Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 cordless sander Review

Product Name:2648-20 M18
Weight:2.7 pounds
Power Source:Battery Powered
Size:6 x 11 x 7 inches
Speed:7, 000-12, 000 OPM
Features:Variable speed, battery operated, quick charge, hook and loop, powerful motor
Milwaukee Electric Tools 2648-20 M18 cordless sander Review
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The Milwaukee M18 is a battery-powered orbital palm sander that packs a considerable punch for its size. The Milwaukee sander is very affordable and comes with several components including the sander itself. In the box, along with the Milwaukee cordless sander, you will find a detachable dust canister, universal hose adaptor as well as and an extension adaptor. In addition, this orbit sander also comes with 2 80 grit sandpaper disks to get you started on your DIY project.

It is important to note that although this is a cordless sander, it does not come with a battery. It will however work without a battery, thanks to the extension adaptor. However, if you want to run it cordlessly then you need to purchase a Milwaukee tools battery separately. You can find the battery pack here –

Now you have an introduction to the Milwaukee orbital sander, let’s take a deep dive into its rich set of features, check out its performance and see how it weights up compared to all of the other orbital sanders that we have tested previously.

Milwaukee M18 2648-20 Cordless Sander Features

For a small device, the Milwaukee sander comes with lots of features that make it an extremely versatile sander. Although it’s very affordable it also comes with everything that you need to get started on your sanding project. Although it is a small palm sander it can also sand large areas fairly effortlessly thanks to its power and adjustable speed controls. Let’s take a closer look at these features one by one.

Milwaukee Sander Variable Speed Control

The sander has a variable range of speeds starting from 7000 OPM and going right up to 12000 OPM. The speed at which the sanding pad oscillates can be adjusted using a handy little switch on the side of the sander. We found this speed control ideal for when we were moving the sander to different surfaces. When sanding a small area the slower speed made it easier to control and equally when sanding a larger area the increased speed made it perform much more efficiently.

More Material Removed Per Charge

This is something that really impressed us when testing out the M18 Milwaukee orbital sander; to put it simply, it lasts a long time before needing to be recharged. Considering the power used by most orbital sanders we expect them to run out fairly quickly if you are constantly sanding with them. Its sort of a given. However, this particular sander does last noticeably longer than others, before running out of battery.

Upon further research we found the reason for this; the Milwaukee sander has a new battery technology dubbed “REDLITHIUM”. Essentially it is smart battery technology and the result is a longer operating time and more material removed per charge. In our tests, we found that the Milwaukee M18 lasted on average around 35 minutes per charge. This was based on standard sanding duties with the sander being in use most of the 35 minutes, apart from when moving between surfaces and changing speeds.

Dust Management With the Milwaukee Sander Dust Canister

The M18 comes with a dust canister that can be attached to the back of the sander. The canister also has a filter which really helps to contain as much dust as possible whilst also letting out the air. This prevents the sander, and the dust canister, from over-heating and from getting clogged up. The canister does work well and it is fairly efficient. The only problem we found is that sometimes the canister comes too loose from the sander whilst you are sanding. We found this tended to happen when we were carrying out heavy sanding work. It was just a small inconvenience but did tarnish our experience with the sander somewhat.

Power and Efficiency

The sander packs a fair amount of power and is very efficient to use. The sander is 5″ and the actual orbit diameter is 3/32″. Although this is a palm sander it is fairly powerful – probably at the top end of the power rating compared to most other sanders in its category.

Size and Comfort

Another minor issue we found with the sander was its size. Although it is classed as a palm sander it is just a little too big to fit comfortably in the palm whilst sanding. In particular, if you are sanding a small surface it is quite hard to control the sander with one hand so you end up having to hold it with two hands. On larger surfaces, this isn’t so much of an issue.

In our opinion, the sander is half palm sander and half full-blown power sander although the advantage to this is that it can comfortably handle the sanding of larger areas than most other small sanders.

Package Contents

1 x M18™ Random Orbit Sander (2648-20)
1 x Dust Canister
1 x Universal Hose Adapter
1 x Extension Adapter
2 x 80 Grit Sandpaper

Good Points

  • powerful for a palm sander
  • good on large flat surfaces
  • good battery time at around 35 minutes on average
  • batteries are interchangeable

Bad Points

  • too big to be a true palm sander
  • difficult to control when sanding small surfaces
  • problems with the dust cover

Useful Resources and Documentation for the M18 Milwaukee Sander

Milwaukee M8 Operators Manual

The operator’s manual covers all of teh functions, maintenance tips and other relevant information. 20 pages in total its a great resource that you can either print out or save on your computer.

You can download the manual here:

milwaukee orbital sander M18 operators manual

Milwaukee M8 Service Parts List

If you are interested in knowing how your sander works, or if you need to service it and possibly replace parts then you will definitely need the service parts list. This document provides a tear-down of sorts, showing you all of the parts which make up the sander. Thisis particularly useful if your sander has seized up, or has suffered water damanage if you’ve been carrying out wet sanding with your orbital sander.

You can download the service parts list here:

Milwaukee sander M18 serviceable parts list

Final Thoughts on the Milwaukee M18 Cordless Sander

There were a few goods and bad points with this sander but overall we really liked it. It is very nice to see a sander that gives you the best of both in terms of its compact size and lightweight, coupled with its extensive set of features, ease of use, and power. There aren’t many other sanders that tick all of those boxes and are still affordable. So despite a couple of small issues with the sander, we feel like the advantages far outway the disadvantages and so, we give it the thumbs up.

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