Instead of hosting at its Brookfield, Wis. headquarters as in the past, the rollout moved from the suburbs to downtown Milwaukee and the Harley-Davidson Museum complex.
But there were no speeches about “revving up” for the future and putting business “in high gear.” Instead, most talk in the morning was down to earth product specific and the afternoon was turned over to hands-on demonstrations during which the trade press attendees could try their skill at working with the close to two dozen new products displayed in a large meeting space above the restaurant/café/retail store that is connected to the museum by a covered walkway.
Milwaukee Tool President Steve Richman welcomed the press and traced the history of the company focusing on incremental innovation from the 1960s to the 1990s and “disruptive innovation that changed the industry” starting in 2007. In noting that the company dates back to 1924, Richman said Milwaukee Tool wants to “leverage our heritage” to provide products for five core markets - HVAC, electricity, plumbing, remodeling, and maintenance/repair/overhaul. For those core markets, the company provides tools, accessories, and test and measurement instruments. Here is a sampling of some of what was on display and demonstrated.
TEST & INSTRUMENTSThe M12™ Cordless Fork Meter provides current measurement, voltage measurement, voltage detection and task lighting. The Lithium-ion system is a four-in-one true-RMS electrical tester for residential, commercial and industrial applications.
“With a wide 0.63 jaw opening, 200 Amps, and a voltage range to 1,000 volts AC/DC, the M12™ Cordless Fork Meter is one of the most versatile tools on the market,” said Jonathan Morrow, Director Marketing Product Man- agement-Test & Measurement. “Whether working in a residential or industrial environment, this added functionality allows the tool to be utilized in a wider variety of applications.”
In addition, the new tool offers Lo-Z measurement to eliminate ghost voltage, a white on black display, a slide rail system to add proprietary accessories, and over-molding, the manufacturer said.
HAND TOOLSThe 11 in 1 Screwdriver has ECX™ bit and hardened tips to prevent wear from hardened screws, and extends bit life when fastening specialty screws found in electrical boxes, conduit couplers, outlets, and other common job site fixtures, the company said. The screwdriver comes with nine fastening functions including #1 Phillips, #2 Phillips, 1/4-inch slotted, 3/16-inch slotted, #1 ECX™, #2 ECX™, and 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch and 3/8-inch nut drivers. In addition, an integrated wire stripper and wire-bending hole allow the user to strip and/or bend up to 12-gauge wire before fastening to electrical boxes.
“After extensive research on job sites, we specifically designed the 11 in 1 Screwdriver to increase productivity by reducing the time professional tradespersons spend digging through their tool bag to find the right tool,” said Tim Albrecht, group product manager – hand tools. “Offering solutions like the wire stripper and wire bending hole in addition to nine strategic bits demonstrate this focus.”
The Compact Hack Saw was designed for cutting in tight spaces or making flush cuts. The tool features a tool free blade change that permits users to change blades faster.
“Traditional compact hack saws may get the job done, but are uncomfortable to hold and require additional tools to change the blade,” said Albrecht. “The new hack saw delivers significant innovation in this product category by offering an ergonomic handle with a rubber over-mold grip and a time-saving tool free blade change.”
ACCESSORIESThe Speed Feed™ Self-Feeding Wood Bits were created to deliver clean holes faster than flat boring bits. The product has a feed screw, double wing spurs and a tapered design.
Many applications, such as running new home electrical wires through dimensional lumber, require the user to make clean holes so the wire will not get caught on debris or splinters, the manufacturer said.
“The fast, clean cutting design is a combination of multiple design features working together in unison,” says Brian Spranger, associate product manager of accessories. “As the feed screw solidly anchors into the wood, the double wing spurs begin to score the wood as it drills to provide a clean cut hole. The tapered design of the shank then allows the bit to back out of the hole with ease.”
The Twist-Release™ Small Quick Change Arbor for hole saws up to 1-3/16-inches features a universal, tool free design, and works with all brands of hole saws.
“Users currently experience a great deal of frustration when trying to remove small hole saws from arbors as they typically need to use a pair of pliers or multiple tools to do the job,” said Todd Taylor, senior product manager of accessories. “The new Twist-Release™ arbor allows for tool-free operation. With a quick twist at the base of the arbor, users can easily remove hole saws by hand.”
Carbide Grit Hole Saws are for cutting a wide variety of abrasive materials such as brick, block, cement board, fiberglass and tile. Available in 3/4-inch through 2-1/2-inch, the hole saws feature a segmented edge for faster cutting, and wide, offset slots for plug removal.
“Drilling abrasive materials can be difficult and often causes increased wear on the hole saw,” said Taylor. “By utilizing tungsten carbide grit, the new models can cut abrasive materials with less wear and the grit edge still leaves a clean finish cut.”
For more information, visit www.milwaukeetool.com.
Sidebar: Milwaukee Partners With UponorMILWAUKEE, Wis. - Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. has announced a partnership with Uponor, a manufacturer and supplier of plumbing, fire sprinkler, and radiant heating and cooling systems.
In a press statement, the companies said they have aligned “to develop a comprehensive solution for installing Uponor’s ProPEX® fitting system. Through this partnership, Milwaukee® will now add M12™ and M18™ ProPEX® expansion tools to their growing line of products designed for the plumbing and heating trades.”
“We are dedicated to delivering disruptive innovation by offering solutions to the end user that challenge conventional wisdom,” said Steven Richman, president of Milwaukee Electric. “I am proud to partner with an organization that clearly shares this passion and our core values.”
He said the M12™ and M18™ ProPEX® Expansion Tools will launch later this year, offering features such as an auto-rotating head for accurate, one-handed expansion. “The new tools will not only accelerate the speed in which users can install ProPEX® connections, they are also compatible with over 20 tools on their respective battery platforms,” Richman said.
“At Uponor, we realize an essential ingredient for success in the plumbing and heating industry is a quality fitting system and a quality tool,” said Anders Tollsten, executive vice president, Uponor North America, which is headquartered in Apple Valley, Minn. “We know our customers are loyal to the ProPEX® connection method, and we want to offer them a tool with the same durability to match. Partnering with Milwaukee will allow us to offer our professional partners this vital combination.”