The Short Version: A Dewalt DC9310 1-Hour Charger is a good replacement for a Black and Decker Firestorm battery charger. It costs significantly more than the original but based on reviews it is far more reliable and safer. It won’t overcharge the batteries. In addition, it will work with many current Dewalt batteries (according to my older brother it’s the same charger he uses with his Dewalt NANO batteries).
Last weekend, while doing a few things around the house, I used my cordless drill. It’s an older Black and Decker model that one of my brothers gave me, along with three Firestorm batteries. After using the drill I needed to charge the battery I was using so I set it in the charger (the original charger that came with the drill).
After a while, long enough for the battery to charge, I pulled the battery out of the charger. At the time I noticed a slight electrical smell but it wasn’t very strong so I just figured the charger got a little hot. When I placed one of the other batteries in the charger I noticed the charge light didn’t come on. I swapped out some of the other batteries but nothing happened. I quickly realized that the charger was dead – it had burned up.
I went out to Amazon.com to look for a replacement charger. While I did find the same model still for sell I noticed it had a considerable amount of negative reviews, most of which were posted by people reporting that their chargers had fried after a short time. After reading those reviews I felt fortunate that the charger had held out for so many years.
After spending a few minutes reading various forum posts I hit one in which someone mentioned that Dewalt chargers could also charge Black and Decker Firestorm batteries. This interested me because I’ve been thinking of buying some Dewalt tools. In addition, my older brother already has some, which could make such a charger even more useful if we’re working on a project together and we need to recharge batteries for his cordless tools.
By reading through reviews on Amazon I was able to identify the Dewalt DC9310 as an appropriate replacement.
Granted, the Dewalt charger is much more expensive than the original, but it doesn’t have a tendency to fry and it won’t overcharge batteries. Overall, I thought it was worth paying more for a product that will probably last a long time, more safely charge the batteries, and serve multiple roles.
I’ve only had the charger for a few days but I’ve charged all three batteries and it seems to work just fine.
Updated 06/09/2012: I’ve used the charger with these batteries several times since and it’s worked properly and better than the original charger.