I was browsing through an industrial flyer and saw an ad for a Milwaukee’s M28 drill/driver. This 28V powerhouse of a drill can deliver a whopping 750 in-lbs of max torque. But then I remembered something – Milwaukee’s new brushless M18 Fuel drill/driver can deliver max torque of 725 in-lbs.
There’s also the fact that today’s 12V li-ion compact drill/drivers outperform some 18V models from just a couple of years ago.
A couple of years ago, the trend was to go for bigger, beefier tools. 18V became the norm. But now? Well, some people still brush aside smaller tools, fixated on how bigger is better. After all, isn’t that why “12V” cordless tool batteries are described as 12V Max instead of 10.8V? Even so, professionals are equipping themselves with more compact tools at an increasing rate.
Take a look at some of the 12V tools that we previewed recently: a one-handed M12 cordless band saw, M12 fluorescent bulb and ballast tester, an affordable infrared thermal imager, a compact 3/8″ hammer drill driver, pivoting reciprocating saw, and a 12V jig saw.
It’s obvious that manufacturers are dedicated to their 12V platforms and are thinking outside the box. Expect to see more diagnostic tools, and more tool varieties. Brands want you to buy their 18V tools AND their 12V tools, reinforcing the need for innovation and unique functionality.
Right now Milwaukee’s brushless 18V drill/driver closely approaches the torque specs of their 28V drill/driver. While there are still reasons for some users to step up to the 28V model, the gap between 18V and higher voltage platforms may narrow further if Milwaukee upgrades other M18 models with brushless motors.
It is a strange feeling, drilling through brick with a puny 12V drill the first time. Cutting through a pipe with a tiny band saw. Slapping a 12V battery into a an IR non-contact thermometer or other nontraditional power tool.
Power tool trends are a-changin’, and we’re very excited to see where things are headed next. Maybe we’ll even see some of the features we imagined when writing up the “game-changer” April Fools Day preview.