12v or 18v drill for home use

Is Higher Voltage Better: 12v or 18v Drill for Home Use?

One of the main questions that arise when buying a drill is about the voltage of the drill. What voltage would be the most suitable for using a drill for the purpose of work in houses?

There are numerous drills available in the market but 12v and 18v drills are the most commonly used ones. But when choosing amongst these two, which of these is the right choice? This article will help you make the best decision.

12V vs 18V vs 20v drill difference

Generally, you refer to different voltages when you’re talking about how powerful a drill machine is. The more the voltage of a drill the more powerful it is. Apart from power, there are certain others features also which distinguish each of the three voltage types from one another.

We can shortlist the many features into 6 main features. These features should be closely looked at before choosing among the options.

Which is better 12V or 18V cordless drill?

This question has more than one answer to it.

Generally, when we talk about buying drills, we most commonly consider the ‘power’ factor that, is the drill powerful enough and does it have enough torque. In this case, we know that obviously, the 18V drill would be a better choice but what we do not pay attention to is that power is not always the most important.

You might not always need that speedy strong spinning. Sometimes it is just the driving screws task that is needed to be fulfilled, which is in most situations the main task needed to be fulfilled for home use as well.

In some cases, the 12V drill’s features outweigh the 18V drill’s features and vice versa. You can shortlist the drill best for you only when you know what quality it is that you are looking for: Are you looking for the most powerful drill? Or do you want something compact, lightweight, and easy to carry? Do you want a drill in which the battery lasts longer or do you want something that charges fast?

In general terms, the drill voltage, as mentioned above refers to the drill power and also torque. A 12V cordless drill has an approximate torque of 4-7Nm while the 18V drill has a torque starting from 7Nm. If we are looking to buy a drill with more power, we surely choose the 18V drill.

But in houses, we do not often require drills for high-power works and most of the work related to drills is general drilling, screwing, and grinding. A 12V drill has enough power to be suitable for all this along with the fact that it is a much more compact, lesser space-taking tool and easy to handle by every family member due to its low weight compared to the 18V drill.

However, another opinion can be that be it in rare cases but there are times when high-power drilling is required even in a household so one would rather have more power than they need than not enough power when they need it. Different people may judge it in different ways.  

12V: Enough power for a drill?

Obviously, 12V power would not be considered enough because of the fact that there are more powerful options available in the market. 12V drills are perfect for drilling holes into wood and plastic surfaces but when it comes to harder surfaces like metal or concrete, the 12V drill will surely give you a tough time.

For heavy-duty work, surely a higher voltage (18 or 20 volts) drill is recommended. Depends on the work needed to be done at your houses if it is not large scale then why not? 12V can be considered the ideal power!

Can you use a 12V battery in an 18V drill?

If you have a battery-operated drill, yes, 12V batteries are very much likely to fit in the 18V drill and you can operate it as well but the power output may not be the same as it would have been if an 18V battery would have been used and the drilling tool won’t be fully efficient. The drill might not even work properly and there are chances that it may cause damage. So, it is advised to use the recommended battery size.

12V vs 18V tools?

The numbers themselves say it all, the 12V tools are most likely to be more powerful and more efficient than the 18V tools. But on the other hand, we see that as the world is evolving with new inventions and advancements, every day everything is upgrading which develops a possibility for a brand-new model of a 12V tool outnumbering the old 18V tools’ power. A good example can be seen these days in car/truck engines which have now more power with fewer engine sizes and energy consumption.

Higher voltage: not always the better one

‘Higher’ is a word that is always associated with positivity compared to the word ‘lower’, it is right even when talking about drills high voltage but not every time.  Not always, higher voltage drills are better.

High-voltage drills mean they require a lot of charging time, while drills with low voltage require less charging time. However, with the fast technology upgrades in the world, and advancement in the fast-charging field, you cannot avoid the fact that this gap may soon be filled.

Nonetheless, a person who is always on the go will not be willing to buy a drill with a higher battery charge time but focusing on the use at home this disadvantage is not very importantly required to be considered.

Buying a drill: what features to look for?

Drill use at home is mostly assembling furniture, making holes in walls, hanging picture frames, and putting and, fixing up bookshelves. They can also be used to screw and unscrew different objects.

One should keep all these in mind to find the most suitable drill for themselves. These 3 main features and other less important features must be considered when buying a drill for use at home.

1. Voltage of the drill

What is the material you need to use the drill machine for? Is the voltage of the drill batteries enough for the required purpose?

Is it a drill that can be used on hardcore materials like concrete and metal or can it be used only on softer materials like wood and plastic? Drill use at home is mostly assembling furniture, making holes in walls, hanging picture frames, and putting and fixing up bookshelves.

They can also be used to screw and unscrew different objects. If this is the case then a low-power 12V drill would be an ideal purchase however if needed for large-scale remodeling at homes then the choice may be reconsidered to buying a more powerful drill option, an 18V drill or a 20V one which has more torque as well as more power.

2. Size and weight of the drill

The size of the drill is another important factor that must be looked at before buying a drill. Not everyone has a spacious house and big-sized drills may be a problem for them if they don’t have enough space at home to keep them.

Such people would be recommended to buy the smaller, more compact options. The weight of the drill is also a factor that some buyers focus on. Buyers who want to avoid wrist fatigue are recommended to buy the lighter-weight option.

3. Corded or cordless drill

Do you prefer a drill that gets power via an electric socket or one which needs a battery recharge after using it for a limited amount of time? Corded drills are ideal at places where you would always find an electric socket and your home is one of those places. Although the wire is not that long but an extension lead may help.

However, if you want a drill that works instantly as you press the trigger button not bothering about the plugging in, then a cordless drill is recommended. Also, a corded drill is recommended when you need to work for longer durations and a constant source of power is needed.

There are a number of drill options available in the market. Naming the most popular types, are:

  1. Drill press
  2. Hammer drill
  3. Impact driver


9 Types of Drills You Need to Know (homestratosphere.com)

Comparing 12-Volt vs 18-Volt Cordless Drills & Tools (applianceanalysts.com)

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