When you buy a cordless power tool kit, your battery choices are usually already made for you. There are different reasons why users might buy additional battery packs. Maybe you prefer to buy bare tools, you’re expanding your cordless tool set, replacing older batteries, or simply want more batteries.
So, for those of you who are buying cordless power tool batteries, what size(s) are you choosing?
If you’re not buying new batteries, which ones would you buy? Which battery sizes are you currently using?
The reason I ask is because the selection process has never been more complicated, and I have a feeling that it’s things can only get more so.
Having choices are great! But are there too many choices right now?
Shown above is a Milwaukee M18 CP 3.0Ah battery pack. Is it a better choice than the XC 3.0Ah battery pack? I think so. What about Milwaukee’s M18 compact 2.0Ah battery – does it replace that too? What about the XC 4.0Ah battery – would you choose this compact 5-cell 3.0Ah battery over the 4.0Ah battery built with 10 Li-ion cells?
If you need help deciphering things, I put together a primer on Milwaukee M18 batteries, and nothing has changed since then.
As an aside, it has been nearly 3 years since Milwaukee released a new M18 battery pack; what do you suppose they’re working on now?
I like to use Milwaukee’s M18 batteries as an example, but most pro-grade 18V/20V Max cordless power tool brands now offer battery packs in similarly varied form factors. Makita seems to be the only exception, but their new XGT 36V/40V Max lineup does feature larger cells in select batteries.
So, with Makita’s 18V line, the choice is easy – you can buy compact (5) cell batteries or higher capacity (10) cell batteries, with different charge capacity (amp-hour) ratings.
Learn more about amp-hours:
Revisiting What an Amp-Hour Means for Cordless Power Tool Batteries, and Other Tidbits
Okay, so the way things used to be, there was compact and higher capacity batteries.
Now, you have compact batteries with matching or higher charge capacities compared to physically larger batteries.
Dewalt’s 20V Max lineup, for instance, has a (10) cell 5Ah battery, a (10) cell 6Ah battery that’s physically a little larger, and a (15) cell FlexVolt battery that’s even larger, but with a smaller footprint than the (10) cell battery.
If you want to put classify Dewalt or other brands’ batteries, there are different intersecting tiers, which is where things get messy.
With Dewalt 20V Max, you have compact (5) cell batteries – 1.3Ah, 1.5Ah, and 2.0Ah, “standard” (10) cell batteries – 3.0Ah, 4.0Ah, and 5.0Ah, larger form factor (10) cell batteries – compact 3.0Ah, compact 4.0Ah, 6.0Ah, 8.0Ah, and now 10.0Ah, and also (15) cell FlexVolt batteries in 6.0Ah, 9.0Ah, and 12.0Ah sizes. A new 15.0Ah FlexVolt battery is coming soon.
In another post, a reader said they considered Milwaukee’s M18 battery series to be more straightforward. They are, but things can be confusing for new users. There are compact batteries, standard 10-cell batteries, 5- and 10-cell batteries with High Output larger form factor battery cells, and also the High Demand 15-cell batteries.
Other brands have their own special differentiations, with fewer options overall contributing to the appearance of simplicity.
Bosch, for example, gives their larger cell batteries Core18V and ProFactor designations.
I keep thinking that some less popular battery sizes will eventually be phased out, such as 10-cell 3.0Ah batteries, but perhaps there’s still a marketing need for them in value-priced combo kits.
As for all of the others, how to choose one over another? Generally, a larger form factor battery pack can match the performance of a smaller form factor battery of the next-higher tier. That is, a 5-cell “High Output” style battery is supposed to be able to deliver the power requirements – but not necessarily the runtime – of standard-styled 10-cell batteries.
Things used to be simple. If you want longer runtime, step up to a battery with higher charge capacity. There was no overlap, there were simply two physical battery sizes and an easily deciphered scale of increasing charge capacity. You paid more for longer runtime, and could also calculate a dollar per amp-hour ratio to get the most bang out of your buck.
How do you choose batteries now? You can still approach the decision according to charge capacity and cost per amp-hour, but battery sizing has become an increasingly untethered factor.
Despite having the latest and greatest batteries at my disposal, I still have a fondness for 5.0Ah batteries, and that seems strange to me.
