performance and provides overload protection to prevent damage to the tool and battery during heavy applications while still maintaining compatibility across the entire M18™ system
  •  REDLITHIUM™ HIGH OUTPUT™ HD12.0 battery pack: provides 50% more power and runs 50% cooler versus standard REDLITHIUM™ HD packs; superior pack construction provides the industry’s best protection against jobsite conditions
  •  1-1/4 in. stroke length removes more material with each stroke
  • 0-3,000 SPM
  • Weigth 12.2 lbs
  • length 21.5″
  •  Integrated rafter hook for easy storage between cuts
  •  LED light for increased accuracy and visibility
  •  Adjustable shoe- extends the life of the blade
  •  Quik-Lok® blade clamp for tool-less blade changes
  •  Selectable on/off orbital action provides aggressive cutting in wood and smooth cuts in metal
  • Price: $399 2722-21HD kit with 12.0ah battery, rapid charger and large tool bag

My Thoughts:

Announced at this years 2018 Milwaukee new product symposium event were lots of new Milwaukee Fuel branded tools that offered the next breakthrough in the Fuel technology. Milwaukee “FUEL” is the trademark name for their tools that have the latest tech, features, brushless motor and top performance in their class. One of those new FUEL cordless tools is their latest cordless 18 volt reciprocating saw – the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Super Sawzall 2722-21HD. Milwaukee already offered a couple of Fuel Sawzall models with the original M18 Fuel Sawzall and the updated M18 Fuel Sawzall with One-Key however the Super Sawzall is just like it’s name suggests, is a SUPER version.

The Super Sawzall launched alongside their newest 18V High Demand battery, the M18 HD 12.0 ah battery. When the Super Sawzall is paired with this battery, it is said to offer performance similar to a 15 amp corded reciprocating saw and even said to cut faster than a corded saw. While the SPM stays the same as the original Fuel version at 0-3000 SPM, they increased the stroke length to 1-1/4″ which is similar to their corded Super Sawzall unit meaning it will cut more material per stroke. They also added an orbital mode with switch on top for more aggressive orbital cuts in lumber that result in faster cutting. Of course I will discuss how it performs in the performance section down below.

With this being a Super Sawzall in terms of specs the size and weight are SUPER as well as this isn’t a compact recip saw by no means nor is it a light saw either. It’s not trying to be either and it weighs in a hefty 12.2 lbs (with battery) which is on the heavy side for a cordless tool which is a little over two full pounds heavier than the corded Super Sawzall model. This is mostly in part in the fact that the 12.0 battery itself weighs in at a hefty 3.4 lbs (per AcmeTools). While heavier than other cordless reciprocating saws and even corded models, 12.2 lbs isn’t bad considering that it’s a two handed tool and the performance it produces (more about it’s performance below). A 12 pound tool isn’t heavy, especially if held by two hands.

Sharing the same name with the corded Super Sawzall model it also carries over one of it’s feature which is a variable speed dial above the trigger and is easily accessed via thumb and index finger to limit the max RPM speed of the saw essentially adding variable speeds to this saw. The trigger itself is also variable speed as well so you have full control of the cutting speed at all times to take it easy and slow for control, or full blast for fast cutting, or anywhere in between. The Super Sawzall also includes a lock switch above the trigger behind the variable speed dial which acts as a safety switch to lock the tool if the user decides to.

Other features include a pivoting shoe which was very stiff out of the box but after several cuts it loosened up to where I like it better. You can adjust the length of the shoe via a pull out lever below the front of the tool. The lever itself does the job but it fits recessed into the body a bit which makes it hard to get a fingernail in there to pull out, and makes it very hard to pull open if you’re wearing gloves. It’s definitely not as easy to operate as the easy push button on the Bosch GSA18V-12518V brushless reciprocating saw. Moving the shoe forward allows the unused portion of your blades to be used thus extending their lifespan so you don’t have to throw them out as often. A large LED light is behind the shoe to help illuminate the cutting path in low light situations.

