The Dewalt 1800 Watt Portable Power Station, briefly mentioned in our Dewalt FlexVolt introduction, and then again mentioned in our 5 Hot Tools from the Dewalt 2016 Media Event post, is quite possibly the BEST cordless tool I have ever used.
If not the best, it’s most certainly my favorite.
Why? Because the Dewalt DCB1800 Portable Power Station can power nearly any corded power tool I have ever used, meaning any of them could be used in an almost-cordless manner. I say almost because you still need to connect the tool to the Portable Power Station.
My favorite corded jig saw? Festool sander? Dust extractor vac? Hammer drill? 10″ table saw? Drill press? Woodworking router? Worm drive circular saw? Yep, this handy tool (accessory?) lets me power any corded tool (up to 15A) without having to find an AC outlet.
It’s kind of like a gasoline generator, but without the gasoline engine. Bosch makes a massive (and pricey) mobile battery bank, and there are smaller consumer models as well, such as this one from Anker.
You do have to charge up 4 Dewalt 20V Max or FlexVolt battery packs, but the Portable Power Station can do that for you, so you don’t even need additional chargers.
The charging time is 2.0 amps per hour, which means a 20V Max 4.0Ah battery pack will charge in 2 hours, a 5.0Ah in 2.5, and a 6.0Ah FlexVolt battery pack in 3 hours. While not as fast as a regular charger or fast charger, keep in mind that this thing has 4 parallel charging circuits built in.
I remember asking and being told that higher capacity battery packs are recommended, so that means 3Ah and up. The kit option comes with 3x 4.0Ah battery packs and a single 6.0Ah FlexVolt battery pack.
The Dewalt Portable Power Station delivers a modified sine wave output, and the manual warns that this might not be compatible with certain tools or devices. I have yet to find something that cannot be powered with the Power Station, and will continue to search.
The operating temperature range is said to be 32-104 °F.
It’s operation is pretty simple. It charges via a standard extension cord, which you supply yourself, and has a single 3-prong output that’s activated via on/off power button.
Each battery bag has an LED light that lets you know when each attached battery is finished charging.
Dewalt designed the Portable Power Station to charge up to 4 batteries in parallel, meaning it’ll recharge your packs simultaneously. This makes it an excellent jobsite companion to support your 20V Max and FlexVolt cordless tools.
It’s a bit weighty – which is usually good whenever talking about electronics – but is easily managed thanks to its multiple handle options. It can be latched on top of Dewalt ToughSystem tool boxes, for easy transport or off-the-ground access when in use.
Maybe a carrying strap would have been nice, but that’s something I can buy or build myself. I’d say a cord wrap would be nice too, but I haven’t really been wanting one. If need be, there are multiple ways I could wrap a cord around the unit.
It can deliver up to 1800 watts continuously, meaning a full 15 amps. Corded power tools can create current spikes at startup, but the Dewalt Portable Power Station can shrug them off without issue. It can handle peaks of up to 3600 watts.
Part of the beauty is that you can use the Dewat Portable Power Station to power any brand’s corded power tools.
Heck, you could even use it to power a pancake air compressor, or other portable air compressor, although very high powered tools will drain the battery packs faster than something like an oscillating multi-tool or jig saw.
Another thing I like about the Power Station is how it opens up Dewalt’s cordless power tool lineup to users who bought into other brands’ cordless platforms. If you plan on using it to power corded power tools regularly, you’d need dedicated batteries for it anyways, and so the Power Station and 4 battery packs won’t cost you anything extra. You then have the opportunity to buy a Dewalt cordless tool or two, at just the bare tool expense.
The kit option is also well thought out, bundling the Portable Power Station with 3x 4.0Ah battery packs and a single FlexVolt battery pack. While one could complain that it should have been bundled with 5.0Ah battery packs, or all FlexVolt battery packs, the bundled battery configuration is smart.
You get 3 high capacity but not highest capacity battery packs, keeping the cost controllably low, and a FlexVolt battery pack that opens the door to using any of the new Dewalt FlexVolt power tools, or longer runtime with Dewalt 20V Max power tools.
It’ll take some more time for me to explore the full capabilities and limits of the Dewalt 1800 Watt Portable Power Station, but I don’t really expect for my impression to change.
I am extremely pleased with the capabilities and functionality of the Dewalt Portable Power Station. I do have one request, and it’s something that Dewalt couldn’t possibly help with: I very much want to see something like this in Milwaukee Red.
While it won’t make corded tools “cordless” in a literal sense, it’s the best way to “cut the cord” for corded tools.
Price: $399 for the Portable Power station (DCB1800B), $599 for the kit (DCB1800M3T1)
Update: At the start of 2018, Amazon has much lower pricing on the bare too.
Hmm. I now also kind of wish there was a built-in USB charging port, but that might be asking too much. Where would the wishlist end? With a jobsite radio? LED worklight?
Thank you to Dewalt for providing the review sample unconditionally!