Shortly after Dewalt introduced their new FlexVolt cordless power tool lineup, I wrote a quick comparison between Milwaukee and Dewalt next-generation cordless power tool technologies.
At the time, Dewalt was promoting the capabilities of their new lineup, and Milwaukee was touting their HD9.0 High Demand battery pack. Milwaukee was also not so subtly challenging Dewalt’s claim of an advantage, saying that voltage is only part of the story.
Milwaukee has maintained that voltage isn’t everything, as we discussed in a post about their High Output power tool tech that was announced last year. And, it’s accurate. Their newest tools and battery packs can squeeze previously unimaginable power out of an 18V-class system.
When I compared Dewalt FlexVolt to Milwaukee High Demand, both brands had announced their 9.0Ah batteries, but neither were available yet.
Things have become more complicated when you try to compare the two brands’ next-gen cordless power tool tech.
Milwaukee’s M18 tools and batteries are all compatible, but with practical limitations in that you can’t do much when pairing a compact battery to their heaviest duty tools. Dewalt FlexVolt is one-way compatible, in that you can use FlexVolt batteries on 20V Max tools, but not the other way around. Milwaukee has the slight edge in how their XC batteries can fit and power their heavy duty tools, albeit not optimally.
Dewalt says that their 60V Max batteries allow for high power applications that were previously only possible with corded power tools. And that is also true.
Milwaukee has found ways to squeeze high power from 18V-class battery packs, with advancements in power distribution and thermal management.
Dewalt came out with 120V Max miter saws that can work with (2) FlexVolt battery packs or an AC adapter. Milwaukee has new saws and outdoor power tools that work effortlessly thanks to the new 12.0Ah High Output battery. Both brands have been expanding the limits as to what cordless power tools can do. Not just expanding, they’ve broken through the ceiling.
At the time of my original comparison, both brands’ announcements were limited. Now, both brands have expanded their offerings, and both Milwaukee and Dewalt have highest capacity battery packs equipped with larger form factor Li-ion cells. The larger cells mean more power and longer runtime.
In addition to large 15-cell batteries, both brands also now have high output/larger format compact 5-cell and standard 10-cell battery packs. Milwaukee announced two new batteries this week.
How do Dewalt and Milwaukee top offerings compare, say a FlexVolt brushless circular saw and a Milwaukee M18 Fuel circular saw with High Output battery? Both are powerful cuts-anything high performance saws, and I don’t think anyone will argue against the brands’ claims of the saws being true corded replacements.
What about future potential? Two and a half years ago, I thought Dewalt’s FlexVolt lineup held higher potential. At the time, their ceiling and potential for growth and expansion seemed higher.
One of the new FlexVolt tools was said to be able to deliver 1700W of power. So, with a 54V nominal tool, the battery pack would be tasked to deliver 31.5A of current. Since the battery cells are in series during 60V Max operation, that’s 31.5A per cell. For an 18V battery, the total current would have been 94.4A, and also 31.5A per cell. You cannot get that from a 15-cell 18V battery pack engineered with 18650 cells, at least not sustainably. But with larger 21700 cells and beefy cooling, it seems possible, or at least there’s a far greater possibility with Milwaukee’s 12.0Ah High Output battery pack.
In March 2017, when Dewalt’s FlexVolt 9.0Ah battery hit the market, they said that it runs cooler than Milwaukee’s HD 9.0Ah battery, saying that in their testing the battery temperature rose 50% faster during a constant 60A discharge, until thermal shutdown at 70°C. I believe that, since the Dewalt battery has larger cells (said to be 20700) compared to the 18650 cells in the Milwaukee M18 HD battery.
A comparison between the Dewalt FlexVolt 12.0Ah battery and Milwaukee M18 HD12.0Ah battery is going to be a lot closer. The same should be true for 20V Max 6.0Ah and M18 XC6.0Ah batteries, both also featuring larger and more powerful Li-ion cells.
At the moment, I think that both brands are at pretty even level. Milwaukee had upped their game, and Dewalt has expanded their FlexVolt lineup with new tools.
Looking to the future, Milwaukee might be a little limited by their insistence on platform-wide compatibility. It’s a really good thing, in my opinion, but they have lost some practical compatibility between their compact battery packs and highest performance tools. If their next cordless power tools are even more powerful or more demanding, it might even affect their ability to be functionally powered by XC batteries.
What happens if or when Milwaukee comes out with a 12″ cordless miter saw? How well will it perform when paired with a compact or XC battery if it’s designed to fully benefit from an HD or HD High Output battery? A 10″ table saw? A 14″ chop saw similar to the one Makita recently introduced?
Dewalt can release a 10″ table saw right now if they wanted to. They could make it the third tool in their 120V Max power system and allow it to be powered via AC adapter or 2x FlexVolt batteries. And since FlexVolt tools are not compatible with 20V Max batteries, there’s control and guidance regarding which batteries users can choose from.
There is still the potential for Milwaukee to expand with multi-battery tools, similar to Makita 18V X2, what Festool has done with their cordless saws, or what some other brands have also done in the past. I don’t think they’ll do this on handheld power tools, but for a larger miter saw, table saw, or something like a dust extractor? That would make Milwaukee High Demand and High Output tech more potentially competitive with Dewalt FlexVolt in the long-term.
