Batteries Replacing Gas Power Tools? – Here’s What We Saw at World of Concrete

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Updated Feb 16, 2024
DeWalt's new PowerShift Compactor was among the multitude of battery-powered tools debuting in January at World of Concrete 2024 in Las Vegas.
DeWalt's new PowerShift Compactor was among the multitude of battery-powered tools debuting in January at World of Concrete 2024 in Las Vegas.

Battery technology for handheld tools for concrete construction and demolition continues to advance, gradually making power cords a thing of the past.

The toolmakers are also taking aim at gas power, introducing zero-emission alternatives to replace the fumes while delivering same to better performance.

Many of the new technologies were on display in January at the World of Concrete. Products include heavy-duty rammers, breaker hammers, rotary hammers, core drills.

The batteries are also getting lighter and more powerful. Charging technology is getting faster, and with switchable batteries, runtime is becoming less of an issue.

The accessories, such as vacuums and water dust-suppression systems, are running on batteries, too.

So check out some of the show highlights – and video – of the latest battery tools from Milwaukee Tool, DeWalt, Bosch, Husqvarna, Hilti and Makita.

Milwaukee Tool

Following up on last year’s launch of a 20-inch plate compactor, Milwaukee Tool unveiled its new MX Fuel 70kg Rammer, which is scheduled to hit the market in July.

Brandon Fredricks, product marketing manager, says the new rammer is a step toward replacing gas-powered models.

“We're going to deliver the exact same compaction that you'd expect from a gas 70 kg rammer,” he says.

In fact, he adds, the battery version will surpass the gas model. “If you do three passes with your competitive rammer to achieve your desired compaction, you only have to do three with ours. We're just going to get that job done a lot quicker and hit harder.”

The rammer runs on Milwaukee Tool’s largest battery, its MX Fuel RedLithium Forge HD12.0. Two batteries come with the rammer, along with the company’s new supercharger, which can achieve a full charge in 65 minutes. Each battery delivers 25 minutes of continuous runtime and will cover a quarter mile of compaction because of the rammer’s faster travel speed.

Fredricks says most tasks will involve 5 to 10 minutes of operation at a time. Also, while one battery is in use, another can be charged.

“Because we have no gas engine, there's no choking, no pulling, no priming,” he says.

All of the controls are positioned so you don’t have to take your hands off the handlebar, for safety. If the operator does lose control, the rammer automatically shuts down when the product tips at a “serious angle,” he says.

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Safety also comes into play as gas fumes are no longer getting into trenches or confined spaces. “I have had numerous users, when I showed up on jobsites to demo this, look at it and say, ‘It's going to be really great to go home at the end of the day without a headache.’”

Other battery-powered debuts from Milwaukee Tool:

  • MX Fuel High Cycle Concrete Vibrator – delivers 11,500 vibrations per minute in stiff concrete; 90 cubic yards per charge with a 1.75-inch head and 7-foot whip. Available: Q2 2024 
  • M18 Fuel Overhead Rotary Hammer with Integrated Dust Extraction – for small ceiling anchors up to 5/8th inch. Available: May 2024 


DeWalt, owned by Stanley Black & Decker, rolled out its next-level battery platform, called PowerShift, which the company says will enable contractors to transition from gas to battery equipment. It is expected to be available in September 2024.

The new 554-watt-hour-capacity battery weighs 11.5 pounds. The accompanying high-speed charger can fully charge the battery in less than an hour. It enables the ability to run plate compactors and rammers and other concrete tools.

One of the tools demonstrated at World of Concrete with the new battery was the PowerShift Core Drill and Stand.

It can cut 63 holes in reinforced concrete on one charge. It can be used on a stand or handheld. When held by hand, it uses DeWalt’s lighter FlexVolt battery.

Taylor Gischel, product development manager, explains that even though the drill on the stand uses the new PowerShift battery, it has an adaptor for using other batteries. “We’re not going to lock you out of your current system,” she says. The same goes for all of the PowerShift products.

There are three work modes for matching the speed to the bit size. The drill is also wireless compatible, which means it can run in tandem with DeWalt’s new wireless water tank coming out in April. When you pull the drill trigger, the water flows. It also automatically cuts off after the drill stops.

