Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw Review


Discover the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Hatchet Pruning Saw (Model 2527) – a revolutionary tool in the pruning industry. Read our in-depth review to see how it stands out in performance and design. The Milwaukee M12 FUEL Hatchet Pruning Saw (Model 2527) is not just another addition to Milwaukee’s impressive lineup; it’s a game-changer in the pruning world. Having awaited its release eagerly, I finally got to test it, and here’s what I found.

Specifications of Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw

Warranty3 Year Limited
Power SourceCordless
Length16.56 in
Weight4.1 lb
Height9.12 in
Width3.76 in
Battery SystemM12

What’s New and Improved?

Person holding Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw in the table

Milwaukee has intelligently integrated hand guards in the design, enhancing safety without compromising functionality. The guards protect against kickback, a necessary addition given the tool’s power. The use of a full house chain, with cutters on every link, enhances the saw’s cutting efficiency, especially on smaller branches, reducing vibration and kickback.

Design and Ergonomics

Person using Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw cutting 3 meter log using 2 hands

The saw’s design is a mix of practicality and safety. The added hand guards may bulk it up a bit, but they offer peace of mind during operation. Handling the saw is intuitive; whether you prefer using your thumb or index finger to manage the safety trigger, it feels natural in hand. The tool accommodates one-handed use but is also comfortable with two, especially with glove-friendly controls.

Performance and Capability

Person cut the 3 meter log using Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw

Milwaukee doesn’t shy away from power with this model. It’s rated for a 3-inch diameter hardwood cut, but I’ve pushed it to handle branches slightly thicker, around five and a half inches, without much fuss, as long as I let the saw do its work without forcing it. The key here is to let the tool’s power and design do the cutting without unnecessary pressure.

Battery Life and Maintenance

Person cutting branches using Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw

I was impressed with its battery efficiency. A 4 amp-hour M12 battery lasted almost as long as my workday, with continuous cutting and moving around. The oil reservoir needs attention, as it tends to empty parallel with the battery, so a refill with each battery swap is advisable.

Ideal Applications

Person cutting branch beside a big log using Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw

This tool shines in post-large tree felling cleanup, where its size and power make it perfect for dealing with remaining smaller branches. It’s not a Sawzall replacement but excels in its niche for clean wood cuts, making it a superior choice for frequent limb cutting tasks.

Pricing and Value

Person touching Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw in the table with 2 battery beside of it

At $180 for the bare tool and $250 for the kit with a 4 amp-hour battery, it’s on the higher end for an M12 tool. However, considering its unique offerings and performance, it’s a worthwhile investment for those needing a compact, powerful pruning tool.

Pros of the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw

  • My first impression of the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw was how compact yet powerful it is. The ability to work in tight spaces without losing cutting power is a huge plus for me, especially in dense foliage areas where maneuverability is key.
  • Weighing in at just under 5 pounds with the battery, it’s light enough to use for extended periods without fatigue. This is a big deal when you have a lot of pruning to do, and it’s something I really appreciate about this tool.
  • The added hand guards and the full house chain design, which minimizes kickback, make me feel secure using this saw. Safety is a major concern with any chainsaw, and these features show Milwaukee’s commitment to user protection.

Cons of the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw

  • While the automatic oiler is convenient for maintaining the chain’s efficiency, I’ve noticed a bit of oil leakage when the saw is not in use. It’s not a deal-breaker, but something to be mindful of, especially when storing the saw after use.
  • Although the run time is decent, it’s limited by the battery capacity. If you’re planning a day’s work, you’ll need to have spare batteries charged and ready. For someone with a larger property, this could mean frequent stops to swap batteries.
  • The saw isn’t cheap, especially if you opt for the kit with the battery and charger. It’s an investment, and while I think it’s worth it for the performance and quality, it might be a consideration for occasional users or those on a tight budget.

Comparative Analysis: Milwaukee M12 FUEL Hatchet Pruning Saw vs. DeWalt 20V MAX* XR Compact Cordless Chainsaw

Power SourceM12 12V Battery20V MAX* Battery
Weight (with battery)4.85 lbs8.8 lbs
Bar Length6 inches12 inches
Cutting Capacity3 inches (diameter, hardwood)4 inches (diameter, hardwood)
Unique FeaturesFull house chain, hand guards, onboard scrench storageTool-free chain tensioning, low kickback chain
Price Range$180 (bare tool), $250 (kit)$150 (bare tool), $250 (kit)

Summary: The Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw and the DeWalt 20V MAX* XR Compact Chainsaw cater to different needs in the pruning and cutting market. The Milwaukee’s 12V system offers a lightweight, compact solution perfect for quick, small jobs, with a 6-inch bar suitable for smaller branches.

