A reader wrote in with an interesting and tough question about 20V Max and FlexVolt batteries.
I am a DeWalt customer from Australia and am wondering if you know why they do not call any of the large Ah 18V/20V batteries Flexvolt. They have just launched the new mower and it is paired with two 5.0Ah batteries instead of the 10.0Ahs. It seems very strange given the batteries are the same except for the voltage printed on the casing.
To start, I must respectfully correct Chris on two points. FlexVolt and 20V Max batteries are not the same, and Dewalt’s 5Ah and 10Ah batteries are both 20V Max batteries; the 10Ah battery is not a FlexVolt battery.
I could not find much about a new Dewalt cordless mower coming out in Australia, and so I will generalize my answers based on my familiarity with the mowers Dewalt launched in the USA.
Also, as most of you know, Dewalt’s cordless power tools are marketed as 18V and FlexVolt 54V in most parts of the world, and 20V Max and FlexVolt 60V Max in North America. I’ll stick to 20V Max and 60V Max for simplicity.
This is a very tricky topic, and there are actually several good questions here, and so I’ll break things down a bit.
Dewalt 20V Max vs. FlexVolt Batteries
A lot of users still mix things up when it comes to Dewalt 20V Max and FlexVolt, and the introduction of new higher performance and runtime 20V Max batteries complicate things further. However, the basics remain the same, and so we’ll start there.
FlexVolt batteries work with Dewalt’s 60V Max and 120V Max cordless power tools, as well as most of their 20V Max tools.
Dewalt’s 20V Max batteries only work with their 20V Max tools.
Dewalt designed their FlexVolt batteries with internal physical switches that allow it to convert over from 20V Max to 60V Max voltage output depending on the tool it is connected to.
Additionally, all FlexVolt batteries so far (excluding the upcoming 15Ah) are built with (15) Li-ion battery cells. The 20V Max batteries are built with (10) Li-ion cells (5) for their compact batteries.
FlexVolt batteries can handle the power needs of 20V Max and FlexVolt tools, while the 20V Max batteries are only designed for the maximum power requirements of 20V Max cordless power tools.
A Loose Analogy
Consider 5 people – siblings that are identical in all regards, such as their strength capabilities – that are split into two groups.
One team has 2 siblings and the other has 3. Each sibling can lift 50 pounds, and so (2) can in theory lift 100 pounds combined, and (3) can lift 150 pounds. If you have a 50 pound weight, either team can lift if. If you have an 85 pound weight, either team can lift it, but the team of 2 will strain a little more than the team of 3. Move up to 100 pounds, and both teams will lift the weight, but with very different levels of easiness and speed. Move up to 120 pounds and only the 3-person team is up to the task.
Now, let’s say you have a 65 pound weight to be moved. If it can be lifted and moved by the 2-person or 3-person team, you have options. Both teams might move that weight with the same proficiency, but with added muscle, the 3-person team will take longer to fatigue, getting more work in before they need to rest and recharge their energy.
Dewalt’s Cordless Mower
Dewalt designed their 20V Max cordless lawn mowers around their 18V/20V Max platform, and so they can be powered by either 2x 20V Max or 2x FlexVolt batteries.
With the mowers able to operate using 20V Max batteries, they provide a more flexible power solution as it means 20V Max and FlexVolt tool and battery users can potentially power the mower with existing batteries beyond what it’s kitted with.
The decision to include new Australian mowers with 5Ah batteries instead of 10Ah can be due to supply constraints (the 10Ah is still very new and hard to find on its own), cost considerations, the average size of lawn most users in this region might expect to mow, or a combination of these and potentially other factors.
Dewalt’s new cordless mowers that launched in the USA, which Ben recently reviewed here, are bundled with 10Ah batteries, presumably because Dewalt wanted to provide specific minimum runtime performance.
Dewalt 5Ah vs. 10Ah Batteries
The 20V Max 5Ah and 10Ah batteries feature different Li-ion form factor technologies, with the 10Ah battery being built with larger cells. Thus, the 10Ah battery is physically larger than the 5Ah by a bit.
Dewalt’s 20V Max 6Ah, 8Ah, and 10Ah batteries all feature the larger Li-ion cell sizes, similar to what can be found in FlexVolt 9Ah and 12Ah batteries.
Why 2x 20V Max for the Cordless Mower?
