A quick history lesson in hand-held driving:
First hand-held electric drill: 1895
First cordless drill: 1961
Lithium-Ion battery tech: 2005
Brushless, 3-Speed impact driver: 2009
In the 2010’s we’ve seen: IP56 protection, self-tapping modes, a driver/wrench hybrid, lengths reduce to under 5″, improved bit-holders and raft of other minor improvements. It makes you wonder, what will an impact driver in 2025 look like?
With all these improvements, possibly the most surprising is for users to be able to alter the settings of their own tools via a smart phone app. And whilst several brands have been making small steps in this direction, Milwaukee have been trying to sprint away with the ONE-KEY technology.
The ONE-KEY technology allows users to achieve three main things:
• Inventory Management
• Tracking (and theft prevention)
This first video focuses on the One Key app and customization of the Milwaukee M18 ONEID. To see the power and user-friendliness of the ONE-KEY app, scroll back to the video at the top.
From changing speed and torque, to adjusting the light settings, the ONE-KEY app allows users to take complete controll of their tools. However I wouldn’t say that it’s all smooth sailing. Younger tradies, who are just as comfortable on a phone as they are on the tools will be fine. However the older, less tech-savvy users may find the experience frustrating. The app itself is pretty solid (just an occasional dummy-spit), but it does take some time to be fully understood.
If you want to understand just the power and raw performance of the impact driver itself, watch the video below. This features the 2nd Gen FUEL impact driver, which is physically identical and performs identically (apart from One Key functionality) to the One-Key driver. If you want a powerful driver without the high-tech shenanigans, save some cash and grab an M18 FID.
If you’re super keen, you might like to see how it stacks up to it’s competition? I’ll leave it to the reader to decide how many bonus points the One-Key functionality would have been worth had it been released at the time!