Voltage For Cordless Drills – Do I Need Higher One?

Cordless drills assist people in drilling holes and driving screws without having to worry about connecting them to a power outlet. The users receive efficiency, mobility and weight at once when using a cordless drill. When focusing on the appropriate voltage for cordless drills it is important to choose a voltage rating suitable for your task.

Normally, cordless drills need 12V, 18V volts for light-weight tasks and 20V, 36V and more will need for heavy duty task. Drills need high voltage for their higher RPM and impact drivers and wrenches require higher current to produce higher torque than drills

An increased voltage indicates a larger, heftier battery. In this article, you will find answers to many questions you have when it comes to the voltage of cordless drills. So keep reading.

DC Motor Behaviour of Cordless Drills with Voltage

Corded drills are predominantly designed with DC motors. The procedure of a DC motor is somewhat uncomplicated. In DC motors, there is a coil placed in a magnetic field. When the coil receives sufficient electric current, a torque will be stimulated by turning the motor.

Consequently, this whole procedure is driven by the electricity sent to the coil, with the derivation voltage having a straight connection to the production speed of the motor.

DC Motor Torque – Speed Curve

Speed is squarely equal to supply voltage when the torque on the motor is constant.

When the voltage prevails constant, a boost in the torque of the motor will lead to a speed reduction.

High Voltage Drills vs Low Voltage Drills

Choosing what is best among high voltage drills and low voltage drills will depend on the task you are using the tool for.

For tough works which demand more torque, a higher voltage is a better solution as torque makes it convenient for you to use bigger force without settling as much pressure on the battery. Particularly, constructions and domestic tasks with durable materials require high-voltage drills.

On the other hand, low voltage drills come in handy when dealing with small tasks like drilling into softwoods

There are both pluses and minuses in both options. Batteries with a high voltage will run out of power when you work for an extended period, users might find it disturbing as they take longer to charge. For the users who always work on varied projects, it would be wise to have both high and low voltage drills. 

Read More About – Cordless Drill Battery Charge Time – [Tested All Brands]

Voltage and Cordless Drill Efficiency

Voltage solely refers to the power that is produced by the tool. The power of the drill relies on the voltage it receives.

Accordingly, the power of the cordless drills is rated in battery voltage. When the drill gets an elevated voltage the torque-spinning strength will be boosted withstanding resistance. Over the last decade, the voltage spectrum of models comprises 6, 7.2, 9.6, 12, 14.4, 18 and 20V.

The higher-voltage drills are effective enough to drill large holes in framing lumber and flooring. A massive voltage means that the tool has more power and delivers enough energy for high torque applications.

High Voltage cordless tools are provided with high capacity batteries that facilitate them to run longer minimising their need for a recharge.

Read More About – 09 Tips For Drill Battery – Extra Durability | Performance

12 V, 18V and 20V Cordless Drill for Tasks 

12 V18V20V
Size & PortabilityCompact
Easy to carry around. 
Easy to manoeuvre
Do not require a lot of space compared to 20V drills. 
Equipped with a bigger motor, thus needing a bigger profile.
Less portable compared to 12v & 18V drills.
, Battery CapacitySmaller capacity.
Offers a shorter run time.
Wise to keep a backup battery
Have large battery Capacities
Less Power than 20V.
Has large battery capacities, thus more power.
Ideal for large projects. 
CostCheaper than 18VCheaper than 20V Expensive
UsabilitySuitable for simpler and lighter tasks (furniture and other woodwork). 
Ideal for anyone working overhead, in attics or crawl spaces. 
Ideal for many common jobs around the houseBest for heavy-duty operations (drilling stones and concrete)

The efficiency will depend on what task you need the drill for.  Still, a 12V cordless drill will be a clever choice if power is not your issue and you are working on a budget.

Can I Use a 20V Drill Battery on 18V Drill?


It is an incredible solution to use a 20V battery in an 18V drill machine. Users who employ multiple tools are instructed to buy many battery packs associated with drilling requirements. There are batteries and chargers individually available to purchase.  In this case, if you can alternate and use batteries that would be beneficial. 