With Dewalt, the ceiling is higher, in my opinion, before their FlexVolt cordless power tool line reaches and maxes out its full potential. That ceiling is a little lower with Milwaukee M18, even M18 High Output, although the potential for 2-battery M18 tools can raise their potential, perhaps at least to the same level as Dewalt FlexVolt. Meaning, there is no telling what we’ll see from Dewalt FlexVolt or Milwaukee M18 in the next few years. Both systems have a lot of height and growth potential.
Both Dewalt and Milwaukee are at the top of their games right now. I am really hoping that nobody asks “so, which one would you buy?,” frankly because that would be an extremely tough decision. Ask me again in 4-5 months after we hear about what Milwaukee has planned for 2019 and 2020. Their NPS19 new tool show will surely introduce some new cordless power tools or technologies. Dewalt has not yet announced a 2019 media event (at least not that I’ve heard about), but they have been consistently rolling out new tools for their 20V Max and FlexVolt lineups.
The Dewalt FlexVolt vs. Milwaukee M18 High Demand comparison has become far too apples vs. oranges for clear results. It no longer comes down to what the platforms can do, but what they can do for you. In that regard, I think Dewalt has an edge, given some of their unique FlexVolt offerings, such as the 12″ miter saws, cordless air compressor, and new portable dust extractor vac. Milwaukee introduced new M18 heavy duty tools and High Output battery last year, and for this year I’m expecting a big expansion for this year. They might even have a surprise or two up their sleeves.
Cordless power tools have become better and more capable than ever, and neither brand is going to rest on their laurels.
I think you hit the nail on the head with the comment “[i]t no longer comes down to what the platforms can do, but what they can do for you.” It’s not that there isn’t a different in the tech both brands are espousing, but that the larger consideration for most power-tool purchasers will be the portfolio of tools each brand offers.
Knowing that the technology is there for either brand to continue raising the bar in corded tool replacements just means there no clear future-proofing winner.
The real winner here would be us, the consumers. With the fight to the top with these two brands we get better tools and batteries from every company now as they try to keep up. It is amazing to me that when I was 18yo cordless drills were way better than the original ones, and now in just 8 shorts years they are miles ahead again. Way more power and all day heavy usage run time from batteries.
The real loser is my wallet because I’m a sucker for cool new tools.
ohms law works the same for everyone so that lends me to believe M18 will hit the end of it’s life at some point relatively soon. The thermal management and cooling are good refinements but there’s a functional limit to how far you can go with that on a sealed battery pack. for a tool subjected to who knows what in the way of contaminants and debris, I don’t see them adding any sort of active cooling to make no mention of the added battery drain that would represent.
And less current means less heat so what happens when/if DeWalt makes similar improvements to their thermal design. I think it boils down to looking at two designs in different stages of their life cycle. M18 is in the late stage refinement while FV is in mid-life expansion stage.
Dewalt made changes to their fv packs and added thermal heat sinks. 2018 made 9.0s, cells were updated to 21700 and heat sink added. I purchased the dch733 54v rotary hammer and 2017 made 9.0s keep thermal overloading
No heat sink was added to FV, so yes there still is room for thermal improvements.
It would not surprise me to see a flex volt system from Milwaukee soon. An 18/36 volt backwards computable series.
So can I use a milwaukee batt in a Dewalt flexvolt grinder
I think the problem with what you all are saying is you are thinking with today’s technology. already they are so close to lithium sulfide batteries. Same size LiSulfide has at the least twice the output wattage as a lithium ion. My gut tells me Milwaukee is going this direction. They can literally double the wattage of a battery and keep it the same size. Everyone is going one way and Milwaukee is going to go another and when they can power these massive tools with a battery the size of their current 2 amp hour all the other companies are going to to adjust
I have both. Dewalt did good when not having a 9amp battery with small cells.
Milwaukee 9amp battery with small cells doesn’t last long on HO tool. A small issue.
Biggest factor right now is dewalt can re – charge much faster… and gets even better with new 12 amp battery.
Dewalts form factor and battery design is no slouch in comparison when cooling.
Milwaukee is great… they clearly are following In the larger tools… but doing it well at sametime as having new other offerings out numbering dewalt .
Seems dewalt is in hiding after craftman purchase… hopefully we will see a snow blower run on 4 flexvolt batteries soon.
Neat idea, but I can only imagine mow much that would cost!
$500 plus I presume, just for four Flexvolt batteries. Packaged with the four-port DCB104 to charge those batteries too? That’s another $200. Never mind how much the blower itself would be. Seems like the sort of tech that is possible, but might be a few years down the road hoping battery prices drop a bit first.
What’s next? Maybe a 6x Flexvolt motorcycle? I can keep dreaming…
It’s certainly possible. Here’s a custom bike that is powered by 6x flexvolt batteries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y4ZyyZB284
I count 5 flexvolts and one 20v max at 6:20 of the video. Nice try.
Just kidding. Nice find. That’s quite the project.
There’s actually a kids balance bike being powered by what’s essentially a 20v power tool battery: https://www.stacyc.com/
I want one for my son ASAP so he can come ride “dirt bikes” with my on my backyard track.
Price is a factor. It would be similar packaging to the 20×2 and 40 v POPE lawn mowers.
