Now, Dewalt is introducing a new line of FlexVolt Advantage cordless power tools, which seem to be similar to Power Detect but capable of delivering even higher power levels.
Dewalt has previously announced new 20V Max Power Detect cordless power tools, which provide a boost in power when paired with 8.0Ah and similar high capacity batteries.
Dewalt Power Detect cordless power tools also see a boost in power when paired with FlexVolt batteries. Read More: Dewalt Power Detect Q&A.
The new Dewalt FlexVolt Advantage power tools are said to:
provide a new threshold of power and performance by leveraging Dewalt 20V Max with FlexVolt Advantage tools, in order to reach their full potential. These tools, equipped with the FlexVolt Advantage technology, recognize the battery attached and adjust power output accordingly.
So, with these new Dewalt FlexVolt Advantage 20V Max cordless power tools, users will see more power when using the tools with FlexVolt batteries.
There will be 4 new tools:
- Hammer Drill DCD999
- 7-1/4″ Circular Saw DCS573
- Reciprocating Saw DCS386
- 4-1/2″ / 5″ Angle Grinder DCG416
All four of these new Dewalt 20V Max cordless power tools feature brushless motors.
Dewalt FlexVolt Advantage Hammer Drill
The new Dewalt 20V Max brushless hammer drill with FlexVolt Advantage technology is said to deliver up to 42% more power when paired with a FlexVolt 6Ah battery.
It delivers more than 1200 UWO (what’s unit watts out and how does it relate to torque??) and also features a 3-mode LED worklight and housing upgrades designed for high torque applications.
Dewalt FlexVolt Advantage Circular Saw
The new Dewalt 20V Max FlexVolt Advantage brushless circular saw delivers up to 77% more power when paired with a FlexVolt 6Ah battery.
It has a 7-1/4″ blade size, right-facing blade, and 5800 RPM (no-load) motor.
Dewalt FlexVolt Advantage Reciprocating Saw
The new reciprocating saw is said to deliver up to 50% more power when paired with a FlexVolt 6Ah battery.
It delivers over 1400 UWO, has a 1-1/8″ stroke length, and 3000 SPM no-load speed.
Dewalt FlexVolt Advantage Angle Grinder
Lastly, the new 4-1/2″ / 5″ angle grinder delivers up to 54% more power when paired with a FlexVolt 6Ah battery.
It features a kickback brake and E-clutch system for user protection.
Pricing And Availability
- Hammer Drill
- Kit, DCD999T1: $279
- Bare Tool, DCD999B: $179
- Circular Saw Bare Tool, DCS573B: $199
- Reciprocating Saw Bare Tool, DCS386B: $199
- Angle Grinder Bare Tool, DCG416B: $199
- 6Ah FlexVolt Battery, DCB606: $159
So that’s $179 for the hammer drill, $279 for the hammer drill kit, and $199 for each of the other bare tools.
The new tools will be launching in October 2020. They will be sold at Home Depot and various independent retailers.
What’s the difference between Power Detect and FlexVolt Advantage?
The main difference is Power Detect is optimized for 8.0 Ah packs and FlexVolt Advantage is optimized for FlexVolt packs, so each line supports a different battery platform. Changes to reach the new power levels vary slightly for each FlexVolt Advantage tool. But improved electronics packages (upgrades to components on the boards), software changes, and motor upgrades (more copper wire in motors, increased magnets, increased magnet size, and/or rotor angle/positioning) all help drive the additional power.
This leads to even more questions, and so we’ll be talking more with Dewalt to learn more about these new FlexVolt Advantage cordless power tools.
Lets try to make sense of things.
To speak frankly, this seems to muddle things a bit, as it blurs the line between Dewalt 20V Max and FlexVolt cordless power tool systems.
Let’s say you want a premium brushless circular saw. With this launch, you can choose between 20V Max, FlexVolt, 20V Max Power Detect, and 20V Max FlexVolt Advantage. There’s also a brushed motor option as well.
20V Max tools can be used with 20V Max of FlexVolt batteries. FlexVolt tools can only be used with FlexVolt batteries.
Looking at the reciprocating saw as an example, here are all of them from least to most powerful:
- 20V Max Power Detect DCS368: 1300 UWO
- 20V Max FlexVolt Advantage DCS386: >1400 UWO
- 60V Max FlexVolt DCS389: 1874 UWO
UWO (unit watts out) specs are not provided for all of Dewalt’s cordless circular saws.
What we can see is that FlexVolt tools deliver the most power. Power Detect and FlexVolt Advantage tools are tuned a little differently than standard 20V Max brushless tools, to deliver more power depending on what type of battery you intend to use with it.
