20V Max vs 18V Batteries: Setting the Record Straight. Are Makita batteries interchangeable

Are Drill Batteries Interchangeable? – How I Did It!

I have a DeWALT 18V drill with an 18V, 1.5Ah battery. Recently I needed to buy a Makita impact driver. So I could research about it. Can you believe what I found there? There is a way to use DeWALT 18V battery in the Makita 18V impact wrench. So I don’t need to buy an additional Makita battery. I can use the same battery in the Makita tool also. I could interchange the drill batteries. I could find many things when I researched them. So let’s see what those are in detail?

Generally, different brand 18V and 20V drill batteries can be interchanged using the adaptor. You are not allowed to use interchange directly, but you can use a socket adaptor for this task. It will cost about 10 – 25. Before you interchange, make sure the voltage of the tool and battery, are equal.

After I found the adaptor, I could find many details about this. There are things that I had to consider for the tool and battery safety. So I have lined up all in detail below.

You should know the voltage, capacity, technology, and many things before using it. Don’t worry I will explain to you all in detail about drill battery interchangeable. Let’s keep reading on!

Related Topics

How Can you Use Drill Battey Interchange?

Drill batteries are very important as a cordless power source for the drills and drivers. It is manufactured by many companies. Manufactured drill batteries are identical for the specific brand. So it can’t use for another brand if you need it. If you use different brands’ tools, you have to buy batteries from every brand. This was the past. But now, you can use a drill battery by interchanging it if voltage and capacity are compatible with the tool. So let’s see how you can do it.

Why Can’t You Use Directly Interchange?

Normally a company is love for the profit and expand the brand. So each one has produced according to their guidelines and conditions. This is the same for all.

In the past, most drills come as a package of drills and batteries. But currently, most drills are available single. We have to buy a drill battery for that. Each drill battery can be used in specific brand tools. This means you can use Makita 18V battery in any Makita tool. But you can’t use the Makita battery in DeWALT tools. According to this if you wish to buy a set of tools, you have to buy them from the same brand although there is good options due to specific battery.

There is both good and bad effect. Considering the battery and tool, there is a special design in the mounting area. Although voltage and capacity are the same, there is a difference in the mounting unit. It has been designed identical to the brand. This is a really bad thing for the user.

What you Should Use for Interchange the Drill Battery?

Although there is a difference in the mounting socket, we can use another brand drill battery with using an adaptor. It has designed two sides according to the face of the adaptor and connects them together. Only having the adaptor you can’t use is interchanging because there are many factors to be considered when you use it.

Most adaptors are available for the 18V and 20V drill batteries. Because those are the most used power source and there is no high difference between 18V and 20V batteries. So take a look in detail about drill battery interchanging.

What you Should Know Before Interchange Drill Batteries?

In this topic, I will explain to you all in detail about factors you should consider before using batteries with interchanging.


Each and every tool is designed for a special voltage. Voltage is the electrical potential difference in the battery terminals. Voltage can accelerate the electrons. It can speed up the tool. That is why the 18V tool has more performance than the 12V. The drill has an inside motor. Inside motor has designed with special voltage and current. If the recommended voltage is exceeded, the tool can be burnout.

If you use battery interchange, first check the tool voltage and battery voltage whether they are equal. If there is no high difference, you can use them. You can use a low voltage battery in a high voltage tool, but it will not gain expected performance. Never use a high voltage battery in a low voltage tool. It will burn the tool.

Remember – Adaptor will not change the voltage.

Capacity (Amph)

Capacity is the storage of the battery. It will tell us how much current it can provide per hour. If the battery is with 4.5Ah, it can provide current as below.

  • 1 A current can provide 4.5 Hrs
  • 3 A current can provide 1 Hrs and 30 Mins
  • 4.5 Current can provide 1 Hrs
  • 9 current can provide 30 mins etc.

So you should know what the capacity of the battery is. Actually, you do not need to worry about the capacity of the battery. It will not burn your tool. Ampere Hour is the capacity of the battery. It will tell you how much time you can use the tool. Normally higher capacity batteries are better than lower capacity batteries when used.

High-capacity batteries take much time to charge also. But it can work long. So when you select drill battery, select the same voltage and high capacity battery.

