Milwaukee M18 Sander – 2.5 Year Look-Back Review

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Sander 2648-21

 Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital  Sander 2648-21

Manufacturer: Milwaukee Tools
Model number: 2648-21
Price: 99.00
Power source: 18 volt
I reviewed this Milwaukee M18 Sander about 2.5 years ago. While it’s not used every day it has seen a lot of use and it’s mostly great.

Here’s a quick refresher

  • 12,000 OPM Max
  • Variable Speed Control
  • 5″ Sanding Pad
  • 7,000-12,000 OPM
  • Variable Speed
  • 3/32″ Orbit Diameter Universal Hose Adapter Included Dust Canister with Filter

This sander has a  5” hook and loop pad and is marketed to be able to perform like a corded sander with a max 12,000 OPM output.

The VS dial allows you to control the tool orbit speed from 7,000-12,000 to match your sanding application. And as far as runtime goes, you can expect approximately 35 minutes of run-time on a 3.0Ah Battery Pack.

Three Things That Impressed Me

When I reviewed this sander, there were 3 take-aways that impressed me. First is that this sander is powerful and can perform as well as a corded sander. Second, it can remove a ton of material – that’s something I’m a fan of! Third, having the ability to use a sander on a 32’ ladder without having to drag a trip hazard cord is a plus.

When designing this sander, Milwaukee listened to the end user’s complaints of dust bags wearing or ripping. They designed a plastic, dust canister with an integrated paper filter. The filter protects the tool while the canister collects the dust. At the time of my review, the dust canister impressed me because I felt it provided a more durable dust containment solution than a bag with a spring in it. As a result, we said that Milwaukee hit a home run with this tool and did not break the bank doing it.

So how’d we do? Did we get it right?

The Dust Box

We’ll mostly, the problem we found over time was that the dust box constantly falls off the tool – spilling sawdust everywhere.

To deal with this we first used rubber bands and finally resorted to zip ties to hold the lid on. A little over a year ago,  Milwaukee made a design change to this sander to address the dust box issues. It now claps more securely

Another complaint is that Milwaukee provides an adapter to use this sander with a vac hose –

Vacuum Adapter Feedback

Guess where the adapter hides – you guessed it – anywhere you’re not looking. It gets lost. Milwaukee should figure a way to avoid a loose adapter and make it integrated into the tool.

 Milwaukee M18 Sander  – Still Recommended!

So, do we still recommend buying this sander?  Yep – it’s a solid sander. I’m hoping the dust canister redesign issues solved – Time Will Tell! Either way it’s a win.

 Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital  Sander 2648-21

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Sander 2648-21 – Vide Review

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

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