So Milwaukee is into innovation – everyone who is even remotely familiar with the company and its product lines can attest to that. But what’s always surprising (to me, at least) is the diversity of areas that innovation touches upon. Take the new Milwaukee Max-Lok Carbide Extension System, for example. This falls smack dab in the lap of serious concrete professionals who use SDS-Max bits day in and day out. The Milwaukee Max-Lok system is designed to extend SDS-Max rotary hammer bits up to 82.5″. That means you can take your existing SDS-Max bits and bore deeper and into more places than ever before. And you’re not buying expensive and dedicated extended length bits to do it.
Milwaukee Max-Lok Carbide SDS-Max Bit Extension System Features
The Max-Lok system is so compelling because it makes a lot of sense on a number of levels. For larger-bore bits that exceed the diameter of the system itself – which is about 1-1/4″ – it means you can now do through-drilling without having to purchase yet another expensive extension bit in a particular size or diameter to accomplish the job. Or, for simply needing to reach into more remote areas, the extension system gives you that reach. But there’s also the third fringe benefit: Letting you adapt your SDS-Plus or Spline rotary hammer drill to an SDS-Max bit system. In any of these scenarios you’re looking at saving a lot of time and money. But let’s back up to how the system itself works. There are three primary components to the Max-Lok Carbide Bit Extension System:
- The Max-Lok Extension
- The Max-Lok Connection
- The SDS-Max bit
So you have three options for the Milwaukee Max-Lok Extension, either SDS-Plus, Spline, or SDS-Max. The SDS-Max Extensions come in 12.5″, 29.5″, 43″, 63″ and 82.5″ lengths while the Spline, for example, goes up to 43″ and the SDS-Plus to 29.5″. You’re going to do the more serious drilling and boring with a heavier-duty SDS-Max tool, so the breakdown makes sense (plus Milwaukee has put its weight behind the SDS-Max format).
We got a chance to put out hands on the Milwaukee Max-Lok system and, to be quite honest, it’s pretty impressive. While it allows your o drill into more difficult areas while using standard bits – the real advantage seemed to be drilling out larger holes. You can actually drill right through with your SDS-Max Rotary Hammer using only the Max-Lok system and your own existing SDS-Max bits. That means there’s simply no need for purchasing expensive long-length bits. You just use this system and swap out as needed.
The Milwaukee Max-Lok Connection (48-20-6950) is the real “brains” behind the Max-Lok Carbide Extension System. It’s made out of high quality steel and has dual spring-loaded ends which pull and twist to allow the extension piece in one end and the SDS-Max bit in the other. Milwaukee describes this critical piece as being the “Energy Transfer” mechanism – and that makes sense. You can tell by picking up and handling the Max-Lok Connection that it’s built like a brick… It feels like something you would pull out of the Terminator… something indestructible. And it’s sole job is to ensure that as you are connecting the Extension through it to the SDS-Max bit, you don’t lose any power in the process. It’s also made to be greased up sufficiently that it won’t break down from use in what is almost certainly going to be a very dust-filled environment. Milwaukee also sells a grease kit so that the Max-Lock Connection can be properly maintained.
The Milwaukee Max-Lok Carbide Extension System has a lot of components and options and it looks like Milwaukee covered all of the important bases:
- Max-Lok connection (48-20-6950)
- SDS-Max 12.5” Max-Lok Extension (48-20-6960)
- SDS-Max 29.5” Max-Lok Extension (48-20-6962)
- SDS-Max 43” Max-Lok Extension (48-20-6964)
- SDS-Max 63” Max-Lok Extension (48-20-6966)
- SDS-Max 82.5” Max-Lok Extension (48-20-6968)
- SDS-PLUS 12.5” Max-Lok Extension (48-20-6980)
- SDS-PLUS 29.5” Max-Lok Extension (48-20-6982)
- SPLINE 12.5” Max-Lok Extension (48-20-6970)
- SPLINE 29.5” Max-Lok Extension (48-20-6972)
- SPLINE 43” Max-Lok Extension (48-20-6974)
- Grease Max-Lok (49-08-5385)
In terms of pricing, the Milwaukee Max-Lok Connection will run at or around $200 and the Extensions can range from $30-$80 depending upon the length(s) desired. When you compare this to the pricing for extended length large diameter concrete bits, the Max-Lok Carbide Extension System starts to look like a very competitively-price long-term tool that we feel will very quickly become indispensable.