At OPE, we’ve covered our fair share of Milwaukee’s M18 battery-powered outdoor fleet. To put it another way, we’re fans. In this case, the brand’s Quik-Lok system has been the only pole saw working on this setup. That is, until recently because Milwaukee announced the release of its new M18 Fuel Pole Saw, the Model 3013.
Our staff had the opportunity to put this tool to work in the field. When they were through, they were confident that the 3013 has a lot to offer.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Pole Saw Performance
Naturally, chainsaws are the tools of choice when you’re working at ground level. That said, there are a host of applications where a pole saw is ideal. But, to summarize, we’re talking about trimming and limbing tasks for which you might otherwise need a ladder.
Driving the M18 Fuel Pole Saw is Milwaukee’s PowerState brushless motor. This setup uses a single high-output battery. Together, they deliver 2.35 horsepower with 1.9Nm of peak torque, which could outperform competing gas models.
More specifically, between the power and the 25 meters-per-second chain speed running, the 3013 cuts roughly 50% faster than leading gas models. That’s according to Milwaukee’s numbers.
Another aspect of the speed that impressed our staff was the saw’s acceleration, topping out in less than 1 second.
And, while working with the saw, they made some pointed observations. For one, this model has a nice metal branch hook to help pull down the limb once you’ve made your cut.
Perhaps most important, however, is the M18 Fuel Pole Saw’s reach, which Milwaukee takes care of rather effectively.
The 3013 extends from 9 to 13 feet. Depending on your height, that gives you about a 12- to 16-foot working reach. Now, our staff also says that, while the adjustment collar may seem large compared to other models, its size makes it easier to grasp and twist than most models they’ve handled.
When you first grab hold of the pole saw, you’ll notice that the shaft feels different. That’s because it’s not round like most models. The overall shape is triangular with rounded corners. It makes for a more comfortable hold and improves control.
- Outstanding cutting power and speed
- Well-built, durable design
- 13-foot maximum length (~16-foot reach)
- Excellent sightline to the cut
- Beefy branch hook
- Full high-end gas replacement
- Inline design fits inside a 6-inch diameter conduit carrier
- No major drawbacks
Thanks to an inline profile, you have excellent visibility of your cut. Furthermore, the saw can fit inside a 6-inch diameter conduit or PVC pipe, making it easier to transport.
Of course, we always like to see efficiency in the tools we review, and Milwaukee’s pole saw demonstrates that; like all solutions on the M18 and M18 Fuel lines, you can use any RedLithium battery for power. Even so, it works best with High Output packs.
We suggest the 12.0Ah battery for intensive cutting jobs.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Pole Saw Design
The first item in our design notes is the 3013’s single battery, which saves some weight. That’s pretty important when it comes to tools like pole saws, where balance is a core factor.
All the same, it’s still a 13-foot pole saw that weighs 16 pounds without the battery. So, we’re glad that Milwaukee went with magnesium for the cutting head, as it helps keep the end-weight manageable and more balanced.
Although it may feel like it’s heavy in comparison to other cordless pole saws, it’s important to remember that Milwaukee is targeting the Pro market with the Model 3013 M18 Fuel. Indeed, this tool’s working weight is in the same ballpark as the Stihl HT 135 gas model or the HTA 135 battery.
- Milwaukee Model 3013
- 12.0Ah Lithium-ion battery
- Brushless motor
- Chain speed: 25 mps
- Bar: 10 in
- Max length: 13 ft
- Weight: 19 lbs (w/ battery)
Also, the shoulder strap is a nice touch. It assists in managing the strain of working with equipment of this length. We found that adjusting it so that the trigger is at your hip takes significant heft out of your hands, yet it still enables you to control the throttle and the cut.
Regarding chain adjustments, you’ve essentially got a standard Pro design.
There’s a single bar stud with a captured nut securing it. Just loosen that nut slightly using a scrench. Then flip it around and use the slotted screwdriver side to adjust the tension up or down. The scrench stores onboard in the battery bay.
There are other features we look for on Pro-grade models, and the Milwaukee M18 Fuel pole saw has them. For one, it has an automatic chain oiler with a translucent reservoir to help you keep an eye on your oil levels.
What’s more, there’s a protective extension under the battery port that extends even with a 12.0Ah. Even with a 12.0Ah battery, it extends beyond the pack’s housing, offering some additional durability if you set the pole saw down or drop it.
Before Milwaukee introduced the 3013 M18 Fuel pole saw, you had just one option to achieve the reach that you can with this model. You had to use the Quik-Lok model along with an extension. While this earlier version isn’t a flawed system by any stretch (no pun intended), it doesn’t quite meet professional needs (at least, not compared to its successor).
As such, the 3013 is an excellent choice for daily users. It quickly adjusts lengths to fit the job, keeping productivity high and frustration low.
Milwaukee 3013 M18 Fuel Pole Saw Price
You can get the Milwaukee 3013 as a kit with a 12.0Ah battery and charger for $799. There’s also a bare tool option for $599. Milwaukee backs the saw with a 3-year warranty.