The new Dewalt POWERSTACK 20V Max cordless power tool battery pack (DCBP034) was announced today, making Dewalt “the world’s first major power tool brand to use pouch cell batteries designed for the construction industry.”
That’s right, Dewalt PowerStack battery pack uses pouch cell batteries, and not the cylindrical form factor Li-ion cells that traditionally used in traditional cordless power tool battery packs.
Dewalt says that PowerStack will help to further realize the full potential of the cordless jobsite of the future.
The Dewalt PowerStack battery will be fully compatible with ALL Dewalt 20V Max tools and chargers.
Application imagery shows the new PowerStack battery being used in compact tools where smaller size and lighter weight are a priority, such as with their Atomic series of cordless power tools.
The new DCBP034 PowerStack battery is said to weigh 15% less than their compact 2.0Ah battery (DCB203).
Compared to the compact 20V Max 2.0Ah battery, the new PowerStack battery can also deliver 50% more power.
On top of all that, the new PowerStack battery is also 25% more compact than their 2.0Ah battery pack.
That’s not all. Dewalt says that their PowerStack battery will deliver twice the lifespan, with respect to charging cycles, compared to their compact battery.
The battery will feature an LED fuel gauge and durable non-marring overmold, for impact resistance and to help protect finished surfaced.
Dewalt says that their new battery is ideal for cutting, drilling, and fastening applications, precision and finishing tasks, and when working in tight spaces.
Okay, so let’s recap. Compared to their compact battery pack, the new PowerStack battery can deliver more power in a lighter, smaller, and longer-lasting package.
Dewalt says that their PowerStack 20V Max battery is:
A next-generation technological breakthrough that marks a new era of performance for Dewalt cordless power tools.
ETA: December 2021 (North America)
This is a developing story with more details to come. In the meantime, are you excited? What questions do you have about this new battery tech?
Here’s their teaser video:
Dewalt PowerStack Questions and Answers
What is the charge capacity? The new Dewalt PowerStack battery (DCBP034) will have a 1.7Ah charge capacity. (But, this is likely just the beginning!)
What tools can be used with PowerStack? Dewalt designed the PowerStack battery to optimize their more compact 20V Max tools – 2-speed drills, impact drivers, compact circular saw, brushless router, compact band saw, compact rotary hammer, oscillating multi-tools, and other such tools.
So, 50% more power than a DCB203 means these things are likely 3Ah right?
I think they’re referring to how fast power can be drawn out of the battery, not it’s capacity.
Not necessarily. It’s referring to power, not runtime.
This battery will have a 1.7Ah charge capacity.
This makes sense, that would explain why they aren’t touting the Amp Hour rating. It’s like having a really big hose draining a small tank quickly.
Realistically, you probably won’t notice a difference between 2.0Ah and 1.7Ah. The PowerStack has a 15% decreased capacity but is 25% more compact than the 2.0Ah, so it’s actually more energy dense.
Matt the Hoople
LOL. It says it weighs 15% less. 1.7Ah is 15% less energy than 2.0 Ah. So the power per mass is the same. They have just packed 85% of the power into 75% of the volume. That seems like the least of the selling points.
What interests me is the power delivery for something like an impact wrench where there is a noticeable difference in torque performance using a 4Ah battery vs a 2Ah battery. If The smaller 1.7 can deliver similar performance to a 4Ah, that would be useful to me for my applications of rotating tires, breaking loose suspension fasteners and such.
Are these new batteries compatible with flex volt advantage tools?
They fit all Dewalt 20V Max tools, but that’s not going to be an ideal pairing due to the charge capacity. This is best matched with compact tools.
I build decks for a living. And you’re right. These batteries are all but worthless to people like myself until they start developing and making a higher capacity battery! (Lets say 6ah or higher)
As a GC/framer I totally agree with you. Nothing less than 6.0 flexvolt suits me.
Koko The Talking Ape
No, I imagine they’re talking about the rate of energy delivery, meaning how fast 2.0 Ah battery can be discharged. That often sets the upper limit on the jobs a tool can do, like loosening a really tough bolt.
As I understand it, that rate is itself often determined by how well the battery can dissipate heat. I wonder how these gel cells do that, since there’s no airspace between them.
