TIA Tool Predictions: 2015 Edition


As we say goodbye to 2014 we naturally wonder what 2015 holds for us. Will Russia’s economy completely fail? Who will emerge as the frontrunners for the 2016 Presidential election? Will the decline in oil prices trigger serious consequences in other world markets? I have no idea about any of that crap, so you’ll need to ask Rush Limbaugh, Chris Matthews, or whoever else you like to take your lies and distorted truths from about that.

Here at TIA we know about tools, so I asked each of our 5 Staff members to give a couple predictions of tools or trends we might see in 2015.

Text in RED indicates my commentary on the other members picks.

 

Dan Maxey: Co-Owner / Senior Editor

“1. This will be the year for portable, cordless, liquid pumps, either 12V or 18V. Like the liquid transfer pump we showed you here only better.

2. We might see heated battery cases this year to make sure your lithium’s are always ready, no matter what the temperature is outside.

3. Everything will go cordless. There will be a cordless version of every tool including welders and compressors.

4. We will start seeing more adapters to run batteries across different brands this year.

5. Eric might actually work and do something for Tools In Action this year.  Actually that wont happen.”

 

Eric Jopp: Co-Owner / Senior Editor

“1: Bosch will expand on their wireless charging line-up.

The conductive charging concept is extremely cool and valuable to a lot of different industries. I think Bosch will add new solutions to outfit a work truck or van with more ways to use their innovative charging system”

I completely agree with Eric on this one. Bosch’s inductive charging system is headed for big things. 5 years from now we’ll look at the current version the same way we look analog bag phones. Revolutionary for their time, but really just a teaser for the greater things to come.

2: Dewalt will introduce a lot of new tools in 2015

The sleeping giant has been quite the last couple of years. Don’t get me wrong, they have come out with some great tools, but I think this year we are going to see some big innovations from them. I think Dewalt is going to be a leader in innovation this year with new and exciting tools

I couldn’t agree more and this is right in line with my first and second predictions.

“3:  Bonus

The cubs will still suck (even thought they have some real talent this year) and Dan will still complain about everything.”

 

Travis Raynes: Forum Administrator / Editor

1: Whatever your brand preference may be, let’s be honest with ourselves, the 2010’s have really been Milwaukee’s reign thus far. They hit the market with new products like the ProPex expansion tools and the Force Logic press and knockout tools, that for the first time made us look at power tool brands as being geared toward specific trades. They also made 12V tools viable in a host of professional applications we previously never imagined. As far as power tools go, I think Milwaukee will “keep on keeping on” in 2015, but I think it will be Dewalt that grabs the lion’s share of the headlines this year.

2: Call me crazy, but there is no doubt in my mind Milwaukee has picked up an extraordinary amount of market share over the last 3-4 years, and you can bet a lot of that has come at Dewalt’s expense. The timing is right for Dewalt to hit the market with a few game changers of their own, and I fully expect team yellow to deliver.

Bonus: I also see both Dewalt and Milwaukee pumping even more products into their hand tool lines. I feel that to be especially true in the mechanics tools section of the business. We will also get our hands on Mac’s much anticipated 90 tooth USA ratchets and I predict they will be Sweeeet!!!

Rant: I’m also going to take this opportunity to bash Milwaukee a little. I’ve been lobbying for an M12 pop rivet gun for 3 years now, but obviously without luck. The mechanics involved would be close to what they already have with the Force Logic tools, and the M12 platform would be perfect for guys like me who rivet on occasion, but still too much to fight with a manual gun.

I’m calling you out Milwaukee!

 

Jason Columbo: Forum Moderator / Contributor

Jason (DR99 on the forums), believes we’ll see a continued expansion of cordless power equipment and brings up a very good point in that if manufacturers like Dewalt are entering a market segment in which they previously didn’t participate, that’s a good sign we’re going to see some products thrown at the line.  