Battery Technology (Li-Ion. Ni-Cd)

This one also you should consider. Battery technology is a considerable thing. There are two types of batteries. Those are Li-Ion and Ni-Cd. Modern tools use Li-Ion batteries due to many advantages. So when you use Ni-Cd adaptors, make sure not to use the tool as it damages the battery.

Drill Machine Requirement

Normally drill machine has a specific voltage, but there is no fixed current. Because the power of the tool is varied with the task. It will need more power to drill concrete than drilling wood. There is a limitation. You can use the tool below that. But there is a maximum power that the tool can handle. If that power is exceeded, it will overheat or burn.

So when you select an interchangeable drill battery, you must know the drill machine requirements. Make sure whether too can operate with that voltage. Current is varied with the task. If the task is high, it will require more current and increase the machine performance. When it is free to run it will require a low current than it runs under load.

What are the Available Interchange Adaptors?

There are many adaptors available in the market. You can buy it on Amazon easily. I will drop here all keywords you should search for. This will not have any commission for me.

DeWALT 20v Milwaukee M18 Batteries (accepts both brands) to Makitato Ryobito BOSCHto CRAFTSMAN 19.2V to 18v Old DeWALT Ni-Cd

Makita 18v Battery to 20vMax Dewaltto M18 Milwaukeeto 20vMax PORTER-CABLE Black and Decker to 18v Nicad Makita to Bosch 18vto Ryobi 18v to 18v Bosch to 14.4v Nicad Makita: to 20v WORX

DeWALT 20v BatteryM18 MilwaukeeOLD 18v DeWALT Ni-CdHitachi

20V Porter Cable, Black and Decker, Stanley batteries(18V Bostitch)to Makita 18Vto 18V OLD DeWALT Nicad (BPS18D)to Nicad 18v Black Deckerto 18V Nicad Porter Cableto Craftsman 19.2V-Bosch 18Vto RYOBI 18V

Bosch 18Vto Makita 18vto Twin USB charging ports

M18 Milwaukee Batteryto 20V Max Dewaltto Old Milwaukee NICAD V18to the USB charger and power source

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.

V Max vs 18V Batteries: Setting the Record Straight

The 18V vs 20V Max debate will continue to go on no matter how many times I step into someone else’s conversation and explain it to them. Let me take the drama out of the conversation now: They’re the same. We promise you.

I’d love to stop there, but people will insist on arguing that the 20V Max systems are simply more powerful than 18V because, well, 20 is bigger than 18. sigh

V vs 20V on the Inside

Seriously though, I love talking about this stuff, so let’s jump on it. Here in the U.S., manufacturers such as Bosch, Milwaukee, Ridgid, Ryobi, and Makita are all running on an 18V battery platform. DeWALT, Craftsman, and Porter-Cable run on 20V Max systems. A voltmeter is all that it takes to offer some quantifiable data, and a look inside the battery will show you why.

V Versus 18V is Really About Marketing

This brings up several interesting talking points. First, many European countries are more strict about how a company can advertise. You’ll find that tools are sold by their nominal voltage in most areas. That means 18V high-power tools and 10.8-volt tools. From a marketing standpoint, being able to put a higher number on the tool makes it seem more powerful. Putting a nominal voltage on it is a representation of where the battery operates most of the time.

For some reason, 20V Max vs 18V debate only seems to be an issue among these 5 cell group platforms. Everyone advertises their 12V line (3 cells), not their 10.8V families. Jump up to OPE (Outdoor Power Equipment) and we get 40V systems (10 cells) that are taking the place of the 36V platforms of a couple of years ago (we’re looking at you, Husqvarna!). So before you leave with a bad taste in your mouth about DeWALT or Craftsman power tools, understand that everyone does it somewhere.

V MAX is the Same as 18 Volts Nominal – Proven by DeWALT

The key to this whole debate might simply be to visit the DeWALT 20V MAX website—and look for the asterisk. On the DeWALT 20V Max page, you’ll see an asterisk next to every instance of 20V MAX and the following near the bottom:

On both DeWALT and Craftsman tools, you’ll notice their packaging marked 20V MAX. That asterisk and the word “MAX” point to the documentation that clearly states the voltage is rated at its maximum. Is it a marketing tactic? Yes. Is it misleading? Only if you don’t look for an explanation when you see something marked with an asterisk.

