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Ask the Expert: how to choose the best batteries for your power tools

Published : 10/30/2019 11:12:00
Categories : Mister Worker , Professional working tools guide

Domenico Esposito

The Mister Worker™ Blog introduces a new special section dedicated to interviews with the best experts in the field of professional tools. In this first article, we asked Domenico Esposito, Commercial Training Manager of the Stanley Black & Decker group, to answer the most frequent questions we receive about cordless power tools.

As an expert on DeWalt products, 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.

MW: The demand for cordless power tools has been increasing over the past few years and DeWalt has heavily invested on these products. What are the advantages of cordless power tools?

D.E.: “An increasing number of companies and professionals choose cordless power tools over corded power tools for two main reasons. First of all, cordless power tools are ready to use and guarantee greater efficiency. These products are preferred because they offer greater freedom of movement and they also reduce the preparation time of construction sites, where extension cables and generators are no longer needed. Secondly, a cordless tool is preferred to ensure greater safety in the workplace. Even when production takes place inside factories, there is now a tendency to prefer cordless power tools because cables and pipes are significant insecurity elements on the workplace."

MW: As the range of cordless tools sold on the market increases, the confidence of professionals in battery-powered products grows. Nonetheless, choosing the best cordless electric tool has become increasingly complex. What are the most important features to consider when choosing this professional equipment?

DE: “In response to the growing demand for cordless tools, the range of battery-powered tools available has widened. There is much more than drills and screwdrivers, the selection of cordless power tools encompasses several auxiliary tools: sanders, routers, planers, combination hammers, rotary hammers, wall chasers, circular saws, table saws, reciprocating saws, jigsaws, chainsaws and vacuums.

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 two ranges of cordless products: XR with an 18v platform and FLEXVOLT, a tool platform with a 54v motor capable of achieving performance comparable (if not superior) to that of corded tools. The problem of battery compatibility was overcome thanks to the FLEXVOLT batteries, which provide a double voltage (18v and 54v) and can be used on the whole range of DeWalt electric tools of medium and high power. These products carry big advantages: not only do they reduce costs, but they also improve the efficiency of the equipment.

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 tools come as standard with extremely innovative safety systems, such as anti-vibration, anti-kickback, anti-rotation systems and a complete dust extraction system to work in a cleaner and safer work environment."

Battery Charger DeWalt

MW: When it comes to batteries for power tools, the most common questions we receive concern battery life and how to maximize it. What advice can you give us on this topic?

D.E.: "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 chooses first quality cells with a very low impedance so that batteries do not overheat and are not overloaded even when the most powerful tools are used. This allows for both an increase in the autonomy of the battery and an increase in battery life.

The suggestion I can give to those who use DeWalt power tools is to always charge the battery at after using a power tool. DeWalt batteries can in fact be used and charged at any state of charge without damaging them. There is no need to wait for the battery to discharge completely before recharging it."

MW: When should we still prefer corded power tools?

D.E.: "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 range of DeWalt 54v batteries 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. "

Battery Charger DeWalt

MW: What can we expect from DeWalt in the coming years?

D.E.: “Although the corded tool market is still very important, cordless tools offer clear advantages. In fact, professional installers 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.

The technologies that DeWalt is presenting go in this direction and 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 allowing 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, locate it, inhibit it or customize it via Bluetooth, in the future we expect the possibility to control the equipment remotely, switching to technologies that break the limit of the distance."

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