Milwaukee Random Orbital Polisher Review

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Milwaukee M18 15mm Random Orbital Polisher Kit Review (Model# 2684-22HD)

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Polisher

Manufacturer: Milwaukee
Model number: 2684-22HD
Price: 529.00
Power source: M18 Battery
Motor size: Brushless
Weight: 5.16
Here in the Northeast, Summer has sprung. That means the race is on to polish those boats before they go back into the water. Also, it’s a great time to get that winter grime off of your vehicle. With that being said, we figured this would present an excellent opportunity to do some testing with the Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Polisher Kit that was sent to us for review. A random orbital polisher is a dual-action polisher which makes it safer to use than a standard rotary polisher. Random Orbital Polishers are usually the preferred polisher by home users and professional detailers because they do an excellent job, and also reduce the risk of burning the paint or clear coat.

This kit comes complete with a carrying case, two Milwaukee M18 6.0AH batteries, and a rapid charger.  Our initial thoughts were that the Milwaukee Random Orbital Polisher was very comfortable to hold, and also very strong in the power department. In this review, we will cover the features of this polisher, report back on the battery life, and test the Milwaukee Random Orbital Polisher in many different applications by myself and in the hands of a professional detailer.

Milwaukee Random Orbital Polisher Specifications

  • Battery Platform: M18 FUEL
  • Motor Type: Brushless Motor
  • Length: 17.26″
  • Weight: 5.16 Lbs
  • Warranty: 3 Year
  • Head Size: 5″
  • Speed Settings: 8
  • RPM Range: 2,650 to 5,100

Carrying case

Like most Milwaukee products, the Milwaukee M18 15mm Random Orbital Polisher Kit includes a carrying case. I find the carrying cases that Milwaukee includes handy for tool organization and shelf storage. I keep most of my polishing pads and chemicals in this carrying case when not in use.

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Polisher Review

Rubber Grips

The Milwaukee M18 15mm Random Orbital Polisher is extremely comfortable to hold. The front and rear handles are molded with a soft and durable rubber grip. The rubber grips have a molded diamond shape pattern to improve hand grip. I used this tool to polish two cars, a boat, car headlights, and plastic Jeep windows. One of the best features of this tool was how comfortable it was to hold.


With the M18 6.0 Ah battery attached, the Milwaukee Random Orbital Polisher weighs in at 7.13 pounds and 19.5″ in length. I found the weight and length of this polisher to be on par with most other battery-powered polishers. Naturally, a battery-powered polisher will be a little heavier and a little longer than a corded tool due to the added battery. A battery-powered polisher is a high-demand tool. Therefore, the included 6.0 Ah battery hits the sweet spot between not making the tool too heavy and having enough battery to last a reasonable amount of time while polishing.

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most common questions regarding almost any cordless power tool. While polishing I often take small breaks, adding more product, taking a sip of water, or wiping my work area. With these small breaks in polishing, I found that one battery lasted me a little over 50 minutes. Additionally, I also tested the polisher and NEVER let the tool shut off. The trigger lock was engaged and I ran the polisher at 3700 RPM until the 6.0-ah battery died. In this setting, The Milwaukee M18 Polisher lasted exactly 44 minutes and 36 seconds. I think that is a pretty good amount of continuous time from one 6.0-ah battery.

I typically do most of my polishing in my garage or driveway. Having two fully charged batteries will get me through most jobs. If additional batteries are needed the rapid charger will charge the batteries fairly quickly. I also tested a completely drained battery and the rapid charger charged the 6.0-ah battery in exactly 56 minutes. It should be noted that while using the tool at a higher speed, the Milwaukee Polisher performed at 100 percent power right until the battery was getting close to depletion. It then had a slight loss of power. This loss of power was beneficial to me because it gave me a heads-up that the battery was getting low but still allowed me to finish the area I was working in. However, when I tested at mid-speed (3700 RPM), the Polisher shut off when the battery died.

Milwaukee Random Orbital Polisher Power

The Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Polisher is no slouch in the power department. As I previously mentioned, this polisher provided corded-level power the entire time it was used until battery depletion. The strong Milwaukee polisher has 8 speeds to choose from, ranging from 2,650 to 5,100 RPM, which can be selected by the easy-to-read dial on the top of the tool. The placement of the speed selector is in a good location on the top of the tool and it was not in the way while using this polisher. The trigger lock is also placed comfortably and can easily pushed in to keep the polisher on without having to hold the trigger.

The Milwaukee Polisher did not stall during normal use. I had to apply heavy pressure to get the polisher to stop spinning, but it was still not completely stalled out. The amount of pressure that I used is not needed for normal polishing. This confirmed how powerful the Milwaukee Polisher is.

