Milwaukee's first generation of battery powered blowers arrived at the same time as their core line of tools designed to complement the Pro's gas equipment. It was also one of the first to get the update. The second generation Milwaukee M18 Fuel blower has (unsurprisingly) more power.
- Improved blowing power than previous models
- Lighter than some higher voltage competitors
- inline design
- Comfortable grip, wide handle, large trigger size
- Compatible with other Milwaukee M18 and M18 Fuel products in depth series
- Not as powerful as the latest battery-operated blowers
still the same
Milwaukee started with the same inline rear intake design. It makes the column of air pass directly through the blower without losing energy to the curve it has to traverse. The variable speed trigger is also still there, pushing the same air volume as the original at 450 CFM.
The Milwaukee M18 Fuel blower is noticeably smaller and more streamlined than its big brother. It is about an inch smaller in each dimension (length, width and height). At 4.9 pounds, it's also less than a pound lighter.
Instead of cruise control, we now have a high/low dual-speed select and lock button. Oddly, you have to let go of the lock button and trigger before you can switch modes. If you're cruising at low speeds in lock, you can't just press the button and get top power. Even with that quirk, it's nice to have a low-speed option for when we're trying to control the cleanliness of a shop, and a high-speed option for open spaces.
The combination of a larger impeller and narrower tubes allowed us to increase the airspeed from 100 MPH to 120 MPH.
As an M18 Fuel product, you can use any M18 battery with the Milwaukee M18 Fuel blower. The 2724-21HD kit originally came with a 9.0Ah high-demand battery (and the one we used in our review), with an included 8.0Ah high-output battery pack. Larger packages help keep uptimes higher and are very well balanced with it.
We've used blowers with smaller batteries and there wasn't much real difference in clearing ability. It mostly just reduces runtime.
The rubber overmolded handle is comfortable with approximately 5-1/4 inches of room to hold. The size of the trigger is also large. The lock button is just above the trigger on the left side of the handle. Even so, it can be used with ease by both righties and lefties.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Blower Performance
We use the blower for typical post-mowing cleanup and to control some fallen leaves. Our oak trees have more leaves than broadleaves, and those little turkey vultures have a hard time getting most hand blowers to move effectively. One of our testers also tried using it as a replacement for a living room duster, but his wife's sneeze and dirty eyes were enough proof that's not what it was designed to do.
In the store we found the Gen II Milwaukee M18 Fuel Leaf Blower with the same decibel level as the Gen I. It delivered 81 decibels to my ears at wide-open throttle (WOT), and a little less at low speeds.
The ANSI standard states that you need to test from 50 feet away, and it records 67 decibels at that distance. Keep in mind that for the same noise, the 2nd Gen pushes the air 20% faster – not bad.
Milwaukee dials in the harmonics of the moving parts nicely. We felt almost no vibration at WOT and only a slight vibration at low speeds. But we weren't specifically looking for it, and none of our testers had reason to give it a second thought.
That's all well and good, but we wanted to see how this Milwaukee blower compares to the first version and the whole team. We use a dynamometer to tell us how CFM and airspeed work together. With an impact of just 9 Newtons, the Gen I blower is the second-lowest blower we've tested. Up to 11.2 Newtons after the update – a nice improvement. Electronics also allow the brushless motor to reach that power in less than a second.
Note that Milwaukee's high-output batteries were not available when we ran this test. Using an 8.0Ah or even a 12.0Ah H2O battery pack could potentially boost this to closer to 12 Newtons.
Whichever way you go, these are good numbers for clearing hard surfaces and helping you move broad leaves in fall. It's nowhere near the best battery powered blowers that start out at over 20 Newtons today.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Blower Prices
Milwaukee's Gen II blower is $149 on its own. Comes with an 8.0Ah high-output battery and fast charger for $279. There's also a fall cleanup kit that includes a blower and an 18-inch chainsaw as bare tools for $458.
the bottom line
Milwaukee's upgrade to a second-generation M18 fuel blower may not seem like a big deal, but the change in Newtonian force we're seeing does make a difference. While there are more powerful battery-operated blowers out there, it can get the job done as a gas supplement for lawn caregivers and homeowners. It's also a nice upgrade from the usual lower-powered jobsite blowers on construction sites.
- Power to clear from 15 feet
- Full speed forward in less than 1 second
- Up to 4 lbs lighter than high pressure competition
- High/Low speed setting
- lock button
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Gen II Leaf Blower Specifications
- Power source: Milwaukee M18 battery
- Airspeed: 120 MPH
- Air volume: 450 CFM
- Dimensions: 33.8 x 5.87 x 9.7 inches
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: $149 bare, $279 kit