We got to take a look at the Milwaukee M18 Cordless Work Light (49-24-0171). Initially we liked the basic design of the work light, but had to complain, respectfully, that any stand-alone light in this day and age should include a new super-bright LED bulb. Milwaukee sells both an LED-based Work Light 2735-20 ($55) and a 50,000-hour stand-alone LED upgrade bulb 49-81-0090 ($30). Even though this Xenon bulb-based product is less expensive than the LED version, it’s still far too expensive in our opinion. The relatively power-hungry Xenon incandescent bulb included with this kit is less desirable than the almost limitless life of their newest LED model. If you’re going to buy a work light, get a good one.
In either case, the light itself is quite handy and swivels from past vertical to below horizontal, giving it almost endless flexibility (135 degrees overall). Add to this its flip out utility hook and you can position this light just about anywhere it can get a fingerhold. The light works with both the XC battery and the Compact battery. The only difference is the duration of the light output – which you can measure in hours, not minutes. It has a nice amount of rubber overmold and weighs 2 lbs, 4 oz if you attach a Milwaukee M18 XC battery. This weight, plus an ample battery base means that it is fairly stable and can be set down without fear of blowing over from minor bumps.
We used the 2735-20 Work Light in many different scenarios and it lasted a long time and provides a good amount of light and really served to illuminate our work areas well. More often than not we found ourselves in some kind of crawl space or attic situation, but we never ran out of places to hang or set the flashlight on to get the best performance. Speaking of performance we gave this light a 5/10 since it does it’s job well but doesn’t do a whole lot to rise to the top of the heap. For value we gave it a 3/10 because there are a lot of options when you get to the $50 work light price bracket.