Though we suspect many pros already know about this, we wonder how many high-end DIY folks are aware that most of the major manufacturers offer automotive versions of their charging systems. Indeed, if you take the time to do a little Googling, you’ll discover lots of options regardless of the color of your power tools. Read on to take a closer look at four of them.
We weren’t kidding when we said “most of the major manufacturers.”
We found lots of availability for the most common Makita automotive offering, the DC18SE. It charges Makita’s NiMH and li-ion 7.2V-18V batteries (at least those with the current battery mount type) and checks in at around $100 via any of the major online outlets. Check out the link below for two other chargers from Makita that handle older/less-common battery types.
Pictured above is the DCB119 charger, which accepts and charges DeWalt’s 12V MAX and 20V MAX lines. DeWalt claims 40-minute charges for 12V MAX batteries and 90-minute charges for the 3.0 Ah 20V MAX big batteries. Expect to pay around $100 for it as well. If you’re still using an older DeWalt kit, don’t despair. They offer a whole range of chargers, including the DC9319 (7.2V-18V stick-type), the DS9108 (7.2V-18V post-stick type), and the DW0249 (24V fan-cooled).
We’re pretty sure you can find others, but the Bosch model that turns up the easiest in our searches is the one pictured here: the BC006 one-hour charger, designed to charge the older 7.2V-24V stick-type batteries. Street pricing starts around $75.
Leave it to the creative folks at Milwaukee to offer something a little different in their M12 line in the form of a combination wall and vehicle charger. As you can see above, you get a standard wall-wart-sized two-prong plug at the end of the cord, but you’ll also find a slide-to-deploy 12V accessory plug. Milwaukee claims a 40-minute charge time, which seems reasonable. Street pricing runs about $85.
A Few Search Tips
This post by no means represents an exhaustive list of your 12V on-the-go charging options, but you might need to dig around a bit to find the exact model to match your batteries, especially if said batteries are pretty old. Google is your friend. You’ll want to start with the term “[insert brand name here] [insert voltage here] automotive charger” then expand your search if necessary with variants including “vehicle charger,” “portable charger,” and “12V accessory charger.” If you still can’t find it, take a look at the manufacturer’s site where you’ll generally find a list of all chargers available. After that, your guess is as good as ours.