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Lithium ion technology in cordless tools is fast moving away from the “new gimmick” to the standard type of battery being marketed across most brands.  Now DeWalt has taken a step beyond the standard lithium ion design — they’ve formulated their own proprietary “nano phosphate lithium ion” battery.

One of the major advantages of a standard lithium ion battery is that it can be charged up to twice as many cycles as a traditional NiCad battery before it can no longer hold a charge.  DeWalt claims their nano phosphate lithium ion battery goes beyond that, allowing for over 2,000 recharges — an estimated two to three times the cycles of other lithium ion batteries.

In addition to the longer life, the nano phosphate batteries share the other advantages of lithium ion technology — lighter weight, longer charges, slow decay rate, and cross compatibility with DeWalt’s standard line. These new nano phosphate lithium ion batteries are available in 18V for use with DeWalt’s currently existing line, as well as 28V and 36V for more heavy-duty applications.

Nano Phosphate Lithium Ion Technology [DeWalt]


21 Responses to DeWalt Nano Phosphate Lithium Ion Technology

  1. Gareth says:

    These batteries are actually A123 batteries (http://www.a123systems.com/products). A special kind of Lithium battery with a Nanophosphate electrode. There has been a lot of buzz in the R/C airplane community about these batteries because they perform as advertised.

    They go for thousands of charges without apparently loosing any capacity. They dump an high currents (50 amps!) without damage to the cells. Typical lithium polymer batteries are lucky if they can produce 20 amps.

    They have a nearly perfectly flat discharge curve. This means the voltage stays constant until the pack is dead. For tools this is ideal, the last screw you drive will feel like the ones before it. For aircraft it means you have to carefully track usage. A simple voltmeter can’t tell a nearly discharged pack from a freshly charged pack.

    The other difference with Lithium Polymer is that the A123 M1 cells have a lower voltage. They are also little heavier than the equivalent capacity LiPo. These two factors together mean that A123 packs end up being somewhat heavier and have more cells to boot which add to the weight.

    You can find out more about breaking these packs down to use the cells here:


  2. Gareth says:

    Oh I forgot! they also charge very quickly. Usually in 15 minutes or less. They can be charged at 10 amps with no negative effects. The typical Lithium Polymer battery of the same size can only be charged at 2.3 amps.

    The Black & Decker VPX tools also use the same batteries in a smaller size if you are on the lookout for something cheaper.

    These things have been on the market for a while and I don’t think people realize exactly whats in those packs.

    Here is one of the guys at the field flying a Giant Scale airplane on these batteries: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BwsY664w4w

  3. Chris says:

    “18V for use with DeWalt’s currently existing line” is deceiving — the current base of the existing line is oversized for the new batteries and sticks out on both ends, not at all attractive and even a little ridiculous looking. Very annoying. I’m glad I can grab a nano in a pinch and slam it into my tools, but it’s not a viable option as a replacement for the xrp batteries in those tools. And DeWalt has the nerve to pretend it’s not a problem (their site even goes so far as to announce in big letters “yes it fits” in answer to people’s complaints).

    I’ve even looked into new clamshell cases for my tools, since they go for under $20 usually, but DeWalt isn’t selling them even though they’ve replaced the bases in their latest iterations with a “nano compatible” base.

    Drives me crazy. I switched to Makita.

  4. Greg Smtih says:

    I have 10 year + cordless 18 volt dewalt tools and recently purchased a nano battery for them. As Chris says the base doesn’t look pretty but that in no way affects the performance of the battery. At least Dewalt doesn’t force us to throw away our old tools to buy new tools that work with the lithium batteries.

    One of my favorite uses of my reciprocating saw is to use it with a 9 inch pruning blade. I have yet to bog down the saw since using the nano, which I easily could do with the older technology batteries. I don’t mean to be a shill for Dewalt but I have been pretty impressed with the performance.

  5. Velosapien says:

    I could find a lot better things to complain about. I have some nano batteries in my old 18v tools. It doesn’t look pretty but it works. When I need the tools I’m just glad the batteries work with them. Looking pretty doesn’t help them perform any better. At least they didn’t make me throw everything out and have to rebuy entire tools like most others including Makita. They could have kept the old pods but that would have been stupid to make batteries bigger than necessary just to look right. The new batteries are smaller and the new bases don’t extend out but design sacrifices need to be made somewhere. Let it be on the old tool looks.

    Also wanted to point out that Dewalt didn’t come up with this. They licensed the nano-phosphate technology from A123 systems long ago and were one of the first to the market with lithium ion tools.

  6. river1 says:

    does anyone have pics of this “misfit” of the batteries?

    later jim

  7. ttabob says:

    This is ridiculously old news. although replacing the plastic case is a good idea. We all know they fit and look dorky, and we all know dewalt has switched all new xrp tools to the short foot design. Is the writer new to dewalt or just new to tools altogether?

