Are Kobalt And DEWALT Batteries Interchangeable?

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Lithium-ion power tool batteries (such as those from DeWALT and Kobalt) have revolutionized job sites by eliminating the need for long cords and enhancing portability and efficiency.

While not crucial for home workshops, they offer convenience for commonly used cordless tools like saws and drills.

QUICK ANSWER:

No, Kobalt And DEWALT batteries aren’t directly interchangeable. Kobalt batteries are designed for Kobalt tools and DEWALT batteries for DEWALT tools. Battery adapters exist but come with risks and potential warranty concerns.

These newer and more prevalent batteries than nickel-cadmium ones range from 3.6V to 48V. Higher voltages provide more torque, with 4V-8V powering screwdrivers and 12V-18V suitable for basic homeowner tasks.

However, increased voltage results in bulkier batteries. Numerous power tool brands have their corresponding battery brands.

This raises the question: Are specific brand batteries, like Kobalt, compatible with other tools, such as DEWALT? If not, are battery adapters safe?

Kobalt 40-Volt 2.5AH Amp Hours Rechargeable Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Cordless Power Equipment Battery

Kobalt and DEWALT Brand Power Tools

Both brands are major players in the tool and battery market.

DEWALT

A stalwart in the industry, DEWALT boasts over 90 years of experience. Their distinctive yellow and black tools are a common sight on job sites. They produce their own branded battery packs tailored for their tools, underscoring the brand-specific design of such packs.

Kobalt

Introduced by Lowe’s in 1998, Kobalt is a newer entrant in the power tool arena. While not as revered as DEWALT, they offer more affordable tools and battery packs. As Kobalt’s reputation grows, prices may adjust accordingly.

Battery Interchangeability Concerns

Power Tool Batteries

When it comes to power tool batteries, not all things are intuitive.  Understanding power tool batteries and their uses and the interchangeability of charges and more should be its own piece for us.  We’ll just run through a couple of points to illustrate what we mean and use Kobalt batteries to make the points.

The Kobalt 80V battery pack is a beast in both size and power; lasts only a short time but charges quickly.  With 30 minutes of power and 30 minutes to charge, you get to take a break from your work for coffee.  However, not all Kobalt 80V batteries are interchangeable due to the battery pack size – the right battery pack for the right tool.

Kobalt also offers a 40V battery pack for its tools.  Again, they are not all interchangeable among Kobalt tools because of the size of the pack.  Kobalt’s 24V battery comes in various pack sizes, too. 

How about charging these batteries? 

This might interest you, too:  you can charge a 20V battery with a 24V charger.  As long as the charger offers a higher voltage than the battery, it will push energy into the battery.

Confused?  There’s a lot to power tool batteries of all makes, models, and usage, far more than we’ll cover today.  We simply wanted to give you a small glimpse into the subject of power tool batteries.  We didn’t even touch on the amp hour (Ah) rating on batteries, a whole other subject.  This is why it is wise to simply follow manufacturer recommendations on battery packs for their power tools and keep it in the family. 

Now we get to the big question.

Do Kobalt Batteries Fit DEWALT Tools?

We’ve made the distinction now between battery power (voltage) and a battery’s physical size.  Well, actually, the battery pack’s physical size.  This is the important point to be made in answering this question.

Manufacturers make the battery packs.  They also make the power tools that use those battery packs.  So, of course, they ensure that the battery pack will fit the power tool well and tightly so as to deliver full power and be stable in its position.

Kobalt 40-Volt Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) Generation 2 Compact Cordless Power Equipment Battery Charger with New Top Load Design, 2019 Model

Each of these two pieces is made for each other – the pack and the tool assembly.  There is no universal standard for battery pack sizes and the part of the tools they attach to when charged – the battery slot.  Each manufacturer has its own design.  While the battery packs tend to have the same voltage, they have their own slot sizes and configurations.

Kobalt batteries are made to fit Kobalt tools; DEWALT batteries are made to fit DEWALT tools.  The short answer to the question is that Kobalt batteries do not fit DEWALT tools without modifications.

Risks of Using Battery Adapters for DEWALT and Kobalt Tools

The market has seen a surge in adapters, like the DEWALT to Kobalt battery adapter, aiming to increase power tool adaptability. But is it wise to use such adapters?

Power tools, especially those with brushless motors, are designed for seamless communication with their native batteries. This ensures optimal performance and safety. However, introducing an adapter can disrupt this harmony.

Mismatching voltages is another concern. For instance, using a 20V battery on a 12V tool can be hazardous. It not only risks damaging the equipment but also poses safety threats.

Lastly, there’s the matter of warranties. If manufacturers find out about the use of third-party adapters, they might void the warranty. This means if a tool malfunctions due to an incompatible setup, the chances of a successful warranty claim are slim.

DEWALT’s Own 20V to 18V Adapter

We have a slightly different issue in the case of DEWALT, which manufactures its own adapter.  DEWALT’s adapter is made to allow the use of 20V Max batteries in most of their 18V tools.

However, the adapter comes with a long list of exceptions, and the adapter does not work with its FlexVolt batteries.

Cordless Drill

The issue goes beyond compatibility to include safety, peak performance, and warranty concerns.  Some want to push the limits of their power tools, whether for cost-savings or other reasons, but substantial risks are associated with that daring-do.

We recommend you not push the limits.  Follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for their power tool and battery pack uses.  Stay safe, get a long life out of your tools and from your investments in them, and protect the warranties that come with them.

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