We could see 2 snow blowers. Possibly 60v x2 for 120v and a 40v professional OPE.
Or you could have 4 60v battery bays… comes with 2 and runs on 2 and since people already have batteries… you add 2 of your own and that will increase run time.
FlexVolt Power Washer please…. Mobile Car Wash and Wax.
I HAVE 4 DE WALT 2O V 6ah Runing my E Bike
Having the option to power high demand, generally stationary tools with batteries or AC is a big selling point to me. I hope more brands expand their offerings in that regard.
Yes and No.
FlexVolt would have a huge advantage if everything were the same between 18V and 54V, except the voltage. But that’s not true: motors and power electronics that work at higher voltages have higher resistance, so the result is about the same.
On the other hand, there are practical limits to current, such as finding reliable connectors that handle 200A of current isn’t easy; 100A is bad enough). So it’s quite possible M18 will need to go to X2 , which FlexVolt already uses for 120V.
For hybrid tools (AC or DC), FlexVolt 120V definitely has an advantage. However, I will note that brushless DC motors designed to work off 120V AC are typically designed for 170V, since that’s what you get when AC power passed through a rectifier.
A rectifier doesn’t really give you 170v DC from a 120v AC supply. The peak to peak value of a 120v RMS AC waveform is already 170 volts – your meter displays it as 120v either by doing a real RMS calculation (nicer meters) or a scale factor (cheap meters). The RMS value of an AC waveform is the equivalent heating power available – the DC equivalent.
If you take the output of your rectifier, put a filter capacitor on it and take a DC measurement you will indeed measure somewhere around 170 volts, but as soon as you put any kind of load on your DC voltage, you will find very quickly that you are back at 120V DC or lower.
Sort of – the goal is to minimize cost for an AC-powered servo drive, so using a bridge rectifier + honking big capacitors can work well; the capacitors store energy to smooth out the peaks. This works well for lower duty cycle, but (reading the Copley documentation in detail) doesn’t work well if you need high speed at high current (torque).
So probably not a good match for power tools, but I wonder what topology DeWalt uses in their FlexVolt AC adapters….
The capacitors (if equipped) smooth out the power, but they don’t do it at the peak to peak voltage – they do it at the RMS voltage – 120v in your example. For every peak above the RMS voltage – in your example – 170 volts, there is a trough below it – zero volts at the zero crossing. RMS is the average value of the peaks and troughs.
There is no free lunch here. Short of using a transformer (which also isn’t a free lunch – higher voltage comes at the cost of lower current or vice versa), 120VAC into a rectifier produces 120VDC out when under any kind of load.
I don’t want to get too off topic, but I’ve learned some new stuff. I’ve never looked into this too much, because typically I’ve been using brushless motors with DC servo drives with either regulated switching or unregulated linear power supplies.
The regulated power supplies maintain the voltage, but have strict current limits – about the best is 50% over current for 3 sec.
The unregulated linear power supply is basically a transformer, bridge rectifier, and some big capacitors, so the only over current protection is a fuse – but the rating is 150% over current for a few seconds. Voltage drops with current.
Finally, while average power will be limited to nominal voltage * current, with the capacitors storing energy you can have a higher average voltage with lower current, BUT voltage will drop quickly like you said. For some real world numbers, look at the Copley Xenus Micro datasheet, page 11. At 240VAC input, clipping voltage matches input voltage at < 6A; at 120VAC, it occurs at < 3A.
what does that boil down then for the motor itself? Any change in lifespan or something else? States outlets at 110v. I have the flexvolt 12” slider, recently been running it on the adapter since I caught the electrician scuttering through the house and manipulated him to give me an outlet near my work station! I wish I had a little more knowledge on motors to run with you on that statement so if you wanna throw bone or two I’ll bite
It’s very simple. Review guys,blog guys,diy guys ,arm chair engineers, YT sponsored guys, Milwaukee guys will always say Milwaukee HD tools are as good as Flexvolt tools , especially saws. … there’s no changing that.
… But Framers, Remodelers, construction guys that actually use the tools daily, will attest to the fact that the Flexvolt circ, saw, rear handle saw,mitre saw, table saw, grinder , vacuum etc..are Not matched in power or performance by Milwaukee HD tools , not even close.
..and we will see how long those Milwaukee HD tools last.. flexvolt has been proven to last being abused daily in very tough conditions.
..grab the Milwaukee HD saw and rip the length of a 20’x 1 3/4″ LVL , then tell me please how great the saw is ..guys that cut a few 2×4 or rip some osb ply, then claim Milwaukee is great ,don’t even deserve to make a comment.
..Does Milwaukee make some great tools,hell ya !. Plumbers,HVAC, Automotive… Sawzalls( noone better)..one could argue even Packout is the best…the 12v line is the best, also.
…I’ve said before to those who think I hate Milwaukee,we have more money invested in Milwaukee tools then most guys on here combined….we frame custom homes, 3 crews 45 men, using 3 trucks ..one All Milwaukee, one All Dewalt, one All Makita..not my choice it’s what the 3 different owners want to use…every framer we know uses flexvolt tools for a reason. Every plumber working in our houses use Milwaukee, there’s gotta be a reason for that…
….Noone is brand loyal, whatever tool company that can get the job done quickly, efficiently thats the name of the game , build quality homes as fast as possible ,make money, pay the men a great wage and go build the next one.
