I stopped by a crafts store the other day, and 3 techs were working on a customer service register. Nearby, they had a Milwaukee Packout tool box stack, along with a tote and slim organizer. On top of the Milwaukee Packout tool box stack was a vacuum and spool of wire in a crate.
Might these techs have purchased a Milwaukee Packout cordless vac instead of placing a small corded vac inside of a plastic tote box?
I love seeing tool storage products “in the field,” and it was interesting to see this Milwaukee stack being used by retail service techs. The vacuum sitting on top of the Packout stack also brought a recurring question to mind.
Users have asked us on many occasions – when will Milwaukee come out with a cordless Packout vacuum?
In my opinion, a Packout vacuum might be a little cumbersome. If it’s the size of a large Packout tool box, it might be too bulky and heavy to move around easily. Where do the accessories go, such as the hose, extension wands, and nozzles? That could be why we have not seen any hint of a Milwaukee cordless Packout vacuum yet.
It seems to me that a Milwaukee M18 Packout vacuum, corded or cordless, might be wrought with compromises. I suppose that the new dolly could be used in case caster wheels are desired for greater mobility. Or, if the design isn’t compromised, it’ll likely be large, premium-featured, and premium-priced, which might hinder sales.
Festool’s CT SYS dust extractor vac is a good product, but it is also a little compromised. With a filter bag, it has a 3.5 liter collection capacity, or around 0.92 gallons. There’s a lot of space in the Systainter-compatible package dedicated to hose and power cord storage.
For Milwaukee to make a cordless vac in a Packout form factor, they would also have to set aside space for a battery compartment that can fit battery sizes up to M18 12.0Ah.
It’s certainly possible. Milwaukee has a new M18 Packout jobsite radio coming soon. Maybe some of the lessons there can help with how they design a Packout vacuum. Since Milwaukee is driving towards a “cordless jobsite,” the vacuum would definitely be cordless, or perhaps cordless with an extension cord port for corded operation.
Dewalt has a FlexVolt cordless vacuum. Some users have bemoaned about its Tstak and not ToughSystem compatibility, but I’d think that the reasons for this are similar. Stepping up to a large tool box form factor complicates the possibility for such a cordless vac to be compact, portable, and convenient to work with.
Smaller cordless vac sizes tend to me more convenient. And if you need more power or holding capacity, that’s when larger self-contained vacuums are desirable.
I would predict that Milwaukee IS working on a cordless vacuum, and it might even be Packout-compatible (perhaps with accessories), but there’s a much higher chance that it’s a floor model or base unit. Perhaps there are two battery compartments for single or dual battery operation for longer runtime.
I’d visualize this hypothetical vacuum as being a little larger than Milwaukee’s Packout rolling tool box, perhaps with the rear wheels moved outwards a little and with swivel casters in front. If it’s hard to make a good Packout-compatible vac that fits a smaller volume, they might as well increase its size to make it more usable. Right?
They can design and market a Packout-compatible cordless vacuum. Maybe there are different reasons we haven’t seen one. Perhaps Milwaukee simply wanted to let their Packout system grow in popularity before investing the time and effort resources into marketing a vacuum.
A Packout cordless vacuum might be marketed towards two different types of users – current Packout tool box system owners, and potential new users. A lot of the new Packout products and accessories coming out seem to be aimed at existing users. Something like a cordless Packout vacuum, on the other hand, might be introduced at a time when new user sales slow down, if that hasn’t happened already.
Milwaukee has been expanding their Packout tool storage product family, but they have not yet come out with a Packout-compatible vacuum. Would you want to see a small cordless Packout vac? A larger bottom-unit vac? Something different?
What features would you want to see in a Milwaukee Packout cordless vacuum?