I like compact higher output batteries for some tools, such as lightweight hand vacs and cordless work lights, higher output 10-cell batteries for heavier tools where dealing with a little more weight pays for a lot longer runtime, and 15-cell batteries for power-hungry equipment that I don’t want to have to take too many breaks from.
I think that maybe I’m moving away from compact 2.0Ah batteries, since they only serve lightweight compact tools while compact high output batteries are a little more versatile. I can take a compact 3.0Ah battery, for instance, and use it with a compact drill or impact driver, and then move it to power a brushless circular saw or oscillating multi-tool.
So, I tend to use compact higher output batteries in place of the most compact batteries, and also in medium-duty tools that smaller batteries aren’t well-suited for.
But, there are also some times when those smallest 18V-sized batteries are useful.
Maybe things would easier if there were fewer battery size options for each different cell configuration or form factor, but users like having both lower priced and higher capacity options with similar form factors. 4.0Ah batteries did not make 3.0Ah batteries obsolete, and when 5.0Ah batteries came out, they simply joined their physically like-sized siblings.
Which battery size do I use? That’s a good question, and one I’m not sure I could answer with confidence. Sometimes I’m picky, other times it doesn’t matter. Most of the time it depends on the tool, or my whim.
My must-have-cannot-part-with list includes one from every single size/form factor of battery. I own quite a few batteries – mainly whatever comes with purchased tool kits, and they are complemented with samples of nearly every size and capacity.
I know that “at least one of every size” isn’t typical, and maybe that complicates things. I’m curious about the decisions you guys have made or are making with respect to battery selection.
Sometimes this is a passive decision – you get what you get in kits and promo bundles – but a lot of users also deliberately select different batteries to suit their specific needs. Other times, decisions could be made based on price.
All that said, what are your cordless power tool battery preferences? What sizes do you use, and which are you buying (or would be buying)?
Are there any sizes that you’ve been avoiding? For example, is there any reason to buy 10-cell 4.0Ah batteries anymore?
I had 18V/20V Max systems in mind for the sake of this discussion, but similar considerations can also apply to 24V Max and other like-classed cordless power tool lines, albeit usually with few options.
I own mostly Milwaukee tools, and whenever possible I use the m18 compact 3.0 batteries. They seem to give good power to my drill, circ saw, and hackzall, exc. If I’m using my grinder or table saw then I’ll break out the 12ah battery to get the boost in power but it’s too heavy for regular use.
Compact 4 and 9ah flexvolt for my dewalt
3ah compact for my non multivolt Hitachi
Only have 8ah for my multi volt
But those 10-cell 4.0 batteries are the cheapest! 😄
I don’t buy any of the 2.0 and smaller batteries except when they come in kits. Otherwise I’m looking at 3.0 and 4.0 for compact tools and bigger-is-better for the large tools.
I think Dewalt is beginning to have too many batteries. If they’d capped the 20v line at 6ah or 8ah that would seem appropriate to me. Once I’m at 6ah I want a Flexvolt battery. The 9ah Flexvolt battery does everything the 8ah and 10ah 20v max batteries do for me – plus I can put it in my chainsaw.
I realize users without Flexvolt tools won’t care, but then they could BECOME Flexvolt users.
P.s. if Dewalt capped 20v capacity at 8ah, it seems like that would also make it easier to differentiate and explain the options.
Having a 10ah 20v pack that still can’t go in the table saw, chainsaw, etc. seems like a waste.
philip s john
U mean flexvolt tools? It can go in plenty of hi amp draw tools. Turns my old brushed grinder into a work horse. Or any 20v grinder. It’s as compact as Milwaukee 6.
Yes. I just want more cross-compatibility. I understand I can use the big 20v packs in other tools – but they would be so much more useful to me as Flexvolt packs.
If I buy a mower and get a couple 10ah 20v packs, I literally have no other tools I would use them with. I have Flexvolt tools for my high-power items.
I mean, I COULD put them on my impact driver, circular saw, oscillating multitool, vacuum, etc, but it makes no sense for those applications. It would be like trying to tow a 30′ camper with a Prius – maybe you can physically make the connection, but the battery is so oversized for the application it would affect what you can do with the tool.
