The new Milwaukee M18 Carry-on portable power supply (2845-20) made its debut at last week’s Pipeline 2022 media event.
This highly anticipated 15A power station features 1800W running power and 3600W peak starting power, and works with any Milwaukee M18 Li-ion batteries.
Additionally, it provides a pure sine wave AC output, which is suitable for powering everything from 15A tools to sensitive electronics.
While many tools with basic AC motor tools can handle the signal from “modified sine wave” power supplies and generators, many types of digital electronics work better with or even require a “pure sine wave” AC supply. With the M18 Carry-on’s pure sine wave output, this is something you won’t have to concern yourself with.
The Carry-on features (2) AC outlets, and both USB-A and USB-C PD charging ports.
M18 Carry-on Power Outputs
- 120V 15A (1800W total)
- USB-A: 5V, 2.1A (10.5W)
- USB-C: 5V/9V/12V/15V/20V, 3A (60W)
Milwaukee says the M18 Carry-on can be used for all kinds of tools and equipment, such as table saws, circular saws, air compressors, and pipe threaders.
It’s portable size can fit onto utility carts and scissor lifts, and allows it to be carried into confined spaces.
Each table in the group assembly area were equipped with Carry-on power stations, and media attendees made use of their USB charging ports in short order.
The Milwaukee M18 Carry-on can deliver longer sustained peak power through the most aggressive applications, such as table saws, and pipe threading.
As it’s powered by M18 batteries, the Carry-on does not generate any gas generator fumes, and can be used indoors. The Carry-on is also much quieter.
The Carry-on weighs 28 pounds without batteries.
The device is turned on with a single button, and has a 4-LED indicator fuel gauge.
A padlock can be used with adjustable lockbars to prevent unauthorized removal of the batteries.
D-rings on both sides can be used with a shoulder strap (49-16-2845, available separately).
I picked up the M18 Carry-on to get a feel for the weight. It’s not light, but it has a compact footprint and portable feel.
During the Q&A session at the end of the day, the Carry-on power stations’ fans were activating for short periods of time. They were audible, but not offensively so. Milwaukee says the noise level is rated at 66dB(a).
Milwaukee also designed the M18 Carry-on as a battery charger that’s capable of recharging all 4 attached batteries simultaneously. Its charging rate is 3A. You’ll need an appropriately-rated standard 3-prong extension cord for charging.
You can only charge the device when it is not in discharge mode. In other words, you can charge the batteries or use the batteries to provide an AC output, but you cannot do both at the same time.
Is this the Milwaukee M18 power supply you have been waiting for?
Price: $699 (tool-only)
ETA: August 2022
I’m very optimistic. Milwaukee cordless power tool users have been asking for a power supply like this for quite a few years, and I don’t think the M18 Carry-on will disappoint.
Obviously, you’ll want to use this with higher capacity batteries, but it will work with any M18 Li-ion batteries.
- Compact and convenient size
- 1800W output, 3600W peak
- 2x outlets
- USB-PD and USB-A charging ports
- Lockbars for safeguarding batteries
- Clear controls – pushbutton operation and fuel gauge
- Sturdy-feeling construction
- Roll-cage to protect batteries
- Pure sine wave output
- Works with standard 3-prong extension cords
- Works with any M18 batteries
- Cannot charge batteries and power tools at the same time
- A bit heavier than I anticipated
- No IP dust or water resistance rating
- No Packout connectivity (yet?)
As was true for past media events, Milwaukee Tool covered attendees’ airfare, hotel accommodations, and meals.
It’s a shame it can’t provide power through its ports when charging and then auto-switch in the event of a power cut.
Would make it a great UPS (uninteruptable power supply) for computer servers and other always on kit.
What a great point! Having such a feature will make me buy it.
In all honesty, why wouldn’t you just get a normal UPS?
If you looking at powering a server you generally want always on with 3 or 4 nines uptime. This is a portable unit. When would you want to down a server so you can unp;ug this and then use it elsewhere?
I work as a network engineer and just dont see the need to permanently use 4 batteries worth about $200 AUD each plus this when you can get a really good standard UPS.
For a single computer I think an UPS makes a lot more sense. But it really depends on what you want to use it for.
For $600 you can get a 1500VA UPS with pure sine wave output which includes batteries, while this Milwaukee with 4x 12ah batts costs $1600. So in terms of price per watt hour the UPS absolutely stomps the Milwaukee. You’re getting roughly twice the power capacity for less than half the money buying the UPS over the M18.
