Milwaukee Tools Product Symposium 2012

June 13, 2012 | by Ethan (email) |

Still in Milwaukee and fresh out of the showroom, I wanted to share some pictures and information from my time at the 2012 Milwaukee Tools Symposium. Milwaukee has been busy developing and introducing a lot of new tools, and some of them really hit the mark. I’m headed to Chicago for the Bosch media event, and I’m curious how it’ll compare. Follow me on Twitter for instant news and pictures.

M12 Band Saw

The M12 Band Saw (#2429-21XC) is a sub-compact band saw that weighs 6.75 lbs. It only takes one hand to operate, and it’s perfect for working overhead. The 1-5/8″ cutting capacity makes it great for cutting things like 3/4” EMT, 3/8” threaded rod and 1-5/8” x 1-5/8” Unistrut. I tried the band saw on PVC, copper, rebar, angle iron and Unistrut. It cut well, albeit slowly through the rebar. I could see this being a great addition for a plumber, electrician, HVAC specialist and more.

M12 Heated Jackets

The M12 Heated Jacket was wildly successful, and Milwaukee is riding that wave by introducing a few new styles, including a much-requested black version. Some of the other upgrades include a fleece liner, independently controlled heated pockets, and a powered USB port for charging portable electronics.

The high-vis version lacks some of the niceties (heated pockets, USB charging) in lieu of ANSI class III certification, a removable hood and a 12v DC plug adapter (cigarette lighter adapter).

Modeled here by Jay from CopTool

Torpedo Levels

I’m always amazed when manufacturers pack new features into a seemingly mundane product, and that’s exactly what Milwaukee did with a pair of new levels. The first level (#48-22-5109) can ream pipe and PVC and has magnets spaced for popular-sized pipe diameters.

The second level (#48-22-5009) is designed to hang from light switches and outlets to ensure a perfect install, features a clever notch to go around pipe seams and includes readouts for 0°, 30°, 45° and 90°.

M18 Fuel

M18 Fuel is the 18v, brushless motor lineup and brushless motors are a hot-topic right now. Milwaukee is responding with a slew of new products including drill/drivers, impact drivers and impact wrenches.

We had a fun time testing them out and even burned out a competitors product (see the smoke). I won’t quote you numbers, and I’m eager to run my own testing to see just how well these brushless motors perform. Milwaukee has also been working on battery technology, but I can’t say more than that.

M12 Universal Dust Extraction

Dust extraction is another target for manufacturers because of increased focus on health concerns, and the M12 Universal Dust Extractor (2306-22) works with all rotary hammers, including competitor’s product. It’s powered by a separate M12 battery and features replaceable HEPA filters.

Milwaukee showed us all these tools and more. If you have specific questions, I’ll field them as best I can or try to track down the right answer. I’m headed to Bosch later today so look for more tool news to come!

16 Responses
  1. Besides having additional heat zones the m12 jacket looks a little longer then the one I have. I have an ape torso so I welcome any additional length. Can you comment on the 18V adapter?

    • Ethan says:

      It’s obviously a big bulkier and the jacket needs to have the expanded battery pocket (all Season II and Season III jackets) to fit. They claim up to 18 hours of runtime. However, that’s gotta be on it’s lowest setting. As I’m sure you know, the 12v battery gets you about 2 hours on the highest setting, and if I’m packing a heated jacket, I probably need it more than 2 hours. For that reason, I think this is a good accessory to pick up.

  2. PhotoEthan says:

    Guess I was right to wait on the Milwaukee Fuel instead of jumping for the Makita (that’s totally a Makita brushless drill driver). Not all that into the rest of it but I can see why people in certain climates or doing certain jobs would be.

    From what I hear Adam Savage’s (from Mythbuster’s) favorite tool is the 18V version of that band saw. Someone should tell him this came out so he can have one to keep in his coat pocket.

    But seriously how effective was the Universal Dust Extractor?

    • Ethan says:

      The dust extractor worked really well. They had us drilling overhead through concrete and normally that sucks because you’re getting dust all over your face. With the dust extractor, the dust was minimal.

      • PhotoEthan says:

        Awesome. I’ve been drilling one handed while holding up a vacuum but there are some situations in which that is awkward and some in which it’s a bit dangerous.

  3. PhotoEthan says:

    Also, did any of the Milwaukee people mention if they plan to offer both the fuel impact driver and drill/driver or hammer drill/driver in a combo kit?

  4. David says:

    I’ve been fond of Milwaukee products and you gave me just what I needed, the list of most recent products. The Heated Jacket is what I’ll go for this time.

  5. Icarus says:

    More stuff I don’t *need*but will somehow justify getting 😉

  6. thillman says:

    The jacket looks really neat. My only issue is I like to limit the types of batteries I have to charge. (I don’t know if anybody else does this or if the pros just suck it up and have a ton of different brand batteries and chargers) Currently I’m a ryobi and Dewalt user but the Milwaukee inspection camera with the ability to record might be a good reason to get into the M12 line. As always, thanks for the info.

  7. The Frisco Kid says:

    Thanks for the updates from the Symposium! I read this article as soon as it hit, but I forgot to login and say thanks. I finally bit the bullet and jumped from my standby Craftsman 12V gear to the M12 stuff. Soooo much better! Still need to add a few pieces, but it looks like a serious contender for most used tools in the shop. Light, strong, and flexible. Thanks again!

  8. Reuben says:

    Milwaukee is doing some cool stuff, although the heated jacket seems a bit indulgent. Ask me again in 4 months when it’s below zero here in Minneapolis.

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