Thinking of a magazine editor, for most, conjures up images of someone with long hours, typing away at a desk and sweating over deadlines while gulping down coffee. Well, I do a lot of that, but the great thing about being a farm magazine editor means I have a lot of excuses to get out of the office and get my hands dirty. Sometimes I mean that in a figurative way when I’m getting the nitty-gritty on what’s inside the newest technologies for the farm, but I also often mean that in quite the literal sense.
I had the opportunity to do just that last week at Milwaukee Tool’s  2013 New Product Symposium in Milwaukee, Wis. The company set up a large indoor showcase of its newest tools to be launched this summer and fall in a building next door to the historic Pabst Brewery. They even covered the windows with brown paper to ward off any lurking competitors trying to catch a glimpse of their new innovations.
The sounds of grinding, sawing and hammering filled the building while an assembly of enthusiastic Milwaukee product specialists showed off their hard work in developing the company’s newest offerings. And they even let me get my hands on the tools to test them out on a variety of applications. Here I am using their new M18 Fuel Grinder to clean the rust off a piece of metal, after they had me try competitors’ grinders that were colored grey to hide the brand names. I must say, I was pretty impressed with Milwaukee’s grinder as I used about all the force I had (hey – I’m stronger than I look!) to press the tool onto the metal surface.
But to get the full look at all the newest tools I saw at the symposium, you’ll have to stay tuned. I’m working up a gallery to bring you a close look at the coolest products and tools I saw in Milwaukee. So check back at farmindustrynews.com  or subscribe to our e-newsletter  to view the gallery in the next couple weeks.
Upon returning from the Milwaukee, conversations I had led me to realize that not only do farmers love seeing these new tools, but so do a lot of men and women who are into a variety of do-it-yourself projects. I was asked “Did you get to see the Sawzall while you were there?” (referring to Milwaukee’s Sawzall Reciprocating Saw ) I responded, “Yep, they let me test it out. You know about that tool?” And the response was, “Of course, that thing can cut through anything!”
It's clear to me Milwaukee has done a good job with their brand recognition based on these conversations. But their product specialists and engineers have also done some pretty extensive work behind the scenes to create an array of new tools that you may be interested in for jobs on your farm or around the house. So check back for my coverage of the New Product Symposium to get the scoop on what Milwaukee’s been working on to bring you new innovations in tools.