But this has two advantages over traditional UPSes. First it has a lot more power output. It may only be about 850 watt-hours capacity, but it can supply 1800 watts continuous and 3600 peak. It takes a very big UPS to match those numbers. A 1500VA UPS is going be more like 750W continuous and certainly nowhere near 3600 peak. While a modest UPS can only power relatively low power equipment this thing can power tools which a typical UPS could not handle.
Second it uses standard power tool batteries, which many contractors may already have lots of, and it can charge those batteries as well. That is of no real use in the IT industry but for contractors that’s a whole different story.
Looks like a quality unit. I like that it has pure sine output.
I was going to say that it’s surprisingly heavy and also remarkably expensive, but when I looked around at other options it’s actually not bad. For example, Ego’s Nexus Power Station is rated at 2000 watts continuous and 3000 watts peak–similar numbers to this Milwaukee. It weighs 44 lbs without batteries and costs $599. Now I wonder just what exactly is inside these things that makes them that heavy and that expensive.
It’s a pity that it cannot simultaneously charge batteries and provide power. It would be nice if it could act as something like an UPS where it provides power from the wall outlet whenever possible and uses the batteries only if the AC power is off or to provide extra power for short-term peak loads.
They have large Aluminum heat sinks to handle the amount of electricity passing through the boards, as well as larger conductors, windings, capacitors, transformers, etc. It definitely makes them heavy.
High wattage transformer need a big heavy metal core. These are not cheap or light.
There’s no need for a transformer in this device. A transformer is a device which converts one AC voltage into another. Here the source power is DC from the batteries so a transformer isn’t very useful. It’s possible to build an oscillator to convert the battery DC voltage to AC, and then to step-up that battery level AC to line level with a transformer but that would be a very inefficient way of doing things. Using a boost converter to raise the battery voltage makes a lot more sense. It’s much more efficient, the parts are smaller and lighter.
Like MFC mentioned there surely would be heat sinks involved to keep the main transistors cool, though there don’t need to be several pounds worth given the forced air cooling that Stuart mentioned.
I wonder if it’s an open or closed-loop boost converter.
Just to see if it worked – I tried to order it at Acme. Via Stuart’s link – Acme will not let you add it to your cart. But – if you add it to your wishlist – then you can add it your cart. Once in the cart – the 10% off (BOOM) coupon will not work – but a $10 off coupon (TCC10) will. I did not pull the trigger on the order – so I can’t say if it would go through to completion.
Typo here: “longer sustained peal power”
I’m glad Milwaukee released this tool. I know a lot of people have been asking for it.
I’m also curious what percentage of Milwaukee tool users are professionals using tools to get paid, and what percentage of Milwaukee tool users are “lifestyle” tool users.
When the M18 mower came out, Reddit was littered with people showing off their new $1000 mower and using it to cut the grass at home. I think there was maybe 1 post in which the guy said he purchased it for commercial use. Everyone else took pics of their shiny red mower in their garage, showed it cutting their 1/4th acre of grass, and said they got the mower mainly for the 2 12.0 batteries that would also fit their picture-hanging Milwaukee Fuel drills.
It seems that there’s a weekly post in the Milwaukee section of Reddit about how to insert a round drill bit into an impact driver collet.
Now I’m curious exactly what percentage of Milwaukee users are actually going to buy this for the jobsite and what percentage is getting this for the campsite.
I know Milwaukee basically doesn’t acknowledge the existence of its lifestyle customers, with the proclamation that it doesn’t try to make tools for homeowners but only professionals.
But it just seems to me that Milwaukee has become THE high-end lifestyle brand as well as a high-end professional tool brand.
Yeah, it’s the Apple of cordless tools and DeWalt is Samsung. I guess Makita is Google.
Dewalt used to be more robust…they’re more flimsy now. Milwaukee are more innovative.
Dewalt used to sell drills with plastic gears. The myth that their quality has somehow gone down over the years isn’t based on anything except their perceived popularity of then vs now. And they have definitely lost a good amount of popularity over the years.
they stopped with the plastic drills? Those are why I gave up on Dewalt and switched to Makita years ago. I burned out the plastic gears in 3 days. Covered under warranty, but still.
I’m now a Milwaukee. guy. From a pro perspective they are amazing
Yeah ok, thanks for the laugh
The first thing I thought of when I saw this was that I could use it for camping. My wife and I have been shopping for charge banks. Without an easy solar option and no pass through charging it is a little lackluster for camping. We went with an ecoflow. On thing the milwaukee does that I did not see in the camping versions is have a sustained output at 1800w.