With the 9ah or 12ah Flexvolt packs, you can still put them on your drill if you want to be silly – or use them in 20v OPE – but now they’re useful for all the Flexvolt tools too.
Why not Dewalt?
My guesses are:
1. Because they fear confusing the consumer (e.g. maybe there will be a Flexvolt mower soon – if the 20v mower also came with Flexvolt batteries… it might be hard for the uninitiated to figure out why the Flexvolt was more expensive (and there already is a Flexvolt string trimmer)).
2. Big 20v packs are a little cheaper to produce than their Flexvolt counterparts.
Here’s the thing. People bitch when there’s not this option or that option then when dewalt listens people bitch cuz there’s too many options. They can’t win
I’m on 3 platforms right now so I’ll limit my comments to those.
For M12 I greatly prefer the 3.0 CP “compact” packs. These are simply the largest capacity that still fits inside the grip without having a brick hanging off the end of the handle. And for me, that’s the main reason I’m on M12–most of my M12s are mechanic’s tools, and having an external battery only gets in the way. And I also like the 6.0’s for those applications where power is more important. If it were up to me I’d have only 3.0 CPs and 6.0 XCs. That said, they rarely bundle 3.0 packs and I tend to look for deals, so I have ended up with an assortment of mostly 2’s and 6’s with a few 4.0 XCs and 3.0 CPs.
For 20V Max I have a variety ranging from 2 to 6ah, all came bundled with tools. I use all of them regularly. I’m not picky about the exact capacity so long as I have some “small” batteries like 2ah and some “big” in the 4-6 range. I’m not really interested in any 20V max batts larger than 6ah or so, if I want larger than that I’ll just use a flexvolt battery. And going forward if and when I need to buy larger dewalt batteries I’d much rather buy flexvolt batts I can use with two families of tools rather than just buying 20V max batts which I can only use on one.
Flexvolt. I have some 9ah’s, I am in the market for a couple larger ones, 12ah or the yet-to-hit-the-market 15ah’s would do; I’ll probably wait and see if I can snag a combo kit deal perhaps in conjunction with any new flexvolt tools they might be releasing. In the past I’ve gotten some great deals where someone like Acme would have a Flexvolt combo kit on sale which would also come with a nice free tool.
I have to almost mirror these comments. Same setup but I have no use for Flex volt at this time. But I do have the M12 for small size and use the bigger 20v DW for bigger jobs. I have some 5ah as the biggest.
Pretty much this. Same theory on M12, 20v and 60v dewalt. The only difference is that I use the 6 cell M12 batteries on my impacts so they stand up when I set them down.
Yup! M12 3.0ah compact is a no brainer. Pile of 1.5,2,4s but 3.0 is go to for compactness and 6 for runtime in a light or saw.
M18 I usually am going for the chainsaw or vacuum so I go 12 or 8. I have a compact 2.0 that is nice in the impact, a few antique 5s and 3s for saws and Hammerdrill. Have my eye on the compact 3s and would buy if I used M18 stuff more but M12 is better for most of that anyway.
Kobalt 24v I used exclusively the 1.5ah until I sold them.
DeWalt I have a 2.0 for my jacket and a pair of fairly compact 5s for my 12″ chainsaw and it feels about perfect.
Every day for screwing I use my fuel 2nd gen m12 impact with a 4 or 6.0
For sawzall, miter, table, rear handle circular saws and framing nailer I run either 8 or 12 ah HO batteries. Big difference in m18 HO batteries on those tools compared to other batteries.
My lights, 16,18,23 nailers, router, planer, fan, and other specialty tools are ryobi on 4.0 or 9ah batteries.
I typically try to find the best price per AH in the 4 – 6 AH range for my Bosch 18v tools if I’m buying extra batteries. I’m only doing DIY stuff, so I don’t need the long run times, but like the options this range gives me in terms of power and being able to finish jobs without having to stop for recharging or swapping out batteries as happened when I ran 2AH batteries that came with the tools.
For M12 I prefer the 2.0 cp and the 4.0xc batteries. I’ve had terrible luck with the 3.0 cp and 6.0xc packs. I’m guessing it’s a similar problem as the old M18 9.0 packs.