Steven W Neidlein
No the power stack is just as powerful as the 5ah dewalts
so they are going to bring out the first prismatic style power tool battery? That’s what it looks like to me. Otherwise that foot print being smaller like that looks as if there are no cells.
Or they are using more of the Glass fibre reinforced plastic to lessen the thinkness of all of the housing and keeping in play some cell that is samller than a 21700.
Koko The Talking Ape
The cells are there. They’re just flat, and flexible, hence “pouch” cells. They’re used in other applications, like in cell phones, where space and weight is tight.
They’re more compact in a battery (a battery is a stack of cells) because they can nestle up against each other with no air space in between. The old cylindrical cells don’t pack as tightly.
On the other hand, the cells need some air or heat sinking or something to cool them off. I wonder how DeWalt manages that. I could see putting an aluminum plate between the cells, leading out to a heat sink, or maybe just the battery housing, but I don’t see that in the photos.
so in other industry that’s called a prizmatic battery – basically shaped sandwhich layers.
Here’s the nice thing – they do handle heat better and take current better. They are however expensive as they are often unique shapes – so unique dies. and they often don’t last as long.
I’ve been wondering how long until the power tool companies moved to this. Especially in the 12 V arena.
designed right they can pass alot of current and in the sandwhich is cooling gells. In some cases.
Prismatic and pouch cells are not necessarily the same thing. If they were prismatic cells, I think they would have said that instead of saying pouch.
Prismatic implies they have a rigid rectangular shape usually achieved by some sort of internal structure, whereas pouch cells. don’t have a structure and can bend.
completely missed where it says pouch cells. eitherway though the packaging is better this way.
the video shows what looks like 5 phone batteries stacked on top of each other. 5 × 4 volts on the lithium phone batteries is about 20 V. ([email protected]% capacity) 1.7ah shouldn’t be that much heat. My phone battery is 4370mah capacity and burns around 500mah on idle at 31C. Cost to replace per Amazon around 15usd. Definitely more expensive than 18650’s.
Wow! That’s a development.
I assume the 50% power increase refers to how much current can flow through, not the battery’s capacity.
E.g. a 2.0ah battery pack might fit and power up a cordless mower briefly, but the mower would draw too much power to run for any length of time. When a battery is discharged fast, it heats up and doesn’t last as long.
Presumably then, these new batteries could power new high-draw compact tools that would be awkward if fitted with a physically large battery.
I’m thinking of the Flexvolt Advantage tools, for example. Maybe these can deliver sufficient power to act like an 8ah battery during use (but then obviously run out of juice 4x faster).
If this is wrong – please correct me!
They also said that it’s 1.7 Ah, so it’s the discharge rate.
This is great news. Rarely do I get excited about a new battery announcement, but this really is a big deal. Pouch-style cells have been the standard in R/C models for many years now. They’re all-around better than cylindrical cells. More compact, higher energy density, higher discharge currents, and a better geometry for cooling. I hesitate to call this a “game changer” just yet, but it is a significant improvement over traditional cylindrical cells, and I can’t wait to see this technology come into the larger sizes as well. For the time being it will be just the thing for compact tools.
Obvious question: what do they cost?
Next obvious question: When is the flexvolt version coming out?
I’m excited too. Maybe I’m reading too much into this – but it seems like a possible jump-up in battery tech.
Not so extreme as the move from Ni-Cd to Li-on, but previous battery releases first evolved by just adding more cells, then switching from 18650 form-factor cells to 21700. Those changes allows new tools to come out too – e.g. Flexvolt Advantage.
These compact pouch-cell packs probably don’t leapfrog the power output of the high-capacity packs – but being able to deliver that kind of peak power in a compact form might lead to something new. I don’t have any guesses what it could be… something that is small but would need lots of power – at least for short periods of time.
Honestly these will be awesome with Dewalt’s new compact impact wrenches. First off the higher current capacity ideally suits an impact wrench which spends a lot of time sitting around doing nothing but does require brief moments of peak power. Second, the compact size of the battery really helps. I think this new battery announcement has made my M12 vs. Atomic 20V MAX 3/8 compact impact decision. I was leaning towards the weaker M12 simply because of its in-handle battery but now that Dewalt is coming out with batteries this compact I think I’ll go with with them.