I think Milwaukee and DeWalt are both probably common homeowner tools, mainly because of their prevalence in box stores and diy retailers. That is not a bad thing. Although, in my neighborhood Ryobi seems to be king. The Milwaukee M12 has some well priced entry level tools too. I have had milwaukee and Dewalt tools at home for years, because I liked them at work and wanted something nice for my home projects.
Thank you – *fixed*!
The mower is a tricky one. One of the local electricians has a van full of Milwaukee M18 tools and batteries. When it’s time for them to mow the lawn, which brand might they trade their old gas push mower in for?
Plenty of DIYers buy Milwaukee tools, but their focus is on Pro users.
Pros also sometimes buy and use tools designed for the consumer market.
Pro-focused tools are often designed to be more capable, more durable, more reliable. Of course such tools are going to be appealing to non-pros who want more trouble-free user experiences.
I’m a pro. Pros love Milwaukee.
I just bought the mower for semi-pro usage. $800 price with 2 12s finally made it worthwhile, even though I really don’t need new batteries.
But flip side, I have a bunch of 9s, which is Milwaukees worst battery design, and they are showing signs of dying
Where did you find the mower for $800 with the (2) 12s included? Best I have seen is $949
There was holiday sale on ebay that was 20% off a lot of tools and the milwaukee mower was included in the sale. Sadly the new ro buffer wasn’t included or I would’ve jumped on it.
Koko The Talking Ape
I wouldn’t rely on Reddit posts to give an idea of how many purchases are pros and how many are not.
I totally agree. Reddit (and Quora) are filled with people looking for and needing an audience to hear them. If you lookup the stats on some of these people, the ask 100’s of questions…sorry to say many of them are lame (question and people). They also thank and praise people for the amount of views or upvotes they get, sounds like the have a narcissistic disorder..
Here or other forums, people ask or answer questions. Sometimes people will thank someone for an answer they were looking for. But that’s it.
Stuart’s forum does not show views or upvotes/likes, but many do (like Garage Journal). On those website, people are not thanking others for the amount of views or likes.
All this to say, what you read on Reddit or Quora might be legit info, but 19 times out of 20, it is just someone who needs to be heard and might know nothing about the topic.
I’m glad to say I’ve never once asked a question on Quora. Many an answer. But never a question.
But that doesn’t really look that good does it? Hmmm.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees it. I’m mean I’m totally part of the problem too lol. I buy tools for work but I love all of my matching tools and boxes. Just added the battery holders in my work van and they look great!
Battery holders are better than having batteries scattered all over the place!!
Just a little too much. You can get a Battery inverter generator at the same specs with a 1200+ watt hour battery built in for $1000. $700 for a bare tool isn’t reasonable. Should be $500 and you’d have it on the brink of being too cheap and too expensive. Right where you want it. Of course, the marketing gurus of Milwaukee know better than I, so they’re probably right on that fulcrum as is, but not for me.
Can you share the example you’re referencing?
First ones I found just on Amazon. I would guess direct battery powered sellers would have more options and cheaper prices potentially:
So I am also thinking that the reason why the M18 compressor, new M18 vacuums and this power station do not fit with the packout, is because they have tested the packout feet at certain weights and found that it can’t handle above XX lbs. reliably.
The M18 compressor does not latch to Packout, but its feet do nest into Packout recesses. So, you can strap it on top of a Packout tower and it can be transported that way without much shifting.
With this, the Carry-on is too small for full-size footprint, and too large for half-size. I’m guessing they didn’t want to tie its size to Packout dimensions. Maybe eventually there will be a Packout-compatible version.
I also didn’t check to see whether this could be inserted into a Packout XL tool box. Maybe that’s the first thing I’ll do with a test sample if/once available.
Maybe it can nest, so as to put it on the of a Packout kit, but sandwiched in the middle of a Packout stack, it might not get proper air circulation and could possibly over heat, or melt whatever is on top or below it?
Yeah, that’s why I figured that weight was an issue because they made the compressor that way. Figured in a tip-over scenario the compressor would rip the feet or tabs off. And you know there would be guys that would leave it clipped in and pull it over when they yanked on their hoses. They were probably trying to minimize that risk.
I don’t get why they couldn’t have changed the form factor of the power station though. Dewalt made theirs to be 4 batteries in line, and I’m sure they could have done that with the M18 version, but I guess that’s why Milwaukee made the table. You want to mount something? Go ahead.
the vacuum not being packout compatible makes sense because it’s essentially a big rounded out hollow tub. Adding packout style supports, eccentric molding/shapes and latches would’ve blown the price point out of the water.
