Imagine a tool company that considers itself a solutions provider rather than a power tool company. That’s just one of the key messages conveyed at the annual Milwaukee Tool Symposium held last month. “We are not just making a minor change to an existing tool. We are solving user experiences with ‘game changing’ solutions for the core trades,” said Steve Richman, president of Milwaukee Tool.
Every year select members of the trade media are invited to the symposium to get a “hands-on” education of some of the latest tools and technology Milwaukee has to offer. Reiterating Richman’s message, Paul Fry, vice president of product management, concurs, “It’s not about releasing a number of tools to the marketplace; it’s about delivering productivity to the end user.”
This ties into the overall company philosophy of “disruptive innovation,” coined by Harvard business professor, Clayton Christiansen. The term stems from Christiansen’s idea that a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors. “When we can sell productivity, we can take the market to a new level,” said Shane Moll, president, Power Tools at Milwaukee Tool.
An example? Milwaukee Tool became the first major toolmaker to tap into lithium ion potential, and now implements it into its highly successful M12 and M18 RED LITHIUM battery pack intelligence for cordless tools. Backward and forward compatibility allows users to use these batteries on older, or newer, generation tools. (Systems began in 2009, and only works on tools on M12 and M18 systems — doesn’t work on older V18 tools). As demonstrated at these annual tool symposiums, Milwaukee tool continues to push the envelope in tool innovation, which translates to jobsite productivity.
The RED LITHIUIM battery power really shined at the symposium — powering cordless tools from the M18 FUEL ™ Hole Hawg to the Force Logic Press Tool to the Hackzall and Sawzall series.
Milwaukee Tool redefines productivity for plumbers and mechanical contractors with the expansion of their Force Logic™ Press line to include solutions for pressing Black Pipe.
Increasing the versatility of the M18™ Force Logic Press Tool, Milwaukee’s new Black Iron Press Jaws and Rings deliver a faster alternative to threading, roll grooving and welding ½ – 2” Schedule 5-40 Black Iron Pipe. “October 1, we will come out with black iron press jaws, which can be used to press black pipe. They work with the M18 press tools, and provides you with the smallest and most intelligent way to press,” said Paige Bovard, product manager for Milwaukee Tool.
The M18 FUEL™ HOLE HAWG® delivers more than (150) 7/8” holes per charge, and is over 30% lighter than its corded predecessor, and is the first cordless tool of its kind, delivering productivity for professionals drilling with augers up to 1-1/4” and self-feed bits up to 2”. The M18 FUEL series features the POWERSTATE™ brushless motor, REDLITHIUM™ XC4.0 battery pack and REDLINK PLUS™ intelligence hardware and software, which deliver unmatched performance, durability and run-time.
A contractor favorite, the new cordless M18 SAWZALL® recip saw offers unmatched durability, speed and runtime in its category. Featuring a new in-line cutting action that provides more control and faster starts in metal, the new cordless SAWZALL® is designed to make up to 35% faster cuts in key applications, and will deliver over 40% more cuts per charge than competitive cordless recip saws. For added user convenience, the QUIK-LOK™ blade clamp provides quick and efficient blade changes while the variable speed trigger optimizes speed for different applications. With a slim front design and improved ergonomics, the saw is designed for maximum control and comfort.
And let’s not forget another favorite, the M12 Heated Gear, as Milwaukee Tool will continue to expand their line of heated gear as it begins its fifth season this fall. The 2014 line includes a ground-up redesign of M12 Heated Jackets, the introduction of the M12 Realtree Xtra® Camo 3-in-1 Heated Jacket, and new M12 Heated Hoodie color options for on and off the jobsite.
Powered by M12™ REDLITHIUM™ Battery Technology, Milwaukee Heated Gear distributes heat across the chest and back to actively warm core body areas. Durable carbon fiber heating elements woven in between rugged exterior materials and thermal insulating liners generate and maintain heat to reduce the need for bulky layers. Three heat settings (high, Medium, low) allow the user to select the right amount of warmth for all weather conditions. All M12 Heated Jackets, Hoodies and Hand Warmers are now fully machine washable and dryable for extended use.
Delivering over 4x more run time, up to 70% faster cutting and 6x longer tool life, the M12 FUEL™ HACKZALL® recip saw has a compact, lightweight design for one-handed operation in tight spaces, and features reduced vibration for increased control and accuracy. “It easily cuts through plastics, handles metals, can go through Unistrut and several aggressive metals,” said Tom Simeone, director of marketing, product management, Milwaukee Tool.
The new M18 FUEL™ 1” and 1-1/8” SDS+ Rotary Hammers drill faster than their corded counterparts, are built with corded durability, and can deliver a full day of work on one charge.
Equally impressive was the rollout of new hand tools — approximately 40 this year. Featuring design ingenuity, these hand tools are tested with the tradesman in mind. From jobsite scissors to lanterns and lights, Milwaukee leaves no stone unturned. Here are some hand tool highlights from the event:
One such tool is the Torque Lock™ locking tool, which features several gripped locking plier options, in both curved jaw and long nose styles that provide a durable, comfortable grip for prolonged use and increased productivity.
Featuring the patent pending Torque Lock™ adjustment system, the Locking Pliers deliver an innovative solution for adjusting the size of the gripping jaws while secured to material. Inspired by a common user modification, the thumb screw features a more convenient geometry for generating hand force and a unique screwdriver through-hole design to produce maximum locking force with a much faster and controlled set up.
The new 13” Jobsite Work Box storage solution features a 16” seat height for repetitive tasks that are close to ground level, and innovative organization options like vertical tool storage dividers.