The “in-handle” battery to me is the achilles heel of the M12 stubby. Had one and sold it, just couldn’t stand the grip.
That’s probably the biggest complaint of M12. Really wish they could have slimmed the handles to Bosch sizing on their 12v line. Those are perfect in the hand.
It’s certainly not a great grip. I greatly prefer thinner grips but I’m willing to put up with the fat grip on my mechanic’s tools and my installation driver because I consider it the lesser evil compared to a full size-battery hanging off the end of the handle. But for any other tool? No way.
philip s john
Yup. M12 is great but not perfect. Another gripe is moisture ingress. Dewalt can take so much more moisture ingress
Koko The Talking Ape
I didn’t know that about their advantages.
Re cooling though, I can see how they’d have more surface area for the volume, but if they’re piled up flat against each other, as they seem to be in the cutaway drawings, then wouldn’t you lose that advantage?
If they’re just stacked up right against each other then yes, you’re correct that they’d block each other’s access to airflow. But, there are several possible tricks.
The material the pouch is made out of is highly thermally conductive, so having the packs right up against each other is a bit like having a thin aluminum plate between each cell. Of course packs can have proper aluminum or copper plates between the cells as well to act as further heat sinks. Or the packs can be separated from each other to allow cooling air to flow in between. Of course that takes extra space, but a bunch of thin flat cells with narrow gaps between them makes a very effective radiator.
I’d think for a pack this small there’s probably no need for special cooling concerns, the cells probably are just right up against each other like the artwork suggests. But this has a lot of potential going forward. It’s easier to add heat control features to packs like this than it is to packs made of cylindrical cells, so there are lots of possibilities for future larger batteries.
Aren’t the batteries used in RC cars a different chemistry though? That and they recommend that you charge and store them in a fireproof bag. I don’t know if that’s due to the chemistry or the fact there’s no protection from getting damaged.
So how is DeWalt changing their battery structure to accommodate these pouch cells? They are gaining the ability to pack more cells into a battery, but at the same time the very thing that gave the batteries their ny-industructability — the cylindrical casing — isn’t there to protect the cells.
Batteries in the Radio Control Industry are Lithium Polymer (LiPO).
There are “soft” packs that are pouch cells that are shrink wrapped together and “hard case” packs that are pouch cells inside standardized dimension cases.
In general these packs are much more falmmable that power tool batteries. Large fires from such a small item. The manufacturers reccommend charging inside a fire proof container.
Pointless concern. Drop your Vero phone from 200 feet. The screen might break but the battery won’t be compromised. It’s not going to catch on fire or anything.
You’re right in the fact that we’ve used pouch style batteries in RC but the chemistry is different, LiPo (Lithium Polymer) vs Li ion (Lithium Ion).
Lipo batteries are just li-ion batteries in plastic (polymer) pouches. The chemistry is the same. The reason they are usually charged in fire bags is because they are more vulnerable to damage.
You are exactly right Doug. It’s shocking how much misinformation there is out there.
Kinda yes, kinda no. They’re called lithium polymer batteries because they’re lithium-ion batteries with a polymer gel instead of a liquid electrolyte.
You are right that the outer cover is a polymer laminate.
I’m thinking these pouch cells make better three dimensional use of a more or less rectangular space than the cylinder cells do and that’s where the advantage comes from.
The product imagery shows it next to a 20v pack – but now I’m wondering what it looks like next to a 12v pack.
I think we’re seeing the next generation of battery tech being introduced here. Especially for Milwaukee, they can stick to their 18v platform for a long time if they change to the pouch cells and keep basically the same case size. A 12ah size battery with these would, unless I’m mistaken, be much more effective at running high-draw tools, like the demo saw and table saw. This is a very interesting development!
I had the same thought. I’m all Milwaukee, so I’m curious if they’ll adopt this tech. If so, seems like it would prolong the ability to stick with 18v tools and not increase voltage or use double batteries, etc.
This is great news! I think this is a technology breakthrough that will meaningfully impact the end-user. I’m not invested in Dewalt’s cordless platform right now (currently running Milwaukee, Makita, and Metabo HPT) but I think they’ve actually done something great for the entire industry.
