Milwaukee Tool: Winning with Innovation

by | Aug 3, 2022 | 0 comments


“We talked to mechanics across North America, understood their pain points, and have gone about delivering solutions
that really resonate,” says Craig Baxter, President of Milwaukee Tool Canada.


The environment in today’s service bay is changing. Shop owners and technicians are demanding cleaner, brighter, and more safety-conscious work environments, and Milwaukee Tool is helping to lead the way.

“Our goal is to replace cords and pneumatic technology,” says Craig Baxter, President of Milwaukee Tool Canada. “And we’ve become the first power tool manufacturer to become relevant in the automotive space through the lithium-ion battery technology that we bring to market.

“There are clear benefits in a lithium-ion solution, compared to pneumatic,” he continues. “There’s no question there are significant cost savings. There’s no routine maintenance like you have with pneumatic tools and compressors and there is lower energy consumption. And portability is an obvious benefit. Our solutions are so much more compact, and mobile compared to being tethered with a hose, which is obviously a safety concern.”

What really makes it work, though, says Baxter, is that the company’s solutions perform in the bay.

“Clearly, the environment is tidier with fewer hazards, but a solution needs to be at least as capable as the current one that the user is experiencing. And that’s what we have done through incredible engineering and disruptive innovation; we’ve been able to replace pneumatic tools with a cordless option and innovate in a space that has not seen innovation for quite some time.”

To deliver innovative cordless solutions to technicians who have become used to the pneumatic power tool technology they have relied on for years, Baxter says Milwaukee went right to the source.

“We are new to automotive, but we’re certainly not new to innovation,” he says. “We talked to mechanics across North America, understood their pain points, and have gone about delivering solutions that really resonate. We’ve had tremendous success out of the gate because of this approach.

“We’ve been able to not only provide performance, but ergonomics: weight and balance and the right configurations for a user to get into spaces that a big, clunky pneumatic gun would not be able to access. When we talk to end users, we find out absolutely everything that they are dissatisfied with today, and what it is that they’re looking for that would make their lives so much easier.”

Members of the Milwaukee Tool Transportation Sales Specialist team are in touch with shops every day and know that delivering cost-effective options is also an important part of that solution.

“Just running one pneumatic hose can cost upwards of $5,000 a year,” says James Devlin, Senior Key Account Manager for Milwaukee Tool. “So the cost savings is a big part of it. But in terms of performance, the half-inch impact is one of our bread-and-butter tools that every single mechanic across the country has. There’s been absolutely no complaints in terms of control and power.

“I can honestly say that the feedback is tremendous,” Devlin continues. “It’s satisfying to hear a mechanic just go on about not having to drag a hose around the shop and not having the trip hazard as well.

“And the maintenance on a one-inch, heavy-duty air impact? That tool can go out for over a month – so you’re operating without that impact wrench for a month. And it’s a critical tool for them to complete everyday tasks.”

Devlin points out that Milwaukee’s lineup has no wearable components, along with one of the best warranties in the industry. That’s a huge benefit as well, he says. “We started by cutting the cord, and now we are truly cutting the hose. We truly have the power, performance, and run time to outcompete that pneumatic option.”

British Columbia-based Transportation Specialist Team member Travis Sulyk says that more and more shops are seeing the value.

“There’s a drastic shift going from pneumatic to Milwaukee and cordless in the field. Here in the Lower Mainland of B.C., I can confidently say about one-third of the shops I go to have done away with most of their pneumatic tools.”

And, he adds, it’s the innovation that’s driving much of the shift. “Pneumatic manufacturers have gotten stale; they’re not innovating anything,” he says of traditional players. “Shops see us come out with our industry-leading warranty, our cordless solutions, and breadth of line – it’s a no-brainer to these guys.”

Craig Baxter emphasizes that when it comes to cordless, offering the best battery performance has become an arms race among competitors, one that Milwaukee has been winning hands down. The company that can “provide superior runtime and performance – generally, they get into a lead position. And then if you innovate on the front end of the tool, you’ve got a hell of a combination.”

