It’s 2am, and Milwaukee’s NPS19 new tool media event isn’t officially over for me until I put some fresh thoughts to paper.
Above – Paul Bunyhan’s new Phillips #2,042 screwdriver bit. Here’s the strange part – it’s a 3D printed model, but felt heavy like metal. This was a great way to show off subtle bit geometry details, and there were large drill bit models as well.
This year’s New Product Symposium was similar to previous years’ events, but also different. I always have an enjoyable time, despite how taxing it can be on my body and mind.
What always impresses me is the passion with which each and every Milwaukee product manager, engineer, and VP speaks. Everyone I spoke to, during the tour of their expanded and renovated HQ, at the event, and at dinner, beamed with pride when talking about their new product developments, past challenges, and future endeavors. They love what they do.
I was allowed to stray from the group and walk around the battery cell testing lab (hooray!). It had previously been a battery pack testing lab, and is now a cell testing lab. I was admittingly a little giddy to see the equipment they they use for R&D and quality assurance purposes, and it set my mood for the rest of the show.
Basically, what I saw was a well-equipped research lab far beyond what I would have imagined a battery cell testing room to look like. I learned a few bits and pieces about what specifically goes on in there, and each new detail impressed me further.
Let’s talk about the tools. I uploaded images to Instagram first, and am embedding them here. I know this isn’t ideal, but it was necessary for the sake of expediency. Our regular coverage style will follow.
Here’s a quick slideshow of some of my favorite new tools from Milwaukee NPS19.
There’s a new M12 Surge (woo) oil impulse driver, a very appealing-looking M12 “installation” drill/driver with multiple tool heads, a right angle die grinder, and new extended length ratchets.
On the M18 side, I was happy to see the rear-handled framing saw, the framing nailer, the updated brad nailer, and the crown stapler. There’s new 12” miter saw and a cordless compact router as well.
Milwaukee is also making a big push into personal protective equipment. There were respirators, goggles, gloves, hard hats, and hi-viz vests. We’re told there is much more to come in this space.
The M12 Fuel brushless installation tool is definitely my favorite of all the new tools so far. It’s a lot smaller and lighter than I would have expected from a drill/driver bearing M12 Fuel branding.
This is not even close to resembling the Milwaukee M12 Fuel multi-head drill/driver that came out in Europe, or the brushed model that came before it.
Interestingly, the max torque output of the new Milwaukee M12 Surge is the same as for the M18. I drove in a couple of screws with it, and it provided a smooth and quiet experience.
This is one of the most asked-for M12 tools, and the wait is finally over.
Sweet, here’s that new compact cordless router many of you had been asking for. It was easy and comfortable to use, although I only tested it with a roundover bit.
The new Milwaukee M18 Fuel 12” sliding miter saw cut nicely, and the blade left a smooth finish.
The Packout jobsite radio will be expensive, but it is well-featured and sounded great. We knew it was coming before we actually saw it, because of the music playing throughout the warehouse at different parts of the day. I felt that the music sounded crisp and clean, even at higher volumes.
There are 4 speaker pairs, one at each corner, and 2 subwoofers (one active, one passive).
Coming next April 1st, new Milwaukee cordless lamps…
Little things, like the lamp shades over the M18 Rocket lights, brought a little extra fun to the venue. The Packout tool box lounge chairs were especially amusing.
There’s plenty of more details and NPS19 new Milwaukee tool coverage to come. Stay tuned! Which of these new tools might you want to learn more about first?