One of the big reasons 18V platforms have had staying power in the market is because you can squeeze an 18V battery into a compact 2.0 or 3.0AH form factor with only 5 cells. One of the downsides to a higher voltage platform like Metabo HPT’s MultiVolt or Makita’s XGT is that the smallest form factor you can achieve is the usual 5.0AH pack size with 18650 cells. With this technology I wouldn’t be surprised to see Makita and the rest fit 10 pouches into what we consider a “compact” form factor battery today which would finally enable those “compact” 36V batteries.
I can’t wait to see what the industry does with this development going forward with iterative improvements.
philip s john
I think different lines or voltage would have the same benefits.
Cant wait to see if this is used on a flexvolt battery also.
I wonder if the price premium will be worth it – I’m sure it won’t be cheaper 😉
From what I know about lithium ion batteries (albeit not at all an expert, just some dude who reads a lot of stuff online), I assume these are li-ion polymer cells like cell phones and laptops use where packaging is a major constraint. You have much higher power density vs a round 18650 or 21700 cell. However, they are often much less safe than a round cell, so high-current charging like is seen for R/C applications is often done in fire-safe bags in case the cells explode. I would guess SBD has done their research in making sure charge and discharge rates are well within the safe limits for their cells, but I’d be more wary of a knock-off in this style than an 18 knock-off 18650 pack.
While R/C battery packs are notorious for being very volatile, they are also often put through very rough use. There are armored battery packs, but they don’t seem to be as popular as soft wrapped-stack packs due to size and weight considerations.
The way I see it, this battery features a stack of smartphone-like pouch cells in an armored housing.
They’ll pair nicely with the new 20v ratchets.
Speaking of which, has anyone heard any updates on release dates for the new Xtreme and Atomic ratchets?
They weren’t even officially announced yet, so… 2022?
actually it might get a little cheaper. If for example they happen to share a size die with I don’t know some highly produced product that is output in the millions worldwide and they happen to ride that wave and make another few millions with the same hardware.
it’s possible this would be cheaper in the long run. fewer and fewer industry items use the cylindrical cells.
I wonder if this falls outside the purview of Milwaukee’s patent on 18v batteries?
I think the answer is, that it depends on DeWalt’s design and the definition of “cells.” Milwaukee’s patent is for a “plurality” of lithium ion cells, and includes provisions for balancing charge state between the cells, among other things.
So does a flat sheet qualify as a cell or plurality of cells? If it’s a single “cell”, then they’ve at least partially circumvented Milwaukee’s patent. Milwaukee’s patent illustrations and description show and describe cylindrical cells, but the claims section (the only part that really matters) makes no mention of cell geometry.
My question is how did Milwaukee ever get awarded that patent in the first place?
I had long wonderd that since it seems to me a simple “battery pack” would be sufficiently obvious that it wouldn’t really be patentble. I just read the patent for the first time, and I think the key detail that mentions of this patent constantly leave out is the fact that the battery pack has *three or more electrical connections to the tool*. Or in other words the fact that there is *sensing* taking place is the key feature.
Anyone can make a basic battery pack and not tread on the patent. But the moment that pack contains a 3rd electrical connection or any time of sensor, balancing circuit, etc, then the patent comes into play.
I was really hoping for more than 3 light indicator, I’d be happy with 4 but more feedback like 6 would be Great! IMO. In the end maybe more to break?
Flex had a leaked pouch cell battery box before DeWalt made the official announcement
Would have been nice to launch this alongside and as a kit with the new Atomic impact driver and wrenches. I guess they don’t want a deal on these for now, though.
I hope they’ll come with a 12v version. They could have some crazy compact tools with this technology.
Could this mean the end of 12 volt. 20V getting smaller…
I sort of wondered about that too – hence my earlier question about what this pack looks like next to a 12v pack.
The footprint looks a lot smaller and Dewalt’s 12v tools already have slide packs on the bottom. It just seems like this battery might erode the difference a bit.
Of course, if they apply the same tech to the 12v line – maybe it just gets super small!
I wouldn’t worry about that. 12V is exclusive to Lowe’s and 20V Atomic is exclusive to The Home Depot. As long as both partners are invested in these exclusive contracts, SBD will continue to produce new tools for both lines. It helps that they are likely developed on a shared platform and then modified for each line, reducing development costs.
Are they though? I can purchase both 12v and 20v atomic at my local Farm and Fleet.