  • Barry Bonds, Single Season Home Run King – Known to have used performance-enhancing drugs
  • Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies, bake for 25 minutes – 18 minutes at higher elevations
  • 20V MAX – 20 volts initial maximum measured without load, 18 volts nominal


So yes, 18V and 20V MAX systems operate with the same amount of voltage. Let me say it again: 18V batteries and 20V MAX batteries produce EXACTLY the same voltage.

Still, the guts of each battery cell do vary from brand to brand—even within a single brand. Technology and chemistry continue to improve. So is the DeWALT 20V MAX line more powerful than their original 18V line? Yes. Absolutely. Because the electronics, motors, and cells are better. They’re still, however, putting out the exact same voltage as an 18V tool.

And if you don’t take our word for it, take DeWALT’s!

Are Bosch 18V Batteries Interchangeable With Other Brands?

Bosch is a juggernaut among power tool manufacturers. But some of their offerings are battery-powered, which is problematic because many consumers prefer brands with interchangeable batteries. They want to know that they can replace a battery from one brand with a battery from any other brand.

Are Bosch 18V Batteries Interchangeable?

Bosch 18V batteries can work with every tool in the same range, especially if the voltage matches. Bosch Battery Compatibility Chart

Battery Compatibility
Makita YES

This is not true for every single manufacturer. Some brands make batteries that can only work with specific tools. You cannot interchange them with batteries from other devices in the same range. I also have to warn you against using the wrong battery. Doing so could harm the battery, the tool, or both. You have to pair each battery with the device the manufacturer recommended. In some cases, you don’t have a choice. Some batteries have unique configurations that only match the compartments of specific tools. In other words, those batteries won’t fit the slots of any other device. This simplifies the process of matching the battery to the appropriate tool. But you don’t have to apply this rationale to chargers. Some batteries can only recharge when you connect them to specific chargers. But others are compatible with any charger from the same brand, so long as their configurations match.

Dremel – Is It Compatible?

Dremel and Bosch have identical chargers. This is a strong indicator that Bosch and Dremel batteries are similar.

But if you’re not convinced, look at this video

The Dremel and Bosch batteries he displays in the video are identical. He also shows that Dremel batteries can fit in Bosch power tools and vice versa.

Admittedly, the Dremel battery doesn’t go all the way into the Bosch tool. It has a corner that gets in the way. But you can cut the corner off. Naturally, this will repel some people because they don’t have the skill or patience to modify their batteries.

This attitude is not bad. Laypeople shouldn’t tamper with power tool batteries. Take your batteries to a technician and ask them to make the modifications.

batteries, setting, record, straight, makita, interchangeable

The similarities between these two batteries are not a coincidence. The Dremel brand belongs to Bosch.

Milwaukee – Is It Compatible?

Bosch is not interchangeable with one another, unfortunately.

When you look at them, the batteries have a lot of similarities. But rotation on the battery pack makes Milwaukee and Bosch incompatible.

Both batteries emerge from the same factory. However, Bosch and Milwaukee added minor differences to prevent people from interchanging their batteries.

This makes sense. Bosch wants you to buy their batteries. They don’t want consumers to turn to Milwaukee when their Bosch batteries die. Milwaukee is the same. They lose money whenever you use batteries from other brands in their power tools.

Introducing those slight differences forces consumers to use Milwaukee batteries in Milwaukee tools.

Makita – Is It Compatible?

Makita and Bosch batteries are interchangeable.

You can use battery adapters that allow you to use Bosch batteries in Makita tools. This is a common solution to compatibility problems. An adaptor can bridge the gap if two battery brands are not interchangeable.

Varta – Is It Compatible?

Varta and Bosch batteries are practically the same. If you look at their specs, you will notice similar production technology and labels. The batteries are made from the same materials, and that is not a coincidence.

Brookfield Business Partners LP, which makes Varta, is also responsible for the production of the Bosch batteries you see in many cars. Therefore, it doesn’t matter which battery you choose. The results are the same.

This should put you at ease, especially if you’re tempted to interchange Bosch with Varta.

What To Look For If Bosch Battery Is Compatible With Other Brands or Not?

Your biggest concern is the voltage. Many experts will tell you that you can’t interchange batteries. First of all, manufacturers design batteries for use in specific devices.