..Love to be in only one platform,but that’s not logical or possible. Every tool company makes some great tools…We actually use Hitachi triple hammer impacts and Milwaukee fuel surge to screw off decks using cortex plugs and screws.,like I said not brand loyal, be brand smart, use the best tool for the job…..”.Git R Done” to quote a funny guy.
It takes engineers working behind paper every day, doing the same calculations that (smart) bloggers, armchair engineers, and similar folks do here, to figure out how to build the tools that we all know and love. Neither Milwaukee not Dewalt produce their own battery cells in house. Both could buy the exact same Samsung cells for their battery packs, and then the ONLY difference is some plastic to change the form factor, and some electronics and the switch for flexvolt to jump voltage. But otherwise, theyre the same, same power delivery capability, similar thermal control, etc. Milwaukee’s 9Ah battery bucked this a bit since they didn’t use the same battery cell size, but both brands’ 12Ah are the comparison now.
Batteries continue to be the limiting factor for cordless power tools. How much current you can safely (and “cool-ly”) pull from a pack is limited, just like how much power you can pull from a wall outlet. Switching 90A at 18V for 30A at 54V has tradeoffs, but it’s still 1600W available power no matter how you dice it.
How the brands use their voltage is the only difference. Milwaukee’s bet is on being able to use 18V know how and optimization to make it work. DeWalt’s bet is on being able to use higher voltage efficiencies to be better. At the end of the day, both companies can pull very near the same amount of power out of their batteries, and turn that into spinning a saw blade and tearing through LVL or whatever else. One may be slightly better because they won this round of making things the most efficient, but 2nd place isn’t going to be that far behind. Go ahead with your “sorry no… you don’t use tools and can’t possibly know…”.
As Stuart mentions, I think eventually Milwaukee will have to go to an x2 method. 2 batteries at 1700W each suddenly opens up 3400W worth of power, which is approaching what you can get from a 15A 220V outlet, and way more than you get from 15A or even 20A 110. I think dewalt is taking the cake for that, with their hybrid solutions like the miter saw. I really want to see flexvolt continue to expand in those tools, and not just for the higher power tools like saws or compressors, but for long runtime tools too like a shop vac or dust extractor, where the cordless convenience is still a big selling point, but sometimes you need the runtime more than you need the cordless, and the option is nice. If Milwaukee wants to make those tools that need that kind of power to perform to expectations, they’re just not going to have a choice. Getting even to 2200W from an 18V battery would require a bit over 120A discharge, or 40A per cell for a 3R pack. But same for the flexvolt batteries, 40A per cell in a 1R 54V pack. 21700 batteries may hit the 40A per cell discharge rates eventually for the larger capacities toolmakers use, but my guess is 45 or maybe 50A is where they’re going to stop for that size, unless some new battery chemistry comes into play (like solid state LiIon or Flouride Ion). That may also be why Milwaukee can make 3Ah compact packs and give them the HO branding, the higher discharge rates of the newest lower capacity 3Ah cells beat the 4Ah cell discharge rate, and might be enough to put a 1 string pack over their HO designation threshold.
I also think the marketing about M18 always compatible is fine as is. Dewalt would make the same claim if you could put your slim 20V max batteries on flexvolt tools, so I don’t really fault Milwaukee for staying on par. It’s technically if not usably accurate, and I don’t think most people realistically expect to put a compact battery in the table saw and get performance similar to the beefy 12Ah battery.
Tim’s right – they all use the exact same cells inside their packs – and, Dewalt with 5 or 10 or 15 cells – has the exact same electrical capabilities as a Milwaukee with 5 or 10 or 15 cells. And – like he noted – you can push out more Watts from the battery packs now than you can from a standard 10A/15A wall outlet (until the battery dies). So – in the US – their battery tools should be more capable than their corded tools at this point. There’s no reason that anything that you might plug into a wall couldn’t have a version with a battery slot that ran the same or better…
And – lets not underestimate what the advancements in battery cells might do for everyone. Its something that virtually everyone is working hard at, and that benefits everyone – so, saying that there’s a ceiling seems silly at this point – you’d have to have a crystal ball about the future of battery tech – and I certainly don’t want to be the one guessing where that is going to go over the next 5-20 years…
Exactly my point, keyboard guys dont even understand what material we cut . Nevermind that the Flexvolt worm drive puts out 2400 watts and the skilsaw mag puts out 2200…..all your math doesn’t equal actual facts . .. anytime anyone would like an all expenses paid trip to cape cod..to show you reality we would be happy to oblige you.,but there will be no takers , because the non users will always no more then the users…
….as a note engineers ,as far as framing goes, are morons…we spend more time correcting their seriously flawed blueprints,same with the architects who draw the useless plans that cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars..but again what do us ,framers know about tools or building…they use a keyboard they must be right… hilarious?
Sounds like you need to hire better architects and structural engineers.
I would say that the architects and engineers aren’t necessarily morons, but I feel that time in the field should be required for those professions. Sometimes things look right on paper, but not in reality.
I’ve been the business for 43 years. His comments correctly reflect my experiences with 98% of architects and engineers. I spent 25 years as a field engineer and the work involved in compensating for others incompetence is staggering.
