Today, on the Mister Worker™ Blog we ask Domenico Esposito, the Commercial Training Manager of the Stanley Black & Decker group, to answer the most frequent questions we receive about batteries and cordless power tools.
As an expert on DeWalt power tools, Domenico explains the major advantages of cordless power tools, how to choose the batteries best suited to your needs and how to use these tools to maximize battery life.
Domenico also discusses market trends and future prospects for the world of wireless tools, a very innovative sector that continues to offer ever more performing products, with characteristics of power and autonomy considered unattainable until a few years ago. Moreover, in this blogpost we will get deeper into the topic of DeWalt batteries, such as DeWalt 5ah battery, DeWalt 18v battery and more.
Cordless tools are preferred for three main reasons:
In response to the growing demand for cordless tools, the range of battery-powered tools available has widened. There is much more than DeWalt impact drivers and drills, the selection of cordless power tools encompasses several auxiliary tools: DeWalt nail guns, routers, planers, DeWalt multi tools, circular saws, jigsaws, table saws, sanders, hedge trimmers and more.
However, these electric tools have very different characteristics and professional users may face some difficulties when using batteries with different voltages, especially if dealing with non-compatible batteries and chargers.
To overcome this obstacle, DeWalt has developed three types of battery technology:
The problem of battery compatibility was overcome thanks to the DeWalt FLEXVOLT battery, which provides a double voltage (18v and 54v) and can be used on the whole range of DeWalt cordless power tools of medium and high capacity. These products carry big advantages: not only do they reduce costs, but they also improve the work efficiency.
Following this innovative concept, DeWalt is developing other products to create an increasingly organic system that aims at improving the efficiency of professional equipment. Innovation also continues in the field of DeWalt accessories, which are developed to achieve maximum performance and improve the autonomy of cordless power tools (for instance, the new range of circular saws and saw blades is designed specifically for this purpose). From a safety point of view, all DeWalt power tools come as standard with extremely innovative safety mechanisms, such as anti-vibration, anti-kickback, anti-rotation systems and a complete dust extraction system to work in a cleaner and safer work environment.
The term “XR” stands for extreme runtime. Dewalt power tools with the XR logo have a brushless motor that better controls energy transfers and offers increased efficiency compared to brushed alternatives. Tools with this technology paired with high capacity batteries give the user a long lasting power to complete even the most demanding jobs.
The idea behind XR was to provide cordless tools that are tough on the outside and smart on the inside. This means improved run-time and performance, achieved thanks to an efficient management of the energy transfer from the DeWalt XR battery to the motor. Compared to previous lines, DeWalt XR batteries and tools are better protected from overcharging, overheating, overloading and deep discharge has been improved.
Between the various battery models, the DeWalt FLEXVOLT battery 20V/60V MAX* 15.0 Ah battery is certainly to be considered as the best. It provides a significantly higher capacity of any DeWalt battery. This battery can be used with XR and XR FLEXVOLT power tools and, thanks to the incredible results it guarantees, it is perfect for all those situations in which professionals need extended times of operation.
DeWalt batteries can last around 3 years. Of course, the battery pack’s lifespan depends on a number of external factors. These might be, for example, the state of the pack’s charge when it was stored, the conditions and the temperature of the room where the battery is placed and so on. If the temperature is too high or too low, the battery won’t be completely charged. It is always best to pay attention to the location in which batteries are stored. If they are kept in appropriate conditions, they can last even more than 3 years.
Always charge the battery after using a power tool. This is the best tip I can give to those who use DeWalt tools. DeWalt batteries can in fact be used and charged at any state of charge without damaging them.
Battery life depends on the number of charging cycles, which vary depending on the type of battery, the manufacturer and the conditions of use. In particular, the number of charging cycles depends on the quality of the cells used in the manufacturing of the battery. DeWalt batteries (such as DeWalt 18v batteries and DeWalt 54v batteries) have first quality cells with a very low impedance so that they do not overheat and are not overloaded even when the most powerful tools are used. This allows for an increase in the autonomy of the battery and an increase in battery life.
Many people wonder what does the script “Ah” mean on a Dewalt battery. It indicates the amp hour, i.e. the charging capacity of the pack. This value is slightly higher in the 5Ah batteries. This means that the DeWalt 5Ah battery can draw more current for 1 hour than the 4Ah one. However, taking into account other aspects (such as voltage, size, polarity), you can see that there are no relevant differences between the two types of batteries.
It is commonly thought that leaving a battery in charge after it is fully charged will lead to damages to the pack and will shorten the lifespan. But DeWalt chargers are developed with a maintenance mode that allows batteries to remain connected even after they’re completely charged without unpleasant consequences. DeWalt also specifies that it is positive not immediately to disconnect the battery from the charger after the end of the charging process, as this way the DeWalt battery gets through the equalization and maintenance modes as necessary. Moreover, as pointed out before, it is recommended to completely charge the battery as soon as the power of the electric tool reduces, because letting the battery totally run down will negatively affect its life-cycle.
If the DeWalt battery shuts off, you can restore it by placing it into the charger and leaving it until the continuous light signal appears. This means that the battery is fully charged or has been reset. As far as timing is concerned, the battery usually charges in about eight hours. Here again, battery temperature plays a key role: if the internal temperature of the battery is too high (70°C or more), the charger will take action as soon as the internal pack temperature drops below 60°C, in order to avoid damages.
Corded tools remain the best option only when cordless alternatives are unable to offer adequate performances in terms of power and/or autonomy. However, innovation in this field is moving fast. The DeWalt 54v battery performs with powers that exceed 1500-1600 W of a corded tool and there are also instruments that use two 54v batteries. As far as autonomy is concerned, we are moving towards a future where battery performance will be able to provide an adequate solution even to the most demanding expectations. It is only a matter of time, everything we know by tube or wire will soon be available as cordless.
The technologies that DeWalt is presenting aim at developing a wider and more performing range of cordless power tools. DeWalt is also working on the integration of digital tools and technologies in tooling, thus providing efficient management of the equipment, especially in large construction sites. While there are already applications that allow you to change the features of the tool via Bluetooth, in the future we expect the possibility to control the equipment remotely, switching to technologies that break the limit of the distance. Another fact to consider, is that professionals increasingly reward companies that offer credible and effective solutions to overcome the limit given by corded tools. Therefore, DeWalt is relentlessly pursuing a cordless jobsite.
Find out more about power tool batteries and chargers by reading this additional article on our blog.