Raise your hand if you want Milwaukee to come out with an M18-powered cordless air compressor.
So, why not Milwaukee?
Milwaukee has a couple of air nailers, but it’s not a tool category they are particularly well known for. In recent years, Milwaukee has been expanding and improving upon their line of M18 Fuel cordless nailers. Now that’s a product category that has been growing in popularity.
Does Milwaukee offer any corded air compressor solutions? I don’t think I’ve seen any, and a quick web search doesn’t turn up any such products. So, with a cordless air compressor, they’d be starting from scratch. Well, kind of.
TTI, Milwaukee’s parent company, is also responsible for Ridgid and Ryobi cordless power tools and accessories at Home Depot, and so there should be some manufacturing know-how, in theory. Or, maybe existing contracts for products or components not produced in-house.
Would users want to see a standalone Milwaukee cordless air compressor, or perhaps an air compressor that’s built into a Packout tool box or rolling tool box?
Would the compressor be powered off a single Milwaukee M18 battery, or might a hypothetical product have the option to connected two batteries?
What about the air tank capacity – 1 gallon, 2.5 gallons, or maybe a little larger?
Milwaukee is quite capable of venturing into new cordless power tool territory. So why haven’t they come out with a cordless air compressor yet?
How might a cordless air compressor disrupt the market? That’s the question to ask, and is likely the question Milwaukee Tool product managers are themselves asking.
With that in mind, here’s what I think would be be nice to see in a cordless Milwaukee M18 air compressor:
- Corded or cordless operation
- At least a 2.0 gallon capacity air tank
- Packout-compatible design, possible with internal hose (and cord) storage
There are several challenges with fitting an air compressor into a tool box enclosure, or tool box-sized geometry. First, a Packout air compressor will be larger than competing models, unless they went with a small capacity and half-size Packout. For a larger compressor, you can add a handle and wheels, like on the Packout cart, but that’s going to make for an even bulkier and heavier setup.
For Milwaukee’s first cordless air compressor, they might skip Packout compatibility. That might cost them some attention, but would probably result in a smaller, lighter, and more convenience package.
Milwaukee has been developing cordless versions of air tools – M12 die grinders and ratchets, and M18 air nailers and impact wrenches. That’s a lot of different solutions. How many different sized cordless air compressors would they come out with, in theory? Maybe one size, aimed at replacing 1 to 6 gallon pancake style or hot dog-style air compressors, with general and construction nailer applications in mind?
I’m sure Milwaukee can build a cordless air compressor, and I’m sure they can build a good one. But what kind of cordless air compressor would users be most interested in?
I’m also wondering about the potential for Milwaukee to shatter the mold. Maybe we’ll see some kind of modular Packout air compressor, with two different sizes of air tanks, or even the ability to stack a couple of air tanks. You can have a motor box, a compact tool box for hose and tool or accessory storage, and then full-width Packout-compatible air tank modules that are connected to the compressor via quick-connect coupler.
Does a Milwaukee cordless compressor need to be “disruptive” for it to succeed on the market?
If Milwaukee came out with an M18 Fuel air compressor, would you buy it? What features or specs would you like to see?