Well we were able to get our hands on Milwaukee's new M12 Red-lithium. Surprisingly the batteries extra magical power does not come from harnessing the essence of Unicorns!
The top secret RedLithium is made by.... Samsung. INR18650-15R cells to be exact. A few other tool manufactures use Samsung INR18650-13Q cells. Difference between the two are not 100% clear at this point in time (no specs available) The graph below show's some spec's for a -15R, and -15Q, (18amp vs 25 amp) specs will most likely be the same as the -15M. Were not sure what the letter M is for. Only thing we know for sure, the battery has gone from 1300mAH to 1500mAH roughly a 15% increase.
Here are Samusung's specs:
So we will be testing Milaukee's new M12 REDLITHIUM against it's current battery, oh and of course DEWALT's 12v Max.
Performance Up to;
· 40% More Run-Time
· 20% More Speed
· 20% More Torque
· Fade Free Power
· Operates Down to 0°F/-18°C
· Runs 20% Cooler
· Up to 50% More Recharges
· No Memory Effect
Ok so we wanted to see if RedLithium lived up it's claims!
* 40% more runtime & 20% More speed/torque?
We decided to test Milwaukee M12 regular lithium against M12 RedLithium. This is much like our other tests. We let the batteries charge 24hrs, used a new Dewalt 1/2" Spade bit. We used the same 2x12 Douglas Fir lumber.
After testing Dewalt 12v Max against Milwaukee M12 we discovered that Milwaukee cannot handle being pushed hard. The electronics are too temperamental. You'll notice we go much slower, and do a short pause before drilling the next hole. Or at least we tried! We were able to get a more realistic test on runtime.
After the testing we discovered a 30% increase in runtime, and slightly higher speed. We also tested some different torque applications off camera. We did see a slight increase in torque. * Runs 20% Cooler?
At the end of the video we test the temperature after the batteries sat for about 3 minutes. This allows the shell to absorb more heat from the cells for a closer internal thermal measurement. Not exact science here, but close enough.* Operates Down to 0°F/-18°C?
We put both batteries in a freezer for approx. 6-7hrs. We tested the outside temperature, then began drilling. Both drills were sluggish, but after several holes the battery warmed up and started to preform a little better. Did they both work at 0 degrees? Sure, but the Milaukee's REDLITHIUM preformed worse than the standard Sanyo batteries in Dewalt's 12v max battery. Nothing significant here worth touting about.
Last but not least we tested Milwaukee's REDLITHIUM against Dewalt's 12v Max lithium. Unlike the Milwaukee vs Milwaukee test, we pushed these guy's hard and fast. Again, Milwaukee's lousy electronics got in the way! Electronics shut the tool down and would not allow us to continue until things had cooled down. If you compare our previous MvM test, the Milwaukee did drill 74 holes, while Dewalt drilled 70.Final thoughts;
Does Milwaukee's REDLITHIUM live up to it's claims? I would have to say YES. In more normal day to day work I would have to say the 40% increase in runtime is not too far off. It did pump the tool with a higher voltage, and more amps. Which in turn allows for a increase in torque and speed. Did the tool preform under freezing cold tempratures. I'll leave that one up to you to decide. I have no way of testing a 50% increase in cycle life, only time will tell.
It's sad that all this hype add's up to a tool that can almost compete with Dewalt's 12v Max! What do you guy's think?