Today’s Biggest Tool Question, What is Milwaukee ONE-KEY?

Milwaukee One-Key Bluetooth

****UPDATE 3/17/2016 – Latest Update to ONE-KEY adds the Tool Tracking Feature to real time locate the tools in your fleet as well as help find lost or stolen tools.  

Milwaukee teased us with ONE-KEY months ago and asked what our readers thought it ONE-KEY was going to be. We’ve gotten some very interesting responses (and it’s got nothing to do with a Milwaukee Porta-John) but today the cat is officially out of the bag. As many of you have already guest One-Key is a new tool technology that can connect your cordless Milwaukee Tools to you phone/tables (then to the cloud) via Bluetooth. The 3 core benefits you will see right away are: tool control, inventory management and tool reporting. Which before you brush it off as not for you, take a further look because it really seems to have something for everyone.

Milwaukee M18 One-Key

The Tools: Most of these tool unfortunately won’t be out until 2016, with the exception of the new crimping tools coming later this year. The ONE-KEY tools will be M18 FUEL brushless with the Drills & Impacts that have pretty much the same torque specs as the M18 FUEL 2nd Generation Tool launching mid-August. This includes drill/driver, hammer drill, impact hex 1/4″, impact square 3/8”, impact square 1/2″ pin and impact square 1/2″ ring type, all M18 FUEL ONE-KEY Cordless Brushless Tools (a bit of a mouthful).

The Tool Control is really awesome on these drills and impacts as you can actually go in and set the exact RPM and torque levels for each of the tools 4 settings. In addition on the impacts there are built-in applications setting like 3/4″ self-tapping screw that’ll provide the exact speed and power. By being able to set precise torque settings these impacts may solve a lot of problems for people. For instance No-Hub couplers would not require a separate tool (often a hand tool) instead just set one 1 button. Is it precise enough for manufacturing where they use currently use equipment that costs thousands for this level of precision? I’m sure someone will we’d bet some folks are going to test it out pretty quickly.

Milwaukee One-Key App

Another huge feature for the ONE-KEY drill/driver & hammer drill is “Torque Control” which shuts-off the tool once it senses more than a certain amount of jerk (about a quarter turn). This prevents wrist, hand, arm and other jobsite injuries when the tools bind up. With 1200 in-lbs torque it’s our thought all the gen 2 FUEL drills should have gotten this feature included and not have the option to turn it off, which you can in ONE-KEY. We have not received any info on the price difference between a 2nd generation Hammer Drill 2704-22 ($299) and the ONE-KEY FUEL Hammer Drill 2706-22, are we talking $20, $50, $100? Price will be a big factor to determine if people will purchase them and at this point Milwaukee is just talking functionality.

Later this year we will see the FORCE LOGIC ONE-KEY crimping tools, both a 6 Ton Utility Crimper and 600 MCM Commercial Crimper. For these new ONE-KEY tools the Tool Reporting feature will be the big feature as they actually records the time and pressure of each crimp ensuring inspectors the highest level of accuracy. The tool reporting will also make users aware of when the tool will need to get re-calibrated so they can plan ahead of the job during down time, instead of shutting down in the middle. The crimp tools will not utilize the Tool Control features as its critical all crimps need to be a specified pressure.

Inventory Management: The Milwaukee ONE-KEY App will be available for free to download (Apple 7.0+ & Android 4.3+) in September before any of the ONE-KEY tools. The big feature of the app will be inventory management from everything to a shovel to Dewalt drills to Ridgid Threader to Milwaukee ONE-KEY tools. The inventory management tool allows an individual or company to keep track of whatever they want by assigning categories, ID each tool, save purchase receipts (take a picture) for warranty, track maintenance, track what job it’s on, report tools when missing and much more. As each tool goes out to a job then comes back anyone using the ONE-KEY app within the company will be able to tell where that tool is, where to send it if there is a problem and all its history. For the ONE-KEY tools this only gets more automated as the tool will actually be able to sync with a higher level of accuracy.

WHAT ONE-KEY is NOT: We’ve had many people ask if the ONE-KEY is similar to the Dewalt Bluetooth battery, answer is NOT AT ALL. The Dewalt Bluetooth battery is theft deterrent feature where you can sync a battery to your phone then that battery can only be used near your phone. This is a good solution for some but definitely not for everyone as some companies/jobs don’t allow cell phones on the job. Many crews share batteries (put empty on charger, grab fresh one), this would mean each battery needs assigned to each person. This may cause problems if one guy grabs another guy’s battery off the charger and then it won’t work with his tool if he walks too far away. Also are thieves likely to know what the Bluetooth battery means and not steal it or will they probably just steal whatever they can and you’re out anyway.

