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Dewalt has quietly launched a new cordless fan, model DCE512B, part of their 20V Max cordless power tool system.
The new Dewalt cordless fan very closely resembles its predecessor, model DCE511B.
I visited a Home Depot store yesterday, and I almost missed that this was a new model. The store had a large stack of these fans, and you have to look closely to tell the differences.
Dewalt DCE511B vs DCE512B Cordless Fans
Like the DCE511, the new DCE512 is said to have multiple hanging options – a freestanding base, hanging hook, and wall mount option.
Both fans are dust and water-resistant to IP54 standards, and they both have variable speed dials.
The new fan is said to run for up to 4.5 hours at max airspeed when powered with a 5Ah battery.
The new Dewalt DCE512B cordless fan is said to be more powerful, delivering up to 650 CFM or airflow. The older DCE511B delivers up to 500 CFM.
Since both 11″ fans appear to be nearly identical in construction, this suggests that the newer fan has a more powerful motor. One of the things I liked about the DCE511B is that it was relatively quiet for a small fan. With the new DCE512B delivering greater airflow, it might be a little bit noisier.
Small fans can sometimes struggle to deliver enough air volume, and so this is going to be a much appreciated upgrade for many users.
The new model does not seem to have the tripod mount that’s available on the older/other model.
The bigger difference will be the absence of AC compatibility. The Dewalt DCE511B has a covered AC port inside its battery slot. The new DCE512B does away with this feature.
Pricing and Availability
It appears that the DCE512B launched exclusively at Home Depot, and listings have appeared at other online retailers as well.
Street Price: $99
At the time of this posting, the DCE511B is still available at many online retailers.
The reasons for the “upgrade” are unknown, but there are many possibilities.
What’s curious is that Dewalt has upgraded the motors and specs of certain 20V Max cordless power tools in the past, as well as certain corded tools.
Why didn’t Dewalt simply update the DCE511B with the improved airflow of the DCE512B?
Dewalt has also launched upgraded models in the past with new model numbers. Could they have done that here?
I can understand the loss of the tripod mount – is that a feature that a most users don’t need? But the AC power options (via user-sourced extension cord) is a feature that a lot of users are usually very happy to have. Even for those who plan on using the fan exclusively with battery power, an AC plug-in option is usually a “glad to have it” type of feature, just in case.
Is this a cost-cutting measure? Is it in response to safety guidelines, which sometimes do prompt changes in tool features and design?
We know that costs and prices have been going up across the board, affecting all kinds of tools and equipment. Were the changes necessary in order to maintain affordable pricing?
At this time, we don’t know if the DCE512B is a replacement for the DCE511B. There are a couple of product types where Dewalt offers different models with slightly different features and specs, and so that could be what’s happening here.
Which fan would you prefer? The older model with AC power option, or the newer model with upgraded airflow?
This is a tough question. Greater airflow specs mean that the new fan should feel more powerful than Dewalt’s older model. How many people would benefit more from a better-performing fan, compared to an AC power option feature?
What I’m wondering is why users have to choose – why couldn’t the new fan feature a more powerful motor AND the same AC power option? It’s possible that this was a conscious design decision, but as mentioned we’ve also seen design changes prompted by evolving safety guidelines.