Milwaukee M18 FUEL 5 Inch Grinder 2780-21

By Robert Robillard on Tool Reviews

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 5 Inch Grinder 2780-21

Milwaukee M18 FUEL 5 Inch Grinder 2780-21 Review

We recently took the Milwaukee M18 FUEL 5 Inch Grinder 2780-21 to the job-site to test and review – here is our thoughts:

Initial Impression

Milwaukee recently gave me a chance to try out their M18 FUEL™ 4-1/2″ / 5″ Grinder, Paddle Switch No-Lock Kit 2780-21. This kit is really well thought out.

Even the kit box, which is an often neglected item is well designed. The tool looks and feels well built with a metal gear box and a decent heft to it without being too heavy. It’s comfortable in the hands and the paddle switch has a safety that’s easy to operate with or without gloves.  Well done Milwaukee!

Items and Features

The kit they sent includes a single XC 4.0 extended run-time battery which is ideal for grinding and cutting, both of which burn a lot of power. It also includes two guards one for cutting wheels and one for grinding. They are easy to interchange or adjust due to the tool-less feature.

The spanner wrench is offset so you can get down into the recess in grinding wheels which is really nice. There are even a couple of fine wire mesh filters for the air vents at the base of the tool. And the side handle has built in anti-vibration. The kit box has room for all the accessories, a second battery and some wheels and discs. In short Milwaukee really did a great job designing this tool, the accessories and the box.


Ok so that’s what you get.   But how does it run?

Really, really well!

I used the grinder to take the heads off of some powder driven hardened concrete nails so I could remove a ledger board from a foundation wall. Then cut the shafts of the nails flush with the concrete and ground down imperfections in the concrete from the forms. I started out with a freshly charged battery and new wheels and cutting discs.

I was really impressed.

The heads of the nails were set into the wood so I effectively had to grind down some wood before getting the nail heads. This puts a lot of drag on a motor and I had no problems getting through the wood and the nail heads.  Once that was done the ledger board came off really easily with a pry bar and I was able to cut the shafts of the hardened steel nails quickly and easily with power to spare. I then switched to a masonry grinding wheel to take down the imperfections in the wall. I did notice a little bit of bog down for this application but I’ll take that over having to run more cords and the trip hazard they pose.

Overall Impression

I’m really impressed with the thought put into this tool and the solid feel and power of it. Does it match the power of a corded grinder for certain applications?  Not quite. But it’s close enough that if you need a cordless grinder or are already on the excellent Milwaukee battery platform and have need for a grinder this is an excellent option.

About the Author:

Ethan Bickford has a long history with carpentry. His father worked as a contractor for many years and taught him the ins and outs of home repair and remodeling from a very young age. Since then Ethan has kept up his skills and knowledge by doing handyman work while in college and eventually started his own carpentry and remodeling company which he’s been running for the last three years. He loves teaching and advising on tools and techniques. Ethan is also a big fan of quality workmanship. “Do it right the first time!”

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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