Ryobi and DeWalt are taking advantage of the obvious under-utilized resource: dense lithium-ion power tool batteries. Both are coming out with USB-C powered battery options.
As Gizmodo reports today, Ryobi will put a USB-C charging port on a mini 4V 2.0Ah lithium-ion battery itself, letting you use the same charger to top up your power tool as you’d use on a laptop. The $20 batteries are designed to power a new $60 Dremel-like rotary tool delivering 5,000 to 25,000 RPM and a $70 power carver with chisel-shaped tool heads that move back and forth with a millimeter of travel 14,000 times per minute,
While that seems great for home and hobbyists (and those who use a Dremel for everything from brushing teeth to cutting tile) DeWalt has taken a more pro tack — its $99 20V Max USB Charger/Adapter (DCB094K), coming this March, will feature a bidirectional 100W USB-C PD port so you can charge its batteries (or your laptop) at the highest speed USB can deliver. You probably can’t fill an entire laptop from one of the DeWalt 1.3Ah or 1.5Ah batteries that come with the company’s impact drivers, but the company’s 5Ah DCB205 battery has a capacity of 100 watt-hours. Add this adapter, and the 1.4-pound pack is theoretically capable of filling the largest laptop batteries on the market.
DeWalt also offers 6Ah, 9Ah, 12Ah; as reported in The Verge and you can even pay $379 for a monster 15Ah/300Wh battery pack that could charge a 16-inch MacBook Pro three times if not for transfer losses.
DeWalt battery product manager Sean Fitzgibbons told The Verge he expects this workflow to be popular on job sites with USB-C powered laptops and tablets, and perhaps with people who drive cars with USB-C ports. “It gives you a solution for an in-vehicle charger, now you’ve got your batteries charged on the way.”
Here’s how DeWalt described the charger when it was initially announced in October.
The DEWALT USB Charging Kit (DCB094K) is a breakthrough in portable charging convenience and was recently awarded a 2021 Pro Tool Innovation Award (PTIA) for “Best Battery Power Supply”. As jobsites often lack AC power, the DEWALT USB Charging Kit utilizes Power Delivery technology to rapidly charge a range of devices in a compact and portable design. Featuring a 100W bi-directional C-port, users can input power to charge DEWALT 20V MAX* and FLEXVOLT® batteries, and output power to charge a range of business critical and personal devices such as phones, tablets and laptops up to 100W. The portable USB Charging Kit also features a USB-A port, allowing users to charge devices up to 12W using traditional USB cords. The device is equipped with a State of Charge Indicator to display the battery charging status and comes kitted with a DCB094 USB Charger, 100W rated USB cord, a 65W AC power supply and belt hook.
Ryobi will also release snap-on USB-C adapters this spring for its 18V batteries. The 18V One+ 150 Watt Power Source even has a three-prong AC outlet, a built-in light and a pair of USB-A ports. But the USB-C charging port is limited to just 30W, less than a third of DeWalt’s, so maybe less practical for pro applications.