dewalt 18v to 20v battery adapter

Dewalt Battery Adapter Review

Is Upgrading Your DeWalt Power Tool As Easy As Picking Up a Battery Adapter?

I used to use a strong–quite strong, actually–Black & Decker 24v hammer drill for most of my day-to-day work in the cabinet shop and, truth be told, it was stronger and longer-lasting than anything I needed or ever had before. If you read some of my posts here on WG, then you’ll sometimes see my nostalgia leak through.

That drill was a workhorse for me. It not only slaughtered the performance of my colleagues’ older DeWalts, it even one-upped the new 18V Makita that was brought in. They commented often about the size and weight of the thing, as well as how ridiculously overpowered it was for the tasks we generally needed drills for. However, there were indeed times when my drill was the savior and shocked the other guys, and not only that, but I am also a big guy so I didn’t mind the heavier-than-normal weight of it.

All in all, I was quite proud of this cordless beast and it was one of the coolest purchases I ever made for myself.

Love of our tools’ performance is a beautiful thing, and as I became more and more accustomed to my B&D drill, I was less and less interested in giving it up. Actually, I never thought I’d have to–until the dreaded day came when its Ni-Cd batteries played out.

Long-gone were the days of using my drill at the shop for a week at a time without needing a charge. Suddenly, after a brief time period where I had gone back to school and wasn’t using my drill regularly anymore, the batteries just sort of gave up the ghost and couldn’t be recovered. I did my best to locate some more, both online and locally, but after acquiring a couple of 24V replacements which basically had the same longevity problem, I was left holding my drill and wondering if I would ever be this happy again, because I truly believed that I wouldn’t.

I’m sure you know that often times we aren’t quite ready to let go of our aging tools just yet, but future generations of tools from the same manufacturer don’t always plan easy solutions for us, and as their tech changes, our old favorites can get left in the dust. This actually reminds me of the new game systems which roll out a new platform and don’t allow for the previous systems’ games to be played anymore.

Man….that kind of stuff is a HUGE bummer!

However, some companies–such as DeWalt, the focus of this article–have responded in a way that allows for us to continue using some of those cordless tools we have grown attached to as if they are an extension of ourselves. Essentially, it means that if you can’t directly swap-out for a larger battery and despite the scarcity of the original power pack, there is still some truly great news for you:

A DeWalt battery adapter is available!

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I think that basically any tool junkie, long-time holder and user of DW cordless tools or just plain, old fanboy should be excited over the Dewalt 18v to 20v adapter. For those of us who have some aging tools or just want more power for our 18-volt cordless drills, it is a very useful if not necessary accessory for our DW cordless power tools.

The DCA1820 (model number) has the latest lithium ion battery technology the company has come up with and offers a wide range of compatibility for the DeWalt lineup. Their range of tools which require the 18v to 20v capacity work just splendidly with this affordable battery adapter, and the limitations are relegated strictly to the XRP battery charger models.

The other thing is that if you are one of those who likes a wide range of portable or battery-powered tools, then this could really be a big addition for you. The De Walt tools variety has up to approximately 40 different portable tools which are 18v.

You should be happy to know that this particular DeWalt battery adapter just like James Bond in his natural element, wooing multiple women and all while working hard to get the job done: it can hook up with all of them.

There is some useful information to know about the voltage range, as well.

Since the Dewalt adapter’s range is 18v to 20v, it allows the user to vary the battery voltage needed. Not only does this make the adapter useful with more tools, it also lets users adjust the optimum voltage required by each tool. As a result of this foresight by the company, it’s possible for even low voltage tools to be used with the maximum 20v batteries in order to achieve more powerful tools. This is the feature that can really make your old tools, quite literally, have new life.

Have you ever seen a film where it appears that the hero or his love has died at the end, but then suddenly, new life is breathed into them and they come back, seemingly better or stronger than before? Well, it may not be Superman, but that’s kind of what to expect when you slap a 20v battery on your old 18v tools with this battery adapter: happily ever after, except without the romance aspect (unless you are truly in love with your tool set as I mentioned that I was before).

Another key point here to remember is that if you are thinking about buying this adapter before forking over the dough for a new power tool, then I think it’s important that you know what to expect. Your Old Yeller 18-Volt may seem like it’s due for a replacement but you can rest assured that the performance you’ll get out of this adapter plus a brand-spanking-new DeWalt 20-Volt battery will both surprise and please you at the same time.

What is the Compatibility of the DeWalt DCA1820 Battery Adapter?

The DW Adapter comes with 6 battery options, which include:

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  1. 3 Ah
  2. 1.5 Ah
  3. 2.0 Ah XR
  4. 3.0 Ah
  5. 4.0 Ah XR
  6. 5.0 Ah XR

You should note that the Bluetooth batteries 2.0 Ah and 4.0 Ah can also be used with Dewalt’s 18v tools, so this definitely offers a little extra compatibility for you, as well.

Of course, there is also another reason to smile about this, because the reality is that your tooth won’t be blue at all—and neither will you! Isn’t that great? (but not as great as my jokes, right?).

