Each year select members of the trade media are invited through the doors of Milwaukee Tool for an up-close and personal look at the latest tools and trade specific accessories coming to a job site near you.
As the annual “New Tool Symposium” nears I not only find myself looking forward to all the innovative tools we will get to try out but also I can’t help but to look back over the last couple years I have attended the event.
Just a few years ago Milwaukee’s president Steve Richman delivered with enthusiasm the shift in tide as Milwaukee Tool’s focus was to concentrate on the four core areas of the professional trades: Mechanical Contractors, Plumbers, Electricians & MRO (maintenance, repair & operations). With the new focus on these four areas Milwaukee launched some of the most innovative, most powerful and solution-based tools I have ever used in my 20 years of working in the trades.
Fast-forward two years to the expansion of their newest line of tools, the FUEL M18 & M12 series, and the message was loud and clear: Cords be damned. In all the years I have been around or running job sites, either as a kid working for my family or as a self-employed plumbing & heating contractor, I have never had tools that could handle all the tough & dirty demands of a boiler demo and install or plumbing rough-in without stretching a few power cords. During last year’s tool symposium I admit I was hesitant to concede every claim Milwaukee made about the power and production their newest generation of cordless tools had to offer; that they would claim power cords were no longer needed for the majority of my daily job tasks.
I was proven wrong. Or did they prove themselves right? Either way I can say that after a year of using their full-size M18 portable band saw, M18 impact driver, Circular saw, Sawzall (and more) along with a slew of M12 tools I have long since grabbed for an extension cord from the back of the truck. In fact, I can go for weeks without even stretching out a cord at all. That is a true testament to powerful, well-designed tools.
I can only imagine what they have in store for us this year. A few weeks back I received a small package in the mail with a chrome plated USB storage drive in the shape of a key. The trademark Milwaukee logo is etched on the side of the key shaped drive, which had me immediately wondering about its contents. Without haste I plugged it into my computer only to find it completely empty. Dangit! I was hoping a sneak peek into the upcoming event would be waiting form me. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait to see what they’ve coming our way in a couple weeks.
If you missed our coverage of past Milwaukee Tool Symposiums you can check out the following links and videos.