Playing with Tools

by Kacey Larsen

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Milwaukee Tool New Product Symposium 2013. For those interested, this was my first show of any kind since I joined the staff of Qualified Remodeler and, so I had no idea what to expect.

While it was great to interact with other writers and the Milwaukee Tool staff on hand, the best part about the show was actually getting to do more than just see the products. We were all encouraged to help during demonstrations and given time to test the products after the presentations. So I have a quick synopsis of the products and launches later this year that I think will be handy for many of you.

  • M18 Six Pack Sequential Charger – Available now. This charger holds up to six batteries at a time, and the first batter on is the first battery charged though there is the option to rearrange the order with the pass-through button. The charger is wall mountable and has a pass-through plug so it doesn’t hog the only outlet.
  • Magnetic Tape Measure – Launches in June 2013. What makes this tape measure, which will feature many different lengths, unique is that it has a magnet at the end of the tape so that the item being measured and/or the tape will stay in place. A built-in handhold will prevent fingers from being snapped when the tape is retracted, and it has been reinforced at five points to make it a more durable design.
  • M12 Heated Jackets and Hoodies – Launches in August 2013. Altogether, this line will have 11 different products when the latest items launch and all are compatible with the M12 compact battery for about six hours of run time. Both the jackets and hoodies are heated in three heat zones, two in the front and one in the back, and the jackets included heated pocket features as well. The hoodies are going to be available in red, khaki, grey and high visibility and are washer and dryer safe.
  • M18 LED Flood Light – Launches in October 2013. The flood light has a unique shape and bumpers so that it can be rolled all over and hung in multiple ways without fear of it falling and breaking. Comprised of eight high-quality LED lights, which produce 1100 Lumens, the light lasts for approximately three hours on high and approximately six hours on low setting. A LED heat sync keeps the light running cool, so it can be handled without fear of burning.
  • Standard Stylus Marker – Launches in November 2013. The marker’s ink is made of acrylic, which makes it ideal for rough surfaces and has an immediate dry time. A clip on the marker cap fits on the brim of hardhats, so the marker can be hooked on for easy locating. The marker also had a stylus at the opposite end so that users can use their iPads, iPhones, etc. without having to remove gloves or worry about getting dirt or dust on the screens.

I’d love to hear from you: Would any of these products be helpful on your jobsites? How do you decide what and when to buy? 

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