Milwaukee M18 Battery Upgrade 9.0Ah vs 12.0Ah

M18 Batteries 12Ah vs 9Ah

At Milwaukee’s New Product Symposium 2018 there were a lot of exciting announcements, one of which was the new 12.0Ah High Output M18 Batteries 48-11-1812. Most of the new NPS M18 FUEL Tools launching in July come with this new larger battery including the Table Saw, Super Sawzall, Chainsaw, Grinder and Gen 2 Circular Saw. These new 12.0Ah High Outputs use the 21700 cells for more runtime, less overheating and more peak power draw capability. We had 2 big questions; FIRST how will my existing 5.0Ah & 9.0Ah batteries perform in the new tools. SECOND will the 12.0Ah increase performance on any of my existing tools such as the M18 10” Miter Saw, Gen 1 Circular Saw or Sawzall?

Will Existing M18 FUEL Tools Perform Better with 12.0Ah?

Obviously 12.0Ah > 9.0Ah so runtime is going to be better, possibly even more than what simple math might tell us in heavy applications because these new batteries also runs cooler and as we all know creating heat drains battery life. We will be doing some more testing here coming up but first things first we wanted to know, will we notice more power? Answer is not much with most tools, using the M18 FUEL circular saw 2731-22 for plywood ripping was not noticeably different with 9.0Ah vs 12.0Ah, a slight increase, we debated if this was just a placebo. Also used the M18 FUEL Sawzall and again very similar performance for both.

We’ve found the M18 FUEL 10” Miter Saw 2734-21HD to be underpowered in some specific applications so we tried both batteries cutting a hard piece of white oak, which when pushing hard would actually stall the Miter Saw. Using the 12.0Ah High Output battery this was noticeably much harder stall making the miter cut faster and more confidently. Hard to tell in the video below but easy to feel in use. While it doesn’t full address the need for more power with the M18 10″ Miter Saw, this is a noticeable improvement.

This likely means most of the motors are already working as hard as they can, which makes sense because all the new M18 FUEL tools launching in 2018 are using a new larger brushless motor. The Miter Saw may be the only exception but we are excited to try a few more larger tools to be certain.

Will my Existing M18 Batteries Work with the New Tools?

You may have noticed all the new M18 FUEL Tools only come in kits with the new 12.0Ah batteries and won’t sell the bare tool versions until early 2019, this is for a very good reason. Using the M18 FUEL Chainsaw 2727-21HD you can very easily feel the difference from the 9.0Ah and the 12.0Ah. Side by side clearly the 12.0Ah has more power but even with the 9.0Ah you still get pretty good performance. Really they would be selling themselves short putting out bare tools as many would happily buy the M18 chainsaw 2727-20 (bare tool) for $250-$300 and be mehh about the performance and runtime having never used it with a HIGH OUTPUT battery. Launching with the 12.0Ah is really going to fully take advantage of the available power of the new motors and need to compete with other 36V and 54V (60V) tools.

The 6.0Ah High Output Batteries Coming Soon!

M18 High Output 6.0Ah

The 12.0Ah is big, really it’s huge but for most of the tools such as the M18 Table Saw 2736-21HD or M18 Chainsaw you’re willing to add a little extra weight for the needed power as really these are lighter than other corded options. For the M18 FUEL 9” grinder 2785-21HD or M18 Super Sawzall 2722-21HD the 12.0Ah is great for runtime but a smaller lighter option with same power would be nice as well in some applications. Coming in another month or two, the same High Output technology will be in a “smaller” package with a 6.0Ah as a 2-Pack 48-11-1862 only $199 (again may be 2+ more months), similar price to the 2-Pack of current 5.0Ah so they may become more common in kits for 2019. No word yet on a M18 slim version 3.0Ah (or 4.0Ah) using these 21700 cells but that would be very nice for compact tools looking for better runtime.

The New M18 High Output Batteries Are Better!

Long and the short is if you’ve got a couple M18 tools in the arsenal you’re going to want to get at least one High Output battery. Of course the best way to get into them is wait and buy them with one of the new M18 tools that include them but if you just want the battery for your M18 Miter Saw or just need more runtime for any other tools the 12.0Ah battery 48-11-1812 is $199 on its own.

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