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Milwaukee M18 0880-20 Review

A well designed, toolbox-style vacuum that offers the most convenience and performance
Milwaukee M18 0880-20
Credit: Laura Casner
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $130 List | $114.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Good hose design, powerful motor, great storage
Cons:  Heavy, filter isn’t washable, shorter runtime, mediocre puddle clean up
Manufacturer:   Milwaukee
By Nick Miley and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jan 11, 2022
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 9
  • Dry Work - 40% 9.0
  • Wet Work - 30% 6.0
  • Battery Life - 20% 4.0
  • Convenience - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a convenient, powerful, and versatile wet/dry vacuum, then look no further than the Milwaukee M18. This machine is packaged in a toolbox-like shape with all the attachments and the hose stored internally. Thus, it takes up very little space, and it's easy to transport. This tool also delivers on all varieties of wet and dry cleaning needs. So, whether you need to suck water out of your boat's bilge or you want a portable dust collection tool, you can't go wrong with the M18.

Editor's Note: This product review was updated on January 11th, 2022, with additional information on how products compare and which ones we would buy.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Milwaukee M18 0880-20
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $130 List
$114.00 at Amazon
$120 List$99 List
$92.95 at Amazon
$100 List$100 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
68
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67
64
Star Rating
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Pros Good hose design, powerful motor, great storageLong runtime, HEPA filter, blower optionGreat for hard surfaces, great with heavy/dense debris, compactPowerful suction, relatively lightweight, HEPA filterLong runtime, excellent hose reach, lightweight
Cons Heavy, filter isn't washable, shorter runtime, mediocre puddle clean upAwkward hose storage, narrow end of hose diameter, no tool adapterLacks HEPA filter, limited runtime, whiny motorShort and narrow hose, heavy, relatively noisyWeird shape, short crevice tool, lacks HEPA filter
Bottom Line A well designed, toolbox-style vacuum that offers the most convenience and performanceThis do-it-all vacuum excels in wet work and battery lifeAn economical machine that is capable of handling both wet and dry debrisThis inexpensive machine performs at the highest level in all areas excluding battery lifeA lightweight vac that combines decent power and ample battery life for a long runtime
Rating Categories Milwaukee M18 0880-20 Craftsman CMCV002B Ryobi P3240 Kobalt KWDV 0124B-03 Porter-Cable PCC795BR
Dry Work (40%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Wet Work (30%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Battery Life (20%)
4.0
8.0
4.0
4.0
8.0
Convenience (10%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Specs Milwaukee M18 0880-20 Craftsman CMCV002B Ryobi P3240 Kobalt KWDV 0124B-03 Porter-Cable PCC795BR
Measured height x width x depth (inches) 12" x 16 3/4" x 8 1/2" 13" x 18 3/4" x 10 1/2" 9 1/2" x 18 1/2" x 12" 13" x 17 1/2" x 10 3/4" 13" x 18 3/4" x 10 1/2"
Measured weight (w/o battery) 10 pounds, 2 ounces 7 pounds, 8 ounces 8 pounds, 6 ounces 10 pounds,12 ounces 7 pounds, 3 ounces
Measured runtime (minutes) 23 min 34 min 19 min 20 min 34 min
Measured hose length min/ max (inches) 24" - 90 1/2" 26" - 94" 20 1/4" - 84" 24" - 96" 26" - 94"
Attachments crevice nozzle, floor nozzle crevice nozzle, wide nozzle utility nozzle, crevice tool crevice nozzle, floor nozzle crevice nozzle, wide nozzle
End of hose diameter (inches) 1" 1" 1" 1 1/16" 1"
HEPA rated filter Yes Yes Yes Yes N/A
Canister volume (gallons) 2 gal 2 gal 3 gal 3 gal 2 gal
Washable filter Yes (dry only) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Battery (volts) 18v 20v 18v 24v 20v
Measured suction (inches of water lift) 25" 19" 22" 22" 20"
Battery life inicator on machine On select batteries On select batteries On select batteries On select batteries On select batteries
Blower feature Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tool connection adaptor Yes (sold seperately) No No No No
Auxiiary power cord No No No No No
Dry sawdust clean-up (seconds) 13 sec 15 sec 15 sec 13 sec 14 sec
Wet sawdust clean-up (seconds) 36 sec 42 sec 42 sec 51 sec 50 sec

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Milwaukee M18 stands apart from its competitors because it can tackle both wet and dry work without breaking a sweat. Saturated carpets, nuts, and bolts, loose debris are all a breeze. Moreover, the attention paid to details such as the self-retracting hose and dusting tool makes using this machine very convenient. When it's time to wrap things up, the attachments and hose are secured in the lid of the toolbox-shaped canister — so it's easy to put on a shelf or in a cabinet at the end of your project.

