In recent years, professional power tool brands have been pushing the limits of what a cordless power tool can do.
Starting with Lithium ion battery technology, and then with brushless motor technology, brands have introduced new tools that would have been impossible just a few years ago.
We’ve got cordless miter saws, nailers with air-like power, full-size cordless circular saws, drills that can bore hole out after hole without breaking a sweat, and a myriad of specialty tools that further help users cut power cord management out of their work and workflow.
You might have noticed that I tend to get excited about new technology. This is especially true for tools that are so innovative that they have the potential to change everything.
Dewalt recently teased us about a new “Worlds First” product development. There were lots of guesses, and some readers picked up on accidental leaks.
Well, it’s here – Dewalt FlexVolt is a brand new battery system that automatically changes voltage, depending on the tool it’s connected to.
At the heart of the new Dewalt FlexVolt system is the new FlexVolt battery, DCB606, which has patent-pending technology that makes it completely compatible with Dewalt 20V Max tools and chargers.
Dewalt will also be unveiling a new line of 60V Max and 120V Max FlexVolt brushless power tools.
Take a moment to let that sink in.
Dewalt FlexVolt = a new 20V Max, 60V Max, and 120V Max compatible battery pack, and there will be new 60V Max and 120V Max FlexVolt tools that it’s designed around.
When used in a Dewalt 20V Max power tool, a FlexVolt battery should provide up to 4X the runtime.
Compared to Dewalt 18V NiCad technology, the FlexVolt battery should provide 3X the power. (Their words.) This is just to get a sense of power; the Dewalt FlexVolt battery is NOT going to be compatible with Dewalt 18V NiCad tools or chargers.
Dewalt FlexVolt battery packs will automatically shift to power 20V Max tools. In order to power 120V Max power tools, you will need to use (2) FlexVolt batteries.
Dewalt says that:
This means that high power tool applications that previously could only be accomplished by corded tools, can now be performed with the DEWALT FLEXVOLT™ system of cordless tools. As a result of this advanced battery technology, jobsites can now fully transition from corded to the freedom of cordless.
New Dewalt FlexVolt Power Tools
In addition to being able to power existing Dewalt 20V Max power tools, with the benefit being greatly extended runtime, there will be 5 new 60V Max tools, and 2 new 120V Max tools.
New 60V Max FlexVolt Tools
- Brushless 7-1/4″ Circular Saw, DCS575
- 4-1/2″ – 6″ Grinder, DCG414 (Amazon Listing)
- Reciprocating Saw, DCS388
- 1/2″ VSR Stud and Joist Drill, DCD460 (Amazon Listing)
- 8-1/4″ Cordless Table Saw, DCS7485
That’s right, a new cordless brushless table saw! I know what you’re thinking. Yes, a 10-inch saw would be more desirably, but maybe the 8-1/4″ blade size makes the saw more portable. But with 60V Max and 120V Max capabilities, maybe a 10-inch cordless table saw isn’t too far along.
Here’s a peak at the ones we could find early images of:
Ah, so it seems the FlexVolt angle grinder comes with interchangeable guards, for use with smaller or larger cutting and grinding wheels.
Wow, that’s a beefy drill.
Thanks to Mosh for the image leads!
New 120V Max FlexVolt Tools
As a reminder, these new 120V Max FlexVolt tools require the use of (2) 60V Max battery packs.
- 12″ Fixed Head Compound Miter Saw, DHS716
- 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw, DHS790
Whoa, cordless 12″ compound and sliding compound miter saws!
New 20V Max Products and Kits
There will be several new tools in the 20V Max lineup, including:
- Portable Power Station, DCB1800
- Bluetooth Radio Charger, DCR025
- Bluetooth Area Worklight, DCL070
- Hammer Drill & Impact Driver Combo Kit, DCK299, will be offered as a FlexVolt kit (Amazon Listing)
These tools are a little self-explanatory, but we’ll share more as we learn more.