Let’s consider watt-hours for a moment. For simplicity, we’ll also ignore that different Dewalt cordless mowers are kitted with different battery sizes.
Watt-hours is voltage x charge capacity. We’ll use 20V Max and 60V Max as the voltage, instead of 18V and 54V nominal.
To help eliminate qualifications and special considerations, let’s consider just (2) battery sizes – Dewalt 20V Max 6Ah and Dewalt FlexVolt 12Ah.
Dewalt 20V Max 6Ah
Each battery delivers 20V Max x 6Ah = 120 Watt-hours of energy.
In a 2x 20V Max configuration, this means 240 Watt-hours of energy is available to the cordless mower.
Dewalt FlexVolt 12Ah
With FlexVolt batteries, the charge capacity often refers to the 20V Max value. That is, if you want to use 60V Max, its charge capacity is 1/3 that of the 20V Max value.
So, there are two ways to compute this:
20V Max x 12Ah = 240 Watt-hour
60V Max x 4Ah = 240 Watt-hour
The energy in the battery is the same either way, you just have to keep in mind what the advertised charge capacity is referring to.
Dewalt’s 20V Max 6Ah battery is their smallest battery that uses larger form factor Li-ion cells. This is why it’s messier to talk about Dewalt’s 5Ah batteries, because those use different Li-ion cells which require a separate discussion. You can refer to my post on Milwaukee’s battery sizes for further information on this.
See Also: Milwaukee M18 Cordless Power Tool Battery Sizes Explained
Okay, so the 20V Max 6Ah batteries is their smallest next-gen battery, with 8Ah and 10ah offering greater charge capacity and runtime. Dewalt’s FlexVolt batteries only go up to 12Ah. Yes, there’s a 15Ah battery on the way, but we’re ignoring it for now since it uses different battery tech.
So, if the choice is between 2x 20V Max and 1x FlexVolt 60V Max, going the 2x 20V Max route is better as it raises the runtime ceiling.
We’re not even talking about performance here, just runtime. But, that’s not say that performance isn’t a factor. When you have 2x 20V Max 6Ah batteries, you get (20) Li-ion cells combined, vs. (15) cells for the FlexVolt battery.
Ignoring complicated matters such as thermal management and Li-ion max current datasheet specs, let’s go back to the analogy from above, where you have 5 siblings in groups of 2 and 3. Which configuration is going to be able to do a little more work, a battery pack with 20 cells or one with 15?
Wrapping Things Up
2x 20V Max vs. 1x FlexVolt
Single-battery FlexVolt tools can generally outperform single-battery 20V Max tools. But when it comes to runtime, 2x 20V Max tools would hold a runtime advantage compared to single-battery FlexVolt solutions. There could also be performance differences, depending on how the the tools are engineered.
A single FlexVolt battery solution, with 12Ah as the largest battery currently on the market, would have a 240 Watt-hour ceiling when it comes to the maximum amount of energy available to that mower.
With a 2x20V Max battery solution, you can have 2x20V Max or 2x FlexVolt batteries, with up to 480 Watt-hours of electrical energy.
With 2x 8Ah or 2x 10Ah batteries, you can provide the mower with greater energy from 20V Max batteries than with a 12Ah FlexVolt battery.
Dewalt designed their mowers within the power delivery capabilities of their 20V Max batteries.
2x 20V Max vs. 2x FlexVolt
If a Dewalt cordless power tool can be powered by 20V Max batteries, there’s no reason to narrow their user base by requiring FlexVolt batteries.
Sure, Dewalt could also design a 120V Max 2x FlexVolt mower, with larger cutting blade, but they haven’t, at least not yet.
I see that Dewalt offers their Australian market cordless mower with 20V Max 5Ah or FlexVolt 6Ah batteries. The mower is the same 20V Max-powered model for both, with just differences in how they’re kitted.
A FlexVolt-specific mower would lock out 20V Max users and presumably also cost more than a 20V Max mower.
With the tool being 20V Max, Dewalt can offer the same mower with different battery kit options, with some practical constraints based on desired performance, runtime, and retail pricing.
Dewalt 20V Max vs. FlexVolt User Base
Let’s say there are just four types of tool users:
- Potential users who do not own any Dewalt cordless power tools
- 20V Max cordless power tool users
- 20V Max and FlexVolt cordless power tool users
- FlexVolt 60V Max/120V Max cordless power tool users
There’s absolutely a need for higher performance FlexVolt cordless power tools, but if you can power a tool with 20V Max batteries, isn’t that a better option, presumably making it available to a broader user base?
