Brookfield, Wis. — Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. introduced a broad range of cordless, corded and test and measurement tools at its annual press event. The manufacturer hosted members of the plumbing, heating, cooling and woodworking trade press at its headquarters, and let people who usually only pound a keyboard drill, cut, fasten and grind — although with plenty of adult supervision.

The line includes corded tools; cordless tools with 12, 18 and 28V power supplies, many of them lithium-ion; a new category of test and measurement instruments; and tool accessories.

On the corded side, Milwaukee introduced four new Deep Cut Band Saws with a 10.5A motor and 420 SFPM cutting speed. The main handle has been redesigned and includes a two-finger trigger that allows for accurate speed adjustments when starting and completing the cut. The updated front T-Handle design provides multiple grip options for increased control. I found that I could cut pipe bundles with it easily, even overhead.

Milwaukee expanded its lithium-ion system with the M12 Cordless 3/8-in. Drill/Driver. The only tool in its class with a metal locking chuck, the new 3/8-in. drill/driver features maximum bit retention and durability. In addition, Milwaukee maintains that the 2410-22 delivers up to 25% more torque and drills/fastens up to 35% faster than the competition.

Also in the 12V line, Milwaukee debuted its lithium-ion M12 Cordless LED Work Light. Featuring a 160 Lumen Cree XRE LED bulb, the bulb is two times brighter and whiter than conventional incandescent lights. In addition, M12 LED electronics provide twice the run time of incandescent models. The LED bulb is pretty much unbreakable, which was demonstrated to the editors by throwing the flashlight across the room and bouncing it off the walls and floor. The work light features a magnetic back that I found sticks solidly to sheet metal ductwork, and the head rotates 90 degrees, so the light can be can be aimed.

Milwaukee trotted out a line of cordless impact wrenches that the editors tried out on the bolts of flanged pipe connections. The lithium-ion M12 Cordless 3/8-in. Impact Wrench, Model 2451-22, is small enough to fit in a tool belt and delivers up to 1,000 in-lbs of torque at only 2.3 lbs.

Milwaukee Electric also introduced several models in the 18V range. The lithium-ion M18 Cordless ½-in. High Torque Impact Wrenches deliver 450 ft-lbs of torque. Milwaukee said that at only 8-7/8-in. in length and 6.75 lbs, the M18 Cordless ½-in. impact wrenches are up to 1-7/8-in. shorter and up to 1 lb lighter than any other tool in their class. The two ½-in. models vary only in their anvil types. The 2662-22 has a ½-in. anvil with detent pin to achieve superior socket retention, while the 2663-22 has a ½-in. anvil with friction ring for quick one-handed socket changes. The bigger lithium-ion M18 Cordless ¾-in. High Torque Impact Wrench delivers 525 ft-lbs of torque at only 9-in. in length. The Model 2664-22 has a ¾-in. anvil with friction ring for easy one-handed socket changes.

Milwaukee introduced an extensive accessory line. The firm's diamond grit “The Torch” Sawzall blades have been designed for extended life and improved performance in cast iron. Featuring coarse industrial diamond grit embedded in high strength nickel allow braze, Milwaukee says the new blades last up to 30 times longer and cut up to twice as fast as traditional carbide grit blades.

Milwaukee introduced more than 80 new products in its new line of Shockwave Impact Duty accessories. The bits and drivers were designed to stand up to elevated and extreme torque applications. The line includes high performance drill bits, nut drivers, sockets, bit holders and adapters. Made from a custom engineered steel and heat treated for high shock resistance, the Shockwave Impact Duty driver bits feature an innovatively designed “shock zone” geometry to absorb impact. In looking at the bits, it seems counter-intuitive that the thinner shank would be stronger, but Milwaukee experts said that the bits flex rather than break. In addition, a compressed forged tip delivers a good fit and eliminates breakage. The company maintains that the combination of proprietary material, heat treatment, and geometry deliver up to 10 times longer life than the competition

Milwaukee Electric also debuted a new product category for the company, test and measurement instruments. Many have LED lights on them so the user can see the wires or cabling that he's trying to measure. The lithium-ion M12 Cordless Clamp-Gun Clamp Meters were designed with an ergonomic pistol grip design. The units also provide a wide 1.57-in. jaw opening to easily handle wire bundles, a thin jaw profile for access to tight spaces, and embedded non-contact voltage detection.

Milwaukee's M12 Cordless Laser Temp-Gun Thermometer comes in two models with and without humidity and dew point features. The thermometer can safely measure temperatures between -40°F to 1,472°F with a 40:1 distance to spot ratio. The laser thermometers were designed with embedded non-contact voltage detection and LED floodlights to illuminate the equipment being measured.