Red skies at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. It’s an old sailing adage intended to help you predict the weather. Here at HomeFixated, when things turn very red, that usually means we said something embarrassing (again!), or, we’re at the annual Milwaukee Tool New Product Symposium. Milwaukee is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the tool world, and NPS is an opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the hottest, most innovative tools coming on the market. That old sailing adage? How about “Red tools morning, noon and night – Home Fixated readers’ delight!” If you’re ready for an insider’s view of what the tool-obsessed masterminds over at Milwaukee Tool have been working on, read on for details.
NPS 2017 officially kicked into gear Wednesday, June 7th. We focused most of our social posts on HomeFixated’s Instagram Channel @HomeFixated, although you can catch some of the action on our Facebook Page and Twitter. You’ll find our Instagram posts embedded below.
Editor’s Note: The first two intro paragraphs along with the photos and embedded social media captions below were written by me (Marc Lyman). The rest of the content and product details were written by our intrepid special op’s contributor Michael Springer. Here’s what he had to say:
Going through the new product rotations at Milwaukee Tool’s recent media/influencer event was exhausting. With 88 fresh products being introduced in one day, only the strong survived with memories of all they saw intact. As the sole attendee of all ten annual Milwaukee events to date, I was one such survivor. I admit, I may only remember 86 of the new products–but no matter–there’s only space to talk about the highlights here. Reliable pricing information isn’t available yet, but launch dates are included where known.
Concrete Solutions and Carbide Tooth Accessories
With an eye toward the impending OSHA crystalline silica regulations coming this September, Milwaukee is developing more solutions for collecting concrete and masonry dust at its source. With some active vac attachments and shrouds for rotary hammers and grinders that connect the business end of the tools with a vacuum already in the product line, new expansion products include the following.
#8960-20, eight gallon job site dust extractor with two-stage HEPA filtration and tool activated operation. The vac features a large primary filter which protects the more crucial (and expensive) internal HEPA filter which can be removed for preservation when using the vac for general cleanup uses if desired. With both filters in place, the vac is designed to meet the OSHA regulations as well as EPA RRP requirements regarding the collection of lead paint debris. (July ’17)
#5317-DE, SDS Max dust extraction attachment sticks to the wall via the attached vac’s suction while the wide hole in the middle draws in the dust from a variety of large diameter bits sizes. (June ’17)
#5318-DE, SDS Max chisel boot for cleaner use when chipping with combination hammers and light demolition breakers. (Aug. ’17)
#49-40-6110, cutting dust shroud for small angle grinders adds the capability to collect dust from sawing and scoring operations while also providing depth of cut control and a shoe to help hold the cutting disc perpendicular to the work surface. Grinding Dust Shrouds (July ’17)
SDS Plus and SDS Max vacuum bits feature holes at the drilling tip and a hollow shaft to channel dust out of the hole with the aid of an attached dust collection vac. (Aug. ’17)
Milwaukee is gearing up to produce their own carbide at their Greenwood, MS bit and blade plant which will be used in a future line of circular saw blades as well as the following carbide-enhanced linear edge accessories.
TORCH recip blades with carbide teeth for cutting tough metals like cast iron, stainless steel, and high-strength alloys. (Sept. ’17)
BIG HAWG three-tooth and Hole Dozer 4 t.p.i. holes saws with carbide teeth are claimed to have 50x the life of their bimetal blade predecessors for long lasting performance even in punishing materials. (Dec. ’17)
M18 and M12 Systems
We thought they were full up with their existing lines of 150 M18 tools and 80 M12 tools, but Milwaukee is finding the room for a few more this year. (Note: the FUEL designation denotes tools with brushless—a.k.a. electronically commutated motors.)
M18 FUEL 7-1/4″ dual bevel compound sliding miter saw cuts 3 1/2” vertically against the fence and slides to accommodate crosscutting a 2×8. The saw pivots and tilts to miter and bevel angles up to 48° to both the left and right, at a blade speed of 5,000 rpm. A new lightweight portable miter saw stand (#48-08-0551) is already available in stores. (Sept. ’17) Home Fixated review coming soon!
M18 FUEL Hackzall, one-handed recip saw claimed to cut 50 percent faster than the previous version without a brushless motor. Other improvements to this compact saw include a longer 7/8” stroke and a pivoting shoe. (Oct. ’17)
M18 FUEL mud mixer with two handles adjustable from 90° to 180° apart. The mixer beats a drill in this application with its 5x gear reduction and a motor designed to run under load for extended trigger times. The tool has a lock-on trigger and can be set to run from 100 to 550 rpm. (Sept. ’17)
Second generation M18 FUEL high-torque impact wrenches. The new tools boast a 28-percent strength increase (to 1,400 ft-lbs), and three speed/power settings along with a nut-removal mode which slows rpm by 60 percent after the fastener is broken free in reverse. Available in five versions: 1/2” drive with pin or ring anvil and programmable One-Key versions of the same as well as a 3/4” drive model. (Sept. ’17, One-Key Dec. ‘17)
#2688-21, M18 compact heat gun, said to get to 1,000°F max temperature twice as fast as the brand’s corded model. (Sept. ’17)
Second generation M12 FUEL subcompact drill/driver and hammerdrill driver models. Though these tools have full-size 1/2-inch chucks, their heads are more than an inch shorter than before. (Dec. ’17)
Second generation M12 FUEL impact driver with four drive settings. Three that regulate the impact rate to control developed torque and a fourth for self-tapping screws which switches from high speed for starting to medium for driving then to slow for a controlled finish. (Dec. ’17)
M12 articulating-head soldering iron that heats up in 20 seconds. (Oct. ’17)
#2447-21, M12 stapler that drives common 3/8” crown (T-50) staples from 1/4” to 9/16” in single shot or bump-fire modes. Has aiming marks for accuracy and a power adjustment dial to set staples perfectly flush. (Oct. ’17)
ONE-KEY and Lighting
Milwaukee’s One-Key product range continues to grow with connected tools that can be inventoried, tracked, and performance-programmed from your linked mobile device. The One-Key app is already up to performing a half-million locates per day to connected tools. New features to the system include more tool-activated notifications and enhanced tool tracking within a geo-fence—a virtual boundary around a job site. One-Key will alert if an assigned tool leaves the site and records how much time the tool is used while there for smarter allocation of resources. The Tick is the latest piece of hardware in the system which can be attached to anything you want to track or locate. And it doesn’t have to be a tool, it could be your bike, yard art statuary, or your sneaky teenager’s car.
