Milwaukee M12 vs M18 Batteries

Milwaukee M12 vs M18 Batteries

Power tools are essential, whether for home or commercial utilization. And, for them to work efficiently, they require durable and reliable batteries as well as chargers. This is where the Milwaukee M12 vs M18 batteries come in. 

Milwaukee is among the top power tool brands, producing long-lasting, top-notch tools, and their batteries are no exception. These two batteries are rather different in terms of power and capacity, but they're handy enough to use in various Milwaukee power tools. 

What's the Difference Between Milwaukee M12 vs M18 Battery?





0.16 oz

2.2 pounds







Battery technology

REDLINK Intelligence system

REDLINK Intelligence system

Battery size

12 volts

18 volts

Battery cells



Milwaukee M12 Overview 

The M12 fuels cordless equipment and the M12 compact utilizes the Red-Lithium chargers and batteries explicitly designed for the M12 product line. Typically, these batteries have a great run time and feature Lithium-Ion technology, which lasts almost double the run time of the previous Milwaukee batteries. 

These impressive batteries come in two variations; the high capacity and the compact. Plus, the M12 were designed for sturdiness and feature an exclusive pack build, making them ideal for heavy-duty tasks. Also, thanks to the compact size, it can fit in most bags and spacious pockets. 

As mentioned above, these batteries are compatible with all M12 tools. The difference between the high-capacity and M12 compact batteries is the amount of power they deliver and their appearance. The compact battery is lighter than its counterpart and provides 3.0-, 2.0-, and 1.5-amp-hours of battery use. 

On the other hand, the high-capacity version offers 6.0, 4.0, and 3.0 amp-hour battery utilization, allowing you to use the tool for a longer period. Therefore, depending on the task and the size of your tool bag, you can interchange these batteries to achieve the perfect result. 


While there is a wide array of M12 power tools, you can utilize the M12 batteries in almost all M12 power tools. Nevertheless, the M12 tools are not compatible with M18 batteries. 

Pros and Cons of M12 Battery

If you own a cordless Milwaukee tool, you will undoubtedly enjoy the variety of benefits that the M12 batteries have to offer, including;


  • Its performance and power are quite excellent, which is thanks to its increased current discharge. It features the REDLINK technology, which delivers maximum overload protection and performance. 
  • These batteries are versatile since they can operate optimally in various weather conditions, enhancing the device's functionality. 
  • They can be used by almost all M12 devices, excluding a few which require special batteries. 
  • The M12 batteries feature a rubber base ideal for maintaining stability, giving you an opportunity to place them in an upright manner effortlessly.
  • Durable and robust construction guarantees efficiency and resilience.


  • The main disadvantage with the M12 batteries is that they're only ideal for M12 devices. 
  • Plus, after several years, their efficiency reduces, and they deliver low power output.

Milwaukee M18 Batteries Overview 

Now we'll delve into the Milwaukee M18 batteries, which are only compatible with M18 gadgets. They are ideal for M18, 18V gadgets, thus more potent than the M12 batteries. These come in three types; XC, regular and high-demand batteries. They all feature different runtimes. 

The regular model has a compact build with 2 or 1.5 amp-hours operation time. It is perfect for lightweight home tasks, including drilling or screwdriving. 

The XC model, on the other hand, has 6,5,4, and 3 run times. It is ideal for medium applications that need constant power output for a long time. Also, if you have a workshop requiring consistent work input, this is the battery to go for. 

Lastly, the high-demand version is for those demanding and commercial tasks, as well as time-intensive applications, for instance, a miter saw or an outdoor table saw. 

The M18 RED-LITHIUM is one of the products in the M18 battery line. It is powerful and highly versatile, as it is compatible with approximately M18 power gadgets. 

The M18 batteries will operate even when the temperatures are extremely cold. Additionally, they are robust, meaning more runtime if you adequately maintain and utilize them. It weighs 29 g, and it is somewhat light and won't result in any stress when you fit it in your Milwaukee tool. 

What's more, it features REDLINK technology, which boosts its performance and combats overload. 


Another fascinating thing about the Milwaukee M18 batteries is that they're compatible with all M18 cordless devices. This makes it easy to select the perfect battery if you own an M18 tool. 

Pros and Cons of M18 Battery


  • These impressive batteries offer top-quality performance thanks to their output. The REDLINK Intelligence system boosts performance via communication between the charger, battery, and the tool and hinders overload.
  • They have a sturdy construction; thus, they're durable. This as well translates to them being less susceptible to breakdowns as a result of accidental falls.
  • They are operational in any weather, whether hot temperatures or extremely cold ones.
  • M18 batteries come in three different types; high demand, XC, and regular, giving you the chance to choose any according to your needs.


  • As with the M12 batteries, the M18 are only compatible with M18 tools only. Also, their performance gets worse as they age. Therefore, if you utilize it for a few years, you will see that they do not perform as well as they did when they were new.

M12 vs M18: Which one is better?

Milwaukee is a well-known brand in the power tool industry, thanks to its reliable and durable products throughout the years. Within its wide range of products are the M12 and M18 batteries, whose major variation is their voltage. The M12 offers 12 volts, while the M18 delivers 18 volts.

Well, there it is, a detailed comparison of the Milwaukee M12 vs M18 batteries. Hopefully, this review has helped you choose the right one according to your needs. 


Winner: M18 Battery

After doing proper research and comprehensively comparing these two products, it is evident that the M18 is better than the M12. The M18 battery is more powerful, while the M12 is more suitable for lightweight tasks thanks to its reduced weight.

Thus, if you're looking for an effective and powerful battery, you can choose either depending on your needs and budget. 


These impressive batteries offer top-quality performance thanks to their 20v output.


Although M18 is heavier than the M12, that certainly represents power and running time.


The price for the M18 is almost the same as the M12, making it a much better option to buy.

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