The voltage reveals the number of battery cells in a pack and their configuration. Battery packs with a higher voltage have more cells. For instance, a 40V battery has more cells than its 18V counterpart. A higher voltage can push more current, allowing the device in question to do more work. Because a higher voltage translates into less current, the battery will last longer.
The Ah is different from the voltage because it shows you the amount of charge in the pack, which, in turn, reveals the runtime of a tool. Many people use the voltage to determine whether or not a battery pack can work with a particular tool. Power tools have a voltage rating. The battery pack should match that rating.
Can I Use a 40V Battery In 18, 20V Tool?
You can’t add a 40V battery to 18 & 20V tools or vice versa. 40V batteries are too large. Additionally, the mounting mechanism is different. Therefore, the battery won’t fit in the 18 & 20V tool.
A higher voltage promises more power. But you can’t enhance the ability of an 18 & 20V tool by inserting a 40V battery. You’re asking for trouble.
If you’re determined to create this pairing, I want you to step the battery’s voltage down using intervening circuitry. But this requires the assistance of a professional.
What About Using 40V Battery In A 36V Tool?
I discourage you from pairing higher voltage batteries with lower voltage tools. However, this case is different. 40V and 36V batteries are the same. The ratings are marketing tools. A 40V battery in your country may use a 36V label in another country. But the specs are the same. Therefore, you can use a 40V battery in a 36V tool and vice versa.
Read Can I Use 20V Battery On 12V Drill? (It’s Risky & Dangerous)
What Happens When I Use Higher Volt Battery In Lower Volt Tool?
A higher voltage battery overcharges a lower voltage tool. Overcharging doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it can lower the lifespan of the device. That is the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, overcharging will destroy the motor immediately.
The high voltage battery burns out the low voltage tool’s motor. Imagine connecting a high-voltage battery to a low-voltage bulb. The bulb may burn brighter for a little while, but it will burn out at a faster rate. Some bulbs will burn out immediately. Power tools are the same. You should stay within the range the manufacturer has recommended.
Some differences are too small to matter. For instance, a 20V battery can work in an 18V tool. In fact, 18V and 20V batteries are technically the same things. Companies change the voltage rating for marketing purposes. But you don’t have to worry about an 18V battery working in a 20V tool or the reverse.
The bigger the difference, the more dangerous the consequences.
Some higher voltage batteries won’t give you the option of adding them to a low voltage power tool. Their mounting mechanisms are different. They won’t fit in the power tool.
If you want more power out of your tool, buy a higher voltage tool. A higher voltage battery is not the answer.
What About Using Lower Volt Battery In Higher Volt Tool? 40V Battery In 80V Tool
If the battery’s voltage is too low, it cannot provide the power the tool requires. In other words, the tool must apply additional effort to perform its function, which is bad because you can still damage the tool’s sensitive components. It may not happen immediately. But don’t be surprised if the lifespan of the device falls dramatically.
Naturally, the severity of the difference matters. For example, you wouldn’t expect 18V batteries to work in 24V tools or vice versa, but, in truth, the difference between these two battery types is too small.
It won’t affect the tool’s performance. More importantly, these batteries have the same capacity despite what the label may suggest. Their manufacturers will tell you otherwise because they want consumers to buy both 18V and 24V battery packs instead of sticking to one option.
But if you consult an unbiased technician, they will tell you the truth. 40V and 80V batteries are different cases. The difference between these two ratings is too significant. Therefore, you can’t interchange these two battery packs.
The mounting mechanisms are unlikely to match. Although, that won’t stop determined consumers from engineering adapters that enable 40V batteries to work in 80V tools.
Unless you have experience in this field, tampering with battery packs is frowned upon. You will void your warranty.
Things To Consider Before Using Battery In A Tool
Keep Batteries In A Cool Environment
Battery storage matters. I want you to keep batteries in a cool, dry environment. Avoid extreme conditions. Poor storage will lower the battery’s lifespan, forcing you to buy replacements more frequently than you would want.
Battery Types Matters
What type of battery does your power tool require? The battery type is just as important as the specs. For instance, Ni-cd batteries are heavy and take too long to charge.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular variety because of their lightweight construction and quick charging time. Ni-Mh batteries are heavy, but they don’t have the memory effect you see in their Ni-cd counterparts.
A battery with the correct voltage can still harm your power tool if you insert the wrong battery type.
Don’t Interchange Different Brands Of Batteries
I don’t want you to interchange your batteries. Battery interchangeability is a controversial topic. Consumers won’t hesitate to interchange their batteries because it is cheaper than buying a battery for each power tool you acquire.
Manufacturers frown upon this practice, but only because it reduces their profits. In truth, you can interchange many batteries. A cursory investigation will show you that many batteries from different brands are actually the same.
However, this practice is dangerous because you risk pairing a power tool with the wrong battery. You are better off sticking with the battery the power tool’s manufacturer has recommended.
- Are Bosch 18V Batteries Interchangeable With Other Brands?
- Are Porter Cable and Craftsman Batteries Interchangeable?
- Worx Battery Compatibility Check With Dewalt & Other 7 Brands
Batteries Voltage Should Match Power Tool Voltage
The voltage is more important than the capacity. The voltage is denoted by a ‘V.’ The capacity is measured in ampere-hours (Ah). The Ah tells you how long the battery lasts while the voltage is concerned with the battery’s strength.
The battery’s voltage should match the power tool voltage. On the other hand, you can replace your current battery with one that has a higher or lower capacity.
A higher voltage normally translates into more power. But you cannot put this concept into practice by giving a lower voltage tool a higher voltage battery. The power tool will burn out.
Choose a battery pack with a higher Ah, not a higher voltage. The voltage should stay the same as the previous battery.