Home News DeWalt gave my power tool battery the power of USB-C

DeWalt gave my power tool battery the power of USB-C

DeWalt gave my power tool battery the power of USB-C

Your leaf blower battery ought to be capable to cost a laptop computer. Your drill battery ought to cost your telephone. And whereas we’re at it, why shouldn’t our ever-more highly effective USB-C power adapters be capable to cost these power tool batteries as effectively?

Essentially, there’s not a lot distinction between a battery financial institution you purchase from Anker and a power tool battery from DeWalt — each usually include the similar 18650 lithium-ion cells. However to do all that, your power tool batteries would wish a strong USB-C port.

And that hasn’t actually been a factor… until now.

The $100 DeWalt DCB094 USB Charging Package helps you to add that port to any DeWalt 20V power tool battery in a literal snap. Slide this quarter-pound adapter onto your battery pack, and also you get a bi-directional 100W USB-C PD port. Meaning not solely are you able to cost as much as a MacBook Professional-sized laptop computer with a large enough DeWalt pack, you may cost these DeWalt packs together with your laptop computer or telephone’s USB-C charger as effectively.

The adapter helps every little thing from the low-cost 1.3Ah packs that got here together with your loss-leader combo package to the large 15Ah FlexVolt packs you’d most likely solely stick in stationary instruments. It’s the largest gadget charging battery you’re liable to seek out outdoors of devoted power stations.

As somebody with a storage drawer full of DeWalt batteries, I couldn’t wait to place it to the check. But it surely’s additionally not fairly the expertise I used to be dreaming of.

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I’ve been testing the DeWalt DCB094 on and off for months, and right here’s the excellent news: it completely works.

I turned DeWalt’s monster 15Ah pack right into a USB-C exterior battery that was in a position to cost my spouse’s 14-inch MacBook Professional (69.6Wh) three full occasions and nonetheless had gasoline in the tank. My Steam Deck? I charged up its 40.04Wh pack 5 full occasions — that’s 10 additional hours of Elden Ring proper there. Once I filmed an almost three-hour timelapse Lego construct with my iPhone, I plugged it right into a 6Ah DeWalt pack figuring out there was no manner I’d run out of juice.

You get one 100W USB-C PD port, and one 12W USB-A port. The USB-A port will do passthrough charging whilst you’re charging the DeWalt battery, too.

Each DeWalt 20V battery I attempted, new or outdated, giant or small, labored with the adapter, too. That features my two 1.5Ah packs, one 1.7Ah pack, the two 5Ah packs that got here with my lawnmower, and the two 6Ah packs I purchased a few yr in the past and infrequently use. I clocked all of them charging as much as 100W in each instructions over that USB-C port, sufficient to maintain at this time’s (however not tomorrow’s) largest USB-C PD laptops operating similar to they have been plugged into the wall.

When it got here time to recharge these power tool batteries, the 100W USB-C port generally let me do it sooner than DeWalt’s AC adapters, too. Whereas DeWalt sadly solely ships the DCB094 with a 65W USB-C charger, even that ought to supply a sooner charging fee than the firm’s cheaper AC adapters that include drill or driver kits. And after I added my personal individually bought 100W USB-C charger, I used to be in a position to shave off time over my 4A (80W) DeWalt AC adapter when charging the very largest packs.

Right here’s how briskly I bought these batteries to cost and roughly how a lot I bought out of them:

Cost occasions and capacities

DeWalt battery Battery situation 65W USB-C charger + adapter 100W USB-C charger + adapter 4A DeWalt wall charger (DCB115) Steam Deck cost from DeWalt battery*
DeWalt battery Battery situation 65W USB-C charger + adapter 100W USB-C charger + adapter 4A DeWalt wall charger (DCB115) Steam Deck cost from DeWalt battery*
1.5Ah (30Wh) Reasonably used 26 minutes 27 minutes 22 minutes 21Wh (half cost)
1.7Ah (34Wh) Model new half-hour 26 minutes 26 minutes 22.8Wh (half cost)
4.0Ah (80Wh) Closely used 55 minutes 51 minutes 47 minutes 48Wh (1 cost)
5Ah (100Wh) Reasonably used 1h, 29m 1h, 5m 1h, 14m 66Wh (1.5 expenses)
6Ah (120Wh) Frivolously used 1h, 47m 1h, 24m 1h, 29m 84Wh (2 expenses)
15Ah (300Wh) Model new 4h, 33m 3h, 14m 4h, 6m 206Wh (5 expenses)

*Charging bigger batteries for longer could also be extra environment friendly. With 15Ah DeWalt battery, I noticed nearer to 224Wh charging a 69.6Wh MacBook Professional, and nearer to 240Wh charging a 100Wh USB-C battery financial institution.

