What do you think of when you hear the name DEWALT? For most people, it’s power tools, or hand tools, or outdoor equipment. Unless you have done some research, you wouldn’t immediately think of a DEWALT portable power station.
When you look at it, it makes a lot of sense that the DEWALT company – maker of a popular line of cordless and corded power tools – should also make portable power stations. It ensures that its tools and equipment work whenever and wherever users happen to be, on or off-grid.
Just as DEWALT discovered their customers needed cordless versions of their power tools, it didn’t take a lot of foresight to note the same customers needed a portable power solution for recharging the batteries. Branching into portable power stations was a natural fit for the brand.
DEWALT could also surmise that users of its power tools needed power stations specially adapted for their specific needs. So instead of a general-purpose power station, you have DEWALT power stations with special features for jumpstarting cars and for powering corded tools, and charging cordless tool batteries.
This article looks at power stations from the eyes of a power tool manufacturer. It looks at what a portable power station should look and function like for a typical DEWALT customer. We will then review two of DEWALT’s most popular power stations.
Let’s dive right in!
The 2 Top-Rated DeWalt Portable Power Stations
DEWALT portable power stations are essentially an ancillary line of products intended to ensure owners of the brand’s mainline products get as much use as possible out of them.
To help you better understand DEWALT power stations, we decided to review the two most popular ones separately. We will break down the power stations’ features and discuss their best uses, which should help you decide if they are worth investing in.
You are one of a lucky few if you have never had to deal with a car that won’t start, especially in winter when the cold temperatures mess up the chemistry in car batteries. And with the DEWALT DXAEJ14 digital portable jump starter, you may never have to.
The DEWALT 1400 peak amp jump starter powers your car’s electronic systems and enables it to start when the battery fails. It has enough power to start a car, truck, or even a bus. Not just that, it combines that function with an air compressor for a tool every motorist must have.
That the DEWALT 1400 amp jump starter has an onboard air compressor is a home run. It makes it the ultimate utility tool for motor vehicle owners and can be a lifesaver in emergency situations.
A feature not talked about as often is the tool’s ability to check the health of the alternator. With a simple press of a button, the tool can tell you whether or not your alternator is behind your battery troubles. This stops you from speculating and narrows the list of possible issues behind your car’s power issues.
The really cool fact you will learn with the DEWALT jump starter is once you have used it to start your car and the alternator is working fine, you can hook it up to the same car and recharge it as you drive. Because it will charge from the same car it helped start, in a way you could say the power station is self-charging.
Not enough pressure in your tires? No problem
Another feature we like is the two lights at the back of the unit. Not the brightest by any measure, the lights will give you enough light to change or inflate a flat tire should such an emergency happen at night.
Speaking of tire pressure, we should mention again that this power station comes with a 120-psi air compressor. It even checks the pressure level in your tires and shows the reading on the LED display. We can’t stress enough the importance of having the right pressure level in all your tires.
So what else do we like about this DEWALT 1400 jump starter?
Most important is that the thing works, with most tests revealing that it starts most vehicles in seconds. For the binds it gets people out of, it is an absolute must-have. Stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery, it is a major relief seeing that dashboard light up and the car revving up.
The build quality is fair, with impact-resistant housing that will protect against common job site knocks. But the powder-coated battery clamps are a particularly thoughtful feature that will help with durability seeing they will see the most important action.
The handle is well-positioned and forms part of the tool’s impact-resistant rubber cover. As does the heavy-duty jump starter cord that wraps around a carefully designed recess on the tool’s body, the air compressor’s hose nicely tucks away in a cavity at the back of the unit.
Last but not least, this power station has two USB outlets for charging your phones and other devices while you drive.
With one product, DEWALT may have settled the ‘cordless vs corded power tool’ debate. Needlessly polarizing, the debate argues the cons and benefits between the two power tool versions.
In truth, both have their pros and cons. And any building contractor, pro woodworker, and any DIYer who sometimes has to work off-grid will typically have corded as well cordless power tools in their toolbox. With this DEWALT product that doubles as a power station and battery charger, there may now be no disadvantage with choosing either.
The best of both worlds
With the DEWALT DCB1800 portable power station & battery charger, you can have both cordless and corded power tools on your job site, whether you are working off-grid or you have an AC outlet within reach.
Primarily a simultaneous four-port battery charger for DEWALT’s cordless platform, when fitted with fully charged DEWALT 20V or FlexVolt 60V batteries, the DEWALT DCB1800B transforms into a portable power station with a continuous power capacity of 1800W and an astonishing peak wattage of 3600W.
Never stop working
The twin power supply and power tool battery charging capabilities make the DEWALT DC1800B hands-down the most fit-for-purpose portable power accessory/tool we have reviewed.
