DeWalt DC012 Worksite Radio Charger Review
The best way to crank out the work like a machine is to do it while jamming to some tunes while charging all your different DeWalt batteries in the new DeWALT DC012 Worksite Charger Radio. This radio has evolved considerably since it first came on the market 10 years ago. The new, third generation model will charge your NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion 7.2V to 18V battery packs in 1 hour or less and will also use these same batteries to play the radio making it cordless too.
There is much historical evidence that music and song have long been a part of the working man’s way to pass the day. Often times these songs have a certain rhythm to them to actually help keep pace or timing of the task at hand. These days, we might not sing or chant as much, but we do like to listen to music. What is fascinating is all the ways that music can be delivered to us today – with micro sized MP3 Players, Radio, CD’s and even by satellite. Regardless of where your music comes from, the new DeWALT DC012 Worksite Charger Radio will ensure that you can carry your tunes with you to work. (Use all your outside music sources with this radio via an Auxiliary stereo input jack, but more on that later).
DeWalt DC012 Worksite Radio Charger Features
We have long been looking forward to the day when our test charger radio would arrive. While we liked our older model DeWALT DC011 Worksite Radio/Charger, it was starting to show its age and lack of updated technology. With the flood of new Li-Ion battery based tools, we found that we had to lug extra chargers around to keep these batteries on the ready since this older model did not support the newer battery technology.
The new DeWALT DC012 Worksite Charger Radio came with several key improvements that most will find well worth the money. We liked that the overall design of the new Charger Radio held on to the same basic layout and concept as the old model which seemed to work pretty well. The volume and tuner knobs are located on the top and are large enough that even with gloved hands they are easy to turn. The rest of the radio controls are located in the front and center with a large easy to read backlit LCD display. The buttons are also large and rubber covered so that they are easy to see and use. For those that always need a little more bass, you will be happy to find a bass boost button on the front display that give a little bit more of a thump in your sound. The radio features a dual pivoting 11″ flexible antenna and digital tuner which makes it easy to hone in on your favorite local stations. There are a total of fifteen presets for the radio modes and there is an auxiliary mode that allows you to plug in a 1/8″ stereo jack from your outside music source like a MP3 player, CD player or even a satellite radio receiver. This jack is conveniently located right above the main radio controls in the front and comes with a tethered rubber cover so dust and water can’t enter when it is not in use. A cord is not included to plug in to your outside electronic device, but it should be pretty easy to find what you need at your local electronics store. The 4″ speakers are also weather resistant and the back battery compartment has a gasket to help keep moisture and dust out. The black roll cage that surrounds almost the entire body of the radio has been beefed up some from the previous generation too.
One of the other small but very useful improvements is the three pass-through convenience outlets that were added to the side of the charger radio. While these outlets have a combined rating of only 10 amps, we have found these perfect for running work lights, additional battery chargers, plugging in our phones and other light duty applications.
DeWalt DC012 Worksite Radio Charger Testing and Use
We would have to say that this is among one of the easier tools we have had to use and test. First off, it pretty much gets universal approval from any job site because of the music it can play. From a practical standpoint, we have seen many folks switching their 18V DeWalt cordless tools to the new Li-Ion battery system and rather then having to haul separate chargers around to keep their batteries at the ready, they can easily do them all with the built in charger. What we saw while testing the new DeWALT DC012 Worksite Charger Radio is that it makes it easier to streamline what tools (and support gear) you need bring on a job site.
We were able to use all the functions of the charger radio. We found the radio reception to be pretty good in all the ways it can be used, i.e. plugged in the wall, playing from a battery and also plugged in the wall and charging a battery. We bring this up because in the past we have noticed some variations in the reception depending on our use especially when charging batteries. As for the overall audio quality, we would not say this is at all an audiophile piece of equipment, but this is not to say it sounds bad. We would suggest leaving the bass boost button off since this did tend to muddy the overall sound and in some types of music it was simply overkill. If you are simply after some tunes to jam to while you work, this radio works great.
About the only thing we think that could be improved upon might be some sort of built in storage to protect an MP3 Player. We did notice a small hollowed out area on the top of the radio to rest a player in, but many times where we use our radio, it is either outside and exposed to some light weather elements or inside where there is lots of grime and dust. With all the heavy-duty aspects of the radio, this is one area that left us wishing for something more.
DeWALT’s DC012 Worksite Charger Radio is the ideal tool that will compliment the rest of the DeWalt tools you have in your collection. With simple to use features, a very versatile multi voltage and battery charging system, it would be a sensible investment for the DeWALT guy. For folks that don’t have any DeWALT cordless tools you might want to look elsewhere for a slightly less expensive radio. For our Performance rating we gave the charger radio an 8/10 since it does well to serve the needs of DeWALT cordless tool owners. For our Value rating, we gave the tool a 7/10 since, while it not a budget friendly tool, we think it is a good value for the morale that music can give at work.