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Thread: My review of the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless buffer

  1. #1
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    Default My review of the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless buffer

    I have been replacing all my cordless tools in my shop with Milwaukee M12 and M18 tools. ( have close to a dozen at this point). I have been using a Makita 9227C corded buffer for close to 15 years with excellent results. Pretty hard to beat the Makita corded buffer. I thought I would try the Milwaukee Fuel M18 battery operate buffer. I really like the idea of not screwing around with power cords and not having the power cord dragging into a paint job I just wheeled and polished.

    This is not going to be some drawn out long winded review. I like the buffer's weight and balance and I like that it's variable speed. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the lowest speed is 800 rpm and it doesn't have slow start like the Makita corded buffer. Actually 800 rpm is a good slow speed for buffing but I like to start out slower and build up to 800 rpm and I like the idea of dropping the rpm down when I'm buffing near sharp body lines so I don't burn those paint edges. If you've never used "slow start" like with the Makita buffer it works like this -- When you first pull the trigger on the buffer regardless of the where the speed dial is set the buffer starts out slow for a couple seconds then increases speed to where the speed dial is set.
    Why this is important is if you put rubbing compound on the buffing pad on a buffer that doesn't have "slow start" as soon as you pull the trigger the buffer is instantly at the speed on the speed dial - throwing compound everywhere in a wide circle that was on the buffing pad. With slow start up the compound doesn't get thrown out (within reason).

    So, I like the Milwaukee cordless buffer, but I would prefer it had "slow startup" like the Makita. It's still an excellent buffer and I would recommend it of you want to go cordless. If cordless isn't a concern for you then I'd stick with the Makita corded buffer.

  2. #2
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    interesting. soft start is a good thing for sure. is the trigger variable or just on/off with a speed dial? expensive? milwaukee stuff can be pricey.
    b marler

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V View Post
    I have been replacing all my cordless tools in my shop with Milwaukee M12 and M18 tools. ( have close to a dozen at this point). I have been using a Makita 9227C corded buffer for close to 15 years with excellent results. Pretty hard to beat the Makita corded buffer. I thought I would try the Milwaukee Fuel M18 battery operate buffer. I really like the idea of not screwing around with power cords and not having the power cord dragging into a paint job I just wheeled and polished.

    This is not going to be some drawn out long winded review. I like the buffer's weight and balance and I like that it's variable speed. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the lowest speed is 800 rpm and it doesn't have slow start like the Makita corded buffer. Actually 800 rpm is a good slow speed for buffing but I like to start out slower and build up to 800 rpm and I like the idea of dropping the rpm down when I'm buffing near sharp body lines so I don't burn those paint edges. If you've never used "slow start" like with the Makita buffer it works like this -- When you first pull the trigger on the buffer regardless of the where the speed dial is set the buffer starts out slow for a couple seconds then increases speed to where the speed dial is set.
    Why this is important is if you put rubbing compound on the buffing pad on a buffer that doesn't have "slow start" as soon as you pull the trigger the buffer is instantly at the speed on the speed dial - throwing compound everywhere in a wide circle that was on the buffing pad. With slow start up the compound doesn't get thrown out (within reason).

    So, I like the Milwaukee cordless buffer, but I would prefer it had "slow startup" like the Makita. It's still an excellent buffer and I would recommend it of you want to go cordless. If cordless isn't a concern for you then I'd stick with the Makita corded buffer.
    My problem with some buffers is their lack of torque. When you apply pressure as you buff the rotation slows which is NOT a problem with the Makita. Does the battery powered buffer have enough torque so that it maintains the rotation when pressure is applied?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    interesting. soft start is a good thing for sure. is the trigger variable or just on/off with a speed dial? expensive? milwaukee stuff can be pricey.
    I was just playing the Milwaukee M18 cordless buffer a few minutes ago and it DOES have slow start and it does have variable speed trigger along with the speed dial. I paid $199 for the buffer alone, no battery and no charger because I already several batteries of different amperages as well as several chargers (from buying other tool kits).

    Actually I am really impressed with the Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless buffer. At this point I would say it was an excellent investment.

  5. #5
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    Len, I was playing around with the Milwaukee M18 buffer last night. I set the speed dial to 800 rpm, put some compound on the foam pad and started buffing a John Deere fender. I intentionally beared down on the buffer to see if would lose RPM with quite a big of pressure on it and it did NOT slow the rpm down with pressure on it. I was mildly surprised and impressed, no slowing down at all like with an air buffer.

    I would highly recommend the Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless buffer/polisher. It exceeded my expectations all the way around.

    And no I have no connection to Milwaukee tools and I gain nothing by giving that buffer a good review. If it was a piece of crap I wouldn't hesitate to say so.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V View Post
    Len, I was playing around with the Milwaukee M18 buffer last night. I set the speed dial to 800 rpm, put some compound on the foam pad and started buffing a John Deere fender. I intentionally beared down on the buffer to see if would lose RPM with quite a big of pressure on it and it did NOT slow the rpm down with pressure on it. I was mildly surprised and impressed, no slowing down at all like with an air buffer.

    I would highly recommend the Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless buffer/polisher. It exceeded my expectations all the way around.

