Last week, we talked a little about the new Milwaukee M12 cordless inflator that’s coming out.
There’s a common sentiment in some of the responses, boiling down to: this looks great, but I wish there was an M18 version.
Here’s the thing, though. I know exactly why Milwaukee came out with an M12 version, instead of M18. I didn’t even have to talk to them about it.
Most people, you see, will only ever need a 12V-powered cordless inflator. Sure, it might be convenient for M18 users to be able to use the inflator with their battery packs. But an M12 inflator is going to be smaller, less expensive, and perfectly suitable for most tasks it’s asked to do.
If this inflator isn’t enough for your needs, then perhaps a cordless air compressor would be the better choice. You can find cordless air compressors by Ridgid (18V) and Dewalt (FlexVolt).
Over at our friends (and affiliate partner) Tool Nut, they have a special bundle (preorder bundle??) where you can buy the bare tool inflator and a 2.0Ah battery pack for just $10 more than the price of the bare tool. It’s $79, compared to the tool-only price of $69. If you have any M18 battery chargers, then you know that you also have an M12 charger, since M18 chargers have been multi-volt chargers for the longest time.
An M18 inflator would be expected to be more capable. I presume it would also be larger and more expensive.
As for the M12 inflator being enough for most needs, take a look my review of Craftsman’s 12V Nextec cordless inflator.
That Craftsman inflator got me out of some tough times. It also helped me out with many seasonal tire pressure top-offs.
There was a time when I had a slow tire leak for two weeks before I was able to get it fixed. Every two days or so I’d top off my tire. That two week delay wasn’t laziness, I just could not spare any time to go to the tire shop.
One of those days, when I kept the inflator in my trunk for 2 weeks, I was in a hospital parking lot and there was a woman with a small kid, and her car had a very flat tire. My inflator was on a low charge, but we were able to get her tire pressure up enough so that she could get out of the parking lot and wait for someone to meet her. That’s what she wanted, and the inflator ran for long enough to being her tire up from nearly flat.
While more is better, an M12/12V-class battery is great for a task like this.
You can keep the battery with the inflator, helping to lower the cost of entry. The 4.0Ah battery kit seems like a decent value, too, but I really like that there’s that special 2.0Ah battery bundle for $79.
If you’re an M18 user, I definitely understand what you might be thinking. And maybe one day Milwaukee will come out with an M18 model, too. But as with other tools that are available in M12 and M18 varieties, there’d have to be additional capabilities, power, or benefits.
Whether you’re an M18 user or you don’t own any Milwaukee tools, part of the goal behind tools like this is to turn you into an M12 user as well. While each tool is intended to be a solution that satisfies user needs or wants, many can also serve as “gateway” tools. If you can be convinced to buy your first M12 tool, there’s a good chance that you’re going to buy more down the road. Right?
If a Craftsman 12V Nextec inflator can deliver an admirable performance with a 1.3Ah battery pack, what can’t a Milwaukee M12 inflator do, with a 2.0Ah compact or 4.0Ah XC battery pack?
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(Some retailers are offering preorder promos, ending 3/31/2018.)