The Powerstation doesn’t make any sense. Dewalt already made theirs ToughSystem compatible 5 years ago.
I’m really happy with the Top-Off inverter that uses one M18 battery. This larger version would be a very nice addition. I’ve looked at using inverters intended for solar panels but have my doubts about those small companies (eg. Bluetti, Jackery) that have been in business for only a few years.
Unless if I missed it, there is no mention of how long it will last with the 4 x 12 amp batteries, example…if using with a 15amp power tool, expected longevity would be X number of minutes?
**** I tried the Toolnut link and received “Error 405 Not allowed”. I have received this error with Toolnut for over a month; are they still in business?
The watt hour capacity of this thing with 4 of the largest 12 amp hour batteries will be about 4*12*18= 864 watt hours.
A corded 15 amp tool uses, well, 15 amps * 120 volts = 1800 watts. That being said, it’s probably not drawing 1800 watts 100% of the time it’s on.
But really, the capacity of this power station is pretty small. If you’re running even 200 watts, this station will last 4 hours tops. Realistically probably 3 hours given conversion losses.
Depends on the size of the batteries an the load.
Personally, I’d figure watt-hours of batteries x 80% and then divided by the load wattage.
So 12Ah = 216 Whr x 4 = 864 Whr x 0.80 = 691. 15A load x 120 is 1800W, so close to 40 minutes of max continuous runtime.
In Milwaukee’s promo video, field testing contractors say they get a whole day out of 12Ah batteries and about half a day with 5Ah batteries.
I have built a few new homes and actually tracked the KWH usage on the meter. It’s surprisingly low, like 1KWH per 100sf of house from foundation to roof.
I’ve also built several on generator power. This would have been amazing, mainly for the reduced noise but also just not having to deal with gas.
Well done Milwaukee. Hey DeWalt make a 2.0 version of yours with pure sine wave ac power, usb outlets, charge output of 8amps x 4.
If we are splitting hairs I like the Dewalt form factor better simply because I can mount it to the wall in my shop to use it as a group battery charger. However on a job site it probably makes more sense for Milwaukee’s form factor. Locking up those expensive batteries is a great idea too.
Charging at 8 amps times 4?
I don’t think most power outlets are going to be able to feed 32 amps at 120 volts into the power station.
3-4 amps is really the limit for charging 4 batteries simultaneously without popping breakers.
He means 8 amps charging output, which draws around 2 amps from the wall.
Ah thank you. That makes a lot more sense.
My main question out of all of this would be, how does it compare to the MX version? Is it worth buying the MX now that this is out?
MX Fuel has the same maximum battery capacity: 864 watt hours.
72 volts * 6Ah * 2 batteries (XC406) = 864 watt hours.
So really it just comes down to what batteries you prefer.
You’d think that the MX Fuel would have a capacity advantage but nope. Not at all.
I may be wrong on this, but the MX fuel unit allows single battery usage as well as “plugged into outlet and charging while being used” mode.
The MX Fuel version does allow you to use just one battery. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t allow you to charge the unit while using it, though. I was just watching a video review of the MX Fuel and this is noted as a con.
I think I would have bought this 3 years ago but now honestly there are tons of “solar generators” out there that have similar power output and already have the batteries in them. Obviously not as robust but as an electrician I have plenty of tools that have to be treated with a little care.
I’m not sure if you mentioned it and I skimmed over it but I believe there’s one more potential con, and it’s that to my understanding the unit required all four battery packs installed to function. It’s not surprising given the rated AC power it can output given its being fed by 18V batteries. I just would’ve liked to see it be functional with maybe 2 packs but just rated to lower power output given the circumstance. To that point, you realistically want 4 HO packs (preferably matched) because if you mix battery types, it end ups kneecapping the whole rig. When you could have 3 12ah packs and one 6 Ah pack, but when the 6 goes out, the whole system goes down. I still love the concept, just curious how this implementation will play out with real world applications.
2 years ago I was building a house without electrical power and I would have bought this in a heartbeat.
Now… I’m not sure why my use case is. I’m a pro, and I basically have all the milwaukee cordless tools. It’s tough to think what I’d need 120 on the jobsite for, that wouldn’t be more easily solved by buying whatever battery tool I was missing.
Even when we have a plug nearby, which is frequent, we still don’t use it.
So in all seriousness, what are people going to use this for? I’m a tool junkie, so if someone made a good case I would buy one, but I’m having trouble figuring one out.
A lot of contractors still use AC tools – miter saws, table saws, etc.
