M12 vs M18 Milwaukee – What Are Their Major Differences?

The main difference between the M12 and the M18 is their battery. Even though these products look similar, their batteries make all the difference. Let’s take a look at what makes their batteries different.

milwaukee m12 vs m18

1. Battery Life

The M12 is a 12-volt tool, which means it is smaller and lighter than the 18-volt M18 counterpart. In addition to this, it’s also cheaper.

However, the tradeoff for these advantages is less battery life than the 18v version. This can be a dealbreaker for some people; if you’re going to be using your tool often and long enough to drain two batteries then you should probably opt for an 18-volt instead.

2. Weight & Size

While both the M12 and M18 are powerful, the M12 is lighter and smaller than its counterpart. The M18 has a mass of 0.95 pounds while the M12 weighs only 0.4 pounds. It’s also about an inch shorter than the M18 at 4 inches long, it can fit into tight spaces that your standard cordless drill would not be able to reach.

If you’re looking for a compact power tool that’s easy to carry around with you, but still packs some punch when it comes to performance, then this one is right up your alley.

3. Power and Torque

The M18, with its 450 ft-lb of torque and 20V MAX lithium-ion battery, has more power and torque than the Milwaukee M12 with its 400 CFM rating.

The M12 is also a bit shorter than the M18. While this might not be a problem for some people, others may prefer the feel of bigger tools in their hands.

4. Run Time

The M18 has a longer run time than the M12. The 1.5Ah battery on the M12 will last you around 30 minutes, while an extended 1.5Ah battery will give you 58 minutes of running time. For a compact drill, this is enough power for most jobs around the house or for light-duty work at work.

The standard M18 batteries can be charged in about 30 minutes. The 5Ah batteries provide even more capacity for larger jobs and take less than an hour to charge from 0-100%.

5. Reliability

The Milwaukee M18 is a powerful cordless tool that’s built for heavy-duty use. It features a brushless motor, which means it will last longer than a standard lithium-ion battery and it won’t overheat as easily. The M18 also has more torque than the M12, which means you can use it to drive screws faster.

The Milwaukee M12, on the other hand, is lighter and easier to handle than the M18. You can also get the two-pack replacement batteries so you can use them interchangeably. This makes the M12 ideal for smaller jobs around your home or office.

6. Cost

The M18 is more expensive than the M12. It’s also more powerful and has a longer battery life. The M12 is cheaper than the M18. It’s less powerful, but it has a shorter battery life and may not be as durable.


This article compares the Milwaukee M12 and M18 cordless tools, showing you the differences between them. These differences can be categorized into – battery life, weight, torque differences, durability, and efficiency. It also gives a breakdown of their pros and cons so that you can make an informed purchasing decision based on your needs.