20V Max users will see a benefit from powering Power Detect tools with Dewalt’s 8Ah battery. Users will see a greater benefit if pairing FlexVolt Advantage tools with FlexVolt batteries. FlexVolt cordless power tool users can only use FlexVolt batteries.
Generally, 20V Max tools offer great power and performance, and FlexVolt cordless power tools deliver much higher power and performance. There are many exclusive FlexVolt-specific tools, but core tools like these are available on both platforms – except for the hammer drill, for which there isn’t any FlexVolt-specific model (yet?).
Here’s the really difficult question: if you’re in the market for Dewalt brushless power tools, which should you buy? I honestly don’t know, and will have to learn more about the new tools before I can think of a good answer.
At this time, I don’t see many user advantages here.
You can buy Dewalt 20V Max Power Detect tools at Lowe’s and independent channels, and it looks like FlexVolt Advantage tools will be available at Home Depot and independent channels.
The Power Detect tools are available in kit format, and aside for the hammer drill, FlexVolt Advantage tools will be available in bare tool format.
If you want to know which I would buy, RIGHT NOW, given what I know, I would point towards Power Detect. I have been testing out the new tools and LOVE them thus far.
Let’s assume that Power Detect and FlexVolt Advantage tools deliver comparable performance using a standard 20V Max battery – let’s say 5Ah for example purposes. Let’s also assume that this performance level is comparable to that of the standard 20V Max brushless power tools where similar designs exist.
Pairing Power Detect tools with a higher capacity battery, such as a 20V Max 8Ah battery, or a FlexVolt battery will provide a boost in performance.
As discussed in our Dewalt Power Detect Q&A post, an 8Ah battery will provide the greatest performance benefit. With a 5Ah battery, users can experience similar power levels to existing Dewalt brushless tools. A 20V Max 6Ah battery provides an in-between boost in power.
I asked about how much of a boost in power and performance users can expect when pairing their Dewalt Power Detect cordless power tools with FlexVolt 9Ah and 12Ah batteries, and Dewalt confirmed that everything would be on-par with the 8Ah. FlexVolt 6.0Ah batteries would perform as well as the 20V Max 6.0Ah battery.
So, Dewalt Power Detect tools deliver a boost in power and performance when 20V Max 6Ah or 8Ah, or Flexvolt 6Ah, 9Ah, or 12Ah batteries are used.
These new Dewalt 20V Max FlexVolt Advantage cordless power tools are said to deliver a boost in power when FlexVolt batteries are used, with the suggestion that you will see max performance even with a FlexVolt 6.0Ah battery.
At this time, there is no information about how the new Dewalt 20V Max FlexVolt Advantage tools respond to any other type of Dewalt 20V Max or FlexVolt battery.
From a philosophical standpoint, I think that the Power Detect tools give you scaled performance depending on the type of battery you pair it with, while the FlexVolt Advantage tools are more appropriately viewed as tools designed for the FlexVolt power tool system while also being compatible with 20V Max batteries.
These core tools are extremely important, given how strong of a demand there is for cordless hammer drills, circular saws, reciprocating saws, and angle grinders.
If you ignore “standard” 20V Max brushless offerings and FlexVolt brushless power tool offerings, focusing only on 20V Max Power Detect and FlexVolt Advantage, it seems that Power Detect offers the most battery flexibility, providing scaled performance depending on type and size of battery, and FlexVolt Advantage has greater limitations tied to better rewards.
With Power Detect, you get the most performance benefits when using 8Ah or higher capacity batteries.
With FlexVolt Advantage, it is strongly implied that you get the most performance benefits when using a 6Ah FlexVolt battery. AND, given limited specs, it seems that Dewalt 20V Max cordless power tools with FlexVolt Advantage technology deliver more power than Dewalt 20V Max Power Detect tools.
So, Power Detect gives you different performance improvements depending on battery type, which makes it more flexible.
Given presently available press information, FlexVolt Advantage gives you even more performance and when using a 6Ah FlexVolt battery.
I would expect that, if you have one type of tool in both FlexVolt Advantage and Power Detect styles, and both powered by a 6Ah FlexVolt battery, the FlexVolt Advantage tool would deliver more power than the Power Detect tool. Stepping up to higher capacity and pricier batteries for the Power Detect tool would close the gap, but based on published specs, the FlexVolt Advantage tools would maintain their performance advantage.
Things are looking a bit clearer now, but there’s more to learn.
What questions do you have?