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Poll - Cordless - 14.4V vs. 18V - now 21 (or 24V) ?

16776 Views 17 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  mattsilkwood
Just wondering what the opinions are about the different battery voltage levels out there among cordless tools (most specifically drills).
14.4V and 18V seem to be pretty good and most common. I have started to see more higher voltage, like 24V Craftsman. Just wondering if there is really any more benefits to going higher in voltage.

I personally (home use) own a Makita cordless drill, 18V. It has good torque (Of course this aspect has a lot to do with the actual motor in the tool), good battery life and overall good performance.

My company issues DeWalt 14.4V and they seem to be a good industry-wide standard.
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I use 18v dewalt tools. The whole XRP line of tools can use their new Lithium batteries which last longer and are guaranteed for at least 2000 charges.

I have been happy with all my cordless tools, and feel confident that they will last many years.

My Bosch is 14.4v, it is okay but sometimes I think that 18 or 24v would be better.
I think the DeWalt stuff in 18v is good overall and has plenty of power and run time. I use Milwaukee 18v (nicad) at work and like all the pieces I carry. I just started using a Hilti drill (battery says 2.0 amp hour, no voltage) and that little sucker has some balls, I used it last week to drill a bunch of 7/8" holes with a unibit to use as starter holes for knock outs. Between that and 1/4" pilot holes in some thick panels, it has enough power and the battery lasts a long time. It is slower than the DeWalt but works fantastic in heavy gauge metal. One of the guys I do side work with has DeWalt 12v drills and impacts and they are good all around. It all depends on what you are using the drill for.
I've used 12v Hitachi for 2 years, recently purchased a 18V Li-Ion Hitachi drill driver and impact driver, and they are excellent. My boss just bought his 18V Hitachi last week. I want to try the DeWalt 36V stuff though, they just look mean.
Horses for courses! Used to be a dedicated Makita man.Borrowed friends Dewalt and was hooked. 18V dewalt, 3 batteries, angle grinder, XRP combi drill, recip saw, angled drill,'rotozip' and a 15 min charger. Also 12V dewalt for the everyday screwdriving and upto 6mm holes in steel. The 12V is easier on the hips when carting it around in its holster:laughing:

Left the 12v in my sons new warehouse last night and won't get it back until tomorrow...I feel lost without it [sad or what??]
Also got a nameless 24v impact wrench for 1/2" sockets when building Unistrut frames, awesome....handy for wheelnuts also:whistling2:
It all depends on the use. I picked up a 18v Makita lion impact for my personal use a while ago and I love it, use it around the house/home shop on weekends and haven't recharged the batteries in months and they are still going strong. A good friend of mine has the whole DeWalt 18v line of tools, he uses them on side work and swears by them. I don't get a choice on what they buy in cordless tools at work but find the Milwaukee 18v stuff is great for all my needs. The only higher voltage tools we have are 28v bandsaws and they are fantastic for scaffold and roof work and other places you don't want a cord in the way.
I read maybe on this topic here that De-walt now do a 36v range, is this true as I have used their 24v range & them sumbit*hes are heavy.
You'd have to be Mr universe to use the 36v no?
I read maybe on this topic here that De-walt now do a 36v range, is this true as I have used their 24v range & them sumbit*hes are heavy.
You'd have to be Mr universe to use the 36v no?

I've seen guys using the 36v hammer drill, it looked too heavy to carry around but good for drilling anchor holes in a deck.
Sometimes I think you should just get out the corded tool. I use a 18v sds chuck hammer drill for anchors holes up to 3/8" after that I go get the Hilti corded, the same goes for a sawzall, a few cuts battery, a day of cutting go corded.
better drills and better hole cutters

I have a Makita 18v cordless with lithium ion battery pack that weighs a pound less than my old Milwaukee 18v with its NiCad battery pack and the Makita out drives and out lasts the Milwaukee and the batteries recharge in under 15 minutes. Best part is the LED lights right at the chuck that are powered off the drill battery.

Better to look at the inch pounds of torque provided than the voltage to get a truer picture of how well the drill will perform on the job. Dual range also helps as the drill will run cooler and provide more torque and with large hole cutters it is more about aggressive tooth size and rake than RPMs.

Spade drills and self feed bits and traditional hole saws all require a lot more torque to drive than is really necessary. Get better hole cutters and you can get by fine with a lighter weight and more compact cordless drill.

The new Milwaukee Hawg hole cutters with their large high speed steel teeth require less power to drive through wood than the old-fashioned hole saws. I am waiting for the new Hole Pro version of hole cutters with tungsten carbide teeth. They will be the last hole cutters I will ever need to buy and nice to be able to cut through stucco and the plywood sheathing with a single bit.
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I already posted about my new drill, but that 18 volt hammer drill is a fine piece. I've already gotten to use it quite a few times.

Granted it's new, but I do have the 3 year warranty, so I'll get back to you in 3 years on how it keeps up.
Depends on what yu are doing, yesterday I was holding a 24 VDC drill head high all morning about wore my arms out, could have easily used a smaller drill for the same job.
I've used DeWalt 14.4 stuff for years.
answer this one all the time - i use the 10.8vdc li ion bosch (which was recently stolen) and the 28vdc li ion milwaukee (which is in the shop with chuck issues) the 28 vdc drove a one inch foot long auguer to the chuck into a cypress tree just to prove a point - i havent seen or used a stronger cordless than the 28 v milwaukee -
I use 18V L-Ion Milwaukee, 18V NiCad Hitachi, and 10.8V Bosch. Happy with all of them for their respective jobs. :thumbsup:
i have 18v dewalt stuff and am very satisfied with them. but the only thing i dont like is everybody has them so you reall have to keep an eye on your batteries. been thinking about trying either rigid or hilti but the hilti sawzall looks awkward to me.
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