Milwaukee Forge Battery – M18 and MX Fuel High Performance

Milwaukee M18 Forge Battery 6.0Ah

Higher Output and Faster Charging Define Milwaukee Forge Battery Packs

With all the secrets of Milwaukee Pipeline 2023 now out, one of the most anticipated products featured an update to the Milwaukee battery system. The newest generation is the Milwaukee Forge battery. Should you run out and pre-order one of these M18 Fuel or MX Fuel Forge batteries today? Take a closer look and see if they’re right for the way you work.

Is the Milwaukee Forge Battery a Stacked Pouch Cell Pack?

With DeWalt PowerStack and Flex Stacked both enjoying success with their pouch cell power tool batteries, there have been a lot of question wondering if Milwaukee was going to develop their own version. The short answer is yes, however, Milwaukee is not ONLY using pouch cells for all their newest batteries. Instead, some include the first tabless cylindrical cell batteries used in power tools.

Milwaukee pouch cell batteries

The M18 Forge XC6.0 battery does feature six pouch cells (1Ah each). So we have the best of both worlds—the very first tabless cylindrical cell batteries and the first Milwaukee pouch cell battery.

Pouch Cells vs Tabless Cylindrical Cells

What is a Pouch Cell Battery?

A pouch cell battery delivers a high power battery in a small lightweight and ergonomic solution. With this technology, Milwaukee can provide a significantly lower resistance cell which means much higher power output. That means faster application speeds with existing M18 products.

So this new pouch-cell XC6.0 battery can expand the application range for the tools you already own. That means that where you could previously use a four-inch hole, now you can use a six-inch hole with the added power delivery.

In addition, pouch cell packs like the M18 RedLithium Forge XC6.0 were really cool. So you can push them harder longer without ever stopping. Lastly, you can charge them really, really quickly—also due to the fact that they resist heat buildup.

What is a Tabless Cylindrical Cell Battery?

MX Fuel RedLithium Forge batteries are the first batteries in the industry to leverage tabless cylindrical cell technology. When you open up a cylindrical cell, you get what’s lovingly called a “jelly roll”. Open up that Jelly Roll, and you typically get an electrode where you have a cathode, a separator and then an anode.

One of the challenges with prior generation cell technology is that the current actually has to flow a very large distance from the active material out to the tabbing structure. Then, when it gets to the tabbing structure, you have very little “real estate” for all of that current to flow through. It creates a constraint versus tabless cell technology.

Larger RedLithium Forge batteries like the MX Fuel XC8.0 and HD12.0 packs and M18 Fuel HD12.0 packs use tabless cells. With these, the current has a much shorter distance to travel and also gives you a much larger surface area. From a cell standpoint, this means that it has a significantly lower resistance. It can put out higher power and run cooler.

RedLithium Forge HD120 battery

Advantages of Tabless and Pouch Cell Technologies

By reducing resistance, you tend to get more current out to the system. More current means more power to the tool. That’s how you continue to get more power out of a system without changing the voltage.

Keeping in mind that it’s the connection that provides the benefit rather than the shape alone, Milwaukee’s development of both pouch cells and tabless battery cells evens the playing field. It may even have an advantage in its ability to use spacing and material to draw heat away from the cells.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Forge Battery

M18 Fuel Circular Saw

Out of the gate, there’s one Milwaukee M18 Forge battery on the roll call and it’s the XC6.0. This 6.0Ah pack uses a pouch cell design. From a power delivery standpoint, it’s capable of providing the same watts as the 12.0Ah High Output battery. That’s a big deal. It means that each cell has to deliver twice the current of the cells in that larger pack.

Additionally, the battery is capable of an 80% super charge to 5Ah of capacity in just 15 minutes. From there, it slows down to top itself off.

Even though there’s more current running through it, Milwaukee promises the M18 Forge battery has the longest life, most recharges, and best performance available compared to the standard and High Output RedLithium packs.

M18 Fuel RedLithium Forge XC60 battery

As a bonus, these packs are also designed to have better protection against common oils, grease, and solvents.

Finally, as we expect, RedLink intelligence monitors against overload and the battery is fully compatible with all M18 and M18 Fuel products.

Price and Availability

Look for the Milwaukee M18 Forge 6.0Ah battery to be available beginning in September 2023 with a retail price of $199.

There will also be a dual-port simultaneous Super Charger that pairs perfectly with these batteries for $249.

Look for a 12.0Ah M18 Forge battery coming in the second half of 2024.

Full M18 RedLithium Forge Battery and Charger Pricing to-date

  • M18 RedLithium Forge XC6.0 Battery: $199, available September 2023
  • M18 Dual Bay Simultaneous Super Charger: $249, available September 2023

Milwaukee MX Fuel Forge Battery

Milwaukee MX Fuel Forge 12.0Ah Battery

For those of you replacing your gas equipment with Milwaukee MX Fuel products, you have two Forge batteries to look forward to. A new 8.0Ah MX Fuel Forge battery offers 33% more runtime than the current 6.0Ah pack. There’s also a 12.0Ah MX Fuel Forge battery for the highest runtime.

Like the M18 version, these packs offer higher performance, service life, and faster charging than their standard counterparts. The 8.0Ah battery gets back to a full charge in just 45 minutes. The 12.0Ah pack takes 65 minutes. Those are lightning-fast charge times compared to what we’re used to seeing.

One of the technologies that helps drive such fast charging is what Milwaukee calls its “Cool-Cycle” active cooling system. It’s not just a fan in the charger, though. It combines a design in both the charger and the battery to drive high-speed cooling across the battery components.

The MX Fuel packs are also Milwaukee One-Key enabled.

Full MX Fuel RedLithium Forge Battery and Charger Pricing to-date

  • MX Fuel RedLithium Forge XC6.0 Battery: $849, available October 2023
  • MX Fuel RedLithium Forge HD12.0 Battery: $1149, available November 2023
  • MX Fuel Super Charger: $549, available October 2023

Milwaukee Super Chargers

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel SuperCharger charges over two times faster versus the prior generation charger. This is the most powerful charger Milwaukee has ever made. They actually had to add controls to dial back the wattage to avoid tripping breakers.

Full RedLithium Forge Super Charger Pricing to-date

  • M18 Dual Bay Simultaneous Super Charger: $249, available September 2023
  • MX Fuel Super Charger: $549, available October 2023

Charge Adapt Battery Charging Technology

It works using a technology called Charge Adapt. Charge Adapt asymmetrically charges two batteries at one time. This means that both batteries always receive some level of charge, however Milwaukee varies the levels per battery in order to quick charge the most-optimized pack. Contrast that to a charger simply “choosing” one battery to charge first over another and then switching over.

Simultaneously charging always occurs in this system if two batteries are installed. That also means that, in order to really get to an 80% charge in 15 minutes, you need to install only one FORGE XC6.0 battery pack on the charger to achieve that speed. Keep that in mind in the event you really need to maximize charge time on a single pack.

Super Charger

Cool Cycle

When your tools perform demanding applications back to back, batteries will inherently warm up. To speed up charging, Milwaukee developed cool cycle, which employs high-speed air cooling on both their MX Fuel RedLithium batteries as well as the M18 SuperCharger.

When you put an M18 Fuel Forge battery on the charger, it instantly starts rapidly cooling down the pack. This gives you significantly faster charge times. On top of that, the battery comes off cool at the end of charging. This should provide a significant improvement in turnaround time for anyone charging batteries.

Price and Availability

Look for the 8.0Ah battery in October 2023 for $849. The 12.0Ah battery runs $1149 and will be available in November 2023.

The MX Fuel Super Charger comes online in October 2023 for $549.

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