DeWalt seeks efficiency with cordless line

14_tools_techDeWalt focused on performance and ergonomics in the design of its new 20-volt Max lithium-ion cordless product line, which includes two drill/drivers, two impact drivers, two hammer drills, reciprocating saw, circular saw, right-angle drill, SDS rotary hammer and worklight.

“As an important market as cordless is, we’re constantly looking to raise the bar and that’s what we’ve done with the 20-volt Max line,” says Chris Keefer, DeWalt’s director of marketing.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to performance, ergonomics and innovative features. We feel like performance is run time and speed of application — how quick users can get their job done. It’s difficult to quantify ergonomics, but we’re very fortunate to have some talented industrial designers and a lot of what we do in the product development process is [field-test] product with different styles of hand grips and configurations. We’ve spent a lot of time customizing these products with a wide range of user groups.”

DeWalt has gone the two-battery route — offering 1.5- and 3.0-Ah lithium-ion power packs, while opting for battery installation on the bottom of the handle; rather than inside the handle.

“One of the advantage to this product line is we didn’t have to account for a cell of the cordless battery — like we do in our 18-volt line — that has to go up the handle of the tool. It allowed us to make our most comfortable cordless tool grip ever,” says Keefer.

“Everyday professionals are faced with a variety of tasks on the jobsite, and our new system gives them the ability to use two battery configurations based on the specific application,” adds John Castelino, DeWalt’s senior product manager. “For the most demanding long run-time applications, we offer end users our 3.0-Ah packs that provide extended run time. For lighter duty applications or for applications where ergonomics is critical, our end users can use our 1.5-Ah packs.”

DeWalt has also redesigned its battery chargers with dual-voltage charging capabilities, making them compatible with its 12-volt Max and 20-volt Max lithium-ion batteries. There’s a heavy-duty charger, model DCB101, that will power the 1.5-amp battery in 30 minutes and the 3.0-amp in 60 minutes, according to the company. There’s also a vehicle charger, model DCB119, that offers a 90-minute charge time.

DeWalt-designed electronics are built into the switches of all 20-volt Max tools and lights, which protect them from overheating, overloading and deep discharge during use, according to the company.

The two premium drill models — DCD985L2 and DCD980L2 — feature a three-speed setting that is proprietary to DeWalt.

The right-angle drill, model DCD740C1, features a two-speed transmission, weighs 3.8 lbs. and measures 4” in length from front to back. It also has a 3/8” deep hex pocket, which allows a 2” hex bit to be installed almost all the way into the chuck. This feature reduces the tool’s overall length — with the bit installed — to 4-1/2” for use in very tight spaces.

The tools are available in a variety of combo kits and carry a three-year limited warranty, one-year free service contract and 90-day money-back guarantee. The 1.5-Ah battery has a free two-year service contract, while the 3.0-Ah battery has a three-year contract.

Contact: DeWalt. Tel: 800-433-9258. www.dewalt.com

This article originally appeared in the September 2011 issue.