Dewalt launched several FlexVolt Advantage cordless power tools that operate on their 20V Max platform, with FlexVolt batteries delivering a performance boost. And, Dewalt recently launched a new FlexVolt Advantage air compressor that will be replacing their FlexVolt-exclusive model. Why is that? I believe it’s so that Dewalt can make these tools available to a broader user base than if they were FlexVolt-specific models.
There’s always the potential for Dewalt to launch a FlexVolt-specific cordless mower, similar to how their FlexVolt lawn and garden tools have greater capabilities (and power requirements) compared to their 20V Max cordless outdoor power tools.
But since the 2x 20V Max mowers can be comfortably powered with 20V Max tools, there would only be disadvantages in making them FlexVolt-specific.
I’m sure there are marketing reasons factored into all of this as well. Hypothetically, you manage a chain of retail stores and have a set amount of square footage at each store to display Dewalt’s cordless mowers (and other outdoor tools). What do you think would sell better, a 21″ cordless mower that’s priced at $400, or a 25″ mower that’s $600? Ideally, there could or would be both, but that’s always possible.
I also am not aware of any new mower and at the moment Australia only has one DeWalt mower, the DCMW564. It is available as a bare tool or kitted with 2x6Ah FlexVolt batteries in the T2 kit. Here in the NA market it is called the DCMW220. It is the gen I model, if you will. At launch it was kitted with 2x5Ah batteries in the P2 kit, later with 2x9Ah FlexVolt in the X2 kit. Now it is offered with 2x8Ah in the W2 kit.
I can see why Dewalt want the mowers to be 20V based, but there shouldn’t be a 10ah 20V battery in their range. The batteries supplied should be Flexvolt. Which of course would run at 20V. I suspect the reason they don’t is that people would break the kits apart just for the batteries. Which means Dewalt are keeping the price of Flexvolt batteries higher than the need to be.
It’s actually pretty narrow minded from Dewalt as if they shipped this mower with Flexvolts then they’d probably get more sales of Flexvolt gear.
The 10Ah batteries are worth more than the FelxVolt 9Ah batteries. And if you are invested in 20v OPE (which is this mower’s primary market), the size of these batteries is a bit better on the remaining equipment like the string trimmer, pole saw, blower, chainsaw, power cleaner, and hedge trimmer than the 15 cell FlexVolts, imo. Not to mention any 20v power tools.
I didn’t see Kingsley’s reply when I was typing mine, but I have similar sentiments. Seems weird that Dewalt has such large 20v max batteries.
It’s not that they aren’t useful – it’s just that there’s a weird overlap going on and those giant batteries in 20v max trim aren’t (as) useful for those of us with Flexvolt tools.
I presume the rationale is partly for marketing reasons – I.e. keeping things straight for consumers (who might otherwise be confused that their mower with two 60v batteries is only running at 20v max.
I would prefer a 20v max mower, but kitted with 2x 9ah Flexvolt batteries. I bet they didn’t do that to avoid confusing users about how much voltage the mower needed, but that would allow me to use those high-capacity mower batteries with my Flexvolt tools.
Outside of OPE, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to have high-capacity large form-factor 20v batteries – whereas high capacity Flexvolt batteries are used for a bunch of tools. I realize it’s not like you can’t use those 10ah 20v batteries on other tools – but hooking one to the end of your impact driver would be silly.
My point is just that the same mower kitted with Flexvolt batteries would be way more compelling to me as a means of adding to my Flexvolt arsenal.
This mower would be useless to me (I live on a rural property of several acres), but if I had a smaller suburban yard then I’d agree 100%. I can see why Dewalt would want to make the mower 20V but there’s zero reason to bundle it with 20V max batts over Flexvolt batts.
And you know, this brings up another interesting question: Why do the larger 20V max batts exist at all? Why not just use Flexvolt batts once you need something bigger than 8 AH or so?
Exactly! Just make all the big batteries Flexvolt.
I wonder if its because Flexvolts costs more to produce – or maybe it’s just the marketing angle? E.g. confusing consumers why their 20v mower comes with 60v batteries.
One reason for the larger DeWalt 20v batteries: Flexvolt batteries aren’t available at all retailers.
That sounds like a trivial problem. If Dewalt only makes one option for a given size battery, and it happens to be Flexvolt, what are they going to carry instead?
