All Milwaukee M18 Batteries Compared: High Demand, High Output, 5 Ah, 12 Ah, and Everything in Between!

Milwaukee 12.0 Ah High Output Battery 03

With the Milwaukee M18 Batteries Powering More Than 175 Tools, Choosing the Best Battery for Each Tool is Key

It’s a simple concept—every M18 RedLithium battery works in any M18 or M18 Fuel tool. But there are a lot of pack sizes to choose from. And what’s up with High Demand and High Output? We’re going to take a much closer look at all of that with all Milwaukee M18 batteries compared.

Milwaukee M18 Battery Comparison: Standard, High Demand, and High Output

Before we start looking at the Milwaukee M18 batteries compared in detail, let’s sort out the High Demand and High Output designations.

Milwaukee High Demand batteries were the first advancement out from their standard packs. It provides a 35% power boost while running up to 60% cooler and still using 18650 cells with some pack upgrades.

Milwaukee 9.0 Ah battery pack insides

High Output batteries are a more comprehensive upgrade with 21700 cells and new battery, tool, and charger electronics. They work in any Milwaukee M18 or M18 Fuel tool, but tools with the new electronics get up to a 50% power boost. The battery runs 50% cooler than standard packs and these batteries take advantage of the new Super Charger’s lightning-fast charging times.

Check out our Milwaukee battery warranty article to understand how long Milwaukee covers each of these batteries for service and replacement.

A Quick Note About “P”

“P” stands for parallel in a battery designation. 18V and 20V Max batteries use sets of 5 lithium-ion cells. These get series, or “S”, connections to give the battery the sum of their voltages. Each one is 3.6V and 3.6 x 5 = 18V.

When you connect those sets with a parallel connection, their amp-hours add instead of their voltage. Connecting multiple sets lets us go from 2.0 Ah to 4.0 Ah and so on.

When we talk about a 1P pack, it means there’s 1 set of 5 cells. 2P is 2 sets and 3P is three sets. So a 1P compact pack uses a total of 5 cells, a 2P pack has 10 cells, and a 3P pack has 15. Check out this article for more details on the relationship between voltage and amp hours.

Milwaukee M18 Battery Comparison by Amp Hour Rating

Milwaukee M18 1.5 Ah Compact RedLithium Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1815
  • Watt-hours: 27 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 18650
  • Weight: 0.95 lb
  • Price: $75

Milwaukee’s 1.5 Ah compact battery has been around for a while and is largely set aside in favor of the 2.0 Ah pack. However, these batteries are still available and the price is around $75, but you can find them for less if you shop around.

As a 1P pack, this is a lightweight, low capacity battery that’s going to do its best work for light-duty tasks on compact tools. Think screwdriving, light drilling, and punch list projects. If you’re a DIYer looking at Milwaukee as a step up, these are an excellent low-cost choice.

Milwaukee M18 2.0 Ah RedLithium CP2.0 Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1820
  • Watt-hours: 36 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 18650
  • Weight: 1.1 lb
  • Price: $59
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge

Milwaukee’s 2.0 Ah compact battery is their current standard 1P pack and has 33% more capacity than the 1.5 Ah battery. It does that with a cell upgrade that doesn’t come with a significant weight or size penalty.

These run a few dollars more than the 1.5 Ah, so expect to find single batteries around $79. Like the 1.5 Ah pack, these are great for compact tools for screwdriving, light-duty drilling, and punch list projects. It’s absolutely possible to pop one of these in an M18 Fuel circular saw to make the last few cuts at the end of the day.

Our team typically sticks with 2.0 Ah batteries on our Milwaukee drills, impact drivers, and Surge hydraulic drivers to keep their weights down. Milwaukee’s Rapid Charger is fast enough to let us cycle between two batteries for most basic drilling and driving.

Milwaukee M18 3.0 Ah RedLithium XC Extended Capacity Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1828
  • Watt-hours: 54 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 18650
  • Weight: 1.69 lbs
  • Price: $99

Milwaukee M18 3.0 XC battery was their original 2P extended capacity pack and you still find them in some kits. They’re not as common as the 4.0 Ah and 5.0 Ah batteries and may see their way out completely with the new 3.0 Ah High Output pack that gives you the same capacity with roughly half the size.

As a 2P pack, this Milwaukee M18 battery weighs more than its 1.5 Ah counterpart and does its best work on heavier tools like cordless circular saws, Sawzalls, and rotary hammers, though larger batteries offer much better runtime.