The Dewalt Portable Power Station is an 1800 Watt power station with 4 port parallel charger and operates on (4) 20V Max battery packs – or FlexVolt power packs – to deliver up to 15A of AC power!
In other words, the Dewalt Portable Power Station will power your AC tools!!
This is kind of like the Bosch Battery Bank, but it works with (4) Dewalt battery packs you might already have.
Here you could see a charger-in plug, and standard 3-prong outlet.
The product description says that the unit can handle 30A max, which probably refers to the unit’s potential to handle 30A inrush, or current surges. They say that the max AC output is 3600W, but the rated AC output is 1800W. Seems reasonable.
Wow. If the price is right, this might be a very hot product. Let’s say a 5.0Ah battery pack provides 90 Watt-hours of power. I believe Dewalt describes them as 100 Watt-hours, due to the 20V Max, but for the sake of this argument, let’s say it’s 90 Watt-hours. Times 4 equals 360 Watt-hours.
Let’s say an AC tool drawers 15A at 120V. That’s an 1800 Watt-hour load. So, ignoring any losses, and if my math is correct, this Power Station should power such a tool for 1/5 an hour, or about 12 minutes, on 4x 5.0Ah battery packs. And that’s with CONTINUOUS usage at maximum power draw.
Now let’s say you are using (4) FlexVolt battery packs, which Dewalt says should provide 4X the runtime. So that would be around 48 minutes, baring any power losses. Again, that’s at full power draw.
Update: I don’t think the 4X is in regard to the 5.0Ah batteries. FlexVolt provides 4X run time of Dewalt’s COMPACT battery packs. Each has 15 cells. It’s equivalent to a 6.0Ah 20V Max battery pack.
Are you excited yet?
Now imagine you’re connecting a portable table saw, miter saw, or other tool that isn’t quite available as a cordless version yet. The Power Station should provide a decent amount of runtime, and since the tools are drawing every bit of power they need, you get corded performance.
There will be new power tool accessories too.
In addition to the tools, FLEXVOLT™ High Efficiency Accessories™ are Engineered to Maximize Runtime™. This new line is optimized for use with cordless power tools and is engineered to deliver more cuts or holes per charge than standard DEWALT accessories.
Wow. Not only do I find this news to be massively exciting, I think there is great potential for it to be influential.
FlexVolt is completely optional, for users who simply want more. More runtime, and more energy to feed power-hungry tools.
Now only that, but FlexVolt is completely backwards compatible with Dewalt 20V Max power tools. I imagine there might be some physical compatibility issues, but perhaps not. Maybe with some accessories and things like heated jackets where a bigger battery is simply impractical.
You don’t get 4X the runtime without any compromises. FlexVolt battery packs are (obviously) going to be larger than 20V Max battery packs, and so there are tools where they won’t make much sense, both from a demand point of view, and from an ergonomics point of view.
I am very eager to find out how much a FlexVolt battery will cost. If I had to guess, I would think each battery costs at least $200-250. At least.
Dewalt is probably betting that the FlexVolt system is so innovative and beneficial that it will impact the entire industry, and it very well might.
Let’s return our thought to the new 20V Max power tools. A Portable Power Station that can provide an AC power output! A new Bluetooth-connected area worklight! A Bluetooth-connected radio charger. Well, a new Bluetooth radio charger isn’t that exciting, but the area worklight and power station are.
And those new 60V and 120V Max power tools? Even more exciting.
I know there will definitely be a lot of interest in the cordless table saw. What do you think about the 120V Max 12V miter saws? The circular saw and reciprocating saw make sense. What about the 4-1/2″ – 6″ grinder?
I should point out that the 60V Max tools won’t be compatible with 20V Max Li-ion battery packs, or at least I’m nearly certain they won’t be.
Which of these new tools are you looking forward to?
What FlexVolt tools do you want Dewalt to come out with next?
Here’s my wishlist: FlexVolt cordless dust extractor, FlexVolt cordless 1/2″ router. Err, make that a 20V Max router. I think that a FlexVolt might not be too comfortable to wield around.