Festool has announced their “most powerful and durable” 18V battery yet – the Li-HighPower battery pack with Airstream technology and built-in Bluetooth signaling.
Festool says that their new battery delivers 54% longer runtime compared to their 5.2Ah battery.
They advertise that the battery is “extremely durable” and that “the high current resistant cells ensure durability.”
There is also a “smart extension” via their smartphone app.
The Festool WorkApp enables clever additional functions in combination with the Bluetooth function of the battery pack, such as the detailed display of the charging status and further operating data such as temperature or charging cycles.
To quickly and easily identify the battery with the lowest charge status, you can flash the LED indicator directly on the battery pack. Software updates are also possible: Install the newest version to work with the latest tool functions at all times
Unfortunate, it doesn’t look like the Festool WorkApp is available to iPhone users, at least not in the USA. I checked, and the app is not available in the iOS app store, although it does appear in the Google Play Android app store.
That seems neat, to be able to identify which battery has the lowest charge status from among more than one Festool 18V battery.
You would be right in saying isn’t that what a battery’s on-board fuel gauge is for?, but I’m assuming the app can read exact charge percentages, rather than simply having a 3 or 4 broad range LED indicators.
The 8Ah battery’s on-board charge status indicator looks very different compared to Festool’s current 18V batteries, but Festool doesn’t elaborate about how or why.
Festool says that the battery is “ideal for applications with very high power needs.”
The new battery is not compatible with Festool cordless sanders (ETSC 125, RTSC 400, DTSC 400), which have a completely different form factor, or the brand new CTC SYS cordless portable dust extractor vacuum, due to how its battery port is designed.
Although I could not find any published dimensional specs, the 8Ah battery certainly appears to be longer than the brand’s existing 18V batteries. According to Festool’s technical specs, the battery weighs 1.00kg (2.2 lbs), compared to 0.70 kg (1.54 lbs) for their 5.2Ah battery.
Thank you to Harrison for the heads-up!
Professional cordless power tool brands added 8Ah Li-ion batteries to their 18V and 20V Max cordless power tool lines several years ago.
Festool advertises that their new 18V 8ah battery is due to launch in 2023.
4 years late to the party isn’t great, but that’s better than never. For instance, it seems that Makita is never bringing an 8Ah battery to their 18V cordless power tool system.
Meanwhile, Dewalt’s PowerStack battery has been out for about a year now, Flex launched an entire line of Stacked Lithium batteries earlier this year, and Milwaukee is currently still developing and testing next-gen batteries.
Festool has been heavily promoting their cordless power tool system on social media, such as with “product testers wanted” sweepstakes.
They seem to be doing some interesting things, but is it enough to drive adoption by Festool users and non-users?
I own several Festool cordless power tools and equipment, and have steered clear of their cordless system.
I donated my Festool impact driver test sample earlier this year, describing it as being perfectly unexceptional.
While their app functionality sounds like it could be convenient, it’s a moot point when Festool has only an Android app and not one for iOS. What’s the point of “smart” features that many users are locked out of?
Additionally, Festool’s new and higher capacity battery is not compatible with the new Festool CTC Sys cordless vacuum?!
Not to belabor the point, I don’t want to have to buy three different sizes of 18V batteries to operate different tools.
Festool’s cordless sanders have their own 18V battery system, matched to the tools’ ergonomics, and I can understand that.
But while it’s important to pair the right battery to the right tool for optimal performance, broad compatibility within the same cordless system is also important.
Little conveniences cannot offset big hassles.
There are several 18V cordless power tool system “alliances” where the same battery can be used across different brands’ tools, not to mention the number of brands that have “all of our 18V batteries fit all our 18V tools” types of claims.
And then there’s Festool, following in the footsteps of other cordless power tool brands with an 18V 8Ah battery of their own, and you can’t even use it with their new 18V cordless dust vac that’s also launching soon.
I suppose this is still better than Festool not launching an 8Ah battery at all. Right?