Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw Shootout!
Voltage, Amp Hours, and Watt Hours
If you’ve been with us for a while, you know that we take our batteries seriously. You may also remember that the amount of power delivered by a battery can be stated using the equation:
Volts x Amp Current = Watts Out (Power)
Taking a look at the list of saws we have to choose from, we have several different voltages. DeWalt comes in the highest with 60V Max (54V nominal) followed by Makita with their 18V X2 LXT delivering 36V and then the rest of the crew at 18V.
You’d think that would give DeWalt and Makita a clear advantage, but volts don’t tell the entire story. Battery amp hours also come into play. Milwaukee is the clear leader with a 9.0 amp hour pack and a large gap back to Metabo with their 6.2 amp hour LiHD battery. Bosch, Hitachi, and Makita all have 6.0 amp hour packs. Ridgid comes in with 5.0 amp hours, Ryobi drops to 4.0, and DeWalt delivers just 2.0 amp hours when the FlexVolt battery runs at 60V Max.
When you multiply the nominal voltage of the pack and the number of amp hours available to it, you get an idea of how much energy is actually available. Think of it like a gas tank – an engine can be incredibly efficient or be a gas guzzler. The more fuel it has available, however, the longer it will be able to run.
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A lower voltage tool can compete with higher voltage by drawing a higher current to produce additional power. On the other side of the coin, a higher voltage tool can run at a lower current draw to extend the battery when it doesn’t need all the power it can muster.
Makita comes away with the largest gas tank at 216 watt-hours – a full 33% higher than Milwaukee’s 162 watt-hours. This is thanks to the use of two 6.0 amp hour batteries. Then there’s another gap to Metabo at just under 112 watt-hours and it goes down from there to finish with Ryobi at 72 watt-hours.