Best Product – New Dewalt 20V Max Brushless Reciprocating Saw with “Power Detect” (DCS368)

Dewalt Power Detect 20V Max Cordless Reciprocating Saw DCS368W1

A reader spotted a new Dewalt brushless reciprocating saw, and also asked a question about new Dewalt technologies.

Houston wrote:


Wondering if you’ve had a chance to try DeWalt’s new XR Power Detect tools? I ordered the DCS368 recip saw to replace a very beat long-in-the-tooth DCS380 at work, but am wondering if the rest of the lineup is worth the price tag. As of right now I think they only have the hammer drill/driver (DCD798), circ saw (DCS574), and recip (DCS368). Lowes also seems to be the only place I’ve found them.

Indeed, I see the new circular saw, a new hammer drill, and the new recip saw featured in this post.

Dewalt XR Power Detect?

Dewalt has not sent out any press materials about this, but according to Lowe’s, Dewalt’s Power Detect is a new cordless power tool technology that “detects high-capacity batteries to maximize tool output.” In other words, you get higher performance with next-gen high capacity Li-ion batteries.

Dewalt 20V Max DCS368 Power Detect Reciprocating Saw Kit

The Dewalt DCS368W1 kit comes with (1) 8Ah battery, a fast charger, and a tool bag. It’s unclear as to whether there will be a bare tool.

Dewalt has not announced the new tools, but Lowe’s already has them in-stock for shipping. Other retailers don’t even have listings up, and so these tools might be exclusive to Lowe’s for a time, as an early launch partner or similar.

  • 1-1/8″ stroke length
  • 0-3000 SPM variable speed
  • Tool-free lever-action blade clamp
  • LED worklight

Lowe’s description says that with the 8Ah battery, users can expect up to 44% more power output and 60% longer runtime compared to the DCS367P1 kit, which is their compact brushless reciprocating saw kit with a 5Ah battery.

Kit Price: $279

Buy Now via Lowe’s
Compare: FlexVolt Saw Kit via Amazon


Dewalt DCS388T1 FlexVolt 60V Max Recip Saw

To me, the new Dewalt 20V Max reciprocating saw looks a lot like their FlexVolt reciprocating saw. Spec-wise, both saws have a 1-1/8″ cutting stroke length. The FlexVolt saw (DCS388) operates at up to 2950 SPM, and the 20V Max saw 3000 SPM.

With the new 20V Max Power Detect saw, it is strongly suggested that you must use the 8Ah battery to see the power benefit compared to their other 20V Max brushless circular saw, and that using a lower capacity battery would result in lower performance.

There’s nothing to indicate that this saw won’t work with Dewalt’s standard batteries, but you do need high capacity XR batteries to maximize performance.

With the FlexVolt reciprocating saw, you must use a FlexVolt battery, as Dewalt 20V Max batteries won’t work at all.

This new Power Detect tool tech seems like it’ll blur the lines between 20V Max and FlexVolt cordless power tool systems.

This kit, DCS368W1, is only available at Lowe’s right now, which is interesting because they don’t carry any Dewalt FlexVolt tools.

So, Home Depot has Dewalt 20V Max Atomic and FlexVolt tools, while Lowe’s gets Dewalt 12V Max Xtreme Subcompact and now these new 20V Max Power Detect tools?

Price-wise, the FlexVolt 1-battery kit is $299, and the 2-battery kit $349. The 20V Max Power Detect reciprocating saw is $279, and you get an 8Ah battery instead of 6Ah.

The higher-voltage FlexVolt tool *might* run more efficiently, and so we can’t make any good guesses as to runtime benefits. Still, it’s hard to imagine that a 20V-class brushless saw running on an 8Ah battery won’t have greater runtime than a 60V-class saw running on a 6Ah-equivalent battery.

Which option do you find more appealing – 20V Max with Power Detect, or FlexVolt 60V Max?