One might set up tools in a driveway, porch, or yard, and then connect to an AC panel because the homeowner doesn’t have an easily accessible outlet in their garage.
Years ago, my parents were having some kind of work done outside, and the shed outlet kept tripping. I had to route their extension cord through a window to plug it into the kitchen, and it was a huge hassle.
Some use generators, but they can be loud and need to be located away from a house. It might not make sense to run a gas generator when AC tools are not in constant use, such as with table saws, miter saws, or air compressors.
We used to loan our truck-mounted diesel welder/generator to a local Scout Council.
I don’t think that they used it for welding – but at a camp that had limited AC power – so that they could string things like temporary lighting and power some AC small appliances or tools. They’d have these “beaver” weekends when volunteers would come out to work on things like cabins in the woods. Something like this battery-powered supply – might be useful (and less polluting/noisy) than a running a generator. But cordless lighting and the proliferation of cordless tools probably have also obviated the need for that welder/generator.
This also might appeal to those who need temporary AC power where and when thy experience power outages. I have a Kohler generator at my principal residence – but have used older Milwaukee and Makita power supplies at my summer home (during short outages) to charge cell phones, power modems and routers. This one, with a pure sine wave output, might be a better (albeit a rather more costly) solution for that situation.
On the jobsite – unless you absolutely need to use a corded tool (maybe a large router??) – I agree with you that this looks like a rather costly way to go for an infrequent use. But like everything else – once it hits the market – sales figures may tell a different tale. Like my Kohler generator, where no amount of logic could convince my wife that it had no real payback, these may sell more on speculative than real need.
I have the DeWalt Powerstation and I use to run my bosch 10″ tablesaw and Dewalt 10″ Miter Saw with it, but now I have a flexvolt miter and tablesaw. Currently I use the powerstation to power my SDS max rotary hammer, large air compressor (small one is flexvolt), 40,000 lumen floodlight, belt sander, mig welder, 1/2″ router table, 12″ planer and large Shopvac… It’s all occasional use, but it is needed for those random things.
Contractor here. Sometimes we need to cut power in an occupied home for half a day to replace a panel, or do some major wiring. This might be great to plug the owner’s fridge in. No extension cord needed, just plop it down inside next to the fridge. Modern fridges now only use 125-250 watts when running.
There are other occasions where a subcontractor has a specialty tool that’s not cordless. Once and a while that aligns with the power being out, or with exterior work when owners aren’t home and their outside circuit is off for some reason, or trips.
Lost time is very expensive and causes cascading schedule shifts. At $1700, this is the kind of thing that could pay for itself in a day. Much easier to keep in the van than a gas generator.
Yep, modern fridges really don’t use much power at all, aside from maybe the startup inrush.
That takes me onto a tangent:
Same with even portable AC units. There’s a reason battery-powered outdoor campsite AC units are viable today–they can be made to draw 100-200 watts.
For example: the EcoFlow Wave portable AC unit can run for 3 hours on the continuous cooling mode with its 1008 watt-hour add-on battery. This suggests that the power usage of the AC unit, when running, is in the ballpark of 300 watts. It can run for 8 hours if allowed to cycle the AC off and just run the fan for periods.
I would be kind of interested in some sort of M18-powered portable AC. I’d think that having one for a jobsite would be killer, even if it only meant cooling down a small area (again, the EcoFlow Wave only claims to cover up to 64 square feet).
The wattage requirements of modern AC units are in the ballpark of what a battery pack can reliably supply. The XC5.0 is perfectly capable of supplying up to about 900 or so watts peak. The M18 Top-Off is already supplying 175 watts. So at least from a power standpoint, it makes sense.
The harder part is likely the efficiency standpoint, and the energy standpoint. It might be hard/inefficient to use 18 volts to drive an AC compressor, who knows. And power tool battery packs do not have anywhere close to the energy density of purpose-built batteries offered by EcoFlow.
Makita’s already half-way there with their jobsite/campsite portable refrigerator running off 18 volts (and 40 volts if you so choose).
I think something that could spit out actual cold air, externally, rather than internally with a refrigerator, would be a killer tool.
Looks like purpose-built corded jobsite AC units already exist, too:
Would be interesting to see an actual viable power-tool battery-powered option, but I suspect that we are still a little far away from that reality using tool batteries. Unless you count plugging that unit into the M18 or MX Fuel Carry-On.
It probably wouldn’t be too much effort to modify a readily available 12, 24, or 48V inverter-less marine/RV air conditioner to run on a bank of Milwaukee 18V batteries using bought-from-Amazon parts.
