A few months ago, Matt wrote in about Hitachi’s 18V compact 3.0Ah battery pack being on sale for $39.99. I must have missed his message (sorry!), but I received another tip about the batter pricing last month, putting it on my radar again. (I cannot find the email or message; please remind me who you are so I can properly credit you for the tip!)
And then today I saw an Instagram post from Hitachi USA:
Somehow, they are pricing their new 18V Compact Li-ion battery pack at just $40. That’s around $13.33 per amp-hour.
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Over at Amazon, Dewalt has a 2-pack of 20V Max
2.5Ah 2.0Ah battery packs currently priced at $89, or just $44.50 each. That’s about $17.8 $22.25 per amp-hour.
Bosch has a starter pack for $99, including (2) 2.0Ah battery packs and a charger. That’s $24.75 per amp-hour, if you toss the charger aside and consider it a freebie.
Milwaukee’s compact battery packs are quite pricey in comparison, at $119 for (2) 1.5Ah packs. That’s $39.67 per amp-hour. Ouch.
Makita? $149 for a 2-pack of 2.0Ah battery packs. That’s around $37.25 per amp-hour.
Okay, I can see why Hitachi’s $40 per 3.0Ah battery pack is a big deal now. Their $1.5Ah seems to be priced at $29.99. Sorry, it doesn’t look like its price is $9.99 – that’s probably just a result of an inadvertent Instagram crop.
Last year, in our cordless battery pack deal post, I posted about Kobalt’s 24V Max 1.5Ah battery packs, and their astonishingly low price of $10 each. While Hitachi’s pricing doesn’t come close, it’s still definitely very aggressively priced compared to other professional tool brands.
Going by a quick survey of professional power tool brands’ 18V compact battery pack prices, Hitachi’s is lowest, followed by Dewalt and then Bosch, and then Makita and Milwaukee are substantially higher priced.
Will we see other brands reduce the price of their battery packs? Probably not. The last time I asked about pricing, I was told that battery packs reflect more “normal” margins and pricing, while kits are very aggressively discounted.
Tool brands often offer different deals, bonus items, and other such promos. I tend to find these promos very appealing, in part because of the savings compared to purchasing items separately.
But Hitachi does not seem to discount their kits as aggressively as other brands do. Their triple hammer impact driver kit is now $295 via Amazon, but it was $400 for a long time after it launched. So perhaps that is why they can be more flexible on battery pack pricing.
Personally, I think the prospect of a $40 3.0Ah compact battery pack is highly appealing. Hopefully they’ll have similar discounted pricing on their 10-cell higher capacity battery packs as well.
Different brands are shaking things up in different ways. We are at a pivotal time, where battery technology is shifting. I’m told that the prices of 18650 cells might go up, as manufacturers shift to different technologies, such as higher capacity 20700 and 21700 cells.