When working on-grid, the power station allows you to go completely cordless. Your crew can potentially work non-stop. All you need is at least one spare battery per tool or four dedicated batteries for the power station. While they work, the spare batteries can be on charge ready to swap positions with the batteries currently in use. By the way, you can charge up to four 20V batteries in parallel.
When working off-grid, all you need to be able to use your corded power tools are four fully charged 20V batteries. The battery charger is also compatible with the newer, more powerful 60V batteries. With that, you essentially have a 15 amp power supply to plug in any power tool you can think of.
Isn’t this just another overpriced battery charger?
Hardly. Even as a battery charger, this tool-cum-accessory has one big advantage. It can charge four power tool batteries at once. That means you may only need this one charger for all your cordless tool batteries.
Each charging station has a dedicated LED light that switches from red to green when the battery is fully charged. The unit also has indicator lights for the inverter, low battery, faults, and the ON switch.
As you may know, most multi-port battery chargers charge one battery at a time. This charger charges all four at the same time. Besides the hours of battery charging time saved, there are a lot more conveniences depending on your workflow and workshop setup.
Importantly, this isn’t just a battery charger. It is also a power station, albeit one without any inbuilt batteries. It does have an inbuilt, modified sine wave inverter that converts the DC charge from the batteries to AC power that you can use to power your cordless tools. So, not at all a one-trick pony.
What else do we like about this DEWALT FlexVolt power station?
First off, we like the build quality. The power station is portable but has a weight to it that suggests it is built from strong materials. It has to be if it’s going to survive the often tough conditions of most job sites.
That the power station potentially has to be hauled from one job site to another wasn’t lost on the product’s designers. They made it easy to lug the power station around with sturdy handles that allow you to hold and carry the tool with two hands. There is another handle for one-handed carrying on the back of the unit.
All the handles are, in fact, part of a plastic roll cage that protects the power station from impact damage. For ease of storage, the power station is designed to clamp on top of the DEWALT heavy-duty storage box.
If you have used power tools, you will know they tend to draw a lot of power when you rev them up. To compensate for those power surges, the power station has a peak power capacity of a beastly 3600W as long as it uses high amp batteries to power it. That’s as high as any power tool will demand at any given time.
We also dig that the power station’s power output is variable. Why is that a good thing? Well, even though it reduces the total power capacity, you don’t have to have four batteries connected to use the battery charger as a power station.
Should I take this combo deal?
You will probably wonder if buying the batteries and the battery charger separately is cheaper. We did the math and can say that depending on where you buy, you could save as much as $200.
Don’t forget that the batteries are a 3+1 deal, which translates to three 20V batteries plus one 60V FlexVolt battery that total increases runtime.
What could have taken the power station from good to awesome?
This power station has just one outlet port for which you will need to buy an extension cord. On the plus side, the unit’s charger is inbuilt. So you simply need to connect that extension cable and the unit is either self-charging or charging your detachable batteries.
The power station does not come with inbuilt batteries as many may be accustomed to, so there is no AC power unless you connect some batteries, which snugly slide in, by the way. To be honest, we aren’t even sure not having inbuilt batteries is a disadvantage. In fact, you will not have to worry about the health of your batteries as those can be easily replaced, unlike on other power stations.
While it’s not designed for that, you will wish it had a couple of USB ports to charge your electronic devices. The one available port, however, can power your fridge in the event of a power outage. Perhaps with a multi-port adapter, you could potentially connect other appliances seeing that the power station has considerable capacity. What we would caution against is using it with your more sensitive electronics since it uses a modified sine wave inverter.
What is a DEWALT Portable Power Station?
A portable power station is a power storage device that is designed to be easy to carry and stow away. In its simplest form, it will have batteries that you can recharge using a standard AC cable, a car charger, or a solar panel and output ports through which you can charge and power your electronic devices. DEWALT makes power stations specially designed for the users of its main products.
A portable power station has several advantages over other portable power sources like gasoline generators. Most can be charged several different ways, including using a solar panel, which is great for the environment and allows you to go full off-grid. Because they produce zero emissions and barely make a sound, they are also safe to use indoors.
Now, depending on your occupation or portable power needs, there are many power stations you could choose from. Since this article is dedicated to DEWALT power stations, a question we should answer before we get into more detail is – who needs this portable power station?
Who Needs a DEWALT Portable Power Station?
It is no surprise that a power station from DEWALT and one from Jackery will look markedly different. The reason is they are made for two different sets of users.
Even though they both need portable power, an avid camper and an off-grid log cabin builder aren’t likely to choose exactly the same brand and model of a portable power station. Why? Because they need portable power for vastly different purposes.
