Hitachi has come out with a new compact 18V 3.0Ah Li-ion battery pack. I believe this is the first professional cordless power tool brand to come out with a compact pack of this size. Most other brands have topped out at 2.5Ah.
This isn’t huge news. Some brands have come out with 6.0Ah high capacity packs, others are working on higher capacity battery packs using a different base cell form factor, for higher performance.
But I believe this is the first time I’ve seen the 3.0Ah cells used in a compact battery pack.
You’ll spend more on a compact 3.0Ah pack than a high capacity 3.0Ah pack. And that compact pack might not be as capable when powering high powered tools.
A high capacity battery pack has 2 sets of batteries, raising the amount of power a tool motor can draw. A compact battery pack has 1 set of batteries, and while still very capable, the power ceiling will be lower. This is true for most brands, and I’m assuming it’s true for Hitachi as well.
When paired with a compact drill, LED worklight, or a heavy duty tool used for lighter duty tasks, you should likely see comparable runtime to a 3.0Ah high capacity battery pack, or 2x the runtime of a compact 1.5Ah pack. Again, this is based on my understanding of 18V battery pack engineering and technologies.
Bottom line: With these new packs you get higher battery capacity and longer runtime, but without the size and weight of a higher capacity battery pack.
Price: $100 for 1, $150 for 2
ETA: September 2016