It’s no longer a rumor – Dewalt’s 20V Max to 18V battery adapter is REAL! You asked for it, and Dewalt delivered. Although there are a lot of users who wished for this adapter to have come sooner, it’s better to come out now than never!
Introducing the Dewalt DCA1820 battery adapter – a bridge between their high performing 20V Max Li-ion power tools, and previous generation 18V tools and accessories.
As they say, “Dewalt’s NiCd and NiMH batteries have been industry standards for over 15 years.” Even though the new 20V Max platform launched 4-1/2 years ago, there are still a LOT of 18V tools out there.
What’s impressive is that the new adapter can be used with Dewalt 18V tools without adding any weight. The adapter is angled presumably to maintain a weight distribution that 18V tool users are used to.
Here are some snippets from the press release:
With a collection of over 40 tools in the DEWALT 18V system – and users who continue to operate them on jobsites all over the country – the adapter makes it possible to continue to use fully-functional DEWALT tools on the Lithium Ion premium battery platform.
That’s along the lines of what we discussed in our previous post about the rumored adapter. Switching over to the new 20V Max Li-ion battery packs, even if a user doesn’t intend to buy new tools, should result in runtime gains – at the least, when using Dewalt 18V tools.
The adapter also opens the door for DEWALT’s 18V tool users to begin to invest in the advanced technology of DEWALT’s 20V MAX* tools – currently over 70 tools with more to come. Investing now in DEWALT’s 20V MAX* batteries will allow users to purchase less expensive bare tools in the 20V MAX* system, compared to their kitted versions.
Yup, this makes sense as well. Dewalt is really kicking their 20V Max lineup into gear – here’s a look at some of their upcoming cordless tools. A lot of these and other new cordless tools are unique to the 20V Max lineup, with nothing like them in 18V users’ trucks, garages, Jobboxes, or tool sheds.
So bridging 18V users to the Dewalt 20V Max platform makes more sense now than before. Perhaps that’s what largely contributed to the timing of this adapter.
One thing to note is that some tools might not be compatible.
The 20V MAX* Battery Adapter allows most of DEWALT’s 18V tools to operate off of the advanced Lithium Ion battery technology.
I think that compatibility issues might only arise due to physical obstructions. I cannot find any existing Dewalt 18V tool where the 20V Max adapter might not fit – can you? Maybe that’s why the adapter is angled, and not because of balance considerations as I assumed. It’s unclear.
Update: It is recommended that the adapter be used only with their compact battery packs, although Dewalt’s product page seems a little unclear about this. They do say that the adapter should not be used with premium (higher capacity) battery packs and DC970 or DC759 drills.
ETA: October 2015
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In addition to the Dewalt DCA1820 20V Max to 18V battery adapter, there will also be the Dewalt DCA2203C starter set, which comes with the battery adapter, a 20V Max and 12V Max multi-voltage charger, and (2) 2.0Ah Li-ion battery packs.
Seeing as how Dewalt’s 18V XRP NiCd battery pack ($89 via Amazon) is rated at just 2.4Ah, it makes sense that the starter set comes with compact 2.0Ah battery packs, as opposed to higher capacity ones. Plus, the smaller battery size might fit better with the adapter when attached to certain tools.
The Dewalt DCA2203C starter set is reasonably priced, considering that it’s $129 via Amazon for just a pair of battery packs.
ETA: October 2015
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I assume that a 20V Max charger is required, and that you cannot charge a 20V Max battery through the adapter and plugged into an 18V charger. Just in case, I’m checking with Dewalt and will update when I have an anwer.
I have always believed that if Dewalt wanted to come out with this type of 20V Max to 18V adapter, they would have released it at the beginning, alongside the launch of the 20V Max platform. But, when writing yesterday’s discussion post about the rumored adapter, it seemed extremely reasonably that an adapter was forthcoming.
Powering a 20V Max tool with an 18V battery pack is pretty much out of the question. Dewalt’s current generation of power tools, and the same is true for other brand’s Li-ion cordless tools, are much more sophisticated than previous generation of cordless tools.
But powering an 18V tool with a 20V Max battery – that should be simpler, right? I’ve seen some DIY adapters, so why not an official Dewalt adapter? Well, it’s here, or at least it will be quite soon.
We’ll never know the exact reasons for the timing, but the important part is that Dewalt listened to their users and finally came out with a 20V Max to 18V battery adapter.
I’m pretty confident that we’ll see a similar 18V XR to 18V adapter outside the USA.
I think this is a sure win for Dewalt users, but also a win for Dewalt. This is a great move to combat Milwaukee efforts to bite away at the cordless power tool market.