A radio may not be a vital piece of jobsite equipment but a charger is, and Milwaukee’s M18 (2792-20) radio/charger has useful features that others of its kind do not. It’s the first jobsite model to include Bluetooth connectivity. You can stream music to the radio from up to 100 feet away, which allows you to keep your phone (or other Bluetooth enabled device) with you so you can answer and make calls. The model 2792 can be used to charge or power USB devices while being run from an M18 battery; other brands of radio/charger must be plugged in to do this. And of course, it can charge M18 batteries.

Until now only DeWalt and Bosch made radios that also charged batteries. It was my understanding DeWalt holds the patent on the radio/charger (like Fein once did with the multitool) and that it wasn’t possible to make one without paying licensing fees. A Milwaukee spokesperson told me they were paying “no licensing fees for the charger mechanism” so I can only assume the patent ran out or they found some way around it. Whatever they did, this is good news for people who own Milwaukee cordless tools because they now have the option of using a single device for entertainment and charging batteries.

The M18 radio/charger has all of the usual features for a device of its kind: a roll cage, radio tuner, auxiliary input, and a sealed storage compartment for media players and other small items. There’s even a built-in bottle opener—for after-hours use. Scheduled for launch in February 2014, the M18 radio/charger is made in China and will retail for about $229.

Specifications: M18 Jobsite Radio/Charger (2792-20)

  • Bluetooth Compatible: yes
  • No-Interference Battery Charger: yes
  • Radio Pre-Set:  FM (10), AM (10)
  • Frequency Response: 80 Hz – 20 KHz
  • Device Storage Space: 55in3
  • Aux Cable Length: 16"
  • USB Charger Output: 2.1 Amp
  • Size: 12” x 15” x 12”
  • Weight: 17lbs
  • Voltage: 18V