It’s not just about power, either; it’s also about convenience. Milwaukee offers a suite of over 200 tools that are compatible on the M18™ system. As Baxter notes, “The solutions that are available go well beyond just an impact wrench or ratchet, or the typical tool that’s in the hand of that user all day.”

Milwaukee innovation doesn’t stop at game-changing cordless tools. It extends even to seemingly simple innovations like SHOCKWAVE Impact Duty™ Sockets, with stamped, ink-filled sizes for better visibility, and chrome 3/8” and ¼” six-point sockets designed with FOUR FLAT™ sides, so they don’t roll away.

Lately, Milwaukee Tool even called upon its unique expertise in the field to introduce a host of intelligently designed accessories and apparel for people who work in the trades. The complete line includes everything from battery-powered lighting to apparel, designed with on-the-job needs in mind.

“Users are looking for a certain quality of fabric, a certain fit,” says Baxter, adding that the accessories and apparel are all compatible with Milwaukee’s M12™ battery. “Heated jackets and gloves – these are solutions that users are looking for because they’re out in the elements.

“They’re looking for somebody like Milwaukee to come up with something that makes them comfortable on the job site when they’re out in Northern Alberta winters for 10 hours a day. Clothing companies don’t spend time with users like we do.”

Baxter understands that the shift might not be easy for automotive service professionals and shop owners with years of investment in tools and equipment; it’s a big decision to convert your entire suite of tools to a new technology. But the solution is so much better, he says, that users immediately reap the benefits of converting to the new technology. And Milwaukee Tool is ready to help, every step of the way.

“We work with users on conversion plans and ways to help them get over that economic hurdle,” Baxter says. “We are prepared to invest and get folks onto our platform. That’s what the guys are out there to do – not just showcase tool solutions, but conversion solutions as well.

“We respect that challenge. And we’re in this for the long term.”




Milwaukee Tool revolutionizes handheld lighting solutions with the introduction of the M12™ Paint and Detailing Colour Match Light. This compact, durable, multiple spectrum light provides the best LED colour quality and run-time with 1000 lumens of output, 98+ Colour Rendering Index to illuminate metallics and imperfections, and a full spectrum of sunlight from early morning to midday and overcast. M12™ REDLITHIUM™ and three power modes provide up to 14 hours of output and run-time on low. Corrosion-resistant to most chemicals found in paint and body shops, drop rated to 6ft and IP54 ingress protected against dust and water, guaranteed by a 5-Year Tool Warranty.

Available as a bare tool only.



M12 FUEL™ 3/8” Extended Reach Ratchets provide up to 40 ft-lbs max torque with a slim head profile and an extended neck, giving you the longest reach in tight spaces. The long-handle ratchet features an Investment Cast Steel Yoke housing and a POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor that deliver the superior durability you expect from Milwaukee. The long-reach electric ratchets are the ideal addition to any tool chest, allowing you to get to stubborn, hard-to-reach fasteners without the concern of knuckle busting.

Available as a bare tool (2560-20) or as a kit which includes (1) M12 FUEL™ Extended Reach Ratchet (2560-20), (1) M12™ Lithium-ion Battery Charger (48-59-2401), and (1) M12™ REDLITHIUM™ CP2.0 Battery (48-11-2420).



The Automotive Impact Wrench 2-Piece Kit includes the M18 FUEL™ 1/2” High Torque Impact Wrench w/ Friction Ring that delivers 1400 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque and 1,000 ft-lbs of fastening torque, and the  M18 FUEL™ 3/8” Mid-Torque Impact Wrench w/ Friction Ring, delivering the industry’s best power to weight ratio: 600 ft-lbs of torque from only 5.0 lbs.

This automotive impact wrench kit includes (1) M18 FUEL™ 3/8” Mid-Torque Impact Wrench w/ Friction Ring (2960-20), (1) M18 FUEL™ 1/2” High Torque Impact Wrench w/ Friction Ring (2767-20), (2) M18™ REDLITHIUM™  XC5.0 Extended Capacity Battery Pack (48-11-1850) , (1) M12™/M18™ Multi-Voltage Charger (48-59-1812), and (1) Contractor Bag.

For the full Milwaukee Tool offering, visit


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