Flexvolt is a big box exclusive to Home Depot, for example. Why wouldn’t SBD want to sell high capacity 20v Max batteries at Lowe’s?
Paragraph eight, “ Dewalt’s 20V Max tools only work with their 20V Max tools.”
Should obviously read, “Dewalt’s 20V Max batteries…..”
Sorry! Thanks – fixed!
I hope that’s the only one that got by me during the last proofreading.
As far as I know, but read your fix again. It’s also wrong. Just not your kind of day Stuart.
It should read, “Dewalt’s 20V Max batteries only work with their 20V Max tools.” 🙂
I can tell you how to prevent things like that getting by you while proofreading oh, my wife taught me this she teaches College. The secret is to read everything out loud instead of silently reading. I don’t know why but that totally works.
Thanks! I’ll give that a try.
well hold up – their last 2 string trimmers which seem to have great reviews are both Flexvolt powered at 54V/60V setup. The one is attachment capabile and that I might have to go buy.
anyway. that’s a flexvolt device – their best blower is also a flexvolt device. and I still get the impression dewalt is going to cater to prosumer line with OPE – they did with the 40V line and had decent results. but they killed it – too quickly.
SO I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a near future mower that was either a single flexvolt or a dual flexvolt and like a 24 inch or such mower. I notice there is a few 24-26 inch prosumer mowers on the market that some landscapers use. Exmark and Toro make one for example and the greenworks pro line has a 25 cordless that gets decent marks.
So I could see a version of that happening. Like wise I expect them to come out with a flexvolt 24 inch hedge trimmer too again compete with the milwaukee stuffs and things like the husquvarna cordless and etc.
Two Flexvolts would make sense. With so many companies playing with voltage numbers, a 120v mower would seem like a marketing edge – even if it didn’t actually result in any performance increase. Plus, a single Flexvolt cell wouldn’t seem to have enough run time. It would be weird to come out with a Flexvolt mower with less runtime than the 20v mower (although I guess it could be bundled with two batteries but only hold one at a time).
120 volts would actually give you a performance increase that’s the reason why electric vehicles like Tesla’s have really high voltage motors because they are more efficient. Electric motors tend to perform better at higher voltages assuming the motor is designed for those High voltages.
Agreed. I am leery of the power constraints of electric mowers. I have given a good deal of consideration to the 80 & 120v options that have popped up, but for the price. The only 120v version I have seen was over $1k.
A 2x flexvolt mower would settle my power concerns. The price would still need to be around $500 to be compelling to me.
Agreed 100% with you, and with Jared and Jon here too.
I live on 4 acres so a mower like this will not be replacing my 61″ Scag Tiger Cat II anytime soon, but a dual-Flexvolt model? Sure, I’d consider picking one of those up for the spots where the orange beast is too large to fit.
I think we’ll likely be seeing a “pro” model larger self-propelled mower from Dewalt, perhaps around the time the 15ah flexvolt batteries hit?
Any time I mention that DeWalt’s battery naming system is a hot mess, people get all hurt. Yet, here’s a 500 word blog post all about trying to explain it to people.
I don’t think DeWalt and Makita are doing themselves any favors by having so many battery platforms. Obviously they still sell a bunch of them, but I don’t even try to stay up to date with them.
[It’s closer to 2,000 words]
1767 to be exact.
Who is doing it best?
Milwaukee with XC, HO and CP? Doesn’t seem any simpler to me.
Bosch? They’ll probably give each battery a special name: “the camel”, “the fairy”, “the tanker” or some such.
Your comparing Dewalts mixed voltage platforms “apples” to Milwaukee’s all 18V “oranges”?
All Milwaukee’s 18V batteries will work with all their tools, technically…
I wasn’t inviting that argument per se. While I suppose having two different batteries might confuse some users, I did have my tongue in cheek a bit for this criticism. It’s not perfect, but Dewalt’s nomenclature seems simple enough to me.
I think we’re arguing about two different things:
1. are Dewalt’s naming conventions any more difficult to understand than other brands?
2. Is it better to keep things universally compatible (with some users potentially being disappointed about how their HO tool performs with a CP battery), or is one-way compatibility (with some users annoyed their 20v packs don’t work in 60v tools) better?
For #1 – again, I don’t think it’s confusing. If you do, how could it be simpler?
For #2 – I have an opinion, but I’m very willing to concede there’s an argument either way.
