MIlwaukee M12 Fuel Straight Die Grinder Cordless Grinder Reviews & Sanders

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Straight Die Grinder | Replace Your Pneumatic?

Milwaukee Wants to Replace Your Air Grinders

Coming in March, Milwaukee will introduce the M12 Fuel 1/4″ Straight Die Grinder to their ever-increasing line of 12V tools. With up to 0.3 Hp, Milwaukee aims for their cordless model to take over your grinding responsibilities without the need for air hoses and compressors. This may be the coolest automotive tool to hit the M12 platform since the Milwaukee M12 FUEL digital torque wrench.

10-Second Summary

  • Model Number: 2486-20
  • Available March 2020
  • Brushless motor
  • Generates 0.3 HP
  • More peak power than pneumatic 0.25 HP die grinders
  • Optimized for most common 2″ accessories
  • Variable speed trigger
  • No air hoses, compressors, or daily maintenance
  • Compact size allows access into tight spaces
  • Price: $169 (bare tool); $259 (kit)


What Is Milwaukee Saying About the M12 Fuel Straight Die Grinder?

When we introduced our M12 Fuel ¼” Right Angle Die Grinder, we disrupted the market and exceeded users’ expectations by delivering the industry’s first cordless right angle die grinder. We’re expanding our offering in this new product category by introducing the M12 Fuel ¼” Straight Die Grinder equipped with 0.3 HP performance to outperform the most common 0.25 HP die grinders by 20%.

—Mark Kelly, Product Manager for Milwaukee Tool

No Muss, No Fuss

The company claims the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Straight Die Grinder offers 20% more power than comparable 1/4-inch pneumatic grinders. The lack of a tethered hose should at least offer greater maneuverability and easier access to what you’re working on.

MIlwaukee M12 Fuel Straight Die Grinder

Since the new die grinder falls into the FUEL line, it features a brushless motor. In this case, the tool generates the equivalent of 0.3 HP per Milwaukee Tool’s calculations. Do the math to comparable .25HP models from Jet, Ingersoll Rand, and others, and you see where that “20% more power” number comes from.


The brushless motor on the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Straight Angle Die Grinder also offers 3-mode speed control. Similar to what you find on M12 impact drivers, it delivers three different settings and speeds so you can dial in the right maximum RPM for your application. From there you can also control speed on the fly using the variable-speed trigger.

MIlwaukee M12 Fuel Straight Die Grinder

Because this grinder operates on a battery instead of a hose, you have greater mobility. You also remove daily maintenance like adding oil to the tool for lubricating the internal components. You won’t have air hoses and compressors tripping you up or keeping you from accessing those tighter spaces. In the long run, Milwaukee claims their battery-powered M12 die grinder actually saves you money when compared to pneumatic tools.

Milwaukee 2486-20 Die Grinder Pricing

When the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Straight Die Grinder debuts in March 2020, it will retail for $169 as a bare tool. You’ll also have the option of purchasing it with two M12 CP2.0 batteries and a charger for $259. Either option includes Milwaukee’s 3-year limited warranty.

Can a Cordless Die Grinder Really Replace an Air Tool?

The real question here is can a cordless die grinder really replace an air tool? Given what we’ve seen of this tool—and past products in the M12 line: Yes. The tool has the RPMs needed to do the work. Power seems plentiful, and run-time should be sufficient if the Milwaukee 2486-20 performs as well as other high-speed M12 FUEL tools. The trade-off, of course, is the price.  If you have a Milwaukee M12 battery and charger, the premium could be just 50-60% over a 1/4-inch air tool. If, however, you need the kit, then you’ll pay a lot more. We think time is money, however, so the gains in efficiency may just pay off that tool quicker than you think.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Straight Die Grinder Specs

  • Model Number: 2486-20
  • Battery Voltage: 12V
  • Length: 2.2″
  • Width: 1.9″
  • Height: 10.1″
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs
  • Available: March 2020
  • Price: $169 (bare tool); $259 (kit)
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Rob Stull

My MAC tools die grinder that I’ve had for 25 years will still out last a new one of these. You may get the flexibility without an air hose but I’ve yet to have my air compressor battery go dead and in a harsh shop setting these tools cannot handle it. Don’t get me wrong because I really like my Milwaukee and DeWalt power tools. The problem starts when they get drowned in transmission fluid by accident and are constantly exposed to other fluids is when you start seeing the cracks in their armor. Call me old school but I… Read more »


I have my fabricators using the 90 degree milwaukee m12 grinder at work and the answer to “can it replace an air grinder” is a definite yes. Will they last 20 years like an air tool? probably not but for the price we will just buy a few more in a few years when they break, most likely an upgraded model if I know Milwaukee.