Lotta guys on here showing the difference between knowing tools and knowing the trades. Every architect and engineer makes the same mistakes. Find a new engineer same problems will surface. I build multi million dollar customs and our lead has to correct every plan every time no matter the engineer and architect we use.
Ummm… I happen to be on both sides of that argument, as I tend to design and invent what I build… Do I have a crew? No. I have ME. And I understand the specs just as much as the in-the-field work, because both workstations are side-by-side in my head.
Now, I’m not saying you’re outright wrong… Quite the opposite, these things you say about the TOOLS are categorically correct… but, if you wouldn’t mind, framer, could you be a little less demeaning of those of us who actually do the design and engineering? Not all of us are as ignorant as you claim, and many of us agree with you… so it makes it hard to stand with you, while you simultaneously put us down as not knowing what we’re talking about… it creates a paradox… We agree with you, but we know nothing according to you, so that means your practical experience MUST follow OUR flaw as well… If We are wrong, then so are you by default, since we designed and understand the real world conditions you’re putting to use… If we’re wrong according to you, and you’re putting what we know into practice, coming up with the same results… well… Then we either know more than you give us credit for, or you’re wrong too… it’s one or the other, unless you are willing to go a little easier on the brainy types agreeing with you. A little respect goes a long way.
He did not say that you know nothing. What he is saying is what I have experienced in my long career, that there is no practical experience in those of higher learning. In general. There are those that have hands on.
Is the discussion about electrons &batteries – or framing ? How many framers build the battery packs or motors in their tools ? What practical experience do drummers have in building tools ?
C’mon. It’s true that’s some engineers lack field experience and produce stupid design but to say we don’t need engineers to perform calculations is just anti-intellectualism.
Would love to see someone designing an electrical power tool without doing any calculation or having no background in electrical engineering. The result would be a disaster. The problem is not the maths but the engineers lacking field experience. Good engineers should understand the field they work in and have practical experience. Too many don’t, I’ll give you that.
But I hear this all the time “engineers are morons”. Yet the guy saying that has no clue on the whole design and why it was done this way. Like the electrician that came to my house and said the ground wire in a house was not needed because it was connected to the neutral at the panel… Stupid engineers protecting me from getting electrocuted but yeah they have no clue, the electrician knows it all. We should listen to him and remove that wire.
And who do you think wrote the building code allowing you to frame a house without doing any calculation? Of course, you don’t need the code because you know better like the electrician. People with anti-science views know the least, but think they know.
You should try to find better engineers instead of dissing engineering as a whole. I respect construction workers even though some of them do really sloppy work. I could say all contractors are scumbag but I know better. Maybe, you should do the same with engineers.
I’ll throw in my two bits about design engineers designing things with no working experience in what there designing. I work in arenas doing show production. We had one arena built here that was marvelous and acts around the country loved to come here because of it. We have had 3 built here since and they are all crippled in some way because the designers have no real clue on how a facility is used. simple things like having enough steel in the ceiling to rig from, space for marshaling gear and storage, and usable all weather loading docks are huge in the entertainment industry for successful show production.
yet these simple things get screwed up because a engineer
does NOT understand how things are used or succumbs to
we have to save money mentality.
we have the same issue in hotels not having rigging options
in meeting rooms, enough AC assessable power, and even good
elevator options to get gear up multiple floors to the event space. seeming simple issues that get mangled.
The same things happen in tool design.
I have used both the flex volt circ and the m18 and there is a huge diff in power, can’t state what the m 18 is like in the latest gen with 12 amp though.
As to architects, we just finished a 5000sq ft home with about 37 inside and outside corners. It had 9, and aproximately 10 and12 ft ceilings and the architect said on one page that the ceiling was 144 in, while another page he said the same said ceiling was 148. So which is it?
Turns out he was wrong on both accounts. There was a lot of good in his plans but mixed with some very bad errors. Which would have thrown of the roof line on the back as they were to all match up at the same pitch from the all the 3 differing ceiling heights. Needless to say we were thankful to God to have caught the error.
Education is good but it needs a heaping dose of practical experience.
So with that long story to make a short point, I speak as a bosch fan, dewalt is curently much better than m18 and bosch, etc for high power cordless, that is why we have the flex miter, precise and powerful, yet very flexible for our needs. No contest imo.