I have a mix of those batteries, and every single one will work in every single M18 tool I have.
I know that the larger batteries (in general) will give some tools a bit more grunt. I use my 12ah battery in the chainsaw, occasionally the 8ah but never anything smaller. It’s so simple you don’t need to know (or even care about) the designations.
It’s not a hot mess.
FlexVolt tools deliver more power, FlexVolt batteries deliver longer runtime.
It’s the WHY and HOW that can be tricky.
Maybe the similar styling of the new 20V Max 6Ah, 8Ah, and 10Ah batteries confuse things a bit? But, it also works, as the FlexVolt batteries look like an extension of 20V Max batteries, which is how some users treat them.
“Sure, Dewalt could also design a 120V Max 2x FlexVolt mower, with larger cutting blade, but they haven’t, at least not yet.”….this should be the question, why haven’t they.
From many of the comments of users of the Dewalt mower, some complain about runtime and many complain about power. The power complainers say if the grass is a bit long, or their type of grass is harder to cut, or if the grass is a little damp, as well as other similar complaints.
So instead of making another mower that does not really satisfy most users, make a 2 x Flexvolt running on 2 x 12 ah or the upcoming 15 ah batteries. The engineers could design a mower with plenty of power. At least one of the 2 major complaints would be solved.
If the mower is designed to take advantage of the 54v system (actually running at 108 volts with 2 batteries) and have plenty of power, you will lose on runtime. But I believe that 12 or 15 ah battery, they should be able to still have enough runtime to satisfy most users. After all, people with ranches or 2 acres will not be looking at one of these mowers (or gas mower…more like a tractor mower)
With 2 x 12 or 15 ah, they should have enough amp hours as well as enough volts to make a mower with plenty of power and decent runtime.
Instead making a 2 x 18 volt mower…yes. the 20v Max crowd can use this mower. But if they are mostly unhappy and disgruntled, they really did not achieve anything. The Flexvolt dual battery mower would probably be more expensive, but at least anyone who buys one, would be happy with their purchase.
Personally I think they will make a FlexVolt model eventually. I don’t expect it to be much larger. The two current gen II DeWalt models are pretty similar to the 21″ Cub Cadet SC 100 and SC 300 models, respectively. Cub Cadet also happens to make a 23″ rear wheel drive SC 900 that could be a possible candidate as a basis for a FlexVolt model. 2x60v would be a better choice, imo. But if they do a single 60v it will likely have a spare battery slot, again similar to a cub Cadet model, the 60v SCP21E (though that is only a 21″, so 60v might not be enough juice for a larger 23″+ mower).
Maybe they go all in and offer a FlexVolt riding mower that is 4x60v, who knows. The new 15Ah DCB615 battery opens a lot of doors.
Just want to point our that the watt hour calculations are incorrect.
Nominal voltage should be used rather than peak/max voltage. Despite their marketing it a 20V Max they are really just 18 volt nominal (Qty 5, 3.6V nominal cells in series).
This is widely known fact, and for the sake of this argument (comparing 20v max to 60v max) it is irrelevant. Now if/when Toolguyd compares 20v max to 18v, they always convert one unit to make them equal, either to nominal or to max depending on the scenario.
The difficult part is that Dewalt uses 20V Max in their on-battery watt-hour calculations, and so the choice was to either contradict what it says on their batteries, or to alter how I usually discuss watt-hour calculations.
Since the post was intended in part to help clear up general battery tech questions and confusions, I decided to stick with 20V. This was not an arbitrary choice, and perhaps I should have elaborated on it, but I worried it would have drifted too far from the main discussion.
That is correct. I did this for the sake of brevity and consistency, and to avoid creating unnecessary tangents.
Dewalt uses 20V to calculate their on-battery specs – e.g. a 2Ah battery is labeled as 20Wh – and I decided it’s best not to stray from this in a Dewalt-to-Dewalt comparison.
I did say “We’ll use 20V Max and 60V Max as the voltage, instead of 18V and 54V nominal.”
While I can understand you logic to a point.
I also believe that calling out marketing wank for what it is a mark of higher quality journalism and blagging. When a trusted source such as yourself used their bogus watt-hour numbers and perpetuates them it only further encourages manufactures to push the envelope further. A form of “normalization of deviance”.
I was looking for direct access to tooltalk from here, and then my brain finally registered the toolguyd forum button. The button is big, so I don’t get why my brains didn’t register it before.
philip s john
No all lawnmower users have a need for 60v.
