So the dust is settling on the crazy Milwaukee MX announcement, a true gas killer battery platform will be hitting the market in early 2020 (February). One of the most anticipated tools for the initial launch is certainly the 14” Cut-Off saw which takes aim directly at Stihl, Husqvarna, Hilti and Makita with their gas 14” options. The 1 battery Kit MXF314-1XC ($1999) will come in at a premium up front cost with additional XC batteries MXFXC406 ($599) but again that means you’ll never buy another can of gas, stabilizer, oil, air filter, etc. But the biggest question we’ve heard is does it have the power?
Does it have the POWER?
So the Milwaukee MX system takes the focus off voltage which is a great idea at this point when we get to this higher tier of cordless power. A forklift runs off 24V so acting like the only way to get more power or Watt Output is with higher voltage is nonsense. The MX platform is actually a 72V / 80V MAX system but acting like it’s comparable to other 80V battery packs currently out there on the market is almost laughable.
The MXF314 saw has same 5,350 RPM rate as Stihl TS420 ($1019) which Milwaukee takes direct aim at on performance. From demos we saw it seemed to have the capability to perform right there with the other popular 2-stroke options. Since Milwaukee gives the performance in “total cut time” and adds engine start up time into the equation we’d assume it doesn’t have a faster cut rate. Doing some speed counting on our videos when both saws are both actually cutting it still seems very close.
Boy that Saw Looks HEAVY!
The size & weight of the MX saw is most people’s next comment/question, it’s actually lighter than other gas saws “empty” but when you look at them all fully loaded with a tank of gas or XC battery it makes the story a little different, the MX saw is 32 lbs which is heavier than most other saws. The 10.6 lbs XC406 battery is hard to dance around for size and weight but this is not too far off the larger CC saws like the TS440 (26.3 lbs, $1269) or Makita 4-stroke EK7651H (30.7 lbs, $1199). Milwaukee did a great job with the balance and ergonomics here to minimize the weight as much as possible.
What about RUNTIME?
The power usage and performance curve of gas engines vs electric motors perform very differently which you can see is 0-60 times for Tesla cars. Milwaukee MX runtime usage in many different applications puts the average usage of 2 larger MX batteries will equal about 1 tank of gas (typically 24oz tanks). This performance differs greatly by application because power usage is so different. Less demanding applications like cutting PVC pipe (26 cuts of 8”) or corrugated decking (53’) or cinder blocks (22 cuts 8” block) the electric motor uses much less energy so run time for 1 battery is almost equal to 1 tank of gas. However in much more demanding applications like 5” cut into reinforced concrete the performance drops greatly to 7’ per battery vs 20’ for 1 tank of gas. This is because a gas saw use pretty much the same amount of gasoline to fire that combustion chamber no matter what you’re cutting.
$1999, That’s Too EXPENSIVE!
Yes it’s almost double the upfront cost of standard Stihl, Hilti and Makita gas saws HOWEVER then you’re done spending money, pretty much forever. If you plan to keep that saw for 4, 5, 6 or more years what do you think you’ll pay for gas, gas cans, stabilizer, oil, air filters, sparkplugs, tune-ups/service, downtime, your time, etc. Also take the cost of the XC406 ($599) battery into consideration and for just the saw of $1400 is relatively inline with other saw options. Getting into the MX battery is going to be pricey but once you’ve got a few batteries adding future tools will become much easier.
How can they do a 2 Year WARRANTY!
Where your typical gas saw has 3 months to 1 year warranty with some simply no warranty once you put gas in it. The Milwaukee MX saw has a 2 year warranty because they know it’s hard to kill, your first week on the job apprentice isn’t going to mix gas wrong and ruin the tool, it’s Milwaukee battery powered, redlink intelligence and going to be built for all jobsite conditions, but we have faith people will find a way!
So what’s Next for Milwaukee MX?
Check out our initial 6 tool launch Coptool post here Milwaukee MX Launch and for Pre-Sale visit Ohio Power Tool Milwaukee MX Pre-Sale cordless page. We fully anticipate the MX line will grow dramatically in the next few years and cover many more applications in landscaping to construction. It really changes the conversation about small gas motors and pneumatic tools.