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I was thinking ahead as to what’s coming in 2021, and what has happened so far, and this is going to be a BIG year for cordless power tools.
In previous years, most cordless developments involved brands’ expanding their offerings both outwards, with new models, and upwards with new higher powered solutions.
Battery tech innovations mostly involved adding more cells to battery packs, or increasing the size of the cells. And before that, progress involved cells with increasingly greater charge capacity.
So let’s take a look at what happened this year so far.
Ryobi announced an expanded lineup of 18V One+HP cordless tools, with a focus on compact sizing and brushless motors.
Flex is coming out with a new 24V max cordless power tool system, with a focus on Pro-level offerings, brushless motors, and competitor-squashing power.
Bosch Profactor tools promise to deliver next-gen power when paired with their 8Ah and Profactor-exclusive 12Ah battery. We haven’t seen any of these tools yet.
Dewalt is expanding their 12V Max Xtreme Subcompact cordless lineup. This isn’t big news given everything else that’s happening in the industry, but it’s still good to know.
Makita is launching a new 36V/40V Max cordless system – XGT. XGT has launched in most parts of the world already, and will likely be coming to the USA at some point in 2021. So far, we know this will Makita’s new “higher power” system, and it won’t be backwards-compatible with their 18V platform.
Ridgid has expanded their 18V cordless platform with new brushless power tools. They look to have shifted their focus with a new emphasis on user comfort, ergonomics, and convenience.
ALL THIS and we’re just 3 months into 2021.
What has Craftsman been up to? They’ve been awfully quiet – I wonder if we’ll see any Craftsman cordless power tool developments this year.
Dewalt and Milwaukee have been steadily expanding their 18V/20V Max cordless power tool systems. But, my gut feeling says that Milwaukee is due for some big news. I predicted there will be new subcompact cordless drills and impact drivers, but there could certainly be different surprise developments.
What’s most surprising about a lot of these developments is that the focus isn’t entirely on more power as in previous years. Bosch Profactor and Makita XGT systems do focus on power, but they’re also playing catch-up to Dewalt and Milwaukee Tool developments.
The increasing focus on user comfort and convenience, with smaller and lighter tools, is definitely welcome.
With brushless motor technology being democratized these days, and present in all major consumer and professional cordless power tool systems, we can count on seeing the continued decline of brushed motor options.
2021 has been a big year with respect to cordless power tool tech so far, and it seems that further updates and advancements are on the way.
Are there any cordless developments you’d be eager to see happen this year?
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