Inside Look | Milwaukee M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ Circular Saws GEN 1 #2731 vs GEN 2 #2732

The new Milwaukee GEN 2 is here, complete with a number of upgrades. What upgrades? We’re going to show you! We take an Inside Look with the help of 3 pros, Foreman AJ Delancey, Design Builder Steve Gohring, and Tool Expert Kris Cousins. All three get hands-on with both the Gen 1 ($489, two 9Ah HD batteries 2731-22HD) AND Gen 2 ($399, one 12Ah HD battery 2732-21HD) models and provide feedback. 

Milwaukee’s GEN 2 M18 Circular Saw weighs 12 pounds, a full 4.5 pounds heavier than the GEN 1 model. They’ve upped the power, increasing the RPMs from 5,000 to 5800, and added a new dust collection port AND electric brake. Some of the other specs have remained the same, including the 50-degree maximum bevel capacity, and the cut depths for both 45 and 90 degree angles. With a 4.5 pound weight gain, mostly from the larger motor, as well as the addition of the larger 12Ah battery, we expect this saw to have a big increase in power and performance.

We gave them to AJ Delancey of AD Enterprises, who used them for a week to cut lumber for framing the roof at his jobsite. When we stopped by to get his feedback, AJ talked about the power increase, before demonstrating it to us on some 2×8 lumber. First, he ripped an 8-foot cut with the Gen 1 saw, using the previous 9Ah battery. Next, he ripped that same length with the GEN 2 model, now equipped with the updated 12Ah battery. You can see and hear the increase in performance on the GEN 2- it’s simply a more powerful cut, as the GEN 2 motor doesn’t struggle to complete the task.

We then gave AJ the new dust collection attachment for the GEN 2, and gave him another week to work with the saw and give us additional feedback.

Even with the increased power and new dust collection feature, he still prefers his GEN 1 model due to the weight and ergonomics. That was surprising to both A.J. AND the Coptool team.

We invited Steve Gohring to our Coptool workshop to get some more feedback. Steve’s a design builder with 40-plus years of commercial construction experience, as well as a self-proclaimed “DeWalt Guy”. We gave him both GEN 1 and GEN 2 saws, complete with 12Ah batteries and Diablo “Demo Demon” blades. First he made 8-foot cuts on double-stacked plywood with the Gen 1 saw. Next, Steve repeated the process with the Gen 2, this time with a Makita HEPA vac attached to the dust collection port.

Steve noted the weight increase with the GEN 2 as well. But he’s impressed overall with its construction, performance, electric brake and dust collection. What we’ve LEARNED is that if having a solid LIGHTWEIGHT circular saw is what you want, you may want to grab a GEN 1 model while they are still available. But if dust collection and power are high on your wish list, the GEN 2 is the model for you.

To wrap up our Inside Look at the Gen 1 and Gen 2 M18 Circular Saws, we took both models again to Kris Cousins, our power tool repairman at Ohio Power Tool. Kris opened up each model to show us the INTERNAL differences from GEN 1 to GEN2, further demonstrating the larger motor and updated electronics. Looking at both saws opened up, you can tell right away, the Gen 2 is heavily gutted and built for power.

A big thank you to AJ, Steve and Kris for helping us take an inside look at these Milwaukee Circular Saws. We hope this answered any questions you may have, and if we didn’t, Ohio Power Tool is standing by to assist!

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