DeWalt 18V vs 20V

Many people get confused when choosing between DeWalt 18V vs 20V. It seems like an obvious choice at first. Go for the bigger number for a bigger power, right? Not exactly! In this article, we will explain why the 18V battery and the 20V battery are practically the same, also how to choose the right tool to fit your purpose.

The following discussion will give you more information about:
– Why 18V and 20V batteries actually have similar voltage power
– The reason why the company sell the batteries in different lines
– The available capacity options in each line
– How to choose between DeWalt 18V vs 20V power tools
– Which power tool line that is generally more recommended

They are the same
A large part of people who are shopping for cordless power tools actually have little to no knowledge about the minor details in the product specifications. Buyers always want to get the most out of their money. So, when they see an18V drill and a 20V drill, they will naturally think that the latter packs more power than the former. See also: Milwaukee 2457 20 M12 vs 2457-21

However, let’s get straight to the point: DeWalt 18V battery and DeWalt 20V battery actually provide similar voltage power. As the effect, an18V DeWalt power tool isn’t always weaker (or stronger) than a 20V DeWalt power tool. The power and performance of the tool is affected by other specs, such as the motor and design.

Don’t believe it? A simple measurement with a standard voltmeter will tell you the same. You will see that the 18V battery and the 20V battery have 18-volt of voltage power. But, why are they the same?

A battery pack like these typically consists of multiple cells that are arranged in a series. A cell is actually a smaller battery. By arranging the cells in a series, the voltage can add up, while the battery pack will still have a decent watt-hours capacity. Furthermore, each cell has a nominal voltage rating and a maximum voltage rating. Nominal voltage is the average that the cell outputs, whereas maximum voltage is the highest that the cell can deliver.

The insides of DeWalt 18V vs 20V battery packs are similar. Each battery pack contains 5 cells that are arranged in a series. Each cell has a nominal voltage of 3.6V and a maximum voltage of 4.0V. Now, it is only a matter of whether you are using the nominal voltage or the maximum voltage to name your product.

If you use the nominal voltage, 3.6V x 5 cells = 18V. You can say that the battery pack has a total voltage power of 18V. This is DeWalt 18V; it is advertised with the nominal voltage.

If you use the maximum voltage, 4.0V x 5 cells = 20V. You can say that the battery pack has a total voltage power of 20V. This is DeWalt 20V; it is advertised with the maximum voltage.

Why sell with different names?
Now that you know DeWalt 18V battery and DeWalt 20V battery are actually the same, you are probably wondering why the company has sold these batteries in different names. Is this just a marketing gimmick so that people will buy the latter product, believing it to be more powerful? Kind of, but not as bad as you think. This is mostly because some countries have strict laws about how companies may advertise.

Some countries in Europe and Asia have established rules that require companies to sell products by their nominal voltage ratings. So, you won’t be able to find DeWalt 20V in such places; you can only find DeWalt 18V.

In the United States, things are a bit more flexible. Companies are allowed to advertise products with the maximum voltage ratings. DeWalt 20V is meant to be sold in this case. Indeed, using the maximum voltage can make the product seem to be more powerful. You can still find DeWalt 18V in the market, as the company can sell both products rather than just one of them.

And the “Max” label behind DeWalt 20V? Think of it this way: it simply indicates that the 20-volt power is the maximum output rather than the average. Then again, there are still a few reasons to consider DeWalt 20V Max over DeWalt 18V, as you’ll see below.

Available capacity options
Despite the similarities, DeWalt 18V vs 20V still have a few differences that are not related to their power. One thing that you may need to consider when buying a cordless power tool and its battery is the available capacity options.

Somehow, the company hasn’t put as much effort into the development of the DeWalt 18V line as they do with the DeWalt 20V line. There are far fewer options in DeWalt 18V.

DeWalt 18V currently only has two kinds of battery, which are DC9096 and DC9182.
• DeWalt 18V DC9096 is a NiCad battery. The company claims that the battery has 25% more runtime than regular NiCad batteries in the market. However, a NiCad battery is not very durable, as it may develop battery memory issues and self-discharge.
• DeWalt 18V DC9182 is a Li-ion battery. It is compact and lightweight. It should be more durable in the long run, as Li-ion batteries are free from battery memory issues and self-discharge.

