Milwaukee M12 Vs M18 Multi Tool

Oscillating tools are often said to be one of the best tools you will have in the box because they can do lots of different tasks depending on what attachment they are paired with. Depending on which of them that can match in your application the most, models such as Milwaukee M12 Vs M18 Multi Tool are often very useful for a wide type of tasks. If you wonder which of these models will be the better option, let’s see about what they can offer below.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • What is Oscillating Tool
  • What are Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool
  • How are the Design of Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool
  • How are the Speed of Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool
  • How are the Performance of Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool
  • What else Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool can offer
  • Milwaukee M12 Vs M18 Multi Tool

Oscillating Tools

There are so many tools we can find and use for various types of woodworking or just for home renovation. They are mostly electrically powered for convenience but the correct job will need the correct tools to work with and it is difficult to find an option that can do all of them. Of course there are jack-of-all-trades tools that can cover lots of applications yet, in most cases one tool can only do one to three jobs depending what you plan to work on.

Among common most useful tools such as drill drivers like Craftsman C3 Vs Ryobi One, and hammer drills like DeWalt Atomic, which are useful for driving bits or removing them and drilling holes, we also have oscillating tools and for some people, this is a very unfamiliar power tool. They are indeed not as popular as a drill driver and circular saw but when it comes to versatility, this power tool can handle various types of tasks that not many other tools can achieve.

For those who are not very familiar with oscillating tools, they are just as the name suggests utilize the oscillating movement or a rapid motion from side to side that can be as fast as 20,000 times per minute. It is a bit strange at first because our eyes can’t really see the movement and since it is very quick, the tools don’t feel like moving but only vibrate. If you see an oscillating tool at work, they are less messy than the common rotating movement while also more versatile.

Since they are not very common, some people may wonder whether it is wise to spend on one since you are not sure yet how they will be useful but, we do think they are very versatile and can handle various tasks in the house, even for the typical house renovation we sometimes do. They can be used where the other types of tools such as circular saw can’t fit for example when cutting nails that are difficult to remove and removing a broken part of a wall before fixing it.

 Milwaukee M12 Multi ToolMilwaukee M18 Multi Tool
Product Dimensions6.2 x 1.8 x 6.5 inches3.3 x 5.2 x 12.8 inches
Shipping Weight2.5 pounds3.07 pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price

What you may want to consider in an oscillating tool is their attachment because this decides what they are going to be capable of and in most cases one will come with their own blade already from the manufacturer. This blade is useful for cutting purposes but is not meant for all materials since usually there are either metal or wood blades we can try. In addition, many brands use their own blades but worry not since we can always buy an adapter to make sure other blades can be used with our tool.

About Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool

If you also want to get the convenience of an oscillating tool, let’s see what the market has to offer because there are so many of them out there. Different brands have their own options and all of them will have the same mechanism so when it comes to choosing the best option it is often related to which brand you are more familiar with. Sticking with a certain manufacturer that works well is also cost saving especially when they are using the same batteries.

There are also plenty of good options in the market and we do prefer to stick with well-known names because they are often more reliable and for oscillating tools, Milwaukee do have some of the most convenient options. Just like most brands, they have various models to consider and not all are going to be the same so it is wise to choose the one that will match with what you need or what type of application they will be used for.

For those who prefer a convenient yet also easy to use tool that can be easily transported and used for various applications, the Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool are two ideal choices to consider. As you can guess, the latter is a higher model and this is because the tool is carrying more power than its little sibling. Price wise it is almost twice as expensive so we do think the M18 is more suitable for heavy-duty application or when you need a more reliable tool.

However, it doesn’t mean that the M12 is not reliable because this variant has similar power rating. The prominent difference is mostly on the type of battery they are using because these are cordless models which is the best when it comes to convenience. The M12 is a 12 Volt compatible and the latter is 18 Volt so unfortunately the batteries are not interchangeable between the two.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool Design

The model we are talking about today is the older variant of Milwaukee oscillating tools because not long ago they renewed it in the Fuel series which seems to interesting as well yet for this comparison we are going for the original models. As you can see they are similar to all Milwaukee power tools with a  combination of black and red shade. The material is the same but in comparison the M18 is slightly larger and about 1 lb. heavier. The battery compartment is also much bigger than M12.