Performance Comparison



Milwaukee M18 0880-20 cordless wet dry vacuum - this machine eats-up sawdust like whimpy eats hamburgers.
This machine eats-up sawdust like Whimpy eats hamburgers.
Credit: Laura Casner

Dry Work


With few exceptions, the M18 showed itself quite capable of moving dry materials without clogging, struggling, or leaving a job incomplete. We had this model suck up large, heavy debris such as machine nuts and bolts, lag screws, carriage bolts, washers, and wood screws. Excepting the lag screws, the Milwaukee moved this hardware without any trouble. Further demonstrating its suction prowess, the vac moved a 100-gram cylinder weight like it was sucking a scrap of paper. The Kobalt is the only other vacuum we tested performed similarly.


For those doing lots of woodwork, this machine can handle heaps of sawdust. We laid out 9 cups of sawdust in a pile, and the Milwaukee gulped it down like a blue whale feeding on krill. This model also has a quality crevice tool for those who need a tool to clean in tight spaces such as between car seats. This attachment can penetrate 8 1/4 inches into tight spots, and it creates focused suction that draws up grains of rice (the material used in this test) as far away as a half-inch.

Milwaukee M18 0880-20 cordless wet dry vacuum - the puddle test illustrates the diverse tasks that these machines...
The puddle test illustrates the diverse tasks that these machines can tackle. As it turns out, the design of the floor attachment has more to do with success than suction. Those attachments with channels on the contact surface allow air to flow and messes to disappear.
Credit: Laura Casner

Wet Work


The ability to clean up wet messes with ease is a real benefit these machines offer. If cleaning up liquids is one of your intended uses for your vac, the M18 won't disappoint. This model will move two gallons of water from a bucket to its canister in just 10 seconds! It'll clean a puddle consisting of 3 cups of water off a linoleum in about a minute, though other models, such as the Craftsman, have better-designed floor tool attachments that can complete this task in about half the time.


The Milwaukee makes up for the poorly designed floor tool with its ability to inhale waterlogged sawdust. We took the 9 cups of sawdust previously used in the dry work assessment and poured 6 cups of water into it to create a lumpy mix. The vac ripped through this challenging material in just over half a minute. Not too bad, considering that other models took three times as long. One of the benefits of the vacuum tube running directly into the canister where other models have an elbow.

The cordless, compact dimensions of these machines are well suited for cleaning out the interior of automobiles. As such, we tested their ability to draw water out of a saturated floorboard mat — a challenging task, to be sure. We let 2 cups of water soak into the carpet in this evaluation and then measured how much we could remove. The M18 got 1 ¾ cups of dirty water back out — about average for the class.

As a final assessment in this metric, we used a water lift gauge to measure the suction power of the vacuums. This instrument is based on how many inches of water a vacuum can lift in a continuous vertical column. The M18 registered 25 inches of water lift, which is near the top of the class.

Milwaukee M18 0880-20 cordless wet dry vacuum - the milwaukee m18's streamlined design stores its attachments, hose...
The Milwaukee M18's streamlined design stores its attachments, hose, and battery internally. Many newer batteries have a charge indicator as seen here.
Credit: Laura Casner

Battery


The battery assessment is straightforward. We take a fully charged cell and then run the vacuum without a load, meaning that the motor is only drawing air. We allow the machine to run until it dies. The time it takes to get to a fully drained battery is the runtime. We then take the runtime and divide it by the battery cell's amp-hour rating to reach a comparable value across all the models under review.


The M18 has a run time of 23 minutes and 15 seconds. Its amp-hour rating is 5, which comes out to 4 minutes and 39 seconds. That, unfortunately, is about a minute below the class average. However, the short runtime is mitigated by the power it brings to bear, so tasks will take less time to complete.

Milwaukee M18 0880-20 cordless wet dry vacuum - the toolbox design makes storage a cinch.
The toolbox design makes storage a cinch.
Credit: Laura Casner

Convenience


As the name implies, the convenience metric assesses design features that make the user's life easier and the vacuum more effective. Much of the sub-metrics in this category are physical measurements instead of performance tests. The outside dimensions of this vacuum are 16 ¾ x 6 ½ x 12 (L x W x H) inches. That's relatively compact, and when combined with the unit's regular shape, it makes it very convenient to store.


The internally stored hose and attachments are easily accessed. The hose has an above-average extension range — from 24 to 90 ½ inches — with a self-retracting, spring-like structure. At 10 lbs 2 oz, the M18 is well above average for the class though it is average in the noise department. Additionally, the unit comes standard with a HEPA filter can be cleaned out but not wet washed.

Milwaukee M18 0880-20 cordless wet dry vacuum - the m18 all buttoned-up.
The M18 all buttoned-up.
Credit: Laura Casner

Should You Buy the Milwaukee M18 0880-20?


The Milwaukee is a high-performing vacuum that sits right in the middle in terms of price. It is an excellent choice for anyone who wants the most value from their purchase. We especially recommend the M18 for those who find themselves in need of efficient dry cleanups and are not as concerned about battery life.

What Other Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum Should You Consider?


The compact and self-contained style of the Milwaukee is an attractive feature. If this is important to you, the Ryobi P3240 also has a compact storage mode, a similar overall score, and is slighter better in the dry work metric. Although not as compact, the Craftsman CMCV002B is a top-scoring product that falls in a similar price range and excels in almost every metric.

Nick Miley and Austin Palmer

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