Hands-On Review: Unveiling the DeWalt PowerStack Advantage in High-Performance Batteries

I tested DeWalt’s souped-up 20V batteries—and I was pretty impressed.
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Two DeWalt PowerStack Batteries and chargers pictured side by side

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

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Get ready to supercharge your power tools with DeWalt’s latest offering: PowerStack batteries. As an avid construction and DIY enthusiast, I was excited to test the new PowerStack DCBP034 20V 1.7Ah battery and the PowerStack DCBP520 20V 5Ah battery to compare them against standard DeWalt 20-volt batteries of similar capacity. So buckle up, and I’ll walk you through the world of PowerStack.

DeWalt, a renowned name in the construction industry for 100 years, is synonymous with quality and performance. With the introduction of PowerStack batteries, the company has taken its game to a new level. These batteries are designed specifically to enhance the power capabilities and overall performance of the company’s 20V line of DeWalt power tools. While they’re not perfect, they’re pretty darn close; the only minor flaw I found is easy to overcome.

To fully understand the prowess of the PowerStack batteries, I conducted a series of rigorous tests using impact drivers and drills. I meticulously examined various factors, from speed to torque, to assess how the PowerStack batteries stacked up against their standard counterparts. Find out how these revolutionary batteries can speed your project along and bring out the best in your 20V DeWalt tools.

DeWalt PowerStack Batteries: At a Glance

DeWalt PowerStack Batteries sitting outdoors on a workbench next to long screws
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Rating: 9/10


  • Enhanced performance in drills and drivers, including speed, torque, and overall power
  • DeWalt PowerStack lithium batteries are compatible with DeWalt’s full line of 20V MAX tools
  • Advanced pouch cell technology increases power output, lifespan, and durability
  • DeWalt PowerStack batteries come with an impact-resistant rubber overmold for added protection


  • Runtime with PowerStack batteries may be slightly shorter due to higher power production
  • PowerStack batteries are currently about twice the cost of comparable DeWalt lithium-ion batteries
  • PowerStack batteries are brand-specific—they only fit DeWalt 20V MAX tools, such as DeWalt drills

Get the DeWalt PowerStack batteries at:

What is a DeWalt PowerStack battery?

The DeWalt PowerStack battery is an advanced, innovative power source explicitly designed for DeWalt’s 20V MAX line of tools. It represents a significant advancement in battery-powered tool technology, offering increased power, performance, and efficiency compared to standard DeWalt 20V batteries.

Both the PowerStack 20V 1.7Ah battery and the PowerStack 20V 5Ah battery come in a compact design that allows for better maneuverability and access to tight spaces. They incorporate revolutionary pouch cell technology, which creates lightweight, powerful batteries with enhanced performance.

One of the key advantages of the DeWalt PowerStack is its ability to deliver higher power levels. In hands-on testing, both PowerStack batteries showed significantly improved speed and torque. I was able to complete demanding tasks faster and more effectively. This increased power output translates to improved performance and productivity on the jobsite.

Moreover, a PowerStack battery (any capacity) is compatible with DeWalt’s entire 20V MAX system. This compatibility makes it a versatile choice for professionals and DIY enthusiasts who already own DeWalt tools.

The newest DeWalt battery offers a cutting-edge way to draw more power from your current DeWalt 20V tools so you can tackle tough jobs faster than ever before.

A person using a DeWalt tool powered by a DeWalt PowerStack battery to bore a hole through a piece of wood
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

How does the 20V 1.7Ah PowerStack battery fare against the standard 20V 2Ah DeWalt battery?

I compared the DeWalt PowerStack 1.7Ah battery to a standard DeWalt 2Ah battery (the 2Ah is the closest capacity to the PowerStack 1.7Ah). The PowerStack 1.7Ah battery is 25 percent more compact and 15 percent lighter. This compact size and reduced weight makes it highly convenient. Still, despite its smaller form, the PowerStack battery doesn’t compromise on power and performance—it is engineered to be 50 percent more powerful.