Milwaukee M18 3.0 Ah RedLithium High Output CP3.0 Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1835
  • Watt-hours: 54 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 21700
  • Weight: 1.33 lb
  • Price: $99

The Milwaukee 3.0 Ah High Output battery is the brand’s most advanced 1P compact battery pack. It uses larger 21700 size lithium-ion cells with advanced RedLink electronics to offer up to 50% more power and run 50% cooler than other Milwaukee compact packs. It has a smaller footprint and drops the weight from the 3.0 XC pack by 15% with the same capacity.

Compared to the other compact packs, you’re looking at 100% more capacity than the 1.5 Ah and 50% more than the 2.0 Ah.

These are the best batteries Milwaukee makes to combine size, weight, and runtime for compact tools. Grab these for all of your Milwaukee drills and impact drivers. It’s also a good battery to reduce the weight on some of the cordless electrical and plumbing tools.

Milwaukee M18 4.0 Ah RedLithium XC Extended Capacity Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1840 (starter kit with charger)
  • Watt-Hours: 72 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 18650
  • Weight: 1.72 lbs
  • Price: $125
Milwaukee RedLithium Batteries

Milwaukee’s M18 4.0 Ah battery took over for the 3.0 XC as the premium 2P pack for a while but seems to be phasing its way out in favor of the 5.0 Ah pack. This battery gives you 33% more capacity than the 3.0 XC, but none of the retailers we checked still carry it as a single battery. It still shows up in some kits and you can buy battery/charger starter kits or multi-packs with the 4.0 Ah.

These are pretty much the baseline battery for Milwaukee’s larger mid-level tools such as circular saws, Sawzalls, rotary hammers, electrical and plumbing tools, and even their Milwaukee M18 FUEL 7-1/4″ miter saw. For the newer, more powerful tools, move up to the 5.0 Ah or High Output batteries, depending on the tool.

Milwaukee M18 5.0 Ah RedLithium XC5.0 Extended Capacity Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1850
  • Watt-hours: 90 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 18650
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Price: $109
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Super Hawg 1/2-Inch Right Angle Drill

The Milwaukee M18 5.0 Ah battery is probably the most popular battery in the entire line and certainly the go-to 2P pack. It has 67% more capacity than the 3.0 XC and 25% more than the 4.0 XC with roughly the same footprint and weight thanks to a lithium-ion cell upgrade. As your 3.0 XC batteries reach the end of their useful life, this is an excellent choice as an upgrade.

It’s Milwaukee’s do-anything pack. You can put it on your Milwaukee drills and impact drivers to get better runtime and you can reasonably run the majority of M18 Fuel products. While this (and all Milwaukee M18 battery packs) work in any M18 or M18 Fuel product, some of the newer tools have their best performance with High Output packs. This is a good pack to help reduce weight on Milwaukee’s OPE tools, such as Quik-Lok, but you may fall short on runtime.

Milwaukee M18 6.0 Ah RedLithium XC6.0 Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1860
  • Watt-hours: 108 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 18650
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs
  • Price: $149
Milwaukee 48-11-1860 XC6.0 battery

The 2P 6.0 Ah battery had a hard time getting traction across the board. Many manufacturers, including Milwaukee, stick with the 5.0 Ah pack as their go-to. Still, these are available and give you a full 100% more capacity than the 3.0 XC and 50% more than the 4.0 Ah pack.

Milwaukee 6.0 Ah RedLithium High Output XC6.0 Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1865
  • Watt hours: 108 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 21700
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs
  • Price: $149

The Milwaukee 6.0 Ah High Output battery has greater potential for the future at this capacity level. Its promise of 50% great power availability and 50% cooler running makes it the 2P pack of choice for running nearly any M18 and M18 Fuel product, including most of the tools that prefer a High Output pack.

Our only hesitation is on the M18 Fuel Table Saw and Super Sawzall when they’re going to be the primary tools on a long day. With that said, the new Super Charger might be the ticket to using this lighter weight pack on tools that prefer the 12.0 Ah High Output.

Milwaukee M18 8.0 Ah RedLithium High Output XC8.0 Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1880
  • Watt hours: 144 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 21700
  • Weight: 2.33 lbs
  • Price: $169

When you take the original XC6.0 Ah battery and swap its cells for the higher density 21700s, you get the Milwaukee 8.0 Ah High Output battery. It’s the most advanced 2P pack available that bumps the 5.0 Ah’s capacity by 60%.

