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M18 fuel vs. Brushed grinder


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I've been wanting a cordless grinder, and have 4 5ah m18 batteries. I was going to wait until I can afford the fuel version, but the brushed version is half the price of the fuel at the moment, and I could pick it up now. I've used the brushed one before and I know it chews through batteries but it shouldn't see heavy use most of the time. My question is, are the power and runtime of the fuel model worth waiting several months and spending twice as much to wait for? I'm thinking I probably will wait, but I don't know if it's enough of an improvement.

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It sounds to me like you would be fine with the brushed model especially if you can get it for half the price.  The brushless grinders will get more runtime and are harder to get to stall but if you're not using it everyday and have a few 5.0 batteries the brushed is still pretty decent.  Almost all cordless grinders are more effective with cut off wheels and smaller clean up work than all out grinding as the battery life on all of them just isn't there if you're going to use it like a corded grinder.

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For me, the price of the Fuel is worth every penny but a brushed version is better than non at all.  The only question is, in 6 months will you be happy with the brushed or will you wish that you had saved up for the Fuel?

My Milwaukee stuff is a mix of brushed and Fuel (Fuel hammer drill and circular saw and brushed rotary tool and M12 jigsaw) and there is just no comparison between the power and battery life between the brushed and the Fuel.  Also, I work in an auto plant where we shoot a lot of small screws all day long.  Most of our impact drivers are Milwaukee M12s and most of them are the brushed with the exception of one of them that's a Fuel.  The Fuel is old and kind of beat up but it will run circles around the brushed version and has about double the battery life.

As you can tell, big fan of the Fuel here.

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4 hours ago, Badgerstate said:

For me, the price of the Fuel is worth every penny but a brushed version is better than non at all.  The only question is, in 6 months will you be happy with the brushed or will you wish that you had saved up for the Fuel?

My Milwaukee stuff is a mix of brushed and Fuel (Fuel hammer drill and circular saw and brushed rotary tool and M12 jigsaw) and there is just no comparison between the power and battery life between the brushed and the Fuel.  Also, I work in an auto plant where we shoot a lot of small screws all day long.  Most of our impact drivers are Milwaukee M12s and most of them are the brushed with the exception of one of them that's a Fuel.  The Fuel is old and kind of beat up but it will run circles around the brushed version and has about double the battery life.

As you can tell, big fan of the Fuel here.

That's sort of the question I'm asking myself, I feel like I'll eventually want the fuel model anyways. Thing is it shouldn't generally see major use (if lots of grinding/cutting is needed I grab a corded and generator), but it's nice having the utility of being able to pull out a grinder for unforseen circumstances. I'm hoping somebody has firsthand experience with the two.

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I agree, the fuel is worth every penny. For me, I don't use my grinder much but when I need it, I want it to do the job.  The Fuel is very hard to get to stall out and pretty much will grind or cut through everything I through at it.  I had the older version.  Yes, it's less expensive but for a reason.  The older model will stall easier and is more frustrating.  If it was me, i would save up and go with the Fuel.  It's a tool you will have for a long time since you don't use it much.  When you need to get a job done, you want to make sure you always have the right tool and enough power.

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On 11/8/2020 at 10:58 PM, MattV said:

That's sort of the question I'm asking myself, I feel like I'll eventually want the fuel model anyways. Thing is it shouldn't generally see major use (if lots of grinding/cutting is needed I grab a corded and generator), but it's nice having the utility of being able to pull out a grinder for unforseen circumstances. I'm hoping somebody has firsthand experience with the two.

The Fuel with a 5ah battery might eliminate the need for a corded and a generator though.

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I do ag construction which is a mix of metal fab, steel erection, and concrete work.  I carry two 5" and one 6" fuel grinders on my truck and they're good enough I no longer even carry a corded grinder.  I have a brushed m18 at my house and the only thing I use it for is sharpening my lawn mower blade but its more than capable of doing that with a 4ah.  At our shop I have an old m18 brushed and a few old 3ah batteries and I would say that the 3ah make it kind of a turd as it just goes through batteries too fast and once they get down 2 bars you can tell.  Another thing I notice is that my workers who don't know the difference between brushed and brushless seem to not discriminate between the two.  These are the reasons why as much as I love my fuel grinders if you're not using it everyday you probably could get away with the brushed.  Its just up to you if you want to spend the money to have the top of the line.

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