Milwaukee One-Key Technology – 5 Years After Launch

Back in 2015, we got our hands on the very first Milwaukee One-Key tools. There’s no doubt we all needed education in how smart tools could change the way we work. 5 years later, our crew is pretty familiar with them. Custom controls are still one of the most appealing features for many. However, tool tracking and management have really taken off on a broader scale.

We got in touch with Milwaukee to see just how much the One-Key program has matured and the results are impressive.

Looking for a basic overview of One-Key? Check out this article.

10-Second Summary

  • More than 40 Milwaukee tools are One-Key enabled
  • Hundreds of thousands of users have downloaded the One-Key app
  • One-Key averages 5.5 million location updates every day
  • Thousands of tools have been recovered
  • Some companies report reducing tool budgets by as much as 50% using One-Key
  • Reported project management improvements are as high as 10%


How Many Milwaukee Products Now Have One-Key?

When One-Key first launched, there were 8 connected products. That total is now over 40 different tools with more on the docket for 2020, including MX Fuel products.

At my last count, there were 46 products plus a combo kit.

Milwaukee MXF041-1XC One-Key app control

When you compare that number to what you can currently get on Bosch’s Connected system or DeWalt’s Tool Connect, it’s a significantly larger number. It also moves into spaces like Force Logic for electricians and plumbers on tools that those brands don’t even carry, much less as smart tools.

How Many Users Are on the One-Key System?

There are hundreds of thousands of One-Key app downloads between Android and iPhone. You can also access the inventory management via One-Key’s web portal. That’s a significant number—3 times the size of Milwaukee’s smart tool competition combined.

How Many Tools Have Been Recovered Thanks to Tracking?

One-Key app inventory report missing toolOne of the very cool features of One-Key is its mesh network tracking. If you’re running the app, you’re helping to update the location of tools, even they aren’t yours.

The system averages 5.5 million location updates every single day. Those updates have helped facilitate the recovery of thousands of tools. On average, a tool finds its way home once or twice a week.

Let’s look at that concept on a broader scale. We work with a major construction firm in our area that budgets lost tools into every bid. It ends up being thousands of dollars worth of products that they know are going to walk off the jobsite with a variety of people.

Other firms that have made the switch to One-Key report dropping their tool budgets by as much as 50%. That’s huge!

It doesn’t seem like one or two tool recoveries a week can account for those kinds of savings. However, what would be the difference in your next job if your employees and sub-contractors knew the tool they were thinking about taking could be tracked? The general deterrent itself can be a big help.


What About Inventory and Project Management?

Some companies are seeing significant gains in productivity as well. Firms using One-Key to manage their projects report 2% – 10% improvements. What would you do with the profits from a 10% boost in the amount of work your team could accomplish?

There’d be a flats boat in my garage, but that’s just me.

Milwaukee One-Key Inventory

What’s in the Future for One-Key?

One-Key’s goal continues to be focused on eliminating the hassles of construction and allowing contractors to be more efficient, creative, and safe in the way they work.

Milwaukee tells us they plan to continue developing One-Key products, with 2020 being its biggest year so far.

More specifically, look for an update on the management side. An update coming in a few months grants access to inventory management for teams within a company using separate login credentials and permissions. The goal is to help improve transparency and accountability when you have to manage equipment across multiple jobsites or facilities.


That’s where Milwaukee One-Key stands today. What’s your favorite One-Key tool? Have any ideas you’d like Milwaukee to consider for One-Key? Let us know in the comments below!

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