Milwaukee introduced several new lighting products at their 2016 New Product Symposium, and two of them will be on the market shortly. The M12 metal flashlight which Stuart already previewed in April should be out at the end of this month (June), and the M18 Radius Compact Site light should be here next month (July 2016).
Both of these lights feature Milwaukee’s TrueView technology. TrueView uses advanced LEDs to get a consistent or uniform beam. The color temperature is also carefully chosen to reproduce colors accurately.
I had a chance to see both of these lights in action at Milwaukee’s 2016 New Product Symposium. Here’s a closer look at the metal-bodied M12 LED flashlight. We’ll discuss the M18 Radius light a little later.
From Stuart’s preview we already knew the size (9″ long and 2.5″), the construction (6000 series aluminum, with a Type II anodized finish), and the runtime with an M12 XC 4.0Ah battery:
- High mode (800 lumens): 5 hours
- Low mode (325 lumens): 7 hours
- Strobe mode (800 lumens): 7 hours
Runtime specs for the XC 4.0Ah battery is a bit strange, considering that the demo flashlights at the show, as well as all media images, show the flashlight being paired with compact 1.5Ah or 2.0Ah battery packs. The flashlight kit will also be bundled with a 1.5Ah battery.
With these smaller capacity batteries, the actual run times should be half as specified, and that’s if you go with the 2.0Ah battery. We also won’t mention how silly the light will look with the XC 4.0 battery hanging out the back.
Even so, if 5 hours with an M12 XC 4.0Ah battery pack means around 2.5 hours of runtime with a 2.0Ah battery pack, at the high output setting, that’s not bad. We’ve seen some handheld flashlights top out at under an hour of runtime when used at their high output settings, and that was nowhere near the 800 lumens this flashlight is said to pump out.
The power button is independent from the mode selection button, making it easier and more convenient to operate the light and change output modes. Have you ever been frustrated with a flashlight that forced you to cycle through several modes before getting to the one you actually wanted to use it at? Not with this one!
You can slide the head of the flashlight, rather than twisting it, to adjust the beam angle. Adjustments range from a wide flood light to a tight spot-style beam.
When the light is in spot mode, it can cast a beam of up to 375 yards. In flood mode, the flashlight casts a wide and evenly lit beam. The flashlight is sealed, for an IP54 rating for dust and water resistance. It weighs a hefty 1.2 lbs.
The bare flashlight will be priced at $99, and is due out this month, while a kit with a 1.5Ah RedLithium battery and charger will cost $149 and should be released next month.
You can still pre-order the bare flashlight at Acme tools for $99.
Price: bare flashlight $99, kit $149.
Buy Now(via Acme Tools)
Despite its unusual hourglass-shaped ergonomics, Milwaukee’s new M12 LED flashlight seems to offer many advantages compared to traditional handheld flashlights.
After having held the flashlight, I can say that I like it. It feels good in the hand and is well constructed. Sliding the head forward and backward to change from spot to flood light took me a while to get used to, but the action feels smooth and solid with no slop.
I think this flashlight faces a few hurdles though. First, it’s expensive for a flashlight; there are many great flashlights out there that can be had for half the price of this one, or even less. Second, for a flashlight this big, you’d expect a longer run time.