“1: We will see continued growth in battery powered cordless outdoor power equipment to the point that 2 cycle engine stuff will become less and less economical to buy at the consumer level. The green works 80V Pro and Dewalt 40V lines show that this is considered a huge growth market with many players trying to grab market share either for consumer or professional level equipment” 

Another fine observation Jason makes is that many professional users who aren’t already, will soon be able to cut the cord entirely. The advent of the 4.0 and 5.0ah batteries have power thirsty tools like circ saws, grinders, and even recip saws, looking like a truly acceptable replacement for their corded counterparts. 

“2: The other thing is you’re going too see less cords on the job site. I think we will see additions to Dewalt’s cordless nailers this year. The trim guns are coming!, but my take on this is that you’re are going to see small re-modelers and such try and replace tools that either used electric or pneumatic hoses, with cordless options for convenience. I think we might even see a decent battery powered roofing gun this year. The one Paslode has out right now is meant for small patch jobs, but with the technology they have out now, you could see a big change in roofing nailers.”

“Bonus: One extra guess is that we will see some updated Milwaukee Fuel Drills and Impact drivers at their new product event this summer. They are some of the oldest models on the market now and other companies  have tools that beat them in the specification war. Milwaukee probably isn’t happy giving that crown up to Makita who has the most powerful drill and impact driver on the market currently.”

I too will be very interested to to see if Miwaukee can be content with the current fuel model. A couple years ago I predicted (and got shot down) that Milwaukee would produce a premium Fuel Hammer Drill as he did with their pre-Fuel line. Perhaps 2015 is the premium fuel drills time to appear?

 

Chris Kelby: Forum Moderator
“1: Obviously we are going to see an increase in the capabilities of cordless power tools with ever expanding battery capacities. I really am looking forward to Bosch’s wireless charging system. This was really a milestone for Bosch and I think they took the other big guys by surprise. Seeing Milwaukee take a leap towards Festool’s +3 drill line and Festool taking a step forward in cordless technology, it only makes sense that they will begin to prototype wireless charging in the top lines…not just Milwaukee but Dewalt too, as they have really ramped up the tools that they offer. What I am thinking will happen is that these wireless charging systems are going to become the “new” thing for contractors and DiYers alike. Like wireless charging being introduced in the cell market, it makes sense that the whole idea will expand. Bosch will more likely than not include the 12v line in this system as well.  I am quite confident that this is well underway. Additionally with wireless charging, tool companies can add multiple abilities to these chargers. Cell phones, lasers, lights etc….”

As I stated earlier, I agree that the expansion of inductive charging will blow our minds in the not to distant future.

“2: Milwaukee and Makita introduced larger cordless saws, being able to take full size blades with long run time. I think that this year, Dust Collection is going to become more prevalent in all of the big lines. It’s a moniker right now but those days will be over. People are more health conscious and I’m pretty sure that federal regs will begin to work into the pros work place mandating this. Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Bosch…will end up expanding DC more in the cordless line of tools like circular saws. Already present in the cordless rotary hammers I think this is the next logical step.”

Agreed. The dust collection writing is already on the wall.

“Bonus:  I am not sure this is a prediction but with the increase in production of heated clothing, it would be nice to see the manufactures begin work on cooling. Battery powered shirts, vests etc with heat sinks and circulating properties need to be worked on. Truthfully where I live, summer can get hot but it’s nothing compared to the humid summer heat in Dixieland.”

Nothing like mowing your property or working outside in a job the requires long pants when it’s 105 degrees with 80% humidity. My black oxide finish tools aren’t crazy about it  either. Cooled work pants/shirts would be pretty awesome. 

Conclusions

So there you have it. Expansion of the cordless power equipment and wireless charging markets, cordless welders, and It appears we’re all expecting a big year for team yellow. I suppose only time will tell which among these come to fruition, but I’m betting they’re all pretty close.

We’ll check back around November and see how everything panned out.

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Travis (Conductor562 on the Forums) is an Editor and Forum Administrator for Tools In Action. As a father of 4, he is an avid fixer off all things broken. He enjoys woodworking and restorations. While he enjoys all tools, he focuses primarily on hand tools. When he's not at work he can be found in his home shop working on something with lots of help from his 5 year apprentice Evan (aka Conductor Jr.).

