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Author Topic: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw  (Read 4842 times)

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Offline Caloren

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Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« on: March 03, 2020, 03:11:36 PM »
Have read other posts on the battery powered tools so thought it would be appropriate to report on the M18 Milwaukee Chainsaw.
Last fall we thinned out about an acre of trees, mostly Tan Oak and Madrone with some small fir and pine. We cut up all the large trees but left the small trees, brush, and trimmed limbs for next time. Well next time they were covered by snow! We have now been up there for two three day weekends using the M18 to help cut up the long limbs to fit in my 8 foot trailer to haul up to a clearing for burning. The limbs are up to three inches in diameter and up to eighteen feet long. The saw is not in constant use, just throw the limbs in the trailer, pick up the saw to trim, set it down, throw some more on, trim, etc. We used it this way for a day and a half before the 12 amp battery was almost dead. One day I put a 5amp battery on to finish up and it lasted about two hours. It was nice to just pick up the saw, pull the trigger and cut, not like picking up an idling saw and have it die as you lift it, or having to start a gas saw every time to make a couple quick cuts.
 After the brush was cleaned up we cut up the small trees for firewood using the Milwaukee, none over 6 inches in diameter. This was using the saw steadily for about an hour with no problems. I really liked the saw for this type of use.
 Milwaukee claims the saw has the power of a 38cc gas saw, weeell I guess it depends on which 38cc saw. I know my MS170 30cc saw has more power than the M18, of course that may be because the chain on the M18 is traveling at only 6000 rpm versus the faster speed of the 170. Also the 170 has a 14" bar versus the 16" bar of the M18.
 The M18 weighs about 13 pounds with the 12 amp battery, the MS170 weighs about 10 pounds with empty fuel and oil tanks. Now don't take these weights to seriously because I just used our bathroom scales!
 One other thing; after the 12 amp battery died I found a 14" diameter section of Tan Oak so I wondered what the Milwaukee would do with the 5 amp battery, it cut about half way through and just stopped, I thought "what did I burn up now". Turns out nothing, I think the electronics in the battery or the saw turned off when one or the other was over heating, a safety feature. I am sure it would have cut through with the 12 amp battery.
 Yes, I like the saw and have used it a couple times around the house, much easier than dragging out an extension cord to use one of our electric saws!
Stihl MS 170, Stihl MS 310, Stihl 028 AV Super, and half a dozen other no-accounts! Cat D4 D.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2020, 04:50:03 PM »
What are the specs on the chain? Is It standard .050 gauge 3/8lp? Is the bar the standard consumer bar they use on Poulan echo et al?

Offline Southside

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2020, 08:47:36 PM »
Did you weigh the saw with the battery full or empty?  Just wondering how much of a difference it makes. Just kidding, I have several of the M18 Fuel tools and have been very happy with them.  :D
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Offline Ed

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2020, 08:57:21 PM »
I've got the 20v DeWalt...while not as powerfull as the Milwaukee, it's so convient to use. Pick it up and cut, no pulling a cord.
I cut back 900' of woodline last spring, all small 2-3" trees and limbs. Only used the DeWalt and the Stihl pole saw.

Ed

Offline Caloren

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 12:28:43 AM »
lxskllr, the chain is .043 gauge 3/8 LP, I believe Oregon. Probably the bar is Oregon also. One thing I forgot to mention is the 'scrench', it is in a recess in the bottom of the saw and will need a screw driver or something to pry it out. One nice thing about that is that my Stihl 'scrench' fits the bar nuts[ on the small end] so I never use the Milwaukee one.
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Offline Edvantage

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2020, 10:49:29 AM »
If somehow they could get the rpms up this would be an awesome saw. I had high hopes of using the Milwaukee for quick cuts on my log building project. It soon got left in the shed. Does work great for limbing and brush cutting. I'm sure rpms are an engineering limitation. If I get time I might modify a Milwaukee saw and see what happens at higher rpm. 

