Whether you’re a full-time contractor or an avid home handyman, you no doubt find even the most exhilarating of home improvement tasks a little…well, mundane. Listening to music can help pass the time and make any job a bit more enjoyable.
However, a lot of destruction can occur on a job site, and you don’t want to put an expensive radio in harm’s way. In addition, exposure to the elements can easily fry even the most powerful radio, making the investment a dangerous and foolish one.
As a result, you may have considered purchasing a job site radio. These radios are designed to hold up to the most rugged and extenuating outdoor conditions and experiences. Job site radios are a great way to listen to music without having to experience the loss of multiple radios to the weather or construction-related accidents.
Table of contents
- Quick Look – Top Job Site Radios
- Why do I need a job site radio?
- What is the best job site radio for me?
- What kind of music do I want to listen to?
- Do I want to charge my other devices with this radio?
- How rough on equipment am I?
- What kind of tools do I have?
- 1. Milwaukee 18V 2890-20 M18 Jobsite Radio
- 2. DEWALT DC012 7.2-Volt-18-Volt Heavy-Duty Worksite Radio Charger
- 3. Bosch PB360C Power Box Jobsite AM/FM Radio/Charger/Digital Media Stereo
- 4. Makita XRM02W 18V Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless Jobsite Radio, Tool Only
- 5. Sangean U3 AM/FM Ultra Rugged Digital Tuning Radio Receiver
Quick Look – Top Job Site Radios
Why do I need a job site radio?
As we mentioned, you can, of course, use a regular radio. However, you run the risk of damaging your radio, or even causing electrical shock (which can be physically dangerous and also ruin the electrical systems of your home, in extreme cases).
The beauty of a job site radio is that it is often equipped with features to help it withstand the rigors of construction sites. It also typically comes with a cordless ability, meaning that it can be powered off of drill batteries.
This added mobility will make you much more effective on the job site. In addition, many job site radios also host features such as charging stations, satellite receivers, and preset abilities. These features make the purchase of a job site radio an incredibly smart decision.
What is the best job site radio for me?
When you’re looking for your first job site ratio, you will need to keep in mind several characteristics. There are dozens of job site radios available, much like their indoor equivalents. They come equipped with a wide variety of features and abilities, and at a wide range of price points. Ask yourself the following questions when shopping for your radio.
What kind of music do I want to listen to?
Although most job site radios come equipped with the ability to listen to FM or AM stations (or “analogue” systems), some come with bonus litening features. For example, some allow you to play music from any Bluetooth enabled device. This allows you to play music from apps on your cell phone, such as Spotify, or from your own music collection.
If you choose to purchase a radio with analogue-only abilities, keep in mind that you might want to purchase one with the ability to select preset stations. This will save you some time and hassle when figuring out what you want to listen to at your busy job site. Some job site radios also come equipped with an auto-scan feature, which is great in areas of low reception where it’s difficult to find a clear station.
Finally, some job site radios feature an auxiliary in jack. This jack allows you to physically plug in a cell phone or other music device to allow you to listen to your own music. Some ports even allow you to attach CD players!
Do I want to charge my other devices with this radio?
Some job site radios allow you to charge other devices. Many are able to charge the same power tool batteries upon which they operate. As long as the radio is from the same manufacturer as your power tools, you should be able to charge those batteries when plugged into an AC or external outlet.
Unfortunately, nobody can make the decision about the best job site radio for you. Do some research and make a pros and cons list about what features you would like your radio to have.
How rough on equipment am I?
If you find that you are bringing your radio to a dangerous or high-risk job site, you might want to consider purchasing a more durable, resistant radio. This is especially the case if you work in an area with lots of action, multiple people working on the scene, or cold, rainy weather. Many job site radios are weather- and shock-resistant, allowing you to leave the radio out in all sorts of conditions without worrying about it getting damaged or destroyed.
What kind of tools do I have?
Ultimately, you should try to purchase a job site radio that is from the same family or manufacturer as the power tools you already own. This way, you can perform double-duty with your radio and use it as a charger (and to be charged by) the batteries for these tools.
1. Milwaukee 18V 2890-20 M18 Jobsite Radio
The Milwaukee 18V Jobsite Radio is the best radio available. The product is easy to use, store, and handle, and holds up against whatever your work may throw at you. It is a good bargain for a job site radio and performs a variety of other functions as well. Though not one hundred percent shock-proof, the radio does hold up well against most disruptions or damage.
This unit produces exceptional volume and clear reception. It has the ability to play music from an auxiliary cord, allowing you to connect a phone, iPod, or other device. The storage container atop the unit equips the listener to protect his or her device from the element while producing high-quality music.
Although the most popular method of using this radio is to allow it to play off of Milwaukee drill batteries, it can also charge those batteries when plugged into the wall. Most customers report that the batteries last several hours when operating the radio. In addition, when plugged into an electrical outlet, the radio has the ability to charge your phone or iPod.
