Milwaukee released their new 24″ hardtop rolling tool bag earlier this year, model 48-22-8220. This wasn’t the first we’ve seen of this bag, – I mentioned it last June in my Intro to the Milwaukee New Product Symposium 2016 post. I was impressed when I saw it there and while I haven’t been able to put it through any of the torture tests Milwaukee showed us, I haven’t been disappointed by my test sample.
Milwaukee wanted their rolling bag to be the most durable and versatile rolling bag in the industry. With 53 total pockets and measuring 16″ deep by 25″ wide by 21″ tall, this bag can carry a LOT of tools. You can stack even more on the hardtop of the bag for extra capacity. In total, the bag can handle a load of up to 250 lbs.
There are pockets-galore in the main compartment, and also ample space for bulkier items, such as cordless power tools, extension cords, a caulk gun, or other such items.
The front panel folds down for even more storage. Users will likely want to use this compartment and its storage pouches for quick-access tools.
The toolbag even has 4 drink holders – two on the hard top and a pocket on either side.
The two metal-rimmed wheels have have full bearings and “all-terrain” 6-inch tires which attach to a full-length metal axle.
The bag itself is made from 1680D ballistic material, and both the bottom and back of the bag have metal skids for added protection. This means you can roll the tool bag over rough terrain or pull it up stairs, without worrying about accelerated wear and tear.
When the Milwaukee product manager was showing off the bag at NPS16, they seemed proudest of the handle. The rectangular telescoping handle is oriented so that the widest part of the tubing is running front to back. This does make it stick out farther from the bag, but it gives the handle much more rigidity in the direction that you are pulling the bag.
The tool bag is available at all the usual Milwaukee tool dealers. It’s available at Home Depot, but it does not look to be widely available in stores yet.
Now thru 7/31/2017, some retailers (such as Acme Tool and Tool Nut) are throwing in a free M12 Jobsite speaker when you purchase the 24″ hardtop tool bag.
Update: Home Depot has the promo too – Buy Now.
A Closer Look at the Features
From the outside, it looked like the wheel had an outer bearing, but I wanted to see the axle and the other side of the wheel. The whole axle spins so I had to clamp down in it with a pair of Vise-Grips to hold it while I loosened the screw. Sure enough the wheel has two bearings
It looked to me like the axle was solid not tubular. To make sure, I probed the bottom of the threads in the end of the axle and my pick bottomed out.
The hard rubber inserts in the top lid capture the handle rails. This keeps the top open when you are accessing the inside of the bag.
The V-groove in the top can help hold round stock if you need to make a quick cut.
In the process of writing a review, I usually try to have the tool with me by the computer whenever possible. As I was writing, I looked at the bag and noticed a seam in the lining running up both sides and across the bottom at the front. Upon closer inspection I found a zipper.
I unzipped the lining and pulled it out of the bag as far as I could but I couldn’t remove it because it is sewn to the top of the bag. There’s nothing there except connection points for all the corner guards and skids on the outside of the bag.
This made me wonder why they used a zipper to hold the lining together. Is it a “secret” compartment where a Milwaukee Tick or other tracking module can be stashed away? Or is it just a convenient way of assembling the bag?
Loading up the Bag
I really don’t move my tools off my property much anymore, but I figured I’d load up the bag with some of the tools and supplies I used to bring when I did computer service calls. Most of the tools I carried fit into a tool tote, but I still would have to carry parts and a laptop separately. I wanted to see if the tool bag could hold it all.
This was pretty typical of what I would carry: my laptop, an extra CPU and power supply to swap out, an extra switch, supplies to make custom length networking cable, an 11-in-1 screwdriver, Bosch PS-21 cordless screwdriver, a set of drills and bits, and various other computer connectors.
Milwaukee says the inside pocket is for tablets, so it’s no surprise that it wasn’t big enough for my ThinkPad. It did fit in the outside pocket, but I’d rather it be protected inside the bag than in an external pocket.
There was plenty of room for more hand tools and I could have probably stuffed in more supplies, not to mention that I could strap an extra monitor or full sized PC on the hard top using the large D-rings and handle.
This is not a light bag, even with side handles. A fully loaded bag is going to be difficult to carry up and down stairs. So to move between floors you are probably going to roll this bag up and down stairs. I tested this in the short video above. It might be slow but it’s definitively possible.
The only real difficulty I have with the bag is that I have a hard time getting the handle to extend or retract once it is locked in place. You can’t just press your palm over the button, you have to intentionally jab your thumb hard in the center of the button or the handle won’t release. Sometimes I have to use both of my thumbs. This may be intentional to prevent it from accidentally being released, or it’s something that might get smoother with use.
At $200, this bag seems a little expensive for a rolling tool bag, but when you think about it there are other more modular systems out there like Dewalt Tough System carts and Festool Sys-Roll that rival the Milwaukee bag for price. It all depends on what your specific needs are.
I’m not sure why this is classified as a bag, it really is a plastic toolbox with a cloth covering. Maybe they call it a bag because you can’t really lock it. That is a real potential downside if you are worried about your tools walking off the site, but even if it locked, it is a rolling bag, there’s nothing stopping someone from rolling away with it.
At its best, this tool bag will allow you to carry everything you need into a jobsite safely in one trip. And hey, it makes a great seat for break time complete with beverage holders.
Thank you to Milwaukee for providing the review sample unconditionally.