Last year Milwaukee introduced their RedLithium USB batteries and 3 different flashlights that used this battery form factor. They essentially created yet another battery platform that isn’t compatible with any of their previous platforms, including the RedLithium M4 platform.
These Redlithium USB batteries consist of a single 4V Max 185650 li-ion battery encased in a plastic shell with a temp sensor. They can be charged by either connecting a USB cable to the tool or in a special charger that is also powered by a USB cable. Milwaukee claims these batteries offer 3x faster charging over other rechargeable flashlights, and can last for over 2,000 recharges.
This year I wondered if they would extend the RedLithium USB platform, and I wasn’t disappointed. Milwaukee Tool introduced 2 new flashlights, heated gloves, and a Redstick digital level that all use the RedLithium USB battery platform.
Milwaukee’s new pivoting head flashlight is both a flashlight and a floodlight that can deliver 500 lumens using a single RedLithium USB battery. As a flashlight, it has a spot beam that can illuminate at a range of up to 100m. With the press of a button you can switch the light to a flood beam for close work.
Stick the magnetic base to a ferrous surface and pivot the head from 0 to 110° to shine the flood beam exactly where it’s needed, freeing up your hands for working on the task.
The pivoting flashlight should be available October 2018.
Rover Pivoting Flood Light
The compact Rover pivoting floodlight folds up small enough to fit in your pocket, yet delivers up to 550 lumens with a single RedLithium USB battery. The light unfolds, providing a 210° pivoting light head with a stable base.
The light has three different lighting intensities, with the lowest setting providing up to 10 hours of run time. The light also has a magnetic base so you can stick it to a ferrous surface, and a carabiner clip for hanging the light or storing it on your belt loop.
The Rover pivoting floodlight is set to launch October 2018.
Milwaukee heated gloves are made from GridIron rip-stop polyester and have 100% leather palms and fingers for durability. They have an extended cuff to make it easy to pull over your jacket sleeves to keep out water, snow, and dirt. They also feature smart swipe index finders on both hands and a snot wipe on both thumbs.
Each glove needs one RedLithium USB battery to operate and will keep your hands warm for up to 6 hours on a charge.
The gloves are set to launch in September 2018.
Finally, Milwaukee introduced their new Redstick digital levels, powered by the RedLithium USB battery. The strong frame can hold over 450 lbs while still maintaining an accuracy of up to 0.03°.
The levels have a built in auto calibration process, a full color display on the front that shows the measurement both numerically and graphically, and a secondary display on the top.
The levels have oodles of measurement options, including Pin mode where you “pin” the measurement at a particular angle and that angle becomes your “level.” Another option allows you to adjust the tolerance of the measurement based on your application.
The Redstick digital levels will be available in 14″, 24″, 48″ and 72″ lengths. It should launch around October 2018.
I like the pinpoint mode for the levels – beats using shims or slope pins if these levels prove to be accurate and consistent. I guess that I’m less enthused about yet another battery platform – although I can see its potential benefit.
I’ve also been intrigued by Milwaukee’s combination screed and level that they introduced a while back. I think they should make a longer one to compete as a heavy-duty option to the 2.5 and 3 meter long Sola screeding levels. We had the Sola’s and they were OK – but kind of thin and a bit flimsy.
Milwaukee is killing it with the lights. Dewalt ( my main platform) just lags behind. I think those new lights could have been in the m12 line.,like some of the other releases.
Thanks for the news. I like the combo flood/flashlight for working in AV closets, cabinets, and audio racks (and under the hood when the truck breaks). I’m already fully invested in M12 and M18, soon as they add a couple additional products I’ll buy into the RedLithium USB platform.
Would love it if all my small tools used this common rechargeable battery instead of having to keep an assortment of AA, AAA, and 9v batteries Being USB I wouldn’t have to carry around a separate charger. Seems like a really nice solution.
Hoping they eventually offer a stud finder, small power hex screwdriver (like the current M4 screwdriver), infrared thermometer, multimeter, laser measure, and 3 axis laser level.
I think and hope they’re focusing their energy for the usb line on tools they don’t already have, the only competitor near that size for the flashlights for example is the M12 one, and even then it’s a lot bigger. So maybe we’ll see some of these listed tools on the platform fairly soon.
Got to say I’m excited for the new rover light, love the current one despite its shortcomings. I agree with your list of tools I’d like to see on the platform, only things I might add are heated socks, a usb output/powerbank both using a single battery and maybe one where you can plug 2-3 batteries in for more juice, maybe a small borescope, and a precision size dremel (like the micro/stylo). Also wish the battery price would come down just a bit, that’s a lot for a single 18650 battery, even with added housing and electronics.
I like the micro dremel idea too. That would be handy.
The micro rotary tool is a great idea. If they could manage it would be great if they could do this like the old two speed Dremel 7.2v cordless. It really wasn’t so much a two speed motor but the selector switch which had parallel and series contacts to the battery pack. Low position used 3.6v of the Ni-Cad pack and the high(series) position put the full 7.2v to it. These dc motors will run at various voltages without too much trouble.
It would require sizing the tool for two batteries and some logic to
make it run with only one battery if you liked but it would be cool to have it run at lower speeds for battery savings or paralled for more Ah of use. Just thoughts.
I have the m12 rotor tool and i t works excellent.