You’d need Milwaukee-compatible battery receivers, as well as one low-voltage cutoff board for each battery (since Milwaukee puts its LVC into the tool, not the battery).
But even with three 12Ah batteries, your continuous-run time would be 90 minutes on low speed with a mini-split like this one:
90 minutes isn’t bad with 3 of the 12Ah batteries.
It’s an exciting time for sure.
We’re on the cusp of having more creature comforts outdoors that are actually affordable.
Back in 2018 when I was researching battery or low-voltage AC units for use when camping, none really existed.
Now there’s at least 2 major options for battery-powered campsite AC units.
Back in 2018 there was no Milwaukee M18 Top-Off. You couldn’t really expect to run a TV at the tailgate with a M18 battery. Now you can power up to 175 watts with a single M18 battery, which is easily enough for a few modern TV’s and even a few fans to keep everyone cool.
As battery energy density increases, I expect there to be even more creature comforts for the great outdoors and the jobsite. Not just TV’s. But also portable refrigerators (Makita). And perhaps even portable microwaves (I CONSTANTLY see this one being brought up: a jobsite microwave, so one doesn’t have to run to the nearest 7-11 to borrow their microwave).
Down the road (10 years, maybe 5 or less), these will be great for RV’s. Right now RV’s use generators which need to be low noise and typically run on the onboard LP tanks they carry.
When the runtime capacity increases just a bit more, these would be great replacements. Especially if they would recharge anytime the RV motor is running
My wife’s been RV shopping recently, and I’ve been boat shopping… and many of the options we’ve seen have solar+LiFePO4 powered air-conditioners.
On my current boat, I installed a 36V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery bank for less than $2k that powers my trolling motor, inflatable pumps, etc. This battery bank would have enough capacity to run one of the mini-split ACs from Cruise N Comfort (linked above) at 100% duty cycle all night.
On my next boat, I’ll have at least double that capacity… with an air-conditioner for summer overnights.
(These aren’t mega-yachts I’m talking about. They’re affordable 25 & 29 ft boats used primarily for nearshore fishing.)
So yeah, the technology is already available and is being offered in today’s RVs and cruising boats.
“Yep, modern fridges really don’t use much power at all, aside from maybe the startup inrush”
But if it cannot handle the initial inrush, then it is pointless. (which can be 2 to 5 times the power)
A $700 er supply and it doesn’t even include the strap?
Does seem a bit ridiculous that a $2 strap is a $25 option on a $700 tool.
This is, withiut a doubt, a great piece of kit but, something tells me, a small gas generator will be magnitudes cheaper, more reliable and will last a lot longer, again, I might be wrong but batteries are expensive, fuel isn’t, not comparing to them.
Please explain how a gas generator would be more reliable and why you think it would last a lot longer.
Consider a Honda EU2200i with proven reliability in commercial use, a simple design, and readily available parts. Compare it to the M18 12.0 with cells that Milwaukee didn’t make and finite number of charge/discharge cycles.
Regardless of whether one thinks the M18 12.0 is reliable/durable or not, the need for 4 batteries means one thing:
Each 12.0 battery has a (presumed) independent probability of failure. Let’s say that the sudden and premature failure rate is 5%. So the probability a 12.0 not suddenly failing without warning is 95%.
The station needs 4 functional batteries to run.
Therefore, there is a 0.95^4=81.4% probability of all 4 batteries working and therefore an 81.4% probability the generator will not experience a single and premature failure of one of the 12.0 batteries.
While an interesting theory, Milwaukee didn’t design the power station with 4 batteries for redundancy reasons.
Quite simply, it is easier to step up to 120V from a higher voltage. 4 batteries also means greater energy storage capacity. 4 batteries provides a larger “gas tank” than 3.
Dewalt’s 20V Max power station also has 4 batteries.
This is not like a RAID hard drive array where the loss of a drive can be compensated by other drives. Or, do cars have 4 wheels because of some kind of “presumed premature failure rate?” How far is a car going to get with the complete loss or failure of an entire wheel?
That said, I’m also sure that a 5% failure rate would be completely unacceptable to Milwaukee Tool and their users alike.
I suspect that, like many other (even well engineered and manufactured) things, both Honda generators, Milwaukee batteries and their power supply will all experience failure over their expected lifetimes. Many (if not most) component failures over time when plotted with number of failures for the fleet on the Y-axis versus time on the X-axis will be seen as a bathtub-shaped curve. There will be a higher incidence of what may be seen as early (or premature failures) – sometimes called infant mortality – linked to things like manufacturing defects. Then the curve will flatten out (bottom of the bathtub) for a period of normal life and random failures. Finally, the curve will steeply rise as old-age, wear-and-tear and end-of-life sets in.
