A cordless system to run pneumatic tools does seem a little backward, especially as the M18 Framing Nailer and other cordless solutions are coming in. If you think of tire inflation, pressure testing and blowing up the huge unicorn chariot floaty for the “kids” to play with on the lake, the Milwaukee M18 FUEL Air Compressor 2840-20 ($349, bare tool) needed to happen. This could make some pneumatic tools nearly obsolete. However, most of us still have very functional pneumatic tools and not quite ready to make the huge investment to switch everything over. Releasing in June 2020, here are some of things to consider.

What Can You Do with 2 Gallons & 1.2 CFM

The M18 air compressor is the only cordless air compressor with a duel piston pumps and seems like they have really built this unit as a touch jobsite air compressor, but at the end of the day it’s still just a 2 gallon tank with a 1.2 CFM at 90 psi and max pressure of 135 psi, so it’ll work accordingly. Perfect solution for 15ga, 16ga, 18ga, 23ga and staplers when it comes to finish work, it is not going to be a good solution for framing or coil nailers with repetitive use. Also, for automotive tools with continuous use, any 2 gallon tank is not going to allow from consistent pressure when using a die grinder or larger impact. It’ll do a great job of pumping up any tire, pressure testing or blowing off the sawdust but can’t magically run your paint sprayer with a 2 gallon air tank.

Why not PACKOUT?

M18 Air Compressor Packout

You build it with a stackable square tube frame and didn’t make it PACKOUT compatible? Why not it seems like a no brainer? We’ve all seen the Polair Airstak (corded) that fits into the Tanos Systainer system and a bunch of DIY solutions, so we know it’s possible. Then we got to thinking since air compressors create so much vibration there would be a lot of extra dampening that went into unit specially to add PACKOUT slots ontop, adding more weight and cost.

At $349 the unit is already on the higher end of what most people would like to pay, the Airstak is $475 which makes it about double the cost of other corded compressors with similar specs. The steel frame makes this a great candidate for some aftermarket solutions for PACKOUT integration but those would need to address the vibrations with some sort of damping. Is this Milwaukee leaning into the PACKOUT community to allow them to address some of these solutions?

Quietest Cordless Compressor

The new M18 air compressor runs at only 68 dBA is pretty darn quiet, this can be very important in certain situations, remodeling work while the clients are still occupying the home. When looking at the Flexvolt, which clearly Milwaukee does every morning, which is at 80 dBA this is a big difference OSHA’s chart has 60 dBA as a conversation 3’ away and 80 dBA as a Freight Train 100’ away. The CFM is identical but Milwaukee is several lbs heavier than the Flexvolt however seem to make up for that with a suitcase style handle and flat frame which will be easier to handle than the round pancake style also less prone to getting knocked over on the job.         

All Day Runtime

The runtime specs are 1,600 Brad Nails per Charge with an M18 12.0Ah battery, so roughly 100-130 per Ah means even a 5.0Ah would complete a lot of trim work, battery life really isn’t much of a concern. The big question everyone is going to have to face with this air compressor is do you want to invest more into pneumatics or just start going crazy with M18 FUEL nailers and get a M12 inflator for the rest.

If you’ve got any questions on Milwaukee M18 Cordless Tool give the Team at Ohio Power Tool a call at 800-242-4424 and we’ll be happy to help you find the right tool for the job!   

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Air Compressor 2 Gallon Hot Dog 2840-20 ($349, Bare Tool)

  • Milwaukee M18 Air Compressor
  • Quietest Cordless Compressor
  • Runs at only 68 dBA – Work and communicate with less noise
  • 2 Gallon Tank – Max 135 PSI – 1.2CFM @ 90 PSI
  • Easy Transport, Compact design for easy storage and stacking
  • Over 15 lbs lighter than AC quiet units
  • Suitcase handle for easy carrying
  • Sits on Packout lid (does not connect to Packout)
  • Up to 1,600 Brad Nailers Per Charge – Work all day on a single HD12.0
  • Welded Steel Framer for Durability
  • Single turn regulator – Quick Connect Coupler Fitting
  • Less than 32 lbs (without battery)
Milwaukee M18 FUEL Air Compressor