The Milwaukee ONE-KEY connects via Bluetooth but doesn’t need to stay connected for the tool to work or the custom settings to be saved. At this point ONE-KEY doesn’t include theft deterrent features, GPS tracking or anything to kill the tool or battery. The ONE-KEY is also only in the tools, so far not in any M18 batteries. The ONE-KEY tools will report usage and can be identified as lost/stolen within a company. It’s very possible (in future) once stolen the tool can be reported or shut-off the next time it is connected to any ONE-KEY app. As future versions of the ONE-KEY app are created more features will be revealed and the tools will get additional functionality, at minimum this could be helpful for honest pawn shops or police who get stolen property to track down the original owner.

ONE-KEY, Just Hype or Wave of Future? What is clear is that the ONE-KEY will solve some specific problems for people right away who may have special needs for torque output or RPMs. Also for the electrical install/crimping could this type of reporting become required for jobs in the next few years, very possibly? We’d also think for plumbing tools in PEX and copper press fittings these types of tools/reports are coming.

We would also imagine there will be a lot of people using the Milwaukee ONE-KEY inventory app even if they don’t ever buy a ONE-KEY tool. We would think that all size business could utilize these features. What is scary to think about is big brother (your boss) who will have access to Tool Reporting that will record how often that trigger gets pulled. Will that be something that gets looked at, will there be any push back from employees? As everything gets more digital, more connected and price for that technology comes down there is no question connectivity will become a part of most pro power tools moving forward. Milwaukee seems to have jumped out ahead with a pretty smart platform that can grow. That being said we may still be a few years off until we see mass adoption among everyday users, we’d probably say it’ll depend greatly on the the price tag.

NPS15 Milwaukee

Read the Full Milwaukee Tool ONE-Key Press release below:

MILWAUKEE, WI – Milwaukee Tool will pioneer the next industry-changing technology with the introduction of ONE-KEY™, the first digital platform for jobsite tools.  By integrating industry-leading tool electronics with a custom-built cloud based program, ONE-KEY™ will provide a new level of control and access to information that will revolutionize the way work gets done. This will fundamentally change the way users interact with their tools, and help solve user problems and frustrations the industry has never before been able to address.

Milwaukee Tool Control

“The first phase of ONE-KEY™ will deliver 3 core benefits that will have an immediate impact on productivity: tool control, inventory management and tool reporting,” says Christian Coulis, Vice President of Product Management for Milwaukee Tool. “The possibilities that ONE-KEY™ brings to the job-site are endless, and these benefits are not the end result, but just the beginning! The capabilities of the program will continue to grow and evolve, and for the first time, we will be able to deliver more and more features to our product even after it is purchased.”

Milwaukee Inventory App

Coming in September 2015, Inventory Management will be the first component available through the web and mobile app, creating a central place for users to manage all of their tools and equipment across their network of jobs and operators. This free-to-use platform allows companies to keep detailed records of each tool, even non-Milwaukee brands, so they can easily build a budget and manage their annual spend on equipment.  Managers are also able to assign locations or specific owners to each asset, providing accountability, and enabling easy information-sharing between the field and back-office. As a cloud based solution, updates and edits will be synchronized real-time throughout all levels of an organization.

Milwaukee Tool Reports

In October 2015, Tool Reporting will be added to the ONE-KEY™ platform with the launch of M18™ FORCE LOGIC™ 6T Utility Crimpers. With the ability to wirelessly synchronize with the web based program, the user will be able to upload data and history to create custom reports that track the success and timing of electrical terminations. Furthermore, the ONE-KEY™ program will assist in tracking the utilization and service intervals of the tool to maximize uptime and keep inventory lean.

The corner stone of the ONE-KEY™ platform, Tool Control, will be added in January 2016 with the introduction of new M18 FUEL™ Drilling and Driving products that will sync wirelessly to the ONE-KEY™ application. The ONE-KEY™ app will allow users to use pre-determined set-ups for specific fasteners and materials, or completely customize their own profile with torque and speed settings for the application at hand. With a touch of the button on the tool, users will be able to easily go back and forth between these saved profiles so that each application is done with the most accurate and productive settings.

“If you think about the number of fasteners that require different speeds and torques, or the amount of repetitive applications that our users experience on a daily basis, there are hundreds of different tool profiles and setups that can be implemented,” says Coulis.  “Tool Control will give users infinite customization capabilities for various applications, allowing them to make small tweaks that make a huge difference.”

Available for initial download in September 2015, ONE-KEY™ will be accessible by computer from our website at, or by a mobile app interface on compatible Android and iOS smartphones. ONE-KEY™ is a true testament to Milwaukee’s focus on the user and investment in game changing technology.

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