Milwaukee Tools: Delivering ‘Smart’ One Tool at a Time

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IMG_1079Tucked away in a vacant hardware store in Milwaukee, this year’s the 2016 New Tool Symposium assembled media that were given the chance to see and conduct hands-on testing of tools launched this year.

Two hundred new tools to this year’s product offering. No small task, but for Milwaukee Tools, it’s what keeps the company competitive in the marketplace. Under president Steve Richman’s leadership, the company has become focused on its core user group, investing heavily in new product development and delivering innovative solutions to the plumbing, electrical, HVAC and MRO trades.

Disruptive innovation—an idea that a product takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors to a new level—is what drives Milwaukee, creating end user solutions for the core trades. “We don’t consider ourselves a tool manufacturer, we consider ourselves a solutions provider,” said Josh Ebinger, product manager, Milwaukee Tool.

Christian Coulis_ONE-KEY

Christian Coulis, president, power tools, talks about the advantages of ONE-KEY.

Some products are new introductions to the market and others are improved iterations of their former self. For example, introduced and launched last year, the ONE-KEY platform—a game changer in tool management—offers new capabilities this year such as tool tracking.

“Cloud-based mobile technology has become a common part of our world, making everything in our lives, from homes to cars, ‘smart.’ By leveraging this innovation, we’re opening the doors to a virtual, interactive, and instantaneous experience for power tool users; ultimately creating a jobsite of endless possibilities through smarter tools,” said Andrew Lentz, product manager, Milwaukee Tool.

Corey Dickert

Corey Dickert emphasizes the core trades, plumbing being one of them.

The first digital platform for tools and equipment, ONE-KEY™ integrates industry-leading tool electronics with a custom-built cloud based program to provide a new level of control and access to information. With the ability to customize, track and manage, ONE-KEY™ will fundamentally change the way users interact with their tools. “ONE-KEY taps into the intelligence of the tool,” says Taylor Hoppe, assistant product manger, Milwaukee Tool.

ONE-KEY™ features include:

Inventory Management allows users to create a central place to manage all of their tools and equipment across their network of jobs and operators.

Tool Control allows users to use pre-determined set-ups for specific fasteners and materials, or completely customize their own profile with torque and speed settings for the application at hand.

Integrated Tool Tracking allows users to identify where and when their ONE-KEY™ compatible tools were last seen.

With Tool Reporting capabilities users can wirelessly synchronize with the web-based program and upload data and history to create custom reports that track the success and timing of electrical terminations, as well as keep up on service repairs.

Miter Saw

The Hub’s Eric Aune tests the M18 FUEL™ 10” Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw.

Built-in intelligence in the tool is certainly another game-changer for Milwaukee, but what about smarter batteries? “Our technology is evolving at such a rapid pace, that soon we’ll enable another giant leap in the shift from corded to cordless through the launch of our High Demand™ 9.0Ah Pack that is built for high demand applications. This is going to completely change users’ cordless expectations,” said Andrew Lentz, product manager, Milwaukee Tool.

With the new battery pack, Milwaukee will deliver up to 5X more run-time, 35% more power, and run 60% cooler than standard lithium-ion batteries.

According to Milwaukee, M18™ cordless system represents the ultimate synergy of professional grade power, lightweight, extreme performance and ergonomics. These tools stand alone, with patented technologies, innovative motors and advanced electronics powered by REDLITHIUM™ battery technology for unmatched run-time. Offering more than 100 unique solutions, the M18 family is the most advanced, capable and complete 18V system on the market, and the introduction of the M18 REDLITHIUM High Demand™ 9.0 battery, boosts existing performance to up to 2X the capability of the M18 XC 5.0 battery.

M12 Drain Snake2

Testing the M12 Drain Snake

“With all the power that is available in today’s battery packs, we will continue to challenge conventional wisdom about the types of tools that can be effective cordless solutions,” said Lentz.