First, Farm & Fleet rocks.
Second, it’s goofy, they’re exclusive as national/international retail partners. Regional retail (like Farm & Fleet) and online outlets are not considered in the equation. It’s more marketing on behalf of HD/Lowes.
The DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Black & Decker are all under the same umbrella as a company. So therefore reducing development cost is a very valid point. That’s why you see that DeWalt or a Milwaukee come out with a new tool or what , then further down the road you see that Makita come out with a tool somewhat similar down the Road. Then you’ll see that Black & Decker will put out that respectively close to each other it’s all the same company to me in the long run. But having used all those umbrella company tools, Duval is far better when it comes to impact. Like my husband will drop Milwaukee off of a four-story roofing it bust all hell. Then he’ll use you all drop it from this same spot and it survives thing continues to work DeWalt are easier to repair my experience. What do you want about the only one that I’ve been able to take one model of impact driver and put the guts of another one into it and not have any problems. I also like they’re 18 volt to 20 volt battery pack converter. I do have a lot of 18 volts that I like having just a little bit more power for, and that it’s the perfect solution for me. So therefore these new powerstack battery should work just the same.
I’ll go, I do agree with a lot of these comments need more than 1.7 amp hour battery. And that they want to make those stackable oh, like you can slide one into the other stackable. But that defeats the purpose of making them more compact!!!!
Dewalt and Milwaukee are NOT the same company. Makita is not related to either brand.
TTI owns Milwaukee Tool.
Stanley Black & Decker owns Dewalt.
None of this rant was right. Dewalt and milwaukee are definitely different companies. You need to invest some more time learning about tools as they are completely differentLine ups.
18 volt and 20 volt tools are the exact same, just using different types of definitions to describe nominal vs peak volts. Alot of 18 volt tools are more powerful than 20 volt tools, mainly because they are equal if not better.
This…there is zero difference between 18V nominal and 20V Max batteries. These are just marketing terms. The batteries are all constructed the same way, with groups of 5 cells (3.6V each wired together to total 18V). When fully charged, all of these batteries will show approximately 20V, but that number drops to 18V when they are under load.
So…DeWalt 20V Max, Milwaukee M18, Makita 18v LXT…all of the batteries run at the same voltage.
The term “MAX” distinguishes the “20V” label as a maximum voltage, not nominal. DeWalt 20V Max tools are actually labeled as 18V in several countries because of laws requiring tool manufacturers to indicate nominal voltages instead of maximum.
This isn’t exclusive to SB&D though: every company with a “12V” lithium-ion tool line is guilty of this, as those tools operate at a nominal voltage of 10.8.
philip s john
Doesn’t really make sense when they are releasing so many new 12 stuff.
Plus new battery is fully adapted to current tools. They aim for this so when buying into a line you car trust they want the line last. Meaning new technology like solid state must work with current lines.
Looks like its already on Lowes website but the page hasn’t been opened yet. https://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-20V-MAX-DEWALT-174-POWERSTACK-8482-Compact-Battery-2-PK/5005549731
I’m almost a bit surprised this took so long. Many battery applications have been moving towards pouch cells, for density reasons. I gather the heat control can be more complicated and charging balance is harder which is one of the reasons Tesla stills uses cylindrical cells when most other EVs are now pouch cells. It also opens up the format thing a bit more. You do need volume production to go to pouch cellls as I gather that while some makers have standard sizes they offer there is no inter company format standard so most cells are made to order.
I used to be involved with battery standards in another industry, and a lot of the engineers were a bit hesitant on pouch cells where as the marketing and R and D guys loved them. They really have compleee advntages but making sure they are safe requires alot of engineering and test.
I’ve had 3 devices with swollen batteries, laptop, tablet and phone.
I’ll take a 21700 over a pouch battery any day.
Hopefully Telsa’s new 4680 works its way down to others and alleviates any need for pouches.
The 4680 seems a bit to large for most applications. I don’t see it working well in hand held power tools. May work well in outdoor power equipment thou. I used to work on mobile power systems and I can tell you almost everyone out side of Tesla is leaning toward pouch or prismatic cells.
Even Tesla uses Prismatic cells in some applications now.
