October 17, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

DeWalt FlexVolt Vs Metabo HPT MultiVolt Battery

Dewalt FlexVolt vs Metabo HPT MultiVolt Battery

While the Advanced Battery Landscape is Expanding, Only Two Have Voltage-Switching Packs

Most of the major professional power tool manufacturers now have some sort of advanced battery system on the market. Of those, only two take on the concept of switching voltages. We’re taking a look at the DeWalt FlexVolt vs Metabo HPT MultiVolt battery to see how they’re similar and what makes them different.

DeWalt FlexVolt vs Metabo HPT MultiVolt Battery

Which Came First?

DeWalt was the first to launch its voltage-switching pack back in 2016. DeWalt FlexVolt technology was a huge surprise for us sitting in the room at that launch event.

Since then, only Metabo HPT has decided to follow DeWalt down this path. The MultiVolt battery was announced in 2018 at the same time Hitachi Power Tools announced the name change to Metabo HPT.

How Does a Voltage-Switching Battery Work?

When you build a lithium-ion battery pack, you connect individual cells with either series or parallel connections, or a combination of the two. Series connections increase voltage and parallel connections increase amp-hours. Even though you can change the wiring to adjust the voltage or amp-hours, you get the same total watt-hours from those cells.

To make a pack that switches voltage, you need to start with a number of cells that work in both. For example, you can make either an 18V, 5.0Ah battery or 36V, 2.5Ah battery out of the same 10 cells.

To make a pack that switches between 18V and 36V, you can use 10, 20, 30 cells or more, as long as they’re in groups of 10. A pack that switches between 18V and 54V (20V and 60V Max) needs sets of 15 cells.

Once that’s in place, electronic communication between the tool and the battery tells the pack which connections to use to get the right voltage for the tool it’s on.

Same Kind of Different

DeWalt’s FlexVolt system switches between 20V Max and 60V Max (18V and 54V nominal). That requires the battery packs to contain 15 cells. Currently, DeWalt has FlexVolt batteries that run 2Ah/6Ah, 3Ah/9Ah, and 4Ah/12Ah*.

Note: The first number is the amp hours at the higher voltage and the second number is the amp hours at the lower voltage.

DeWalt FlexVolt Vs Metabo HPT MultiVolt Battery - DeWalt FlexVolt 2-inch SDS Max Combination Hammer

Metabo HPT’s MultiVolt system switches between 18V and 36V, meaning its core power source is a smaller 10-cell pack. The initial excitement was around the pack running a 4.0Ah/8.0Ah configuration. More recently, a 2.5Ah/5.0Ah slim pack also made its way to the market.

Hitachi MultiVolt Battery - DeWalt FlexVolt Vs Metabo HPT MultiVolt Battery

There are pros and cons to both systems. DeWalt’s FlexVolt is larger and heavier, but it has higher energy capacity in its two larger packs and 60V Max is potentially more powerful than 36V.

Metabo HPT’s MultiVolt is a smaller, lighter pack with a lower capacity than the 3.0/9.0Ah and 4.0/12.0Ah FlexVolt batteries. Its 36V system doesn’t have as much power potential as the 60V Max line.

When you’re running tools such as table saws and miter saws, DeWalt’s higher capacity and power can be a big advantage. DeWalt even has a 15Ah FlexVolt battery on the market.

However, one of the key features of both systems is the ability for these higher voltage packs to also power tools requiring 20V Max or 18V batteries. You might not mind the bulkier FlexVolt battery on reciprocating saws or circular saws, but Metabo HPT’s lower weight and size is a huge plus on some of its drills and impact wrenches, especially with that slim pack.

The Bonus: AC Power

Both systems have an AC adapter available, but they affect the lineup very differently.

Currently, DeWalt only has a power adapter for one specific tool: the DeWalt FlexVolt 120V miter saw. It runs at (you guessed it) 120V and requires 2 batteries or the Adapter.

DeWalt FlexVolt 120V Max Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw Action

All Metabo HPT MultiVolt tools are compatible with its AC adapter.

DeWalt FlexVolt Vs Metabo HPT MultiVolt Battery

Neither adapter works on each brand’s 18V or 20V Max tools.

The Bottom Line

It’s interesting to see how two brands have taken one concept and created two very different systems from it. Choosing which one is best for you really boils down to your personal priorities.

Want higher voltage and capacity? DeWalt FlexVolt is the way to go.

Prefer a smaller footprint, lower weight, and an AC adapter that works with the entire line? Go with Metabo HPT MultiVolt.

Which one do you prefer? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Related articles

DeWalt PowerStack Batteries and Technology

Designed with stacked pouch battery cells instead of cylindrical cells, DeWalt PowerStack 20V Max batteries make some huge changes. DeWalt claims PowerStack batteries and technology provide more power with less weight and size. They give the case in point with their debut model, the DeWalt DCBP034 PowerStack 1.7Ah battery. This might be the biggest announcement […]

DeWalt Portable USB Battery Charging Kit | DCB094K

DeWalt to Debut Portable USB Battery Charger at NECA DeWalt announced that they’ve got plans to showcase a few new releases at the 2021 National Electrical Contractor’s Association Convention and Trade Show. One of those new releases, the DeWalt Portable USB Battery Charging Kit, looks like the next evolution of the portable charger with a […]

Huskie Tools Series 7R Pro Line Tools Run On Milwaukee Batteries

Huskie Tools Expands 7th-Gen Hydraulic Tool Line Onto M18 Battery Platform Huskie Tools makes equipment designed for Pros working in the utility trades. The Huskie Series 7R Pro Line includes 61 new battery-powered hydraulic tools. While that seems newsworthy, they also made the new lineup work with one of the most widely available battery platforms: […]

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I use the Metabo and the Dewalt. By far the dewalt flex out is the superior performer for battery life. Tool functionality is the same but cutting concrete requires a 60v tool. Period


I’m not a huge fan of DeWalt but I’ve really liked some of their flexvolt tools. The worm drive and small miter saw specifically. but I don’t care for their 20v tools so I decided to go with Hitachi for the cordless nail guns, table saw, and miter saw. For Smaller Tools I really like Milwaukee m12. For the bigger hand tools I’ve been using Ridgid.

Garrad miller

I dont think you fully understand power output when it relates to battery powered tools. The amount of power output available is most closely related to the cell type and cell amount inside the pack and not the operating voltage. The m18 table saw, chainsaw, circular saw etc puts out a similar wattage to the Dewalt 60v competitors for this very reason, large amount of 21700 cells.

Joe Leffler

Metabo HPT has TWO different lightweight 36/18 volt Multivolt batteries delivering amp hours 5/2 for 18/36 volt and amp hours of 8/4 for 18/36 volt (battery referenced above). Two different types of MultiVolt batteries, one even more compact than the one noted above with both focused on portability. In addition to these MultiVolt batteries we have the 36 volt MultiVolt tool lineup. MultiVolt tools can be used with the award winning AC adapter in all the 36 volt tools or you can use the Multivot batteries referenced above. This allows the user to choose the power source that is most… Read more »


Both brands have specific tools I like.

-Dewalt compact 2-hand sawzall (you guys complain too much on vibration :P ) It’s light enough to 1-hand a 2-hander.

-HPT framing nail gun.
-HPT grinder

You can’t go wrong with either brand on:

-Circular Saw
-Vibrating multi-tool

They both cut and fasten many things.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x