Milwaukee ONE-KEY


This year we have seen announcements with technology that communicates with tools, such as the Dewalt Bluetooth, but is this really a big deal or just another over sold idea?  So here is my take.  While I still don’t fully understand the Dewalt Bluetooth and really don’t see the benefit, the Milwaukee ONE-KEY is entirely different.

Why is this technology different and exciting?  Easy, it will change the way you use cordless power tools.  You can look at this technology just as you would your pick up truck.  Manufacturers have to balance a tools’ torque and speed.  You can get a lot of torque, but the speed can decrease  Same as with your truck and how a truck company has to balance fuel mileage, torque and speed.   The difference being is that with my truck, I can hook up a computer and gear my truck differently because I tow more.  Or maybe I drive on the highway and don’t tow.  Well I can change my truck settings and make it designed for better gas mileage because I don’t need the torque.  This is pretty much what the Milwaukee ONE-KEY is except with the truck, I void my warranty.  With Milwaukee they want you to change your tool and design the tool around what work you will be doing.

Not only can you control your tools, but you also get inventory management and reporting features.  So you may be asking how would I use this technology?  Easy, say you’re driving sheet metal screws while framing walls.  We all know that you really need to start your screws out slow and then drive them home.  In the past, you had to control everything with the trigger by slowly pressing the trigger and then you can drive it home. Now you can change the tool settings with your phone.  You can tap into the tool and set the speed by telling the tool to start out with “X”: amount of speed and then increase the speed.  So now instead of throttling the trigger, you can just press the trigger all the way in and the tool will adjust the speeds automatically.

So when does this all start?  In September of this year, you will be able to have inventory management.  In October 2015, you will be able to start tool reporting on the Force Logic utility crimpers.  In January 2016 is when you will be able control the tool with the new M18 Fuel products.  This is when you will be able to match your fasteners with your material.

While this technology platform won’t be beneficial for everyone, it certainly will be beneficial to a lot of people and remember, this is only the beginning.  So to answer the question from above as to whether this is truly a beneficial technology or just another over sold idea, I think this is truly a benefit to the tool industry.  This is a game changer and brings a whole new level of not only excitement, but a true customization of tool use.


  1. Thanks for the info Eric, I totally agree. This is a game changer. And I’m starting to think, that Dan has no choice now. It’s time to switch teams. Dewalt is just too far behind now. Milwaukee is just the better brand now across the board! By the way, you guys are an inspiration. You’ve taken the passion that you have for tools, and turned it into a viable way to make a living, DOING WHAT YOU LOVE. I have the same dream, and since I couldn’t compete in this arena, THAT Y’ALL HAVE CREATED, I’ll have to figure out something else. BUT BECAUSE OF YOU GUYS, I NOW BELIEVE IT CAN BE DONE. I’ll keep you posted… Thanks again for reminding us that following your passion is not a waste of time. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

  2. Really interesting technology. There are a lot of great features, being able to tune the tool to a specific job is nice.

  3. It would be nice if you could change these settings directly on the tool, but it requires a phone app to use all of its functions. Personally, I don’t buy products that can’t function 100% on their own. I also don’t buy speakers that require bluetooth: it must have an auxiliary port as well. With OneKey, I understand wireless is necessary for the reporting function, but that doesn’t seem to be the main selling point, which seems to be changing speed/torque settings. I don’t mind the extra function being there, but the product needs a couple dedicated buttons.

    While a few people might actually use the additional features, the appeal will likely wear off to the majority of users shortly after purchase. Bluetooth connectivity and phone apps are almost always gimmicky, and it’s a marketing fad that I hope dies soon. My phone is for phone calls. My drill is for drilling.

    • Sean, you are living in the stone ages if your phone is only for calls.
      I don’t see why you have a problem with this set up, even if YOU do not have a phone, Im sure everyone around you will have one. It is so ubiquitous that stating ‘it’s a marketing fad’ seems like you want to live in the stone ages.

      Honestly, when cars were first introduced, people didn’t think they were necessary… what did people know about about advancement in technology? Did they think cars was a ‘marketing fad’ that would die out?

      “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

      ? Henry Ford

  4. I have a bag full of M12 products, however this feature seems gimmicky. Call me crazy but I would rather pay a premium for a basic quality tool that’s sourced & assembled in the USA, then have this extra feature.

  5. Guys this looks cool, but how practical for a home owner or DIYer? i can see this being a neat feature for a business or some sort of production line assembly parts, maybe. I’m not sure the price points but I think it will not be cheap. Does it have a feature where you can find the tool if it goes missing?

    Also, Milwaukee cranks out new tools every few months it appears. Innovation you might say, but I think it causes confusion in the market place with Fuel this & Gen 2 Fuel that, brushless this or that, now wireless, next wireless Gen 2. I have a few Milwaukee 18v drills that are maybe 5 years old that are still kicking butt. If one would break I would replace it, my head would hurt with all the options. Or get my DeWalt, Bosch, or my 12v lines. Dang!!! I have to many tools.

    I guess what I’m trying to say it’s nice to look at new tools in the industry as a whole. But, if you have a go to tool & paid a decent amount for them. You probably have them for years, unless you’re in the field & use them extensively. I still have my DeWalt XR ni-cad hammer drill that runs like a dream. Heavy? Heck yes but I’m a man I should be able to handle it.

    I’ll stop my rammbling now. I don’t recall why I commented on the first place. Laters TIA

  6. I only see a benefit to this technology if there’s some kind of industry standard to follow. That way fastener manufacturers could build a database of torque recommendations for the size of the fastener and the materials being fastened. Sounds complicated but let’s take the Kreg pocket hole screw for example. I could see Kreg buying into this tech so the consumer could just enter the material type and thickness and an app could recommend jig settings, screw types and preset the torque settings on your drill all at once. One of my biggest pet peeves of that system is how long it takes me to set up the clutch on my drill when I switch from birch plywood to yellow pine.

  7. Sorry, JT….Sean is right. I don’t even OWN a cell phone. That’s what a landline is for. If my car ever breaks down, I’ll just use someone else’s phone to call a tow truck.

    All this gimmicky crap is for the birds. All useless. Seems the only people embracing ambiguous technology are the young hipster types. Hey …..young people……invent something we can use. While my people (old people) were inventing polio vaccines, you hipster generation were inventing apps and making cell phones you can buy things faster with.


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