Milwaukee M12 VS M18

There are so many good power tool brands in the market and depending on what you want to have, most of them carry a wide range of tools as well such as Milwaukee M12 Vs M18. These lines carry several power tools in which one of them is a drill/driver. These tools are very reliable and easy to use while being versatile too yet, they are not exactly the same so before deciding the option let’s see which to go for here.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • Choosing a Cordless Drill
  • What are Milwaukee M12 and M18
  • How are the Design of Milwaukee M12 and M18
  • How are the Motor in Milwaukee M12 and M18
  • How are the Specs of Milwaukee M12 and M18
  • How are the Performance of Milwaukee M12 and M18
  • Milwaukee M12 Vs M18

Cordless Tools

As a handy person, you may need several types of tools at home, for light jobs and the more serious ones.  A heavy duty tool will be great for the heavy duty applications as well but not everyone will use them and the type of material may vary too, which requires some to use a more delicate tool. In the world of being handy, the cordless power tool is the most convenient and this is because they are easy to use as well as versatile.

Cordless drill is the most common and the reason is because of its function to make holes on materials so we can connect them to each other or put and attach additional parts. Cordless drill can be used to drive bits as well depending on the bit size and the material. Most of them have adjustable speed so we can choose the strength or level to put and work with. Not every option is the same however so it is best to get the one that you are more comfortable with.

The easiest way is to choose based on the application too because fixing and repairing the furniture will require different tools to those used to drill holes on masonry walls. For the light and maintenance purposes, choose a drill/driver with battery or cordless type for the convenience. It is perfect for drilling woods and driving screws too. They can have variable and fixed speed but do look for the options with adjustable clutch for a wider versatility when you need to work on different materials.

If you will be working on heavier tasks such as building storage racks and replacing the railings or fence pickets, there are so many good options to choose from as well. The medium tasks mostly focus on the capacity and force so it is best to get the one that can at least work based on the 9.6V or higher. Usually you can find 12V models easily too so it should not be an issue. What to note is that the higher model will also produce more weight and can be larger.

For those who are working on heavier tasks including making holes for bolts and spikes on pressure-treated wood or landscape timbers, the heavy-duty tool is a must. You need a stronger tool as well when dealing with sturdy materials like masonry walls, installing decking, and drilling steels. For this type of job you will need something with high voltage too, so a 12V is a minimum requirement. A 14V model can be a great alternative as well.

 Milwaukee M12 Milwaukee M18
Product Dimensions8.1 x 1.91 x 6.8 inches
9.84 x 7.68 x 4.29 inches
Shipping Weight2.55 pounds
‎2.5 pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price

About Milwaukee M12 and M18

Just like many other products, selecting one based on the application will be the most convenient. They are going to be ideal for the work we are going to do and not everyone will have the same tasks to deal with. In addition, you can also shop based on the brand or budget range too. Especially for the cordless type, they will usually use a battery model that can be used by other tools from the same brand and thus, we can save time from buying another set of batteries.

There are also more than plenty of amazing options in the market and Milwaukee is one of them. This company is very popular and the reason is because their tools are very reliable and often cheaper than the similar tools from other brands. But, just like many other manufacturers, you can find several different lines of tools which carry a different performance too. They are usually using different types of batteries based on the power rating of what it is capable of.

The Milwaukee line currently has a wide range of options such as the Milwaukee M12 and M18 which carry so many different power tools in the collection. Today we are going to talk about cordless drills only because they are the most convenient. These drill drivers are easily separated by the physical quality because by being a higher option M18 is meant for the heavier application and thus, you get a hammer drill in this line.

The specific drill drivers we are talking about today are 2403-20 and 2801-20 but if you need a hammer drill, the M18 has plenty of this heavy duty tool in the collection. These cordless drills are very convenient because they can be used for a wide range of applications and the main difference will be the type of battery used and thus, they are not interchangeable. Capacity wise the M18 will be more powerful for the heavier type of work. Read also: Milwaukee M12 vs M18 Grease Gun here.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Design

Just like most power tools, Milwaukee M12 and M18 are very robust. The unit is dominated with red styling that is also familiar to Milwaukee power tools. The models we have today are sold with the battery or tools only so you can decide on the compatible battery or buying a new one. The most noticeable difference between these drill drivers design wise is the angle of the main housing because the M12 is slightly angled or tilting upward to ease the application when reaching tricky parts.

Because the M12 is more of a mid-range power wise, the battery is also more compact which is why the arrangement is also smaller. Unlike the M18 where you will need to slide a battery below the handle, we are attaching the battery vertically on the M12. The chuck size is the same ½ inch and you will also find the same layout for control at the top of the main housing. In comparison, the M18 is significantly heavier even without the battery.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Motor

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the Milwaukee M12 and M18 can offer starting from the motor. Nowadays there are more cordless tools that are using brushless motors and these two are coming from Fuel series which is their latest line as well. Milwaukee makes sure that their tools are keeping up with the advances in technology and in general being brushless making the motor inside runs more effectively as well as cooler to preserve the quality over time.

What’s so different is the power rating because to easily shop between different lines of power tool is to check the power capacity so M12 is using 12V battery and M18 is using 18V battery. They are not interchangeable but you can choose the kit with battery and charger too. For example the M18 is using M18 redlithium CP2.0 battery and the M12 is using the M12 battery as well; they are the same 2.0 amp type.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Specs

Next for the power rating, expect to see more from the M18 because this range is carrying heavy duty tools. This drill driver is offering a 500 in-lbs. torque and a highest speed of 1800 RPM while on the other hand M12 is less powerful at 350 in-lbs. and it is quite fast as well at 1700 RPM on the highest setting. There are two adjustable speed ranges on both Milwaukee M12 and M18 that you can select at from the switch located at the top of the housing.

The trigger itself is variable and there is a reverse button when you want to remove bits or anything that gets stuck in the middle of drilling. Additionally, there are several different adjustments on the clutch to match with the application in which one of them is perfect for drilling.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 Performance

Lastly for the performance, the Milwaukee M12 and M18 are also very reliable. Depending on what you will be working on, the M18 is more powerful and it is noticeable when it comes to thicker material. When working on thinner material the fast speed is more ideal so you may want to reduce the force setting but for the heavier application, it feels like M18 is lighter to use. It is almost effortlessly drilling on the surface without much pressure compared to M12. But, for the typical small tasks around home, both options will be as good.

Milwaukee M12 Vs M18

Milwaukee is one of the most popular options when it comes to cordless tools and these M12 and M18 are both good options at different levels. In comparison it is easy to say that M18 is producing more force for its heavier motor and power requirement. It is also heavier even for the tool only compared to the M12 but they are similarly reliable depending on what type of material you will be working on. Users can buy the tool only or choose the kit with battery and charger too.

- Milwaukee® POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor runs cooler, lasts longer and delivers up to 55% faster application speed
- REDLITHIUM™ Battery Technology: Superior pack construction, electronics, and performance deliver more work per charge and more work over pack life than any battery on the market
- POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor: Delivers up to 350 in-lbs of peak torque with maximum sustained torque to complete a variety of applications
- REDLINK Plus™ Intelligence: The most advanced system of cordless power tool electronics. Provides optimized performance and overload protection using total system communication between tool, battery and charger
- Compact design: provides excellent balance and control, ideal for overhead applications or work in tight spaces
- All-metal gear case and 1/2 in. metal chuck: provide maximum impact and shock durability
- REDLINK™ Intelligence: Advanced overload protection defends against abusive applications and monitors the temperature to prevent damage and ensure maximum tool & battery life.
- Milwaukee brushless motor: optimized for efficiency, this motor delivers more run-time and longer life.


There is no bad option here and we should get the one to match with the application but if you are often working with thicker or durable materials, we will highly recommend the M18 line such as this drill driver.

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