For M18 I have some of the newer 3.0cp and 6.0 HO packs for impacts and saws that can make use of the extra power. I also keep a couple of the older 5.0 packs around for lights since the newer packs don’t always work well with them.
I was thinking about getting a pair of 3.0 cp and 6.0 xc during the holiday sales. I’m curious what problems you had with them?
I have a pair each of the CP3.0 and XC6.0 M12 batteries. I’ve never had a problem – they work great. My only beef with the CP3.0 is that it takes quite a while to charge and doesn’t charge any faster on the Rapid Charger (all the other M12 batteries do).
For most small tools, i preffer to use the m18 3.0 High Output batteries, just because they are only slightly bigger than the 2.0s and 1.5s, and they last longer. For medium duty tools (like circular and recip saws), i prefer the 6.0 HO and the 8.0 HO. And for my compressor, i usually go with the 12.0 HO or the 9.0 HD. As far as dewalt goes, i try to stay with the 2.0s for my cable stapler and the 9.0 Flexvolt for my 12in. Miter Saw. And with m12, i just have a bunch of 2.0s and 1.5s that have come in kits, and im happy with those.
One reason I like Makita is the 5ah are so common in the 36v kits. I have 20 or more 5ah batts and a few 2ah for drills. For Milwaukee M12, I stick with 2ah and 4ah.
I like the DeWalt 1st gen 5AH 20v batteries best. I standardized on 5ah, then they came out with a bunch more sizes. Seem to balance the best with most tools. Unless its for my impact. I like the 2ah for that if its not continuous use. Lights, radio, or anything stationary I go as big as I can fit.
For 60v I like the 9ah. But they are so heavy the 12Ah doesn’t seem to make too much of a difference may as well go 12. Don’t have any 15ah yet. Interested to see how much weight difference those make.
Stuart, send me some 15ah 60v and I will trade you an honest review. Or DeWalt same deal. I am driving distance of the CT HQ. You can save on shipping!
I have a Dewalt 20v drill, impact driver, jigsaw and cordless vacuum and only have two 2.0 amp batteries. Heavy hobby use and no complaints. Each 2.0 battery lasts long enough to vacuum a car. Might pick up a bigger one eventually but with the battery gauges on the batteries it’s not hard to know when to charge them.
Barry F Knowles
I’m in the healthcare maintenance field and have been using the Milwaukee M12 tools. I’ve got 5 of the 2.0 batteries and they are fine for what I use them for; replacing bathroom fan motors; repairing cabinet doors; drawer pulls; removing/replacing electric motor covers; furniture repairs; tearing apart various medical pumps/scanners/lifts, etc.
i tend to buy bear tools and then just stock up on batteries during blackfriday and the holidays honestly so i buy what the best deals are for
I’ve built out a good collection of M12 and M18 tools. I got started with the multi piece kits that came with batteries. Then I just waited for a tool I wanted to go on sale and including a different size battery.
The tools tend to come with a battery that fits that tool. The chainsaw comes with a 12ah, but I found a deal where they threw in an 8 as well, so now I have one. I got a great deal on a leaf blower with an 8 and a 6(?).
It was kind of organic, but now I have half a dozen batteries that range from 3 to 12ah. I grab a battery that works for the task at hand. Climbing a ladder with a drill – grab a small battery. Leaf blowing for 20 minutes – get the 8. Etc. It just didn’t take much thought or planning.
New update from Bosch marketing, you can’t use amp hour ratings anymore you have to call it the “proforce ampshredder nuclear edition!!!”
Because it is extreme.
I like the 2.0 and 6.0 batteries for my M12 things. I like the smaller batteries for my screwdriver, light, ratchet and sometimes drill. I like the big batteries for longer projects or for the impact and hackzall. I like I e the 4 0 for my kobalt stuff and my Ryobi tools too. I haven a couple different types of Ryobi 4.0 but have not noticed too much difference between them.
Due to when I bought into the platform, I have a lot of Milwaukee 5.0Ah batteries and use them on a lot of tools – often I just leave a battery on each tool and only swap when they need charging. I have a couple 12Ah batteries that run my vacuums, chainsaw and blower (one had to be warrantied out) and I have a couple 3.0CP and 6.0CP that get used interchangeably with the 5Ah ones. I notice a difference on the high-draw tools with the 12Ah; for everything else I tend to grab whatever battery is closest to hand and don’t usually notice much difference for my usage patterns.
