July 26, 2011

Milwaukee Product Symposium 2011 (aka: EmbargoLand)

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Last week we had the honor of attending this year's Milwaukee Product Symposium. It's their big annual to-do where they announce all of their new tools for the coming year. There were big tools, little tools, new tools, classic tools, and most of all embargoed tools. It's this last category that is driving us a little batty at the moment. These are the tools that Milwaukee is on the verge of releasing, but they're not 100 percent ready to make the public announcement yet, so all of us press types got to look at them, play with them, hear about them, but we can't talk about them. It's killing us too, because some of these tools are great. As in really great. One in particular (to us the highlight of the show) is so bizarre and off the beaten path that it makes their 12-volt Pex Expander look like a common everyday item. But enough about the things we can't talk about and on to the things that we can...

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Thermal Camera - Of the things we can discuss, this was the coolest. It has some good functional features like the ability to simultaneously take thermal and regular images, eliminating the need to awkwardly hold your Lumix when taking thermal images. It also looks far more durable than most other thermal cameras we've seen.

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Accessories - There are some nice new accessories, the two most interesting of which were Sawzall blades. One, the flush cut blade is designed as a flexible truss, making it easy to run along a stud when cutting out a window or door opening. The other new blade looks more like it belongs on a jigsaw, which isn't surprising because it's that type of functionality that it seeks to bring to the recip saw. We watched as someone used it to plunge into a 2x plate and cut a tight 2" hole. Pretty slick.

Grinders - They're releasing grinders, grinders, and more grinders. They actually sent us a couple a few weeks ago and we handed them over to a friend who runs a metal shop. He promised to give them a short, miserable life, so we're looking forward to seeing how they hold up against the daily punishment of a welding shop. Stay tuned for that one.

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M12 Jigsaw - This one looks like a giant red and black dragonfly (sans wings) and we were impressed with both its power and ergonomics. It's a spicy little item and our guess is that it will be pretty popular with the tool buying public.

They also busted out with a cordless caulk gun, a compact rotary hammer, a cordless ratchet, and a bunch of other stuff that has slipped our mind for now (read: embargoed).

We'll have more details on these tools and more as the summer wears on. We'd like to thank the people at Milwaukee for letting us take part in their event.

Read More in: Cordless | Grinders | Inspection Tools | Lithium-Ion | Metalworking and Welding | Power Tool Accessories

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at July 26, 2011 5:05 AM

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