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Since DeWalt was acquired by Stanley, we’ve had a sneaking suspicion the the yellow and black would be appearing in many arenas of retail combat where they currently do not. That was correct, but the speed and quality with which they began the assault was classic Stanley planning. Take the launch of the 20v Max line, for instance: 13 tools that look great and, from everything we’ve seen, function on par with the biggest names in Li-Ion.

DEWALT announces the launch of its new 20 Volt MAX* Lithium Ion system, which includes a compact drill/driver (DCD780C2), premium drill/driver (DCD980L2), two impact drivers (DCF885C2 and DCF885L2), compact hammer drill (DCD785C2), premium hammer drill (DCD985L2), reciprocating saw (DCS380L1), circular saw (DCS391L1), SDS rotary hammer (DCH213L2), right angle drill (DCD740C1) and work light (DCL040).

Of course this is DeWalt’s first entry into 20v Li-Ion as a line where other manufacturers are on generation 3 or 4. However DeWalt has taken the lessons already learned by others and built a great-looking set of 20v tools. The brand has strong loyalty and now the sku’s to back it up, so were I a betting man I’d say DeWalt points them right at the blue line and the red guys and starts carving into their volume numbers.

What do you think? Would you try the DeWalt 20v max line over some of the others if they were priced the same or lower? Let us know in comments.

DeWalt Press Kit [Website]


25 Responses to Preview: DeWalt 20V Max Li-Ion

  1. OhioHead says:

    I would try them.

    The more important thing to notice is DeWalt is not replacing the “1 up stick” style 18 volts tools but introducing a new “voltage” line w/ a slide pack not to upset the millions of 18 volt users around the world today, this also an acknowledgement that the slide style battery is better than the “1 up stick” that they have stuck to in the US and elsewhere.

    Go to the DeWalt Sweden website and it appears that you can get these tools in 18.0 volt and 14.4 slide packs (do we have a DeWalt marketing gimmick going on here? A classic “power tool marketing” example would be what Milwaukee did to Bosch with their introduction of 12v tools vs. 10.8 by Bosch – we all know what happened, Bosch changed their marketing spin to 12.0volt like big Red)!

  2. rob says:

    as the makita 18v packs at full charge are 20.5 volts you can bet dewalt is doing the same thing as bosch and big red
    there packs look to be the configuration of 18650 cells as big red and the makita in fact the nano batteries from dewalt were the same what would make this a home run for dewalt is a adapter to put these new batteries on all the old tools and well dewalt is the only company so far that has even tried to stay backward compatible it would be cool

  3. PutnamEco says:

    I’m going to take a “wait and see” approach towards these tools. I don’t see any real compelling reasons to switch from my current tools, ask me again in a year or so when this line will have been more thoroughly tested. Some things that might compel me to switch would be exceptional durability or performance that exceeds the competitions by a fair margin. I shop more for performance than price.

    I would love to see a multi bay charger, perhaps with the ability to charge compact batteries as well. Put it in a radio with a 12v tap for charging cell phones and the like, and I would think they would have a winner.

  4. Alex French says:

    It does look like a nice new line of tools.

    But I think you’re way overstating how “new” any of this is. Dewalt’s had the “Nano” Li-Ion tools or years. 20V is just labeling based on max voltage instead of sustained voltage (shame on all the manufacturer’s for starting that/perpetuating that).

    They finally decide to drop backwards compatibility so they could change the design choices that everyone else changed quite a while ago. Good decision, and I’m interested to see these tools, but unless you’re part of the marketing machine, you should be well informed enough to avoid statements like “DeWalt’s first entry into 20v Li-Ion as a line where other manufacturers are on generation 3 or 4”.

  5. ttamnoswad says:

    Yes an adapter would be a great option. And would be very feasible based on the stick vs. slide battery configurations.

    Yes, DeWalt…..do this before the other guys beat you too it.

    Some people are already working on the design to adapt other slide pack batteries to work with different brands as shown below.


  6. JB says:

    We bought Dewalt 18v Ni-CD for years, but finally traded them all in on other brands. Their Ni-CD batteries would go bad so quickly and we burned motors out constantly. They were great tools no complaints in performance, until they broke and made useless by bad batteries. We switched to mainly Milwaukee 18v system (when they had the trade in deal going on) and one Makita 18v Li-Ion hammer drill. Bought a 18v Li-Ion Milwaukee set for my house, loving it. It will be a long time before we go back to Dewalt anything. The only thing we have left is a Dewalt vacuum, which we hate, but it still works plugged into the wall.
    A/V Telecommunications field

  7. Hugh says:

    The only reason they called it 20v max is because they didn’t want to look like hypocrites and switch to a slide battery. Most of dewalt’s power is in marketing, they don’t even lable thier tools do you can compare. They are a couple of years behind the other companies, and further more ruined porter cable.

  8. John says:

    I must be one of the very few that prefers stick batteries to sliders. The sliders are awkward to me and it takes a few more seconds to change the battery compare to a stick style. Those few more seconds aren’t a big deal but just add to frustration. I don’t throw my cordless tools around, so I have never broken a stick battery clip.