I’m buying within my pocket’s reach, that I’m allowed to fly. So far, only FLEXVOLT has the best carry capacity.
12AHr are my current limit. I mainly reserve 9s and 12s for the powerstation. 6s for in between and being the minimum FV. For general use I use 3s and 4s for medium duty. 1.3/1.5 and 2s are for regular screws and small holes.
If DeWalt comes with a single pack inverter. 20V or 60V I will be capable. I’m trying to keep away from 5s, 8s, and 10s for balancing. (Trying)
I use a 2.0 ah battery on my M18 Surge impact driver, a 5.0 ah on the drill, a 12.0 ah battery on the rear handle saw, and a pair of 5.0 ah batteries on the SawZall and multi tool. I’ll put a 12.0 ah on the compact vacuum and leaf blower, but I’ve never come very close to running it down. Nothing too crazy, but I’ve never found the 12.0 ah battery to be too heavy in the saw or blower. It can be a little ungainly in the vacuum, but I’m used to it. It’s interesting to hear everyone’s perspectives on it!
I’d like a 12 for my blower. I use an 8.0 and it lasts for about 15 minutes. Then I pop in my 6.0 and I get another 10 minutes or so. Then I’m done for a while.
I tend to mix up my battery sizes for most tools for the heck of it. That said, if I need to drive a high power tool like a miter saw, I will go big, and if I am using a tool overhead or in a tight space I will go compact.
One thing I got from doing some ebike research recently is the S/P nomenclature in battery packs, where S is the count of cells in series and P is the amount of rows of that count in parallel. For 18/20v tool lines, the options are 5S1P (compact), 5S2P (standard) and occasionally 5S3P (heavy), done in either 18650 or more recently 21700 cells.
Honestly, I like the new 3.0 compacts made with 21700s, but, I really want one of those monster 12ah batteries.
Like some other on here, I buy the deals which mean for Ryobi and Dewalt I have a bunch of 3 and 4 AH packs, plus a few smaller ones that came with tools. I like the 4 AH honestly the only time I feel I want more run time is in my Ryobi 18V blower. Other then that 3-4AH works fine for run time.
I use Dewalt 20v and Milwaukee 12v ……..but I get tired of seeing the same old “free battery” and “free bare tool” promotions. Of course they’re willing to give you a free battery because that entices you to buy more of their tools to use the batteries in. And course they’ll give you a so-called free bare tool….because then you’ll need more batteries. It’s rare that you ever see an awesome price on a bare tool though. A lot us us already have their tool needs/collections established…… with plenty of batteries to spare. So when a new tool comes out that I’d like to add, I’d rather see a discounted price on that one tool rather than making me feel like the only way I’m getting a good deal is by paying close to full price for it….and getting another free battery that I don’t need. Seems like they consistently target new-comers and pay little attention to the people who have are already committed to their platforms. Everybody likes to feel like they’ve gotten a deal or a steal when they make a purchase…..especially as we get closer to the holiday season. But a free battery or free bare tool doesn’t cut it for me anymore this late in the game. I feel like I have to wait until one of my tools or batteries dies out on me before I buy another tool. Tired of the marketing schemes. Dewalt has 10,000 different variations of drills, drivers and impact wrenches……honestly, for the average user out there, are any of them worth spending an $100 on? Does the reduced size by 10 or 15% really make that many people say “Oh, I gotta have that one, it’s so much more compact than my other one that I bought 2 yrs ago that works perfectly fine, plus it.s gonna save me 2 seconds”. Sorry for the rant…just get tired of the marketing BS.
With a lot of the Home Depot deals you’re able to return the free battery and get a discounted price on a tool. Not trying to start a discussion on ethics, just stating some commonly promoted internet knowledge.
It’s not just Dewalt with 10,000 versions of their tools. Ryobi does it and I’m sure Milwaukee does it as well. So many options confused the hell out of me last year when I bought my Dewalt drill/impact kit.
Milwaukee certainly does it as well, more so than others possibly. They have something like 41 different M18 impact wrenches alone.
Lol….I know what you’re saying about returning the batteries. I’ve had some luck selling a couple on Craigslist. Still have two, unopened that I need to get rid of. For the batteries I actually use, I think I’ll start marking the date on them with a Sharpie to keep track of their ages. Worked with my kids…..ha!
The bundles can have excellent pricing, but that’s assuming you need or want all the tools in the bundle. As a new user they can be fantastic but if you already have some of the line they’re not so good a deal. A lot of the time I’m turned off because the bundle contains a charger, which I don’t need, or a lot of small batteries like the 1.5 ah M12, which I don’t want. Other times the deal will look killer at first glance but then look closely and it’s an older model of tool in the deal, not the latest and greatest model. I quite often see the older M12 ratchets pop up in aggressively priced combos, but it’s nearly always those base models, not the newer Fuel models, which go on sale.
Home Depot has a promotional kit of the M12 Fuel High Speed Ratchets this year. Same as the regular kit but with one CP2.0 battery instead of two, for $199 which is $20 more than the bare tool. Not hackable, unfortunately.
Yes – I posted about that earlier in the month here: https://toolguyd.com/milwaukee-cordless-high-speed-ratchet-deal-2567-21h/
Ugh… caught me on my grand deception as a tool user… My deep shame…
Due to failing health, some mental health issues of my own, and a great number of funerals in my family… I’m an independent accessibility inventor and ergonomics specialist… With all of one client, and I work for free…
So… I don’t really buy batteries… I need them, I want them, (I have a Savage Garden song stuck in my head now… And there’s Meatloaf’s “2 out of 3 Ain’t Bad” too…) but they’re all priced out of my budget, save for a miracle. Most of my budget is digging myself out of a hole, the rest is survival.
All I can give you is theoretical purchases. In which case I would be highly invested in High-Capacity packs, in all the DeWALT form factors. Slimline has a Slim 4 or 5Ah now? “Standard” goes up to 5 or 6Ah? The beefier ones go up to 10Ah, then we hit FlexVOLT, where I’d be buying 12Ah, and the upcoming 15Ah models. If I had the option to buy more from the 8V Max line, they could use some really nice 4 and 5Ah cartridges using the newer battery cell technology that enables the “Hefty” series of 20 Volt batteries. Might be doing the math wrong, but the 8V series is only a 2-Cell clip, so there’s no arguing over physical size or form factor there, it’s 2 cells, and the Ah raise would have to come from differences in the Cells inside alone. If I could? I would definitely buy them. Otherwise… I’d buy the standard 8V packs by the dozen if need be. My Gyro Screwdriver and my Flashlight are invaluable to me.
And that’s my honest answer. I can only give you what is theoretical. I maintain my tools like a crazy person, so they’ve lasted forever. You can barely tell I have used them extensively for projects… but I’ve made them last, Batteries and all. And were Money not an object, I would be grabbing the top Ah ratings on all the different form factors. Do I need that, necessarily? No… but considering I’ve made 2 1.5Ah, 1 2Ah, and 2 3Ah batteries last since… I guess it’s 2012/2013? I think I deserve some credit for that kind of thinking, hoping they last much longer than these already do.
I have mostly rigid tools and I have been happy with them overall. I have had several warranty claims that all went well. As for batteries I have 1.5,2,4, and 9 amp hour. I mostly use 4 am hour but for my vacuum a 4 ah only lasts about 5-7 minutes. I really like using the 9 amp hour and want to purchase another but they no longer make them. Rigid is selling heavy draw vacuums and possibly other tools and will only manufacture 4 amp hour batteries. I think this is ridiculous and I hope they come out with a more powerful battery soon.
I have two 5.5 Ah batteries for my 18 v machines. When they get weaker over the years I will probably get a smaller lighter pack say 4.0 Ah for my drill and a heavier bigger capacity pack for the more powerful machines. As I don’t use them very often it doesn’t make sense to buy anything new now.
On my 2 compact 10.8 (that’s 12v without the marketing BS) drills I have two 2.0 Ah and two 4.0 Ah packs. Both are fine. But I use the smaller ones more often. The bigger are used with ‘all day projects on location’ that works fine.
Most of mine are kit batteries or a free battery when you buy a bare tool. I have a range from 1.3ah I believe to 6ah. I really like the 1.3 batteries because there light and small and work great on most of my tools. Sometimes i do need more power with my impact wrenches so I will run a the 4 or 6ah batteries. My grinder almost always uses the 4 or 6ah battery and it drains them fast, but it’s also brushed so I generally use corded on bigger projects
I have a 1.5Ah dewalt battery that came with a tool, and it lasts much longer in a drill then I would have thought. Plus nice and light
Mosly use Dewalt 5ah. for all 20V tools which arethe good bulk of my kit. Good balance of runtime and weight. For light task I have a smaller 2.0ah. Flexvolt for sawzall and grinder.
-Milwaukee M12 CP2.0 purchased 05/26/2018
-Milwaukee M12 CP3.0 purchased 11/27/2019
-Milwaukee M12 XC6.0 purchased 02/27/2019
-Milwaukee M18 CP2.0 purchased 06/21/2017
-Milwaukee M18 CP2.0 purchased 02/05/2018
-Milwaukee M18 XC5.0 purchased 06/21/2017
-Milwaukee M18 XC5.0 purchased 02/05/2018
-Milwaukee M18 HD9.0 purchased 05/03/2017
-Milwaukee M18 HD9.0 purchased 01/23/2018
How do you keep track of this?
Excel? I use it to keep track of remaining warranty time and allows me to look up the serial number without having to go and find the tool.
philip s john
I use just about all sizes or similar. Dewalt and Milwaukee. Milwaukee 12 amph I will not buy anymore as they cant handle the heat.
Dewalt flex I get lots of performances from the 9 amph… so impressive . Won’t buy flex 6amph.
What’s great about the dewalt 10 amph along with strong compact area light… it fits and I can run the light all day. 10h . Tripod and hanging lights just to big.
We use Dewalt at work so I took a walk over to the charging station to see what batteries they have over there. We still have a number of 18V drills so lots of the XRP 2.4AH packs still in use. For the 20V stuff lots of various small batteries that came with the kits they bought when they first started shifting from 18V. Now that they don’t need more kits (chargers etc) they seem to have settled mostly 5.0 AH packs and some 2,0 AH packs I assume for the guys that work in tight spaces.
Matt the Hoople
Just a homeowner these days. Biggest job I may have is building a shed or fixing the deck or fence. Generally, I but whatever is the vest deal. I have Dewalt 20v as my primary big job tools (drill, driver, recip saw, circ saw, jig saw, etc… I have Dewalt 12v drill, driver and impact wrench for smaller jobs or car repair. For everything else I use Ryobi (blower, strings trimmer, glue gun, fan, lights, mini belt sander, etc,).
I don’t buy smaller than 2AH and normally buy based on deals. Example, Home Depot often has Ryobi 4AH 2 packs for $99 with a free tool. My Dewalt jigsaw came with a free 4AH battery. My 12v impact came with a free 5AH battery. I see deals at HD for a free 5AH with a tool.
If I were making a living with my tools and running them all day everyday, I would likely want larger batteries.
Being mostly invested in Makita, I’m pretty much locked into the 4.0 and 5.0 batteries. WIsh they’d make a compact 3.0, but the 40v has that looking less likely now.
I have some Ryobi for lesser-used tools and I have a mix of 4.0s for longer run-time needs and a few of the 1.5s for tools where the size/weight makes a difference (sanders/trim router mostly).
I’m also a bit lazy with battery selection and charging habits, so I’m guilty of just grabbing the first charged battery I find, so there’s that…
For my M18 tools:
12.0 for leaf blower (where high capacity/output is necessary)
2.0 for my drill (light and easy to manage)
5.0 for everything else (where a balance of capacity and physical size is required — compact vac, 1/2″ impact wrench, jigsaw, edger, hackzall, and hedge trimmer).
For my M12 tools (screwdriver and impact driver), I use the 2.0 batteries that came in a kit long ago. Works fine.
I love the blower but it really eats batteries! I can get about 15 minutes on my XC8.0 and 10 minutes on the XC6.0. Anything smaller will overheat unless you run it on low.
Like a lot of other commenters, I have and use whatever batteries have come with the M12 kits I’ve bought. The bigger I anticipate the job to be, the bigger the battery I grab, though I do try to rotate all the batteries through service to keep them “healthy”.
Beyond that I don’t think about the batteries much at all.
exclusively makita 4ah here because… thats what came with my tools. 3 of them takes care of all the string trimming, hedge clipping, and blowing i need to do on my relatively small property with less than 2 of them. the blower does get them hotted up though- questioning whether that was a smart thing to buy but yolo it was on clearance
I have Milwaukee. For me, if I’m paying for batteries vs a promo throw in, I’m targeting high output in small, medium, and large form factor, max capacity in each – so 3AH compact, 8ah (same physical size as the 6ah), and 12ah.
I don’t mind a 2ah or 5ah as a promo throw in as they can run low power, steady discharge things like lights or a sander and free up HO packs for tools that might benefit from the boost. I wouldn’t cost to pay for them though.
Honestly, I don’t know why they would still want to sell 3ah non-HO, 4ah, 9ah, or even the HO 6ah at all. The 2ah is the smallest so maybe that makes a use case, but not a strong one for me as it’s not that much smaller. Similarly, the 5ah sits between the HO 3ah and the HO 8ah. I still would probably rather go HO and then pick capacity vs weight/size by application but at least the 5ah is a little more compelling than the 2ah.
I use 2.0 and 5.0 Makita.
Wish they came out with slim 3.0!!
Then I could upgrade to 3.0 + 6.0.
Not going to XGT.
Same here. I need to replace my 2.0s though, they’re getting old.
Only buy Milwaukee and Bosch 21700 batteries. That said, I have plenty of 18600 batteries still going strong.
Dilemma: Milwaukee seems to only offer the 18600 5.0 battery with their M18 tool deals. I’ve seen some good buys, but I just don’t want to invest more into the older battery tech.
They’ve moved to High Output batteries for some of their newer combo kits, but yes, they are still mostly packaging XC5.0 batteries in standard kits and CP2.0 batteries in CT kits. They aren’t the only ones, though. I know DeWalt still packs a lot of their 20v Max combo kits with equivalent batteries as well.
Ryobi, primarily. I have six batteries all 3 or 4ah. They charge fast enough this sseems work for me, even if I’m using one or two for lights, fan, the rest for tools.
I avoid single row compact batteries and 21700/20700 packs (so, obviously “compact” single row 21700 I especially avoid) like the plague. I’ve been there and done that and have seen the light. The 36v batteries from HiKoki and Makita are my new ideal (Makita front and center).
m12 2, and 6
m18 2, 5 and 12
20v 2 and 5
60v 2 and 3
Anything over a 3.0Ah battery starts making a tool too bulky for repetitive work. If I’m drilling multiple holes/driving screws overhead, I don’t want a huge battery hanging off of the tool.
For use around the home, 2-3Ah batteries charge fast enough that as long as you have a spare on hand, the minor inconvenience of swapping the battery occasionally is easily offset by the usability of the lighter tool.
Dewalt user. I like the little 3ah for drill and impact driver, 5ah for my 7-1/4 saw and mini-blower, and the 9ah for my chainsaw and weed wacker.
It’s worth noting that the larger capacity batteries don’t just give more run time. My Bosch tools get a performance boost with the ProFactor battery because it’s capable of providing more current as well. It’s especially evident with my older brushed reciprocating saw- it can bind at times with the “regular” battery that it was designed for. With the big battery it just tears through and keeps going. The compact core 4.0 battery also makes my drill run at higher RPM, and it’s about the same size and weight as the “slim pack” battery the drill came with.
This a pretty high-dollar discussion. Like many I have a bucket of old drills discarded by people when the bats got too weak. I’ve tried buying 3rd party replacements from Amazon. Results have been mixed. Prices are low but often quality is the same, a “you get what you pay for” situation. For instance, some Ryobi 18 v lithium batteries soon lost their latches and have to be duct-taped in to be used.
I very rarely have issues with genuine cordless power tool batteries.
Buy a genuine battery from whichever pro brand you like and then use adapters on all the olds drills you’ve collected? I’d rather do that than buy those knockoff batteries.