    And no I have no connection to Milwaukee tools and I gain nothing by giving that buffer a good review. If it was a piece of crap I wouldn't hesitate to say so.
    That's great! What is the top RPM, will it get up to 2000+ ?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len View Post
    That's great! What is the top RPM, will it get up to 2000+ ?
    2,200 rpm on the high end. I can't picture ever using 2200 rpm on a buffer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V View Post
    2,200 rpm on the high end. I can't picture ever using 2200 rpm on a buffer.
    After sanding with 2500 or finer I usually start buffing at a slower speed and more pressure but after the scratches are gone I usually crank up the speed and use less pressure to finish the job. I usually end up around 2000 rpm.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len View Post
    After sanding with 2500 or finer I usually start buffing at a slower speed and more pressure but after the scratches are gone I usually crank up the speed and use less pressure to finish the job. I usually end up around 2000 rpm.
    Really, I never go above the number 3 setting on the speed dial of the Makita 9227 buffer.

  10. #10
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    My complaint with this otherwise excellent tool is the position of the battery. If it came straight out the back of the tool that would be fine. However, it slopes down and I can easily see it hitting the work. Bob Whyte has the same feelings about this.

  11. #11
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    just a newbie question to the experts here, i'm planning to rebuild my engine coz its losing a compression in its 2 cylinders and looking to buy a new torque wrench and other power tools for this job. Anyone can suggest me on this list
    https://sydneytools.com.au/category/by-brand/milwaukee, the power tools & hand tools when it comes to price and durability. Thanks in advance

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesReid View Post
    just a newbie question to the experts here, i'm planning to rebuild my engine coz its losing a compression in its 2 cylinders and looking to buy a new torque wrench and other power tools for this job. Anyone can suggest me on this list
    https://sydneytools.com.au/category/by-brand/milwaukee, the power tools & hand tools when it comes to price and durability. Thanks in advance
    My buddy recently got a Milwaukee cordless brushless tools set from Amazon for less than $400. He'll work on expanding their barn right after we finished installing the brake kit and v-twin shocks on his current bike project. They seems nice and the handles good especially the hacksaw. Looks very durable to me.

  13. #13
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    At this point I have at least 25 Milwaukee cordless tools in M18 and M12 battery configurations. My recent purchase was an M12 cordless heat gun. It actually works well, I was surprised it did work that well and runs 15 to 20 minutes straight on a single charge with a a small battery. Perfect to heat shrink tubing etc. I picked up some higher capacity (6ah) batteries compared to the smaller 1.5ah so it will run quite a while on a 6ah battery. Another of my newer additions to my Milwaukee cordless tools is a soldering gun that works great. Takes about 15 seconds from the time you turn it on to it being ready to melt solder. Not that much different from the old corded soldering guns. It has lights to tell you it's heating up that turn green when its ready to melt solder and when you shut it off it has a red light that will stay on until the tip is cool enough to store it. It's great for car wiring, electronics etc but it would struggle with large diameter wires like 8 or 10 AWG. Another Milwaukee tool I recently added is the cordless 3/16" pop rivet gun. Very impressed, works great.

    My last purchase is an M12 cordless stubby 3/8" impact . Very compact and is rated at 250 ft. lbs. Hell, that as much torque as my CP-734 1/2" air impact gun that I used back in the 70's and 80's. I have a Milwaukee M18 1/2" cordless impact that is rated at 1400 ft lbs. (never experienced a nut or bolt that it won't loosen, including rusty semi-trailer lug nuts. I picked up a heavy duty 3/8" M18 impact that is rated at 650 ft lbs.

    I do like Milwaukee cordless tools, LOL.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V View Post
    At this point I have at least 25 Milwaukee cordless tools in M18 and M12 battery configurations. My recent purchase was an M12 cordless heat gun. It actually works well, I was surprised it did work that well and runs 15 to 20 minutes straight on a single charge with a a small battery. Perfect to heat shrink tubing etc. I picked up some higher capacity (6ah) batteries compared to the smaller 1.5ah so it will run quite a while on a 6ah battery. Another of my newer additions to my Milwaukee cordless tools is a soldering gun that works great. Takes about 15 seconds from the time you turn it on to it being ready to melt solder. Not that much different from the old corded soldering guns. It has lights to tell you it's heating up that turn green when its ready to melt solder and when you shut it off it has a red light that will stay on until the tip is cool enough to store it. It's great for car wiring, electronics etc but it would struggle with large diameter wires like 8 or 10 AWG. Another Milwaukee tool I recently added is the cordless 3/16" pop rivet gun. Very impressed, works great.

    My last purchase is an M12 cordless stubby 3/8" impact . Very compact and is rated at 250 ft. lbs. Hell, that as much torque as my CP-734 1/2" air impact gun that I used back in the 70's and 80's. I have a Milwaukee M18 1/2" cordless impact that is rated at 1400 ft lbs. (never experienced a nut or bolt that it won't loosen, including rusty semi-trailer lug nuts. I picked up a heavy duty 3/8" M18 impact that is rated at 650 ft lbs.

    I do like Milwaukee cordless tools, LOL.
    nice collection phil, with your good review i might have to look at the soldering iron/heat gun. i have a few milwaukee tools already so i have batteries and chargers. i also have one of their heated jackets. what a nice thing that is when i have to work outside in winter.
    b marler

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