Reviews

Plug In and Power Up: A Tested Review of the DeWalt Charging Station

Battery-powered tools are wildly popular, and the ability to charge multiple batteries at the same time is quickly becoming a necessity.
The Dewalt charging station with four different battery types next to it before testing.

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

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In a world where cordless tool power is taking over, the DeWalt DCB104 charging station offers a substantial benefit by simultaneously charging multiple batteries—a real game changer. I’m someone who uses battery-powered tools daily, and the frustration of waiting for one battery to charge before moving on to the next is an all-too-familiar headache.

For this reason, I jumped at the chance to test a DeWalt charging station. It’s designed to power up to four DeWalt batteries at once, and I was excited to see how quickly it could get the job done and if it packed any extra perks.

With the demand for cordless tools soaring, the ability to charge up more than one battery at a time has become a must to keep projects running smoothly. In this battery charger review, I’ll detail what impressed me the most about thisportable charging station and share my thoughts on how DeWalt could make it even better.

DeWalt 20V MAX Battery Charger: At a Glance

Rating: 9.5/10

The Dewalt Charging Station with several power tool batteries plugged in for charging.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

SPECS

  • Charging ports: 4
  • Battery compatibility: DeWalt 12V MAX, 20V MAX, FlexVolt 20V/60V MAX, 20V PowerStack
  • Compatibility: DeWalt ToughSystem Storage, DeWalt Tool Connect Tag System

PROS

  • The station charges a wide variety of DeWalt’s most common batteries
  • Impressive charging speed reduces one’s waiting time when working on a project
  • An Electronic Protection System eliminates the risk of leaving charged batteries on the charger
  • Versatile design is compatible with DeWalt ToughSystem storage units and can also be wall-mounted

CONS

  • Lack of a protective cover leaves charging ports and batteries subject to dust exposure

Get the DeWalt charging station at:

What is the DeWalt charging station?

The DeWalt company is a leader in manufacturing high-quality power tools and accessories, and the DeWalt DCB104 charging station is no exception. This four-port charger quickly powers up 12V MAX, 20V MAX, and FlexVolt 20V/60V MAX batteries. I tested it by charging four different DeWalt batteries simultaneously and noted how long each one took to charge completely. The unit boasts a rapid charging capability—DeWalt claims it can charge a 4Ah (amp hour) 20V MAX battery in just 40 minutes and a 6Ah 20V MAX battery in 60 minutes. My independent tests verified that claim.

The charging station is Tool Connect Tag ready, meaning it allows users to securely attach a small, inconspicuous DeWalt Tool Connect Tag (sold separately) to the unit for tracking the charging station’s location on the jobsite via Bluetooth. The charger can be easily wall-mounted with thru-hole wall mounts, and it is designed with side brackets for attaching it to DeWalt’s ToughSystem (not ToughSystem 2.0) storage boxes for added portability. The charging station also has built-in cord wraps for organization.

The Dewalt Charging Station with several power tool batteries plugged in for charging while getting loaded into a truck bed.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Efficient and User-Friendly Charging Station

The DeWalt DCB104 charging station is both user-friendly and highly efficient. The rechargeable batteries slid into the ports easily and stayed put until I pressed a release button. I carried the charging station, attached it to my ToughSystem storage box, pulled it around over bumpy gravel, and even turned it upside down and shook it—the batteries stayed put. That’s a good thing—rechargeable batteries aren’t cheap.

The DCB104 lived up to its speedy reputation. To see how fast it really was, I first ran the batteries down so they were charging from a depleted state. It fully charged a 20V MAX 4Ah battery in 36 minutes and a 20V MAX 6Ah battery in 55 minutes. Perhaps most impressive is that I was able to charge a 12V 2Ah battery on the same ports used to charge the larger batteries, so there’s no need to buy a separate charger for the little guys.

I also charged a couple of DeWalt PowerStack batteries on the DCB104, and it charged a 1.7Ah in 18 minutes and a 5Ah in 47 minutes.

Another user-friendly feature is DeWalt’s Electronic Protection System, which keeps the charger from overcharging the battery if it’s left in place after it’s fully charged. Likewise, leaving the battery on the charger port will not damage or reduce its battery life. This is a significant boon for workers who don’t want to stop working to keep checking to see if a battery is charged. With some older chargers, leaving a battery in place after it was fully charged could cause it to overheat or damage its useful life.

Plus, the DCB104 charging station is ready for a DeWalt Tool Connect Tag, but I didn’t have a tag to test this feature. I’ve tried Tool Connect Tags in the past but found their 100-foot Bluetooth limit insufficient for adequate tracking if someone walked away with the tool.

Here’s the primary thing I wish DeWalt would consider—a cover. It’d be awesome to have a retractable cover for the charging ports and batteries. In my shop or on a jobsite, dust is always floating around, and a cover would keep the charging station cleaner and better protected. Since it attaches to a ToughSystem rolling storage box, it will probably be exposed to the elements at some point.

The Dewalt Charging Station with several power tool batteries plugged in for charging.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

No More Overcharging Worries

Thanks to the DeWalt’s Electronic Protection System, the charging station will keep from overcharging batteries, something that in years past might lead to batteries overheating, leaking hazardous fluid, and even causing fires. That’s a relief for those of us who have experienced overcharged batteries in the early years when rechargeable batteries were relatively new.

That said, standard safety practices should always be followed when using the DeWalt charging station (or any electrical tool), and those include:

  • Charge only DeWalt batteries in this charging station. It is not designed to charge other brands.
  • Do not block the ventilation outlets on the bottom of the charging station. Doing so could cause the unit to overheat.
  • Do not use the charging station outdoors when it’s raining.
  • Use an extension cord only when necessary, and if you need to, use a 12- or 14-gauge cord. It’s preferable to plug the charger’s cord directly into an outlet.
A person removing a charged battery from the DeWalt charging station.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Is the DeWalt charging station right for you?

For avid DIYers or those who work in construction where multiple cordless tools are in use, the DeWalt charger can be an excellent choice. Its fast-charging capabilities and compatibility with a range of DeWalt batteries make it convenient for those who rely on cordless tools throughout the day. The ability for users to quickly recharge batteries ensures minimal downtime.

However, investing in a multiport, high-capacity DeWalt charging station might not be necessary for individuals who only occasionally use battery-powered tools for light tasks around the house. A standard charger may suffice in such cases, as the occasional user may not require the rapid charging features and multi-battery support this more advanced model provides. Consider your usage frequency, the number of tools you use simultaneously, and the nature of your tasks when deciding on a DeWalt charger to ensure that your charger selection aligns with your specific needs.

The Dewalt Charging Station on top of a rolling tool box while being wheeled to a jobsite.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Where to Buy the DeWalt Charging Station

Get the DeWalt charging station at:

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

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