33 New and Cool Tools From Milwaukee

Milwaukee is adding this cordless drywall screw gun to its M18 line, which runs at 4500 rpms. It has the usual features you'd expect on a quality drywall gun, including trigger lock feature contractors rely on for speed and efficiency. The big difference here, though, is that when you lock the trigger, the gun is in a sort of "standby" mode: the motor doesn't spin until you place pressure on the tip. So you can lock the trigger, load a screw on the tip and as soon as you push it into the drywall, the gun engages and drives the screw. There's no pause or wait time, and you're not running the battery down unnecessarily. We found it to be very quiet and lightweight. Cost: $229 for the kit which includes two batteries, a charger, and carrying bag. Expected: Fall 2016.

A cordless cutout tool was also announced; it, too, runs on the M18 platform. The tool weighs just over 3 lbs with a 1.5 Ahr battery. Milwaukee claims you can cutout 51 single gang electrical boxes on a 1.5 Ahr battery, and 122 with a 3.0 Ahr. It has a simple on-off switch, adjustable throat, and belt hook. It also features an LED light that comes on when the tool is switched on. It's expected to cost $199 for the bare tool. Expected: Fall 2016.

Milwaukee announced that jobsite lighting is a category that they will continue to grow. One of their big “wow” announcements was this compact site light, which they refer to as “Radius LED Compact Site Light”. It’s portable, runs on M18 battery OR AC, and is very durable (one of the editors present actually dropped it on its head from a little over 4’ without issue). The outer polycarbonate lens didn’t break when a 15 lb weight was dropped directly on it. It comes with a hook built into the bottom so it can be hung overhead from pipe or wood framing, and it has AC input and output so it can be connected in a series. Milwaukee says you can run 15 of these at one time on a 15 Amp breaker. AC input does NOT charge the battery, however, if the power goes out and a battery is in, the light will switch to battery mode instantly. The light has three modes; high, medium and low – with a max output of 4400 lumens. It also has three directional modes: Side A, Side B, or Both. LEDs are warrantied for life as long as they’re not damaged. Each light comes equipped with a 3.5’ aluminum cable so it can be locked up on site. When equipped with a 9 Ahr battery the light will run for 2 hrs on High, 4 hrs on Medium, and 8 hrs on Low. The best feature of this light might be its OneKey compatibility, Milwaukee’s mobile app. With OneKey you can turn the light on and off from your phone. But that’s just the beginning. You can also set a sleep timer for the light, and create a schedule for it much like programmable thermostats. These features only work when the light is plugged into AC power, but it’s still a super cool and very useful feature. Even when lights are run in a series, each light is controlled individually within OneKey. The Radius LED Compact Light will be available with or without OneKey compatibility. MSRP: $299 (without OneKey). Expected: July 2016. Radius LED with OneKey is expected in October; no price information is available yet.

I didn’t get any good photos of this new product at the event, so I am using this photo from the manufacturer. But I did get to see the power of this new M12 Flashlight. It produces 800 lumens on high and a beam that can reach 375 yards; it produces 325 lumens on low. According to Milwaukee, the light can run up to 7 hours (depending on mode). The sliding head adjusts the beam from spot to wide flood. It has three output modes: high intensity, extended run-time, or strobe. It’s made of aluminum alloy and is sealed to withstand IP54 dust and water resistance testing. The flashlight (tool only) will be available in June 2016. The flashlight kit (incl. 1.5 Ahr battery and charger) will be available in July. Pricing information wasn’t available.

Cordless outdoor power equipment is a market you'll see all manufacturers expand and develop. Milwaukee is jumping into the game with a cordless string trimmer, hedge trimmer, and blower. The string trimmer, shown here, runs on M18 Fuel line. It has variable speed trigger, with low and high modes, and has instant throttle response so as soon as you pull the trigger, it goes. Cutting capcity is 14-16 inches, and Milwaukee offset the guard which they believe will eliminate build-up that's common with string trimmers. It's designed to cut thick brush and made quick, easy work of it during their demonstration. These are expcted to be released in the fall; pricing was not available.

The new cordless blower also runs on M18 Fuel line. According to Milwaukee, it has the best max cfm run time on the market. It's designed with an axial fan and brushless motor. Release and pricing information was not available.

If you're a plumber or involved in maintenance work, you'll be intrested in checking out the corldess transfer pump that will be out soon. It runs on the M18 Fuel battery platform, is self-priming, has auto shutoff after 1 min. and can move 7.5 GPM.

Milwaukee also demonstrated its new cordless drain snake, which runs on the M12 battery platform. It has a built-in LED light, weighs less than 11 lbs., is variable speed from 0-500 RPMs, and has a 25’ cable (1/4” or 5/16”). The inner drum is removable, and accepts cables from other brands. The outer drum shield does not spin with the drum so it can be used as a grip. Warranty: 5 year on the tool, 2 year on the battery, 2 year on the cable. It’s available now; I found the kit online for $249 (snake, 5/16x25’ bulb cable w/ drum, 5 gallon storage bucket, (1) M12 battery, (1) M12 battery charger.

Milwaukee is launching a full line of high-end box levels this coming October. The levels will be available in lengths from 16" to 96". As an example, the 48" level will run $129. Here's a look at the 6 new levels.

The new box levels are designed with what Milwaukee refers to as a "back bone". The magnesium backbone is designed to reinforce the center, which is a levels most vulnerable area and most prone to bending.

