Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless grinder review

I have been wanting a cordless grinder for a while now.  Partly due to just not having to deal with cords when working in the shop but also I am planning on going to a salvage yard to pull some parts and it would be handy to have a grinder with a cutoff wheel that I could use on site to cut off rusty parts as needed.

I am a fan of Milwaukee tools and have been looking at the new cordless grinder.  They have a new “fuel” line of M18 cordless tools that have brushless motors that are supposed to have good power.  I while back I decided to pick up the new “M18 Fuel Cordless Grinder”.

I bought the “tool only” option that does not come with a battery since I already have a couple of 1.5 Amp/hour batteries that came with my drill/impact driver kit that I bought about 5 years ago.  I also have a newer 5.0 amp/hour “XC” battery that I use when I do a lot of work with the 1/4″ impact driver just to extend the runtime.

The big question I had with the grinder is if it is usable as a replacement to a corded grinder or is it just “reasonable” performance and really only benefit is the cordless convenience.  I put together a few somewhat scientific tests to find out.

The test didn’t go as smoothly as I expected…. to no fault of the tool!  The thing I didn’t consider was the battery performance.  I did most of the testing with the 1.5 amp/hour batteries.  After running through all of my tests and being a little bit disappointed with the performance I realized I should try again with the newer “XC” battery.

I have to say with the better battery I am very impressed with the performance of the tool.  Check out the video for details.

This has me thinking I need to do an “M18 battery shootout” test.  There are some aftermarket companies who make compatible batteries for the Milwaukee tools.  I have ordered a few of them, as long as a new 2.0 amp/hour genuine Milwaukee battery (to see if my old batteries have lost any performance) and plan on doing a full test of all to see how the 3rd party manufacturers stand up to the real thing.

Stay tuned for that video in a week or two!