It is not their intention to create batteries that can work in another brand’s power tools. You will occasionally find batteries that look alike because they came from the same factory.

batteries, setting, record, straight, makita, interchangeable

However, that doesn’t mean you have the manufacturer’s permission to use those batteries in power tools from different brands.

First of all, some batteries look alike on the surface, but their contacts and configurations may vary significantly. In other words, they can only fit devices from a particular brand. You cannot apply them to tools made by different manufacturers.

Secondly, the size matters. If a battery is too large to fit in the slot of a different brand’s power tool, you cannot interchange those two brands. The shape presents the same challenge.

Thirdly, you have to keep technology in mind. Manufacturers use different raw materials and technologies to make their products. Therefore, just because two batteries look similar on the surface doesn’t mean they are interchangeable.

You may damage a power tool by inserting a battery from the wrong brand. That raises a question. How can you determine whether or not two batteries are interchangeable?

First, ensure they have the same size, shape, and contact configuration. If the two batteries cannot fit in one another’s power tools, there’s no point in interchanging them. They won’t work.

But this is the least of your worries. You cannot interchange batteries unless the voltage is the same. Some manufacturers include a list in the manual of a power tool that shows you all the compatible batteries.

However, this is rare. A manufacturer like Bosch does not want you to insert batteries from different brands into their drills. Therefore, they won’t tell you which batteries you can interchange with their products.

But you can find those lists on the internet. Don’t forget to check the warranty. You should listen if it warns you against using batteries from different brands. Otherwise, you will void your warranty.

Introduction: Makita 18v LXT Lithium-ion Battery Repair

About: An IT Professio​nal from the West Midlands, with an interest in history, food, wine and all things technical​. About High Voltage Fun »

batteries, setting, record, straight, makita, interchangeable

I have been a big fan of the Makita 18v LXT cordless tools for several years now. In most cases I rarely if ever use the corded tools they replaced, despite this there does seem to be a major week point, the batteries. Out of the eight batteries I have purchased over the years four have failed out side of the warranty period, plus two failed within or just after the end of the warranty and were replaced at no charge by Makita.

It seems there are two main failure causes, number one over heating and the second is the first two cells fail due to them being used to power the battery management chip and slowly discharging over an extended idol period. This causes the battery to be unbalanced. Once you get the red / green flashing lights three times on the charger your battery control board locks the battery from being recharge again.

I will be concentrating on replacing the battery control board as frequently this is all you need to do to get things up and running, although if you do require new cells these can be changed pretty easily. Makita seem to use the Sony Konion LiMn cells and these are available online for between fire and ten pounds each or you can frequently pick up failed batteries on ebay and cannibalise these for parts. If you do need to replace cells spot welding to the cells is the best way to go, as if you solder you risk overheating. Battery tab spot welders do come up on ebay from time to time or its something an electronics hobbyist could make themselves.

Step 1: Dismantling Inspection

Before we start with the dismantling, remember that even if your batteries do not work anymore they most likely still contain a significant amount of energy. Be careful in how you handle them and above all make sure you do not short them out.

So the first step is to get the cover off. This is held on by four T10 Anti Tamper screws, on newer models there may be a white Anti Tamper plug covering one of the screws. I have found that the easiest way to remove it is to drive in a small wood screw and pull it out with a pair of pliers. Once you have the battery open being careful that the retaining clip spring does not fly away or short out the control board you should be able to see if there are any obvious major issues. The first time I open one of these batteries up I was surprised how much dust had made its way into the batteries, I soon learned to keep my charger away from dust and never to charge them on the floor!

If on opening you seen any visibly damaged cells you are going to have to replace them which is outside of the scope of this write up.

Step 2: Testing the Batteries.

I had four failed batteries, and checked the voltages of the batteries and cell pairs individually. I found the following:

  • Battery One: Fails to charge with a over temperature alert. Also the plastic at the side of the release button has bubbled. It is showing 7.99v across the whole battery which is way to low and 0.04v, 0v, 3.96v, 0.04v and 3.97v across each of the cell pairs respectively. Upon opening up the battery there is obvious damage to the second pair of cells.
  • Battery Two: Fails to charge with classic red / green flashing lights. It is 12.84v across the battery and 3.2v, 0v, 3.22v, 3.22v 3.21v across each of the cell pairs respectively.
  • Battery Three: Fails to charge with classic red / green flashing lights. It is 15.54v across the battery and 0v, 3.89v, 3.89v, 3.89v 3.89v across each of the cell pairs respectively.
  • Battery Four: Fails to charge with classic red / green flashing lights. It is 18.15v across the battery and 3.62v, 3.63v,3.6, 3.63 3.62v across each of the cell pairs respectively.

By way of comparison a known good battery seems to measure around 20v when freshly charged.

So I decided that my best option to end up with an extra working battery was to change the board on Battery Four as its cells were all pretty close on voltage suggesting it was fairly evenly charged. Up until recently replacement circuit board were not available so once you had seen the red / green flashing lights three times your battery was bricked. However recently they have become available for a round £10 which is certainly much cheaper than a replacement battery.

Fixing the other batteries is going to be a little more challenging. Whist it is possible to solder cells together the heat required to solder them risks damaging the cells. Having investigated purchasing a battery tab spot welder I feel that is out of my budget but I may have a go at making a capacitor discharge one.

Step 3: Replacing the Control Board.

The control board came with ok instructions on how to fit but they don’t explain everything, this may be because it can be used with all of the models of 18v LXT battery Makita have made. Providing you have a bit of common sense you should be ok.

So apart from the soldering you might expect you also have to cut away a lot plastic and that’s assuming you are lucky like me and don’t need to replace any cells. If you do spot welding to the cells is the best way to go, as if you solder you risk overheating.As I had previously got the battery pack out of the case the first thing to do was remove the existing pcb and cut away the plastic pcb support etc as per the instruction. I opted to cut the nickel contacts instead of desoldering. Fitting the pcb and soldering the wires to the contacts was simple although I had to break out my larger soldering iron. By far the hardest part was getting the covers back on this took a little fettling of the plastic to get it to fit.

Step 4: Putting It to the Test!

Next came the moment of truth, I put the battery on a charger and it charged. I then fully discharged the battery and once again recharged the battery and that also worked. Eight month on the battery is still preforming perfectly.

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Комментарии и мнения владельцев

I was wondering if I could get the specifications needed for the type of cells and the circuit board I need to get. I have googled searched and looked on Amazon for the cells and I keep getting regular batteries or cells that look squatty (possibly not right size) than what I see in videos I have looked up. I have Makita 18v batteries that I would like to fix for myself and my boss, but I am stuck on what items I actually need. Also, my battery collection includes 3.0ah, 5.0ah, and 6.0ah if that makes a difference. I have never done this before, but am wanting to learn and do it the right way.

I would recommend salvaging good cells from other failed batteries. It is important that cells are identical to the originals. I would also point out this repair is only really a good idea for older 3ah batteries.

Please everybody : Beware of circuit boards with only two connections (18V. 0V) to the cells.In order to protect your battery, the BMS must absolutely be able to measure the voltages of all the 5 series blocks, as the Makita BMS does. If not, overvoltage will happen, and if the temperature sensor isn’t close to the cells overvolting, the battery will catch on fire.

While you are absolutely correct, the part as the Makita BMS does is wrong. Older Makita batteries have a BMS with only 18V, 3.6V and 0V connections. They measure the 3.6V line and it should be pretty close to 20% of 18V or battery is marked as failed. What’s more, these batteries are not charged to 100% by Makita charger, max voltage is only about 20V so only about 4.0V per cell. Batteries with proper BMS are charged to 4.2V per cell.

The white board in above pictures is genuine Makita, green is chinese replica. But they both have only 18V, 3.6V and 0V connections.

Fitting a newer model full BMS to these older batteries is possible but might require cutting some plastic to make the larger pcb fit.

I have 3 bl1850 Makita batterys and the yellow clip that plugs Into tools etc has broken over time, is this part replaceable,has anyone came across this issue, will post few photos ,thanks

Photo there of yellow clip broken. they break easily ,which is annoying, I’ve contacted Makita and other company’s and all have said this can’t be fixed ,

Couple of options really, either replace the whole control board or just get a battery with failed cells but a good connector and swap it over. I dont believe it can be purchased as a spare part. Good luck!

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