In response to my post about a new Bosch 18V USB charging adapter, a couple of readers mentioned that they would just buy a power bank for the same money.
I can understand that. I recently replaced a non-functional power bank with an Anker PowerCore+ unit, which has a 10,050 mAh battery, quick-charge feature, built-in fuel gauge, aluminum construction, and up to 3A output at 5V.
The Anker PowerCore+ USB-charging power bank cost around the same as some power tool brands’ charge adapters, and also comes with its own battery. With a power tool brand’s adapter, a battery isn’t included.
Why go with a power bank? They’re compact and while not always lightweight, they’re not very heavy. Less featured and less capable models can be very inexpensive. Better power banks cost more.
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Why go for a power tool brand’s USB adapter? To start, they can be more economical over time. You use power tool battery packs for other things, right? If a battery wears out, you’re likely to replace it anyways. There’s not a lot you can do to rejuvenate a worn power bank battery cell.
There’s also charge capacity. The Anker model I mentioned has a peak output of 18W – I guess 5V at 3A plus a little bit – and 10,050 mAh charge capacity.
10,050 mAh at 5V is 50.25 Watt-hours.
With power tool brands, capacity is dependent on the battery you choose.
A 5.0Ah battery pack at 18V is 90 Watt-hours. I won’t dare guess at the numbers, since either product might be subject to energy losses during charging, but it’s suffice to say that a power tool battery pack can charge a lot more devices than a USB power bank.
There are pros and cons to both. On one hand, a power tool brand’s USB charging adapter might be more jobsite-friendly. On the other hand, a brand such as Anker has a lot more experience designing products for charging personal electronic devices.
A power bank is more than enough to recharge most if not all smartphones. A cordless power tool battery pack with USB adapter can handle larger devices, such as tablets, with greater ease, but in many cases it won’t be very speedy.
Power banks are smaller. Power tool brand solutions pack greater capacity.
You can choose smaller or larger power banks. You can pair power tool adapters with higher or lower capacity battery packs.
There are compelling reasons for both.
Which do you use? Do you have any purchasing decision regrets?
Buy Now(Anker PowerCore+ 10050 Power Bank via Amazon)