Shown here is Milwaukee’s RedLithium USB (4V Max) Li-ion battery pack. It can be recharged from within a tool, or outside the tool in an optional charging dock.
The RedLithium USB battery pack can power a growing selection of personal LED lighting products, as well as new heated gloves and digital levels.
Shown here is Milwaukee’s M4 cordless screwdriver.
Some of you mentioned hoping that Milwaukee combines the two technologies to create a new RedLithium USB cordless screwdriver.
If they DO come out with a tool like that, I’d expect for it to be more compact than the M4 version and for it to perhaps feature some kind of new tech. Well, at least “new to Milwaukee tools” tech.
So what are they waiting for?
Milwaukee won’t tell us their plans for the RedLithium USB product family. When we asked last year, we were told that they are focusing on personal lighting products, and then (very understandably) politely gave us a standard type of non-answer. We can only speculate.
The way I see it, either they’re working on something amazing that requires a longer R&D process, or perhaps they’re waiting until RedLithium USB gains popularity and spreads around a little.
That later part makes the most sense. What kinds of tools will drive more RedLithium USB tool sales, something like an LED worklight or flashlight, or a cordless screwdriver?
The RedLithium USB system holds a ton of potential. Just look at what kinds of tools were available in Ryobi’s Tek4 system. We posted about Tek4 tools a couple of times, and looking back, the tools would likely do a lot better today if they featured RedLithium USB-like built-in charging and optional charging dock compatibility. Maybe.
Do you remember the Ryobi Phone Works products? “Flop” comes to mind. Good in theory, not in practice.
Craftsman’s V4 cordless tool system sold very well, because it was discontinued and clearanced shortly after being launched. To this day I still can’t understand let alone explain what happened there.
Many independent 4V-class tools sell reasonably well as individual tools. 4V-class ecosystems? They don’t really exist.
M12 expansion tools are focused on hand tool replacement items, unique innovations, and compact tools.
RedLithium USB is focused on personal lighting, heated gloves, and levels. The products so far are tools where an M12 battery is way too big, and alkaline batteries not powerful enough.
Is the RedLithium USB battery capable of powering a cordless screwdriver? Certainly. A cordless screwdriver suited for construction or tradesman use? Ah…
3.6V or 4V Max cordless screwdrivers typically deliver up to 40 or 50 in-lbs of max torque. Is that enough for a lot of tasks? Absolutely. Is that enough to match users’ expectations of what a Milwaukee cordless screwdriver can do? That’s a different story.
We’re going to have to wait to see what happens. In the meantime, raise your hand if you’d be interested in a RedLithium USB screwdriver. What other new compact cordless Milwaukee tools or accessories would you want to see powered by this battery platform?