I have the Milwaukee gen2 circular saw, it’s a dope saw! I bought it bc it was open box, saw/blade/2x 12ah battery/rapid charger/big ass bag $325 after tax. Divide the price up, it was to good of a deal to pass up! I’m prob gunna return 1x 12ah when the 3/8ah drop. So my point lol was it’s a beast for my tasks as a finish carpenter! She has always been up for whatever task I’ve thrown at here especially w/ a 6/12 attached she’s shreds through 5/4” hardwood like nothing. If I could get red or flexvolt for that same price? Flexvolt no question! Why? Like many have said the extra 36v is untouchable in power capabilities for a circular saw. Future proof. Hopefully red will swallow it’s pride and 2x18v for the futures sale. That way all backwards capatible. It wasn’t even a question when I was shopping for 12” slider… I had to flex on em! She’s my baby, no better slider out there. 18v can’t pull off certain tasks to the same degree 54v can. Does anyone need a 36v-54v impact driver? Nope. I know that triple hammer is a beast, no denying that so I’m not putting her down. but real talk my gen3 red impact is almost too powerful in certain scenarios, cam’ing out very easily. Friggin pozi-drive!? If someone thinks you need more power then what that thing can put out then your prob need an impact wrench. With many tools 18v is plenty but then many other tools 18v will finish but will be lacking in certain areas. Big rotary/ 10”+ miter/ 1/2”+ routers/ 5+” grinder ect. All could most likely be ran off 18v but would truly thrive on a higher current. I’m glad we have all these options! I don’t believe I need a 54v orbital sander lol but I will take brushless. I also bleed…whatever color tool shreds the competition & helps me complete my task in the most efficient way! Lithium Flouride, that chemistry should help the future proofing of tools. We will see in the next few years, but I’ll put money on anything NASAs JPLabs gets behind. I think there will always be a place for 12-18v Batteries w/ most tools but considering we now have these BIG tools cordless w/ amperage outputs once only thought to be had by a cord… it’s pretty clear there is a mandatory need for higher current motors & batteries! Tesla (& vaping lol) has given the industry the jump start it needed for more Lithium r&d. Plus considering we are basically in the early adolescence of Li-tech, I’m hyped to find out what’s next to come out!?!
I think ya stated the reality of what is required in the practical sense for tradesmen and the tools needed and the batteries to fit the bill. The 2×18 volt battery concept is or will be the way. Regular “hand power tools” like drills, sanders etc use single 18v batteries, while chop saws, table saws even surface planers would use the 2×18 format.
Until the 12Ah 18v batteries came out, My go to circular saw was my old M28 cause there was just no contest in power and longevity of use day to day. It is now a backup saw, but we would welcome a high powered 2x18v saw for all day use when ya are out in the boondocks and the generator on site is overloaded between chargers and corded chop and table saws.
You mentioned NPS. Have they announced when that will be held for 2019 ?
Not specifically, but it will be in the first week of June.
I am at this point completely in the DeWalt “20v/60v” camp, but I hope the brands continue to push each other. I have several of the Flexvolt tools and they are all wonderful, but I have almost stopped caring about cordless versions of the larger tools because the portable power station has made everything cordless for me. Getting my jobsite table saw plus power station to the back of the property is no more effort than getting the table saw there by itself.
There are a number of things I hope for, better mower, two stage snowblower, power head trimmer (Milwaukee has already done this), maybe one day a riding mower, etc.
I have lost count of the cordless tools I have now that would have been impossible to imagine five years ago. It is a nice time for cordless tools.
We have both yes it would be nice to just have one brand but both have equally great tools the outher probable wont try and compete with like our new dewalt cut off saw why would Milwaukee try and the backpack vac from Milwaukee love it and we dont want the same thing slightly we want new time saving tools. Dewalt cordless framer and flooring gun also love. But if Milwaukee doesn’t decide to make plugging in there table saw or chop saw a option that will hurt. For when your all out of batteries and you have power. And we have definitely noticed the milwalkee 12amp takes much longer to charge then the dewalt. Milwalkee multitool has a on off button you dont have to hold a trigger like dewalt that’s big deal for cutting and holding stuff in weird angles.
DeWalt: please make a 120 V FlexVolt table saw. Thank you.
Milwaukee tools are heavy. Every single one of their high output tools are the heaviest in class (and sometimes by a significant margin). Go check it out. I wonder if this has something to do with needing bigger motors because they only have 18V.
I said it here the other day, Hikoki Multivolt is great. I’ve recently bought into it. They have both 18650 and 21700 sized packs that can do either 18V or 36V.
It’s not 60V like Flexvolt, but it’s also not only 18V like M18. Multivolt falls in between. They can pull large current but also have the advantage of a higher voltage. Small 10 cell packs mean they can also go X2 for 72V.l with reasonable tool weights.
I would not be surprised if Milwaukee end up licensing the Multivolt technology from them.
This is probably patent right Infringement. The patent is for the switching of voltage abilities not voltage itself. So you may eventually see multivolt pay huge fine to dewalt or ordered to stop manufacturing and selling. Both is not good for anyone buying in to a cordless tool line of multivolt.
I’m interested to see how this plays out, but I don’t think there’s anything to actually play out. I think Hitachi wouldn’t be so stupid to press on with Multivolt if there were patent issues. Stuart covered the way Hitachi achieves 18V or 36V and I believe there’s no actual switching mechanism like with Flexvolt. Multivolt just uses extra terminals, so it’s more like a dual purpose battery. It’s completely different. The statement about not being able to patent voltage (true) means there’s no issue at all.
Most of the press has gone to DeWalt and Milwaukee lately. Interesting, since Makita has been releasing 18v x2 tools for so long now and hardly anyone paid attention. Their x2 circ saw was king for years, but nobody paid attention until Red and Yellow started upping their game with larger batteries.
This race will have a third horse when Makita releases their large cell batteries. From what I can tell from reviews, Makita’s current x2 tools are on par with, or slightly ahead of Milwaukee, slightly behind DeWalt FV.
When Makita start putting 30 x 21700 cells on those tools they will have an advantage over single battery FV, nearly on par with dual battery FV. Should be interesting. This is where Milwaukee will need to go eventually if they want to stay ahead.
