Power tool technology is tougher, faster and more advanced than ever before thanks to 6.0Ah Li-ion battery technology and brushless motors. PHPI gets the lowdown from Simon Miller, Brand and Product Manager for Hitachi Power Tools.
There is little doubt that powerful Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology, combined with the introduction of brushless motors into cordless power tool ranges, is providing more flexibility and choice than ever before. Manufacturers such as Hitachi are leading the way in providing tougher, faster and more advanced power tools with quick charging times and super efficient motors.
For instance, the new Hitachi 18V cordless 6.0Ah battery-powered range includes the DV18DBXL/JX 18V Combi Drill with brushless motor. This ultra-powerful Combi Drill has a class leading hard torque of 136Nm, complete with 22 stage torque settings. The drill’s compact body is just 204mm long, making it easily portable and with a super-fast charging time, it’s ready to go to work fully charged in an astounding 38 minutes.
With its two 6.0Ah Li-ion batteries and Multiplex protection circuit, it has a practical robust aluminium gear case, an LED work light, low battery indicator and a fan-cooled charger for tackling even the toughest, longest jobs. It is also supplied with a detachable and moveable side handle, which helps users safely control the drill’s powerful performance.
Alongside the introduction of 6.0Ah batteries, power tool manufacturers are turning their attention to developing extremely efficient electric motors to increase the performance of their products. Brushless motor technology on cordless and mains powered tools is improving efficiency, increasing safety and providing a longer life. This in turn drives user costs down for installers.
Traditional tools use brushed motors where the carbon brushes are in constant contact with the commutator during use. Strong and powerful the motors may be, but the design means friction between the brushes and the commutator is unavoidable during use. The result over time is a slight drop in speed, thermal energy losses and the production of sparks and heat. This friction will also of course mean that the brushes will need to be replaced as they wear out over time with use.
Brushless motors can also be more powerful, as there is space to make the copper windings on the outside of the motor larger and there is none of the friction energy loss during use that brushed motors inevitably suffer from. The result is a more powerful, efficient and longer lasting power tool. A brushless motor can increase working time by up to 40% when used on those longer high-volume drilling jobs.
Due to the more compact design compared to brushed motors, incorporating the brushless motor permits a reduction in size and weight of tools for easier handling. Not only that, the Hitachi brushless motor has large FETs (Field Effect Transistors) and highly durable electronic circuits for superior durability. Brushless motors also improve dust proofing, which is important for installers as it gives the power tools a longer service life, saving time and money, not just in respect of cleaning the power tools, but replacing them too. The Hitachi electronic circuit board is silicone-coated to protect it from dust.
There is another important advantage of brushless motors – increased operator safety and overload protection. Brushless motors don’t generate the same heat as there are no carbon brushes and they can’t be burnt out. They also offer better protection on kick-back control when operating. Some manufacturers such as Hitachi also have power cut out technology, which keeps the operator safe too.
Perhaps the area where the introduction of brushless technology has had most impact is in the cordless power tool sector. There’s nothing more frustrating than a power tool failing mid-job simply because it needs to be charged. With the huge improvement in efficiency, this is no longer a pressing consideration. Brushless motors work particularly well in big cordless grinders and hammer drills because these tend to be overworked by users. Using brushless motors means the end user has more confidence in the battery as they are not overworked.
In conclusion, brushless motor technology, combined with powerful 6.0Ah Li-ion batteries, leads to lower servicing and running costs for installers as well as improved safety and increased runtime in cordless tools. Brushless motors also provide far greater efficiency in mains powered tools. The tools are backed up with added peace of mind thanks to a three year warranty, subject to the tool being registered online within four weeks of purchase.