I can't tell you how many times I have been sitting in my shop looking around only to wonder what the heck am I doing with all my chargers. I have to say it's a pain, but one I have had to live with. In my shop I have four Milwaukee chargers, plus numerous other brands. The fun doesn't stop there, in my truck I also have four Milwaukee Chargers. Why you ask? Well that's easy, I am lazy. Milwaukee tools are my primary tools I use. Not my only tools, but just my primary tools. Battery technology has come a long way and for about 75% of my jobs, I can go cordless. However on some of these jobs I eat through batteries just like a fat kid at a candy store cleans out the candy bins. So it's only logical I have to keep multiple chargers around to keep the batteries fresh. However it is a pain because you always have to have power and always eat up outlets. For some jobs I will have my drill, impact, Sawzall, Circular Saw and even my grinder out. Not that I use them all at the same time, trust me if I could I would be in the next circus act. Some jobs I end bringing a couple guys in to help out and let them use my tools. There are other jobs where I have my impact, Sawzall and Circular saw out. Both saws eat through batteries, but I really like the freedom to move around, so I opt for the cordless sometimes. Again I am lazy, so I like having a battery on each tool so I am not changing them all the time. So this means I have to have multiple chargers around on the job. Also the same thing at the house. When I get home from some jobs, I don't want to take the chargers out of the truck, plug them in and then set the batteries up for charging. I would rather just get home and toss the batteries on the charger. Well Milwaukee made my life a little easier with their new 6 Pack Sequential Charger. When I first saw the headlines about the new Milwaukee 6 pack, I was excited as I thought there was a new beer line out. Then I looked closer and saw it was a new charger. Still very cool, but not beer cool.
As the name implies this is a sequential charger which means it holds six batteries, but it will only charge one at a time, which I will get back to in a minute. The charger is designed to work with both the 18V compact and the 18V high capacity batteries. The charger has a nice design with a carrying handle and the optional wall mounted back which helps free up the precious work bench space. The two prong cord has a nice pass through plug which means even with the charger plugged in, you don't lose an outlet. The two things I really like about this charger is first the design and layout of how the batteries sit on the base. A user can place two batteries on each side and then one on the front and one on the back. This is nice because you can easily place or take off a battery, even with gloves, and the other battery in the next bay will not get in the way. There is plenty of room to take them on and off. The next cool option Milwaukee designed into this is a next button. The charger will charge the batteries in the order they were inserted into the charger. However if you insert the batteries into the charger and see the third battery has three bars and want to charge that first, you can press the next button to have this charged first. Once a battery is charged, it will automatically move to the next battery in a counter clockwise rotation and charge that one. It takes 30 minutes to charge a compact battery and 60 minutes to charge the XC battery.
Okay, now back to the sequential part of this charger. At first I was a little disappointed that it was sequential and would not charge them all at once. I am not sure why Milwaukee decided to take this route, maybe because someone else already has the patent on that system or maybe it has to do with the amps it pulls from the outlet, I have no idea. It would be nice to have a charger that charges all the batteries at once, but again maybe this is not possible. So when you leave for lunch, you can throw everything on the charger and when you get back, everything is charged. However after using the charger for a while, it hasn't been a problem. Overnight everything still gets a full charge. At lunch there is always at least one battery fully charged. By the time I eat away at a battery, another one is fully charged in the charger, so it all has been working out so far.
Overall this is a great charger by Milwaukee Tools. Yes, it would have been nice if it charged all batteries at the same time, but again with battery technology and how long batteries last for each charge, the sequential charger will work just fine. The pass through plug is nice as it frees up that much needed space in the outlet. The wall mount option is also nice as that too frees up much needed work bench room. The design of the system is very nice as you can easily add and remove batteries without the nearby battery getting in the way. With a two year warranty, it's hard to go wrong.