Yesterday, we posted about two new Milwaukee M18 batteries that are coming soon – CP3.0 and XC8.0.
To start things off, you should know that all Milwaukee M18 batteries are designed to work with any Milwaukee M18 tool. There are some physical compatibility issues with a couple of earlier tools, but in those cases, Milwaukee will update those products for free.
Milwaukee M18 Battery Sizes
There are 3 main M18 battery size categories: CP, XC, and HD.
CP battery packs are the compact batteries, with 5 Li-ion cells. The CP labeling is fairly new, and should help to make things clearer.
XC battery packs are the “extended capacity” battery packs, with 10 Li-ion cells. Unless changes were made, M18 XC batteries will give certain tools a slight power boost. For instance, the “XC effect” should give M18 drills a roughly 10% increase in power.
HD battery packs are High Demand batteries, built with 15 Li-ion cells. These batteries deliver the longest runtime, and run cooler, keeping up with the heaviest duty Milwaukee M18 cordless power tools.
Milwaukee M18 High Output
Milwaukee announced new M18 High Output batteries in 2018, and has expanded the selection with the addition of a new High Output compact battery, and a higher capacity XC battery.
The “standard” batteries are built with 18650 cells, whereas the new High Output batteries are built with larger 21700 cells. The 21700 Li-ion battery cells are available at higher charge capacities, delivering longer runtime. Not only that, the cells can provided more power, and Milwaukee’s High Output battery packs run cooler.
Thus, the M18 High Output batteries can literally deliver higher output than the “standard” batteries.
An overly simplified way of thinking about it is that a Milwaukee High Output battery bumps you up to the next level of runtime, but in a smaller size battery pack.
The new CP3.0 battery provides higher capacity than the existing CP2.0 battery, and is said to have “XC power” but in a more compact size. The newest XC8.0 battery provides nearly the same charge capacity as the HD9.0 battery.
What do the Numbers Mean?
The numbers following the size designation is the charge capacity. A CP3.0 battery has a 3.0Ah charge capacity; an XC5.0 battery has a 5.0Ah charge capacity; an HD12.0 battery has a 12.0Ah charge capacity.
An Ah is an amp-hour, and can tell you how much runtime a battery will provide, relative to battery packs of other sizes.
Which to Choose?
Generally, you could or should choose the size of battery that is appropriate for the tool. If you’re not sure, check out the contents of that tool’s kit options, if available. A compact drill or impact driver might be best matched up with a compact battery, while a circular saw will likely be better paired with an XC or even HD battery.
Larger battery packs, in an XC or HD battery compared to a CP battery sense, are capable of delivering more power, and run cooler, which can affect runtime and longevity. Of course, they also deliver longer runtime. The High Output batteries cloud things up a little, since they can deliver more power than standard-size batteries of the same CP, XC, or HD size families.
What’s most important to you?
Do you want longer runtime? Select a battery with a higher charge capacity.
Do you want the most for your money? Crunch some numbers and select the battery pack with the lowest price-per-amp-hour ratio, or highest amp-hour-per-dollar ratio. Sometimes the best pricing can be found by buying a 2-pack.
Some users might prefer to buy one XC8.0 battery, while others might instead prefer two XC4.0 batteries. But if you’re running high powered tools, an HD12.0 battery could very well last longer than three XC4.0 batteries.
Also, keep in mind that higher capacity batteries take longer to recharge, and multiple batteries can require greater attention if you have more batteries to charge than you have chargers.
Although the High Output batteries offer higher capacities and can deliver more power than batteries from the same CP/XC/HD class, but they’re also physically larger, and also heavier.
CP3.0 and XC8.0 batteries are coming soon. All the others on the list are presently available.
- 3.0Ah – High Output
Extended Capacity (XC)
- 6.0Ah – High Output
- 8.0Ah – High Output
High Demand (HD)
- 12.0Ah – High Output
Hopefully this clears things up. I’d be glad to help if you could use additional clarifications.
Which battery sizes do you typically use? If not with Milwaukee M18 tools, then with your brand of choice?