The Milwaukee Nail Gun M18 Fuel wireless framing nailers have been on the market since the month of June year 2020. The nailer was released in two models. Nails are the only difference between the two versions, which come in a 30-degree and 21-degree variety.
Power & Performance
The first question I receive about this tool, like most “newer” cordless tools, is whether or not it has adequate power. These new Milwaukee nailers are the latest in a long line of cordless frame nailers that have been on the market for some time now. When it came to nailing engineered lumber, most of those early-generation nailers had a hard time.
At the 2019 Milwaukee Media Event, when this nailer was first introduced to our team, we were all amazed by its speed and power. Our evaluation and proof of concept were hampered by the lack of field time. On two recent framing projects (a residential home and a small commercial wood-framed building), we employed several of these nailers, and everyone who used them was blown away.
The new nailer has no problem driving 3-1/2″ framing nails into LVL headers. Using the adjustable nose, we were able to get many of the nails to be buried below the surface of the header because of the nailer’s ability to reliably sink the nails fully. This, in my opinion, is the best demonstration that cordless frame nailers can hold their own against pneumatic nailers in terms of performance.
This equipment is speedy, but that’s not the only thing people care about; they also want power. Without any ramp-up time, Milwaukee claims to be able to shoot three nails per second. For production work, this nailer is as good as any pneumatic we’ve ever used in “bump” mode. When the compressor fails, there is no “lag” like with pneumatic nailers, which is a huge benefit in my opinion. No matter how fast you shoot nails, it keeps up.
All Day Framing
I get a lot of questions about whether or not these nailers can be used all day. Until more information becomes available, the answer is yes, provided you have backup batteries charging while you use the primary one. We had no concerns with manufacturing wall framing. The nailers are lightning-fast and strong.
Sheathing the final walls proved to be an issue. During the process of repeatedly nailing off the sheathing with these nailers, we had a thermal overload. This is a built-in safety mechanism to keep the batteries from overheating and damaging the gadget. A simple battery swap solved the issue, but it’s something to keep in mind.
This, in my opinion, introduces a potential stumbling block. These framing nailers will come in handy while building walls (studs/plates/headers), trusses or rafters, framing joists, decks, or blocking.
However, if you’re dealing with a thermal over-temp shutdown when sheathing a wall, roof, or deck, you’ll have to deal with it (remember this is a design feature to protect the tool and battery). This doesn’t imply you can’t sheath, but you shouldn’t expect to be able to keep this nailer operating at breakneck speeds.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- There is no delay in the firing of the weapon.
- In bump mode, it sinks nails on every shot even when rapid-firing.
- Two full nail sticks can be stored in the expanded magazine.
- Easily accessible and conveniently situated knob for adjusting the depth
- Both wire and paper collated strips worked well in our tests.
- Clipped and full-head nails can be shot at the same time.
- Changing from sequent to bump firing with a simple electronic switch
- Two unique belt clips are included in the package.
- With the magazine stock and a 5.0Ah battery, the total weight is 11.3 pounds.
- Compared to pneumatic frame nailers, these tools are slightly more cumbersome.
- The use of more plastic in the construction and the absence of a rear strike metal plate make this vehicle more environmentally friendly.
Each and every one of the riders who have tried these new framers agrees that they are superior to anything else on the market in terms of speed and power. A few things, however, that we believe will take these to the next step include:
Weighing in at 2 to 3 pounds more than the lightest pneumatic nailers currently on the market, these are unquestionably heavier. Losing a few pounds for the next generation would be fantastic!
Compared to other cordless framers, these nailers are so much more powerful and rapid. Ideally, Milwaukee could develop a technique to control the heat so that users can shoot these quickly in sheathing production. The hose could be completely eliminated, allowing for these to be replaced entirely by pneumatics.
Several times, the nail pusher was able to jump over the magazine’s rear nails due to the nailers’ (recoil) force. If it jumps off, the pressure on the nails is lost. This can be fixed.
Milwaukee’s latest cordless framing nailers are unquestionably the best available. In bump mode, they are extremely fast and powerful, able to drive 3-1/2′′ nails into an engineered board. In our opinion, pneumatic frame nailers are not yet obsolete, but they are close.
These nailers are an excellent advance over air nailers for framing walls, setting trusses, bracing trusses, framing decks, or installing floor systems. They may be difficult to use all day for sheathing, but they are perfect for little expansions and remodeling.
A cordless frame nailer should be available to every team, in my opinion. When it comes to buying one, these are exceptional.