Milwaukee has come out with their new M18 Top-Off (model 2846-20), a 175W power supply that allows you to tap into their Li-ion cordless power tool batteries in new ways.
This is Milwaukee’s first M18 cordless battery power supply to feature a 120V AC receptacle and also a USB C port.
Here are the 3 main selling points:
- Faster Device Charging
- Simultaneous Power
- Portable Power, Anywhere
Milwaukee Top-Off Features & Specs
- USB-C PD port (45W max output)
- USB-A port (2.4A max output)
- 120V AC receptacle (175W max output)
- Separate on/off buttons for USB and AC ports
- Adjustable rafter hook
- Fits ALL M18 batteries
- Weighs 0.8 lbs (bare tool)
Here’s a look at the top interface.
On/off buttons for the USB ports might not seem like a big deal, until you use other brands’ adapters and find that they’ll drain your battery even if nothing is plugged in.
The new Milwaukee Top-Off is designed as a multi device charger, for charging whatever it is you need recharged.
It’s got a rafter hook, too.
Here. the Top-Off is shown attached to the side of a work cart.
Milwaukee emphasizes that the Top-Off can power small devices and electronics, but is not intended for use with power tools or kitchen appliances.
It’s also not compatible with their M12 heated jackets or other gear, likely due to its size, but possibly also because of the air vents. Not that anyone would really try to stash this in their heated jacket pocket, right?
You get up to 75% device charging compared to conventional wall chargers, thanks to the USB-C PD (power delivery) protocol.
You get faster simultaneous power, thanks to the Top-Off’s ability to power each port all at the same time.
This chart shows approximate runtime and charging capabilities for the Top-Off when paired with different Milwaukee M18 batteries, ranging from compact 2.0Ah to HD 12.0Ah.
Here’s how it looks with an XC 8.0Ah battery.
Or with an HD 12.0Ah battery.
And finally, with a compact 2.0Ah battery.
Here is a handy “what can it do?” reference chart that Milwaukee put together for all of their M12 and M18 power ports and chargers.
Milwaukee Tool emphasizes that each port on the M18 Top-Off maintains full power even when every one is in use. For example, you can power your laptop while the USB-A and USB-C ports are in-use recharging other devices.
Most other multi-port chargers distribute their maximum charging rate across several ports, and so you encounter longer charging rates if more than one device is plugged in. Not so with the Top-Off, hence their faster simultaneous power claims.
Here is what is quite possibly the biggest selling point of the Top-Off:
Users can instantly set up a mobile workstation or keep electronics securely within eyeshot, rather than making frequent trips to a wall outlet.
The rafter hook adds to its versatility.
Price: $99 for the bare tool
ETA: November 2020
The new Milwaukee Top-Off seems to be a very capable portable multi-port M18 power adapter.
I’m very eager for a larger multiple battery AC power station, but this seems like a very convenient adapter for those who want an AC port or USB-C PD charging capabilities.
Perhaps a future version might feature a built-in LED worklight or additional USB-C ports in lieu of the AC port?
I’m glad that the USB ports are covered – I’ve had problems with my previous USB-C smartphone not charging properly due to dust accumulating and compacting in the “waterproof” charging port over time. If you’re worried about sawdust or other jobsite dust falling into the AC port, child safety covers are cheap prevention – $4 buys you a 30 pack via Amazon.
How Does it Compare?
There aren’t a lot of battery-powered multi-port and AC port adapters out there. Perhaps the closest comparison to the Milwaukee M18 Top-Off is the Anker Powerhouse 200. Let’s take a look at that model, for context.
It features 213Wh of charge capacity, or nearly the equivalent of a Milwaukee M18 HD 12.0Ah battery (216 Wh).
The Anker has more ports – a 12V auto DC port and a second USB-A port. Its USB-C port can deliver 30W max, and its USB-A ports 15W max (likely combined). Its AC port can deliver 100W max, and its car outlet port 60W max. All together, the Anker can deliver a maximum power output of 100W.
The Anker has a display and polished consumer-friendly enclosure. It recharges via included AC adapter, optional USB-C PD charger, or optional DC output solar charger.
The Milwaukee Top-Off can deliver 175W via AC, 45W via USB-C PD, and 2.4A via USB-A (~12W). So that’s a max output of ~232W. The pricing is very different – $260 for the Anker and $99 for the Top-Off plus the price of whatever M18 battery you want to power it with.
Overall, I’d say that the Top-Off seems like a nicely balanced jobsite-friendly design.