Milwaukee Random Orbital Polisher – Professional Use

Although I am pretty skilled when it comes to keeping my toys polished, I also put this tool into the hands of a true professional polisher. I loaned the Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Polisher to Matt at MaxSport Auto Detailing here in CT. Matt is a professional detailer who offers expert detailing services, and I must say that he does an excellent job. In addition, he was already familiar with this Milwaukee polisher as he had already owned it.

Matt told me that the Milwaukee Polisher is not his first choice as he typically uses a corded high-end professional polisher. However, Matt did provide feedback from a pro perspective. Matt was quick to say that although this may not be a high-end polisher, it is a very solid polisher at a reasonable price point (much less than his professional polisher). Matt explained that he often uses the Milwaukee Polisher when he is in a situation where he needs to be cordless. Although Matt already owned this polisher, he still tested it out for the day to refresh his memory.

Professional Opinion

While Matt tested the Milwaukee Random Orbital Polisher he had plenty of “pro” opinions to offer. First Matt commented that the Milwaukee Polisher was a little heavy. When polishing all day long every ounce counts and can certainly take its toll on the body. Matt also felt that the length of the Milwaukee Polisher was a little long. He believes that a shorter polisher would allow him more maneuverability when polishing vehicles like a Lexus that has a lot of angles.  However, he noted that weight and length are user preferences. Although these were some key points, it’s important to remember that when using a battery-powered polisher, naturally there will be a little extra length and weight due to the added battery.

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Polisher Review

Professional Insight

Matt also liked that soft grip of the Milwaukee Polisher more than his professional polisher, and he commented that the polisher had really good power with 2-5 lbs of pressure applied. The biggest thing that was brought to my attention was that the motor of the Milwaukee Polisher polisher was slightly unstable or unbalanced on startup. This meant that each time the polisher was started, it wobbled slightly on the vehicle surface until it reached polishing speed. The professional polisher that was also on site had no wobble on startup.  I was able to take the 5″ backing plate off to check the motor and bearing system. Everything was tight, and there were no adjustments that could be made. I didn’t notice this wobble until Matt pointed it out, but this may be something on the radar of a pro.

Matt concluded by saying that he prefers his corded professional polisher. However, there are certain jobs in which he has to break out the cordless Milwaukee Polisher. Although the Milwaukee Polisher may not meet the expert level, Matt said that if it was all he had to use he would have no problem making a living using the Milwaukee Polisher. Matt’s opinions are that the Milwaukee Polisher is great for homeowners up to professional car detailers who are just starting. We also agreed that it would appeal to people already on the Milwaukee M18 battery system.

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Polisher Review

Final Thoughts on the Milwaukee Random Orbital Polisher

The Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Polisher is a dual-action polisher. Dual-action polishers are safer to use than standard rotary polishers. It is comfortable to hold and has strong power like a corded polisher. Each M18 6.0 AH battery will last about 45 minutes. If you purchase the kit you will have a second battery to keep on the charger ready to go.  After testing the Milwaukee polisher on several different applications and putting it in the hands of a professional detailer, we agreed that this is a solid polisher for many different levels of use.

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Polisher Review

Buy it now

The Milwaukee M18 15mm Random Orbital Polisher Kit can be purchased as a kit and comes complete with a carrying case, Two Milwaukee M18 6.0AH batteries, and a rapid charger for $529. The Milwaukee polisher is priced similarly to other competitors on the same level. It should be noted that the Milwaukee Random Orbital Polisher is also offered as a tool only for $299.00. Buying as a tool-only can make the Milwauke polisher very affordable if you already have the M18 batteries. Additionally, the Milwaukee Polisher is also available in a 21mm version with a 6″ backing plate for $329.00. It should be noted that the 5″ & 6″backing plates are universal and can be switched between polishers. Backed by Milwaikees’ 3-year warranty, there isn’t much to worry about as far as longevity.

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbital Polisher


About the author

Dan Wheeler

Dan is the ultimate believer in “if you want something done right, you do it yourself.” He is currently working as a General Contractor building a series of custom farmhouses. Dan doesn’t just oversee the projects; he is always on-site, slinging nail guns and making sure that the homes are built with quality craftsmanship. Besides his background in construction, Dan is also an automotive restoration specialist and all-around car nut. He enjoys restoring cars to showroom quality with a twist of custom modernization. He recently has restored a 1977 Jeep CJ7, a 1979 Jeep CJ7, a 1985 Corvette C4, and a 1988 Mustang 5.0. From an early age, Dan has had an inerrant ability to understand all things mechanical. This led him to have a lifelong passion for cars and trucks as well as for dirt bikes and motorcycles. He truly understands how things work, which allows Dan to rebuild and repair many different mechanical systems. Dan strongly believes in getting the job done right, and using the correct tool in that process helps ensure the job gets done quickly and accurately.

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