The era of battery driven professional tools are here

Published 24/2, 2020 at 11:21

Releases of new products for demolition, concrete cutting, concrete floor grinding and so forth come quickly and often. We see a number of new products being released every year that makes the life for the professional contractor easier, safer and more efficient. There is of course nothing wrong with that, these industries have developed new products and solutions at an impressive rate, but it is not so common that we see real innovations or breakthroughs.

Examples of such breakthroughs are when the first hydraulic breaker was released, the first truly mobile concrete crusher, crushing bucket attachment or sorting grapples, let alone the first mobile concrete recycling machine. Other such major developments include the first high cycle concrete cutting tools, the release of the planetary concrete floor grinder where it seemed that the entire industry started to grind and polish concrete floor to a final floor product. These are some of the many excellent examples of industry developments that have changed the life for many contractors, but now however, new releases seem to be small paradigm shifts.

To my knowledge, we are looking at such a paradigm shift again, this time a major one. When high cycle concrete cutting machines were released and further developed it was a revolution for the concrete cutting industry. They are much easier to work with, light and just as powerful as the hydraulic units. In just a few years they almost wiped out the hydraulic ranges besides in a few particular applications. Even the Americans, that like their heavy-duty equipment, have adopted high cycle equipment.

In recent years, battery technology started to improve with more efficient batteries, safer and quicker to charge, which has resulted in discussions in the professional concrete cutting industry as to when battery driven heavy-duty machines and tools would be introduced. Personally, I thought that these innovations would wait at least ten years as many battery producers struggled to keep the size of he battery down when increased power was needed. I believed that battery power works impressively for small handheld machines but not for large power cutters, core drilling systems or even jackhammers. But it seems I was wrong.

About a week ago I was invited to Milwaukee’s product launch event in Europe, which saw almost 3,000 employees and trade journalists being invited to learn about the latest news. There was a plethora of new equipment, mostly consisting of the lighter battery driven power tools that Milwaukee are most well known for. What really struck me was that Milwaukee now is entering a whole new client sector by releasing a battery driven core drilling system and a battery driven power cutter, both for heavy users, and a battery driven jackhammer. The battery is rather big of course, but far much smaller than I expected, with the same battery being able to be used in all three machines with a charge of only 50min.

At the Milwaukee event there were a number of demonstrations where the above were tested against competing electric or petrol powered brands, with the Milwaukee battery driven machines delivering better results. At this moment I have not dug deeper in to the technical specifications and performance but a full report will be published in PDi 2. If the new Milwaukee battery driven machinery for heavy users in concrete cutting and demolition are as good as they appear, then a real breakthrough, a real paradigm shift is underway. Furthermore, we will have a new player in the heavy core drilling, power cutting and breaking industries, as battery driven equipment delivers many benefits in terms of safety, working environment, noise, ease of use and even efficiency.

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