Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket
Milwaukee Tool M12 Heated Jacket Review Model 2345
This last summer Milwaukee held a media day to introduce Rob and his fellow website editors to their new tools. Some of the tools were brand new and others were updates to prior tools. There were many impressive tools shown that day but most impressive were the updates and additions to the M12 line. My favorite was the update to the M12 heated jackets.
These jackets first hit the market at the end of 2010 and originally just came in Milwaukee Red. Later came the addition of Realtree AP camouflage and our Canadian friends got the choice of black. This year there is red, black, camo, and a high-visibility ANSI Class III version for guys working around heavy equipment. The high visibility version even comes with additional front pockets and allows custom embroidery for company logos on the back of the jacket. A hood is also available for the hi-vis model. In this review the red jacket pictured is the older model and the new model is black.
Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket Features:
• Up to 6 hours of continuos heat per battery charge
• Water and Wind Resistant
• Primary zone heats Chest and Upper Back
• Pocket Heat Zone Provides Heat to the Hands
• 3 Heat Settings Per Zone (High, Medium, Low)
• Convenient chest controls workable with gloves on
• Expandable battery pouch for use with M12 Battery Packs or M18 power source and battery packs
• Battery Holder with Fuel Gauge and a Powered USB Port for Charging Portable Electronic Devices
• Sewn-In Channels to Route USB Cables to either the Lower Left Pocket or Chest Pocket for Charging Phones or other small electronics
Updates from previous models
Besides just the colors Milwaukee has really done their homework and improved these jackets. They weren’t bad before but now they are outstanding. The first thing you’ll notice when pulling out of the box is the heating buttons. Now there is a heat zone for the hand pockets that has independent control of the primary heat zone. The jacket is also a couple inches longer so the pockets are also more comfortable now. The old versions had the pockets too high and the jacket was almost too short for tall guys like me.
Also improved is the lack of warm-up mode. With prior versions the jacket had a special mode only activated when first turned on and then would default into medium mode. I always found myself skipping this mode and just toggling through to the high setting. The new jacket starts in high mode.
The included battery holder is also updated. It now includes a fuel gauge and usb port. The button that activates the fuel gauge also triggers the usb port.
It can be a little awkward to activate with gloves or mittens on but I’m not complaining. The usb port and cord channels are a much welcomed addition to this jacket. The ability to charge my phone is probably my favorite feature besides the heat of course.
The lining of the jacket was also changed from previous versions. Now it is an all fleece lining except for the sleeves. Personally I think this makes the jacket feel warmer when the battery goes out. I didn’t take any official measurements but it feels warmer. The collar still pills up after a short time but doesn’t affect warmth.
Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket Improvements:
The only thing I would like to see improved is the battery choice. I think it would be great if at the time of purchase one could decide if they would rather have M18 or M12. They would pull both a jacket box and a battery kit box off the shelf. The battery box would be designated either M12 or M18 and would have the charger, battery, and holder inside. Other than that I think this jacket is almost perfect.
I’m a tall guy with a long torso and an XL fit very well. I had no issues wearing an XL hoodie underneath it. The new version allows me to raise my arms without it coming above my belt line (and getting cold). I did have to wear an XXL hi-vis vest
when on job site though so that it fit over the jacket. I’m not complaining but just something to be aware of if you visit sites with equipment. You could just get the hi-vis version though and skip the vest except in the warmer months.
I love the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket. The last version of the jacket was my most used tool and now the new version is quickly becoming my most used tool. I spend a great deal of my working hours in my unheated shop in Minnesota and this tool is always glowing away. Works great for ice fishing and snowmobiling too. I’ve heard from some people that they’re reluctant to get this jacket because they don’t own any other M12 or M18 tools.
You know what? I don’t either but feel this jacket is one of the “killer applications” of the M12 line. It’s the tool that in itself makes the M12 line worth getting into. The funny thing is the M12 line is full of tools like that. This jacket is no exception. I should warn you though that you may have to buy multiple jackets, one for you and at least one for your friends and family because they will always want to borrow it. My 8+ month pregnant wife is always stealing mine.
Where to buy
Some Home Depot locations have them on the shelves but they have been very popular this season. Thankfully the jackets are also available online at HomeDepot.com for $199.
The Milwaukee M12 Li-Ion Cordless Heated Jacket Kit can be purchased online here: Milwaukee-2330-XL-12-Volt-X-Large-Heated
Guest post by Jeff Williams from ToolBoxBuzz.com. Jeff is a contractor and woodworker from Minnesota that when not in his unheated shop he spends his time outside snowmobiling, ice fishing, or playing hockey.