How to Choose a Jobsite Radio - a Toolstop Buying Guide

REVISED and UPDATED for 2016!

Music on the jobsite is like Cliff Richard and Christmas. Or stacks of paper invoices on the dashboard of a van.

You can't have one without the other.

As the technology that goes into our power tools has improved and developed over time, so has the technology available to us in the form of jobsite radios. No more do we need to rely on that old paint and plaster splattered tape deck to pump out Chris Evans in the morning. Now we can savour digital quality audio from a radio that perfectly compliments the power tools in our kit box.

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However, like the world of power tools itself, we are almost spoilt in our choice of jobsite radio.

So, what should you look out for when you buy one? What features and/or special benefits are worth taking note of?

That's where our jobsite radio buying guide comes in.

Below you'll see a table with a list of the jobsite radios we believe you should consider. We've selected two from each manufactuer we stock and we've listed the key spec and the benefits of each one. And if we've got a demo video on Toolstop TV you'll be able to see it.

So, for example, if you want a small, compact radio that'll let you hear The Archers, but also allow you to plug your iPod in, and you want it to be completely cordless, then you'll probably want to look at either the Makita DMR104 the DeWALT DCR017 XR.

It could be that we need a jobsite radio that could virtually fill a stadium with noisewhile at the same time be able to withstand all the knocks and lumps the back of our van dishes out, while at the same time be able to power our 240v tools. If that's the case we need to take a close look at Hitachi's UR 18DSDL.

What other factors should you weight up?

  • will the jobsite radio charge your batteries?
  • if so, what capacitydoes it support? Will it take your older NiMH batteries, for example?
  • can I charge my mobile phone will I listen to the radio?
  • can I play music from my iPod or mp3 player?
  • can I even play mp3 files stored on a USB stick?
  • is there a safe compartment for me to store my iPod or mp3 player while I play music from it?

What battery platformare you already invested in?

  • if you already favour DeWalt power tools, and you've got several batteries from this manufacturer, would it be wise to buy a Bosch radio?
  • take close note as to whether the radio will run from the mains. If it doesn't that means it won't charge your batteries and you'll need to already own a compatible battery to run it from. For example, Makita's BMR050 and MR051 aren't supplied with a battery and won't run from the mains

What sort of abuse will the jobsite radio reasonably be expected to tolerate?

  • does it have robust rubber or plastic bumpers or casing?
  • is it rated against dust and/or water ingress?

What's the Best Jobsite Radio?

Below is our list of jobsite radios that we recommend, each is available with next-day delivery! See all of the in-stock radios here.

Bosch GML20 Professional Powerbox 360 Jobsite Radio

Hitachi UR 18DSDL (body only)

Key Spec:

  • Radio frequency range: 522 to 1629KHz
  • Radio frequency range: 87.5 to 108MHz
  • Input voltage(s), battery DC 14.4V, 18V
  • Output voltage(s), battery 5W x 2, 14.4V: 6W x 2, 18V: 7W x 2
  • Speaker (diameter): 90mm (8Ω) x 2


  • DAB/DAB+ receiver
  • Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Built-in protection storage case for smartphone
  • Can be powered from the mains or from 14.4 and 18v li-ion batteries
  • USB charging function
  • Compatible with Hitachi 18V batteries
  • IPX4 water resistance

Milwaukee M18 JSR-0 Jobsite Radio

Milwaukee M18 JSR-0 Jobsite Radio (body only)

Key Spec:

  • AM/FM processor with 10 station presets
  • 2.1Amp USB charging output
  • Dual speakers with passive radiators


  • Shock absorbing end caps and metal speaker grills
  • Powered by Milwaukee M18 batteries or AC outlet. Up to 12 hours of runtime with an M18 REDLITHIUM-ION 5.0 Ah battery pack (batteries are not included)
  • Weather sealed device compartment protects mobile devices

Makita DMR106

Makita DMR106 Jobsite Radio with Bluetooth and USB

Key Spec:

  • Battery Range: 7.2 - 18 v
  • Speakers: 2x89mm
  • Frequency Range: FM 87.5 - 108 Mhz
  • Frequency Range: AM 522 - 1629 kHz


  • Compatible with all Makita Li-ion batteries including G-batteries
  • Elastomer bumpers protect against rough handling
  • USB port on front allows for charging mobile device
  • Pair your USB device for audio streaming

Dewalt DCR017 XR DAB+ Radio

Dewalt DCR017 XR DAB+ Radio Charger

Key Spec:

  • DAB+ and FM tuner
  • Twin sets of woofers and tweeters
  • 3.5mm auxiliary por


  • Multi-voltage XR charger with charge indicator LED light
  • Accepts 10.8V, 14.4V and 18V XR Li-Ion batteries
  • Two AC power outlets offer more versatility for jobsite power
  • Rubber shock absorbers on roll cage for increased durability

Hitachi UR18DSL

Hitachi UR18DSL 14.4/18V Cordless Jobsite Radio (body only)

Key Spec:

  • Frequency: 522 - 1620kHz (AM) 87.5~108Mhz (FM)
  • Powered by AC and 14.4V/18V Slide and clip-on batteries
  • 2 x 3 inch speakers and bass reflex


  • USB socket to charge a mobile phone
  • Maximum volume of 83.1db with an 18V battery at 1 metre
  • 5 preset stations
  • AUX socket can be used with MP3 player
  • Rubber frame protection

Dewalt DWST1-75663

Dewalt DWST1-75663 ToughSystem DAB+ Radio

Key Spec:

  • Powered by AC, 18v, 14.4 batteries
  • 3.5mm Aux. Input
  • 6 very loud speakers, 40W RMS, 2 sub-woofers for premium sound
  • ToughSystem compatible: stacks with your existing ToughSystem boxes


  • Click here for our full guide to this radio
  • DAB+ and FM tuner receives digital and analogue signal (DAB+ tuner also works in Europe)
  • IP54 protection against dust and water jets
  • Bluetooth Technology to remotely control your music
  • 2.4 Hz USB charger to boost the charge on any USB device
  • Class D amplifier, Digital Sound processor for sound optimization
  • 8 hours from a fully charged 18V battery

Tell us the jobsite radio you're using just now, and if you've got any questions about the radios in our guide, talk to us in the comments section below.


Toolstop on Thu, 19 Feb 2015 07:39:56 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Yes, I'm afraid you are correct. The BMR103 has the dock and the DMR104 has the DAB but none of the Makita radios have both.

Stuart Acaster on Wed, 18 Feb 2015 22:01:13 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Can you get a Makita dab radio with a dock on the top for iPhones as it seems they don't?

Dan on Fri, 12 Dec 2014 13:38:42 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Looking for good fm reception for talk radio.
Would love outside antenna hookup.

Toolstop on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:51:12 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

You are correct, the Makita radios do not charge the batteries, they can be powered by them but they will not charge. PLEASE NOTE, a mains adapter is included if you have no batteries.

stelios on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:16:11 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

i'm not really sure that makita bmr100 and bmr101 are capable of charging makita batteries.. i think they can only run with them but not charge them... can you please inform us because i want to buy one but the charging factor is my only drawback... thanks....

Henge1 on Fri, 18 May 2012 06:44:50 +0100 (Likes: 3 / Dislikes: 0

I live in Melbourne Australia and love DAB radios and I decided that I'd get the Makita BMR101 for work. Sadly I didn't do my research well enough and when it arrived yesterday I discovered that it was only for DAB and not DAB+ which is the system used here in Oz. It's still a nice FM radio but I can't use the DAB features which is disappointing. So , if you like me are in Australia this is Not  the radio for you because it isn't compatible with our broadcast system.

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