Multiport chargers have been around for years. Some models charge two batteries, some four, and some charge six. But no matter how many batteries they hold, up until now, they all charged sequentially. If a particular battery takes an hour to charge and there are six in the charger, it will take approximately six hours to charge them all. Makita’s new Dual Port charger (DC18RD) holds only two batteries, but it charges both at once.
The Dual Port charger came about because of the X2 system, which allows 36-volt Makita tools to be powered by two 18-volt batteries. When those tools first came out users who wanted to charge both batteries had to carry two charger or wait through two charging cycles (if they only carried one charger). Now they can carry one charger.
The usefulness of this device extends beyond the X2 system. Tradesmen who find themselves with more than one depleted LXT battery can charge two at a time in the same amount of time it would take to charge one. The charger also has a USB port for charging portable electronic devices.
The DC18RD contains the same technology (it monitors current, voltage, and temperature) as Makita’s standard single port charger. And like that charger, it has a fan, which blows air through the battery to cool it. This allows the battery to be charged more rapidly without overheating and reduces the amount of wait time before a hot battery can begin to be charged.
The stated time to charge two LXT Lithium-Ion packs at once are as follows:
2.0 Ah: 25 minutes
3.0 Ah: 30 minutes
4.0 Ah: 40 minutes
5.0 Ah: 45 minutes
Scheduled for release in December 2014, the Dual Port charger will be offered bare and in select combo kits containing X2 tools. Pricing is not yet available but I’ve seen this tool listed online for $140.