With the size increase, we like this as a battery mainly for the M18 Fuel products that prefer a High Output battery. It’s certainly capable of working in other tools—rotary hammers and miter saws are others we can recommend. Some of the lighter M18 tools and all of the compact tools feel overly heavy and/or out of balance when you move up to this pack.

Milwaukee M18 9.0 Ah High Demand 9.0 Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1890
  • Watt hours: 162 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 18650
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs
  • Price: $199

Milwaukee’s 9.0 Ah High Demand battery serves as the foundational power source on the brand’s OPE line and a handful of other tools. It doesn’t benefit from the same power delivery and cooler runtimes as the High Output packs, so it does its best work when you need sustained power instead of quicker, more powerful bursts.

Save for the newest SDS-Max that likes High Output, this 3P pack is the go-to battery for other rotary hammers, OPE, Hole Hawgs, 7-1/4″ circular saws, and miter saws. When compared to other higher-amp-hour Milwaukee batteries, the HD9.0 packs start to look a bit dated though they still offer much more power than a 4.0 or 5.0 XC pack.

Milwaukee M18 12.0 Ah High Output HD12.0 Battery

  • Model: 48-11-1812
  • Watt hours: 216 Wh
  • Lithium-ion cells: 21700
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs
  • Price: $199
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw 2732 Review

When you’re looking for the most power and runtime available, Milwaukee’s 12.0 Ah High Output battery is the cream of the crop. It packs a massive 216 watt-hours in its 15 lithium-ion cells to give you 3 times the capacity of a 4.0 Ah XC pack.

For the newest, most powerful tools, it’s the go-to pack. You can find it kitted with Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel chainsaw, 2732 circular saw, Super Sawzall, SDS-Max rotary hammers, table saw, and 9″ angle grinder.

For products like lighting that you don’t have to constantly carry, this battery gives you the best runtime. It’s also a boost to tools like the Switch Tank if you don’t mind the extra battery weight.

Milwaukee M18 Battery Chargers

Milwaukee M18 & M12 Multi-Voltage Charger

  • Model: 48-59-1812
  • Charging amps (12/18V): 3.0 (Max DC)
  • Price: $59

Milwaukee’s 48-59-1812 is their basic charger and comes with many of their tools.

Milwaukee M18 & M12 Rapid Charger

  • Model: 48-59-1808
  • Charging amps (12V/18V): 4.5/6.0 (Max DC)
  • Price: $64

The Milwaukee Rapid Charger boosts charging times significantly across the board.  Expect an average of 40% faster charging compared to the standard M12 & M18 Multi-Voltage Charger.

Milwaukee M18 & M12 Super Charger

  • Model: 48-59-1811
  • Charging amps (12/18V): 4.5/13.5 (Max DC)
  • Price: $169
Milwaukee Super Charger

The Super Charger is the latest beast in Milwaukee’s charging lineup, giving the High Output batteries lightning-fast charge cycles. For batteries that don’t have the High-Output designation, the Super Charger reverts to Rapid Charger times.

Milwaukee M18 AC/DC Wall and Vehicle Charger

  • Model: 2710-20
  • Charging amps: 3.1 (Max DC)
  • Price: Currently unavailable

This model seems to be working its way out in favor of the newer M18/M12 Vehicle Charger.

Milwaukee M18/M12 Vehicle Charger

  • Model: 48-59-1810
  • Charging amps (12/18V): 2.5 (Max DC)
  • Price: $119

When you need to charge batteries on the go, the Milwaukee M18/M12 Vehicle Charger is your best bet. Its 2.5 amps charge a little slower than the standard charger, but you don’t need an AC plug to run this one.

Milwaukee M18 Six Pack Sequential Charger

Milwaukee’s Six-Pack Charger can handle up to 6 batteries at once, but it’s going to charge them one at a time. It’s a great option to make sure all your batteries get charged overnight. On the job site, you don’t have to worry about remembering to switch out packs. Once one is done, it moves on to the next.

Milwaukee M18 & M12 Rapid Charge Station

  • Model: 48-59-1807
  • Charging amps (12/18V): 4.5/6.0 (Max DC)
  • Price: $199
milwaukee m12 m18 rapid charger 48-59-1807

Milwaukee’s Rapid Charge Station takes a turn away from the Six Pack’s obsession with M18 and returns to a multi-voltage platform. It holds up to 3 M18 packs and 3 M12 packs at once. The big difference is that it can charge up to 3 batteries at one time and charges them up to 40% faster. If your crew is using multiple Milwaukee cordless tools on site, this is the charger that keeps all of them working all day.

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