Automotive Tool Review

Milwaukee Die-Grinder: Best Cordless Tool Yet?


Is Milwaukee’s Cordless Die-Grinder it’s Best Tool?

Milwaukee tools burst on the cordless tools market with… a die-grinder. Wait, that isn’t what happened. Actually Milwaukee burst on the scene with its high-torque M18 cordless impact wrench, but is the highly touted 2767-20 the company’s best cordless tool or is it actually the much lesser known M12 Die-Grinder?

In this post I’m going to introduce you to one of my all time favorite tools in the repair shop and lay out some of the pro’s and con’s of the Milwaukee M12 2485-20 right angle die-grinder. I’m also going to tell you from first hand experience with the Milwaukee die grinder what you can use it for, how well it works as a cut off tool, what the battery life is like and also explain the warranty on the 2485-20 die grinder.

Whats Special About Milwaukee’s M12 Die Grinder?

Milwaukee die grinder bare tool
This is a bare-tool version of the Milwaukee cordless die-grinder. I would buy a larger battery with the tool. Click the tool to find everything you need.

When I first discovered the M12 Milwaukee cordless die grinder on Amazon, I was a skeptic but the idea of having a portable die grinder/cut off tool without the hassle of an air hose was far too appealing for the tool side of my brain to ignore. I already owned several of Milwaukee’s M12 and M18 cordless tools and lights, so I knew that disappointment was not common when buying Milwaukee tools. With the high quality of all the Milwaukee tools I had purchased up to this point, I had a reasonable expectation of how good the M12 die grinder would be.

(If you’d like to see a Short video of the Milwaukee M12 Cordless Die Grinder in action, you can watch it on my YouTube channel.)

I figured I could use the portable die grinder for cleaning gaskets and mating surfaces, grinding out burrs and other similar jobs. I had the idea of purchasing a cut off arbor along with it, so I grabbed a 3” cut off wheel and mandrel that would fit the M12 2485-20 on Amazon also. (The tool is recommended for a 2” maximum, but 3 inch cut off wheels work just fine.) I didn’t really expect the Milwaukee cordless die grinder to be capable of cutting through much in terms of steel, but I figured it would be handy in certain scenarios in the repair shop to buy one.

Upon receiving my new Milwaukee right angle die-grinder, I put it to use almost instantly. Obviously having just bought it off Amazon, I was anxious to find a reason to test out the 2485-20. Here are the benefits I noticed after using the Milwaukee die grinder for a few months on everything from surfaces to cutting through exhaust pipe, sway bar links and other pieces of light steel.

Personal 2485-20 cordless die grinder
This is a picture of my tool box from a while back. My Milwaukee 2485-20 shares space with a little Astro polisher but the two aren’t comparable.

Highly-Powered and High RPM

One of the most obvious benefits of a cordless die grinder would be high power and RPM without the inconvenience of an air hose. Don’t get me wrong, pneumatic tools will always be king in terms of sheer power, but the Milwaukee M12 die grinder is proof that cordless tools can carry a lot of power and speed also. With a max speed just shy of 25,000 RPM, the M12 die grinder is faster than some pneumatic die grinders and compares favorably to many of the air grinders out there. In fact, compared to this Ingersoll-Rand 1/4” die grinder, the M12 cordless tops out at a 5,000 RPM higher speed. Of course there are much higher powered pneumatic die grinders on the market, but the point is the 2485-20 from Milwaukee has plenty of power and will do pretty much anything an air powered die-grinder will do in an auto repair shop.

Portability/Cordless and Battery Powered

Obviously the most important benefit of the cordless M12 Milwaukee 2485-20 is the portability of a battery powered die-grinder versus a pneumatic version that requires hoses and an air compressor. With a .3 hp motor output, the cordless right angle die-grinder gives you three speeds and enough power to clean gaskets, clean up mating surfaces and even cut through exhaust pipe with ease. In fact, Milwaukee introduced a straight 1/4” die grinder also, you can check that one out here.

Cleaning brakes with a Milwaukee m12 die grinder
One of my favorite uses for the Milwaukee cordless die grinder was the convenience when cleaning up brake calipers, slide pins and more.

What’s not Good About the Milwaukee M12 Die-Grinder?

Are there any downsides to the Milwaukee M12 cordless die-grinder? With all of the awesome benefits of a cordless die-grinder, surely there must be something about the Milwaukee 2485-20 that’s worth complaining about, right? Here’s the one potential disadvantage to using the M12 cordless die-grinder, but with it I will also give you the remedy to fix the problem.

Battery Life of the Milwaukee Cordless Die-Grinder


Milwaukee XC 6.0 Ah m12 batteries
If you buy a cordless m12 die grinder, I encourage at least the 6.0 Ah battery. Clicking the pic will lead you to more info and best pricing.


Due to the high power and speed of the Milwaukee cordless die-grinder, battery life is somewhat of an issue. Using the standard 2.0 amp hour batteries that come with most of Milwaukee’s M12 kits is not the best option for the die-grinder. In my own personal experience with the M12 die grinder, I found that with steady use cleaning surfaces I could get around 40-45 minutes out of a fully charged 2.0 amp hour M12 battery. When I used the die grinder as a cutting wheel to cut through exhaust pipe, etc. that battery life was cut drastically down to probably 20-30 minutes.

Which Battery Should You Use With Milwaukee’s Die-Grinder?

