A reader mentioned something about the new Milwaukee M18 cordless Packout vacuum being made in the USA.
The new Milwaukee Packout vac is listed for preorder on several retailers’ sites, and yes, there’s a made in the USA mention.
I have an early pre-production sample that I’ve been using (and with great results so far!).
The label does indeed say: Professionally made by Milwaukee Tool in USA with Global Materials.
I double (triple?) checked with Milwaukee Tool, and yes, the Packout vacuum is made in the USA with global materials.
What does this mean?
Generally, the “global materials” part refers to individual components or materials. With power tools, sometimes it’s the motor and control electronics.
To my knowledge, many if not all of Milwaukee’s hard Packout tool storage products and accessories are all made in Israel. It should be noted that Milwaukee Tool’s most likely Packout manufacturing partner (Keter) has USA production facilities.
The nozzle accessories that came with my Packout vacuum early production sample have an “engineering sample” type of smooth surface finish to them. But, Milwaukee already produces identically-shaped accessories for their other vacuums. They could be setting up new molds for the vacuum nozzles, which supports the possibility that the vacuum accessory parts are not being made at the same factories as for their other cordless vacuum products.
Milwaukee also DOES still make certain tools here in the USA, such as their corded Sawzall reciprocating saws. It’s possible that those facilities have been upgraded or equipped to handle Packout vacuum production and/or assembly.
Brands generally don’t get into the nitty gritty about where different tool components are manufactured. We could only speculate about which components could be made here, but what we know for certain is that the vacs are at least built here, and with the strong possibility that the vacuum’s Packout-compatible housing and connection components are made domestically.
While some could argue in favor of tools being entirely made here, it’s just not possible. Brushless motor controllers, for instance, might be fully built elsewhere, and using components that are not currently produced in the USA.
So, my assumption is that the Packout vacuum’s housing is made here, with possibly the motor and electronics made elsewhere, and everything assembled and quality-checked here. With a product like this, this scenario is about as good as made-in-USA proponents could hope for.
ETA: November 2020