  9. Toolfreak says:

    I much prefer stick batteries to sliders. At least, the sliders where the connector is stupidly seperate yet attached to the battery. This lets it break off. Bad. Stick batteries don’t have that problem, unless you break the stick part off somehow. I’m sure sliders with the connectors as part of the casing are just fine, and make for a more compact block shape, without anything protruding.

    I don’t think I’ll be buying DeWalt anything though, whether they are Stanley or Black & Decker or whatever. They don’t even have a compact reciprocating saw in the lineup.

  10. Rick says:

    I’m actually going to be in the market for a new combo kit in the next month or two. I’m going to give it some serious consideration but they’ve got some serious competition to beat out.

  11. zdiggler says:

    Where is my battery powered chainsaw!?

  12. Dave says:

    Hmmm do I go with a LXT makita kit or the new dewalt range. Leaning towards makita only because it has an angle grinder.

  13. Sam says:

    These Dewalt 20v Max tools are just smoke and mirrors. The 20v battery still has the same amount of voltage as everyones 18v line. What a joke.

  14. aaron says:

    Bought my dewalt 20v. Love it.
    I wofk for a general contractor that does all multi million dollar commercial and industrial jobs. Both new construction & renovations. Used 18v dewalt before this and I highly recommend the dewalt 20v. All ready droped a few times & still runs like new.

  15. Manimal says:

    Why buy into DeWalt’s unproven battery platform. Makita lithium ion batteries have been around since 2005 with no issues and they will have close to 50 tools by 2012.

    • Baldylox81 says:

      Makita and DeWalt have their batteries manufactured by Sony. So batteries proven, tools proven with having over 80% of the market share in tools.
      I had the Makita 18v system and it is a very good system not including the chincy drill they package in with their 4 tool kits. They have an excellent charger that checks 51 things on the battery before charging.

  16. ambush27 says:

    1. Dewalt has had lithium ion batteries for some time as well.
    2. Dewalt is a reputable brand.
    3. Lithium ion cells are not manufactured in house, only the pack is assembled(of course that is very important as well)
    I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a dewalt tool merely because they introduced a new line of tools.

  17. Terry says:

    DeWalt rep at the Home Depot told me they had a 20v Max oscillating tool coming out next year. He said they had to wait for the Fein patent to run out. Anyway, since Stanley Black & Decker fired all their DeWalt reps in Chicago, I guess I’m out of a battery that was promised to me after my 20v died after 2 months. Home Depot said that was between DeWalt an I. So much for their warranty.

    • Baldylox81 says:

      You have to go to a DeWalt authorized service center to get your battery warrantied Home Depot is not an authorized service center and typically their staff has very little knowledge of how their warranty process works. Mill Supplies the company I work for is an Authorized service center. You should have one around you call 1-800-4DeWalt and ask for the nearest authorized service center. As long as you have your receipt or the date code stamped on the top of the battery showing the year and week of manufacturer is within the 2 year time frame it should be warrantied. If you have no luck call me @ 260-469-8341 between the hours of 7am-5pm monday through friday and ill try to help you out.

  18. Aaron says:

    I have the 20v max kit. I love them. They have a little more power than the 18v stuff. They are the best I’ve ever had from dewalt. The only problem I have with them is it takes forever to charge. I paid $537.99 for the 5 pack combo kit at factorauthorizeoutlet.com

    • Aaron says:

      I install garage doors for a living at Overhead Door of Brunswick Georgia. I screw in 72-120 fastener per door with the impact. I is great.

  19. Blatent says:

    I bought the drill and impact driver combo last year.

    Both tools are great. I wish I had spent the extra for the hammer drill when I first used the drill. It seemed a little under-powered. I’ve done a bit of 3/8″ holes in concrete. The drill has only failed to do the job when using a 5′ hole saw on plywood or hearty-backer. Still need my corded Dewalt hammerdrill for that. Otherwise, drill is great, and sturdy.

    The impact driver is now my favorite tool, period. It has tons of power. I even broke some bolts driving with it. (they were cheap Chinese garbage which came with a flat screen wall mount.)

  20. junior says:

    I have picked up the impact, and drill combo. Ive used many styles and types of cordless, I would have to say I like these better then my hilt.
    If they would just hurry and make a radio for these, I would buy that followed by more tools.!! Come one Dewalt!!!

  21. Dylan says:

    I have owned the 20vguy for a year and it still performs 10-fold better than the 18’s. Yhe battery still keeps the same charge as if it were new. I have dropped it 18ft to dirt and it endured a 2″ rain sitting on the concrete by accident. I would strongly recommend this impact to anyone. I’m still waiting on the radio Dewalt!

  22. Baldylox81 says:

    Makita went to Sony for their lithium Ion battery, after ten years of trial and error they came out with their 18v in 2004.
    DeWalt went to Sony for their Lithium Battery where they have a proven track record of making quality batteries and ask them to manufacture their 20v battery.
    DeWalt will acknowledge that their 20v battery is an 18v battery, in that it puts out 20v when you pull the trigger and under load its 18v, like all other 18v batteries. They said they wanted to differentiate their slide type battery that is lithium to their stem type battery that is lithium. They went to the slide type because of the switch issues due to the poor connection to the tools.

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