M12 FUEL 5-3/8” Circular Saw 2530-20

By Robert Robillard on Tool Reviews

M12 FUEL 5-3/8” Circular Saw 2530-20M12 FUEL 5-3/8” Brushless Circular Saw 2530-20 Review

Milwaukee Tool recently expanded their 12-volt line with their release of the M12 FUEL 5-3/8” Circular Saw 2530-20.

What intrigued us at Concord Carpenter was the size, weight and ability of this new saw.  We first saw it at Milwaukee’s media event,and its easy to see why it was going to become popular.  This new saw is brushless, and has the ability to power through plywood sheet stock, as well as cut 2x dimensional lumber.   I’m not aware of any other 12 volt saw that can keep up with that.

Size Matters!

The people that say size matters obviously have not seen or used the M12 FUEL 5-3/8” Circular Saw 2530-20!   At 12-3/8 long and weighing in at 5.35 pounds this little saw is as durable and it is powerful.

This little saw is powerful and will cut framing lumber when needed, we were impressed, check out the video for a demonstration.

Power – Cutting Framing Lumber

Touted to be able to cut 170 cuts in a 2×4, the M12 FUEL 5-3/8” Circular Saw.  We were not able to duplicate the 170 cuts in our testing, we did achieve 80 cuts.   The reasons for this is most likely due to the testing methodology that we employed – we turned on the saw and tried to cut all 170 at one time.

Like all Milwaukee Fuell cordless tools, the 2530-20 utilizes, REDLINK PLUS Intelligence electronics, REDLITHIUM battery and a POWERSTATE brushless motor.  All three of these components interface and contribute to to protect the tool from overloading, overheating and damage.  As a result we were only able to get approximately 10 cuts in a 2×4 at a time without allowing the tool to cool down.

Brushless Motor

Brushless motors allow cordless tools to work harder, last longer, and use battery power more efficiently, giving the M12 FUEL 5-3/8” Circular Saw the ability to make real job site cut applications while minimize bogging down.

The brushless motor is also completely designed, engineered and built with no wearable components, no losses due to vibration and less heat build-up.   This small saw delivers 3,600 PRMs and has outstanding  power and durability.


This saw comes with a XC4.0 batteries provide up to 2X more run-time and recharges than standard lithium-ion batteries and will provide more work per charge, and more work over the life of the pack than competitive batteries. With Milwaukee® durability built into each pack, the REDLITHIUM™ XC4.0 battery operates cooler and performs in climates below 0°F/-18°C with fade free power.

A battery fuel gauge also displays remaining charge for guesstimating usage.


The M12 FUEL™ 5-3/8” Circular Saw also lives up to Milwaukee’s legendary durability with a cast aluminum construction and all-aluminum shoe and guards.

Line of Sight

The M12 FUEL™ 5-3/8” Circular Saw is a left sided saw with outstanding line of sight not only to the blade but also the indicator on the shoe plate is dead on!   If I need a money cut with a circular saw, I’m usually reaching for my track saw, but having an accurate cut indicator is much appreciated even when making fast cuts in plywood.

The saws knob adjustments are solid and easy to use and the bevel adjustment allows for a 50º cut.  Depth of cut at 90ºis 1-5/8” and approx. 1-1/8″ at 45º.  An LED light is activated when the user depresses the safety switch, and the light has a delay allowing it to nicely illuminate the cut line.

Overall Impression:

Milwaukee’s M12 tools are positioned as compact cordless tools for lighter or specialty applications, and their M12 Fuel brushless tools are higher performing tools that can tackle some, if not many, of the tasks non-brushless M18 and 18V tools are typically used for.

This saw clearly does not have the depth of cut capacity of a 6-1/2″ saw, but having the capacity to cut through dimensional lumber, will resonate big with contractors.    The Concord Carpenter Crew can definitely see some contractors purchasing this 12v saw over an 18v saw to accomplish their trade specific tasks.

For the carpenter or contractor that is not using a circular saw in a framing capacity, this is a nice tool, giving them the ability to make the same cuts but on a tool that is lighter and smaller.  I like to think of it as a kick-ass  trim saw on steroids!

How Much?

This saw sells at $149 for the bare saw, $229 for the 1-battery kit.

Features and Specs:

  • M12 FUEL™ 5-3/8” Circular Saw Kit (2530-21XC)
  • Length: 12-3/8”
  • Weight: 5.35 lbs
  • Speed: 3,600 RPM
  • Arbor Size: 10mm
  • Bevel Capacity: 50º
  • Capacity: 1-5/8”
  • LED Light
  • On-Board Wrench
  • REDLITHIUM™ XC 4.0 Extended Capacity Battery Pack


The Milwaukee 2530-20 M12 Fuel 5-3/8″ Circular Saw – bare tools sells for $130 here:  Milwaukee-2530-20-M12-Fuel-Circular

M12 FUEL™ 5-3/8” Circular Saw Video Review

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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