Review: Milwaukee M18
2626-20 Oscillating Multi-Tool
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Ok, so a little humbling honesty here… when I first saw the Milwaukee M18 2626-20 Multi-Tool, well, let’s just say it didn’t fill me with a whole lot of excitement. For some reason they just reminded me of all of those “as seen on TV” items that promise to solve all of your life’s problems for 19.99 plus shipping.
I bought the Milwaukee M18 2626-20 Multi-Tool out of desperation on a weekend. The base of our toilet, where it meets the wax seal had developed a slow leak. This became noticeable when the flooring near the toilet started to warp a bit. After removing the toilet, I found a nice mess that needed tended to. The plywood underlayment was toast and needed to come out. As the underlayment was installed when the house was built, I would need to cut it into pieces when removing to minimize the amount of remodeling necessary. I needed a small saw that had an accurate depth gauge and was initially planning on purchasing a Toe-Kick Saw. After seeing the prices and reading reviews, I began looking at other options since the uses for a Toe-Kick Saw seem very limited to me. I ended up purchasing a Dremel Saw Max (I’ll review this as well).Yes, I was desperately trying to avoid buying an oscillating tool! The Dremel has everything I was looking for, and is more compact than a Toe-Kick Saw while allowing you to cut flush with the right blade. The Dremel Saw Max worked great until I hit the next roadblock.
I had to cut the underlayment under the overhang of the bathroom vanity and the Dremel Saw Max would not fit. I went shopping to look for anything that would work for this application and everything was leading me back to the Milwaukee M18 2626-20 Multi-Tool. The decision to try it wasn’t hard. Even if I never used this tool again, I was saving a ton of money doing this myself, so if it worked it would be worth it. I purchased the tool and promptly headed home. I had about forty eight inches to cut and the night wasn’t getting any longer. Making a depth gauge on the blade with some tape, I had to mount the blade at 90 degrees to the tool. It was just small enough to fit if I made a plunge cut going at a slight angle and then straightened the tool out to the proper depth.
Less than ten minutes later I was done. Not only were the depths of my cuts accurate, the saw was extremely controllable. I ended up using the Milwaukee M18 2626-20 Multi-Tool to do a few more weird angled, difficult to reach cuts on the subfloor. The blade dug itself into the wood quickly and efficiently with almost surgical precision. There is just something to be said for that feeling of accomplishment and the extra time you have when you find something that easily tackles a chore you thought was going to be a nightmare.
Measuring in at about 4 inches tall, 2.3 inches wide and a little less than 12 inches long (no battery), the Milwaukee M18 2626-20 Multi-Tool is built from heavy duty plastic surrounded by a very tough rubbery coating. Very robust feeling, I have no doubt it will stand up to years of use. A dial on the side allows you to choose from (12) speed settings and a maximum of 18,000 rpm. The blades can be mounted in almost any orientation and changing them is a snap requiring the removal of one bolt. Worst case, if it is too tight, you may need a standard screwdriver. Not to be overlooked is the standard helpful LED light that is installed on most cordless tools today.
I have used the Milwaukee M18 2626-20 Multi-Tool both indoors and outdoors on a multitude of things. I have been using the M18 5.0AH batteries when using and find they last plenty long for anything I have cut. I did notice that it likes to get hot with extended use. No worries though, as the circuitry in the tool has built in protection. It will simply shut itself off until it cools back down if you overheat it. This happened to me once, when it was in the 90s and I had been continuously using it on a difficult cut. I ran and grabbed a snack and after about ten minutes it had cooled down enough to use again. Some uses that this tool has made short work of:
Accurately Notching Wood/Other Material
Plunge Cuts (Electrical Boxes in Drywall/Subfloors when Clearance is an Issue/Tree Roots when Digging)
Trimming Small Amounts (1/4” – 1/8”) Off of Masonite Siding or Wood for Fine Adjustments
A circular saw will always outperform this tool for long cuts, however, it seems lately I have grabbed this tool to use on almost every project I do. This thing just has too many uses to not recommend: