Tools & Materials
What’s Next From Milwaukee Tool- NPS2018
Milwaukee Tool New Product Symposium 2018
This is the third Milwaukee event I’ve been to. I’ve attended several other media events over the years, but I have to say that these guys really do set the gold standard. This year Harrison, our other editor, came with and we both had a blast. For an unapologetic tool geek like me, a show like this is almost a religious experience, a red wave of tool nirvana so to speak. Here are just some of the great new products that caught our attention.
Full disclosure: Milwaukee paid for our trip, but in no way were we expected or obliged to produce positive coverage. To see our coverage of last year’s event, click here.
The battery that brings Milwaukee into a whole new world
This new HD12.0 Ah battery isn’t all that sexy, but it really was the star of the show. That’s because it opened up the door for Milwaukee to release larger, power-pig tools like the chainsaw and table saw (more on those later). Milwaukee is confident that this battery will generate power similar to other 15amp corded tools. It delivers 50 percent more power and it runs 50 percent cooler than competitors batteries. It also provides a run time of 33% more than their own 9.0 Ah battery. And with new cold-resistance technology, this high-output battery will provide this amazing power all the way down to 20 degrees below zero– if you’re dedicated (or crazy) enough to be working at those temperatures.
The M18 REDLITHIUM High Output HD12.0 Battery Pack will be available starting in July 2018 for $199.00.
REDSTICK digital levels are amazingly strong. They have a frame strength of over 450lbs. That’s 4X stronger than most digital levels currently on the market. Plus, Milwaukee claims they are also the most accurate digital level on the market to date. REDSTICK digital levels are also user friendly.
The 360-deg. display is well designed, super easy to read, and can be read from the side AND the top. The audio signals add a level of intuitiveness to these levels. The digital signal tolerances can be adjusted, so if you want something “close” to level, it will let you know when you get there. Of course, as a perfectionist, that makes me shudder just a little bit.
REDSTICK Digital Levels launch in October 2018.
M18 FUEL Barrel Grip Jigsaw
A cordless jig saw that can cut 110-ft. of ¾-in. particle board on one charge is pretty impressive. And who doesn’t love a barrel-grip jig saw? Add an LED light and a blower to to keep the cut-line visible and you’ve got yourself a well-made tool. Not gonna lie, the drool-factor was pretty high with this release.
The M18 FUEL Barrel-Grip Jig Saw will be available in November 2018.
STUD Tape Measure
I was very impressed by the new STUD tape measure. They demonstrated the durability of this tool by rubbing it back and forth on a concrete cinder block like they were trying to cut through it. Afterwards there was hardly a scratch on the printing. They also totally put a worst-case-scenario crimp in the tape blade and it retracted normally. As I said, impressive!
STUD Tape Measures release in July 2018 starting at $19.97
M18 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum
Faster cleanup times means more productivity (or maybe even getting off a little early), so anything that speeds up the process is a good thing. Milwaukee’s new 3-in-1 backpack vacuum delivers more than two times the suction than the competition. And it runs at only 74 DBA, which is three times quieter than a traditional jobsite vacuum.
The M18 FUEL™ 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum launches in September 2018.
M18 Fuel Chainsaw
A Milwaukee chainsaw—Finally! Leading up to the event, the most whispered-about rumor was that Milwaukee would be at long last revealing a cordless chainsaw, and the company delivered. Milwaukee claims that this saw will cut up to 150 hardwood branches per charge. I got to get hands-on with this saw several times, and I have to say it’s clearly a well-balanced monster.
You’ll be able to get your hands on a M18 FUEL Brushless Cordless Chainsaw on July 1st, 2018 for $399.00 (Full Kit)
M18 Impact Driver
The new Milwaukee impact is ¾-in. shorter and has an overall smaller body than the previous model. You would think that small means less powerful, but think again. This impact has 25 percent more power and a 30 percent faster speed. Nice!
M18 FUEL 1/4″ Hex Impact Drivers launches July 2018. Prices start at $129.00 (Bare Tool)
M18 Drill/Driver and Hammer Drill
Both Milwaukee’s new Drill/Driver and Hammer Drill deliver 1200 in-lbs of torque and 2,000 RPMs. That’s 60% more power than the leading drills or hammer drills on the market today, and it’s highest speed is 2x greater than the industry standard. And even better, Milwaukee has coaxed more power and faster speeds out of tools that are 1.5 inches shorter than their leading competitors.
The M18 FUEL™ Drill/Drive & Hammer Drill will both be available in July 2018.
REDSTICK Expandable Levels
Until now it seems that no one wanted to take on Stabila in the expandable level space. But Milwaukee just threw they’re hat into the ring with the REDSTICK expandable levels. Every homebuilder, remodeler, framer, and commercial contractor should own an expandable level. I own a couple, and they are worth every penny (and they do cost a few pennies). The Milwaukee REDSTICK expandable levels are available in 48-in.-78in. and 78in.-144in sizes and will be available October 2018.
M18 Circular Saw
I’m a huge fan of lightweight without compromising strength and power. The new 7-1/4 cordless saw will cut 750 2x4s on one charge. And with a 5.0 battery it only weighs 9 lbs., which makes it lighter than most corded saws!
The M18 7-1/4 inch circular saw will be available July 2018 for $399.00 (Full Kit)
Packout Storage System
Last year Milwaukee released the new PackOut system, which was one of the best organization systems I‘ve used. This year they released a wheeled dolly so you can push all your tools along from one work area to another on site. They created a mounting plate that all the PackOut components hook on to. Perfect for mounted on the wall and organizing your shop, trailer, or van. In addition, custom foam is now available for customizing and keeping all your expensive babies tucked in snug as a bug.
Cordless Rivet Tool
Really, a cordless rivet gun? Heck yes a cordless rivet gun!
There is everything to love about this tool! Its small size and the fact there are no handles to spread and squeeze allows it to fit right into super tight spots. This is a single stage rivet gun, meaning that when you pull the trigger it pulls the rivet one time and the rivet is set and done. It also has a catch-can for all your cut-offs to drop into, so no wasted time cleaning up those stems after you’re done. It’s fast and requires 65 percent less effort than hand rivet tools. This will secure rivets o up to 3/16-in. What’s not to love?
The M12 Rivet Tool is available now for $169.00 (Bare Tool)
Milwaukee never lets us down at these events. The team members are friendly, knowledgeable and always make sure we don’t leave without getting all our questions answered—and I ask a lot of questions. From start to finish, they throw an amazing event and everyone there seemed to appreciate it. We already can’t wait for next year’s event. Hopefully I didn’t ask too many questions and actually get another invite.
Check out this video to get an inside look at what went down at NPS2018 and to see some of these new tools in action: