Milwaukee FUEL 18 Gauge Brad Nailer 2740-21CT

By Robert Robillard on Tool Reviews

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless NailersMilwaukee FUEL 18 Gauge Brushless Brad Nailer 2740-21CT Review

This story starts in 1950 when the first pneumatic nailers were introduced and fast-forwards to today with many tool manufacturers are designing and offering battery-only, cordless finish nailers. Today throughout our industry, carpenters are using a combination of pneumatic, gas powered, and battery powered brad and finish nailers on a regular basis.

Milwaukee just released a new line M18 FUEL™ Finish Nailers that are touted to have the power to consistently seat nails sub-flush into hardwood surfaces with no ramp-up time and no gas cartridges. Unfortunately these nailers were not ready when we hosted out Cordless Nailer Head-2-Head Testing.

Milwaukee’s Approach

The Milwaukee design team built this tool line on the same successful innovative platform as their other cordless tools:

  • POWERSTATE™ brushless motor
  • REDLITHIUM™ battery pack
  • REDLINK PLUS™ intelligence

No Gas Means Low Maintenance

Most carpenters, myself included, hate that our gas nailers have to be cleaned and serviced. Many don’t have the time or make the effort to learn how to do it themselves. As a result there are many a gas nailer sitting on a workbench across the nation, waiting for “time” to magically appear for nailer maintenance. Tool downtime kills efficiency and productivity on projects.

The beautiful thing about cordless nailers is that they run off batteries only no cleaning required, which means low maintenance and a promise of durability and reliability.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless NailersPerformance

The new Milwaukee has an 18-volt brushless motor and is marketed as able to drive up to 1200 nails per charge on a 2.0ah battery

The new Milwaukee tool features “Ready to Fire Technology” which completely eliminates ramp-up time. A faster ramp up rate, means installing fasteners without having to wait for the tool to “catch up,” to the user, something that many battery-only cordless nailers were lacking for sometime.

Milwaukee FUEL 18 Gauge Brad Nailer 2740-21CT Review

Everyone wants to know one thing…. Will it really fire 1200 brads? We wanted to know that answer too, but we had more questions. Questions like:

  • Is the tool balanced?
  • Is it slow to ramp up?
  • Will it consistently sink fasteners?
  • Will it jamb?
  • Would I use it on a high-end finish job?
  • Is it durable?
  • Does it operate like a brad nailer should?
  • Will it make productive, efficient and ultimately make me money
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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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