I’m not sold on large pouch packs either but it does seem to be the way the market is moving, hard to deny the form factor has advantages for space saving.
without being high capacity I see this as being a good test case run. IE without the extra AH capacity people won’t run one of these ALL DAY with high use demand – and it will get in market and get market review and response on durability and desire.
Then gee you know they just don’t work that well but are great at compact use only . . .
OR hopefully – wow this works better than we thought and we need to drop new capacities . . . . and kick off that 20AH @ 60V Flexvolt battery pack for the new 25 inch self propelled walk behind mower . . . . . . . .
with gel between sets cooling shouldn’t be an issue. Despite the fire inducing 787. (alot of development came out of those fires)
I can already see these pouch LiPo packs bulging up after left in fully charged state for long periods of time. 50% more power isn’t worth the headache compare to cylindrical lithium ion cells.
Sure, with LiPo they can use 30C+ packs for absurd peak power ratings upwards of [email protected] = 3KW, while the most advanced 18650/21700 packs can only achieve ~1.2KW, Another benefit of LiPo is that they can also be charged at extremely high rates. but the limited cycles, overall lower robustness and shorter lifespan are not worth it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been using LiPo for years in the RC and FPV hobby, I just don’t think they’re ready for the job site.
I’m familiar with LiPo packs puffing in the RC world, but I’d imagine that Dewalt’s engineers wouldn’t put this to market unless they’ve already torture tested them internally with thousands of discharge cycles and in real-world tool applications.
One thing to consider is that hobby RC LiPo chargers are actually very rudimentary – sure, they have a charge “rate” (the ability to control the charging amps usually) and they detect undervolt/overvolt scenarios and control balancing, but they’re nowhere near as advanced as the modern tool battery pack charger.
Most chargers already detect the size of the pack in Ah and monitor thermals while charging. On the other side of things the tool usually does the same and will shut down the tool if the thermals get out of hand or the current draw on the pack is too high for the size of the battery.
All of this should add up to much safer and longer-lasting pouch cells in a tool battery than in the “raw” hobby format. There’s no way Dewalt’s tools will let you discharge this battery at 30C. Come to think of it, since it’s going to work in existing tools, the tool will probably still treat it like a 21700 cell pack which is going to be well under the max draw this type of battery can offer.
Maybe the fact that these packs aren’t discharged and charged to their maximum range 2.8-4.0V instead of 2.5-4.2V capacity also helps with premature chemistry wear which leads to the gasses.
I do think Lipo packs are lot more space efficient than cylindricals for more compacts tools like ratchet and impact drivers, the form factor possibilities are nearly endless.
Dewalt claims of 50% more power means theyre being extremely conservative with these ratings. With proper cell monitoring the dangers of lipo can be reduced but never fully controlled. manufacturers have been limited to brand names high quality 18650/21700 cells because of the safety features and their ability to vent instead of blowing up in case of failure.
I guess time will tell but I for one would not feel comfortable throwing these packs in the back of the truck.
According to some of the influencer videos released today, they weren’t originally allowed to talk about the new battery until the 25th. Commenters said that they likely dropped the embargo due to a video this week showing Flex tools including this technology in one of their kits (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyiklNzjuK8).
My questions are who really designed the technology, and who is paying who.
C’mon man, you gotta put a disclaimer on a link if its a VCG video. That’s worse than getting Rick Rolled.
I have no issue with it, and I didn’t see anyone else have the same information. No one one made you watch the whole thing, or at least I hope they didn’t.
Haha good point 😂
“Is Stanley Black & Decker going out of business while Milwaukee caught fire and burned down and Makita was sold to Festool and OSHA may require you to wear nylons? Don’t forget to smash that like button.”
Flex just had a leak on them using pouch cells too… so I guess it was time for dewalt to release the info to make it look like they are first… hopefully first to market!
Continuing to look at the material Dewalt has to offer on this battery, they compare it to the DCB203 battery. The DCB203 is 2.0Ah and runs 18650 cells. The new PowerStack is 1.7Ah, which is 85% of the capacity of the DCB203 or 15% less capacity in Ah. They claim that the PowerStack is 25% smaller than the DCB203 but only 15% lighter.
When we look at the density of the PowerStack, then, it offers the same energy density as the DCB203 by weight but more energy density than the DCB203 by size. That would logically make sense because the 18650 cells are cylindrical, so there is a lot of space filled by air in an 18650 or 21700 pack. The PowerStack basically removes this air gap between the cells and achieves more energy density by size.