The specs does not mentioned how many amp-hours that the DeWalt 18V batteries can hold. However, according to the users, the capacity is pretty good, and the battery life of DeWalt 18V is fairly long.

DeWalt 20V, on the other hand, has a much wider range of batteries and technologies.
• DeWalt 20V Compact 1.5AH
• DeWalt 20V Compact 3.0AH
• DeWalt 20V Connect 2.0AH
• DeWalt 20V Connect 5.0AH
• DeWalt 20V XR 5.0AH
• DeWalt 20V Premium XR 6.0AH

As you can see, there are more capacity options. You can purchase a larger battery if you need to work continuously for an extended length of time. But that’s not the only interesting thing about DeWalt 20V batteries. If you head to the official website, you can find some DeWalt 20V batteries that are equipped with Bluetooth.

Why would the company put Bluetooth on a battery? Well, you can use the Bluetooth to connect your mobile phone. Then, through the free DeWalt Tool Connect mobile app, you can do a variety of things to the battery, such as monitoring the charge level, enabling/disabling the battery, and control how long the battery can be used by someone else. There is also an inventory management solution that will allow companies to manage and communicate the whereabouts of their equipment.

How to choose between DeWalt 18V vs 20V
When choosing between DeWalt 18V and DeWalt 20V drills or power tools, you don’t need to worry that one battery may be more powerful than the other. Here are several things that you should consider to help you decide.

• The torque of the drill. A greater torque means a greater power, which is needed when drilling through hard materials. If the 18V model has more torque than the 20V model, then there is a good reason to choose the 18V model. On the other hand, if it is the 20V model that has more torque, you should go for it.

• The size and weight of the drill. If you need to work in a tight, cramped space, you need a compact drill. If the drill is too big, you won’t be able to move and position the drill properly. You probably should consider choosing a lightweight model, too, if you are not used to handling heavy power tools.

• Additional features like an integrated light, audio alert, and battery level indicator. Having such features is always a plus point. The integrated light can be very useful when working in a dark environment. When an18V model and a 20V model have similar torque and speeds, choosing the one that has these additional features is wise.

• Advanced features like the Bluetooth connectivity on DeWalt 20V. As mentioned above, DeWalt 18V doesn’t have Bluetooth. If you are purchasing tools for starting a small company, getting DeWalt 20V tools with Bluetooth-enabled batteries can be a great idea. You can monitor battery levels and their whereabouts easily, so your tools won’t get lost. For personal use, the Bluetooth is still pretty useful, for example when you are lending your tool to a friend.

• Included accessories, such as storage bags, bits, sanding bands, cut-off wheels, etc. Purchasing the needed accessories for your power tools separately can be quite expensive once the prices add up. Getting them in the same bundle as the power tool is often more cost-efficient.

DeWalt 18V vs 20V

- FITS INTO TIGHT AREAS: A 5.55-in front to back, compact and lightweight (2.8 lbs) design allows the impact driver to fit into tight areas
- ENHANCED VISIBILITY: Onboard lights have a 20-second delay after trigger release and provide visibility without shadows
- ONE-HANDED LOADING: 1/4-in hex chuck accepts 1-in bit tips
- INCREASED RUNTIME: Our Brushless Motor delivers up to 57% more run time over a brushed motor
- Compact, lightweight design fits into tight areas
- High performance motor delivers 300 unit watts out (UWO) of power ability completing a wide range of applications
- High speed transmission delivers 2 speeds (0-450 & 1,500 rpm) for a range of fastening and drilling applications
- 1/2" single sleeve ratcheting chuck provides tight bit gripping strength

Conclusion
The batteries have similar power. However, DeWalt 20V is generally still more recommended because the line has more capacity options. In addition, there are some DeWalt 20V batteries with built-in Bluetooth, which can be handy if you ever need to monitor your batteries and power tools remotely.

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