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.
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.
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.