The Milwaukee team has really been hard at work recently launching a number of products that are truly the first time on a battery platform. The Milwaukee M18 2688-21 ($239, kit) and 2688-20 ($119, bare tool) are perfect examples of this. Heat guns have always been corded solutions and very popular amount mechanics, electricians, plumbers and many other trades, all places where cords simply don’t make any sense. The first question we hear of course is can this stand up to the corded heat guns?
In comparison to other popular units such as the Milwaukee (corded), Wagner, Porter Cable & Dewalt there are some noticeable differences. This cordless unit is a single temp 875 °F with an air flow rate of 6 CFM, all the other units have 2 temp (or variable) settings with high of 1000 °F also CFM ratings for the corded tools go 15-20 CFM range. In all testing we’ve done or seen the 875 °F works great.
Where the new M18 heat gun 2688-21 wins is compact design of 6.4” length, 3-5” shorter than any and all competition. Mainly due to reconfiguration so the nozzle is not exposed which also fixes another big safety issue in addition to fitting into tighter spaces. Another big safety advantage is the unit can stand upright or be suspended with integrated rafter hook, both allow the gun to cool with less risk of fire, damage or injury. The M18 unit also heats up very quickly, 30% faster than their corded version, which is key for tradesmen that may use the gun intermittently. Also an LED light, which no other heat gun offers, light is very important this is good!
The runtime is the other big question most people have, Milwaukee’s testing is saying 40+ Butt Split Connections per 5.0Ah charge. Now that these have been in the hands of professional we know and trust the feedback coming in has been extremely positive. Most of the time a heat gun like this is not used continuously, make a few connections and on to the next task.
It was no accident this tool also launched with the M12 Soldering Gun 2488-21, the two are ideal for connecting wires and applying proper heat shrinking. Not to say either of these tools are exclusively for electricians, they certainly are not, but for electrical work they make a pretty nice team.
Milwaukee continues to focus on these sort of small additions to the M12 and M18 cordless systems focused on core tradesmen which add up to an impressive arsenal for many different applications. If you have any questions on any Milwaukee Tools contact the pros at Ohio Power Tool 800-242-4424.