The latest news on the battery front concerns the launch of the Ryobi 18V One+ High Performance Edge battery. It’s a pack that promises to push performance higher thanks to emerging design technology.
Inside a Ryobi 18V One+ High Performance Edge Battery
There are two major upgrades in these batteries. The first is the use of 21700 cells. It’s been several years since we first started seeing these in power tool batteries. The larger cells maintain the same series grouping (5 cells per row in an 18V/20V max battery) while increasing the capacity and available power it can transfer to the tool.
One of the biggest hurdles in getting the most out of these cells is electrical resistance. In order to get more power, you have to push higher current. With traditional connections, higher electrical resistance can generate dangerous levels of heat when you push high current through them, so the realistic power level you can safely achieve is significantly lower than the cells can produce.
Enter tabless cell connections—something we first saw with the launch of Milwaukee’s Forge batteries. By using a tabless design, a Ryobi High Performance Edge battery can deliver more power while running cooler. The design also allows for faster charging and significantly longer service life. While Ryobi isn’t touting faster charging just yet, it at least opens up the possibility of upgraded chargers down the road.
Ryobi 18V One+ High Performance Edge Battery – 18V One+ Compatibility
Ryobi developed this battery for its popular 18V One+ system that now boasts more than 300 products. The commitment Ryobi continues to make is that every 18V One+ battery works with every 18V One+ tool—and that’s true for the HP Edge pack as well.
But what tools benefit from this advanced battery?
The short answer is… all of them. However, you’ll notice a bigger difference in more power-hungry products. Here’s a quick look at the results of Ryobi’s internal testing:
6 1/2-inch HP Brushless Compact Circular Saw Cutting 2 Sheets of Stacked 3/4-inch OSB
- 4Ah: 19.4 sec
- 4Ah High Performance: 16.2 sec
- 8Ah High Performance: 12.5 sec
- 4Ah High Performance Edge: 12.0 sec
This is a standard test that we use as well, and it can expose big power differences between saws. Prior to the release of the Edge, I would recommend the 4.0Ah High Performance battery for this saw. The fact that the Edge pack beat the battery we’d normally use by more than 4 seconds is eye-opening.
Watch the video.
12-Inch HP Brushless Chainsaw Cutting a 10-inch Log
- 4Ah: 25.15 sec
- 4Ah High Performance: 23.23 sec
- 8Ah High Performance: 20.02 sec
- 4Ah High Performance Edge: 19.81 sec
Like the circular saw, I would have chosen the 4.0Ah Higher Performance battery for this saw. The 8.0Ah High Performance pack is a legitimate choice, but I would have opted to keep the weight down on this model. Cutting near the limit of the saw’s capacity, you can see how much faster the Ryobi High Performance Edge battery allows the saw to cut, even beating out the 8.0Ah option while keeping the working weight in check.
Watch the video.
HP Brushless 1/2-inch Hammer Drill in High Speed with a 2-inch Self-Feed Bit in 2x White Pine Lumber (3-Hole Set)
- 4Ah: 12.67 sec
- 4Ah High Performance: 9.92 sec
- 8Ah High Performance: 8.34 sec
- 4Ah High Performance Edge: 7.92 sec
This test was interesting because it pushed the limit of what the battery could accomplish. Working in high speed, the standard battery had to start and stop to complete the test. While the two High Performance batteries were able to complete the holes without delay, it’s clear that the High Performance Edge still has the edge.
Watch the video.
Ryobi 18V One+ High Performance Edge Battery Future Impacts
The Edge is well-named in my opinion. On one hand, it moves the edge of Ryobi’s current capabilities further out, revitalizing the tools you already have.
On the other hand, the edge of the 18V One+ system’s limitation moves further out as well. With a power source that has higher performance potential, the product team has the opportunity to take its core products to the next level and develop tools that might have seemed out of reach before.
There may be other considerations as well. Seeing Edge design move into the 40V system has the potential to make it more efficient and boost the power level even higher as more areas of the country look for gas engine replacements.
I have no doubt the product team is already way ahead of me, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the Ryobi 18V One+ High Performance Edge battery changes the landscape for DIYers and value-minded Pros.
Ryobi 18V One+ High Performance Edge Battery Price
As usual, Home Depot is the exclusive retailer of Ryobi’s newest battery. The price is still TBA, but we can expect a summer 2024 launch.