Avi wrote in, as he’s in the market for at least one more Milwaukee M18 cordless tool Li-ion battery.
I got the first generation fuel hammer-drill/driver and impact driver kit a while back and it came with two XC 3.0 Ah batteries. This past summer (I think) home depot had the 1″ D-handle sds plus rotary hammer on sale for 150 (an amazing deal) so I picked up that bare tool. Now I keep tools in two locations, the hammer-drill for home use and the impact driver and rotary hammer for work, and each location has one battery. That is getting a bit cumbersome at swapping my one battery between two tools on the job.
I am in the market for an additional battery, what do you recommend? The whole long intro was to illustrate that I could go for a compact battery (for home use or impact driver) or another XC. Another side note is a set with a charger won’t really be of benefit because the use will be in a 220 volt region.
Things are a little complicated when it comes to Milwaukee M18 battery packs. There are occasional promotions, but it’s rare to see discounts on battery packs.
If you want an M18 2.0Ah battery, for example, it’s $79. That’s quite pricey. But if you look at the holiday season brushless drill or impact driver combo kits, you get a tool, charger, and 2.0Ah battery for $99 (or even less sometimes).
Home Depot, as part of their Black Friday 2018 sale, will have the M18 12Ah battery for $149. That’s a large battery, though, not ideal for use with smaller tools.
The 5Ah battery (48-11-1850) is available from several vendors, for $99. Compared to your 3Ah batteries, it’ll give you a sizable boost in runtime – if that’s something you could use. The 4Ah battery is more expensive at the moment. Or, you could buy a 2-pack of 3Ah batteries for $139, but if you only want (1) new battery, the 5.0Ah will cost less.
When it comes to cost-per-amp-hour, the 5Ah is $19.80 per Ah. To buy (2) 3Ah batteries, it comes out to $23.17 per amp-hour.
The compact batteries are quite pricey – I wouldn’t get one of those outside a kit, to be honest.
Right now you can also buy a 5Ah battery with Rapid Charger for $99 (48-59-1850R). If there’s a chance you might ever use the charger, you can opt for the 5Ah battery or 5Ah battery with charger for the same price. The holiday season is always a little weird like that.
If you want (2) 2.0Ah battery packs, it’s almost worthwhile to look at the M18 compact brushless drill and driver kit plus Packout deal, which gives you (2) 2.0Ah batteries which would otherwise cost $158. So for $41, which is a rather sizeable bump-up in cost, you get 2 brushless tools and tool box, plus a charger that as you mentioned you probably cannot use.
If you want (2) 5.0Ah battery packs, there have been recent flash sales where last-generation M18 Fuel drill and impact driver kits were priced at $199. With that, you’re spending $1 more than what it would cost to buy (2) new 5.0Ah batteries at promotional pricing.
So, if in your shoes, I would decide whether I wanted (1) 5.0Ah battery or (1) 2.0Ah battery. The price of one or two 1.5Ah batteries isn’t quite as good as for the 2.0Ah battery, which is not good at all in my opinion, and the same can be said for 3Ah and 4Ah batteries compared to current pricing for the 5.0Ah XC pack.
If you want (2) batteries, then it becomes harder to recommend buying just batteries, unless there’s a particularly good deal (which is rare). Otherwise, it’s an opportunity to get a new tool at a steep discount (if you could use one), and sometimes the price difference is extremely small or even negligible.
For instance $198 right now gets you (2) 5Ah XC batteries, while $199 gets you an impact driver kit with (2) 5Ah batteries (deal ends 11/15/2018).
Or, $158 gets you (2) 2.0Ah compact batteries, while $149 gets you (2) 2.0Ah batteries and the last generation of M18 Fuel brushless impact driver, plus a charger and a case (2753-22ct via Acme Tools). That deal also ends today, 11/15/18.
I hope this helps! I should note that things are different for other brands. For instance, you can buy a 2-pack of Dewalt 2.0Ah batteries for $79 right now. Milwaukee’s promos aren’t quite like that – which isn’t a bad thing; they just do things differently.
What does everyone else do when it’s time to buy a new cordless power tool battery?