10C Crew Charge and Pro Charge
If you're like us you've got an army of battery chargers lined up at your jobsite or in your garage. You've got a Makita cordless drill, a DeWalt cordless recip saw, a Ryobi cordless circular saw, and you need to keep everything charged and ready to go. It's nice to have the tools but having so many chargers can be a real inconvenience. Someone else, someone smarter and business-minded, apparently had the same problem and so now a company called 10C has released the Crew Charge and Pro Charge.
In simple terms, they are multi-platform chargers, meaning they have the ability to charge all of your batteries no matter what brand they are. But in addition to this capability, the 10C chargers actually work better and faster (a full charge in 15 minutes) than the chargers that come with your tools. On the 10C website they refer to their technology as a 'low heat' charge using an 'internal microprocessor' and 'patented algorithms." We got confused by their science talk and just watched the video on their site, which shows that the 10C charger really beats out a standard charger as far as speed goes.
10C also says that their chargers will double the life if your batteries and might even bring a dead one back to life. According to them, their chargers can resuscitate about 70 percent of the batteries that you've got headed to the dumpster.
But patented algorithms apparently cost a lot of money. A Crew Charge (the 4-port charging station) costs about $350, but in addition to that, you have to purchase, individually, the adapter for each brand of battery that you want to charge. If you've got some DeWalt, Milwaukee, and Ridgid tools, you've got to buy a DeWalt adapter, a Milwaukee adapter, and a Ridgid adapter. These range in price from around $20 for a Makita or DeWalt to $40 for Ridgid and Hilti to up to $60 for the Milwaukee and Makita li-ion. So, if you're getting one of these, it's because you want to charge at least 2 or three types of batteries, so at minimum you'll be spending about $400 to $425.
The Pro Charge, the single station charger, sells for about $130 and the same applies as far as the adapters go which means you'll be in the $170 to $200+ range.
Another drawback to the Crew Charge and Pro Charge is that they apparently can't handle a battery that is over 18-volts or under 12-volts. There's no indication if this is a charger issue or if they just haven't made the right adapter yet, but if you've got some of the 28-volt Milwaukee tools, you're going to want to keep this in mind.
UPDATE: We were wrong about the whole "can't handle anything less than a 12-volt battery" thing. As one of our readers pointed out in the comments, there is an adapter that can charge a 10.8 Bosch Li-Ion.
Crew Charge at Amazon.com and Tool King
Pro Charge at Amazon.com and Tool King
Adapters at Amazon.com and Tool King
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at February 12, 2008 5:20 AM