Although this is a FUEL branded tool which should have all their latest and greatest feature, there is a downgrade on this tool in the form of no easy access side latch to change blades. To change blades, the user has to fit his/her fingers in the cramped area behind the shoe and grip and turn the blade clamp collar. Depending on where the blade stopped, sometimes the clamp is pushed further back into the tool making it awkward and harder to reach. I wish Milwaukee would have put an easy side blade change lever like they did on the original M18 Fuel Sawzall model for easy blade changes.

Going back to the orbital settings, there is only one orbital setting “ON” and is activated with a top mounted dial to choose between orbital or inline modes. The mode dial does the job but doesn’t offer a satisfying click when it is engaged in either mode and is easy to move out of place. I didn’t have any issues with it while operating the saw but it’s not as nice as I would have expected from a Super Sawzall model.

There’s a rafter hook on the right side of the saw that folds into place when not needed and folds open for use when you want to hang the tool nearby for easy access instead of placing the tool on the floor.

Pricing for this cordless M18 Fuel Super Sawzall is $399 for the kit with one 12.0 ah battery, rapid charger and large tool bag. While $399 is on the higher side for this type of cordless tool, especially when you consider you can get the original Fuel Sawzall kit for only $299 with one 5ah battery or $399 for a kit with two 5ah batteries, you have to remember this super saw not only packs a larger 12.0ah batter that’s a larger gas tank than two single 5ah batteries, it’s also an upgraded model which helps justify the higher price point. The $399 price point may be too high for some but Milwaukee offers the above mentioned original Fuel model at lower price points if needed.

Performance:

So how does this tool perform? You’ve come to the right place and I’ve put this Super Sawzall through it’s paces and have even included a video above so you can see for yourself how this bad boy performs. As expected, this Sawzall has Super performance making not just fast cuts into everything I put in front of it’s blade but it tore through them with ease. From 2×4 to 4×4 lumber and even a structural pipe in the mix.

Of course I tested it’s 2×4 cutting performance in both inline and orbital settings to see how great the orbital model worked. Out of 5 cuts in the side by side tests, only two of them were faster in the orbital cutting mode. 3 were tied at the same speed while the 4th showed a slight advantage in the orbital mode and the 5th cuts showed the orbital setting with a slightly better advantage over inline cutting. This shows us that the Super Sawzall is so effective at cutting 2×4’s that even the inline cutting mode is snappy quick, nearly on par with orbital cutting. You can also flip the coin and view the orbital mode as not very effective at cutting 2×4 with hardly any noticeable cutting speed advantage.

The next test was 4×4 cutting and here is where we start to see a difference in cutting speed between the two modes where the orbital mode has the advantage due to it’s more aggressive orbital motion with each stroke. While there is a speed advantage  between inline and orbital modes, the difference is not great with the inline cutting mode trailing closely behind. Honestly you wont see much difference in cutting when using the orbital mode unless you take a video and compare the starting and ending points of the cuts as I did. My guess is that orbital mode will help out better when doing longer thicker cuts where you’ll see a larger speed advantage when using the orbital mode.

And to see how it compares to the competition and it’s peers I’ve included a side by side comparison between this saw compared to the latest M18 brushed motor Sawzall model 2621-20 which I thought was a very good performer when I reviewed it several years ago and the Bosch GSA18V-125 which is Bosch’s feature packed brushless flagship model and also a great performer in the 18V category. Compared to the other two, the Super Sawzall was easily 2x faster than the brushed motor Sawzall and about 50% faster than the Bosch model at cutting lumber whether it be 2×4 or 4×4. This teaches us that the M18 Fuel Super Sawzall pushes beyond what the 18V category is known for and performs more like a higher voltage tool. This doesn’t surprise me as Milwaukee has been doing some sort of wizardry with their latest Fuel 18V tools in the past couple of years where they perform more like higher voltage tools. For example, look at their M18 Fuel table saw, M18 Fuel SDS Max rotary hammer and M18 Fuel Super  Hawg to name a few. Milwaukee kept these tools in the 18V line using 18 volt batteries yet the competition offers the same type of tools but at higher voltages ranging from 36 volts to 60 volts max.