19 COMMENTS

  1. While the ridiculous torque numbers are fun for appendage measuring, the Makita XPH07 is really heavy for everyday use. If Milwaukee feels “threatened” enough to release a competing product, then so be it, but they don’t make it 6 lbs like the Makita.

    I’d much rather see something like the PowerX3 attachment from Metabo, that let’s you triple your torque when you need it w/quick swap chuck, that fits on an otherwise sensible drill/driver that’s 3-4 lbs.

    • The Makita XPH07 is only half a pound heavier than any of its competitors, though the handle is not quite as uncomfortable. Its not ‘really’ heavy, but I agree it isn’t as comfortable. However the massive power (especially in timber drilling) would be worth it for a lot of users, and will actually reduce the amount of time you are holding the tool.

  2. Also wireless charging isn’t a game changer for me at all, can anyone come up with a scenario where its advantageous? Even in cell phones, where batteries are not swappable in most cases nowadays, wireless charging has gained very little ground because it doesn’t change the usage model. Yeah, you don’t plug in the USB cable anymore, but youre still tethered to a wall outlet. When you have the ability to swap, the value diminishes even further.

    Perhaps if the feature was “free” and didn’t cost more than the standard Bosch offerings, it would gain acceptance just as a bonus feature, but outside of a production setting where you never move more than 3 feet from your workbench, I don’t see the demand for it, at least not enough to make people choose Bosch over another brand with all else held the same.

    • I hear ya, but I think as the capabilities expand, the wireless transfer of power will find it’s niche in playing a big part of our daily lives. Imagine products that require cords today being infinitely powered wirelessly. Remember when cell phones weren’t in everyones pocket because the infrastructure wasn’t good enough to make them viable and people didn’t see the need for them?

  3. I’m looking forward to 2015, even if my wallets nt. I agree with a lot of the predictions especially and hopefully the dewalt predictions.

  4. Very nice write up guys and I’m really liking the predictions I’m really happy to hear DeWalt is coming out with a lot of cool stuff but I hope they can really change the game like milwaukee and makita have been doing.

  5. Bosch’s wireless system is a joke! No one needs wireless tools, it’s just unnecessary. Power tools are fine just the way they are, Longer, bigger Ah batteries are the way to go, not lame pods to stand or sit your tools in. Aren’t people lazy enough today? I hope DeWalt and Milwaukee don’t follow this lame system that Bosch has started.

  6. M12 fuel circular saw dropping soon, hoping for more cordless framing and trim nailers, hopefully Dewalt puts out some more 12v tools. I sold dewalt 12v for milwaukee 12v due to lack of tools and man I miss them, they feel great in your hand.

    Oh and that sawstop guy is gonna screw everyone.

  7. Very sure that battery power will rule in the future and that starts in 2015. Hopefully they will come up with a battery that last all day long for tools and phones. That would be the game changer. Wireless charging? Should be a no brainer and not cost anything more. Just standard fair.

  8. I have enough trouble with chafing as it is, I’m not looking forward to the high tech version that doesn’t need direct contact lol. I’m not slamming your spelling, it was just funny to read

    • It was funny. I have a love/hate relationship with autocorrect. I guess that’s what happens when you edit your articles at 2:00 in the morning.

  9. I’m a Milwaukee guy, but I do hope to see a cordless DeWalt finish nailer to one-up the Ryobi. I have the Ryobi 18-ga nailer and it seems to work well, but frankly I don’t trust it like I would trust a DeWalt. My true hope is that Milwaukee introduces a cordless 18-ga nailer as well so I can just sell my Ryobi completely and match my current battery platform, but I’d settle for trading that specific tool to the very trustworthy DeWalt platform.

    • I think we’ll certainly see cordless Milwaukee Nailers at some point. If I remember right, Milwaukee offered pneumatic nailers at one point.

  10. I too am hoping for a serious cordless roofing gun that can really do away with the need for pneumatic.
    Im guessing that Makita is gonna drop some killer tools on us this year
    Festool table saw?
    maybe some sawstop competition??
    whatever happens im looking forward to it!

