The leadership team at Milwaukee Tool continues to push the “disruptive innovation” ideology—an idea that a product takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors to a new level—when talking about new tools. As a company that professes itself as a solutions provider first, releasing dozens of new tools every year, the disruptive part fits this narrative, sometimes with its own products. With 88 new tools at this year’s New Tool Symposium to show off, there was plenty of jaw-dropping moments, and Milwaukee showed off some plumbing tools that not only disrupted the space, they obliterated it.
In particular, there were four new plumbing offerings—coming to market in November (minus the short throw press tool below)—that really caught my eye:
• M18 FUEL Sectional Drum Machine — Almost 75% of the time spent on secondary drain line jobs is in the preparation for the job, and then packing all equipment back up. The M18 FUEL Sectional Drum Machine aims to change all that through the use of an interchangeable drum that allows users to select the right cable for the job, the ability to backpack transport the entire unit (including the ability to separate the drum from the machine to lighten the weight), and an electronic drum break so users can react faster when the cable starts to bind up in a pipe.
• M18 FUEL Drain Snake with CABLE-DRIVE Locking Feed System—Building off Milwaukee’s current M12 Drain Snake, the M18 FUEL Drain Snake represents the next level in performance for hand-held units by offering more power, cable drive locking feed system, and zero drum contact. With 2X more power than corded, it boasts a max power of 50′ down the line and is the first brushless drain cleaner. The CABLE-DRIVE Locking Feed System is the only automatic cable feed system that allows users to select and maintain a desired feed speed.
According to Corey Dickert, vice president of Product Management-Plumbing & Electrical at Milwaukee Tool, “The simple cordless setup of the M12 Drain Snake frees users from the hassle of wrestling with cords, carrying extension cords, or spending time looking for outlets—allowing them to get back to the job at hand. In addition, this is the only handheld unit with a fixed drum shield to protect the fixture and user from the spinning drum. When we combine these cordless benefits with our new-to-world design, we’re able to truly provide a level of productivity that these users have never experienced before.”
• M12 AirSnake Drain Cleaning Air Gun—The first cordless alternative in pipe cleaning tools, the M12 AirSnake Drain Clearing Air Gun drastically changes the way users clear grease clogs, slow drains, and other non-retrieval clogs. The tool is the first cordless version on the market to use compressed air to flush away clog build-up. Completely cable-free, the tool allows for fast setup time and no disassembly of fixtures, drain covers and p-traps. With a 0-50 variable PSI gauge, the tool can instantly reach clogs 35′ out. To see the demo in person was impressive; the process does not affect the integrity of the piping installation.
• M18 Short Throw Press Tool—Milwaukee touts pressing 40% faster than competition, delivering force optimized for PEX installation, and eliminating downtime caused by calibration intervals. With the introduction of the M18 Short Throw Press Tool w/ PEX Crimp Jaws, Milwaukee is able to provide a solution that can accomplish the majority of residential installations.
The lightweight, in-line design of the new M18 Short Throw Press Tool enables the installer to press with just one hand. And, with a 3-second cycle time, and the ability to press 400 1” connections on a single charge, this new tool allows residential installers to do their job faster and easier than any solution they’ve had up until now—without paying for more force than is needed,” said Alex Boll, product manager for Milwaukee Tool.
Whereas hand tools often cause difficult and inconsistent ring positioning on fittings, the spring-loaded design of the Short Throw Press Tool’s jaws assists in holding the ring for precise alignment to the fitting. With no calibration interval, the new tool delivers consistency in installation over the entire life of the tool.
A pre-press battery check prevents the user from starting a press the tool cannot complete due to insufficient battery charge, while Auto-Cycle ensures a full press every time and indicates to the user via a green light that the connection is complete. The new M18 Short Throw Press Tool w/PEX Crimp Jaws is compatible with the F1807/F2159 copper crimp ring system, one of the leading systems in residential PEX installations today. The Short Throw Press Tool is also compatible with the Viega PureFlow Jaws, which are optimized for the PureFlow PEX Press System.