Milwaukee M18 Fuel Grinder Review


Now if you know me, you know I am a huge fan of Milwaukee for a number of reasons. However, I was never a big fan of their M18 grinder.  While it did the job, I had problems with the Overload Protection and how easy it would kick on.   Well guess what, Milwaukee made some changes and made this grinder a winner.  Now I am not saying that because I am a Milwaukee fan, I am saying this because it’s a cordless grinder that actually works.  It does what it should and doesn’t kick off.

Milwaukee started out by using a brushless motor and a 4.0 A/h battery to give this longer run time, more power and a longer life.  The capacity is either 4-1/2″ or 5″.  First, is the grip.  The handle is slim and has a nice rubberized grip to help provide a better fit for the user.  Towards the back, they have a protective screen to help keep fine metal and dust away from the intake.  What’s nice is you get two screens, so if you break or loose one, you have an extra. You can easily take or put on the screen and it doesn’t get in the way of your hands.

As with their previous model, you can change guards or positions on the guards without any tools.  Just press a lever and make your changes.  Now I am not sure about the gearing system of this grinder, but my understanding is it uses the same gearing system as their corded grinders, which I have had great luck with.  Using the tool is the same as previous models which is a paddle switch.  Our version didn’t have a lock (2780).  Milwaukee does sell this grinder with a locking paddle which is model 2781.

If you know me, I am not a huge fan of upgrading your tools when a company comes out with a new model.  There are certain times I do recommend this and in this instance, I see the upgrade as worth it.  Well if you use your grinder often.  If you use your grinder once or twice a year, I would stay put.  For everyone else, I would upgrade.  The biggest reason is the power.  No more cutting out and lots of power to grind or cut.  To be able to have this much power without having to drag around a cord is huge.


Length 15″
Weight 5.8 lbs
Tool Warranty 5 Years
Speed 8,500 RPM
Arbor Size 5/8″-11

Included Items in Milwaukee M18 Fuel Grinder

  • (1) M18 FUEL™ 4-1/2″ / 5″ Grinder, Paddle Switch No-Lock (2780-20)
  • (2) M18™ REDLITHIUM™ XC 4.0 Extended Capacity Battery Pack (48-11-1840)
  • (1) M18™ & M12™ Multi-Voltage Charger (48-59-1812)
  • (1) Carrying Case
  • (1) Flange Nuts
  • (1) Wheel Guard
  • (1) Spanner Wrench

All in all this is a great addition to the M18 Fuel line up.  With lots of power and great balance, this will compete with your cordless grinders.  Now I am not saying this will replace your corded grinder, but it’s a huge step forward in the right direction.


  1. I have an 18 volt DeWalt grinder that I got a few years back to remove rusted parts from my old car. That thing is beast and I love it. I have used it to cut or shape pavers, blocks for retaining walls, cut rusted parts from cars where a bolts are stripped, & cut garage door hardware to size for installation. I love this tool, sorry, I said that already.

    Eric I agree with you that you should use what you have if only used a few times during the year. Also, if you have something that works why upgrade to the latest model if updates are minimal or what you have is far less inferior. With that said.

    It is nice to dream that I could go after the latest innovation of a certain tool. But, as some point you need to decide how many hammers do you need? Well, these are a little more expensive than a hammer. Great review & I am done salivating. Now, I’m going to play with my good old reliable grinder. Maybe I can cut off a hole in something or shave something off. Laters TIA.

  2. I’d realy like to try this one becose i get like 5 min runtime with my makita and 7 to 10 min with the dewalt if runtime and power are that good i mite get my first Milwaukee cordless tool, paddle switch one i dont like sliding switch grinder . Great review guys!

  3. Well said Eric, Fuel is definitely changing the cordless game and forcing every company to bring their A game. Can’t use the brand name to sell anymore, you gotta build a great tool nowadays. Good job Milwaukee Tool!

  4. Greatest grinder ever, strong, light and so much more. I had to cut 40 stainless steel stems for out door chairs 4mm alround honest to god only 2 battery 12 disks and all cut and done. Checked the battery as soon as I was done still had 2 bars left on the second battery. It’s my go to grinder for anything and everything now.

  5. I’m a little surprised it is only 8,500 RPM’s. Most grinders are at least 10,000-11,000 when you look at this size, 4-1/2″- 5″.

  6. Great writeup Eric!! That really is an amazing grinder, truely the first cordless grinder that you can actually grind with, i also like the slim body! I can not wait to get my hands on it!!

  7. nice review…like brushless grinder…have milwaukee 2680-20…has top mount for handle.
    left and right…my handle in top now…mine never cut out on protection circuit..battery go
    fast….upgrade to brushless one…longer run time..blade guard changing direction is
    awesome those sparks away from user.can,t wait to loose key to one my

  8. Good job on review Eric man I’ve been so tempted to buy into milwaukee but I’m a black and yellow guy and if I did have the extra funds I would love to own a part of red team!!

  9. I have the makita cordless angle grinder, I love it. I would like to try out some more of the Milwaukee tools, but when you have one certain tool brand you stick with it because it is compatable.

  10. I bought mine three months ago and at first it was great. Now it starts sometimes and other it wont. Tried blowing out any dust and the poor thing is so unpredictable as when it run or not. Very frustrating trying to do production work with H.M. frames and the grinder does not run all the time. Any ideals?

    • Scott, so sorry you’re having these issues. I am not really sure what could be wrong, we haven’t heard these issues prior. I’d definitely contact Milwaukee and see if they can help troubleshoot for you.

  11. The grinder has poor tolerance. The grinding disc fit sloppy. Take a few lessons from ryobi or dewalt because they fit perfectly. If you use the Milwaukee to trim or cut tile you will be seriously disappointed and not to mention dozens of broken or chipped tiles. The tool is not a tool for professional results. But what do I know I only been in construction for the last 25 years


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