Current Battery Platforms
The power tool world has been mostly stagnant in the battery platform arena. Dewalt with their Flexvolt years ago was the most significant change and even with that it still “kinda” rode the line of an existing platform with it being compatible with their current 20V Max platform. Makita with their X2 36 volt tools is clearly the same platform but with a twist. And then Milwaukee comes along and throws a monkey wrench in the mix and launches a completely new battery platform designed exclusively for larger tools impossible to power from their current M18 18 volt platform.
So what is MX FLUEL?
This new MX FUEL platform is oddly lacking significant details as they announce this revolutionary line. What is the voltage? What is it powered by? Will we see any crossover between the current M18 or M12 platforms?
Let’s breakdown the information we know for sure and also speculate in areas which are cloudy.
What is the voltage?
I found out this is a loaded question with Milwaukee and you will get quite a marketing response instead of data. I understand their position on what they are attempting to do but come on, just be what you’ve always been and be technical about this new platform. It’s what we expect from Milwaukee. The response you will get from most Milwaukee employee is “The voltage is not important and instead focus on what the platform can do.” I don’t really get this response. The new platform is 72 volts. Period. So call it 72 volts or 80 Volts Max or whatever you want to call it when getting into details. To purposely hide the voltage feels weird to me. They have nothing to hide in this regard.
Why hide the voltage?
I do understand why Milwaukee is not pushing the higher voltage number and instead is dancing around this fact. In my mind it all boils down to Dewalt with Flexvolt and Makita’s 36V tools. For years Milwaukee has been claiming they don’t need to up the voltage, just make larger capacity higher output packs. I’ve tried to discuss this many times with reps. The analogy I give is the following.
The Gasoline Engine Comparison.
This isn’t scientific but it makes sense to most people I’ve spoken to on the subject.
You take an F-150 and outfit it with a small 4 cylinder engine but power it by the latest and greatest gasoline and make the tank 80 gallons. This 4 cylinder truck will only be able to do the work that the small 4 cylinder engine can accomplish power wise. Yes it will last a long time from the extra large tank but at the end of the day you still have a 4 cylinder engine maxing out it’s power early on.
Now lets take a similar F-150 truck but power it by a large 8 cylinder engine. There is no question the V8 truck will (should) out perform the 4 cylinder truck with ease. Not only will the larger engine have more power but it will do the same work with less stress since it’s not having to work as hard. Also give it the same 80 gallon tank and you will see it doing less work per tank due to it consuming more energy but doing more work in the process.
So does this transfer over to the power tool world?
I think so. Take Makita X2 36V tools as a perfect example. An equivalent tool in the LXT 18V platform performs just fine but when you use the 36V version you truly see what extra voltage can do performance wise. This isn’t a question of run time. It’s all about performance. Milwaukee doesn’t want to admit they have been trash talking Makita, Dewalt and Metabo-HPT in the voltage gain but their MX Fuel platform concretes the idea that eventually more voltage is needed. And great I say it was a very smart move to jump all the way to 72 volts. This will ensure a very significant jump which should allow tools which would never have been possible.
What tools are available?
This article is just to discuss the platform and not the MX Fuel tools themselves. In later articles we will discuss the individual tools and their features.
Here is a quick rundown of MX Fuel tools which were recently announced.
MXF314-XC – 14″ Cut Off Saw
MXF638-1XC – Breaker
MXF301-1CP – Core Drill
MXF041-1XC – Rocket Tower Light & Charger
MXF501-1CP – POWERTREDZ Sewer Drain Machine
The launch of this new MX FUEL platform has us very much pushing a thought we’ve had lately on battery platforms. This riding right on the coattails of the launch of the new Makita XGT 36 volt platform got our gear turning and have a logical thought process on where the industry is going. This future theory on platforms is discussed in this article.
Makita XGT 36 volt
Future Battery Platforms