A new billet level is on the way, as well. This one is equipped with extremely powerful rare earth magnets and vials marked with 1/8" and 1/4" slope lines. What's cool about this level is that it can be read when laying flat ontop of pipe (right). It's also expected in October 2016 and will run around $38.

Milwaukee has a new block torpedo level on the way, as well. It too is equipped with rare earth magnets. What's cool and new here is the adjustable vial that is lockable via a knob on the back end (right).

We had a chance to use the industry's first 10" cordless sliding compound miter saw, which is due out this Fall. Milwaukee says that when equipped with a M18 9Ahr battery the saw will make 300 cuts in 2x4. It has a 2x12 horizontal cutting capacity and 6" vertical cutting capacity. Expect to see this October 1 of this year. It will run for $699 for the kit and $549 for bare tool. Check out a video of our first look, here.

A lot of the new and upcoming tools from Milwaukee run on their new M18 9Ahr High Demand battery. These batteries increase the functionality of tools like their cordless circular saw, for example. When running on a M18 9Ahr battery, Milwaukee claims their cordless circular saw will make 537 cross cuts in 2x4s. Milwaukee also says that the technology, coupled with their brushless motors, allow tools like the cordless miter saw or cordless string trimmer to produce as much or more power than their competitors' higher Voltage platforms. And at 9Ahrs, the batteries offer significantly longer run times than their other M18 batteries.

Milwaukee's expanding its tool storage and tool carrying line. This rolling tool box has a telescoping handle, 6" rubber wheels, skid-plate covers over the handle housing so pulling it up stairs won't damage the handle. And best of all: it's built to double as a dolly, witch a load capacity of 200 lbs. Dave Frane also pointed out that it's a great place to sit and eat lunch.

If you do any tech work outside, you'll want to check out the new Jobsite Tech Bag. It has 53 pockets and weighs less than 7 lbs. The coolest thing about this though is the integrated rain fly, which stores in a zippered compartment in the back. So if you get caught in the rain while you're working you can pull it out and protect the equipment quickly. It's available now and runs about $79.

Workwear was another big topic at the symposium. Milwaukee improved their M12 heated jackets, and is introducing heated HOODED SWEATSHIRTS, as well as heated vests and jackets. They also developed Workskin - a tech base layer (undershirts) that wick away sweat, particularly in the back and arm pit areas. So that's an improvement on two already available options, and two additional products.

More work gloves are set to be released in August. In addition to their previously launched demolition gloves, expect to see: Performance, Fingerless Performance, and Free-flex. The gloves all include tough-screen compatibility.

A whole new line of measurement and layout tools are on the way. They've put their mark on everything from a basic tape measure to folding walking wheel measurers. The new open reel measurering tapes are made to be less prone to stretching, according to Milwaukee. The hand-held tapes are already available on the market; they withstood some serious impact during the demonstrations and have some features we'll explore in an upcoming article.

Milwaukee's OneKey app is getting more and more features, and the number of tools that are compatible with the app is expanding (including a new recip saw). We'll cover OneKey in greater depth in an upcoming article. But the relevant features include the ability to customize your tools (for expample, set max RPMs for a drill or sawzall, torque on impact drivers, or brightness on a worklight). They offer trackability, too - so you can find lost or stolen tools (see next slide for more on that). And you can manage just about everything you'd need to regarding the tools online (like warranty and service, for example).

Tool tracking and control. Once you link an equipped tool with your OneKey app, it is trackable from any other OneKey app in the world. Milwaukee told this story at the event to illustrate: a contractor in California had a trailer full of tools stolen. He reported his OneKey impact driver missing within the app. A week later he got an alert that it had been found; someon on the site had OneKey, which picked up the impact driver's signal. The police showed up on the jobsite, recovered all of his tools and arrested the thieves. Now, an added feature: you can shut a tool down from your phone, and set a schedule for when it will work and when it won't.

An improved variation of the AX Sawzall demo blades (for nail embedded wood) was demonstrated. These new blades include carbide teeth, which the manufactrurer claims will make them last 30x longer than the standard AX blades. They're also reported to be 2x faster than the standard AX, and to improve battery efficiency by 25%.

Milwaukee redesigned the traditional locking style pliers by adding a thumb screw with a hole in the center. As you can see the thumb screw accepts a screwdriver for creating greater torque. To demonstrate how strong these pliers can grip, a 200 lb. man used two pliers as handles. He raised and lowered himself on the pliers alone, performing the dip exercise. The pliers, called MAXBITE, are available now in 7" and 10" with padded grips or without (shown here). MSRP: $12.99-$14.99.

We also got an indepth look at Milwaukee's new line of pipe cutters, like the constant swing tubing cutter shown here. It has 4 chrome rollers, which resists rust, and tool-free blade change. A mini-cutter was also demonstrated, along with a couple other variations that are due out soon. The 1 1/2" constant swing cutter and mini cutter are both available now. MSRP: $53 and $27 respectively.

Milwaukee acuired Empire Level two years ago, and has a whole new line of levels, tape measures, and squares that will begin launching in September. The LED box level, shown here, features LED-equipped vials that are visible in all lighting conditions. They take AA batteries, which Empire says will last 32 hours. Digitial box levels with audible alert are coming in September as well.

A new stand light is on the way, this one named the Rocket Tower. It has a 3-light head design for additional directional functionality. It's cordless, and runs on AC power (which does charge the battery). This new light will be available in September and run $399. To illustrate the durability and weather resistance of the lights, Milwaukee put them in a shower stall and let the water rip.

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