The one challenge I had was that if I absolutely drained a battery, and I imply absolutely drained it — ran all of it the manner down in a leaf blower or drill repeatedly till it will spin no extra — generally the DeWalt adapter wouldn’t mild as much as cost after I popped it on. Typically I needed to trick it by plugging it into a special battery or charger first. Oh, and you may’t cost one DeWalt battery with one other DeWalt battery utilizing two adapters. I attempted.

So if it largely all works superbly, why am I giving it this product a 6? Partly as a result of The Verge simply moved to a full 10-point scale for evaluate scores to keep away from rating inflation — a 6 continues to be good! — but in addition partly as a result of the DeWalt adapter’s benefits start to recede whenever you’re not pairing it with a 15Ah battery that prices $389 all by itself.

Each battery I attempted works — even a Chinese language knockoff — however not all batteries are equal. I wouldn’t trouble utilizing a tiny 1.5Ah battery. Nor the knockoff, as a result of the vendor lied about its capability.

With smaller batteries like my 1.5A, 1.7A and even 4Ah packs, they merely didn’t cost needy gadgets lengthy sufficient to justify reaching for them over a standard battery financial institution or charger.

Half of that’s doubtless because of switch losses, which aren’t distinctive to DeWalt. You may’t absolutely cost a 100Wh laptop computer battery with a 100Wh battery pack like DeWalt’s DCB205 as a result of some of that power doesn’t make it throughout. (Some will get expended as warmth, and I can attest that charging my 100Wh HyperJuice with the DeWalt adapter made the HyperJuice get uncomfortably scorching to the contact.) On the whole, I noticed losses of between 20 p.c and 33 p.c with my devices – for instance, the 6Ah (120Wh) DCB206 solely gave me 80Wh value of Steam Deck battery life.

You may even cost your DeWalt batteries tremendous slowly with a 5V USB-A adapter in a pinch. It took 28.5 hours to prime up this 6Ah DeWalt battery.
Picture by Sean Hollister/The Verge

However that 6Ah battery can also be a 2.5-pound brick when you add the DeWalt adapter — twice the weight of my HyperJuice, even when we’re assuming I don’t have to purchase the DeWalt battery as a result of I have already got one for my instruments. DeWalt’s 5Ah battery is just somewhat lighter, however then I’d solely be 66Wh of power for my devices, and so forth.

When you think about the incontrovertible fact that DeWalt’s batteries are fairly dear and heavy for the capability they usually supply, I can’t actually suggest somebody purchase into the DeWalt ecosystem only for this function, except you really want rugged batteries that may cost your gadgets and power instruments on the go.

However if you happen to already have a storage full of sizeable DeWalt batteries that don’t get quite a bit of use? I may completely see myself spending $100 if I didn’t have already got a succesful power financial institution or two. Between the 5A charging speeds and the 100W output for devices, there’s quite a bit to love.

The A port does 5 volts at 2.4 amps, the C port does 5 to 15 volts at 3A or 20V at 5A.

Zoom in for the charging specs.

Now, although, what I actually need is for DeWalt and firm to take the apparent subsequent step: stick the USB-C port on the battery itself, so we don’t have to mess with adapters in any respect. In January, DeWalt product supervisor Sean Fitzgibbons informed me the DCB094 could possibly be a bit of a check balloon: “If we get the curiosity that I anticipate we’re going to get, I feel that may open the door much more to doubtlessly including that on to batteries down the highway.”

I feel DeWalt ought to simply do it. Quite a bit of folks would purchase a USB-C native power tool battery who’d by no means think about a $100 adapter you’ve gotta tackle and off each time.


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