If you want to get the best results out of your Milwaukee M12 cordless die-grinder it is important that you buy a battery to match its horsepower. My best results with the Milwaukee die-grinder came after I bought a 6.0 Ah XC Extended 48-11-2460 battery on Amazon. Although the 6.0 Ah M12 batteries are relatively expensive, they are worth the money and have the benefit of being compatible with other Milwaukee M12 tools like the extended reach cordless ratchet.

If you aren’t comfortable or able to afford the price of a 6.0 Ah M12 battery, there are generic options on the internet and specifically Amazon carries a wide variety of “aftermarket” or knock-off Milwaukee batteries. You can read a post I did regarding “counterfeit” Milwaukee batteries if you’d like. Or if you want to check out some of the best quality aftermarket M12 batteries on Amazon, you can click the link below and check out a set of whopping 9.0 Ah generic M12 batteries.

Is the Milwaukee Die-Grinder Brushless?

Because I know you are wondering, and you should be wondering if the Milwaukee die-grinder is brushless, right? Well luckily, but not surprisingly the answer is yes. The 2485-20 Milwaukee uses a .3 HP POWERSTATE™ brushless motor.


How are the Reviews on Milwaukee’s Die-Grinder?

As with all of the reviews and tool introductions I give you, I’m also going to take a dive into the ratings and reviews surrounding the cordless Milwaukee die-grinder. It’s not enough to give you my sole opinion. You want to know if the Milwaukee die grinder is worth buying, right? You want to be sure the newest style of die grinder isn’t junk and going to sit on your tool box. You want to hear what other auto techs and even DIY mechanics are saying about the 2485-20. Here it is.

According to verified buyers on Amazon, Google and YouTube, the results of how good the 2485-20 performs is not surprising to me because I have used the cordless die grinder in a shop. First, I’ll talk about the ratings and reviews on Amazon because that’s where most people are buying Milwaukee cordless tools in 2023.

Amazon Rating and Reviews

Even having used the die-grinder, I was still a little bit shocked but definitely impressed that the Milwaukee cordless die-grinder holds a 4.7 out of 5 among 1,324 global ratings! It’s not like a few people are rating the tool, that’s over 1,000 people- 99% of which are likely verified buyers. Speaking of that, what are some of these verified buyers actually saying about the Milwaukee 2485-20?

Don’t forget. Consumers in 2023 are no longer scared to tell you what they really think about the Milwaukee die-grinder right in the product listing. Now as I expected, most of the 4 and 5 star reviews were based around the price and efficiency of a cordless die-grinder. Here’s what “steel” (5 star verified buyer) said on Amazon,

As advertised. Easier for small jobs than hauling out an air hose. Already had many M12 tools and batteries. Hopefully it will last.

On the flip side, there were a few 1 star reviews that seemed to center around the Milwaukee die-grinder “cutting out” if the user puts too much pressure on it. This could be a battery issue, user error an actual tool defect. I have not experienced cutting out or stopping with my cordless die-grinder. Here’s what “Scherp” had to say in his/her one-star review.

Chokes out very easy. I bought it thinking it would replace my air grinder. This tool chokes out with very little pressure applied. I would not buy again.

No disrespect to Scherp, but I don’t think the Milwaukee 2485-20 was designed to replace a pneumatic die grinder. Instead, I feel like the cordless die grinder is a much more convenient option and great supplement to a pneumatic die grinder for those bigger jobs that battery operated just won’t cut it.

YouTube Reviews

Based on the hours of YouTube reviews on the Milwaukee 2485-20 cordless die grinder that I found myself watching, I am confident that most techs and tradesman in general agree with me. The Milwaukee M12 cordless die grinder is an enormous step away from air hoses and toward convenient, portable tool options. Heck, this guy goes as far as to say that the M12 die grinder is an “air killer”. So the consensus appears to be that the 2485-20 is a high-quality and very important tool in any techs tool box.

Milwaukee Warranty and Return Policy

I know that I have covered the warranty and return policy on Milwaukee tools quite extensively in other posts. I’m still going to talk about it a little bit here. Do power tools differ from hand tool warranty’s? Where can I return a Milwaukee cordless tool? Is it free? These are all questions you might have. So here are the answers.

Standard guarantee against defect and imperfections is offered by Milwaukee for five years on cordless power tools. What this means is that for five years after the time of purchase, Milwaukee will repair or replace any power tool that was broken during normal working conditions. One thing to consider though, in most cases Milwaukee does require proof of purchase or tool registration, so to be safe it’s a good idea to keep it.

If you’re not sure how to warranty an M12 or M18 Milwaukee tool, you can head over to this warranty and return page to get the ball rolling.

What do we Know About Milwaukee’s Die Grinder?

I think we came into this post maybe with little knowledge of the 2485-20 cordless die grinder from Milwaukee. After all, it’s likely you landed on my Milwaukee 2485-20 review because you wanted more information on the cordless die grinder. In this post, I hope I did a good enough job of providing you that and answering the questions you had about Milwaukee’s die-grinder. I gave you reviews, advice and warranty information. Don’t underestimate this free information!

Author- John Green


If you purchase through my website, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. All posts are well researched and meant to find you better tools at a cheaper price.

By John Green

I’m John Green. I’m a 33 year old auto technician from Upstate New York. I have 18 years of experience as an automotive light duty and heavy duty truck mechanic. Cars, trucks and anything with moving parts are my passion in my professional life.

Aside from my life as a technician, I am also a seasoned investor and consider myself very financially literate. I use this other passion combined with my passion for cars, trucks and tools to look for ways to save money for my technician friends.

Raising my three girls and teaching them the proper way of life is my personal passion in life. If you want to know more, just ask! I’m on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as well!