I like this battery set idea – might even buy one. But it does make me wonder if they will trade cells to newer bigger cell
Like the idea of the rover light – would need to see the pattern in person though. Sort of wish it hadn’t needed a special charger for the batter. Do ALL the tools have the USB port on them. Is it a micro or C
As far as I know all the RedLithium tools have a USB micro port on them for charging.
I don’t think they can move up to a bigger size like saw 21700, they would have to re-engineer all the tools to fit the larger cell. Most of the tools don’t need a large current draw so they wouldn’t take advantage of the bigger cells larger heat capacity anyway.
I haven’t taken a battery apart since I got samples last year, but they were using Samsung INR18650-25R 2500mAh cells. It could be possible in the future for them to upgrade to 3000 or even 3500mAh cells to increase run time — but charging time would probably increase.
The plastic shell of this 18650 battery looks unnecessarily large. I hope they designed it to accommodate 21700 cells in the future, and still be fully compatible with existing products.
I addressed it above in Nathan’s comment, but I don’t think there’s room in the plastic shell to accommodate a larger cell. They have a small circuit board with a temp sensor inside, and they need room to run the wire donwn the side of the battery to get to the terminals.
You can already get a 3500mAh 18650, so it’s possible that Milwaukee may upgrade the internal cell in the future. Plus most of these tools don’t draw enough current to benefit from the larger cell size.
“snot wipe”?! I just now learned a new word use. Toolguyd is so darn useful that way.
Regardless I’m sticking with my Bosch 12v and 18v LED lights. They have proven nearly indestructible (clumsy sheetrockers) and innovative. The Leatherman/Lenser headband LEDs are, of course, a very different kind of useful. So I guess that makes, what, two and a half battery platforms we use? That’s enough for now.
At least since we donated the last of our old Dewalt stuff to Habitat’s Re-Store.
So it’s just a re-wrapped 18650 battery with a charge/protection circuit built in. I’d much rather manage my own 18650s instead of buying Milwaukee’s, and brighter lights are available for the same or cheaper than the Milwaukee stuff in this form factor. I suppose the gloves are a decent reason for this battery platform so I’ll be watching to see what else they do with it.
I love my Milwaukee flood light and want to buy more of their area lighting, but so far I don’t see much reason to buy their pocket sized lights.
I imagine they did this(Using a proprietary battery form) to keep people from buying cheap, junk cells and using them…which could easily tarnish the performance, potentially be dangerous and hurt the reputation of their lighting. Conveniently, this also allows them to sell these batteries.
I like the idea and the new light. The original pocket rover seemed nice but wasn’t really nice enough for me to justify the cost, this new flood light has a lot more going for it.
ALLLLLL of that looks super cool. I want one of each! lol
Is it just me or is toolguyd.com not remembering my ip address and i have to put in my name and email every comment.
I’m not having a problem, make sure the save my info checkbox didn’t get inadvertently unchecked, I’ve had that happen and it wasn’t obvious because how of the checkbox rendered .
It might be your autofill or cookies (do not track) for your browser.
A Gravtar or Disqus account plug-in would be sweet.
If you updated windows recently it might have wiped some of your app data. That appears to be my issue. This includes stored cookies
I want these gloves, now!
Just wonder how durable they are…
Did the pivoting head flashlight have different output levels? That would be amazing. Also was the pivot aluminum? I had two of the first generation rover lights break at the clip. Which made the magnets useless
They did not mention any other modes besides the spot and flood beam — which are two different LEDs. Milwaukee doesn’t have a press release yet or any other info on this light, so we probably won’t write a full preview until then.
I looked through all the photos Stuart and I took and can’t really answer the question about the construction of the pivot. It looks plastic to me,.
I thought they said they weren’t having anymore battery platforms? Just because there’s no drills; still looks like a different voltage platform to me.
I think that was more in reference to a primary 18V line, maybe the 12V line. Not sure they intended it to mean no other 4V line than M4, and no potential 40V or 60V line in the future like for OPE or something like DeWalt and Ryobi do.
Do they still make M28? I thought they did. That’s a lot of battery platforms to support.
Yes M28 is still around. It’s “dormant” in the States but not discontinued
This is Ryobi Tek4 reinvented. That’s good in my book. Laser levels, distance measures, stud finders……Tek4 did a good job of making useful tools for a small battery platform
I’m still using my Craftsman variants of them. Screwdriver is used all the time for switch plates, and small electrical screws. Powered scissors are still my favorite though. Also have the rotary tool somewhere, as I usually grab the M12 for those kind of tasks now.
After one year, here is my review. All my life I used makita because I. So old that the first decent cordless drill was the classic 9 volt stick drill. My employer gives us dewalt tools and the drills and impact are top notch but hated the big clumsy lights. Driving and using this light and not needing to drag out the drill charger but using the USB port is a pleasure and this is just as bright as the big 18 volt light. It’s tough I’ve dropped it lots and still works. On the negative, both my batteries are showing signs of age, charge does not seem to go nearly as long as rated nor does it seem I could have charged them even close to 2000 cycles…I also think the pocket clip is useless and only collects magnetic dust underneath. But I sure think that the pivoting head one pictures is worth a try next October, maybe I underestimate my run time or got two lemon batteries.. The other day I found a nebo brand rechargeable pocket light just as bright for half the cost that is super bright and dim able but with built in battery, also doubt it will handle industrial use but I’m going to torture test it…
Press release for these new lights just came out!
Still waiting for the smart levels. Haven’t heard anything on them yet.
The head on the pivoting flashlight gets pretty hot when using high spotlight mode.