Milwaukee Tool showed off a new RedLithium USB worklight at their recent Pipeline 2022 media event, and while an interesting product in itself, the new light also indicates a change in strategy for the tool brand.
The new RedLithium USB automotive stick light features multiple lighting modes, an articulating head, magnetic mount, charging dock, and hanging hook. (We’ll post more about the new worklight shortly!)
And, it features a built-in USB-C charging port.
Goodbye micro USB!!
This is what product manager Jess Bulow had to say about it:
Moving forward, you’re going to start seeing USB-C integrated charging ports in all of Milwaukee’s RedLithium USB personal lighting products.
This is the first light to include a USB-C port. We know that this is cutting-edge technology, and want to stay up to date with that. We want to streamline the charging process for you, and don’t want you to have to look through all of your cords.
In 2023, you’ll see all of our RedLithium USB personal lighting products change over to that as well.
It’s great that Milwaukee is moving to USB-C for their future RedLithium USB personal lighting products, and hopefully other tool brands will follow.
Milwaukee launched their RedLithium USB platform in 2017, and have expanded it since then, with more lighting products, as well as other tools and gear such as digital levels, laser levels, and heated gloves.
Some of Milwaukee’s RedLithium USB lighting products have been on the market for as long as 5 years now, and so it’s fair to expect a mix of new and updated designs in 2023, all of which will feature USB-C charging.
See More Milwaukee RedLithium Tool News and Reviews
Many readers have been quite vocal about how much better they prefer USB-C charging ports compared to micro USB, mini USB, USB-A, and other older ports and charging standards.
I definitely welcome the change as well.
Here’s a brief video intro to the new Milwaukee RedLithium USB stick light with charging dock:
And about time! It is my biggest gripe with them.
USB-C was “cutting edge” five years ago, lol. It’s expected now. This was a marketing move to obsolete a huge quantity of existing tools. Way to go, Milwaukee. Take every last drop of money you can from your loyal customer base.
You’re an idiot. Shit changes. Get over it.
Please try to be civil.
There are ways to disagree with someone without resorting to name-calling.
USB-C pre-dates Milwaukee’s USB battery platform by quite a while. In fact, when it was launched there was immediate criticism here and elsewhere on the decision to make it micro-USB instead of USB-C which was clearly set to take over.
Now Milwaukee will migrate their existing products to USB-C, which will cost them a lot of money while confusing their customers and obsoleting their older tools.
If you don’t think this move was planned, well, you must not think Milwaukee product planners are very smart. I think they’re brilliant… for the company’s bottom line.
Or just buy a USB c to micro adapter…..what is so hard about that? It’s for charging only and it is not going to be pass thru charging so you won’t be using the device. Seems like a simple fix. Been doing it for years while cell phones are slowly switching over to USB c from micro or lightning.
USB-C connector change only or USB PD behind the USB-C connector for higher energy transfer rates?
These tools are powered by 3.6V batteries – do they need USB-C PD charging voltages and current capabilities?
Maybe it’ll go up to 3A, I don’t know. But if they do, 15W is max charging power they would need.
All phones use 3.7v batteries. But using 9V allows for charging at 18-27W. At only 2000mAh it’s not really needed and they probably won’t even use PD and just stick to regular USB BC due to the added costs of PD circuitry, but it’s nice to have. If, hypothetically, they were able to increase the capacity to 3000 or even 4000mAh, then PD at 5V3A or even 9V2A is going to become necessary.
Correction: seems like there are already 3000mAh RedLithium USB batteries, in this case 15W PD charging is necessary, they should maybe even use 9V2A. Samsung used 5V3A on the Flip3 (3300mAh) and people are complaining about slow charging.
But going above 5V 3A would necessitate always using a USB PD charger – correct? – as opposed to also being able to use USB-A chargers with an A to C cord.
I would assume Milwaukee is including new USB-C wall bricks and C-to-C charging cables.
Or we might get the same wall adapters but with USB-A to USB-C cables. The important part is the on-tool USB-C ports.
You can usually charge at up to 5V2A with a regular USB A charger and a USB A to C cable, via USB BC. Anything above that (5V3A, 9V2A, etc. ) will require a fast charging solution, which is usually PD these days.
I like this light a lot but the price seems a bit high
I own several of the redlithium usb products, and I’ll confirm that is basically the niche they are going for.
What’s the price?
$150 I’m pretty sure
$159 for the kit with charging dock,
Referring to USB-C as “Cutting Edge” seems to be a bit…ah…perplexing.
One would think that the phrase “Widely adopted” or “whoops this is standard now, let’s just fix that real quick…”
…those would describe the situation a bit better.
Re: PD: yeah, you typically don’t need up to 100 watts for a 2.5-3AH 3.6V battery. That said, it’d be awfully nice if they either supplied all the proper hardware for 15w 5V charging, or some other variable voltage quick charge scheme.
When my flashlight goes dead I need it recharged like right at that moment. I like the cradle idea…but something geared for those of us that work out of our trucks would be nice.
Just reminded me that USB-C phones have been around for 7 years now. Time flies huh
I quoted what the product manager said at a very busy event. This was not a carefully crafted official written statement triple-checked by different people. Is USB-C cutting edge? Perhaps not, but it was not unfair to say given the environment and context.
That said, it is cutting edge in the tool industry where USB-C and USB-C PD is still an emerging standard and implementation.
The idea is that if you need continuous use you can swap out the batteries. That’s really the advantage these have over competing products is that the batteries are a little more storage friendly than loose cells and you don’t need the infrastructure that comes with the flashlight geek lifestyle.
Faster would always be nice, but it should be less of an issue on these.
If it was USB-C on the M12 saw it’d be cutting edge …
They had to add the USB C-port to complement the new EU environmental laws to sell it in Europe countries. I bet, if the decision were up to Milwaukee Tools, they would stick with old USB to save those few cents costs.
You’re probably right on the money.
Is the battery replaceable?
It’s probably a 18650…
Yes. RedLithium USB batteries are proprietary-encased 18650 cells that can be charged in-tool (usually) or swapped.
Release date ?
Great… Now can they make a usb-c pd charger for their other accus? Even better… Some passthrough duds ? There are 140w chargers out there now..