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Battery Packs (for power tools) as an emergency power source

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  • Battery Packs (for power tools) as an emergency power source

    After suffering without power because PG&E shut it off to avoid wildfire risk, I realized I need sufficient power to recharge my phone for several days. What I thought would be a couple days without power turned into four days. I was caught short on both power and food. Not life threatening, but a miserable inconvenience.

    As I'm preparing for the next one, it just occurred to me that I have spare power in the battery packs I use for my cordless Milwaukee power tools. But I don't have a way to convert that to a 5V USB charger. Fortunately, Milwaukee offers some products that have a USB port so you can charge or power USB devices. I'll be ordering one.

    It's likely that all the power tool brands offer similar products that convert their battery backs into USB power. In some cases, the USB port is integrated into a flashlight. You might want to consider getting one if you live in an area that has power outages. It's a source of spare power that I forgot was sitting right there in my tool cabinet.

  • #2
    Ridgid also has this: which works great. Having lighting and a fan can come in handy during a power outage. Also, for camping (we usually go to primitive places in the desert in late winter//late spring) and take the recip. saw, lights, radio, and USB power source. (●'◡'●)


    • #3
      My Porter Cable cordless drill set has an adapter that hooks to a battery pack, providing 3 USB ports for charging items.


      • #4
        Ryobi has a 300 watt pure sin wave inverter that uses the 40 volt batteries. it also has a usb port. i have 2 of them.

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          Good topic, thanks for bringing it up.

          I wasn't aware Ryobi had an adapter for their 40v batteries. I have two of them for some of my yard tools. I might get one of these adapters for emergencies and for when I am in remote areas with no AC power available.

          Thanks Rick.
          "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



          • #6
            I have a power source USB adapter for both my Ridgid, and Milwaukee batteries. I use these to keep my computer tablet charged, as I keep these batteries in rotation while not in use in my tools. I also have a portable generator to power my boiler, refrigerator
            ​​​and power tool batteries. I would suggest even a small gasoline generator 2000 watts, and solar power pack to charge phones. I always have three five gallon gas cans full in case of an unexpected power loss, and another three that get fill if I get a heads up of a powerful storm . There is no excuse to be unprepared with adequate food, fuel, lighting, and power generation.


            • #7
              here's a thought... tell your government to change/fix the problem rather than suffering through it.

              Or move.

              tree huggers and liberals are your problem. Dont move to NY. It's the same except no wildfires.

              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder


              • CWSmith
                CWSmith commented
                Editing a comment
                REALLY.... "tree huggers and liberals"? Obviously you have a pretty jaundiced view of the world!


            • #8
              No politics!!!!!!


              • #9
                Another thing I use my power source is to run batteries I want to store down to 30 to 50% (see battery owners manual for storage.) I also use my Ridgid lights, radio, and fan to do this too.

                have more batteries than I need now since I retired, so I keep two bags -- one for charged "active" and another for stored ones. (❁?◡`❁)


                • #10
                  jaftwo brings up a good point about battery levels for storage. If you want to keep them for backup power, you may be tempted to keep them at full or near-full charge, but this is terrible for the batteries, and can significantly diminish their useful life. Of course, it's not always easy to know the level of charge, but just use your best judgement to try to keep it at half-full or a little less, and if that means you need to keep a few extra, I'd say that's better than killing them.
                  Broken crayons still color. -unknown


                  • #11
                    Try Ryobi, they have reliable batteries.


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                      Ryobi has a 300 watt pure sin wave inverter that uses the 40 volt batteries. it also has a usb port. i have 2 of them.


                      I second that. Awesome !!!