12V Vs 18V Drill: (Is 12V Essential?)

When you buy a drill, its voltage is an important factor. Because RPM depends on the voltage of the drill. There are few voltage classes available in a brand in order to provide different user experiences. So let’s see the difference between 12V vs 18V drills in detail. This guide includes all differences, pros, and cons in detail.

Using a higher or lower voltage tool is not a good solution every time. So let’s see, what are the differences and other factors between the 12V and 18V drills?

12V Vs 18V Drill Comparison Table

12V vs 18V drill
12V vs 18V drill

When comparing the 12V and 18V drills, I could summarize the main detail of all tools into 07 main categories. These are common for all tools in the market. As well as suitable tools for the tasks.

When we compare 12V vs 18V drills, we can categorize all factors into 07. These factors are common for any brand. So when you buy it, first pay attention to this.

PerformanceLess powerMore power
EfficiencyLess Efficiency More Efficiency
Size and WeightLess size and weightMore size and weight
UsageEasy to useA bit difficult to handle
Battery charge timeLess timeMore time
Drill bits3/8″3/8″, 1/2″
12V vs 18V drill comparison table

12V Vs. 18V Drill Performance

12V drills for wood
Mostly 12V drills are used for woodworking

12V, and 18V drills are cordless. Hence these are powered by Li-Ion batteries. Normally, a 12V, 3Amh drill has a 36W of power capacity and same capacity 18V drill have a 54W power capacity. There fore 18V drill is more powerful than the 12V drill.

Power is usually measured by the Watt-hour. So you can find power for your drill battery by multiplying the voltage and ampere-hours of the battery.

Wh (power) = Volatge * Amph

Normally drill batteries are Li-Ion, and some are Ni-Cd. Most Li-Ion batteries are durable when used properly. At first, we can consider the power supply with voltage. The capacity of the battery is measured by the voltage and amperes. So capacity is the measurement of working time. A higher-capacity battery has a long run than a lower-capacity battery.

When the capacity is high, the tool can be used for a long time. When you are going to buy it, you should consider this. If you need a long-run tool, 18V is the best solution. But more than that, there are factors you should consider. Let’s see what they are.

I will show you the result of test drilling 2″ Oakwood using Milwaukee 12V and 18V batteries until the battery is empty.

Milwaukee46 holes59 holes
Drilling holes using 12V and 18V
  • 18V has more power capacity than 12V

12V Vs 18V Drill Efficiency

18V drills for bricks
18V drills are used for hard drilling task

When we consider a machine, efficiency is the most important. This is a measurement of the power output of the input power. 12V vs 18V drills are different in efficiency. You can observe it using below testing.

Testing is conducted by measuring how much time it will take to drive 10 screwdrivers with 2 1/2″length using Dewalt impact driver and drill driver using 12V and 18V batteries.

Check the result!

Drill Driver (combi)71 Sec48 Sec
Impact Driver54 Sec52 Sec
Duration for drive 10 screws of 2 1/2″

When you carefully check this table, you can always observe high voltage can do an amazing job. When you use any kind of tool relevant to this category, you can have this kind of result. So you can have real efficiency when using the 18V drill.

  • 18V is more efficient than 12V

12V Vs.18V Drill Size and Weight

Normally 18V tool weight is 4 – 6lbs, and the 12V tool weight is 3 – 5lbs with a battery pack. But most sizes are equally the same. Because of these, you should select the right tool that is compatible with your job.

When you use a power tool, size and weight are more important. That is a measurement of user comfortability. If the tool is more weight and more size, you are not able to handle that easily. Lightweight fewer-size tools are highly demanding for daily jobs.

If you are doing a woodworking job, you will need lightweight tools with fewer sizes. The reason is handling them easily. Sometimes you may need to carry that to the top of the roof. So size and weight is a more critical factors.

But consider the DIY projects; you will need a combined mechanisms tool such as a drill driver. Those tools are bit weight with considering the same power single mechanism tool. So it is essential to use more option tools for the DIY.

  • 18V is more weight than 12V drill driver

12V Vs.18V Drill Usage

When we use 12V drill and 18V drill, we should consider the user experience. User experience depends on the weight, size, purpose, battery capacity, charging time, etc.

If the tool handling is easy, there is a positive user experience. And if tool handling is difficult and it pains you, that is negative.

If you are a roof builder, you will need a lightweight tool with more capacity. But if you are doing DIY projects, weight is not an essential factor. Because of these factors, you should select the best tool for your purpose.

TaskSuitable tool
Drive screws or drill-less than 3/8″12V Drill driver
Drive screws or drill more than 1/2″18V Drill driver
Drill concrete, masonry, Bricks18VDrills
Drill wood12V Drill
Drill metal18V Drill
12V and 18V drill usage

As well as the battery capacity is another factor for usage. If the battery capacity is always continuously low, you have to charge it, or you will need an extra battery for that. So that is not suitable for use.

  • 12 V is easy handling than 18V

12V Vs.18V Drill Battery Charging Time

Nowadays, charging time has been reduced with new technology. There are chargers such as rapid chargers, fast chargers, and standard chargers.

If you are using a rapid charger, you can charge your battery in less than 15min for the fast chargers, and it is less than 30 min. Using a standard charger will take more than hours.

Each tool uses different technology. Therefore charging time depends on the charger capacity and battery capacity.

You should charge a battery 10-85% for the maximum lifetime. So you will have to remain less time than its recommended charging time.

Read more about How Long Does It Take to Charge a Cordless Drill Battery?

  • 12V batteries will charge less than 18V batteries.

Drill Bits of 12V Vs. 18V Drills

Types of drill bits
Types of drill bits

Drill bits are used for drilling wood, metal, concrete, etc. The diameter of the drill bit is a measurement of the power of the tool because the drill bit is designed to hold the torsion. When you are drilling or driving, you need torque for the work. The torque generates the torsion.

In order to resist the torsion tool should be more diameter. Due to this reason, there are various diameters. Mostly there are 3/8″ (10mm) and 1/2″ (13mm).

When the tool is more powerful, it generates higher torque and torsion. Hence in 18V drill use 1/2″ drill bits.

Most 12V drills use a 3/8″ drill bit.

  • 3/8″ drill bits are good for 12V drill and 1/2″ drill bits are good for 18V drill


When you are going to buy one of these 12V and 18V, there are both pros and cons of the category. According to your job, you should select the tool that you need.

Overall, 12V is less weight and user-friendly. But 18V is not like that due to weight. But considering the power and efficiency, 18V is the best. So what is your purpose? Now you can select the best one!

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Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.