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HomeTechDeWalt USB-C Charging Kit review: your power tool battery can charge gadgets...

DeWalt USB-C Charging Kit review: your power tool battery can charge gadgets now


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

Fundamentally, 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 identical 18650 lithium-ion cells. But 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 Kit 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. That means not solely can you charge as much as a MacBook Pro-sized laptop computer with a large enough DeWalt pack, you can charge these DeWalt packs with your laptop computer or telephone’s USB-C charger as effectively.

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

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

How we price and assessment gadgets

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 charge my spouse’s 14-inch MacBook Pro (69.6Wh) three full instances and nonetheless had gasoline within the tank. My Steam Deck? I charged up its 40.04Wh pack 5 full instances — that’s 10 further hours of Elden Ring proper there. When I filmed an almost three-hour timelapse Lego construct with my iPhone, I plugged it right into a 6Ah DeWalt pack realizing there was no means 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.

Every DeWalt 20V battery I attempted, new or outdated, giant or small, labored with the adapter, too. That contains my two 1.5Ah packs, one 1.7Ah pack, the 2 5Ah packs that got here with my lawnmower, and the 2 6Ah packs I purchased a few 12 months in the past and barely use. I clocked all of them charging as much as 100W in each instructions over that USB-C port, sufficient to maintain immediately’s (however not tomorrow’s) largest USB-C PD laptops operating identical to they had been plugged into the wall.

When it got here time to recharge these power tool batteries, the 100W USB-C port typically let me do it sooner than DeWalt’s AC adapters, too. While DeWalt sadly solely ships the DCB094 with a 65W USB-C charger, even that ought to provide a sooner charging price than the corporate’s cheaper AC adapters that include drill or driver kits. And after I added my very own 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.

Here’s how briskly I obtained these batteries to charge and roughly how a lot I obtained out of them:

Charge instances and capacities

DeWalt batteryBattery situation65W USB-C charger + adapter100W USB-C charger + adapter4A DeWalt wall charger (DCB115)Steam Deck charge from DeWalt battery*
DeWalt batteryBattery situation65W USB-C charger + adapter100W USB-C charger + adapter4A DeWalt wall charger (DCB115)Steam Deck charge from DeWalt battery*
1.5Ah (30Wh)Moderately used26 minutes27 minutes22 minutes21Wh (half charge)
1.7Ah (34Wh)Brand newhalf-hour26 minutes26 minutes22.8Wh (half charge)
4.0Ah (80Wh)Heavily used55 minutes51 minutes47 minutes48Wh (1 charge)
5Ah (100Wh)Moderately used1h, 29m1h, 5m1h, 14m66Wh (1.5 expenses)
6Ah (120Wh)Lightly used1h, 47m1h, 24m1h, 29m84Wh (2 expenses)
15Ah (300Wh)Brand new4h, 33m3h, 14m4h, 6m206Wh (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 Pro, and nearer to 240Wh charging a 100Wh USB-C battery financial institution.

The solely difficulty I had was that if I totally drained a battery, and I imply totally drained it — ran all of it the best way down in a leaf blower or drill repeatedly till it will spin no extra — typically the DeWalt adapter wouldn’t mild as much as charge after I popped it on. Sometimes I needed to trick it by plugging it into a distinct battery or charger first.

So if all of it works so fantastically, 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 assessment scores to keep away from rating inflation — a 6 continues to be good! — but additionally partly as a result of the DeWalt adapter’s benefits start to recede once you’re not pairing it with a 15Ah battery that prices $389 all by itself.

Every battery I attempted works — even a Chinese 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 charge needy gadgets lengthy sufficient to justify reaching for them over a standard battery financial institution or charger.

Part of that’s probably because of switch losses, which aren’t distinctive to DeWalt. You can’t totally charge a 100Wh laptop computer battery with a 100Wh battery pack like DeWalt’s DCB205 as a result of a few 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 sizzling to the contact.) In normal, I noticed losses of between 20 % and 33 % with my gadgets – for instance, the 6Ah (120Wh) DCB206 solely gave me 80Wh price of Steam Deck battery life.

You can even charge 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.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

But that 6Ah battery can be a 2.5-pound brick when you add the DeWalt adapter — twice the burden 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 slightly lighter, however then I would solely be taking a look at 66Wh of power for my gadgets, and so forth.

When you take into account the truth that DeWalt’s batteries are fairly expensive and heavy for the capability they sometimes provide, I can’t actually advocate somebody purchase into the DeWalt ecosystem only for this characteristic, except you actually need rugged batteries that can charge your gadgets and power instruments on the go.

But for those who already have a storage filled with sizeable DeWalt batteries that don’t get lots 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 gadgets, there’s loads 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 really need is for DeWalt and firm to take the plain 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 advised me the DCB094 could possibly be a little bit of a check balloon: “If we get the interest that I expect we’re going to get, I think that would open the door a lot more to potentially adding that directly to batteries down the road.”

I feel DeWalt ought to simply do it. Lots of people would purchase a USB-C native power tool battery who’d by no means take into account a $100 adapter you’ve gotta tackle and off each time.

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