There are two things that will get this avid consumer to part with his hard earned cash quickly; tech and tools. I started collecting, and accumulating, tools when I was a teenager. Wasn’t much tech to buy in the 70s. In fact, I still own my 1/4” –3/8” Husky Socket Set that I bought when I was 17 at Two Guys (from Harrison) in New Jersey. Believe the 1/4” ratchet died (or I lost it, don’t remember) long ago, but the 3/8” ratchet, and all the sockets still work great. I do take good care of my tools. To keep up with our changing times I set out two years ago to replace all my aging; electric, pneumatic, and 12/14.4V battery powered tools with the DeWalt 20V Max line of tools. Makita is good. Milwaukee is really good. And Porter-Cable is really, really good. But DeWalt does the best job of providing a full portfolio of tools and accessories. And I really do love the yellow-gold and black branding. So that’s that.
As I have pretty much replaced every power tool I previously owned (still have P-C; router, plate joiner, belt sander and tigersaw), I turned to accessories and ran across the DeWalt DCB909 USB Charger. It’s a pretty basic little gadget that accepts DeWalt 20V Max and 12V Max batteries. No buttons or switches. It does include two USB ports that can handle up to 1.5A. Not sure if that’s cumulative or per port. Critics of this device are hoping that DeWalt gets around to releasing a DCB909a that could handle up to 3A, to power more of today’s devices. When you snap on a battery the fuel gauge at the top of the Charger will tell you (for 10 seconds) if you have 1 to 3 bars of charge remaining in the battery. The 20V Max batteries have their own fuel gauge button, but it’s still nice to see what’s left in the tank when you plug in. If you don’t already own some DeWalt tools, or are not planning to invest in any, this device is not for you. For the $29.95 price you can buy a USB Power Bank that will do a nice job charging your phone or tablet. But as I already own 11 – 20V Max batteries (2, 3, & 4A) and 6 – 12V Max (1.3 & 2A) for a total of more than 39A capacity, as they say it was a no brainer to pick this up. Could come on handy after a storm to power my phone, if I didn’t need all the juice to cut down tree limbs with my circular and reciprocating saws.
I tried charging my Lumia 950 and surprising the 12V Max battery does not appear to like the electronics of the 950’s USB-C port. Charging started immediately, but then turned off after a couple seconds. The 20V Max Battery worked fine though, taking my phone from 70% to 100% in under an hour. Not sure what normal is for the 950 with its USB-C fast charging port (I charge wirelessly 99% of the time), but being the last 30% of charge (probably a little trickling there) I didn’t think that was too bad. I know the DeWalt 12V Max battery actually outputs 10.6V and the 20V Max outputs 18.6V. But not entirely sure why 10.6V would not charge a 5V device. Maybe the lower voltage increases the amp load enough to keep the charging circuit off. More testing I guess. I was able to charge my Lumia 640 with both the 12V & 20V Max battery. No long term results yet as I only got this charger a few hours ago. Note that DeWalt does recommend that when not in use, you separate the USB charger from the battery pack as the internal circuitry will continue to drain the battery.
If you’re a DeWalt cordless tool owner , or plan to be, you might want to take a look at the DCB909. As a contractor, you can keep your phone topped off and nearby while you work. And as a homeowner it might just come in handy if the lights go out. You can find the DeWalt DCB909 at Amazon and other online retailers. Oh, and no, you can’t borrow my tools. But I will stop over and help with whatever you need to get done. Provided of course, you have the appropriate liquid refreshments available.