Both 20 and 18 voltages have cells created in groups of five. As five does not go into eighteen evenly, it is obvious that an eighteen volt is a twenty volt with a different label. 18V and 20V MAX systems function with the same rate of voltage. Even though the guts of each battery cell are different from one brand to another they need the same voltage as an 18V tool.

Which is Better: Higher Amps or Voltage? 

More volts generally means more RPMs. With an increased voltage, the drill whirls rapidly. More amp-hours on the battery typically means more torque.

Torque is the force that results in an object fastening and is the best measure to see how effective a drill is and the higher the number the more twisting force it will transmit.

Thereafter, when driving screws on drywalls for a longer period, it would be useful to get a drill with an increased voltage.

To drill large-diameter holes in hardwood or metal, it is good to get a drill that brings out more amps and has a higher-amp battery.

Can I Interchange Batteries With Brands?


Power tool batteries can be interchangeable by using an adaptor. Nonetheless, it is approved not to interchange batteries as chemistries and voltage differ from one another.  For satisfactory outcomes, restore all batteries with the exact brand, chemistry, voltage, and size when the device shows inadequate performance.

However, there are dual fitting designs like adaptor Duo developed letting users attach their existing DeWalt or Milwaukee 18V batteries to a Makita 18V tool in a flash.

The Badaptor Duo DeWalt, Milwaukee to Makita battery adaptor enables consumers to utilize their present compilation of DeWalt or Milwaukee batteries with a broad range of Makita power tools, excluding the necessity to buy, store, expense and retain a new collection of batteries together with the ones they own.

Li-Ion vs Ni-Cd Battery Voltage

If nickel-cadmium batteries are discharged and recharged to the exact state of charge multiple times that will lead to a “memory effect”. In its charge progression, the battery memorizes the point where recharging started and during the next use, the voltage unexpectedly drops at that point, as if the battery had been discharged.

However, the capacity of the battery will not decrease to a great extent. Some batteries resist this reduced voltage long enough for the voltage to return to normal while some devices fail to function during the dropped voltage period.

Due to this reason, the battery can die before reaching its expiration. Further, when a battery of various cells is completely discharged, various charges may occur, diminishing the lifespan of the battery.

Lithium-ion batteries deliver more voltage considerably than Ni-Cd Batteries. The bent of Li-Ion batteries is that they can be recharged before they are fully discharged without creating a “memory effect”.

Li-Ion batteries are well fitted for recent fuel gauge applications as their self-discharge is less than half in contrast to Ni-Cd. However, the safety circuit is created in each pack restricting the maximum voltage of each cell during charge and impeding the cell voltage from plunging too low on discharge. 

How Many Extra Batteries are Needed for a Drill? 

It depends on personal usage, the voltage, and the task. A cordless drill battery requires recharging occasionally. Users may want to have at least three batteries for each tool to prevent any troublesome circumstances if they use them for massive undertakings.

It is good to go for cordless drills available with complete sets with 1, 2, or even 3 batteries. Select a bare tool if you already have a matching battery. Enabling users to use the exact batteries for varied appliances with the exact voltage many tool brands come up with distinctive battery strategies. 

Users can choose the number of batteries they want according to the amp-hour ratings because extra amp-hours and extra volts procure lengthier runtime.

Can a Drill Battery Revive?

Identify the Dead Battery

When a battery is partly dead you can revive it

In the reviving process, to jumpstart the battery a completely charged battery is needed. Set the two batteries side by side and connect them with two short insulated cables matching the polarity between the two batteries. This way you can transmit power from the active battery to the dead one. 

Disconnect the cables and place the dead battery into the tool’s battery charger after around five minutes. If the battery begins receiving a charge, then the jumpstart is successful. Put the battery in the charger for an hour or until the battery is 100% charged. Try jumpstarting once again if it does not work.

Users should be cautious to restore the dead battery with a new one when the battery reaches its maximum lifespan as tampering with rechargeable batteries can result in fire or explosion.

Read More About – 09 Most Drill Battery Problems and Solutions

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.