  11. Look for some new Radio/Chargers from Bosch, Makita, and probably DeWalt. DeWalt has a heads up in that their 12v and 20v (18) platforms use the same form factor for the battery to charger interface. The market opportunity driving the new R/C units is the increase in size of smart phones and Bluetooth. Essentially, they’ll incorporate Bluetooth, like Milwaukee has already done, and make the “accessory bay” larger to protect the new biggaphones. Personally, I think they should just jump straight to accommodating 7″ tablets.

    12v brushless is going to be HOT, at least from the manufacturers standpoint. Milwaukee almost totally owns that product space, look to see at least 1 if not all three of the other majors jump into it. Second tier brands (Rigid, Hitachi, Craftsman & Porter-Cable) will gingerly start moving into brushless.

    Milwaukee will introduce compact 18v Fuel Drills & Impact drivers.

    Lowe’s will, hopefully, fire the idiots who have destroyed Kobalt as a respectable house brand.

    Tool backpacks will become a fashionable way to tote stuff on campus and such, much as messenger bags did for a while. Be on the lookout for lumbersexuals with Klein backpacks.

    Harbor Freight will purchase both Knipex and Festool, bringing additional tool shaped objects, now disguised as inexpensive German goodness, to the masses.

    Makita and Kawasaki will team up with Real Tree to market heated garments.

    DeWalt and Bosch will introduce a full sizes 18/20v brushless circular saws. Some marketing mook will look at the proliferation of such saws and decide to market some saw blades specifically for them.

    LED utility lights will become much more common and less expensive.

    Makita, Honda and Tanos will collaborate on a robotic Segway like modular tool storage tower for jobsites. Nicknamed using the Japanese word for “Mule”, articles will be written about it in Esquire, Men’s Journal, Popular Mechanics, and Robb Report.

    Craftsman will market a skateboard with a tiny electric motor, milk crate and bungees, hoping to capitalize on the same market.

    Harbor Freight will do the same. On any given day, it will be a crapshoot as to which of them will actually work.

    Somebody will either discover a method of making pic’n’pluck foam cheaply, or discover that there’s more money to be made selling 25x as much to the modular toolbox market at a 50% markup than there is selling 1x at a 200% markup.

    Makita will start shipping the last 9.6v stick batteries from their California warehouse, once the missing shipment finally arrives at the Port of Long Beach, having left Japan in 1987 on a war surplus Liberty ship. Fear that they would lose face if/when the shipment materialized, Makita has been keeping the stick batteries in the catalog for some time.

    Eric, recovering from unwittingly ingesting some magic mushrooms in the Thanksgiving stuffing, will realize that he actually spent $50k on a 1993 Isuzu pickup, not a 2015 F150. Fortunately for him, he’s short, because he’ll be sleeping in the bed of that pickup for a LONG time.

  12. “Makita, Honda and Tanos will collaborate on a robotic Segway like modular tool storage tower for jobsites. Nicknamed using the Japanese word for “Mule”, articles will be written about it in Esquire, Men’s Journal, Popular Mechanics, and Robb Report.

    Craftsman will market a skateboard with a tiny electric motor, milk crate and bungees, hoping to capitalize on the same market.

    Harbor Freight will do the same. On any given day, it will be a crapshoot as to which of them will actually work.”

    This might be the greatest comment ever!

  13. DeWalt/Bosch/Milwaukee/Chicago Electric will team to do a set of the 6 most used power tools that do a specific job by just winking. Say what?? Yes, wink & the tool is off to do its job.

    But, wait there is more. DeWalt will actually create a wifi tool that can send tool vitals to your phone via the battery. Imagin knowing when your battery will die or getting a text that you need to use a different setting for the job at hand or when tools is hot. Wait there is more , when a battery is fully charged. Bing!! Battery ready. I could say more but I may wet myself, so I will stop.

    Guess which is one is doable now? We have the technology why not? Everything I read is great but I like mine the most. I’m really pulling for the wink technology. I see myself with an ice tea in hand & winking all day. Laters TIA

  14. HERE IS A PREDICTION….

    THE TOOLS WILL KEEP COMING FROM CHINA…..

    AND COMING……..

    AND COMING…………..

    STOP PERPETUATING THE MADE IN CHINA MADNESS.

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