DeWalt Job-Site Radio/Charger DW911

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DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 : Innovation, utility and entertainment… all in one package!

Aug 13, 2001 (Updated Aug 14, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Almost indestructible; convenient; utilitarian; sounds great!

Cons:Can't charge battery unless radio is on; no CD player.

The Bottom Line: A reliable source of entertainment and a convenient, innovative and useful tool on any site, whether or not there’s electrical power.


Okay friends... here’s your RIDDLE OF THE DAY: What’s big, bright yellow, has a black grille and its name badge emblazoned on its front, and black trim on its sides and back? And works very hard, and makes a lot of noise throughout the day?

A "school bus," you guess? Nice try... but unfortunately...

BZZZ-Z-Z-ZZZT!!! Wrong answer!

The correct response is: The DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911.

A large, well constructed, practically indestructible, and superb sounding AM/FM radio that you can bring with you to places you normally wouldn't consider bringing a radio or any other electronic device.

I enjoy having music in the background whenever and wherever I work. (Even as I write this review, in the comfort of my home office, I have my DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 tuned in to our local classical music station.) Over the years, on many of the job sites where I’ve worked, I’ve seen all kinds of radios, tape players, and CD players. Some of them were pretty good, and others were just plain gawd-awful. Without question, the best and most useful radio I've ever encountered is the DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911.

Until June 21, 2001, I worked as a marine electrician at a shipyard near my home. For about the last two weeks before I was laid off from that job, I worked on a job site with another electrician and a couple of pipe fitters. Every morning, we’d all get together, socialize for a few minutes, and then buckle down to a day’s work. Our job site was usually pretty quiet... and boring. One day, one of the pipe fitters began complaining that there wasn't any music in the background. My electrician colleague volunteered to bring his radio the following day.

Sure enough, when I arrived on our job site the next morning, there sat my friend’s DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911, cranked up to nearly full volume, easily overcoming the cacophonous din of our construction site. I was impressed!!

After I left the shipyard, I decided to start my own house painting business. One morning, as I was buying paint and supplies from our local hardware store for my first job, I spied a DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 on the shelf. I couldn’t resist... I bought one. Since then, it's been a reliable and useful companion on every one of my job sites!

DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 : The "Pros..."

The DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 is a rugged appliance designed to bring with you on those tough jobs, no matter how rough the conditions. Contained in this "tough-as-nails" package is a sensitive AM/FM stereo radio tuner that sounds great, with just the right balance between bass, mid-range and treble frequencies, and enough power to crank out the music at high volume without distortion.

The DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 constructed of very heavy duty unbreakable plastic. It’s 18 inches wide, 9 inches tall, 8 inches deep, and weighs approximately 5 pounds. Three control knobs – "Volume," "Off-AM-FM-AUX"; and "Tuning" – are all large, clearly labeled, durable, and conveniently located on top of the unit. A ruggedly thick tubular plastic handle surrounds the radio on all sides and protects it like a "roll bar." The handle also serves as a built-in stand. In addition to standing the radio in its "normal" position – speakers facing you horizontally – you can actually stand it on either end or lay it on its back without fear of damage occurring as a result of the unit falling or rolling over.

"That’s great," you may say. "But why would I want to spend over a hundred bucks for a simple AM/FM radio, no matter how good it sounds?!" The answer lies in a very innovative extra feature included by the manufacturer. You see, the DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 isn’t just a radio. It’s a battery charger as well.

Located in the back of the unit, midway between the speakers, is a drop-down door that hides a battery charger designed to hold any DeWalt rechargeable battery pack (those designed for use only with DeWalt cordless power tools) with a rating of between 9 and 18 volts. Simply plug the battery into the charger socket, then plug the appliance in and turn it on. The battery begins charging instantly. An indicator light on the front of the unit tells you the battery status. Steady on (–––––) indicates that the battery is fully charged; a steady flash (– – – –) indicates that the battery is charging normally. There are also special flash codes that tell you if the battery pack is too hot to begin charging (The unit won’t begin charging until the battery is cool – an excellent safety feature!); defective; or if there is a problem with "line in" power.

One of the best features of the DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 : while the radio is playing, it will automatically switch over from line power to battery power when you unplug the unit, and will automatically switch back to line power when you plug it back in. It performs both these functions superbly, with a very slight interruption in audio as the only indication that the unit has switched power sources. The radio will run on battery power for about 16-24 hours (depending on the battery’s rating) before the battery requires charging.

...And a couple "Cons:"

As good as the DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 may be, it isn’t perfect by any means. I’ve found two not-so-minor design flaws that I find most annoying:

First: The battery charger only begins working when you plug the unit in and turn the radio on. I don’t understand why the unit was designed this way. It seems to me that the battery should begin charging as soon as you plug the unit into a power source, whether or not the radio is playing. (Believe it or not... I don’t always listen to music. Sometimes I like working in peace and quiet.)

Second: The DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 doesn’t really give you as much "bang for the buck" as I think it could. The radio is great and the battery charger is a real asset on any job site; but I think DeWalt "missed the boat" by not including a CD or cassette player with the radio. The manufacturer could have done this with only small increases in the unit’s overall size and weight. Had DeWalt opted to incorporate some kind of media player, they would have made the unit much more versatile. (I live in an area where the nearest radio stations are over 40 miles away. Sometimes radio reception is poor, even for the most sensitive receivers.)

My two complaints notwithstanding, go right ahead... throw that DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 in the back of your truck, car, or SUV; take it with you to any site, whether or not there’s electrical power. Take it on a picnic, or to the beach, or to the camp in the middle of the woods. As long as there’s a radio station within range, the DeWalt Job Site Radio DW911 will serve as a reliable source of entertainment... and a convenient, innovative and useful tool.










Recommend this product? Yes

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