Think of a die grinder as the grown-up big brother of the rotary tool, an industrial-strength version originally designed to help tool and die pros sculpt molds. Around my dad’s shop, we always had air-powered die grinders which mostly saw use as rotary files. In hindsight this might also explain why we never had consumer-style electric rotary tools kicking around. But regardless, I have to admit that Makita’s is the first 18V cordless version I’ve seen.
It makes sense, though. One would imagine that there are bound to be some shops out there that do day-to-day production grinding/sanding/lapping/etc. yet don’t have other reasons to install an air compressor and run air to all the workstations. I suppose this might also work wonders for anyone who does machine work in remote areas.
Makita’s model sports a 25,000 RPM motor, a barrel-grip design, and a slide-lock switch. An overtorque sensor keeps you from burning up the motor, and Makita’s spec sheet notes that they’ve arranged the vent slots to prevent motor exhaust from blowing on you while you work.
The whole thing’s apparently a bit new, as Google doesn’t turn up pricing for the tool-only release yet. Of course, if you’ve found it for sale, let us know in comments. I’m interested to see how it compares in price to similar cordless angle grinders. And hey — if you use one of these, we’d love to hear from you as well.