Sweet Little Sucker

Milwaukee's 18-volt vacuum comes in a lot handier than you might imagine.

Family Handyman

Sweet Little Sucker

I have a big shop with a dust collection system, two wet/dry vacs and an 18-in. broom for cleaning up. So I wondered, “When am I ever going to use a pintsize tool like the Milwaukee 18-volt vacuum?” The answer was “hourly.”

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The M18 Compact Vacuum 0882-20 isn’t a wimpy broom-closet hand vac—it’s a real tool. I took it for a test drive, and powered by the 5.0-Ah battery pack, it worked full tilt for 28 minutes before sputtering. I used it to vacuum floors and drawers, suck up dust around stationary tools, clean off my workbench, get dust out of cabinet crevices and remove sawdust from my clothes. I even connected the hose to my random orbital sander and put it to work as a point-of-use dust collector.

With two 1-ft. extensions and the floor tool attached, the vacuum easily picked up sawdust and wood chips. At 6 lbs., it’s light enough to maneuver easily. It has a HEPA filter and it’s a breeze to empty. Even though it’s not for wet spills, and it’s loud enough to warrant hearing protection, I still find it indispensable.

The vacuum costs $100 to $115, without battery. If you have other 18-volt Milwaukee tools, you can use those batteries. A kit including a battery and charger is $180. — Spike Carlsen