Then DeWalt will need to up their game to 120V across the board. At some point a new battery cell will come out and this dance will start over. All tools will be so powerful they will be completely unsafe for one person to use, and then it will be simply a contest of features, weight and ergo.
Exciting times, but soon will come the day where power is no longer an issue. I’d argue we’re almost there now.
You raise a good point with makita and larger cell… have you though about how they will achieve this… I have. If I am correct… when they do this it means it will have to be a different tool line… because they would not fit side by side on the current 2 x18 18600 form factor.
That will be a huge disadvantage.
A lot of Makita 2x tools that I have actually seen have a reasonable gap between the currently available batteries when placed on the tool.
Rightly or wrongly, I would guess this is to future proof to allow the use of larger cells?
Milwaukee chose to go with the same voltage and increasing the current capability of their tools because ultimately the magnetic field in a given motor is related to the current and not the voltage. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amp%C3%A8re%27s_circuital_law
Yes, you can take a motor and get more output by increasing the voltage, but you also increase the current. To take advantage of the higher voltage (at the same current), you need to increase the number of windings. To make a motor draw more current (for the same voltage), you can decrease the number of windings. If you’re still within acceptable parameters for things like the insulation on the wires, this can be a good way to go. In the power tools, the battery is fairly close to the motor so the losses there are minimal and can be reduced by just using bigger wires.
Of course, there are limits and you need to look at the tool as a system. I think Milwaukee looked at their tools and asked, “if we could put infinite power in a tool what is the practical limit of what a person could use?” and decided they could get there at 18v: a battery powered jackhammer may need more but a 1/2” drill wouldn’t.
I expect they’ll eventually go with a higher voltage system for larger tools as they become battery powered. Some where in the middle, for instance the table saw, there will be some overlap just as we now have both 12 and 18v drills and circular saws.
In a FlexVolt power tool, they’re not using the same motors as on 18V tools, they’re using 54V/60V Max-rated motors.
If there are two tools with the same difference being the motor, one with an 18V motor, and one with a 54V motor, the 18V motor should draw 3x the current as the 54V motor to do the same work. That means that the power distribution, wiring, and switches all have to be rated for the higher current.
While bigger wires and windings can help reduce resistance losses, there is still thermal build-up to consider, and it can be challenging to route larger wires inside tools that are getting smaller and smaller.
There is a reason power is sent long distances over high voltage.
While current tech may allow 18v tools to keep up, 18v will be a limitation as the battle continues.
Cooling and active controls will simply mean that while it may give you full power for 30 seconds, as the heat builds, the controls will throttle it back.
Yes. Long distances. The wires in tools are so short, you essentially round to zero when it comes to losses.
I always liked the Milwaukee Fuel stuff when I used them (other people’s), but the defining difference for me to stick with Dewalt is the price. Dewalt’s XR and even Flexvolt are way more affordable than Milwaukee’s Fuel/Surge because Dewalt seems to allow retailers to sell them at lower prices. Milwaukee’s prices look pretty much fixed across all retailers making them painfully expensive as a non-professional. They keep comparable MSRP pricing, but the actual price to get the tools/batteries in hand is too different.
Milwaukee does have more promos and bundles than Dewalt, though, balancing the pricing a bit.
I hope the Dewalt R&D guys and gals are about to launch an adapter that allows me to power my now vast array of 20V tools with 110AC Voltage. How hard could it be and what amazing flexibility it would give us in the field. Heck, they already have an adapter for the dual flex volt powered miter saw. Why not follow the same principle for the single battery 20volt tools???? Rigid already has done it to support their platforms. Come on DeWalt. Don’t be out done by Rigid!!!
It’s actually harder than you think. An AC->DC adapter capable of putting out 80A at 18V is not small or light.
Here’s one that’s 18v @ 44a:
It’s 10″ x 5″ x 3″ and only puts out about the same power as an XC 3.0 or 4.0 pack.
A better example is the Metabo / Hitachi AC to 36V adapter; IIRC, it’s about $150 list.
As far as the one you listed, well, my guess is that it wouldn’t last too long in a work environment (I have a cheap Mean Well 5V 40A P/S that’s OK for its intended use (powering RGB LED light strings), but the build quality is flimsy), so that’s definitely a floor on potential pricing.
Of course, for motors you don’t need regulated, but a linear P/S will be even heavier and probably no cheaper, and I also doubt an unregulated switcher would be any cheaper (partly because only one or two companies make/has made those).
Unfortunately Milwaukee has to simplify this lineup and the naming convention. The acronyms don’t help and it takes almost an electrical degree to fully understand and get the understanding that 18v and 60v can go head to head. Your average customer doesn’t know or care and they have about a few minutes while looking at a shelf to pick between 18, 20, 35, 40, 56, and 60 and all the tool companies between those, the AH, and now wether or not its “high demand” or “high output” is just too many choices and confusion. They’re just going to pick the highest number and be done with it and unfortunately thats going to be a big advantage to Dewalt right there.
Even myself I fully understand the differences and I am a Milwaukee fan but trying to explain this to my dad that two 18v batteries are the same but one gives more power is just an exercise in frustration and it feels like I’m doing Milwaukee’s job explaining to people the differences. These terms “high demand”, “heavy duty”, and “high output” don’t relate to anything in terms of “normal”, “better”, and “best”. Simplify this please red.