The controls on the drill are the same on both sides of the carrier, so if you’re up against a wall, you can still use it. The stand is also equipped so you can use a vacuum attached to the bottom.

Other tool debuts for the new PowerShift batteries:

  • Plate Compactor – 3,370 foot-pounds of force, 15.7-inch plate; controls mounted on an ergonomically designed folding handle.
  • Rammer – 2,660 foot-pounds of impact force with anti-vibration insulators and mounted controls on the two-position handle.
  • Backpack Vibrator – weighs 25 pounds; features a durable roll cage with fully adjustable hi-vis harness.
  • Powerpack Vibrator – Can be activated remotely through DeWalt Wireless Tool Control; carried with an over-body hi-vis harness. 
  • Power Screed – Fully adjustable handles for customizable height and width; ambidextrous controls can be mounted on either handle.


Building off its 18V battery system, Bosch plans to launch 30 new cordless tools in 2024.

On display in the booth was the company’s ProFactor 18V SDS-max 1-5/8-inch Rotary Hammer (GBH18V-40C). Along with hammering, it also drills and chisels. The mode is chosen by selector dial.

The hammer will automatically shut off to avoid kickback should it hit rebar or other obstructions. Performance is equal to or better than the corded version, says Mitch Burdick, product manager.

The tool’s auto mode is full speed, but operators can choose a soft start for more control when working in softer materials. “It's a slower ramp-up with the rpms, and then it caps it at about 70%,” he explains. “So that helps control any blowout.”

Bosch also put the battery in the back of its hammers for better balance.

Other tool debuts for Bosch this year:

  • 18V Drill/Driver with 5-In-1 Flexiclick System – a five-tools-in-one design. The brushless motor delivers 565 inch-pounds of max torque.
  • 18V 1⁄2” Brushless Connected-Ready Hammer Drill/Driver (GSB-800C) – The brushless motor delivers 565 inch-pounds of max torque and has kickback control and has Rapid Mode Selector for switching between hammering, drilling and driving without adjusting the clutch.


Husqvarna debuted its new DM55401 Core Drill, which runs on the company’s Pace battery system and is designed for heavy concrete work.

The battery delivers 94 volts. With that, the drill can cut through rebar. It also has specially designed bits to match the drill motor speed settings.

It can be paired with the cordless DE 120 H Pace dust extractor.

Also new from Husqvarna, using the company’s BLi-X 36-volt batteries:

  • LF 60i LAT plate compactor – designed to replace its gas-powered counterpart with the added benefit of “starting in all conditions.”
  • K 540i power cutter – 10-inch cutter with an adjustable blade guard; cuts down to 4 inches; electronic brake to prevent kickback.


worker using Hilti battery power NCV 10-22 concrete vibrator backpack over rebarHilti's battery-powered NCV 10-22 concrete vibrator backpackHiltiHilti continued to expand on its 22V Nuron battery platform for replacing corded and gas-powered tools.

The company says its 22-volt platform can deliver more power than comparable corded or gas tools and twice the power of equivalent 18- and 20-volt products. It also has a built-in diagnostic alert on battery health.  

Tools in the lineup have such safety features as kickback control, dust removal systems, vibration reduction and tethering options to prevent the tool from falling to the ground.

New Nuron products scheduled to debut in 2024 include:

  • TE 50-22 Cordless SDS-Max rotary hammer – has Active Vibration Reduction and Active Torque Control; designed for longer runtimes and broader versatility.
  • NCV 10-22 concrete vibrator backpack – brushless motor for compaction of walls, slabs and foundations.


worker operating 80V max XGT 70 lb. Breaker Hammer (GMH04)Makita's new battery-powered GMH04 breaker hammerMakitaMakita debuted a variety of battery-powered products at the show, expanding on its XGT battery system.

They included the following, which are scheduled for release this year:

  • 80V max XGT 70 lb. Breaker Hammer (GMH04) – “The GMH04 is the most powerful cordless breaker in its class and frees users from the hassles of a cord for concrete breaking applications,” Makita says.
  • 40V max XGT 9” Power Cutter (GEC03) – cutting capacity of 3-1/2 inches on concrete, masonry and other materials with zero emissions. 
  • 40V max XGT Rebar Cutter (GCS01) – spark-free rebar cutting; cutting capacity of 1/8th to 5/8ths of an inch.