Hopefully this might help a few guys out there who are wondering what`s going on with Milwaukee`s M18 and V18 systems. It has become a little confusing for customers since they have two 18v li-ion systems.
This might make it clearer.
WHY DO MILWAUKEE HAVE TWO 18V LI-ION PLATFORMS ?
We`ll your not the only one who`s wondering. So we`re going to take a quick look at the M18 and V18 system from Milwaukee Tools and briefly show you why they arn`t compatible and we`ll have a quick look at the batteries and show you the basic difference. Sorry time hasn`t allowed me to make this more detailed but you`ll hopefully get the idea.
Milwaukee has confused quite a lot of customers with the release of the m18 series of tools for those using V18 gear you`ve been left wondering are any of my tools going to work with M18 batteries or can i use my V18 batteries in an M18 tool or charger? And if your looking at a new milwaukee set up then your probably wondering what do i buy V18 or M18?
In short the answer is no you can`t use V18 batteries in M18 tools or chargers and vice versa, M18 batteries do not fit V18 tools.
M18 tools, batteries and chargers are not compatible with the V18 series of tools from Milwaukee at all.
WE`LL HAVE A QUICK LOOK HERE AT AN “M18″ AND “V18″ SERIES RECIP SAW AND YOU`LL SEE WHY NOT.
The new M18 platform of tools have a completely redesigned tool base that changes the way the battery previously connected to the tools and a totally new redesign of the battery packs and charger. From what we understand the v18 tools had a weak point where the battery connected to the base of the tool and had a habit of snapping tool bases off when dropped at a bad angle. The M18 batteries have major improvements over the V18 batteries. The V18 tools were originally released with ni-mh and ni-cd batteries. These were updated to a li-ion pack to suit all the tools and hence there`s a couple of types of v18 batteries that suit the older tools.
The new M18 tools will only work with li-ion m18 batteries. Some operate but not all with a 1.5 amp hour m18 battery, eg torches, small drills, impact drivers, etc and all of the m18 tools can be used with the xc high capacity 2.8ah battery.
Digital power management is what they call the protection in the M18 batteries. This means the battery has individual cell monitoring, so they switch off if a cell gets too flat or gets too hot. They`ll even switch off if they somehow get over charged. This is a very, very big bonus which significantly increases life spans over V18 batteries.
You have to understand a thing about this tool company and why they are always on the cutting edge and usually ahead of competitors. Milwaukee are innovators. Milwaukee actually invented the reciprocation saw back in the 1950`s, as well as the right angle drill, hole shooter drill, 1/2″ pro pistol drill and many other things. They first became known for making drills for Henry Ford`s little car company way back in the 1930`s. Then really came into their own during world war two when the U.S. Navy and air force used Milwaukee hole shooters to make ships and planes. They basically set the industry standard for power tools and from there everyone else had to keep up.
Milwaukee`s production and design process is different to most companies and where most companies take 2 years to turn out a product from concept to actually on the shelf. Milwaukee do this in 6 months.
That`s how they became the first tool company to have li-ion tools. While the other companies we`re just thinking about it Milwaukee was making it happen.
They decided to go all out and give the V18 series a good going over and keep them ahead of what competitors are making now. You would expect no less from this company. Hence the Milwaukee M18 series was created.
Pictures are probably an easier way to show the difference.
It`s a bit like looking at dewalt old XRP tool bases and ni-cd packs versus li-ion you can`t really mistake one for the other once you`ve seen the difference.
Firstly you`ll notice the batteries look nothing a like and can`t really be mistaken for one another very easily once you`ve seen them side by side.
THE V18 BATTERY IS VISIBLY LARGER THAN AN XC M18 BATTERY.
When you look at the tool base you`ll see why the batteries and tools are not compatible. They connect in a very different way and are almost the reverse design.
You`ll see the M18 battery has a much more solid connection to the tool. This redesign is an attempt to make the tool base stronger than the battery so if you drop your tool you break the battery from the tool and not the other way around.
I think we`d all agree that everyone would rather smash a $100 battery than break the base from your $200+ tool if it falls from the roof or from a noggin onto concrete.
From our understanding this was the problem with the V18 series of tools that prompted the m series changes to the base of the tool.
So to make it clear there`s nothing really wrong with v18 tools and if you own a few then don`t be in a rush to throw them away and run out to grab the M18 series tools. At the end of the day your probably going to be disappointed since all in all the V18 gear wasn`t a bad lot of tools and they certainly get the job done and anyone who owns them will vouch for that.
The M18 series has had a few cosmetic improvements and a few little feature updates here and there to bring it right up to speed with everything else from other companies but that`s a whole other story. M18 tools got extra rubber bits added to hand grips, new sleeker body casings, some L.E.D. Lights for the kids (these totally impress my 3 year old little boy, i like them too, quite handy also for seeing what your doing). I`m not going into detail about all the little changes or features in the tools or anything because that`s a whole guide unto itself that i`ll make another day when time permits.
But like i say M18 gear is not that much better that i`d go sell any V18 gear i had and rush out and buy the new stuff. My advice to anyone who has V18 gear would be to stick with it and flog it till it dies. You`ll probably be surprised it won`t die easily and you`ll have it for long enough to well and truly get your moneys worth.
In my opinion Milwaukee has always made very very good tools. I used my first Milwaukee tool back in the early 90`s when i first caught sight of a 240V milwaukee recip saw, back before they were common place on a job site and were still a relatively new tool here. Which was about 10 or 15 years before anyone thought about making a cordless version. 20 years on and the Milwaukee tools are better than ever and the designs still innovative and leading the industry.
Now with that said so it`s clear for new comers into the market or someone looking to start a new kit. I`d say of course look at the m series first since it`s the new system, there`s no doubt improvements have been made.
But at the same time since Milwaukee is phasing out the V18 gear and have all but dropped the v18 branding from their website and just calling V18 tools by serial numbers so not to take away from the M series so there`s some real bargains to be had on the V18 gear too.
SO TO ROUND UP,
M18 BATTERIES FIT M18 TOOLS ONLY, V18 BATTERIES FIT V18 TOOLS ONLY.
M18 BATTERIES 48-11-1828 GET CHARGED IN THE M SERIES BATTERY CHARGER C18C 48-59-1801
V18 BATTERIES 48-11-1830 GET CHARGED IN THE V18-V28 CHARGER 48-59-2818
NOTHING IS INTERCHANGEABLE AND IT`S TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT 18 VOLT SYSTEMS FROM THE ONE COMPANY. V18 IS THE OLD SYSTEM AND M18 IS THE NEW CURRENT PLATFORM THEY`RE RUNNING WITH NOW.
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I hope that helps out a few people and answers some questions some people might have.
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All the best until next time.
Brendon @ Schmidt tools