Milwaukee cut the cord with their Milwaukee 18V random orbital sander. While a better onboard dust collector would have been nice, we love the fact you can connect this to a dust system. The sander is smooth and runs a long time on a 5Ah battery.
Milwaukee is one of the cordless power tool leaders and has a huge line of 18V power tools. I am loving how Milwaukee keeps pushing the boundaries. The cordless random orbital sander is another example. While they aren't the first to market with a cordless sander, they are sure putting their name on this space and giving companies like Makita and Ridgid a run for their money when it comes to a cordless orbital sander. Let's jump into the Milwaukee Cordless Sander review and see what we like and don't like about this new addition to the red family.
Milwaukee Cordless Sander Review Overview
Our world is going cordless and it's nice to see companies taking advantage of the newer battery technologies. It's amazing the tools we are seeing hit the market without a cord that we never thought would happen such as table saws and miter saws.
The orbital sander is one of those detail tools that can really clean up a job and make it look great. Losing the cord on a sander is perfect for those quick jobs where you need to clean it up and make it look nice.
Milwaukee Cordless Sander Review Features
The Milwaukee orbital sander, model 2648 is a variable speed sander that boasts a run time of 35 minutes with a 3Ah battery. The sander is 4.9″ wide by 5.7″ tall and is 10.5″ in lenght. The sander weighs 2.7 lbs without a battery and 4.75 lbs with a 5Ah battery.
You can use any of the Milwaukee M18 batteries on this tool. The lower the amps, the lighter it will be and also the shorter the runtime. We ran this with a 5Ah battery.
On the top of the tool, there is a nice over-molded grip that makes it comfortable to use.
If you want to wrap your hand around the body, you can do it in the front but not the back as the onboard dust collection system and battery get in the way.
To power the sander on and off, there is a switch located on the top of the sander which you can easily hit with your thumb.
The sander is a variable speed which you can control with your thumb while your hand is on the sander. The speeds range from 7,000 to 12,000 opm.
Dust management is important with a sander and Milwaukee has two options. They offer an onboard option or an included 3/32″ Orbit Diameter Universal Hose Adapter.
The dust canister has a replaceable filter. The top of the canister snaps onto the body.
Milwaukee Cordless Sander Review Performance
We were surprised how comfortable the sander feels in your hand. The grip is nice and contours to your hand. You would think with a big battery, it might be uncomfortable. If you are using it for fine detailing sanding, it might be cumbersome with the battery.
I like the fact you can use this with either a single hand or both hands if you require more precision.
The sander is surprisingly smooth and we didn't get a ton of feedback in our hands. Yes, you will feel the vibrations, but not what you would think, even with the sander on 6. In fact, you can control it very easily.
I can't say we were too impressed with the onboard dust collection system set up. The system does a great job when attached correctly, but not too impressed with the way the lid snaps on. The lid and body are a little flimsy so you always have to make sure you have a tight seal before you start or as you can see, the dust goes everywhere except the dust collection system. If the lid is securely on the body, then it does a very good job collecting dust.
When we attached it to a dust collection vacuum, it rocked and performed as you would expect.
Milwaukee Cordless Sander Review Value
The sander retails for about $99 on The Home Depot website and that is for the bare tool. Now that is inline with the Makita but is more expensive than the Ridgid which retails for $70 and a lot more than the Ryobi which retails for $40. Yes, I know the Ryobi and Milwaukee are designed for two different users, but still worth a note.
I don't think a $90 price tag is too bad considering I don't have to deal with a cord and the vibrations are low. I know this isn't a sander I will be using for 8 hours a day as the weight will be a little overboard for longer use. For those quick jobs, this is a good buy at $90.
Milwaukee Cordless Sander Review Final Thoughts
Bottomline, I am a fan of this sander. While I do wish the onboard dust collection system was built a little better, I do like the fact I can hook this up to a dust vacuum. In regards to the sander, I think Milwaukee did an awesome job. The vibrations are low and love how I can adjust the speed with my thumb while I am working. The grip is comfortable and is easy to use with either two hands or a single hand operation.