This SDS Vacuum Bit from Milwaukee Tool has a hollow core design, so the dust is removed through the drill bit itself. The vacuum attaches to the hammer drill at the base of the bit.

Loads of tools for CONTRACTOR readers at Milwaukee

July 12, 2017
The company showed solutions for plumbing contractors in the form of drain cleaning equipment, cordless dust extractors and vacuum drill bits, and new lighting products.

BROOKFIELD, WIS. — Milwaukee Tool introduced a wide variety of cordless tools powered by its M12 and M18 volt platforms during the firm’s annual New Product Symposium here, including many that will be useful for plumbing, mechanical and HVAC contractors.

The company showed three solutions for plumbing contractors who may run drain cleaning specials to address quick-and-easy drain cleaning services that take a minimum amount of time.

The first is the M12 AirSnake, an air ram that works from the top through the sink drain. The tool has adjustable air pressures starting at 5 PSI, so the plumber doesn’t blow out the compression fitting of the trap. If the clog isn’t dislodged, the air pressure can be increased in 5-PSI increments. Maximum PSI is 50.

Using a display with clear PVC pipes, Milwaukee product managers demonstrated that the AirSnake would power past the vent pipe to hit and dislodge clogs, even grease clogs. It was claimed that the AirSnake is effective up to 35-ft. of 3-in. pipe.

The product will be available in November.

Next is the M18 Fuel Sectional Drum Machine that separates the cable from the power pack. The plumber carries the 15-lb. motor section like a backpack, and hand-carries the cable in either 50-ft. or 100-ft. lengths, making it easy to go up and down steps and without the possibility of making a mess with the wheels of a conventional drain-cleaning machine. The cable cartridge snaps onto the power pack. The tool is activated with a foot pedal. Product Manager Jacki Beierle demonstrated the machine’s ability to clear “flushable” wipes in transparent PVC pipe. The cable is hand-fed. The drum is enclosed and watertight to prevent spills on the customer’s floor.

Next is the M12 TrapSnake, a powered version that aims to displace the conventional hand-cranked closet augur. It’s designed for use in porcelain fixtures, both water closets and urinals. The TrapSnake power feeds 6-ft. of cable into a fixture. When additional clearing is needed, the TrapSnake has a method to lock the cable that’s in the drain in place, and then deploy an additional length of cable down the drain for thorough clearing. The tool has replaceable cables for when the original cables get rusty.

The firm introduced its new M18 Short Throw Press Tool w/ PEX Crimp Jaws. The industry’s first press tool optimized for residential installations where there’s not a whole lot of space to maneuver, the new tool said to be is the fastest press tool on the market. The Short Throw Press Tool is also compatible with the Viega PureFlow Jaws, which are optimized for the PureFlow PEX Press System. It joins Milwaukee’s Uponor compatible PEX tubing expansion tool in the lineup.

Contractors drill plenty of holes in concrete to hang fixtures, pipe or duct. Milwaukee has made SDS cordless hammer drills and cordless vacuums, and now the firm has put the two together to protect workers from airborne silica dust produced by drilling concrete.

The M12 HammerVac Universal Dust Extractor delivers HEPA-standard debris filtration. The HammerVac’s universal handle system is compatible with major brands of SDS Plus rotary hammers and AC/DC hammer drills, so users can drill safely into concrete and masonry without purchasing a new drill. It features a certified HEPA filter that is replaced independently of the dust box, enabling users to maintain powerful suction at a low cost. In auto-on mode, the extractor turns itself on and off as you work. Powered by an M12 Compact RedLithium battery, the HammerVac provides filtration for up to 160 holes on a single charge. Includes a HEPA filter, nozzle, three side-handle clamping collar assemblies, and a carrying case.

The company showed an M18 HammerVac Dedicated Dust Extractor, a vacuum attachment that can stick to a concrete surface just from the power of the vacuum. The user places the dust extractor over the location of the desired hole, places the bit in the middle of it and drills away. All of the dust is sucked away as the worker drills the hole.

Another innovation is a line of vacuum drill bits with a hollow core design, so the dust is removed through the drill bit itself. The vacuum attaches to the hammer drill at the base of the bit.

The advantage of removing silica dust, in addition to worker protection and compliance with OSHA regulations, is that it keeps the hole clear for faster drilling. Additionally, if threaded rod or rebar is going to be cemented in the hole with a chemical anchor, the hole is already clean and clear.

Milwaukee also introduced lighting products that make it easier to see what you’re working on. One is the 475 lumen, USB-rechargeable helmet-mounted headlamp that is designed to clip onto a hardhat and not fall off. Seven swivel points let you aim it directly at your work. It will be available this fall.

The firm also showed an LED work light that has a 2-in. spring-loaded clamp, plus two magnets to hold it in place. The magnets hold up to 25-lb., so the light isn’t going anywhere. Best yet, the square LED lamp flips and twists in multiple directions so it’s easy to aim at your work.

Milwaukee work lights can all be controlled through the company’s One-Key digital platform for tools and equipment that gives users to the power to control their tool and equipment inventory and to control tools via their mobile devices.

The company also showed off smaller and lighter M12 drill drivers and hammer drills. We tried out the tools driving screws and anchors and with several hole saws and the tools showed the kind of power that one would expect in a bigger tool with a more powerful battery pack.

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