An avid camper will need off-grid power to run their lights, charge their phones and laptop, and possibly their drone and GoPro. For some campers, the power station will need to be light and compact enough to toss into their backpack and hike with.
For our log cabin builder, their power station of choice will be something a lot more rugged, and more powerful. It will likely have features a Westinghouse or Jackery power station, for example, will not have. You would imagine their ideal power station will have the capacity to power their corded power tools as well as sufficient battery charging ports for their cordless tools.
An off-grid building contractor also typically owns an off-road truck for which they need a portable jump starter for those times the car battery fails. So a portable power station designed to charge a car battery as well as their crew’s phones and small electronics will be quite handy.
A typical DEWALT power station owner will be a pro builder, a woodworker, DIYer, or any off-grid contractor who will have several power tools in their toolbox.
Portable Power Station Buying Guide
How to Choose the Right Portable Power Station For You?
As you will discover there are many models of portable power stations you can choose from. But not all of them will fit your specific needs. Here are some of the factors to consider when shopping for a portable power station:
A portable power station is no good unless it’s fully charged. So it needs to be easy and convenient to charge. The latter requires that the power station have several ways to charge it.
The best power stations can be charged via an AC wall outlet, a gasoline generator, a cigarette lighter type car charger, and using a solar panel. This ensures you never really run out of portable power whether you are on or off-grid.
When shopping for a power station, don’t just consider its power ratings. Yes, that’s important, but if the power station lacks sufficient outlet ports or simply doesn’t have the right ones, you could fail to charge and power all the devices and appliances you need to.
For example, a power station for home backup power needs to have as many and as varied outlet ports as possible. That’s because you will typically need a few AC outlets for your fridge and other larger appliances as well as regular USB, USB-C, and a quick charge USB port for charging your phones and other electronic devices.
It’s different from a DEWALT power station whose typical user is more concerned with charging the batteries for their cordless tools. They would be quite happy with a single AC outlet and multiple battery charging stations.
Especially if the power station is going to be used on a busy job site, as you would imagine DEWALT power stations will be, it needs to have a sturdy build.
The design must suggest quality. The roll cage design of the DEWALT power station is therefore intentional. It reassures you the tool will not disintegrate on impact if you happen to slip and drop it on a hard surface.
To be portable simply means the power station should be compact, lightweight, and easy to carry. So it needs carefully placed handles that do not strain the body and which make it easy to lug it around and to stow away.
Portability is, however, usually proportional to power capacity. A high-capacity power station will typically be heavier than one that isn’t as powerful.
Pure Sine Wave Inverter
The inverter is what converts DC power from the battery to AC, which most appliances and tools are designed to use. On DEWALT power stations, the inverter is inbuilt.
Inverters are, however, not created equal. If you intend to charge or power sensitive devices or equipment, you should choose a power station with a pure sine wave inverter that produces cleaner, more stable power.
Modified sine wave inverters will shorten the lifespan of sensitive devices, but they work just fine with power tools and less sensitive appliances and equipment.
DEWALT power stations are made by the DEWALT company, an American power tools manufacturer founded in 1924 by Raymond De Walt. DEWALT runs 7 manufacturing plants, some of which are in the US and others in countries like China and the Czech Republic. These days the company is owned by the Stanley Black & Decker Corporation.
The DEWALT 1400 amp jump starter has an inbuilt charger to which you only have to connect an extension cord to charge. It takes about three hours to charge. The DEWALT 1800W power station and battery charger also has an inbuilt charger to which you just need to connect an extension AC cable.
How long the DEWALT 1800 power station lasts depends on the number and capacity of the batteries you are using as well as the connected load. The power station takes four DEWALT cordless tool batteries and is compatible with both DEWALT 20V and the larger capacity FlexVolt 60V batteries. All four batteries charge simultaneously and will be fully charged in about 2 hours.
It is not primarily designed for it but a fully charged DEWALT 1800W power station can run a full-size fridge for about 6 hours. You will increase runtime if you use 60W FlexVolt batteries with the power station.
DEWALT batteries can last three years or longer depending on how well you care for them. The batteries are designed with a maintenance mode that makes it safe to leave them on charge. The batteries will not discharge if you remove them from the charger.
There aren’t many portable power stations designed with their target users in mind as DEWALT’s. The power stations are multi-purpose tools that will be handy in a home garage or a busy pro contractor’s workshop.
The DEWALT DCB 1800 is both a power station and battery charger, while the DEWALT DXAEJ14 power station can jump start your car, check your tire pressure, inflate your tires, and check your alternator. Feature-packed and with a badge known for quality, DEWALT power stations are must-have tools for motorists and pro contractors alike.