Another category going high-tech is Milwaukee’s line of job site and personal LED lighting products. From the addition of smaller flashlights that take disposable alkaline batteries to wired-in overhead site lighting, nine new lights are being introduced.
Milwaukee introduced another rechargeable battery platform with their small 4 volt packs that charge from a USB port. Lights in the platform are a small flashlight, pocket floodlight, and a headlight that attaches to a hard hat (#2110-21, #2112-21, #2111-21). (Sept. ’17)
M18 ROVER magnetic floodlight with a pivoting head features strong magnets and a spring clamp to help attach the light to work surfaces. (Oct. ’17)
#2125-21XC, M12 LED under-hood light is intended for illuminating a wide area under a vehicle’s hood, but I think this 4-foot long “light saber” may find more use with drywall finishers and painters. The wide directional beam provides a good raking light in a form easily maneuvered with one hand. (June ’17)
Milwaukee Hand Tools, Storage, and Gear
REDSTICK concrete levels with magnesium bottoms made to be used as a concrete screed. The top of the enlarged I-beam shape forms a sturdy hand grip while the thick magnesium insert below has one square edge and one radiused edge. (Oct. ’17)
New Levels from Empire.
Bolt cutters in 14”-18” and 24”-30” sizes with telescoping handles to provide extra leverage when needed, but a shorter size for transport and storage. (Sept. ’17)
Combination wrench sets featuring heavy-duty I-beam forging and a special profile on the open end designed to grip nuts and bolts better. (Sept. ’17)
Lanyards for tool drop prevention in three maximum tool weight ranges–10#, 15#, and 50#. (Oct. ’17)
#48-22-8400, PACKOUT modular storage system with two layers of detachable boxes mounted to a lower box secured to a rolling frame. Many other parts bins and open-top tool totes snap into this versatile portable storage system. (Sept. ’17)
46″ steel chest and rolling cabinet is Milwaukee’s biggest tool storage unit yet. Made with heavy gauge steel, eighteen 22-inch deep drawers, and up-to-date conveniences like twin power port locations with both line voltage and USB receptacles. (Nov. ’17)
Jobsite cooler made with soft-side construction instead of being another rigid plastic box. Besides keeping your lunch cold, a padded “tech” pocket protects your phone. (Oct. ’17)
Additions to Milwaukee’s non-heated performance work wear line rely on traditional layering for warmth instead of a battery pack. Starting with the #410G WORKSKIN mid-weight long sleeve shirt as a base layer, to the #311B No Days Off hoodie topped off with a GRIDIRON hooded or non-hooded jacket (#254B, #253B). There’s even #261B GRIDIRON zip-to-thigh bib overalls to cover your lower half–all that’s missing is long undies. The work apparel maximizes the use of synthetic fabrics for superior strength, insulation, and moisture wicking properties. I’ll lobby for the “Milwundies” and let you know next year. (Aug. ’17)
Milwaukee Plumbing and Electrical Power Utility
M12 AirSnake drain cleaning air gun clears clogs with a blast of compressed air. The onboard compressor maxes out at 50 psi but can be set as low as a few pounds of pressure so you can minimize the hydraulic shock to your backed-up drain lines. (Nov. ’17)
M18 FUEL drain snake with CABLE-DRIVE locking feed system improves on the common drill-powered snake by being cordless, having an automatic cable feed system, and by containing waste water within the cable drum instead of slinging it around the room. (Nov. ’17)
M18 FUEL sectional drum machine made to replace a heavy, corded drain auger on a rolling cart. Features cordless simplicity, a fast-acting cable brake, and a modular design that breaks down to let you carry it to the job in a few pieces. The motor section has backpack straps for easier carrying and interchangeable cable drums lets you use various types and lengths of auger cables. (Nov. ’17)
SHOCKWAVE lineman’s impact auger bits can be chucked into a standard 1/2” drill but are optimized for use in impact drills with a 7/16” hex bit holder. When a drill would stall out under the heavy load of a long bit buried deep in a utility pole, the additive force of an impact tool keeps pounding away, and without the reaction torque that can take you for a ride (perhaps off a ladder). Unlike a ship auger with its hollow “through center” design that can flex open like a spring under impact loading, the solid-center “stem” design of these impact augers is much stiffer. Made for clean wood only. A sharp cutting spur on the perimeter of the bit tip scores the wood for a cleaner and smoother cut, but the trade-off is that this bit cannot tolerate hitting nails the way a construction-grade auger bit can. (Sept. ’17)