Not all 20v users have a need for 60v but have high demand for 20v.
And a 2 rows of cell like the 10 amph could only be a 40 and 20 v flex system. But 60 is much better for more potential
The Dewalt battery system is a bit confusing , Flexvolt and the 20 volt, that’s one good thing about the new Makita XGT 40 volt tools it’s clear cut because it’s not compatible with the 18 volt Makita, so there’s no confusion.
I just wanted to note that your watt-hour calculations are a bit off. To calculate watt-hours, you use the nominal voltage, which for lithium ion batteries is 3.7v. If you use 20V, you end up with a higher capacity than actual. This is how the individual cells from the manufacturer are rated, generally in milli-amp hours (mah), at 3.7v.
A common high-capacity cell would be 3000mah, which is 3amp hours. Put 5 of them together, and you end up with a 3 amp hour, 18.5v nominal (or 20v MAX marketing nomenclature). That battery has 3*18.5=55.5 watt hours available. The 18.5v is important, that’s what lets you use the 20v packs on the older 18v pod tools, because it’s only a half volt off.
Dewalt charges lithium ion batteries to 4.1v instead of the more usual 4.2, for longevity reasons, so it is very slightly lower capacity then this. The difference in capacity between 4.1 and 4.2 is very small, depending on chemistry, so the tradeoff for longevity is a good choice IMHO. Each cell manufacturer lists the capacity available at different charge points, and the difference between 4.1 and 4.35v (usually the ultimate max before boom) is under 5%.
The best way to measure capacity is with a watt meter if you really want to get accurate. I have built and bought several of them for making my own battery packs, it is is needed to sort cells into groups that act the same, so they can be put together in the battery pack.
Short answer: Thank you, I am aware of this, but I deliberately adhered to Dewalt’s calculations methodology for the purpose of this post. They use 20V in determining advertised watt-hour ratings.
Long answer: See my comment above – https://toolguyd.com/dewalt-cordless-mower-20v-vs-flexvolt/#comment-1409257
As an aside, the nominal voltage for many of the Li-ion cells used in cordless power tools is 3.6V, not 3.7V. 3.6V x 5 would result in 18V, not 18.5V. Samsung INR 18650 25R and 30Q datasheets, for instance, explicitly list their nominal voltages as 3.6V.
For simplicity, I generally use 3.6V exclusively when comparing across brands and platforms.
Winter is coming, won’t be worrying about mowing lawn much longer. At least here in the MidWest
…You put Math in there… Now I have a headache, Stuart… (I think I can taste Purple, too… I’m not sure..)
The real question I want answered is about the batteries themselves in the DeWALT line: What do we call the different battery types that span the line now? Some I know, others I don’t.
Let’s just treat the whole Max/XR/XT/FlexVOLT system as one continuous system, for ease of identity. Question Marks for what is unknown.
-12V Max Slimline (Original 1.5 and 2Ah models.)
-12V Max/XT ???? (New 5Ah chunky block battery.)
-20V Max/XR Slimline (1.5, 2, 3, 4, and 5Ah Slim/Flat Batteries.)
-20V Max/XR/Oil Resistant ????/Standard (Original 3Ah, 4Ah XR, 5Ah XR Cube Batteries)
-20V Max/XR/Oil Resistant ????/Large (6, 8, 9, 10, 12Ah Advanced? Batteries)
-FlexVOLT/Oil Resistant ???? (6,9,[email protected] Batteries)
-FlexVOLT/Future Features ???? (New [email protected] Batteries)
Is it going to be something like… Slimline, Medium, Large? Slimline, Standard, Heavy Duty? Slimline, Large, Jumbo? Rock, Paper, Scissors? This is where I get confused. Sometimes you can grab a battery off a shelf or rack, and just pick the one you want, but if you have to ask someone for it, even just to hand you one you already own, what is their designation size-wise? Is Cell Count going to be understood by everyone?
This is where I truly fall behind, is keeping up with the classes in the line. Such a simple thing, and I’m totally confused.
I glad I’m perfectly content with my Milwaukee and Bosch (except some of their really dopy product names) battery tools.
