I called a customer today about an order on ToolPartsDirect.com on an obsolete part (yeah, I was helping out our support team… but don’t worry, I still did a bunch of IT stuff, too). Milwaukee listed the part, the field, as obsolete with no direct replacement. After speaking with the customer for a few moments, I realized the heavy-duty drill he was fixing was still in production, even under the same model number, 2404-1. So I took it upon myself to call Milwaukee to find out what was going on, after all, the field is a very major component to any electric power tool.
After bouncing around through a couple departments, I had my answer. Milwaukee breaks down their schematics by serial number ranges. As you get to each new generation, you can actually retrofit the tools by using the the next newest schematic. All you need to do is replace every item on the newer version’s schematic that has a star next to it. In this case, the upgrade would end up costing more than buying the new tool, obviously this is not always the case.
The mystery of the star in the parts list had bounced through my head once or twice before, but I had never really taken the time to find out what it was all about. Now that I know, I figure I’ll spread the wealth. A simple little character on the schematic which lets the end user know what is different between the tool you have and the next newer version. It’s one more of those little touches that make Milwaukee a company that I feel goes a just little bit farther than many of their competitors when it comes to customer service.