Charging batteries can be a pain. It can be especially meddlesome when you have multiple voltages and multiple battery types. Take Milwaukee, for example, we love both their M12 and M18 line of tools, but why do we need to have duplicate charging bays? Apparent;y, we don’t – not anymore. Milwaukee debuted its M18 & M12 Multi-Voltage Charger (48-59-1812) at their New Tools press event earlier this year. With the lifting of the embargo, we can now talk about it openly. This is very very cool for anyone using both platforms. The new Energy Star-rated unit will charge all M18 and M12 lithium-ion batteries sequentially, allowing the user to put both packs on the charger and walk away confident they will be ready for their next job.
Milwaukee M18 & M12 Multi-Voltage Charger Features
The new unit will charge M18 or M12 compact batteries in 30 minutes and extended capacity (XC) batteries in 60 minutes.
Now, since they will charge the batteries sequentially, that means that only one battery will get charged at a time – presumably the one you put on the charger first. Keep that in mind, because it could take up to an hour and a half, or even two hours to fully charge both batteries. In a sense, this dilutes the convenience slightly. If you’re in a hurry, for example, you’ll want to use separate chargers to get both up and running quickly. And, if you’ve already got a battery started, it could be a full 30-60 minutes until the one you just placed on the charger begins its charge cycle.
But Wait! There’s More…
Before you get all bent out of shape, however, put this into a proper perspective. Milwaukee is making this, not as a solution to stand on its own, but as an upgraded product that it will begin to release with select new tools. In that way, it’s an absolutely free upgrade that simply adds more flexibility to your existing battery charger. Viewed in that light, it’s hard to criticize it at all.
The new Multi-Voltage Charger will be available in March 2012 and will be included with the new M18 FUEL Drill Driver and Hammer Drill Driver. While you can also find the Multi-Voltage Charger as an optional accessory, it will also find itself being transitioned into several M18 kits.