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HiKoki Multi-Volt – What is it and How Does it Work

HiKoki Multi-Volt – What is it and How Does it Work

Posted by Toolstop Colin on 14th Jan 2019

When a power tool brand introduces a new battery platform, it can be confusing at first what – exactly – you’ll be able to do with the new batteries. What power do they offer? What’s the charge capacity? Etc. Couple that with a whole new brand name, and it can confusing times for power tool users. In this guide, we’re going to look at what the new brand Hikoki has brought to market in 2019: multi volt batteries. And we’ll explain what these batteries are and how they work.

For starters, let’s address the brand HiKoki. Who are they?

If it seems like Hikoki arrived out of nowhere on the power tool scene with a raft of fantastic tools to choose from, you’d be mostly right. But the story behind HiKoki is quite a simple one. HiKoki is the new brand name for Hitachi power tools, as of 1st October 2018. As for the new name, the president of the company explained that the brand is owned by Koki Holdings, and combining the first letters of the words “highly innovative”, you get the new brand name HiKoki.

Hikoki mult volt batteries explained

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What is HiKoki Doing That Could Be Regarded as Highly Innovative?

Hitachi’s power tools were always workhorses, designed without huge flair, but with true graft in mind. We were always fans. And their gas-free first and second fix nailers have always been exceptional. All of the tools found in Hitachi’s stable are now in HiKoki’s. And if you already own Hitachi 18v cordless tools, your batteries will work in the HiKoki 18v range.

But what’s helping set HiKoki the brand apart from comparable rivals is the new multi volt battery platform. For many of you, it could be a game changer. We’ll explain why.

HiKoki Multi Volt Batteries – What Are They?

The strapline for this new battery platform is “one battery, two tools”. So, the idea behind that is when you own a HiKoki multi volt battery it will work across all of the HiKoki (and Hitachi) 18v cordless tool range. But it will also work in the brand’s new 36v cordless tool range. When you’ve got a 36v cordless power tool in your hands, HiKoki claims that you have AC power, DC freedom. In other words, the power of a corded tool with the freedom and flexibility only experienced with a cordless tool.

hikoki 36v combi drill

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Let’s take one of the new 36v tools as an example. The DV36DAX. It’s a 36v combi-drill. That’s right, a combi-drill with a 36v power supply, via the new multi volt battery. This makes the DV36DAX probably the most powerful combi-drill available on the market today. Which means bigger holes – 20mm into masonry and 102mm into wood – from a combi-drill that has roughly the same weight and size as a standard 18v comb-drill.

Let that sink in.

This is possible thanks to the new 36v/18v multi volt battery. Here’s how.

HiKoki Multi-Volt Batteries – How Do They Work?

The new multi volt batteries from HiKoki are the same size and weight as the 18v packs. However, no one else on the market as of the start of 2019 is making a higher voltage battery pack like this. They not only work across two voltages but are also the same weight and size as the rest of the batteries in the 18v range.

Therefore, you’re able to power tools with much higher output and performance. And you’re not adding undue weight to the tool. This is something to seriously consider if you want to be running higher spec tools, but don’t want aching arms and wrists after a couple of hours of work.

Hikoki DH36DPA with 36v brushless motorAnother example of a HiKoki tool taking advantage of the 36v/18v battery platform is the DH36DPA SDS+ drill. It has a brushless motor. It’s only 351mm in length. And it punches 28mm holes into masonry, compared to the 22mm which is typical of a similar sized 18v SDS+ drill. Again, the 36v motor gives you virtually corded power from a cordless tool.

Does the Charge Capacity of the Batteries Really Matter?

But what about charge capacity? This is an important consideration for any battery platform designed to work across two different voltages. When you use a HiKoki multi volt battery in an 18v machine, it acts as a standard 5Ah unit. Plenty of juice for the day for your typical applications. When you slot the multi volt battery into one of the new 36v machines, the charge capacity is 2.5Ah.

Is this an issue, lower charge capacity when in 36v mode? The simple answer is no. And that’s because when you use the battery in a 36v machine, the greater power from the motor means the tools requires less time to perform the task. That’s less time when the motor is pulling charge from the battery. Therefore, higher powered cordless tools require less charge. Factor in the brushless motor on all the new 36v machines. These motors are much more efficient than older, brushed versions. They require less power from the battery to complete the application.

hikoki 36v brushless impact driver

Now that we’ve explained who HiKoki is and what the new multi volt battery platform is about, we’d love to hear your thoughts. It is a winner? Let us know what you think in the comments and be sure to SHARE this guide with your friends!

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