While the Super Sawzall’s lumber cutting performance was outstanding and punching well above it’s weight class, it’s metal cutting though fast and faster than the brushed motor M18 Sawzall model, it still did not outperform it’s Bosch peer in this regard. It’s metal cutting performance was on par with the Bosch flagship with the Bosch winning the race by a millisecond. This tells us that the Milwaukee Super Sawzall is still fast at cutting metal however it’s optimized for cutting lumber applications.

Vibration:

We all know that reciprocating saws vibrate, a lot. This is a fact of life however some are better and some models are worse than others. This Milwaukee M18 Fuel Super Sawzall model is a heavy hitter when it comes to performance and with increased performance comes added vibration but it’s actually not that bad. I’d say it’s vibration is somewhere in the middle of the road, not the lowest vibration nor is it the worst offender either so it strikes a good balance in between. It’s no load felt vibration is actually better than the Milwaukee M18 Sawzall model but then again no load means when the motor is running but no cut is being made. When it’s making a cut, the felt vibration of the Super Sawzall is more noticeable but that’s because it’s cutting faster with a more aggressive stroke length.

Runtime:

333 cuts into 2×4 w/ 12ah battery

Paired with the new 12.0 ah battery, this saw produced 333 cuts into 2×4 lumber. This is easily more than double than other cordless models I’ve tried in the past. Doing the math, this model makes about 27.75 cuts per amp hour. To compare with other models I’ve tried, the Ridgid 18V GenX5 brushed motor recip saw got 89.5 cuts with a 4.0 battery which is 23.37 cuts per amp hour. The Milwaukee M18 Sawzall (2621-20 brushed motor model) achieved 110 cuts with a 3.0 battery which is 36.66 cuts per amp hour. The Bosch GSA18V-125 model achieved 145 cuts with a 6.3 ah battery which is 24.16 cuts per AH. Surprisingly, the Super Sawzall does not get equivalent or better runtime than the brushed motor M18 Sawzall or anywhere near it (23.37 cuts per ah vs 36.66 cuts per ah) but it does beat the others I’ve tried but not by much. My guess is that this has to do with the Super Sawzall chugging more battery juice to fuel it’s higher performance. The verdict: Runtime is so so (middle of the road), it achieved a lot of cuts because of it’s extremely large 12.0ah battery. The included battery has a capacity so big it should easily last all day or more before needing to be recharged.

Conclusion:

Milwaukee is at it again using their technical wizardry to push the limits of 18 volt tools by making another M18 Fuel cordless power tool that performs more like a higher voltage tool with performance that you would expect from a plug in corded tool. Simply put, expect faster cutting than it’s competition in lumber cutting applications. If you’re looking for a cordless Sawzall that can outperform it’s 18V competition, the M18 Fuel Super Sawzall is it. It’s not the most compact or lightest cordless tool and it’s not trying to be either, this tool is big, heavy and powerful. This model introduces orbital cutting however it poses only a slight increase in lumber cutting speed vs inline mode. Although it has a brushless motor, it is tweaked to offer top performance instead of better MPG so don’t expect the best runtime efficiency but you will get lots of work done due to it’s huge 12.0ah battery (gas tank). Expect a full day of work or more on one 12.0 battery. It’s price matches it’s performance at $399 which is not cheap by any means but it does pack their latest 12.0 battery which is priced at $199 by itself (and offers more runtime than two smaller 5.0 ah batteries) and also comes bundled with the upgraded rapid charger.

Pros:

  • outstanding performance – performs more like a higher voltage power tool
  • corded performance in a cordless tool
  • Included 12.0 battery achieves several hundreds of cuts per charge
  • variable speed dial on top of the variable speed trigger for additional speeds of control
  • rafter hook
  • LED light
  • pivoting adjustable shoe

Cons:

  • heavy for cordless at 12.2 lbs with battery
  • no side mounted blade change lever as seen on previous Sawzall models
  • shoe adjustment lever is hard to open with bare hands, almost impossible with gloves
  • orbital mode only slightly faster than inline cutting mode in lumber cutting applications
  • runtime efficiency is not the best in class, it gets lots of cuts because it has a large 12.0 battery


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Andrew

I miss your full length videos! They were the best, much different then everyone else’s

Javier
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thanks Andrew!