20V Or 18V Power Tools What’s Best – Some security installers might be wondering whether 20V or 18V cordless tools are best – you’d think 20V is a material improvement over 18V, no matter how slight.
As it happens, 20V tools are more about presentation of specifications than real performance enhancement. In either case, 18/20V battery packs incorporate 5 cells wired in parallel. Each cell has nominal and maximum voltage ratings – the latter are delivered when a tool is fully charged, but fall away as voltage drops.
What this means is that a typical battery pack’s cells have a maximum voltage of 4V and a nominal voltage of 3.6V – the relevant numbers here are 4 x 5V = 20V. What’s going on is that manufacturers of 20V tools are simply promoting their tools using maximum voltage numbers instead of nominal voltage numbers.
Security techs with 18V kit are still getting 20V when they first power up a tool after charging, and everyone who bought 20V is getting 18V a couple of minutes later – same battery cells, different marketing spin.
More tools here.