  8. PutnamEco says:

    I had thought for a while that Milwaukee tools was going in the right direction with backwards compatibility with their V18 line, but was proven wrong with their introduction of the M18 line. The V18 batteries fit onto their older 18 volt NiCads tools very well. So well, In my opinion, that Milwaukee was forced to drop compatibility in order to sell more tools. I know I’m getting a lot more life out of my old 18 volt NiCad tools, which easily have about twice the run time with LithIons than the did with NiCads. My Only gripe with LitIon tools is with some manufactures overload protection scheme, where the batteries have to be reset in their chargers after on overload, VERY not convenient. Why not a reset button or time out/auto reset routine? Last thing I want to do when I’m under house or on a roof or out in the boonies 20 miles from the nearest electrical outlet, working my tools hard, is to go find a charger, because some batteries circuit won’t auto reset.

  9. Barri says:

    I have the Makita LXT range and have 7 batts in all. 2 ended up getting cracked cells from being dropped but overal they have worked almost flawlessly for over 2 years now. 4 of the batts i have are the originals as well. Dewalt seem to be a couple of year behind on battery tech and this should have been in there range a long time ago. Also makita has 3 different chargers for the LXT range and the ones i have are a 30 min and a 15 min chargers and they work great. They also keep the batts very cool even when charging them very quickly. Just a shame that LI-ION is so back at taking hard knocks.

  10. donutboy says:

    OLD NEWS- This is the same stuff that they launched with. There were just issues with people knowing what it was and if it would fit.

    More useful news would be to discuss why Milwaukee has changed platforms AGAIN. Dewalt is the number one cordless tool because they have only changed battery platform shape ONCE. It’s not because they are the best at everything, it’s just because you can buy an 18v battery tool from some yardsale in El Paso and take it home to Omaha and put your old XR battery in it and it works.

  11. Scott says:

    I think I’ll wait for the ultracapacitor model to come down in price:


  12. Velosapien says:

    I’m not completely sure why Milwaukee redesigned the M18 line to use a new battery type but the V18 was not very competitive. The V18 batteries were HUGE compared to other 18v lithium batteries and the tools themselves were rather bulky compared to the competition. The M18 line has overall better design.

  13. fred says:

    We’ve now standardized ob 2 lines:
    – The Milwaukee M12’s – because we like the compact size and some of the applications (tubing cutter and compact impact drivers – and waiting to see their new subscanner)
    The Makita 18V LXT line.
    I’ve bought the Makita batteries in 10 packs to save money. My guys really like their recip saw and both the trim saw and regular circular saws and impact drivers. Their 1/2 inch drive impact gun is beefy enough to drive the lags we throw at it. I bought one of the new LXT Makita staplers (sort of a battery operated Arrow T-50 gun – but had not enought positive feedback to buy another. The same was true for the LXT jigsaw – my gus are sticking with Bosch barrel grip – corded saws.

  14. donutboy says:


    I have sold 5 tubing cutters and 4 have been returned. Have you had any break on you yet?

  15. JohnT says:

    I’ll stick with the Makita LXT that has been out since 2006. They have had the same system, batteries and chargers. Makita also has a very large tool line-up that the other companies are just now getting. I had too many issues with Dewalt batteries to go back. The batteries may have gotten better but what about the tools that the batteries power?

  16. Celia says:

    The funny thing is, it’s cheaper to buy a compact drill set that comes with two Lithium batts and a charger than to buy two batts and a charger separately. Free drill, free case, AND a discount… You could always use an extra drill right?

  17. james says:

    i recently purchased 8 nano lithium 18 volt batteries from an ebay seller in the usa 1 of the batteries is dead and wont charge,i thought these batteries were supposed to be indestructable? bollocks.

  18. hemix360 says:

    i just bout a dcd970 best drill i bought i have a makita lxt bhp454 bought 3 batts 1 dead had since april 09 da motor is burned up i tryd changing the chuch n stripped the 1/4in hex drill was useless with a stripped chuck. donno how dewalt measures the power but it powers thru material btr than my 36 volt bosch hammerdrill! i drilled 2 3 3/4inch holes with a lenox bi metal hole saw thru 1 1/4inch plywood and the drill was barely warm the battery was but the motor was not my lxt and bosch would of been hot to touch and the self tighting chuck is superb if it wasnt for the restriction of the battery run time it would be the best cordless tool ever far superior to all manufactuers

  19. Gary Arnold says:

    DC9180 lion 2.0ah batteries are absolutely rubbish, I bought the xrp 6 piece set, the grinder runs for less than 3 minutes on a full charge, circular saw you get a couple of cuts in 22 mm chip board and battery dead, jigsaw slightly better, drills are usable all day though, charger doesn’t charge fast it really takes about 5 hours until the light turns red, I am so annoyed I wasted my money on this rubbish the tools are great but without decent batteries they are no use to me at all

  20. karl says:

    I have several versions new and old of DeWalt 18volt, I am having trouble charging the Nano batteries in the old chargers, I must have misplaced my Nano charger. Anyone else run into this?

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