Milwaukee m12 vs m18- What Is the Difference

Milwaukee m12 vs m18

Milwaukee M12 and M18 batteries are the best on the market. They’re both powerful, long-lasting, and versatile enough to be used in any number of tools.

You can use them interchangeably with all your favorite Milwaukee power tools – so you never have to worry about running out of juice when you need it most. And they’re compatible with over 100 other brands too! Which one of the two is the best fit? 

If you want maximum power, go with the M18 Red Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (48-11-2401). It has more run time than any other 18V lithium-ion battery on the market today.

This is because its high-capacity cells provide up to 5X more run-time per charge than standard 18V batteries. It also features an integrated LED fuel gauge, so you always know how much juice is left in your pack before heading out into the field or job site.

And if that wasn’t enough, this bad boy will hold a charge in storage for up to 1 year without losing power! Let’s have a side-by-side comparison between both. 

Differences Between Milwaukee M12 vs. M18 Batteries


The first thing we want to point out is that both of these batteries-Milwaukee M12 vs. M18 use Lithium-Ion technology, but they do have different voltages – 12V and 18V, respectively.

This means that each battery will work with specific tools better than others depending on their voltage requirements (higher voltage = more power). 

Charge Time:

Another major difference is in charge time – while both of these batteries take around an hour to fully charge, the M12 takes only 30 minutes compared to 60 minutes for the M18 battery.

Lastly, there’s also a weight difference. At 1 pound, the smaller size of the M12 makes it easier to carry around all day long without getting fatigued from its weight like you might experience with larger models like those in our cordless line up such as our Fuel product line or even some other brands’ high capacity products (which weigh almost twice as much). 

Tools they are compatible with:

Another thing to consider when looking at these batteries is what type of tool they are compatible with. Both batteries are compatible with all Milwaukee 12V Max cordless power tools and most other brands on the market today.

However, some exceptions, such as Ridgid Gen5X or Dewalt Flexvolt cordless power tools, require 18V batteries only. So it’s essential to check compatibility before purchasing any new battery packs for your current setup if you have multiple brands in use at once.

Size :

You need to consider size when looking at these two batteries. The M12 battery pack weighs 1 pound while the M18 weighs 2 pounds, so if weight is a concern for you, it might be best to choose the lighter option.

If not, let’s look at some other essential features in determining which battery will work best for your application. 

Power Output:

The most crucial difference between these two batteries is their power output. The M12 battery has a maximum of 1,200 in/lbs of torque and 0-400 RPMs, while the M18 battery has a maximum of 2,600 in/lbs of torque and 0-1,500 RPMs.

This means that the 18V battery can handle more demanding applications than its 12V counterpart. 


Another consideration when choosing a battery is how long do you want it to last? Lithium-ion batteries have no memory effect and only lose about 5% of their charge per month while sitting idle on the shelf – meaning they don’t require regular charging like NiCd/NiMH batteries do. 


The M12 weighs 2 pounds, while the M18 weighs 4 pounds. This means that if you need something lightweight, then the M12 might be better for you because it has half of what its counterpart does in terms of weight.

However, if portability isn’t as much of a concern but power is (we’ll talk more about it later). Maybe consider going with an 18V instead since they’re both potent tools despite their different weights. 

The Bottom Line 

The M12 and M18 batteries are two of the most potent tools Milwaukee has to offer. They’re both lithium-ion, which means they charge quickly and last long enough to get the job done. But that’s where their similarities end. 

The M12 is perfect if you want something lightweight, compact, and easy to use in tight spaces or on small jobs around the house. 

It also comes with a built-in LED light, so it’s great for working in dark areas like crawl spaces or attics without having to worry about holding a flashlight at all times. On top of that, it charges in just 30 minutes! 

Thanks to its quick-release feature, you can even swap out batteries while using your tool – no more downtime when one battery runs low! If you need something with more power but still want something small enough not to be cumbersome, then this is definitely what you should go with.

Plus, since it’s part of our 12V Max System lineup, tons of other tools are available that work perfectly alongside this cordless drill/driver kit (sold separately).  

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