The Hitachi MultiVolt battery pack is coming and DeWalt will no longer be alone with their FlexVolt system. There are some similarities along with significant differences. And of course, there are the tools to go along with it.
Editor’s Note: Starting October 17, 2018, Hitachi will be fully under the name of Metabo HPT. For more details on the impact, click here.
Hitachi MultiVolt Battery Pack
The pack contains ten 21700 lithium-ion cells giving the battery 144 watt-hours to work with. The 21700 cell is currently the largest we’re aware of in the industry with other brands like Milwaukee, Bosch, and Metabo also using the larger cell.
Check out this article for more details on the significance of the cell sizes.
How the Hitachi MultiVolt battery distributes that energy is what makes it special. The pack primarily is designed to run new Metabo HPT 36V tools. Coming out as Metabo HPT MultiVolt tools, the pack will operate at 36 volts and 4.0 amp hours to give you solid run time with more power.
The battery is also backward compatible with Hitachi/Metabo HPT 18V tools. In any of them, it will deliver 18 volts with 8.0 amp hours, giving it a huge gas tank to work with to extend runtime. And yes, there’s a 4 LED charge indicator on it.
As far as compatibility goes, the Hitachi MultiVolt battery will power any Hitachi MultiVolt tool or 18V lithium-ion tool without issue. Going the other direction, Hitachi 18V batteries will not power a MultiVolt 36V tool and the form factor is designed specifically so it won’t fit in the tool.
While the technology is impressive, the price point will also get your attention. You may already be familiar with Hitachi’s Affordable Battery Program where a 3.0 Ah battery runs $39 and a 1.5 Ah pack is $29. Hitachi tells us that they’re pricing their battery packs right at the break-even point after you toss in manufacturing and shipping to the US. The Hitachi MultiVolt battery at 8.0 Ah (as an 18V battery) will run $99 and is arriving at retailers now.
If sales look like it can support it, look for a 2.0/4.0 Ah compact MultiVolt battery for smaller tools like the MultiVolt Triple Hammer Impact Driver.