Many Milwaukee power tools carry either an M12 or M18 designation, and people are sometimes confused about the differences between them as well as which they should choose when shopping for Milwaukee tools.
The M12 and M18 designations are related to Milwaukee’s M12 batteries and M18 batteries. Milwaukee didn’t over-complicate it. M12 batteries power the company’s M12 tools, and M18 batteries power the company’s M18 tools. (M18 batteries will not work in M12 tools.)
Milwaukee M12 Batteries
- 12-13.2 volts
- ALL M12 batteries are compatible with ALL M12 tools
- Available in two variations—Compact, and High Capacity
- Smaller and lighter than M18
- Ideal for users who don’t need the higher voltage
- Battery power ranges from 1.5-6 amp-hours
Milwaukee M18 Batteries
- 18 volts
- ALL M18 batteries are compatible with ALL M18 tools
- Ideal for users who need high-demand power but not a lot of run time (though the REDLITHIUM High Demand-series batteries offer either 9 or 12 amp-hours)
A variety of battery chargers are available for both M12 and M18 batteries. There are combo chargers that will charge both M12 and M18 batteries at the same time.
Milwaukee Tool’s M12 and M18 tool offering ranges from saws, die-grinders, and impact drills, to hand-held vacuum cleaners, work lights, and robust Bluetooth-powered portable work site audio speakers.
You can learn more about Milwaukee Tool’s M12 battery and tool product line by watching this video playlist:
You can learn more about Milwaukee Tool’s M18 battery and tool product line by watching this video playlist: