“Can Milwaukee really do more with M18?”…You be the judge • Milwaukee NPS2018
By Ellen Cools
June 7, 2018 — “Today for us is about answering the No. 1 question that I get day in and day out: ‘Can Milwaukee really do more with M18?’. The answer, my friends, is ‘Hell yes!’,” said Paul Fry, VP cordless management, in his opening remarks at Milwaukee Tool’s 2018 New Product Symposium.
Last month, EBMag was in Milwaukee Tool’s backyard to learn about the company’s latest and greatest offerings for 2018 and early 2019. Fry explained that 2018 will see a focus on making the M18 Fuel line backward and forward compatible.
“The next breakthrough in M18 Fuel”
The NPS began with a breakout session on “the next breakthrough in M18 Fuel,” showcasing nine new solutions that will launch in July.
Among them was the M18 Redlithium HD 12.0 Ahr battery, the first of its kind to operate down to -20ºF. The battery applies to the entire M18 system, and delivers 50% more power than a 9.0 Ahr pack.
Other new additions to the M18 line include the 1/2-in. drill/driver, 1/2-in. hammer drill, 1/4-in. hex impact driver and 1-in. high-torque impact wrench.
But the most popular of the new M18 solutions—judging by the crowd’s enthusiastic cheering—were the saws: the Fuel 16-in. chainsaw, Fuel 7-1/4-in. circular saw, Milwaukee’s first 18V table saw (featuring OneKey), and the Fuel Super Sawzall, which handily outperformed its corded cousin, the 15A corded Super Sawzall.
CLICK HERE to see the M18 Super Sawzall beat its corded predecessor.
But that wasn’t all we saw (pun intended).
Drills and fasteners
During the drilling and fastening breakout session, the company demonstrated its new M18 compact brushless drill/driver and impact driver. Although it’s only 5.1-in. long, the impact driver delivers 1600 in-lb of torque.
CLICK HERE to see me using the compact brushless drill.
All of these M18 Fuel solutions are OneKey compatible, giving users the ability to lock out and track their tools.
Hand tools, storage and measurement
The Packout modular storage system started with room for eight tools, but has expanded with seven new storage solutions, all of which connect to the Packout system, with 15 more solutions planned for 2019.
One such solution is the Packout mounting plate, which allows users to secure all Packout storage to the wall or floor of a shop, van or truck.
Additionally, the new Packout flat dolly, with a 250-lb capacity and spring-loaded handle, caught my eye, especially when one attendee tested it out by riding it across the floor.
The Stud tape measures were also tested for durability. In fact, the tape measures can now withstand an 80-ft drop, and, come August, Milwaukee will address the problem of tape tear, thanks to the Exo360 blade technology. Milwaukee says the Exo360 protects the blade from ripping and wearing, and is combined with a reinforced frame and impact-resistant overmould.
Meanwhile, the company has upgraded its line of Redstick digital levels with Pinpiont measurement technology, which allows users to pin the level at any angle, which then becomes the target.
Speaking of levels, Milwaukee’s Empire Level brand showed off its new framing, rafter and combination squares.
The rafter squares allow electricians to test offsets, stub outs and electrical box layouts, and feature scribe guides and laser etching technology. Meanwhile, the combination squares have been redesigned to include an improved blade logo, dual pitch vial and rational head dimensions, meaning every dimension is now usable.
During the electrical trade breakout session, one electrician—Nicolas, from Laurentine Electrique—was very excited to test out the ForceLogic M18 10-ton knockout tool, which is compatible with all M18 batteries and chargers.
CLICK HERE to see Nicolas test the knockout tool.
Looking forward to more
The products I have discussed above are just a few highlights from this year’s Milwaukee New Product Symposium.
As Steven Richman, Milwaukee’s president, remarked, “If we don’t continue to innovate, somebody is going to beat us in every business that we’re in.” Visit milwaukeetool.com to learn more.
For more videos and photos, scroll back on our Twitter feed to May 3.
* A big thanks to the folks at Milwaukee Tool — especially James, Tiffany and Heather — for organizing my trip and taking great care of me while in Milwaukee!
Photos: E. Cools