On the other hand, DeWalt’s 20V system provides more power and a longer 12-inch bar, making it better for larger, more demanding tasks. While both saws are designed with safety and ease of use in mind, they offer different advantages: the Milwaukee for its portability and light handling, and the DeWalt for its extended range and cutting capacity. Price-wise, both are competitive, depending on the kit option chosen, making the decision between them a matter of specific job requirements and personal handling preference.

Maintenance of Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw

Maintaining the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw is essential to ensure it continues to perform optimally and safely. Here’s a guide to properly caring for and maintaining this tool:

Regular Cleaning

  • After Each Use: Clean debris, dust, and sap from the saw, especially the chain and bar. Use a soft brush or cloth to wipe the saw down.
  • Chain and Bar: Clean the chain and bar with a suitable cleaner to remove any buildup of sap and debris, which can affect cutting efficiency.

Chain Maintenance

  • Lubrication: Regularly check and refill the oil reservoir for the automatic chain oiler to ensure the chain is well-lubricated during operation.
  • Tensioning: Adjust the chain tension regularly to prevent slippage and wear. The chain should be snug against the bar but still able to rotate freely.
  • Sharpening: Sharpen the chain when it becomes dull to maintain optimal cutting performance. Use a suitable file or take it to a professional if necessary.

Battery Care

  • Charging: Use only Milwaukee-approved chargers and follow charging instructions to maintain battery health.
  • Storage: Store batteries in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid leaving them fully depleted or on the charger for extended periods.

Inspection and Servicing

  • Regular Checks: Inspect the saw regularly for any signs of wear, damage, or loose components. Check the hand guards, chain, and bar for any damage before use.
  • Professional Servicing: Periodically, have the saw serviced by a Milwaukee authorized service center, especially if you notice any unusual noises, vibrations, or performance issues.


  • Clean and Dry: Ensure the saw is clean and dry before storing it.
  • Protective Cover: Use the provided scabbard to cover the chain and bar, protecting them and preventing accidental injury.
  • Safe Location: Store the saw in a secure, dry location out of reach of children.

By following these maintenance and care steps, you can help extend the life of your Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw and ensure it remains safe and effective for your pruning needs. Regular care not only preserves the tool’s condition but also enhances its performance and reliability in the long run.

Final Thoughts

The Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw is an excellent tool for anyone needing a compact, efficient, and powerful solution for regular pruning tasks. While it might be an investment, its performance, convenience, and design make it a standout choice in the market.


  1. What is the Milwaukee M12 FUEL?
    The Milwaukee M12 FUEL is a line of compact and powerful cordless tools, including the 3/8″ Stubby Impact Wrench, known for its compact size, allowing work in tighter spaces with impressive power.
  2. How much does the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Hatchet weigh?
    With a 4.0Ah battery, the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Hatchet Pruning Saw weighs just 4.85 pounds.
  3. Why is the Milwaukee FUEL series considered superior?
    The Milwaukee FUEL series boasts exclusive innovations like the POWERSTATE Brushless Motor, REDLITHIUM Battery Packs, and REDLINK PLUS Intelligence, delivering unmatched power, runtime, and durability.
  4. Is Milwaukee FUEL better than their standard brushless tools?
    Yes, Milwaukee FUEL tools offer higher torque and drive power compared to standard brushless tools, featuring advanced brushless motor technology for maximum performance.
  5. How tight should a chainsaw chain be?
    A chainsaw chain should be slightly loose on the guide bar, but not enough to dislodge the drive links. It should allow for slight upward movement without coming off the bar.
  6. Why do chainsaw chains stretch?
    Chain stretch is often caused by dirt accumulation between the chain parts, forming abrasive paste with lubricants that accelerates wear and elongates the chain.
  7. Are Milwaukee tools made in China?
    Milwaukee tools are manufactured globally, including in China, Germany, Mexico, the United States, and Vietnam, under the TTI Group.
  8. What is the difference between Milwaukee and Milwaukee FUEL tools?
    Milwaukee M18 tools typically have brushed motors, while M18 FUEL tools feature brushless motors. FUEL tools are designed with advanced technology for enhanced performance and durability.
  9. What does M18 signify in Milwaukee tools?
    M18 indicates the voltage of Milwaukee tools, with M18 tools being 18 volts and M12 tools being 12 volts, featuring POWERSTATE™ brushless motor technology and REDLINK Plus™ intelligence.

We hope you found our review of the Milwaukee M12 FUEL Pruning Saw insightful! Have you tried this tool or have thoughts on Milwaukee’s FUEL line? Drop a comment below and share your experiences or questions. Let’s keep the tool talk going and help each other find the best gear for our projects!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


Leave your comment

Please enter your name.
Please provide a valid email address.
Please type your comment.