Product Offerings for 2016

Here are just a few new products introduced at this year’s New Prouduct Symposium:

Milwaukee Tool introduced its M12™ Drain Snake, developed specifically for the challenges plumbers, maintenance technicians, and property managers encounter when cleaning fixtures and small drain lines. Providing the benefits of both handheld and floor-mounted drain cleaning machines, the Drain Snake’s simple cordless setup delivers productivity for plumbers and contractors cleaning sinks, tubs, and other small drain lines up to 25’ long.

“Drain snakes are essential tool s for plumbers and facility maintenance crews, but current tools on the market are difficult to operate and maneuver due to cords, overall weight, and exposed spinning drums,” said Corey Dickert, vice president of Product Management Plumbing & Electrical.

With sneak peek, coming this October, the new M18™ Fluid Transfer Pump can pump 7.5 gallons per minute and features self-priming and auto shut-off capabilities.

Transfer Pump

M18 Transfer Pump

The company has expanded its Work Gear line to include a new Jacket and cold weather Base Layer. The Milwaukee Hooded Jacket and WorkSkin™ Base Layer’s combination of heavy-duty construction and performance materials provide users all-day comfort and durability in even the toughest jobsite conditions. “With the launch of the new WorkSkin Base Layer we’ve focused on bringing this level of performance materials and extended life to meet the needs of the professional tradesman. By understanding how our users work in cold weather better than anyone else, we’ve developed a performance base layer for the professional tradesman—a first in our industry, Patrick Lueck, product manager, Milwaukee Tool.

Continuing to deliver innovation for plumbing and HVAC professionals with the introduction of the Cheater™ Pipe Wrench—the first adaptable pipe wrench in the industry. Through its new-to-world, 3-length adaptable design, the Cheater gives users ultimate versatility on jobs that previously required multiple sizes of traditional pipe wrenches. The Cheater is joined by a full line-up of entirely new steel and aluminum pipe wrenches.

Cheater Pipe Wrench
“Through many discussions with our users and listening to their needs, we knew we had to provide a solution that was dramatically disruptive to this space. We’ve now fully redesigned the traditional pipe wrench to make it more efficient than it’s ever been before,” said Brian Barbour, product manager, Milwaukee Tool.

Designed with a POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor, the M18 FUEL™ 10” Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw delivers a large 6” vertical and 2×12 horizontal capacity, giving users a solution to replace their corded miter saws. Utilizing the performance of the M18 REDLITHIUM HIGH DEMAND 9.0 Battery Pack, the new Miter Saw delivers up to 400 cuts and an entire day of work on one M18 pack.

Delving further into the jobsite lighting space, Milwaukee Tool continues to expand their Lighting Solutions with the introduction of the M18 RADIUS™ LED Compact Site Light. Aptly named for its ability to fill an entire workspace with 360 degrees of light, the new high-output light provides maximum coverage for task, area, or overhead application.

Capable of providing 4400 lumens of light, the new M18 Compact Site Light can illuminate large workspaces for hours on a single charge. The Site Light features TRUEVIE W™ Technology, which utilizes the most advanced LED technology and optical designs to deliver a consistent beam, optimized color temperature, and true representation of colors and detail leading to a more productive work area.


An interesting twist on power tools, Milwaukee dips its toes in the landscaping foray with the M18 FUEL Blower—coming in November—which provides the best combination of power and efficiency through an axial fan design. With the power to clear lawn and jobsite debris, the Blower can deliver the longest max CFM run-time of all cordless blowers on the market. Built with extreme durability in mind, the Blower also delivers less weight and lower vibration and noise than gas.

The M18 FUEL Hedge Trimmer delivers more power under load, unmatched runtime, and has a zero maintenance motor. With the power to cut thick branches, its 24” blade trims more material in a single pass, increasing reach and productivity. Built with extreme durability in mind, the Hedge Trimmer also delivers less weight and lower vibration and noise than gas.

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