Yes, I know that this is starting to look like “Milwaukee week” (again), but there’s good reason for it. I really just want to wrap up my product coverage from their media event. I tried to do it all in one post, but there simply were just way too many tools to cover, photos to share, and things to say.
This post will be a catch-all for all of the remaining hand tools I hadn’t talked about before now. Most of these tools will be coming out in late 2015 or early 2016.
Earlier, I posted about the new Milwaukee adjustable wrenches, PVC pliers and huge adjustable pliers, the all-new pipe wrenches, customizable pipe wrench, and plumbing tools, and the new EDC knives & FastBack III.
New Milwaukee Tape Measures
My Milwaukee “what’s new” cheat sheet says that there are new 30′ and 35′ tape measures coming out this year. I was too busy looking over the ball bearing tool storage cabinet when they discussed the new larger tapes, so you’ll have to wait on those details.
But isn’t this new 6-foot Milwaukee keychain tape measure the cutest darned thing? Looks like Stanley’s EDC-able 6-foot tape measure will soon face some competition.
ETA: The 30′ and 35′ tapes are coming out in Sept. 2015, the keychain tape measure is coming out in November.
A Folding Rule
There’s also a new composite folding rule. I really like my Swiss-made pocket folding rule, this one looked okay too.
Wire Strippers and Multi-Use Strippers
On the left are low-frills wire strippers, and on the right is the new 6-in-1 combination pliers. These are both prototypes, so the final designs might change.
I like the wire strippers on the left, and hope that Milwaukee comes out with another one that covers smaller wire gauge sizes. They probably won’t, as 22-26 gauge isn’t really used by electricians. Am I wrong? But I use smaller gauge wires as much as larger gauge.
The plain Jane wire strippers don’t look much different from my Stride-made Craftsman wire strippers, or Klein’s wire strippers (which I believe are now being made by Klein themselves).
It’s been a while since Milwaukee launched their first generation of pliers, which included a 6-in-1 long nose pliers and wire strippers combination tool. This new 6-in-1 has curved cutter blades, which should help with cutting larger wire and cables, and what looks like longer and narrower jaws.
On the current/previous 6-in-1 pliers, the jaws are tapered inwards. With these, the inner wire stripping part of the jaws are tapered outwards, giving the pliers a more parallel outer geometry. It will be interesting to see how well the two versions compare. It looks there will be lanyard holes built into the handles.
ETA: March 2016
Hey, a new hacksaw! That was unexpected.
It looks like the new Milwaukee hacksaw has a quick-change blade, and possibly tension adjustment mechanism. Sorry, I wandered away from this talk too.
I’ve got a Bahco-made Craftsman hacksaw (made in Sweden) that I really enjoy using, but I’m not one to snub new designs. This one looks alright, and comes with a USA-made Milwaukee blade.
ETA: Feb 2016
More Inkzall Markers
Milwaukee’s Inkzall markers came out only a year and a half ago, and they’re already expanding the lineup. New additions include paint markers, and metallic markers.
ETA: Feb 2016
There’s also a chalk reel, with geared line return. Milwaukee says that the chalk reel, with its StripGuard clutch and planetary 6:1 gear ratio, has the longest gear life and is best performing.
Here’s a partially disassembled chalk reel, in case you wanted to see what the gearing looks like.
ETA: Feb 2016
No, Milwaukee isn’t getting into the combat knife business (although they are entering the spring-assist folding pocket knife market) – this is a duct knife.
They’re also coming out with plain edge and serrated insulation knifes.
All three of these knives have full-tang construction, and there’s a viewing hole in the handles in case you forget. Each comes with its own sheath, with the duct knife sheath also featuring a belt hook.
ETA: Aug 2015
Large Connection Crimpers
I almost missed that there are new hand crimpers. These were presented alongside the new ForceLogic crimpers that I’ll show you in an upcoming post.
Linesmen should appreciate the large tether attachment points built into each handle.
Hmm, I wonder how long it’ll be before Milwaukee comes out with bolt cutters. The only thing they would have to do differently is change up the shape of the tool head, right? Maybe they haven’t come out with bolt cutters yet because they cannot make them with competitive pricing.
My “what’s coming out” cheat sheet from Milwaukee lists a couple of other new hand tools that either weren’t present at the media event, or I somehow missed them completely. Seeing as there were a number of prototypes, maybe they weren’t ready in time or were broken by other media attendees.
- 12″ PVC Saw (Nov 2015)
- Reaming Pen (Nov 2015)
- New Pliers (Nov 2015)
- Milwaukee I-Beam (Feb 2016)
- More TorqueLock Locking Pliers (Mar 2016)
A reaming pen (Ream-all?), what I could only guess is an I-beam level that’s different from Empire’s new box beam levels, and more pliers. Sounds good to me.