2. DEWALT DC012 7.2-Volt-18-Volt Heavy-Duty Worksite Radio Charger
The Dewalt Heavy Duty-Worksite Radio Charger is another affordable option. It provides a charge to 7.2 volt to 18 volt Dewalt battery packs within just an hour. Like the Milwaukee radio, the Dewalt offers the ability for users to interchange between corded or cordless power, through the use of an electrical outlet or battery packs.
This unit also comes equipped with a three-stage charging system. This unique features extends the runtime of the radio, as well as the overall life of the battery. It also has a built-in clock, AM/FM digital tuner, and fifteen memory presets to allow you to save favorite radio stations. For the music enthusiast, the radio also offers dual bass ports for maximum bass and range.
Another unique feature of this radio is that it has the ability to act as a satellite receiver when connected with an auxiliary cord. This gives you optimal listening ability to any kind of music. The radio weighs only fourteen pounds and is backed by a limited three-year warranty and one-year free service contract. Finally, a dual-pivoting eleven-inch flexible antenna provides quality reception and durability.
3. Bosch PB360C Power Box Jobsite AM/FM Radio/Charger/Digital Media Stereo
This radio is well worth your money. Of all the radios surveyed, it has one of the greatest ranges–music can be heard up to one hundred and fifty feet away! THis is largely due to its four-way speakers and built-in subwoofer, which project three hundred and sixty degree sound.
The Bosch Power Box is built with a rugged and protective aluminum/rubber roll cage. If you’re hard on equipment, then this is the radio for you. It has four-way power outlets and runs on BOsch 18-Volt Lithium-Ion batteries. It can also be plugged into a 120-Volt AC Outlet.
Although customers report that this radio is very easy to use, its major downfall is that, at more than twenty pounds, it’s heavy. While the extra safety and sound equipment (like the subwoofer and roll cage) affixed to the unit are helpful and desirable, they tack on some unwanted weight.
However, it’s worth the extra weight. The radio can also be synced via Bluetooth to allow you to seamlessly play music from your cell phone. A USB adapter is also included to allow you to play music in that way. Although the music does not have a door or hideaway compartment like the Milwaukee, it does allow you to play music from a variety of devices.
4. Makita XRM02W 18V Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless Jobsite Radio, Tool Only
The Makita Jobsite radio is a great value for the budget-conscious DIY-er. It is a pretty basic setup, but can be equipped with add-ons for an additional fee.
The radio is mP3 compatible for iPod and mP3 players. T It also has a protective bumper design for those of us that are more accident-prone! The radio also comes with ten preset FM/AM buttons to allow you to save favorite channels. The speakers deliver rich sound from two side-firing speakers.
The most generic version of this product comes without a USB power source option and must be plugged in. When powered by a BL1830 battery, it provides up to nineteen hours of continuous use. It can also be powered by Makita 18V 2.0Ah and 4.0 Ah batteries.
This radio is much lighter than other jobsite radios, at around ten pounds. IT does not come with an antenna, so you may need to purchase that separately.
5. Sangean U3 AM/FM Ultra Rugged Digital Tuning Radio Receiver
The lesser-known Sangean U3 AM/FM radio is also a good value. It comes without many of the bells and whistles of higher-priced radios but, like the Makita version, can be updated to include anything your heart desires.
It has ten memory preset stations (allowing for five FM and five AM saves). One of its most unique features is its selectable auto shutoff timer. This will allow you to save battery power in the event that you forget to turn it off It also has an auto scan feature that allows you to find a station with quality reception in no time. It also has an alarm clock, making it an ideal for taking on a camping trip or for busy contractors. Finally, it is possible to charge your cell phone from this device.
Unlike many radios, this radio is actually marketed as water resistant. Although it’s not recommended that you drop it in the lake the next time you’re out on the boat, it will hold up well to heavy rainshowers and snowstorms. It has soft bended spring antenna and you can even attach your own stereo headphones! Customers state that this radio is incredibly easy to use and to set-up. Although it’s a more basic model, it delivers all the features you might look for in your first job site radio.
Which job site radio is best for you? Make sure you do your research to determine the best option. The best radio for you might not work as well for someone else. Furthermore, it’s important that you match your radio to the manufacturer of your current power tools. If you have multiple brands, purchase the radio that matches the majority., Otherwise, you won’t be taking advantage of all the features these radios have to offer.
Many radios are available with coupons or discounts available when you purchase the batteries as well. If you are a first-time shopper for these materials, then it might be worth looking into these package deals to save some money and hassle in matching your equipment.
For more information or to purchase your first job site radio, check out any online or mass retailer, such as Lowe’s, Amazon, or the Home Depot. All offer these affordable job site radios, many with free or reduced shipping. Whatever you do, don’t wait until you’ve destroyed a multitude of regular radios before shopping for your next jobsite radios. Now, with the holidays fast approaching, is a great time to shop for a killer deal!