Stressing its commitment to innovation and system expansion, DeWalt announced this week the launch of more than a dozen cordless and corded tools as well as some accessories. Topping the list is a new impact driver in the 20-Volt Max line, but this one sports DeWalt’s first brushless motor. It will be on the market in April, selling for $279 with 1.5-amp-hour battery packs and $349 for 3-Ah packs.
This new impact driver comes out less than a year after DeWalt debuted the 20V Max line—which included an impact driver and several drill/drivers—featuring standard carbon-brush motors. The brushless motor powers the tool more efficiently, creating less heat and friction, and resulting in a 57% increase in battery run time compared to the 20V Max driver with carbon-brush motor. With a brushless motor, energy is transferred from the armature to the drive train electronically, whereas with the other system that energy transfers through the brushes by rubbing directly on the armature.
This new impacter has a three-speed gear system and variable-speed trigger for precise control in three speed ranges. This allows you to set the driver in the best range to match the fastener you’re using. Also new is a push-button chuck, replacing the quick-connect chuck tool-makers have been using for years. With this new chuck, you slide a driver bit into the chuck and it locks into place automatically. To release it, you push a yellow button beneath the chuck and pull the bit out. It also has three LED lights around the chuck for optimal visibility while driving fasteners, with a 20-second delay shut-off.
Also new on this impact driver is a fuel gauge for the battery packs: Just push a button on the pack and the three-bar gauge tells you how much charge remains. Going forward, all DeWalt 20V Max battery packs with 3-Ah capacity will have this gauge. The 1.5-Ah packs with fueld gauges will be available as options, but not standard. (All brushless tools launched in the future will have fuel-gauge packs, regardless of amp-hour rating.)
In addition, DeWalt announced five new tools coming this summer to the 20V Max line:
• 3/8” impact wrench, $269 as a kit (two batteries and charger) or $129 for the bare tool (for use with battery packs bought with other tools).
• 1/2” impact wrench, $329 for the kit, $179 for the bare tool.
• Wood-cutting jigsaw, $279 for the kit, $149 for the tool.
• 4-1/2” diameter cut-off tool (DeWalt’s reps stopped short of calling this an angle grinder, but a guard change could make it one), $299 for the kit, $119 for the tool.
• 5-1/2” diameter metal-cutting circular saw, $359 for a kit, $199 for the saw alone.
Other new tools coming from DeWalt:
• An 18-volt version of the metal-cutting circular saw, to work with all 18-volt lithium-ion and nickel-cadmium battery packs, $329 for the kit.
• A dual-port battery charger that will charge both stem-packs (7-18 volts) and slide-packs (12 and 20 volts) simultaneously. This charger will sell for $99 as an accessory only; it will not come with any tool kits.
• A 12V Max pivoting reciprocating saw, which uses standard blades, for $149 as a kit. (DeWalt does not sell 12V Max tools as bare tools.)
• A corded 7-1/4” circular saw with 2-9/16” depth of cut, 57° beveling capacity, a built-in dust blower to clear the cut line, and an 8.8-lb weight. It will sell for $129 and come out later in 2012.
• A corded compact reciprocating saw with four-position blade clamp (think North, South, East, West) for $129.
• Beginning in June 2012, all 12V Max battery packs will have 1.5-Ah capacity rather than 1.3. All will fit existing tools in that line.
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