DeWalt’s new line of 40V MAX outdoor power equipment (OPE) is scheduled for release in March 2015. The line includes a brushless string trimmer, hedge trimmer, and this blower (DCBL790). Unlike the OPE used exclusively for yard work, a blower can be used to reduce the amount of sweeping and raking required to clean up a large jobsite, or to blow out a toolbox, room, or the back of a truck. The same could be done with a compressor or gasoline blower, but a compressor moves less air and a gasoline blower produces fumes—so you would not want to use it indoors. The 40V MAX blower has a variable speed trigger and blows up to 400 CFM of air at up to 120 MPH. That’s pretty good for a battery-powered machine; my gas-powered Echo blower (PB-250LN) produces up to 391 CFM at up to 165 MPH. Available in a one battery kit with a 4.0Ah or 6.0Ah battery, the blower is made in China and sells for $300-400.
What interests me about this new line of OPE (besides the notion that it might allow me to dump my gas-powered equipment) is the battery platform. A 40-volt max pack produces the same voltage as a 36-volt pack and may contain the same number of cells; most contain 20 though some higher Ah rated packs contain 30. Whether or not there is any real difference between the two kinds of packs, the problem with 36-volt tools is that there were never enough models for their use to become widespread. What I like about 40-volt max is that there is a large and growing market for cordless OPE (because there are more homeowners and landscapers than there are pro tradesmen). If enough people buy into 40-volt max systems there will be an incentive for manufacturers to develop additional tools for them—and given the size of the packs those tools are likely to be large. Cordless table saw anyone?