This October, Milwaukee Tool is coming out with an M12 Fuel right angle die grinder. We got a first look last week at Milwaukee NPS19, their 2019 New Product Symposium.
A right angle die grinder like this is commonly used for surface rust removal, gasket removal, grinding, deburring, and polishing. The right angle head makes it easier to get the tool into tight spaces and can be more comfortable for some tasks like rust removal and polishing than an inline die grinder.
The brushless motor in this new M12 Fuel die grinder is rated at 0.3 HP, giving it 20% more power over standard 0.25 HP pneumatic right angle die grinders. Milwaukee also claims that their new cordless right angle die grinder is quieter than comparable air tools.
The die grinder features 4 speed settings and a variable speed trigger. The speed is selected by a push button on the end of the tool. Pressing the button cycles through the 10K, 15K, 20K, and 25K RPM settings (modes 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively). What this means is that the stated RPM is the highest you can achieve with the variable speed trigger in that particular mode.
Rather than a trigger switch, the M12 Fuel right angle die grinder has a traditional air tool throttle lever-style switch.
Milwaukee claims that with a fully charged 2.0Ah battery, the die grinder can grind over 250 linear feet of 3″ wide gasket — the equivalent of doing 5 transmissions.
The tool is small enough to fit into the drawer of your metal storage cabinet or bench. It comes with a collet for 1/4″ shank tools, but they said it can also use a 1/8″ collet.
ETA: October 2019
Price: $169 bare tool
An inline model of this die grinder may follow in January of 2020.
Below I’ve linked to the NPS presentation of the M12 right angle die grinder, cued to their demo that’s supposed to show how much better the M12 die grinder performs under load than a pneumatic 0.25 HP die grinder.
Milwaukee kept saying this was the first cordless die grinder on a major battery platform. They must have meant right angle die grinder because Milwaukee, Dewalt, Bosch, and Makita all currently have 18V inline die grinders. I did a bit of searching and could only find one other cordless right angle grinder, and it was from an obscure company that no longer exists.
While those 18V-class inline die grinders are designed for a range of metalworking applications, the new M12 Fuel right angle grinder is specifically targeted at auto mechanics and transportation maintenance applications. The Milwaukee M12 Fuel right angle die grinder will likely be useful outside of automotive repair work as well.
The stated 5 transmissions-worth of gasket removal on a 2.0A battery wasn’t really a metric I understood, so I asked how many linear feet of metal it could shape with a rotary burr. The presenter said they didn’t have the numbers, but it should be able to far exceed 250 feet, since a rotary burr cuts so quickly and is much smaller in diameter than the accessories used for gasket removal.
Of course you can always use a higher capacity battery, or multiple batteries to extend the run time.
Many die grinder accessories have maximum speed ratings. With a pneumatic right angle die grinder you need to feather the trigger and guess what speed you are running the tool. Having a mode with a set maximum RPM limit might make this a safer option and might also make your accessories to last longer, helping to offset the cost of the tool.
This tool is definitely larger than a 0.25 HP right angle pneumatic die grinder, and so there may be some situations where a pneumatic version would fit where this cordless tool wouldn’t. However, not having to worry about being attached to an air line can be a big advantage.
Will this new Milwaukee M12 Fuel cordless right angle die grinder supplement or replace your pneumatic right angle die grinder? Or will you keep your trusty pneumatic?