Copper press systems have become commonplace on the job but the piping systems have expanded recently to include stainless steel piping and fittings along with fittings engineered specifically for iron pipe. As the systems have expanded so have the tool offerings by multiple manufacturers.
Milwaukee entered the press tool market in 2013 with the first generation of M12 and M18 Force Logic press tools. 12v & 18v offering the first inline design by a major tool manufacturer available at the time. Others would soon follow with similar designs. I have owned both corded and cordless models from Ridgid and Milwaukee. My first press tools were the pistol grip type and my most recent purchase (2014) was the M12 inline design.
Last week I took delivery of the newest press tool available. The Milwaukee M18 Force Logic press tool kit [2773-22] is the first tool available with a brushless motor system.
The significance of brushless design for a press tool is high. As we’ve experienced with multiple tools already built with brushless technology smaller physical designs and faster, more powerful performance ratings are now the norm. The case here is very much the same. The new M18 press tool is not only smaller and lighter but the performance ratings published by Milwaukee are faster and longer [presses per battery charge cycle]. From using it now on two boiler change-outs its been my opinion that this is the fastest cordless press tool I’ve ever used. I’ve likely pressed 50-75 joints and have been running the new 9ah battery pack from an initial full charge and have not had to recharge. The current battery charge, according to the indicator lights is about 50% or more.
The new brushless M18 tool is capable of handling up to and including 4” on Viega’s stainless system (ProPress XL-S), and up to and including 1” on Grinnell’s stainless system (Stainless Steel G-Press). Up to and including 2” on MegaPress. The 2773-22 kit will require additional jaw sets for stainless and MegaPress. As mentioned, the kit includes copper jaws up to 2″.
When asked if competitor press jaws are compatible with the M18 tool a Milwaukee design engineer responded with a “Yes, you can use competitive jaws with the tool”.