A more compact and lighter battery but with more power – DeWalt’s Powerstack is proving that the best things really do come in small packages.
Over the last twelve months DeWalt has taken to the road in a series of nationwide tours, bringing its latest battery technologies to its customers with demonstrations at its network of Premier Centres. “We want to give our customers the chance to experience the tools and get hands on, because that gives them a much better understanding of what solution they need for a specific job,” explains Andre Marsberg, Sales Executive at the power tool manufacturer.
Top billing in the roadshow currently belongs to the 5Ah Powerstack battery – the latest development of a platform that was first introduced with the 1.7Ah compact Powerstack in the spring of 2022. For a builder looking for more power, the trade-off has hitherto been a larger battery – or even a tool that features two 18V battery packs. The DeWalt concept defies conventional thinking with a smaller and yet more powerful solution. If that’s not enough for you it will also last much longer than any other comparable product. So just how does it do that? Heat is the nemesis of all lithium-ion batteries, and if it can be mitigated against in the design it will prolong their life.
Where traditional batteries are made up of an internal structure of cylindrical cells, the DeWalt innovation features flatter and wider pouch power cells, in a stacked construction, providing a greater surface area. This then allows them to dissipate any heat build-up more efficiently, extending the battery’s longevity in the process. So much so, in fact, that DeWalt can confidently offer a 3-year warranty on Powerstack, where there is 1-year on the standard 12, 18 and 54V packs.
Moving on to power output, the unique cell structure also delivers increases here, but with less weight and from a battery pack of noticeably more compact dimensions. Indeed, it is the size – with the 1.7Ah around 25 per cent smaller than the standard battery – that’s the first clue that there is some rather clever design work within the casing. Pouch cells have inherently less internal resistance, higher voltage and higher current under load. Essentially, there’s an increased level of energy density in the Powerstack cells, which means you can reduce the size, whilst increasing the power – by as much as 50% on the 5Ah.
In a tool like the recently launched DCF850 Impact Driver the Powerstack size is a perfect complement to an already compact machine, whilst better balance is achieved, and it can be used for an extended period of time with less fatigue.
Most builders will remain loyal to a brand at least in part because the batteries work across the whole of a manufacturer’s range. With Powerstack tradespeople who have already bought into the extensive DeWalt XR Tools portfolio can continue to utilise them because both the new batteries will work across all of the company’s 18V solutions.
So where will 5ah Powerstack find its home? It should first be recognised that amp hour is not a designation of power but of run time. Think of it as rather like the fuel tank on your car – an increase in volume means more mileage and the same applies to amp hours. The higher the number the more runtime between charges. In that context you might consider the original 1.7Ah Powerstack to be a relatively low figure but this, again, is where DeWalt’s technology departs from convention.
Andre explains more: “When we first introduced Powerstack we demonstrated its potential with our DCD805 two-speed combi drill and a 25mm Tri Flute drill bit. We first used a standard cylindrical cell 2amp hr battery and achieved 25 holes in treated 6×2 timber. With the Powerstack compact battery we were able to get 49 in the same material. That level of performance means you can do far more before you have to charge or change the battery. At the same time, whilst every battery will have a finite number of charges it can take, Powerstack actually increases that number, which again adds to the battery life, and means the customer is spending less on batteries.”
DeWalt is now providing 5Ah batteries as part of a kit with its DCD999 three speed combi drill, the most powerful tool of its class in the manufacturer’s range. As a rule of thumb, the larger the drill bit the slower the speed should be so, with a holesaw larger than 35mm, for example, you would select the lowest speed setting. When the machine is utilising the 5Ah Powerstack battery, however, bigger drill bits can be powered with higher speeds, again getting more done in less time.
Andre also demonstrates Powerstack’s potential with the DCS570 Circular Saw with a 184mm blade cutting through three sheets of 18mm OSB at the same time – not a task you’d normally undertake on site, of course, but it does put the battery through its paces and graphically illustrates how Powerstack is the perfect partner when performance really matters. With a standard battery the excessive load on the machine will cause it to automatically cut out as a safety precaution. By contrast, a 5Ah Powerstack ploughs through regardless. “Regardless of the application – whether it’s drilling, grinding or cutting, the result is the same,” enthuses Andre, “there’s more cuts and more holes per charge.”
“The beauty of these events is that you can demonstrate exactly what can be achieved with the Powerstack and the new tools,” concludes Andre, “and we’ve had many tradespeople who’ve bought a machine straight away.”
DeWalt’s strapline for its XR Flex Volt range was the “Power of corded, freedom of cordless”. Indeed, battery powered tools are now easily on a par with their mains counterparts. DeWalt’s 5Ah Powerstak concept develops that theme still further, with additional increases in runtimes and output.
For further information on the DeWalt Powerstack battery platform, visit POWERSTACK | DEWALT.