Milwaukee Hatchet Review: The M12 Mini Handheld Pruning Saw

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The Milwaukee Hatchet is an excellent mini chainsaw for light branch pruning and trimming.

It’s designed for home use and is an alternative to using a manual hand saw for pruning.

As you can imagine, these mini battery-powered chainsaws are a lot quicker than manual saws and pack more power than you might expect.

I’ve been using many mini chainsaws like the ORHFS mini saw or the Denqir mini saw, and think they’re great garden tools that certainly have their place in the tool shed or garage.

The M12 Hatchet is one of the larger and heavier mini saws, making it better for tougher, thicker jobs compared to the other options.

Milwaukee Mini Chainsaw

Milwaukee M12 Chainsaw

  • Milwaukee mini chainsaw for pruning
  • 12v battery, 6" bar
  • 4.8 lbs
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Stihl GTA 26

  • Stihl's handheld mini chainsaw
  • Battery powered 4" blade
  • 2.6 lbs
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Kimo Mini Chainsaw

  • A popular cheap mini chainsaw
  • Battery powered 6" blade
  • 3.1 lbs
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The Milwaukee M12 Hatchet Pruning Saw is one of the premium mini chainsaws – in fact, it even costs a fair amount more than the Stihl GTA 26.

It has a 6″ blade, making it a bit bigger than most of the best mini chainsaws that tend to only have 4″ bars. One of my mini saws also has a 6″ bar, and I must say it is nice to have the extra length from time to time (I can swap the 4″ and 6″ around).

The M12 is also quite a bit heavier, but when you see it in the videos below, you’ll understand why – it’s bigger!

Alongside the Milwaukee M18 Chainsaw, the M12 Hatchet is a good tool to have on hand for light garden use, but as with other options, they don’t make for the best commercial use saws due to cut time limitations (unless it’s limited).

Milwaukee M12 Hatchet Specs And Features

The surprising thing about the M12 Hatchet is that it’s not all that small.

Yes, it only has a 6-inch bar, but besides that, there is a bit of weight behind it. It comes in at just under 5 lbs, making it almost as heavy as a regular light chainsaw like the ECHO CS-2511T which weighs 6 lbs.

It’s longer and stockier than most other battery-powered pruning saws, but all of these features are quite good if you’re wanting to invest in a quality product.

Milwaukee Hatchet specs:

  • REDLITHIUM™ XC4.0 Battery
  • Up to 120 cuts through 2″ wood per charge
  • 16.5-inch length
  • 3.75-inch width
  • 4.1 lbs without battery
  • Brushless motor

It has really good handles, with one for each hand for greater control and the ability to apply pressure when cutting.

This mini saw is quite unique in that it has a bar and chain oil reservoir that must be topped up before use. Most mini saws require this to be done manually with a small oil bottle.

As stated in the video above, these tools are excellent for getting into tight spots and ordinary chainsaws cannot.

The Hatchet is good for pruning fruit trees, lumber, trees, shrubs, and large leaves such as palm fronds.

Milwaukee Pruning Saw Review

Check out this Milwaukee Hatchet Mini Chainsaw video review from VCG Construction.

The unboxing and setup happen at about the 5-minute mark after a rundown of all the specs and features.

The Milwaukee Hatchet doesn’t seem to bog down as much as competing products, and the battery power looks good. It certainly gets longer run times than many out there.

All in all, the M12 Hatchet is a good mini chainsaw that can make pruning around the home much easier and faster. It’s great for the small stuff, and shouldn’t be used as your primary firewood saw (though I’m sure that goes without saying)!


  • Powerful and grunty
  • Top specs and features
  • Very well-reviewed
  • Well balanced
  • Decent run times


  • Heavier and larger than alternatives
  • Most expensive mini saw

Milwaukee M12 Chainsaw

If you’ve got the money to spend, the Milwaukee M12 Chainsaw is well worth picking up.

It’s one of the most heavy-duty handheld saws, if not THE most heavy-duty model. It’s well built, looks great, is reliable and durable, and gets the job done.

If for whatever reason you now think you’d prefer something bigger, check out these top battery-powered chainsaws for many great options. They can’t get into quite as small spaces, all the time, but you can do a lot more with them.

I also used this Black and Decker Reciprocating Saw recently which was also good for light cutting work (though I wasn’t using it for trees, but for meat)!


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2 thoughts on “Milwaukee Hatchet Review: The M12 Mini Handheld Pruning Saw”

  1. Getting the battery out of the milwaukee small saw is impossible for me, tried a wrench and cannot budge it. Guess i will have to return it unless you have a suggestion.

  2. I borrowed my friend’s M12 Fuel Hatchet to try out and he had the little CP 3.0 batteries for it. Figured there’s no way will it could useful for anything beyond little branches and twigs but I headed out to cut back overgrown brush and small trees on about 80 yards around my lawn.

    To my astonishment that little saw powered through it all with only the tiny CP battery. I immediately bought a lightly used one on eBay and now I literally walk around looking for stuff to cut just for the chance to use it. Astonishingly efficient and powerful, and the full house chain keeps it smooth so my carpal tunnel syndrome isn’t flared up.

    The ergonomics are good but not quite in league with Stihl’s GTA 26. However the Stihl is less powerful, lacks an automatic oiler, and Stihl batteries aren’t as good as Milwaukee’s nor as affordable – to match the runtime of an XC 5.0 in Stihl batteries you would need to sell a kidney.


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