10.8/12v, M12, 18v and M18. That’s it folks…
Sorry Stuart but this is a hot mess. Even after reading your analysis twice I still have no idea why multiple systems need exist. This is what happens when engineers and marketers mate. You get the worst of all worlds- product proliferation coupled with a desire for unachievable perfection. If it needs to be explained with so many words, it is simply too complicated for the real world. Mikita has done the same thing with its new system.
While Milwaukee’s strategy leaves power gaps at least in theory, you can understand m12 and m18 in about 10 seconds. Simple is always better.
When FlexVolt launched, all cordless power tool batteries were based on 18650 cells. Batteries built with 21700-sized cells are commonplace now, but FlexVolt still has a place. When designing for 20V Max, they have to take into account different batteries that users might want to power the tools with. With FlexVolt, the power and performance ceiling is a lot higher, and so is the floor.
There’s 12V Max for compact tools, 20V Max for standard tools, and Flexvolt for large tools. As a bonus feature Flexvolt batteries are backwards-compatible with 20V Max tools.
Seems pretty simple to understand to me. It would take a lot longer to explain, say, Milwaukee’s system with the added complexity of M18 HO vs. standard M18.
philip s john
I agree. Sometimes people on here just have never used the bigger tools and batteries. Don’t know about voltage. Watt h. Amph. Amp rating. Cells. Series parallel. Runtime charge time. I mean we still need to explain the need dewalt had for 18v and 20v when they switched to lithium.
Just explaining how to boost a battery that is flat from inactivity seems like rocket science to many people … even mechanics!
philip s john
Yes. Milwaukee HO used anywhere near their capacity needs a lot of care and understanding when the battery gets hot and trips out. It will easily damage the biggest battery at 12 amp. Dewalt 60v tool capabilities are greater.
philip s john
M18 HO is a huge mistake. Trip out to high heat. 60v potential and tool bit range is much higher.
philip s john
Oh. Just try Milwaukee grinders vs dewalt grinders. Its night and day.
Milwaukee grinders will get a job done. But it takes a lot of battery charger management.
60v is truly strong and cord free . Maybe try the bigger tools first before commenting
If the mower requires both 20V batteries at the same time to run, then the motor is a “40V”. Flexvolt packs cost more to manufacture than standard 20V packs. Standard packs have less stuff in them. Flexvolts can only (in theory) be made in multiples of 3Ahr for size/capacity ratio for 60V arrays. Expect FV18Ahr or a 21Ahr later on.
Essentially it’s just cheaper to use 20V packs. However, Flexvolt packs are a wonderful design, as it can fall within TSA guidelines and have a large OR multiple smaller Wh.
We don’t know how the mower is designed internally. It could be set up with a 20V motor and the batteries in parallel, or it could be set up with a 40V motor and the batteries in series. Either solution could provide the same power. Theoretically a parallel arrangement should run on just one battery but the electronics might require two batteries by design and refuse to run on only one. I could see Dewalt possibly doing that intentionally. If the mower draws enough current that it really needs two batteries but it were able to operate on one, it would have a miserably short runtime, overheating issues, etc, when customers misused it on one batt, and that would negatively affect public opinion of the product. Forcing two batteries to be used could help alleviate those issues. Heck, even if the mower isn’t all that powerful in terms of watts out forcing two batteries to be used divides the heat out over a larger volume. Why work one battery really hard when you can work two batteries at a moderate load instead? The Milwaukee M18 HO tools have already demonstrated that working a big 18v battery hard, even a high quality pack like the M18s are, absolutely does cause overheating issues. I have seen this firsthand doing some steel fab with a buddy of mine, he has the M18 9″ cutoff saw and I have the Flexvolt. Using them side-by-side the difference is obvious, you can get on the Dewalt a lot harder before the overload warning light comes on and I’ve never had it overheat on me while the M18 overheats rather easily. I think this demonstrates that even if the load doesn’t require it, spreading it over two batteries would greatly reduce overheating/overloading concerns.
philip s john
I am pretty sure its 2x20v meaning 40v . Or half the amph of the 2 total amp hours of the 2 batteries used.
I like the Flexvolt concept, as long as it’s flexible. I don’t like the fact that my Flexvolt batteries won’t fit some of my tools, which is not really flexible, is it? 🤷♂️
The only tools I’ve come across where they didn’t fit was some of the old radios. What else don’t they fit?
philip s john
Most people acquire large batteries from Kits. Most companies offer best deals In a kit. By mid summer the new dewalt mower was 575 CAD. so the mower is around 75 bucks. And 500 for batteries.