Offline Karen Rogers

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2021, 11:24:11 PM »
I got the Stihl saw they made for gals and old guys. being an old gal myself.  I couldn't pull fast enough to start the big Stihl.  Then I got several of the Milwaukee Fuel tools.  They are very convenient!.  The only complaint I have about them is there is no where to go for service or assistance.  One of my batteries died under warranty and they took care of me right a way over the internet.  But the closest service center is two hours away and the manuals are too sparse.

Recently I needed a pole saw and went for the Milwaukee.  I was cutting and popped the chain (due to my inexperience).  I took it off, cleaned everything, put the chain back on, tightened chain according to the instructions, and filled the oil tank. The chain hesitates when I pull the trigger.  When I touch the limb, it quits spinning altogether.  I don't know what else to trouble shoot.  I am sure I probably did something "stupid."  Is there anyone out there with some wisdom for me? 

Offline randy d

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2021, 12:02:28 PM »
I would check the drive sprocket to make sure the chain is seated correctly.  Randy

Offline gspren

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2021, 07:47:54 AM »
Often when you "pop a chain" some of the drive links get burrs on them or even bent. Try to pull the chain through the groove in the bar and it shouldn't bind, try all the chain on both sides of the bar.
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Offline thedoublejranch

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2021, 01:00:54 PM »
I've got the 20v DeWalt...while not as powerfull as the Milwaukee, it's so convient to use. Pick it up and cut, no pulling a cord.
I cut back 900' of woodline last spring, all small 2-3" trees and limbs. Only used the DeWalt and the Stihl pole saw.

Ed

I have a 20 volt dewalt pole saw. I have a 40 acre timber farm and do thinning for forest fire management and trimming lower branches is critical, I am committed to 20V DeWalt stuff as I have many power tools and loads of The 5AH batteries already and bought a DeWalt pole saw and used it to trim branches, it works for many hours on a single battery. Loads of power.

I have a Honda UMC 435 powerhead with the pole saw feature, but this Dewalt is so much lighter and easier to use.

Its an 8" bar, looks like DeWalts own bar, not sure of the chain, but it is a 3/8LP with a .043 gauge I think. I see Oregon sells replacement chains for it. It had an extension unit too for reaching way up there.

Oiling is done by the motor driving a pump, so if chain is moving, its oiling.

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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2023, 07:44:52 PM »
A little followup on this. My buddy Bill got one of these saws just over a year ago and he uses it a LOT around his place, it lives in the back of one of his buggies or another all the time. He cut slab wood for the furnace, hacks up stuff on his trails, trim lumber, clears branches, whatever. He loves it... except.. it keeps popping the chain to an annoying degree. The bar flexes like mad and it drives him crazy.
 SO we were at Boonville and he talked to the Oregon guys, who were rumored to have 'the fix'. Well they did and they didn't have a demo battery saw to try it on, but they did find an MS201T that was the same mount, so Bill took it over to the Wooodmizer booth where they had logs and he whipped off a bunch of cookies (while the Husky guys watched from over the fence wondering what was going on :D). It worked like a dream and Bill bought it.
 It's a different gauge and I didn't get the details, but the Orgon guy switched his personal battery saw over and loves it too. I can get the details for anybody interested. Apparently this is a very common complaint with that saw and several other manufacturers that use that gauge bar as they are really thin. Yes, it's true the wider cut increases the load, so this is what needs to be seen and tested, but so far, so good. If anybody wants further details I can dig them up on my next run down there.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
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OK, maybe I'm the woodcutter now.
I work with wood, There is a rumor I might be a woodworker.