I was thinking the same thing. Milwaukee are a juggernaut of marketing; they do very well in this department. But trying to make 18V sound better than 60V to the consumer must be a nightmare for them. Over the ;ong term they’ll probably lose out simply because their “number” is smaller and harder.
* harder to sell
To Summarize, there are two “Ceilings” for the technology DeWALT and Milwaukee are using: DeWALT’s Ceiling is the capacity for the user to know which tools use high-amperage/low-voltage to do the job (20 Volt/XR/18 VoltXR UK), and when to use Lower Amperage/Higher Voltage tools (60 V FlexVOLT/54? XR FlexVOLT UK?) based on the flexibility of the job.
Milwaukee is putting all their chips on Amperage, and trusting Users will know when a tool needs a different Battery to cover it, making the Ceiling they face the competency of the least attentive worker on any given shift?
To be totally honest, I’m seeing the Human Laziness part as the major equalizer of both systems. There’s always going to be that one schmuck who picked up Yellow, thinking it was the same as Red, and trying to power the big tools with the small batteries, or the Red instead of the Yellow, trying to run the big tools with the non-FlexVolt batteries, because they’d work fine if they were the Red brand.
I see them both going really far yet, but we’re going to get increasing complaints about wanting Universal Compatibility, just so Batteries don’t get included as a “Skill” in the term “Skilled Trade.”
I really think Milwaukee should go the route makita went with a 2 battery set up when needed. The advantage they would have over Makita lies in the more powerful HO batteries that arent offered by Makita. Can you imagine a cordless 10″ table saw that ran on 2 12.0 batts? It would cut the toughest materials with ease. The possibilities greatly expand with 2 batts.
On a side note i was going to suggest milwaukee could use a cordless wet tile saw i forgot craftsman already showed one off at their tool event. Im sure the Milwaukee would be better.
Yep, I tried to stay in one platform so I didn’t have millions of chargers, but now I have DeWalt 20v, Flexvolt, M12, M18 XC and HO, and, dare I say it, even a couple Ryobi (Brad nailers, cuz they’re cheap and work and a pex crimper, cuz it’s cheap and works).
I don’t care about brands, just give me good tools.
May they all keep fighting for our money.
I find it more interesting that one other company has gone the flexvolt like route – the 18/36 volt battery that I guess it’s Hitachi uses. I forget who. but it’s a similar idea. Dewalt I think was smart enough to go 3x on the voltage instead of 2 (and yes it’s a 18V nominal to 54 V nominal for the picky).
I think it will lend to motor designs that work efficiency with the having high voltages available. OR more specifically – motor controllers that will have more voltage in the power line. As someone said though – milwaukee batteries – and some others – have the exactly same energy potential. you put 3 rows of cell in a box – if the cells are the same you have the same potential. It’s how you get it out that becomes an issue. The issue I see is without upping the voltage across the junction (connection) you eventually lose efficiency or hit the limit of conductance. I don’t know what the battery terminals can tolerate amperage wise – but eventually you could overshoot them.
If it’s not the battery terminal – it’s the connections to the terminal – or it’s the connections in the tool at the motor controller. Upping the line voltage reduces that amperage and thus heat. That’s the electrical end but if another company has a line on a more efficient motor or some other change and can compete so be it. I think milwaukee got a bit lucky that just recently the price of the larger, more conductive batteries started coming down in price. SO they could put higher throughput cells in their HD packs. Without that bit I think they’d have a problem keeping up.
Now what I want to see is more corded tools with these better motors so they run lower amperages , and more tools that have cordless or corded ability.
Soooo basically we call all agree that Milwaukee is the best.
Lol, Milwaukee cordless are currently the premier tools to get…Dewalt’s obviously making a play to recapture its cordless dominance it had a decade ago…may we all enjoy the innovation…
It’s all about heat dissipation, folks, whichever company has better heat sinks/fans built into their tools will be able to get higher output out of their battery packs, no matter what nominal voltage they claim their tools use. Wattage and cell integrity have little to do with it and will play the key role in making either one or the other king of the hill.
Well there is a reason Milwaukee cant charge as fast as dewalt. Dewalt are not as hot from less current draw.
This is why Milwaukee charger is roasting hot.
It’s also about staying cool.
I think Milwaukee first attempt at 2 x platform will be 20 inch lawnmower… and just like dewalt. It wont be 18 v it will be 36v… realizing the challenge of spinning 20 inches on 18v.
That or they bring out a 10 inch contractor table saw first. I can’t think of another big demand high use tool that they would put out right now that would need that sort of power.
Sort of wonder why they don’t have their own power bank system. That’s one thing dewalt makes that that is really nifty. Once I make the plunge into Flexvolt I’m going to get one.
I stepped up and decided to have both lines. Dewalt and Milwaukee.
Milwaukee has pulled even overall with dewalt in HO tools. The new super charger has filled a huge void.
I just wish dewalt could produce at the speed of Milwaukee. I am wondering if they will do a bunch of tools at once again.
Are DCD240 and DCB548 compatible? I’m asking because DCB548 is larger than DCB547
I can’t find this out either. They *should* be compatible, but might not be, due to the enclosed battery interface. I am not certain. A quick email to Dewalt customer service should get you the answer you need.