A few months ago at the Milwaukee event, all the tool writers from the major mags and sites gathered to hear about the newest tools. NDAs and embargos flew around like water and we were presented — after appropriate waiting and light shows had built up sufficient suspense — with the RedLithium battery packs. Milwaukee was very excited to let us get our hands on them. In short, it’s the battery advance in Li-Ion the industry has been looking for but never gotten right — until now.
Here’s the quick and dirty from the press release.
Fully compatible with all M12 and M18 cordless products currently available, the new REDLITHIUM batteries will provide up to 40% more run-time, 20% more power and 50% more recharges than other Lithium products. The new technology will also operate in extreme temperatures as low as 0 degree F/-18 degree C and will run 20% cooler with fade free power and no memory effect. In short, users are able to instantly upgrade the performance, run-time and durability of the M12 and M18 tools they already own, simply by switching to the REDLITHIUM battery packs.
During the event they pulled packs from freezers and fired off countless run time and power tests and explained all the awesome that they had brought to bear on the now fully mature Li-Ion technology.
We’ll spare you the standard marketing about commitment and innovation. The main point is they lowered the resistance in the battery pack and changed up the electronics to handle the extra power; this way the entire system can run more energy, more efficiently and safely through to the motor without fear of making boom or shorting.
The kicker is, it’s very impressive once you get hold of it. The pack looks, feels, and weighs the same as the old Li-Ion pack until you load one up and pop the trigger. The M12 tools feel more like an 18v and the runtime really does seem to be noticeably longer. It’s backwards compatible into your existing M12 or M18 tools, and the very best part is it will ship with all the combo kits and be available across the entire M12 and M18 lines going forward. This makes changing out chargers you might already have not necessary and upgrading to the new gear simple. Mostly because price points won’t move either, the RedLithium costs exactly what the previous gen of packs cost.
It may look like the same old song-and-dance from a marketing perspective, but under the hood it really is a leap forward in the specs department. Just try one at the local big box — if nothing else, the added power is easy to see, and that sells it for us.
RedLithium Battery System [Milwaukee]