Let’s add to the Milwaukee M18 reviews and go with the M18 Job Site Radio. This has been sitting on the back burner for a long time and Dan keeps hounding me to write this. It’s midnight and decided to pump out another review. My wife is making muffins and I was lucky enough to get some batter. For some reason the spoon is huge, but that just means I can shovel more in my mouth and work on my third chin. Yes we are a little weird, baking and writing at midnight. Must be a family function tomorrow that I forgot about.
As you know, I hope you know, I just switched to the Milwaukee M18 line. What could be better than to have some tunes jamming in the background while you work, no more whistling while you work. I was very excited to get this radio. When it finally came, I had to rip open the box while Dan was breathing over my shoulders. We both wanted to see it for different reasons. I just wanted my radio, Dan wanted to compare it to the Ridgid he just bought.
Looking at the radio, it looks awesome. Nice hard plastic to protect it during the rough rides and abuse on a job site. Handles on the front and both sides. The screen looks big and easy to read. There is a place in the back to wrap the cord up when not in use. Heck, it even has a bottle opener on the back, so when you get thirsty and need a beer, you are set. I am sure a foreman loves to hear that.
Well the time was here to install a battery and fire it up, plus I was tired of Dan jumping up and down asking me to turn it on. Oh yeah the batteries. The batteries fit into a sealed compartment to protect from weather and debris. You can power this radio with almost any Milwaukee battery, the M12, M18, V18, V28 and the 12 and 18 NiCd. There is also a spot where you can insert 2 AA batteries, so when there is no juice to the radio, it still keeps time and your presets. I almost forgot. On the back is a 12V plug which will provide power to most small devices like your cell phone. OK we fired it up and found a station. Man it sounds great with its 40 watt 4″ speakers and tweeters, loud and clear. I was a little surprised as it does have digital reception with tuner processor, we did get more static then I expected. Especially since we are only 40 miles from Chicago and get a boat load of stations. So we decided to hook it up to the iPhone and jam some tunes. I have to say this is the loudest radio I have ever heard, with the best sound quality. We have tested the Dewalt, Ridgid and Makita. No Bosch yet, but heard good things about that.
The sound is great and the aesthetics are all good. The screen is very easy to read, but I was left a little disappointed. When we changed the stations, there was a delay when we pushed a button for sound or station changing and even sometimes it didn’t register the push of a button. This is frustrating as it takes more time to tune and adjust the volume. I wish they would have a knob to make these adjustments instead of a push button. The Ridgid was nice because it has a remote. The Ridgid also had the knob adjustment I really like. While the Milwaukee will play MP3 players, it’s not like the Ridgid. With the Ridgid, you can insert your iPod and have full control with the buttons on the radio or remote. With the Milwaukee you still have to open the top and make the adjustments on your iPod. Also the presets. You can not just jump to a preset, you have to press the button to get to your selection. So if you want the last preset, number ten, you have to push the button ten times to get there, instead of hitting a preset button that says ten.
If you have the M18 line or another Milwaukee line of tools, this is a good radio to have. If you are looking for a radio and do not have a line of tools and just want the radio, I really like the Ridgid better. The Ridgid is just more user friendly, even though it doesn’t have the sound quality the Milwaukee has.