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Alright, so what's next? (Cordless Tools)

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  • Alright, so what's next? (Cordless Tools)

    So we've seen pretty much all of the manufacturers come out with Lithium Ion cordless tools in one form or another. Milwaukee with their V28 & V18's, Dewalt with their 36 volt (and rumoured to be retrofitting/potentially offering 18 volt Lithium Ion tools supposedly), Ridgid with their 24 volts, Makita with their 18 volts & 14.4's, Bosch with their 36 volts, although I haven't heard any tests/reports on them yet. Most of the manufacturers also seemed to do a good job of debuting a good line of tools right off the bat as well, or if not right off the bat, a year later bringing a few more good tools as part of their line out. So I'm guessing in the next year or few years we may see some tweaking of tools, perhaps more expanding of lithium ion tool platforms for the various manufacturers, but what's next? It seems that the hype with cordless power tools is starting to become equivilent to the Diesel truck Torque war.

    What are your predictions?

    Myself, first off I have see, and I hope to continue to see prices come down as Lithium Ion tools become more mainstream in the power tool industry.
    I also wonder if 36 volts will ever be topped?

  • #2
    Smaller lighter wave.

    I'm hoping the initial rush to create the biggest baddest will be replaced by the manufacturers creating the lightest, most convenient. There have been a couple examples of this. Bosch's new 10.8V lightweight driver, Makitas new lightweight 14.4 and 18V drills. Panasonic owned this category for NiMh tools...would like to see them come out with a LiIon version of their drill.

    By the way, Lithium Ion cells are 3.6V per cell so it is pretty easy to go high voltage. You need one third the cells as you do when you work with 1.2V NiCd or NiMh cells.

    Another trend you might see is companies following TTI's lead and celling individual tools. Right now you've only got Ryobi's OnePlus, Ridgid's MaxSelect and Craftsman C3 (all manufactured by TTI.) If I recall, DeWalt has sold an individual tool or two, sans battery...but nothing marketed as a "system."

    It would also be nice to see these manufacturers get into the Outdoor lineup with compatible products. I'd like to see a little electric hedge trimmer and chain saw (Ryobi is the only one marketing such a tool.)
    Last edited by Disaster; 11-16-2006, 07:36 AM.


    • #3
      The sky's the limit for the professional tool user I suppose but the tool companies pretty much satisfied my needs and wants already a few years ago as far as cordless is concerned.
      I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


      • #4
        In the immediate future I forsee ultra lightweight and compactness be the driving force behind the market. Judging by the stunning success of Makita's Lithium offerings and the slow uptake of ultra high voltage groups its clear this is going to be where the fight is at now. It looks like its confirmed dewalt is scrambling to do 18v Li-ion after apparently getting slaughtered by Makita in Lithium Ion sales. Apparently Milwaukee's V28 has not fared much better either.
        For the more extended future I see NiCd/NiMH being completely phased out. Its happened in every other field, laptops, cell, phones, and so on. Once Lithium Ion becomes more standardized its price will go down and it will cost more to keep NiCD in a product line up than just getting rid of it all together.

        I don't forsee any end to power increases ever until you can get batteries with built in miniature fusion reactors . Even with slower sales high end groups like this are what gives a company visibility, even if they are not that profitable. Kind of like what sports cars are to automakers. I'm pretty sure they won't stop until they can claim with absolute certainty cordless tools will completely outperform corded.


        • #5
          I believe Milwaukee uses 4 volt cells in their 28 volt Lithium-Ion batteries. That's why their V18 line of tools is actually technically 20 volts, and why you got the 28 volts (7 x 4 volts).


          • #6
            I just bought a milwaukee V18 battery and charger on E bay for $199 US. I have two 18V combo kits so I figured I'd give the Lithium-Ion battery a go. I like it but, in retrospect, I think my money would have been better spent buying 4 new Nicads
            You will never expand your mind, if you do not challenge your beliefs.

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