Milwaukee has added an interesting new cutter to its M12 cordless tool line...

The 2472 is a motorized ratcheting blade cutter that works like the brand's plastic tubing shear. It's made specifically for shearing through soft metal cable. According to its maker, the tool can cut up to 4/0 cable in high gear, and up to 600 MCM copper, 750 MCM aluminum, or 1-3/16-inch communication cable in low gear.

Compared to using a long-handled manual cutter on thick copper cable, this small tool takes a lot less effort, and it fits into a supply panel easily. I did it both ways during a visit to Milwaukee headquarters - it took everything I had in my arms to cut the thickest copper with manual shears, but using the Milwaukee cutter didn't even strain my trigger finger.

Expect the tool to launch this September 2012.

Cut capacity: 600 MCM Copper, 750 MCM Aluminum, 1-3/16 Communication Cable
Jaw opening: 1-7/16 inches
Weight (with battery): 6.9 pounds
Length: 10-1/2 inches
Jaw height: 4 inches
Two speed: yes
LED light: yes
Kit version (2472-21XC) includes: tool, one XC battery, charger, and hard carry case
Price: $429-459 (for the kit); $329-359 (for bare tool)


Michael Springer has worked as a high-end remodeling contractor and is the former Executive Editor of Tools of the Trade.

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