Milwaukee M12 Copper Tubing Cutter Review

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About the Milwaukee M12 Copper Tubing Cutter

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We were very excited about testing the Milwaukee Copper Tubing Cutter.  This is really a neat new tool from Milwaukee Tools.  The Milwaukee M12 Copper Tubing Cutter is part of the Milwaukee cordless line and is specifically designed for cutting copper with the speed and versatility that plumbers, mechanical contractors and remodelers love to see. With a 12V LITHIUM-ION battery and ultra efficient gearing, the Tubing Cutter performs up to 200 cuts on a single charge. A close quarter rotating head cuts installed copper tubing with as little as 1-1/2″ of clearance. At 500 RPM, the patent pending cutting mechanism cuts copper tubing up to 10X faster than conventional cutters and automatically adjusts diameter to cut through 3/8″ – 1″ copper tubing (1/2″ – 1 1/8″ OD, Type K, L, and M).

The in line design offers greater reach and reduced wrist strain in confined spaces. The metal cutting head is corrosion and rust resistant and is sealed for protection from water. Electronic overload protection and uni-body construction provide exceptional durability. Additional features include a battery fuel gauge, which displays the remaining run-time, and a built-in LED Light which illuminates the line of cut. This is a very innovative tool that Milwaukee has come up with. It is great for the do-it-yourself plumber or the professional. That’s the beauty of this tool!

The Review

As with most all the Milwaukee tools we get our hands on, the first thing we noticed about the Copper Tubing Cutter was the great feel the tool had in our hands. It was very light and balanced well from front to back. The lightness of the tool obviously comes from good design, but also the fact that the Lithium Ion battery is very light and compact. There is definitely no fighting the tool when cutting pipe!

First we just tested the Milwaukee Copper Cutter on 1/2″ copper pipe and we had no problems slicing through the pipe like butter. We then went to 3/4″ copper pipe and it probably only took the Cutter five more seconds to get the job done then it did cutting the 1/2″ pipe!  We ended up cutting a lot of pipe over time and our arms or hands were not fatigued.  If you read our review on the M12 overview, this was one of the favorite tools our plumber used.  He liked the fact that this not only saved a lot of time and energy, but it could get into tight spots.  When we used it on our bathroom job, we saw first hand how powerful and handy this little tool can be.  Now, we didn’t count all the cuts it made with one battery, but we feel that Milwaukee’s claim of 200 cuts per charge is pretty close.  On the bathroom job, we probably made well over 500 cuts on this tool.  Again, the 30 minute battery charge time is great.  At the end, the wheel was still cutting through the pipe with no problems.

As we stated, this cutter is very easy to use.  One thing we noticed when cutting the pipes is when the cutter starts the cut, it is very smooth.  It doesn’t jerk your arm or cause you to fight the tool at all.  It just starts up and starts cutting.

Another nice feature to mention when reviewing this tool is that after cutting all the different copper pipe, the edges on the cut pipes were always very smooth, no burrs at all.  Now you still have to do your regular maintenance after each cut to make sure you have a good clean fit.  The cut is the same finished product as if your were manually using a copper cutter.

We used this cutter on multiple jobs and with many different cutting applications, and it really came through in all instances. It had good power stamina and was easy to recharge and get back to work with. The only other thing we wanted to bring to the user’s attention is that we also tested it for use in tight spots or close corner situations.  It really made the job easy in these particular instances, as you will see if you watch our review video.

Final Thought

This Copper Tubing Cutter is definitely a very nice new addition to Milwaukee’s M12 arsenal of tools. If you are doing a lot of pipe work, its a must-have tool for your kit!  Now again this is a new power tool Milwaukee introduced, so we are not sure about the long term and how these will hold up for demanding work loads.

5 COMMENTS

  1. This may work fine if you are a Mr. Fixit in your home and cutting six pipes a year. We’re professional plumbers in New York City and we went through sixteen — yes 16 of these — on one job.

    The Chinese electronics simply don’t hold up. After about fifty cuts, the circuit board burns out and you throw the thing in the garbage.

    As far as the manufacturer is concerned, they should be ashamed for taking the manufacturing of their tools to China. The stuff is simply junk.

    Save your money. You can get the same poor-quality imported stuff for $29 through one of those mail order tool companies. All you are paying for here is the Milwaukee name. Unfortunately soon that will be worth as little as the sixteen tools we throw in the garbage.

  2. Actually your right, Milwaukee is owned by Techtronic which is a chinese company. Never used one of these, but thats not good to hear.

  3. I agree with you on that. I have been in the professional plumbing business for over 5 years now. (since i was 14) and i have used the traditional copper cutters since then. we recently bought This tool and within 4 hours of using it, the cutting head broke and it the pipe no longer stays within the wheels. At first i thought it was just the 1/2” copper i was cutting but i moved up to a 3/4″ piece and it reacted the same. luckily it was near the end of the day and i remembered to bring my good old reliable hand cutters… that in the end take a lot less time to cut a piece as opposed to the m12s

  4. I must say that this cutter is really sharp. We should keep it always on the right place and stay away from children.

  5. I bought one of these and had great expectations of it. Unfortunately I am disapointed with it as the cutting wheel loses its cutting ability fairly quickly. The first 50 cuts are ok but the machine takes a lot longer after this.
    I can also see no way to change the cutting wheel even though these are readily available as consumables and the manual has no details of how to do this either. You could end up having to return it to service every time you need a new cutting wheel!
    Also the tightness on the pipe is not nearly as good. Basically a standard pipe slice is better at a fraction of the price!

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