So, with this device – you probably will have no “infant mortality ” among the 4 batteries in your power supply. But if Milwaukee sells 1 million of these (with 4 million batteries) – there might be some early failures in that fleet of batteries. Relying on 4 batteries to operate does increase the likelihood of experiencing an “infant mortality” failure – but the risk would seem very small and probably would show up early enough for you to know which battery failed.
In practicality the 4 batteries-to-operate reliability may not be a big deal. After all, if it’s one battery going bad, you can put in another battery. Additionally, as Fred points out with that bathtub curve reliability phenomena for most electronics, and the fact the Milwaukee should be catching quality failures with factory acceptance tests before the batteries ship, and that it’s a mature design battery failures should be low, much less than 5% over designed lifetime. What is much less recoverable is a fault in 1 of the 4 connection ports. That’s not a simple fix, back to OEM for repair. The saving grace is the connection ports are probably simpler than batteries, and have less environmental stress on them. Less heating, vibration, and not being dropped with a tool.
The honda generator has a proven track record, but it is only $600 less, requires fuel which will gum things up if not cycled through regularly, and has a significantly lower peak output. The Milwaukie stattion also has 4 batteries which may be useful in other tools.
I’d agree though that the Honda is more likely to still be usable after 10 and 20 years.
Is there a typo here ? “You can only charge the device when it is in not in discharge mode. In other words, you can charge the batteries or use the batteries to provide an AC output, but you can do both at the same time.” The first sentence contradicts the second one. Should it be “you can’t do both at the same time”?
Also. Do you have to push a button to change mode (charge or AC output) or it can switch between modes seamlessly? I’m wondering if you can charge it, and then it would switch automatically to AC output mode when batteries are fully charged
Sorry, you cannot do both at the same time. The original version had an emphasized not that seems to have disappeared.
You can use it as a power station, or you can charge the batteries, but not at the same time.
You turn the power on with a push button, and I assume that you turn it off and this enables charging mode. So if you have everything attached, you can presumably switch back and forth with the push button.
What would be needed electrically to do both? Turn it into a charging station. How much cost would it add? Would the size have to increase due to the expected higher heat or is that the reason can’t do both simultaneously? Thanks!!
Additional electronics would be required to make the unit do simultaneous charging and power output but the parts cost, size, and heat concerns would all be negligible. It would all be small logical circuitry, nothing big or power hungry would need to be added. That is not difficult technology, computer UPS aka “uninterruptible power supply”s have been doing this for many years.
True, but consumer UPS products have very long charging times and lead acid batteries.
Yes, most UPS units use lead-acid batteries and thus have long charge times but I don’t think that’s relevant here. It would be a trivial cost to make the charging faster. The only real difference is that most UPSes use lead-acid batteries while this uses modern Li ion batteries. And that’s really just a cost thing. There’s no reason UPS tech wouldn’t work with power tool batts, they just choose not to because it’s not relevant for their application.
Consider you can buy a 1500 VA pure sine wave UPS for about the same price as this Milwaukee power center. And that UPS *comes with batteries* while the Milwaukee does not.
I don’t know, and it would be hard to guess.
Also, if the discharge rate is faster than the charging rate, that can potentially be damaging or lead to unpredictable operation at the least.
Matt the Hoople
I think this could be useful in certain situations. The example of taking it up in the scissor lift to power coded tools for short periods seems like a good use. I’m not going to buy one even though O could find some spurious uses for it.
What I want to see if someone come out with a jump starter that runs off of a standard 18 volt tool battery. I’m already carrying around tools and batteries, would be great if I could use one to jump my truck when I forgot and left the headlights on.
This is my understanding of why tool battery based jump packs are hard to make:
The surge current required to jump start a really dead car battery lends itself more readily to pouch style batteries, which have large contact terminals and can send 800 amps across the contacts for a few moments without melting anything.
Cylindrical cells are naturally limited in terminal size, as the size of the terminal is related to the diameter of the cell.
That’s why power tool companies are making the jump to pouch batteries: larger terminals and can therefore provide more amps without melting anything.
There’s already field reports of people melting M18 batteries just by using the string trimmer.
It’s going to be very hard for a power tool battery, outside of the latest pouch cell batteries, to flow 800 amps for even a second.
Perhaps the battery could be used to charge a capacitor.
