DeWalt Jump Starter offers portable roadside assistance
We’ve spent some time expressing our enduring love for portable jump starters on this page. Even this morning, Austin, our video editor, used one to get to work. Today we are looking at the DeWalt Portable Jump Starter and Power Station. This device excels at several features, including some diagnostic feedback.
DeWalt Jump Starter and Power Station Notable Features
We love portable jump starters. Unlike the more traditional method of 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 running and is quite high compared to other portable units.
When the time comes, the jumper cables can be pulled out of the side storage compartment relatively easily. From there, you simply match the colors of your wires to the colors of your battery connector, turn on the device, and flip the ignition in your car or truck. Once you’re back up and running, wrap the cords back around the device to keep everything neat and organized.
What is really interesting about this unit is an alternator check. Like skipping your battery, checking the alternator is easy. Press the Alternator Check button on the DXAEPS14 and with the engine running, connect your fully charged battery. The system starts evaluating your generator voltage range. If everything is as it should be, the LCD screen will show an “Alt Good” indicator. If something is wrong, the system will warn you.
Before checking the alternator, turn off all accessories and anything that may draw current from the alternator. After the initial check is completed, turn on all accessories (except air conditioner or defrost) and run the check again.
Pairing an inflator with a jump starter is a brilliant move that solves two of the most common problems you encounter with one tool. Much like the LokiThor JA301 we reviewed previously, the DeWalt DXAEPS14 includes it as well.
DeWalt uses a so-called SureFit nozzle on the free end of the compressor hose. This bolts onto your valve stem in place of the clamp system that most inflators come with. Over time, the rubber seals in a clamp tend to wear out and leak. DeWalt’s setup will likely take a lot longer.
You can inflate from 3 PSI up to 120 PSI. As with 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 convenient storage. DeWalt also includes a sports ball inflation needle, but no adapter for inflatable boats or air mattresses.
The DeWalt Jump Starter and Power Station also has the credentials to operate as a portable power supply for your sensitive electronics and limited AC power consumption. It has four USB ports and two 120V outlets for connecting small devices.
The four USB ports together deliver 6.2A, while the two 120V AC outlets deliver a total combined power consumption of 500W.
While it’s handy when you’re stuck and need to charge your phone, remember you’re draining your backup power.
You may have picked up the SLA battery reference earlier in the review. If you’re new to battery technology, this stands for Sealed Lead Acid – a modern take on lead-acid batteries. While they’re far better than the batteries we used a few decades ago, the choice comes with some consequences.
We’ve used a lot of jump starters over the years and one of the benefits was that they’re lightweight and compact, some of which you could actually store in some oversized glove boxes if you wanted to. The DeWalt isn’t that kind of jump starter.
It weighs more than 20 pounds, and while it’s not obscenely large, it’s similar in size to, say, your car’s battery. It won’t have any trouble hanging around in your boot, but a glove box is out of the question and it’ll take up prime space somewhere in your cab.
There is also the problem of loading times. We didn’t dead run it to see how long it takes to charge, but DeWalt warns us to give it 40 hours for the initial charge. From there, a full charge cycle is closer to 10 hours. As opposed to the few hours it takes to charge your standard Jumppack…well, that’s going to take a little longer.
You also have to maintain it by keeping it charged. Lead-acid batteries drain faster than lithium-ion batteries, and you can really limit overall life if they are over-discharged too often.
- Backlit LCD screen
- LED area light
DeWalt Jump Starter and Power Plant Award
The DeWalt DXAEPS14 is available now from The Home Depot for $199. It comes with a 1-year warranty and 1-year free service contract.
The final result
DeWalt packs some impressive features into their jump starters, and the boosting amps are solid. The ability to jump, pump up, test the alternator, and charge devices via USB or an outlet covers more bases than most. Overall, it does the job it was designed for well. What you have to decide is whether the feature set is worth the trade-offs compared to lithium-ion options.
DeWalt Jump Starter and Power Station specifications
- Model: DeWalt DXAEPS14
- Amps: 1600 peak
- Watts: 500W
- Battery: sealed lead acid
- Dimensions (H x L): 12.5 x 13.5 inches
- Weight: 20.9 pounds.
- 1 year warranty
- Price: $199