USB Type-C finally shows up in power tools, fulfills its destiny as the One True Port

USB Type-C finally shows up in power tools, fulfills its destiny as the One True Port

USB Type-C was intended to be the universal connector for almost all data and charging needs, and with evolving USB Power Delivery standards and higher-quality cables, it’s slowly replacing countless types of proprietary chargers. Now everyone’s favorite port is making its way to power tools, as two companies have announced batteries and tools with the connector.

Cordless power tools have been around for years, with many companies using a shared battery size/standard across their products, but most of them require you to charge the battery packs in a special dock. Ryobi has announced a new “USB Lithium” series of tools (via The Verge), all using the same 2.0Ah removable battery with a USB Type-C port for charging. That means you don’t need to have a custom dock to charge up the batteries — if you desperately need to cut some 2×4’s and all you have with you is a MacBook Pro charger, that will (probably) work.

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DeWalt, another popular power tool manufacturer, is also jumping onto the USB Type-C train. DeWalt and Ryobi are both producing adapters that allow their existing larger batteries to be charged with USB Type-C, along with the required wall adapters. DeWalt’s wall adapter has a bi-directional USB Type-C port with support for up to 100W, so in addition to charging power tools batteries, it can also turn those batteries into a power source for USB devices. It also has an extra USB Type-A connector for charging other devices, similar to the Anker PowerPort PD 2.

It’s great to see more types of devices switch to universal standards like USB Type-C. Even though the connector and USB-PD charging standards aren’t perfect, proprietary chargers that only work with a handful of products often end up in landfills more quickly, contributing to rapid climate change on a global scale.

    This can charge DeWalt's 20V and FlexVolt batteries over USB Type-C, and can also use those batteries as a power source for other USB devices.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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