In any case, I think there’s like a 0.0000001% chance Milwaukee will make a car jump starter. Milwaukee is all about paying lip service to compatibility. The only way a Milwaukee M18 battery is going to reliably jump a car is when they move to pouch cells in 2023.
Milwaukee isn’t going to make a tool that clearly only works with their pouch batteries and nothing else. All the people plugging their XC5.0’s into the jump starter would complain that the jump starter didn’t work most of the time.
The closest power tool battery to a car jump starter is the Flex 10.0 stacked lithium battery, with 2500 watts of continuous discharge, or over 100 amps continuous. If it could discharge 200-300 amps for a few seconds, then it would be able to jump start most vehicles.
The 12.0 can absolutely put out 200 amps for a couple seconds. Keep in mind car battery cranking amp ratings allow voltage sag to 7.2 volts. So the challenge with using an M18 battery might be a converter than can half the voltage and handle that huge current. Unlikely at a reasonable price point. A new car battery would cost much less. Since there are better solutions, it’s unlikely to be done.
Even if the 12.0 can do it, I highly doubt Milwaukee is going to lock the tool to 12.0 batteries only, unlike, say, Bosch, which has a 12.0 battery that is physically different from the lower capacity batteries so it won’t fit on certain tools.
The concern would be the other batteries such as the “high output” 3.0 not being able to work.
You’re correct that using amps here is pretty imprecise but I figured since we’re working with 12v and 18v and amperages that are an order of magnitude greater than the voltages at play it’s not too different. But yes voltage sag to 7.2 would make a discussion in watts much more precise.
I use a M18 battery adapter with leads attached to it. Works great. 25$ on amazon.ca Attach some good alligator clips and your set. Careful though. If you leave it on too long. The wires tend to melt 🤪
Okay… as I sit here in my see-it-from-space Yellow DeWALT shirt, I am aware this product is not aimed at me. I want to acknowledge that nothing I have to say will have anything to do with my intentions or desires regarding purchasing this. This is pure opinion, coming from a very positive place in my heart and mind, grown for Milwaukee over the years because of Stuart’s articles.
Okay… Slow, calm breaths… I simultaneously think the weird “8” shape to it is ugly as hell, but am also overjoyed that Milwaukee went here. They made a very nice charging device, and power station. The features are good. The quality… well it screams Milwaukee, so the Quality is definitely there.
I just can’t kick this awful feeling about that cage design. There’s just this weird pyramid-like shape in the middle, doing all the work, and then there’s that weird cage that seems to do absolutely nothing better than a standard cube shape wouldn’t do better. I get there’s an attempt to be more minimalist than the DeWALT, I respect the hell out of that idea. But this just seems… is there such a thing as “Utilicool” in these cases? I’ve heard Stuart and others use the term “Tacticool” regarding some pretty awful EDC items… Somehow this power station is kinda whispering, demon-like, “Utilicool” to me.
Overall I both love and hate this thing. Love for Milwaukee and functional layout, Hate for “Utilicool” design of the cage.
Today’s Home Depot Special buy of the day reminded me that there is a Ryobi 40V power station that is 1800W pure sine, 3000W peak, 4500W starting (according to one page in the manual), and works with 1-4 batteries. That last bit is the most interesting feature.
Also, the Ryobi is parallel capable.
It’s not worth the money
The batteries are $300 dollars a piece, u need four.
And it’s not dust and water proof. There are better power stations that do alot more.
I’ll stick with my DeWalt power supply with 4 9ah runs all day! Got clearanced at hd bout 7 yrs ago for $350 kit with 1 flex/ 3 20v batteries. DeWalt drill with plastic gears? I guess you pay for what you get? I’ve had my 20v brushless hammer drill even longer and Milwaukee innovative??? Stop plz, they take other tool companies concepts and add a few nice features years later
And DeWalt power supply tops off one of my toughsystem stacks either ds carrier or rolling cart depending, I’m assuming Milwaukee will make this packout compatible adapter
with a few dozen m18 batteries , been waiting for this for a while. bought it mainly since I already had the batteries and a few times a month I need a simple source of AC. but, be advise, the actual run time for continuos duty loads is very short. for on continuos loads, the run time is fine. there is no solar charge feature and no pass thru charge feature and no auto cig lighter charge feature. you could possible run some m18 charges of another source of mobile AC or use milwaulkees mobile charge. it could get messy if you need continous loads power . I looked at the parts manual and there are some photos of the internals. very modular so I dont thing it would be impossible for future versions to have additional power options.