Along with our Skil 18-gauge brad nailer, we got a surprise—Skil batteries that charge using a USB-C cable. That might not sound like it’s a big deal, but if you look more closely, there are some interesting implications.
Charging Skil Batteries with a USB-C Cable
Let’s start with the battery. Skil USB-C charging batteries are (currently) part of the PWRCore 20 system. As the name suggests, you can plug in a USB-C cable directly into the battery for charging. For standard 120V outlet charging, Skil’s power block provides up to 45W of charging power (15V x 3A). For the 2.0Ah battery, you can go from 0% to full charge in less than an hour.
It’s not as fast as the PWRJump charger that can do 0% – 25% in 5 minutes, though. That said, I’m not disappointed in the charging rate considering Skil targets the DIY sector. And realistically, we shouldn’t expect a USB-C port to provide the same charging rate as a dedicated charger.
What I’m really excited about is the ability to charge without a slide-on charger. You can still use Skil’s PWRCore 20 chargers—nothing’s changing about that. However, if you can charge via USB-C cable, there’s no need to panic or spend extra money on a replacement charger if the one you have goes down. If you happen to lose the USB-C cable that came with it, chances are you have one around the house you can grab.
Then there’s the possibility of multi-voltage charging. If Skil’s roadmap includes bringing this technology to its PWRCore 12 system and continues to develop its 4V line, you could have one charging cord to cover all three lines. If you’re like me and have limited storage space, one charger beats three chargers every time.
Where the technology hits its limit is when we consider the high-performance PWRCore 40 line. While it’s certainly possible to charge 40V batteries with a USB-C cable, the charge times are pretty long—at least a couple of hours—and then longer as you get into higher capacity packs. My guess is we won’t see the 40V line add USB charging directly to the battery… but never say never, right?
Skil USB-C Batteries as Power Supplies
Let’s not miss that the same port you charge into is also an output. When you need to charge your phone, tablet, or other devices, the battery can provide up to 100W of charging power to it.
It’s not difficult to see the benefits Skil is building in. The potential of a single charger for multiple battery systems plus every battery doubling as a power supply for other devices all without having to slide anything on the battery? I’m totally on board with that kind of thinking.
You can pick up the Skil PWRCore 20 2.0Ah USB-C charging battery on its own for $59.99, or with the power block and cable for $99.99. We also expect that we’ll see it with more cordless kits, such as the 18-gauge nailer that ours came with.