The handle is the body itself and you can place the hand anywhere along the housing either with one or two hands. There is a speed setting located near the end of these power tools and it is like a switch that we can swipe to adjust. The power button is located at the top of the unit, the same like most models but our favorite part is the slim figure which makes them easy to hold and control during application while letting your thumb access either the power or speed control.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool Speed

Moving further, let’s see what Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool can offer and when it comes to speed, they are actually very different because if you expect the M18 will be faster, this model actually only topping at 18,000 OPM instead of 20,000 orbit per minute. However, they have the same 12 different speed settings that separate the level of power and the M18 lowest setting is starting at 11,000 OPM while the M12 can be slower at 5,000 OPM.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool Performance

Next we want to talk about the performance of these oscillating tools because they are indeed very convenient. The blades are interchangeable if you are planning to upgrade from the M12 to M18 but the mechanism is a slightly different. In terms of performance, the two are actually very reliable and very much the same. They are accurate and easy to control but in comparison the M12 will be  more comfortable as it has slimmer built and lighter as well.

What you may want to pay attention to is their battery life and try to not force the blade but let them do the cutting on their own. It may take the job slower but it will also be more accurate and preserve the battery life. The only issue that makes the M12 a bit annoying is the battery compartment because it is sliding inside the housing and when the tool is used, the housing vibrates a lot and it is sometimes shaking the battery then ejecting it, stopping the tool.

We can just push the battery back inside but it is an issue that should not happen and M18 is free from it because the model is using a different battery so instead of sliding inside the housing tube it is sliding on a dedicated compartment, making it more secure. In addition the 12V battery is very short living in comparison so you may want to have a backup for a larger task.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool Features

Lastly we want to mention the additional feature and this is because the M18 has a different and more convenient mechanism to attach and detach the blade. The M12 is a more traditional option so you will need a hex key to loosen the bolt and remove the blade. The M18 now has a latch mechanism that secures the blade but is not completely tool-less. To remove/install the blade, open the latch at the top and loose the screw with any flat metal like the blade itself; we don’t need a hex key anymore yet the mechanism is still similar.

Milwaukee M12 Vs M18 Multi Tool

Both of them are good options as your first oscillating tools but there are also higher models that are more modern nowadays. The differences between Milwaukee M12 and M18 Multi Tool are on the speed rating as M12 can actually goes faster, the battery set M12 to be not as long lasting and require you to have more than one battery, last it needs hex or allen key to remove and attach the blade which is simple but some people may concern about losing this key and couldn’t find it when needed.

- UNIVERSAL ADAPTOR: You can use accessories from other multi tools with the universal adaptor that screws onto the head
- 12 SPEED SETTINGS: Switch between 5,000 and 20,000 orbits per minute with the speed adjustment knob. Keep this tool suitable for a variety of different applications
- SANDING: An included sanding head with sanding pads will let you put the finishing touches on your woodworking projects without a separate purchase
- GROUTING: The multi-purpose head can slice into tight spaces to clear grout or trim
- FUEL GAUGE: Know how much time you have left on your job with the LED panel on the side of the unit. It tell you how much battery you have left in 25% increments
- 12 SPEED SETTINGS: This fully adjustable tool will switch from 11,000 to a whopping 18,000 OPM for a variety of applications, from the delicate to the heavy duty
- DURABILITY: The all-metal gear case will help this tool resist common impacts on the job, prolonging its longevity
- HANDLING: A rubberized mold covering the handle allows you to keep a firm grip of this multi-tool, improving handling even in slippery conditions
- LED LIGHTING: Illuminate your work subject with the help of the onboard LED panel, located at on the head of the tool so it works from any angle


Both are good options and in general the M18 is probably more satisfying to use, mostly because of the bigger battery. It also doesn’t need a hex key anymore and in comparison the flat key system is easier to find around since the blade itself can be used to loosen or secure the bolt.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *