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Lannabulls

Dewalt batteries 18v vs 20v

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Hi,

watching reviews on you tube about dewalt power tools batteries, I found out that between 18v and 20v batteries there is not difference at all. Basically that works for every brands that has adopted "the 20v battery Strategy", I mentioned dewalt just cause its the brand that I use , 20v nominal batteries are practically  18v. Inside the battery, no matter if it is rated 18v  or 20v, there are always 5 batteries 3.5v each, ( 3.5x5 =17.5) 18v , exp for "entry level" 1.5 - 2a battery. That explain why in Europe, and  Thailand  (i am italian living in Thailand) I can not find 20v tools and batteries , only 18v ,   Lows are different, in USA it is allowed to rate a nominal value "Max 20v", in Europe  or here in  Thailand only the effective power can be rated, not the nominal one. Cause I am not a born English speaker may I miss understand what youtube reviews are saying therefore please corrrect me if what  I just said is wrong.   

If what I just told is correct what about using a dewalt 20v hammer drill  as exp (I just bought a dewalt dcd996 in ebay, only new bare tool, no batttery and charger) with 18v battery? Some body out there has never tried it ?

More important, I have a dewalt  10v to 18v charger, what about charging 20v battery with a charger rated maximum 18v ? Have you never tried ? If the youtube reviews are correct it should not be any problem about.

I will love to know what you tink about and be corrected if I did not fully get what that youtube reviews are saying about 18v and 20v batteries that practically are always 18v, the 20v is just a " Strategy market operation" that in some country is allowed in some other dont.

Thanks a lot

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The marketing strategy behind "20v Max" versus 18v has been known to most users of this forum for years, but it does not diminish the amount of anger it arouses in some.  From what you posted above, I believe you are correct in your interpretation of the reviews on YouTube.  One reason for the change in nomenclature (for some companies) was to indicate new battery systems, often with higher capacity batteries.  DeWalt still sells 20v Max tools alongside 18v XRP tools here in the US, so it helps consumers to differentiate the two systems.  Before Kobalt scrapped both systems in favor of 24v Max, they used 20v Max to signify newer battery and tool technology; while compatible with 18v tools and batteries, 20v Max offered 2Ah and 4Ah batteries as opposed to the 18v line's 1.3Ah and 3Ah(?) offerings.  Porter Cable and Black and Decker each took yet another direction, updating their batteries and tools and maintaining the slide-on packs while eliminating the possibility of interchangeability.  

 

While I was initially upset over Porter Cable's abandonment of their 18v platform, I am now glad I was forced to upgrade.  The DeWalt, Milwaukee, and Ridgid tools I now own make the old 1.3Ah batteries and unwieldy brushed tools seem archaic at best.  In an hour I'll be back at the project house, which has been without power since we have owned it.  Three years ago I'd arrive with my PC tools, complete with a whopping five 1.3Ah batteries (for a total of 6.5Ah), usually exhausting them before noon.  Now I have well over 100Ah worth of batteries (30Ah in Ridgid, 43Ah in Milwaukee, and over 74Ah in DeWalt) and can work all weekend nonstop.  Whether 20v Max, M18, or just plain 18v, today's tools and batteries work perfectly for me.  

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The 20 volt crap is basically the tool version of "But ours goes to 11".

 

As far as some countries not having the 20v max systems, their governments just don't let marketers and manufacturers have the same liberties with language ours do. Basically, they can't lie and deceive to sell more gear.

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Thanks,

 

I brought the subject knowing already that you guys out there know about since long time, I am the one who just found out about. I never dig out about the subject before. I begun watching reviews  cause I could not explain to myself why here or Italy 20v tools are not sold. Now I know why.........

Basically for my new DeWalt hammer drill 20v dcd996 from USA, bought in eBay, I am going to use 18v battery cause again here the 20v are not sold. Buying them trough eBay costs practically double price cause shipping and import fees.

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Thanks a lot, 
What about my second question, I have a couple of original dewalt chargers, both 10v to 18v, have you ever tried to  charge a 20v battery with a charger 18v maximum rated? It should charge fine however I am asking you guys with much more experience than me.
Thanks a lot for your help.

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I'm in Australia so our marketing uses 18V. I have an 18V charger and both 18V Aus and 20V Max US batteries. Exactly the same, so no difference in charging, all works fine.

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@Lannabulls in terms of DeWALT I associate 18v with DeWALT's old stick pack line commonly referred to the ni-cd line and the 20v with DeWALT's newer slide pack line. In terms of your chargers there is stick pack chargers and slide pack chargers and they are not compatible. Many of the current chargers will charge The current line of 54v, 18v, and 10.8v batteries. They will not charge the old line of batteries.

 

Some markets require actual voltage in marketing instead of nominal. In North America they allow nominal. At one time the item measured the nominal. A 2x4 is a good example. The mill cuts it at 2 in x 4 in but due to drying it shrinks to the 1-1/2 in x 3-1/2 in. Batteries will measure 20v at 100% charge no load.

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Probably that is true for USA market, here or in Europe what you just told is uncorrect.

However I am referring to the "new" slide pack XR batteries litium, all my Dewalt tools have XR slide pack batteries, not the old stick ncad one.

One more question please, let's take as exp a "new" slide pack battery  XR DCB... 18v 5ah and a XR DCB... 18v 1.3ah.

Big difference on amperage from 1.3 to 5 ah. Translating  in practical what does it mean?

The 5ah has longer charger capability, it stay charged longer and that is it, no difference in " output power", am I right? Please correct me if what I just told is wrong.

Thanks

 

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I'm no battery expert but the way I understand it the compact 1.5ah batteries are made up of 5 cells and the 5ah has 10 cells.  The safety's in the battery will only let each cell discharge so fast so on high draw tools like a saw or grinder for example you will notice a difference in power because you can draw off the 10 cells at a slower discharge rate than the 5 cells.  Many people don't notice a power difference on tools like an impact driver or drill but it kind of depends on how hard you're working the tool. 

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The cell voltage is 3.6 vdc.
3.6 x 5 series cells is 18 vdc.
In series, the amperage stays the same.
In parallel, the current adds up and the voltage stays the same.
Higher capacity battery packs are made up of combinations of 5 series cells, in parallel groups of 2 or 3, and in some cases 4 .
Hilti uses 21.6 volt batteries as they use 6 cells in series/combinations.

The voltage is 3.6 per cell as specified by the cell manufacturer. The “Max” term is used to describe the no-load voltage measurement.
The 20V max description is misleading and inaccurate as the battery pack will NEVER deliver 20 volts to the tool under any load.

It’s marketing bullshit. Plain and simple.


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8 hours ago, Jronman said:

Thanks a lot, now I got it!

Your example about difference in battery consumption between high and low draw tool, a drill and a grinder as exp, made me understand fully.  I never own high draw power tools.

Now I got it, the subject is much more clear. 

Really thanks to everyone!

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I don't understand why so many people get so worked up over the "20V" name. From what I read it was more to differentiate their newer battery platform form the older 18v system. Since they have such a big presence in Home Depot it causes less confusion when a homeowner is buying a battery. they have a 20v tool and buy the 18v battery then complain when it doesn't fit. Like many things in life things have to be dumbed down to the lowest denominator. You know Milwaukee 12v aren't 12v either, yet I rarely see people complaining about that. 

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1 hour ago, Marcv76 said:

I don't understand why so many people get so worked up over the "20V" name. From what I read it was more to differentiate their newer battery platform form the older 18v system. Since they have such a big presence in Home Depot it causes less confusion when a homeowner is buying a battery. they have a 20v tool and buy the 18v battery then complain when it doesn't fit. Like many things in life things have to be dumbed down to the lowest denominator. You know Milwaukee 12v aren't 12v either, yet I rarely see people complaining about that. 

 

Because 1) so many people with no familiarity with this stuff see the bigger number and assume it must mean the Dewalt products possess some advancement than the competitors lack so they purchase according to that, and 2) certain people who are more predisposed to more fanboyism than others and don’t know any better will argue the superiority of their brand of choice based on the same misunderstanding and because they’re fanboys it’s impossible to talk logical sense into them.

 

The 12V deal is more forgivable because it’s more of a universal market convention, and the way the numbers round off it’s a sensible one. 10.8V nominal is a clunky number given the cognitive depth of the average American. But 11V is an incredibly unsexy number to round off to from a marketing standpoint. 12V peak voltage at no load became the convention pretty much everyone in the US market uses. A manufacturer could choose to lose potential customers going against market convention saying 10.8V, but no one does. This is the reverse of what happens with Dewalt going against the market convention and calling their batteries 20V instead of the nominal 18V that they like most competitors actually are.

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Dewalt is maintaining the 18V lineup but will probably eventually convert everything to the 20V Max lineup. They insist that they will keep selling the 18V tools as long as there is user demand for them.

But if all your 18V tools are available in the 20V Max lineup, and your buddy is willing to but the whole 18V lot from you...

Many/most of the 20V versions do feature improved ergonomics, features, or specs.

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The cell voltage is 3.6 vdc.
3.6 x 5 series cells is 18 vdc.
In series, the amperage stays the same.
In parallel, the current adds up and the voltage stays the same.
Higher capacity battery packs are made up of combinations of 5 series cells, in parallel groups of 2 or 3, and in some cases 4 .
Hilti uses 21.6 volt batteries as they use 6 cells in series/combinations.

The voltage is 3.6 per cell as specified by the cell manufacturer. The “Max” term is used to describe the no-load voltage measurement.
The 20V max description is misleading and inaccurate as the battery pack will NEVER deliver 20 volts to the tool under any load.

It’s marketing bullshit. Plain and simple.


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It is actually the peak voltage that the cells reach at full charge. It is around 4.0 volts a cell or even a little higher. 5 x4=20. When you start to use the tool the cell voltage quickly drops to 3.6 volts and stays pretty close to that value until the cell has supplied most of it's charge. Lithium batteries are damaged if they are discharged too far so the pack shuts off to prevent this from happening. The cell spends most of the discharge cycle around 3.6 volts whether under load or not.

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3 hours ago, Mycrossover said:

It is actually the peak voltage that the cells reach at full charge. It is around 4.0 volts a cell or even a little higher. 5 x4=20. When you start to use the tool the cell voltage quickly drops to 3.6 volts and stays pretty close to that value until the cell has supplied most of it's charge. Lithium batteries are damaged if they are discharged too far so the pack shuts off to prevent this from happening. The cell spends most of the discharge cycle around 3.6 volts whether under load or not.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

Maybe you missed this somehow but nothing in your post wasn’t already covered in HiltiWpg’s very post that you’re quoting

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Maybe you missed this somehow but nothing in your post wasn’t already covered in HiltiWpg’s very post that you’re quoting
No, I was disagreeing with his statement that 4 volts is the no load voltage. It is not. It is the peak voltage reached at completion of charge. To repeat, under a no load condition a cell that is even slightly discharged does not read 4 volts. I guess the difference was lost on you.

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I realize I’m chiming in a little late, but it boils down to this.

 

Dewalt RULED the market in the later Ni-Cad days. They had the attitude that if it wasn’t broke, why fix it? After watching Milwaukee completely bomb their first attempt at jumping to a non-backwards compatible Lithium platform (V Series) and royally pissing off everybody in the process, they were rightfully reluctant to mess with what they had.

 

They produced a Lithium battery that would mount up to their 18v stick pack tools only to be sued and ultimately lost the lawsuit that resulted in the discontinuation of the line. Only when advances in technology made it next to impossible not to make a move did Dewalt finally jump to the 20V platform and they did so slowly as to not create an image of abandoning the 18V line. 

 

IMO, They took so long to put full effort into the 20V line that they gave up a lot of market share to Milwaukee who was by then cranking out lots of M series tools.

 

The 20V Max designation was selected prima to distinguish the new line from the old one and Dewalt was fairly forthright about that at the time. They may not have plastered it all over their marketing materials, but the product reps didn’t make any secret of it.

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Yes, I am rehashing a lot of what has already been stated. 

 

There are a few manufacturers that play with the naming convention when indicating battery voltages.  Some rate the batteries using nominal voltage and some rate using maximum charge voltage. They should all be rated using nominal voltage for comparison purposes.

 

To understand batteries:

 

NiCd and NiMh cells are rated 1.2V nominal voltage.  The max voltage of each cell fully charged is 1.4V.  The discharge voltage of each cell is 1.0V.  Under use, the 1.4V value quickly drops to 1.3V and then follows a fairly linear rate of discharge until it reaches 1.1V and then rolls off fairly quickly to 1.0V.

 

A 15 Cell NiCd or NiMh cell would have a nominal voltage of 18V (15 x 1.2V) and a max voltage of 21V(15 x 1.4V).  The old Dewalt NiCd batteries were rated using the nominal voltage.

 

LiPo and LiIon cells are rated at 3.6V or 3.7V nominal voltage.  They are mostly 3.6V, even though some of those are marked as 3.7. The max voltage of each cell fully charged is 4.2V, but most only charge to 4.0 for safety, so 4.0 is most often used as the max voltage value.  The fully discharged voltage value is 3.0V (some are 2.8), but 3.2V is often used for safety to protect the cell from too deep of a discharge. 

 

(5S = 5 in series)

A 5S LiPo battery pack would have a nominal voltage of 18V (5 x 3.6V) and a maximum voltage of 20V (5 x 4V).  The new Dewalt lithium battery packs are rated using the max voltage.

 

The batteries should use nominal voltage and watt-hours of capacity.

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1 hour ago, athomas said:

The new Dewalt lithium battery packs are rated using the max voltage.

The batteries should use nominal voltage and watt-hours of capacity.

Since the max is there doesn't it make the 20v max stuff somewhat an okay name scheme? 

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That sums it up as well as I have ever read. BOSCH first called their 3 cell lithium 10.8 V but to keep up with the competition, renamed it 12 volts....same battery. Mine are marked 10.8 but if I need a replacement they will say 12 volts. In Europe trade regulations require nominal voltage so it is still 10.8 V over there and there are probably no 20's either.

Yes, I am rehashing a lot of what has already been stated. 
 
There are a few manufacturers that play with the naming convention when indicating battery voltages.  Some rate the batteries using nominal voltage and some rate using maximum charge voltage. They should all be rated using nominal voltage for comparison purposes.
 
To understand batteries:
 
NiCd and NiMh cells are rated 1.2V nominal voltage.  The max voltage of each cell fully charged is 1.4V.  The discharge voltage of each cell is 1.0V.  Under use, the 1.4V value quickly drops to 1.3V and then follows a fairly linear rate of discharge until it reaches 1.1V and then rolls off fairly quickly to 1.0V.
 
A 15 Cell NiCd or NiMh cell would have a nominal voltage of 18V (15 x 1.2V) and a max voltage of 21V(15 x 1.4V).  The old Dewalt NiCd batteries were rated using the nominal voltage.
 
LiPo and LiIon cells are rated at 3.6V or 3.7V nominal voltage.  They are mostly 3.6V, even though some of those are marked as 3.7. The max voltage of each cell fully charged is 4.2V, but most only charge to 4.0 for safety, so 4.0 is most often used as the max voltage value.  The fully discharged voltage value is 3.0V (some are 2.8), but 3.2V is often used for safety to protect the cell from too deep of a discharge. 
 
(5S = 5 in series)
A 5S LiPo battery pack would have a nominal voltage of 18V (5 x 3.6V) and a maximum voltage of 20V (5 x 4V).  The new Dewalt lithium battery packs are rated using the max voltage.
 
The batteries should use nominal voltage and watt-hours of capacity.


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That sums it up as well as I have ever read. BOSCH first called their 3 cell lithium 10.8 V but to keep up with the competition, renamed it 12 volts....same battery. Mine are marked 10.8 but if I need a replacement they will say 12 volts. In Europe trade regulations require nominal voltage so it is still 10.8 V over there and there are probably no 20's either.


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No bosch has now named the 10.8v in the uk 12v


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Aren't they pulling out of the EU? 12volt batteries might be an opening shot. LOL!!


No bosch has now named the 10.8v in the uk 12v


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The fact that people are still complaining about the 20v being “false advertising” is borderline absurd, it is everywhere these days. IMO, this falls into the same category as whining that a 2x4 only measures 1.5”x3”, or truck manufacturers claiming towing capacities of “up to 12,500 lbs” only applying to regular cab 2wd trucks with the lowest gear ratios, rather than how 95% of the trucks sold are configured. 

 

It was necessary to call it something different both to promote the new line as well as prevent consumers from buying something that was incompatible with what they already had and being angry about that. 

 

To the OP, if the batteries are the same style (20v and 18v) with the slide in packs, they are interchangeable with chargers, etc. If they are the older style stem that plugs in, they are not compatible without the conversion kit. 

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