Pros

  • The battery and charger don’t force you to buy individually or as a set—they can be purchased separately but can also be purchased as a kit. If you already have a usable charger (or battery) then you needn’t fork over the dough for these things. Today, many tools have the “baretool” setup and that more or less forces us to buy each item one-by-one which is expensive, while others only come in a kit and that requires us to spend more on something we don’t need. No problem with that here.
  • Dewalt’s battery adapter is quite variable so it can be and is actually designed to be used with a wide range of battery-operated tools within the popular and highly-rated De Walt arsenal.
  • It allows for full use of battery sizes up to 20V, even when combined and used with DeWalt 18v tools.
  • A excellent 3 year warranty is provided and even includes free service for 1 year after the purchase, which is quite impressive for something as affordable as it is. It is also readily available and value-priced at online shopping portals such as Amazon.
  • It is very light weight due to the design of both the material and the operating angle, which balances the battery quite nicely. The cool thing is that you can literally get 20v power usage with an 18v weight. Just imagine how jealous your friends will be when they see you whirring away faster than they are with their new tools. Your dog may not understand the value of this (unless he’s Old Yeller of course), but rest assured, your friends will.
  • The design allows for a slim and unobtrusive profile (see image above) which means that it doesn’t add much to your tool in the way of bulk, awkwardness, or clumsiness. When you factor this into the light weight I mentioned above, then I think you’ll really appreciate these aspects when you’re busy using your drill and aren’t bothered by fatigue or handling issues.

Cons

  • One of the sad truths is that this battery adapter cannot be used with the 18V XRP battery charger. Yes, sadly, it’s true: not all things are perfect, not even the DeWalt power tool lineup and matching adapter :(.

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  • The DCA1820 battery adapter doesn’t work with chargers of various previous models. This is, to me, a somewhat small but VERY important point for  you to remember. It’s quite possible for you to place an order for one of these little gems and upon its arrival, realizing that it’s not compatible with the current charger that you have in-hand. A simple and fast check in the Death Star Plans — or in the product specs — will tell you quickly if this is truly the droid–err, charger that you seek.
  • A separate charger is actually required to work with this DeWalt 18v to 20v adapter. It seems like a no-brainer, but after I looked into other people who ordered it online, there have actually been some people to order it without looking closely enough at the product details (or maybe just not thinking about it). As a result, I think that it’s important for you that I note that this is an ADAPTER ONLY, and not an actual charger itself. In other words, it connects to the tool and allows you to attach the battery, but does not itself connect to any power outlet nor charge the battery. If you don’t have a working charger, then you’ll essentially either need to buy one or perhaps “permanently” borrow one from your neighbor (we don’t recommend the fiver-finger discount). If you are like my brother was back when we were teenagers, then you could just take it from a close friend or family member and later pretend that it was always yours!
  • I’ve already mentioned this before, but I think it’s important to reiterate that it is definitely NOT compatible with every single portable DeWalt tool ever made. Again, this may seem obvious to most of you—not to mention the fact that we already stated it above, and clearly I might add—but for those who may have missed it or have not retained or remembered this point, please, PLEASE be sure to check compatibility with your tools BEFORE placing an order for this adapter. The little bit of time you spend now could definitely save you time and frustration later, and possibly money, to boot. DOUBLE-CHECK THE COMPATIBILITY!
  • Premium or high capacity batteries are just not friends with this adapter so, as always, read the fine print. Again, it has a specific range of tools and batteries of which it is compatible with and this does not include the higher-capacity batteries, so keep that in mind when ordering. It’s sort of like when a new kid walks up to the rich snobs on the playground and asks “Hey, what’s up?” The immediate result will most likely be dumbfounded silence, followed a whole lot of frustration. A little foreknowledge goes a long way!

Final Word

The short and long of it is that this is a very straight-forward product with a clear function: it enables the use of both 18 and 20-volt batteries in certain older cordless DeWalt power tools. The only main questions left to get solid answers to are “How good is it? Is the cost fair?” and “How compatible is it with the various tools?”

In short, this is what I believe:

  1. It’s definitely darn good and worthy of the quality that DeWalt has built for most all of their line of tools. After looking up what others are saying, I found that customers who’ve purchased these have done so by the droves and left hundreds, if not thousands, of near-perfect ratings. That’s an excellent indicator from right out of the gate.
  2. The price point is excellent. Actually, the cost was a bit higher until more recently, and the price has actually dropped dramatically, much to my surprise. As of the writing of this article—September 1st, 2017—the adapter alone costs merely $35 online, which is not necessarily a permanent price but definitely palatable. That is an amazing value, considering how it has the power to bring our old tools back from an early grave.
  3. The compatibility isn’t “perfect,” but then again, it’s hard to actually see how it could be. The focus of this particular adapter is to work with a certain set or range of cordless tools—which happen to be the most popular ones–and that makes sense. With that in mind, I have no big beef about its compatibility and, given the new pricing structure, find that it is far more than a bargain.

If you are interested in learning more about using the Battery Adapter from DeWalt, feel free to watch it in use below. If you are sold and would like to pick it up, then you can definitely do just that right here.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

Our Overall Rating: 4.75 out of 5 Stars

To see it in action, check out the video below:

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