June 17, 2013

Milwaukee Tools: Annual Shindig 2013

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Last week I was lucky enough to get invited to the annual Milwaukee Tools Product Symposium. It's their yearly event where they showcase all of the new things they have coming down the pipeline. And lets just say that this time around, it was a seriously big pipeline.

As with the other years, I left with a sense that Milwaukee is a company in motion. There is nothing static about their mindset. It's funny, but I always have this feeling that the new tools I got to look at are already antiquated in the minds of the Milwaukee engineers. Sure there's a sweet circular saw, but my guess is that, deep in Milwaukee HQ, that cool circular saw is already three generations old. These guys move quick.

But still what they showed us was impressive. As a company, they're devoted to their core-user; the plumber, electrician, HVAC, and service guy. We also like how they throw 'remodeler' into the core group because it allows them to release a few carpentry-based tools too.

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To me, the standouts were in the expansion of their brushless Fuel line of tools. Set to be released are (among others) a circular saw, a recip saw, and a grinder. Of these, the circ saw hit closest to home, probably because of my carpentry background. This saw is a real show-stopper. I see cordless circ saws purely as secondary tools. Maybe you'd take one up some staging if you were shingling a house, or bring it out to the field if you were building a little shed. But in both cases, you would always have your primary saw on hand. Well......maybe not so much anymore. This new Milwaukee circ saw was pretty bonkers. During the hands on time of the event, I used it to easily cut through a stack of three sheets of 3/4 OSB. Then I sliced up a slab of LVL. Honestly, the tool handled like a corded tool.

The Sawzall and grinder are really nice too and virtually erase the gulf between corded and cordless.

There were a lot of cool releases in the hand tool arena as well including a new line of insulated screwdrivers, a sweet little ratcheting screwdriver, and a line of tape measures that have me beginning to doubt my allegiance to the 25-foot FatMax.

Oh yeah, and remember their heated jacket? Well, make way for the heated hoodie. yeah, seriously. They should let Bill Belichick know about that one.

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Worklights too. There is some very cool activity on that front, including a stick light that's not really a stick light (it's way cooler).

So yeah, we'll be going into more detail as these items are actually released, but it's safe to say that Milwaukee is a happening company and as always, their releases are worth checking out.

Read More in: Cordless | Lithium-Ion | Power Tools | Tool News

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at June 17, 2013 6:48 AM

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