What isn’t obvious to me, though, is how the energy density by weight plays out. I’d actually expect a LiPo pouch cell to be more energy dense by weight than a standard Li-Ion cylindrical cell, but maybe you just can’t get past physics here. I’m wondering if the LiPo pouch cells are more energy dense by weight but heat distribution material between the cells (gel?) that aren’t present in the DCB203 add weight back into the equation.
I can geek out on batteries and I cannot wait for a teardown of the PowerStack!
There is a possibility they are limiting the capacity as the first public trial. In general with lithium staying out of the upper limits of the charge tends to make for a more stable pack. After a while they may adjust it up. Not sure if that functionality is built in the pack or the charger thou.
I was wondering when Dewalt would start using pouch cells, they fit much better, with less dead space, in a slide style pack for the same capacity. Using pack cells allows an easy 10% extra battery space in a double height pack vs can cells. Single row is probably closer to 30% extra space but I’m too lazy to figure that out. Circle packing is a cool problem.
There’s 2 main downsides I would be worried about: easier damage and heat dissipation. If they are packed tight, they could get over-heated in the center. Spreading them apart makes damage easier. Missing a “secondary” steel casing around the can style cells used today may lead to more fires on drops or such. Accidentally dropping a pack off a ladder into a box of nails sounds like it would be much more likely to pierce a plastic case then a plastic case plus a steel can on the cell.
Pouch cells do not have built-in overcharge protection either. Can style cells generally have blow off a small disk on the top, under the positive terminal, and the electrical connection is broken. Pouch cells have no such built in protection, and swell up instead. That’s why you never charge a swelled battery; it is already heavily damaged. Some kind of mechanical over-charge protection would probably need to be built in for a charger that starts putting out excess voltage. Perhaps the mechanical energy of a swelling cell can break an electrical contact inside the pack?
I’m very curious how the inside of the pack is laid out. If they aren’t too expensive, I want to get one just to take it apart and look at the engineering. My guess is that for vibration resistance, the packs can probably only be destructively disassembled.
Another day and yet another DeWalt battery system. Power Stack today. Tommorrow It’s Ultra Power Stack, then Mega Power Stack and of course the Ultra Mega or is it Mega Ultra which harnesses the entire Sun. Literally DeWalt will send astronauts to capture stars throughout the Milky Way galaxy and stuff them into each Mega Ultra/Utra Mega such is their power. The marketers are living in some crazed fantasy land. Simplify your product offerings. I didn’t understand them last week and now it’s worse.
So, you just come on here to complain about nonsense then. All the power tool manufacturers do this. If you don’t like it… Don’t use batteries… simple as that…
Not sure why an innovation that’s backwards compatible with all their existing chargers and tools is something to complain about.
DeWalt has 12V, 20V, and 60V platforms. There are a couple of types of batteries within each platform that all work with any tool in that system. That’s about all you need to know unless you’re interested in some specialty thing. All the major tool companies have multiple battery systems: Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch, Makita. I’ve seen you complain several times in different articles about being terribly confused by DeWalt’s batteries. So don’t buy them. I somehow manage to buy batteries for my DeWalt 20V tools without freaking out, so I’ll continue to enjoy using that system.
Sounds like a comprehension issue, less a a marketing one.
If- 20V_*_BATT : Then- 20V_*_TOOL
philip s john
Guy above is just a Milwaukee supporter. I don’t think he has ever used flexvolt 60 vs Milwaukee HO.
Ha. Actually I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a comment from X Lu that wasn’t criticism. I poked fun before that I wasn’t sure X Lu even likes tools.
I’d like to remind everyone that we are all entitled to our opinions.
It is okay to disagree, but please try not to make things personal. We don’t want anyone to feel that criticisms or dissenting opinions are unwelcome.
I’m not sure if your comment was directed at me – but I don’t think my comment was super respectful. I would delete it if I could. My apologies X Lu.
It’s a general reminder.
It’s too easy to gang up on someone that has a different or unpopular opinion, and I didn’t want to wait until that happened.
Even if they didn’t or wouldn’t take offense, keep in mind that most readers do not comment. It’s okay not to share, but I also don’t want anyone feeling that they can’t share or that they wouldn’t be welcome to.
