Makita launched a new 18V dual-port cordless power tool battery charger back in 2014, model DC18RD, and aside from simultaneously charging 2 batteries, it also had a USB charging port.
The USB port was capable of charging electronic devices at a rate of up to 1.5A.
This wasn’t innovative at the time – Dewalt launched a dual-port charger with USB port months earlier – but it was still an interesting value-add to a premium-priced accessory.
I recently realized that Makita removed the USB charging port from their DC18RD 18V dual-port charger.
The model number is the same, but the USB charging port appears to have been removed. The USB port is no longer visible in Makita’s marketing imagery or product description.
I noticed this recently, around the same time Makita started introducing new cost-cutting 18V cordless power tool kits, where tools historically bundled with 5Ah batteries are now being bundled with lower capacity (and less expensive) 4Ah batteries.
Makita has been aggressively pricing and promoting 18V X2 cordless power tools for several years now. Frankly, I would not be surprised to see them downgrade the dual-port charger included in these kits.
However, there’s only one DC18RD SKU; Makita’s dual-port charger no longer has a USB charging port whether purchased by itself or as part of an 18V X2 tool kit or bundle.
When was this change made? We don’t know, and Makita USA is unlikely to shed any light on this, given their habitual inability to answer press inquiries.
Was this a recent cost-cutting measure, or did Makita drop their dual port charger’s USB charging port a long time ago, but nobody noticed?
Makita USA’s online user manual, parts diagram, and tool flyer all still reference the now-missing USB charging port feature. Does this mean that this was a recent change, or did Makita USA simply neglect to update these downloadable resources when they made the features change?
Online imagery seems to have been updated, but some online retail listings still reference the USB port in product descriptions or specs.
Here’s a tough question – does anyone care that Makita seemingly quietly removed the USB port from their 18V dual-port charger?
This seems like a good-to-have feature on any power tool battery charger. Have Makita users not noticed this change, or do they simply not care? Or, are users unaware that the dual-port charger originally featured a USB charging port?