DeWalt Jump Starter Provides Portable Roadside Assistance
We’ve spent some time expressing our abiding love for portable jump starters on this site. Even this morning, Austin, our video editor, used one to get to work. Today, we’re looking at the DeWalt Portable Jump Starter and Power Station. This unit sets itself apart with multiple functions, including some diagnostic feedback.
DeWalt Jump Starter and Power Station Notable Features
We love portable jump starters. Unlike the more traditional method of jump-starting your “dead” battery, which generally takes another car and a few minutes, a jump starter eliminates the need for the other car. Portable models eliminate the need for an external power source.
This DeWalt DXAEPS14 jump starter provides 1600 peak amps and 750 instant amps of jump-starting power from its SLA battery. That’s enough amps to get most engines up to V8’s started and is pretty high compared to other portable units.
When it’s go time, the jumper cables pull out from the side storage bay relatively easily. From there, you simply match the colors on your cables to the colors on your battery terminal, turn on the unit, and hit the ignition in your car or truck. Once you’re back up and running, the cables wrap back up around the unit to keep everything neat and organized.
What’s really interesting about this unit is an alternator check. Like jumping your battery, the alternator check is simple. Hit the Alternator Check button on the DXAEPS14, and hook up to your fully charged battery with your engine running. The system will begin to assess your alternator voltage range. If everything is as it should be, the LCD screen will display an “Alt Good” indication. If there’s something amiss, the system warns you.
Before running the alternator check, turn off all the accessories and anything that could draw power from the alternator. After the initial check is complete, turn all of the accessories back on (except the A/C or defrost), and run the check again.
Pairing an inflator with a jump starter is a brilliant move, taking care of two of the most common issues you run into with one tool. Similar to the LokiThor JA301 we reviewed previously, the DeWalt DXAEPS14 includes it as well.
DeWalt uses what they call a SureFit nozzle at the free end of the compressor hose. This screws onto your valve stem instead of the clamp system that most inflators come with. In time, the rubber gaskets in a clamp have a tendency to wear out and leak. DeWalt’s setup is likely to last much longer.
You can inflate from 3 PSI all the way to 120 PSI. Like other cordless inflators we’ve tested, you can set the target pressure on the controls and the compressor will automatically stop when it reaches it.
When the job is done, you can wrap the hose back around the cord wrap for handy storage. DeWalt also includes a needle for inflating sports balls, but not an adapter for pool inflatables or air mattresses.
The DeWalt Jump Starter and Power Station also has the goods for operating as a portable power supply for both your sensitive electronics and some limited AC power usage. It features four USB ports and two 120V outlets for plugging in small appliances.
The four USB ports provide a combined total of 6.2A, while the dual 120V AC power outlets provide a combined total power draw of 500W.
While it’s handy in a pinch if you’re stuck and need to charge your phone, keep in mind you’re draining your emergency power supply.
You may have picked up on the SLA battery reference earlier in the review. If you’re new to battery tech, that stands for Sealed Lead Acid—a modern take on lead acid batteries. While they’re far better than the batteries we used a couple decades ago, the choice has some consequences.
We’ve used plenty of jump starters over the last few years, and one of the draws has been that they’re light and compact, some of which you could actually store in some oversized glove boxes if you wanted. The DeWalt is not that kind of jump starter.
It weighs a robust 20+ pounds, and while it’s not obscenely large, it is a similar size to, say, your car’s battery. It won’t have any problems hanging out in your trunk, but a glove box is out of the question and it will take up some prime real estate anywhere in your cab.
There’s also the issue of recharge times. We haven’t run it dead to see how long it takes to charge up, but DeWalt warns us to give it 40 hours for the initial charge. From there, a full charge cycle is closer to 10 hours. Contrasting this to the couple of hours it takes to recharge your standard jump pack… well, this is going to take a while longer than that.
You also need to maintain it by keeping it charged. Lead acid batteries self-drain faster than lithium-ion and you can really limit the overall life if it drains too deep too often.
- Backlit LCD screen
- LED area light
DeWalt Jump Starter and Power Station Price
The DeWalt DXAEPS14 is available now at The Home Depot for $199. It comes with a 1-year warranty and a 1-year free service agreement.
The Bottom Line
DeWalt packs some impressive features into their jump starter and the cranking amps are solid. The ability to jump, inflate, test the alternator, and charge devices via USB or AC outlet covers more bases than most. Overall, it does the job it’s designed to do well. What you need to decide is whether the feature set is worth the trade-offs compared to lithium-ion options.
DeWalt Jump Starter and Power Station Specs
- Model: DeWalt DXAEPS14
- Amps: 1600 Peak
- Watts: 500W
- Battery: Sealed Lead Acid
- Dimensions (HxL): 12.5 x 13.5 in.
- Weight: 20.9 lbs.
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $199