20V Max vs 18V Batteries: Which One is a Better Option?

Susan Fernandez November 11 2021

Many people get confused when they consider buying an 18V vs 20V drill because the choice of the majority comes down to the one that may look more powerful. There is no doubt that 20V Max gives an impression that it can pack a lot of power, but in reality, 18V is just as powerful.

Quite a number of batteries have made it to the market in the past few years, but after some time, a lot of experts thought that the 18V battery was giving the top performance. This was until the 20V Max entered the market, and now there is not a clear consensus between the experts about which of them is much better.

Even so, the 20V Max has been given a larger edge concerning value and variety. In this article, we will explain why 18V is not much different from the 20Vs battery for between-the-jobsites use.

General characteristic

The power of both batteries lies in their RPMs. The 20Vs Max has a higher maximum speed than 18V while drilling, and this is why many people believe that it is more powerful than its counterpart which features lower speeds. However, when we consider what most users actually use, we realize that the difference between these two batteries really does not matter much because one can easily accomplish any task with either type of drill putting into consideration how the cordless drill works.

Even though the 20Vs battery gets more rotations per minute, it does not mean that they can get done tasks more quickly than 18V batteries. This is because cordless drills are designed to minimize the rotation speed of bits during tasks like driving screws into materials. The impact drivers or the screwdrivers; on the other hand, do allow higher RPMs up to 28000 RPMs.

Battery performance

Since both of these batteries run at comparable speeds, there is no way one can be said to be better in terms of performance. Another factor that has been given importance by many people when choosing between 18V and 20Vs Max batteries is weight. Since the 20Vs Max runs at a higher voltage, it will always be heavier than an 18V battery even if both of them are of the same brand.

The 20Vs battery will always be heavy to carry around, but this does not mean that it is the best option for you if you need a drill for occasional use. If your job requires you to move around with your tool kit, then 18Vs batteries are lighter and will save you energy carrying them around.

However, one factor that should influence your decision when choosing between these two types of cordless drills is whether you want convenience or power. The 20V Max works perfectly if the task at hand needs higher speed drilling because its higher voltage can deliver more torque even though it might be heavier than an 18V battery which only has a single speed setting.

20V Max and 18V batteries in reality

When you have a closer look at the two batteries, you will notice that both are designed in pretty much the same way. Both these batteries contain individual battery cells arranged in a group of five. Each group is connected through a parallel wire, as the idea is to make sure that the battery has a considerable number of amp-hours.

The nominal voltage rating of 20V and the 18V battery is 3.6 volts, while the maximum rating of each cell is 4 volts, which means that there is a total of 20 volts when put together. It is worth understanding that the 18V battery manufacturers use the nominal rating, whereas the manufacturers of the 20V Max battery make use of the maximum rating, and this is the significant difference between both the products.

18V vs 20V drill: Which one should you be using?

  • The drill cost
    The money you spend on the drill using an 18V battery differs from a 20V Max battery drill. It is never a bad idea if you don't go for a drill indicating 20V Max; instead, it is good to compare rates of different drills in the market and go for the one with a reasonable cost. You can have exceptional functionality if you buy a cheaper 18V drill, whereas an expensive 20V drill may not be as great as the former one.

  • Torque
    Regardless of the drill, you are to buy, the maximum torque you will get is among the most crucial aspects to consider. If you are getting a higher torque from an 18V drill, you should go for it, but if a 20V drill offers the same, you should favor it because you will get better results with higher torque.

  • Weight and size
    The weight and size of a drill are something that you should consider before purchasing it. When comparing the 18V vs 20V drill, the 20V drill can be heavy and can cause difficulties for you. Therefore, it is advisable to go for the 18V drill as it is light in weight and can offer you good results.

  • Brand
    Before purchasing a drill, it is never a bad idea to learn about different brands that are present in the market. You can create a list of the top brands and use it through numerous products. A few brands have an outstanding reputation, and it is better that you go for their tools regardless of their voltage indication.

The value option for most people would be the 18V battery because of its low price and the convenience it has to offer. This is especially more significant if you only need a cordless tool for simple tasks like hanging small shelves or assembling furniture in your house.

On the other hand, if you need a drill you can rely on for more complicated jobs like installing decking, roofing framing, etc., then 20Vs Max would be a better choice as it will give you more power to get those tough jobs easily done. In conclusion, both batteries have been criticized by some people after being introduced into the market, but they have matured enough over the years that they are now equal options for buyers. Whether you want power or convenience should decide which one of these batteries is a better option for you.

Final Words

You will not find much of a difference between the 20V Max and the 18V batteries except in terms of marketing and their place of usage. For the 18V vs 20V drill, the end process will be the same whether you go for the former or the latter. A good look at the tools that you want to buy can be a good way of making the right decision instead of relying on the indicated voltage.