Free Shipping on orders over US$39.99 How to make these links

When is Milwaukee Compact Brushless Better than M18 Fuel?

If you buy something through our links, ToolGuyd might earn an affiliate commission.

A few weeks on social media, someone asked a tool-loving community about whether the Milwaukee M18 compact brushless drilling and driving kit was a good buy.

They were specifically looking for a drill and impact driver that landed in between M12 and “full-size” M18 tools, with decent performance and the ability to fit into tighter work spaces. They already had a couple of M12 tools.

Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit 3692-22CT

Milwaukee’s M18 compact brushless drill and impact kit seems to be the best tools to fit this user’s needs, and the price they were looking at was good and very close to its seasonal-low.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel tools are great, but at times it seems fanboys recommend them unquestionably without considering context or cirumstances.

In the case of the question about the compact brushless kit, there were just a couple of endorsements for M18 Fuel.

But often, someone might ask about a Milwaukee brushed combo kit, value-priced bundle, compact brushless product, or similar, and the automatic recommendation would be “M18 Fuel.”

A person might ask about a $149 2-tool combo kit, and they’ll be told not to bother with anything other than M18 Fuel.

I figure that recommendations for M18 Fuel without clear justification reflect either naivety or a thirst for internet clout. Or maybe it has something to do with conformity or herd mentality.

Maybe sometimes it’s helpful, but I would think that someone asking about a $149 to $199 2-tool combo kit isn’t in the market for a $399 combo kit.

It seems ridiculous to tell someone that a $400 2-tool combo is the only option they should consider.

If you want a more compact drill and impact driver, or have a limited budget, the M18 compact brushless kit is a better buy than the M18 Fuel kit. Right?

But you’ll find people urging that M18 Fuel is the only way to go. It’s not.

At the time of this posting, the M18 compact brushless impact driver is available in a $99 kit with a compact 2Ah battery. The M18 Fuel impact is only available in tool-only format or in a 2-battery kit for $299.

If one doesn’t need multiple speed and torque modes, or max torque, the $99 kit might be perfectly acceptable. Or, the $299 kit might be priced out of one’s budget.

But you’ll have people harping about how M18 Fuel is the only way to go.

If tool pricing, size, and weight are higher priorities than features or performance, M18 compact brushless might be more compelling than M18 Fuel.

The “nothing but M18 Fuel is worth it” stance has become the de facto recommendation, even when unjustified.

You might be thinking “of course strangers on the internet aren’t known to give the best advice.”

We’re now in a world where strangers’ advice and recommendations, whether accurate, fair, or informed, are being used to train generative AI engines. Nobody is fact-checking everything that’s being spit out by these AI content generators. That’s going to be a problem.

M18 Fuel is the best Milwaukee offers in the realm of cordless power tools, and some tools might be the best in the industry. But that doesn’t mean they’re the best or most practical choices for everyone.

Here are some product links for current pricing:

The M18 compact brushless 2-tool combo is $199, and the M18 Fuel 2-tool combo is $399 and bundled with a free bonus battery. The compact brushless tools are smaller, lighter, and well-suited for light to medium duty everyday tasks.

The M18 Fuel tools offer more premium features and top performance, but not everyone needs that.