Offline Southside

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2023, 09:07:59 PM »
Definitely. I am wondering if they made a switch at some point and the fix is going back to the original because I can't think of ever throwing the chain on my M18
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Offline chep

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2023, 09:19:20 PM »
@Old Greenhorn 
yes please get the details on b&C I am hoping to move to the red and black platform soon for my electric tools and the saw is highly anticipated

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2023, 09:21:39 PM »
Jim I can't really say. I do think it is 'user specific' to a certain degree. Bill is an aggressive user and as a 'for instance' last week we were clearing branches off of trees along the road up into the back of his property so we could bring the trailer out for Boonville without scratching it up too much. He was standing on tip-toes and reaching up with one hand on the saw. That's a hard position to hold and I actually watched that bar flex and bend as the branches came loose but maybe didn cut clean off. If he gave the bar a shake to get the chain rolling again after it pinched it would pop the chain. Happened 3 times in 20 minutes. Yeah, he's rough, but I watched that bar bend like cooked pasta.
 Let's see how the new setup does under his abuse. All those electrics I have seen are .047 gauge. Not sure what this is yet, I never looked at the specs and I wasn't there when he bought it. I should have looked, I stepped on the bar when I was emptying the trailer this morning.
 I'll find out for all you folks. I just didn't know if the fad had already passed us by.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 350, 450, 562, & 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I'm the woodcutter now.
I work with wood, There is a rumor I might be a woodworker.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2023, 06:00:45 PM »
i may be mistaken, but I could swear that when the Milwaukee M18 saw first came out, it had a .050 gauge bar that was "regular" kerf. I'm pretty sure they are all shipping now with the .043 NK bar & chain. That would probably give them better battery life, since it's not moving as much wood?

I wonder if going back to that original bar is the Oregon fix?

I've derailed a chain twice on mine, both shortly after I bought it. I quickly learned that I had to be much more careful with this saw than with my others.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2023, 06:52:53 PM »
A bar with a broader nose might help with the derailing. I'm just looking at pics online, but it looks like the standard A06 mount used on consumer/small saws a la poulanpro, echo... Switching to a WoodlandPro bar for my small saws is standard procedure. The quality is as good as oem, and a broader nose bar will do more work. They also don't derail as easily. I can't vouch for the nk bars, but the standard 50 gauge is a nice improvement for not much money.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2023, 07:28:35 PM »
The NK bars bend a LOT more easily. Im thinking that may have a lot to do with the derailments
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2023, 08:14:58 AM »
Well as I promised in reply #10 above I did get the info on that bar. It's an Advacecut 16" bar, .050 gauge, 3/8 pitch, and 56 drive links. The number is 91PX056 and if you google that number it comes right up. This fits a number of saw brands.
 He has used it a bit for a day or two and says it is much better and the chain no longer pops off like it did. I can say that it even feels a LOT stiffer. 
 Bill also picked up that little milwaukee top handle battery saw to try out. No word on how that works yet.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 350, 450, 562, & 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I'm the woodcutter now.
I work with wood, There is a rumor I might be a woodworker.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2023, 09:58:23 AM »
91PX056 is an Oregon chain designation, isn't it?  That's a loop that would fit a 16" bar, but unless I'm mistaken, it doesn't necessarily tell you a specific bar.

The bar that comes with the Milwaukee M18 chainsaw is stamped: 48 09 3001
This is an .043" gauge, 3/8" low profile, 16" bar.

The Oregon replacement using the bar finder on their website is: 164MLEA041
(Same specs as above, has a 7 tooth nose sprocket)

In looking through Oregon's "bar finder", it looks as though the Stihl MS 200/200T/201/201T uses an A074 bar mount. I have no idea what the difference is between an A041 and an A074 mount.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2023, 10:19:59 AM »
Yeah, you are right John. I grabbed the label off the chain box instead of the bar. I'll try to get the bar number today, but not sure if the label is still around, nor do I know where the saw is right now.
 I think this is a new bar and may not be out on the websites yet. The dealer (actually a full line rep) it came from had a lot of queries on it and talked to Oregon about it and got some of the early ones to field test. These are popular for use on the Stihl 201T but not sure if it's the same mount pattern.
 To be continued.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 350, 450, 562, & 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I'm the woodcutter now.
I work with wood, There is a rumor I might be a woodworker.


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