Additionally, the PowerStack battery features an impact-resistant rubber overmold base, adding durability and protection if it’s dropped or bumped. It utilizes revolutionary pouch cell battery technology, which enhances its lifetime (not runtime) by offering twice the lifespan compared to standard batteries. This longevity ensures that users can rely on the PowerStack battery for extended periods without worrying about frequent replacements. If you’re on the fence about buying the new batteries due to PowerStack’s higher price tag, this is a factor to consider.

In my tests, the PowerStack 1.7Ah produced more torque and speed than the standard DeWalt 2Ah battery. While my tests were not scientific, I could tell the difference. When I used two impact drivers simultaneously—maintaining equal pressure on each—the driver with the PowerStack inserted a large fastener in less time.

Is there a power difference between the 5Ah PowerStack battery and DeWalt’s standard 20V 5Ah battery?

Yes, the DeWalt PowerStack 5Ah battery has a significant power advantage over DeWalt’s standard 20V 5Ah battery—it outperformed the standard battery in terms of power and efficiency.

The PowerStack 5Ah battery provides 50 percent more power than DeWalt’s standard 20V 5Ah battery. This increased power output translates into enhanced performance, allowing users to tackle challenging and demanding tasks easily. In testing, while I used both the 5Ah PowerStack and the standard DeWalt 5Ah battery, the PowerStack produced more torque and overall power.

I compared battery performance using impact drivers, a standard DeWalt drill, and a DeWalt hammer drill. I drilled sizable holes in pine and used a ½-inch concrete bit to drill holes in concrete and flagstone. Both batteries were up to the challenge, but the PowerStack completed the tests more quickly than the standard DeWalt 5Ah battery, and I could also feel a significant power increase as I worked.

There is a slight downside I noticed during testing, however. The PowerStack batteries had a bit less runtime—by just a few minutes. This isn’t surprising since they deliver a higher power level, which will naturally drain a battery more quickly. There’s also a quick fix—purchase an additional PowerStack battery and charge the depleted one while you’re working. For my purposes, I prefer giving up a few minutes in runtime for added power and speed.

DeWalt PowerStack Batteries on a concrete block next to a DeWalt concrete drill
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Are standard DeWalt 20V batteries still powerful and suitable for use with DeWalt 20V tools?

While the DeWalt PowerStack batteries are high-performing powerhouses, it’s important to note that DeWalt’s standard batteries remain exceptional options. For DIYers who may not necessarily require the additional speed or power offered by the PowerStack batteries, there may be no compelling reason to invest in the higher-priced option.

However, ardent DIYers and professionals who frequently undertake repetitive tasks, such as quickly drilling multiple holes or driving numerous fasteners, will likely appreciate the PowerStack advantage. The PowerStack batteries can significantly boost productivity and efficiency in demanding work scenarios with enhanced torque and power.

DIYers who prioritize cost-effectiveness and may not require the extra power can still rely on standard rechargeable lithium batteries like DeWalt’s standard batteries to deliver excellent performance for their projects.

Should you buy DeWalt PowerStack batteries?

When considering whether you want to invest in PowerStack batteries, it’s essential to contemplate your usage scenarios. For casual DIYers or those who do not demand the extra speed or power, the added cost of PowerStack batteries may not be justified. DeWalt’s standard 20V batteries still provide reliable performance and can effectively meet the needs of many users.

But if you’re looking for as much power and speed as you can get from your 20V MAX DeWalt tools, PowerStack batteries are the way to go. DeWalt also claims PowerStack batteries will last longer than traditional batteries before needing to be replaced.

By evaluating your specific requirements, budget, and the type of projects you typically undertake, you can decide whether or not spending more on PowerStack batteries will be worth it. If you are a professional needing increased power, torque, and productivity, investing in the PowerStack batteries could be worthwhile. However, for those who don’t necessarily require the extra capabilities, sticking with standard DeWalt 20V batteries can still provide reliable performance at a more affordable price point.

A person using a DeWalt concrete drill powered by a DeWalt PowerStack battery
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Where to Buy DeWalt PowerStack Batteries

Get the DeWalt PowerStack batteries at:

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

Glenda Taylor Avatar

Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries.