12 Volt Vs 18 Volt Tools : What is the Right Choice For Your Workshop ?

Every year, we come across new technologies, tools and innovations. For example, be it a battery technology, which previously offered a lower run-time than what its advanced edition does. Better tool longevity and more power are the added benefits. As a whole, these are some of the many factors that the major tool manufacturing brands deliver. Today the performance of the18 Volt tools is running ahead of corded tools. The pro-grade personnels are beginning to consider their 18 Volt devices as the basic requirement tools of their workshop. The gradual innovation and advancement of tools continues to spotlight the similar potentialities of both 18 Volt and12 Volt tools. Both of these types are exciting to work with. However, only getting more power delivery is not the sole consideration. At some point, we experience certain setbacks that are not responsible for the power but the factors associated with the power. Using a sledgehammer to kill a fly is such a waste of energy and time, where a fly killer bat can do it better and faster. In simple words what we mean is both the 12 and 18 Volt tools serve the same functionalities, more or less. But, which is the better one to whom varies, based on certain technical considerations while comparing 12 Volt vs 18 Volt tools. So, let’s delve in to check those out!

12 Volt VS 18 Volt Tools (Power and Ergonomics)


There is no doubt that an 18 Volt power tool delivers more power than the 12 Volt counterparts. But, you may not frequently require such a high torque (delivered by an 18 Volt) to get the job done. For instance, a 12 Volt tool is simply sufficient to most professional installers and woodcrafters to meet their work requirements. All the credit goes to the Li-ion technology that the current models of 12 Volt power tools perform much like yesterday’s 18 Volt ones. Some models are even lying intermediate to the two categories.However, for the production individuals, who generally deal with high stress, heavy-duty tasks, we always recommend to go with the 18 Volt category to get such jobs done. Otherwise, the 12 Volt platform is sufficiently workable for light to medium duty tasks you do.


12 Volt power tools are lightweight if compared with an 18 Volt counterpart. Here you get many benefits if using a 12 Volt tool as you can use in the attics, crawlspaces, or while working overheads, with extended arms extended. If you want to get a certain level of power needed by your project, go for the 12 Volt category tools.


If the size of your power tools are compact, then those are easily portable to the required area of work. In this regard, the 12 Volt category is the most-sought one, (say) an impact drill or driver, circular saw or one-handed reciprocal saw, and many others that can be easily managed in a reasonably sized backpack or tool chest to carry along. Conversely, an 18 Volt tool set is relatively larger and bulkier than the former category.The 12 Volt tools are easy to climb up to the attic with or crawl to the under space of the house without frequent truck trips since everything of a 12 Volt kit easily fits in one bag.

12 Volt VS 18 Volt Tools – Additional Considerations

Charge Time

Until the developers come up with a 1-minute charger on the market, you have the 12 Volt batteries to get a faster charge with time. The instant charging technology of the 12 Volt platform is reducing the gap on some of its 18 Volt counterparts though. It takes approximately 12 to 16 hours and 8 to 10 hours for a 12 Volt battery and an 18 Volt battery to get fully charged, respectively.


It is so obvious that the 18 Volt models are going to run longer than the 12 Volt tool as the latter features smaller capacity. Therefore, it runs for a shorter time period on every charge. The run time is one of the crucial factors to consider, especially if you need a continuous power supply to accomplish your job, thereby minimizing the requirement of a number of battery backups.Note: Different batteries, despite having the same voltage capacity, last for different time limits. Actually, the battery run time is dependent on the type of tool used to do a particular job. Battery’s mAh value indicating its capacity and whether the tool (bearing that battery) is utilized at full power or not, are the other added factors the run time depends on.


Most users will have a greater inclination towards investing in the 12 Volt category. This is because the entry cost of it is not as high as in case of the 18 Volt platform. In quest of a premium quality 12 Volt system—even if chosen as a supplementary tool—is still a smarter tool to work with.


We, being in an ever-evolving generation, are always more likely to get attracted to the new innovations and technological advancements. Human demands will not stop wanting more, typically if you are a professional woodworker, then it is always a pleasure to get more facilities and convenience in cordless tools. But, considering the technicalities before buying a model that could be the right one for you is the afterall your call. You have to decide if to stick to the 12 Volt platform or the 18Volt one, if you want a compact, lightweight, and affordable model or just the opposite, etc. The 12 Volt category is fit for getting your reach into tighter spaces. It also lessens the fatigue feeling, typically during prolonged applications.Here is the smart deal: Considering the “Pros” of the 12Volt category, there are only a couple of them. Most of the experienced professionals would go for the 18 Volt platform, while keeping the other category as a supplementary option to use when the situation demands preferring ergonomics to power.

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