It’d be a boring world if everyone had the same opinions and perspectives.
I imagine this will end up massively altering how we think they’ll scale battery capacity on all their lines now. 1Ah increase may turn into more like 10 per release. The 20Ah Flexvolt may be identical in size, but perhaps they’ll skip straight to 30Ah, 40Ah, and 50Ah will follow… At the 60V range… I think we are going to see them operating at their full 12Ah capacity. Making those huge power tools in the FlexVOLT line completely independent of their power cords for the first time. All-Day usage regardless of platform.
Now wait until the other companies realize this is an option for them. You thought they were competitive Before?
From a design perspective, I really don’t like the grey. I wish they used blue. It would be easily visible and look cool at the same time.
I’ve always wondered why cellphone/laptop style cells weren’t used a long time ago. My only concern is that I hope they don’t inflate like the aforementioned.
I’ve been anticipating a move in this direction. We’ve approached a ceiling on what off the shelf 18650 and 21700 cells can do. Don’t get me wrong, they’re very capable and energy dense; but at this point from a highly competitive marketing perspective where it’s essentially turned into a numbers pissing contest, there’s no more room. Purpose-built, lithium packs are the obvious next step before the superior battery chemistries become financially viable. It allows them a little more control with cell arrangement, discharge rate, and mainly taking advantage of the real estate in the battery pack.
Very interested to see how this pans out. More power draw and smaller physical size can only be a good thing. I’d like to see DeWalt come out with more compact tools to rival the M12 stuff. I have several M12 tools that work pretty well, but the ergonomics are not great for my hands. Love to see what some healthy competition scares up!
Look to the RC industry to see just how capable pouch cell packs can be. 100s of amps are no problem. Also much more gradient in size and capacity options, rather than limited to two cylindrical cell sizes.
All comes down to price. I rarely buy new batteries unless I don’t have enough for the number of tools or the batteries die. If they are way more expensive then not interested.
$149 a pop.
2pk is a much better deal at $199.
Yikes! These are steep!
Edit: $119 each, $149 with a DCB112 charger, and $179 for a 2pk
Subject to change.
With all the questions, comments, theories and speculation, it would be nice to have a DeWalt rep chime in to set the record straight about this product… if you could trust what they say. 🙂
Could this be a way around having to pay licensing fees to Milwaukee, regarding 20/18v Lithium Ion battery patents?
Yeah, that was kind of my thought too, unless the patent was for using lithium at all, not lithium cells.
Just wait until someone drops their tool off a ladder and the pack explodes.
Interested to see them go through torture tests alongside other batteries.
Lots of good info about these new cells here:
Stihl is using pouch cells in their new 8.8Ah 36v AP500 S battery. While it’s only one example, it is suggestive that this tech can and will be used in high capacity, high output applications as well.
Ok, so the other shoe has dropped. Toolnut is showing $119 for pre-order. $119 for a 1.7aH battery? Also, I’ve seen many (laptop, tablet, etc.) bag batteries ‘puff up’ before failure, never have seen a clyindrical cell ‘puff up’ – hope the new batteries are vented…..
“50% more power” refers to the power output, meaning the maximum number of amps/watts the battery can supply. This implies lower internal resistance, and I would not be surprised if this means the DCBP034 PowerStack battery will deliver similar or even better runtimes under heavy load compared to the DCB203, despite the lower Ah rating.
The use of LiPo pouch cells is a daring step for DeWalt. It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing larger PowerStack batteries.
Little update, sounds like the PowerStack batteries could be available kitted with the new gen 3 premium compact drill drivers DCD800/DCD805. The drills look look like a cross between the 12v and Atomic 20v drills, but have the all metal chuck of the premium XR drills, unlike the 12v or Atomic 20v drills. Also should put out about 30% more torque than the gen 2 premium compact DCD791/DCD796.
The 1.7ah are in stock at some Lowe’s in Sacramento area. They don’t list ANY specs on the website about them. Only a price and the typical hype text…
They want $120 for a 1.7ah. They also have a lot of asterisks * on the claims on power, run time, weight.
The dewalt website is also flooded with deals on old and outdated tools.
Love dewalt but with they had someone more competent working there.