Looking for a universal battery charger for power tools?
A universal battery charger for power tools can draw power from all sorts of input voltages. However, as of now, such chargers for power tools are not in commercial production.
However, several high-quality battery chargers on the market are meant to work with tools from the same brand. Leading brands make their own universal chargers that can support batteries from the same brand even if they are of different voltages. Here are the best ones that you need to know about.
Milwaukee M18 and M12 Rapid Charge Station
The Milwaukee Rapid Charge Station has a lot going for it that makes it stand out from the competition. In fact, this model is better than other chargers from the brand, which are very good.
The charging station combines both M18 and M12 battery charging. This is a big advantage for pros who rely on the best-selling Milwaukee brand since they will likely use both of these tools. As far as 12V tools are concerned, Milwaukee has the most extensive range of tools that you will find in this category.
You can mount the charging station quickly and easily on your workshop wall using the wall mount guides. You can install it in mere minutes.
Once in place, the charging station can charge any combination of M18 and M12 Milwaukee power tools.
Thanks to the rapid charging technology, you can save plenty of time with 40% faster charging. The RedLink Intelligence monitoring technology takes care of battery health so that your batteries are good for a long time to come. For example, the system monitors battery temperature and charge level to extend battery lifespan.
With the very useful pass-through plug, the electrical power outlet remains available for other electrical tools beside the charging station. This is a big plus point especially if your workshop has few power outlets.
The battery indicators flash quickly when the battery temperature is too high. This will warn you when there is a problem. The smart wall-mounted charging station will stop charging to save your precious batteries from damage. With continuous red light, you can rest assured that all is well during charging.
Charge times of the Rapid Charger are indeed rapid as advertised. 3 M18 packs will charge in a little over 35 minutes. The good news is that you can charge 3 batteries at once. So you will have 3 M18 batteries ready in just over half an hour.
The Rapid Charger really does live up to its name since other Milwaukee chargers need an hour for the same job.
This is one of the best Milwaukee accessories that you can use if you are a Milwaukee fan.
- Can charge three packs concurrently
- Divots for easy mounting on walls
- Rapid charger for 40% faster charging
- LED indicator for battery usage
- Pass-through plug included
Makita DC18RD 18V Lithium-Ion Dual Port Rapid Optimum Charger, 2-Port
The Makita Rapid Optimum Charger is aptly named since it indeed boasts the shortest charge times. The charger is designed for beginning charging rapidly. This model is certainly the fastest commercially available dual charger.
It takes a mere 25 minutes to charge two 18V Lithium 2.0 Ah packs fully. So that is under half an hour. As for 5 Ah power packs, the charging time is only 45 hours. So in well under an hour, you can have two 5 Ah batteries ready and running thanks to the Makita Dual Port Rapid Optimum Charger.
The Makita leverages air cooling for safe, quick, and efficient charging. The unit is designed to bring battery temperatures down to safe levels as quickly as possible so that charging can proceed.
One drawback, though is that keyhole and wall mounts are not available. It would have been nice to be able to install it on a wall. Another bizarre caveat is the green light that keeps blinking even when there is no battery inside.
- Very fast charging
- Can charge two packs concurrently
- Can also charge smartphones
- No wall mounts
Dewalt DCB132 XR Dual Port Charger
Dewalt has several good battery chargers to its credit. The DeWalt DCB132 XR Dual Port Charger can charge DeWalt batteries of different voltages. Thus, it is highly versatile and works as a universal battery charger for the DeWalt lineup. With the ability to charge 2 batteries concurrently, the battery charger can help you to charge more packs in less time. This is just what you need to keep downtime to a minimum.
The major downside is that a USB port is not available. One strange point is that though it is capable of charging 12V batteries, this is not advertised.
Although you will not change brands based on battery chargers, it pays to know what major brands offer in terms of charging technology. Top brands like DeWalt, Milwaukee, and Makita provide exceptional charging solutions so that you can save time and charge more tools quickly. This will help you to get the most out of your power tools. With downtime to a minimum, you can stay on top of your game.
- Quick charging time
- Handles all sorts of battery voltages
- Can charge 2 batteries simultaneously
- No USB port
Air cooling is an important feature to have in your battery charging station.
For safe charging, lithium batteries must maintain optimal temperature. Excessive heat while charging can lead to damage.
Interestingly, when you are done using the power tool and the battery is depleted, the battery won’t charge when you insert it into the charging station. This happens even when the charging indicator light is shining.
Why? Because the temperature must come down to the right level for charging to proceed safely. Some hi-tech stations deploy heat dissipation mechanisms to start charging as quickly as possible.