One of the best things about the Milwaukee M12 Li-Ion lineup is that Milwaukee recognizes that people who buy their tools have a life outside of work and adapt some of their products to it. I’m not talking beach ball inflators here, but handy gadgets like the 2349-20 Power Port. At first we thought it was a “marsh melon dispenser”* like in Star Trek V, but sadly that’s not the case. It’s a power charger that draws from the standard M12 battery on one end and feeds to USB and a 12v car-charger outlet on the other. We guess that’s just about as good.
It’s simple, rugged, and compact enough to actually survive a jobsite. However, the same things that make it good for a contractor also mean that it’s perfect for the rest of us who might want to take it along on a hunting/fishing/camping trip where there isn’t any power.
The single LED light on top is decoded on the back of the cover flap: solid for a good charge, flashing for low, and fast flashing for no juice left.
Milwaukee says a full battery pack will charge up to five small devices that draw up to three amps through the car charger port or 750ma through the USB port. We tested that by charging my cell phone twice and a digital camera once; then, since we were out of small devices, we popped the same battery into the M12 cordless drill and drove 38 three inch wood screws into a few 2x4s for a project we were working on. Since we get about 115 – 130 screws out of one charge normally, we’re going to say that the charging five small devices claim is most likely true.
It’s an interesting, if less glamorous, addition to the M12 family, but the Power Port does look like it holds its own in a lineup of star players. The name of the game with this one is bailing you out of trouble. However we’re still keeping our fingers crossed for the marsh melon* dispenser at the M12 roll out next year.
Just the tool itself runs around $25 with no charger or battery.
*Edited to match Spock’s pronunciation and the author’s original spelling