This week’s ‘Dewalt Experience 2016’ media event was held in Maryland’s Charm City, Baltimore. John Quincy Adams nicknamed the Baltimore the “Monumental City” but the 100 or so media members in attendance of the event were quickly shown the impact DeWalt has in the community and why it remains the home and headquarters of operations for Stanley Black & Decker, the parent company to Dewalt.
If you follow our social media its likely you noticed the many live Facebook videos or Instagram & Twitter posts throughout the day-long event as new products of interest were unveiled. The big news from the yellow & black team was the unveiling of a whole new battery solution aimed at removing cords from the jobsite, the FLEXVOLT™ battery system is an all new 6ah 20v MAX or 60v MAX battery pack. Its one battery that switches between 20v or 60v depending on the tool its connected to. The soon to be available 6ah [followed by a 9ah pack in Q1 ’17] is backwards compatible with all existing 20v MAX tools and will be the workhorse in many newly launched tools designed specifically to operate on five new 60V MAX tools and new two 120V MAX tools (with 2 FLEXVOLT batteries).
The new 60V MAX FLEXVOLT brushless tools include a 7-1/4” Circular Saw (DCS575), 4-1/2”-6” Grinder (DCG414), Reciprocating Saw (DCS388), 1/2″ VSR Stud and Joist Drill (DCD460), and 8-1/4” Table Saw (DCS7485). The new 120V MAX FLEXVOLT tools are a 12” Fixed Head Compound Miter Saw (DHS716) and 12” Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DHS790).
Although the new battery system is interesting I’d have to say the new possibilities to cut the cord with un-teathered portability and high performance is what impressed me the most. There are a lot of people who would agree with me if I said that bigger isn’t always necessarily better when we’re talking about cordless batteries but in the case of a dual battery, 120v full-size miter saw, a 1800w portable power and charging station or 60v full-sized chainsaw I’d be open to the idea at the very least. That chainsaw is rad, plain and simple.
Check out this comparison shared on social media by team red:
What’s in a battery?
Lithium batteries are made up of cells, the standard voltage of those cells is 3.6v. Not all cells are created equal of course and Milwaukee’s cells are higher density and when you do the math (# of Cells x Cell Voltage x Ah = Watt hours) the overall capacity of a battery pack is truly represented by its Watt hours (Wh). The graphic above shows clearly that the higher density lithium cells with a higher Ah rating will provide a considerable amount more of work time. In this comparison 50% more.
It is definitely worth pointing out that the FLEXVOLT™ battery will provide longer run time for the standard 20v MAX tool but it will not magically turn impact driver into a 60v tool. Newly designed tools [as listed above] are coming soon that will operate on this battery platform. So for the contractor looking to upgrade within the Dewalt line there will be 60v & 120v tools available.
So, who’s the leader in brushless technology?
Way back in the 1990’s Dewalt was the leader in cordless on every jobsite. The old 18v Ni Cad system could be found in every job box and truck but as time moved forward the engineering and innovation within the company fell short of their competitors. Fast forward to the mid to late 2000’s and those old Ni Cad platforms were giving way daily to Red Lithium and in 2013 Milwaukee introduced the M18 FUEL series of brushless tools. The shift was rampant for those seeking higher performance, more compact designs and longer run time. The cordless jobsite was for the first time, in sight. Dewalt is serious about brushless technology and has come out guns blazing. From first look we might see Milwaukee move to 2nd place in cordless grinding and recip saws. Time will tell. Until then, if you’re looking for a portable table saw or full-size miter saw with job-ready performance then you’ll need to look at the FLEXVOLT™ system.
I’ve included some posts below showcasing multiple new products and live videos from the event. I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to the Dewalt team for including us on the guest list this year as well.