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Can I Use a 19.2 Volt Battery in an 18 Volt Drill?

Using a 19.2 volt battery in an 18 volt drill

A common question that we hear is whether or not you can use a higher or lower voltage battery than the drill is designed for. Will it hurt the drill? Will it lessen the life of the battery? There are several factors to consider and we’ll cover those. In this article, we’ll answer the question “Can I use a 19.2 volt battery in an 18 volt drill”?

Important Things to Consider

Does the battery fit your drill and charger?

The first thing to consider is whether the battery will even fit. If it won’t fit the drill or charger, then there’s really no point in exploring the option any further. Most batteries, if from the same manufacturer, will fit. On the other hand, trying to use a 19.2 volt Dewalt battery in an 18 volt Ryobi drill is not going to work. 

Is the 19.2 volt battery Lithium-Ion or NiCad?

If your drill and charger are made for Lithium-Ion batteries and your 19.2 volt battery is NiCad, you may run into issues. These two types of batteries are charged differently and using the wrong battery for the charger can lead to overheating and premature failure of the battery.

Potential Risks

What will a 19.2 volt battery do to my 18 volt drill?

The difference in voltage here is negligible, so the short answer is… probably nothing, at least in the short-term. Your drill runs on a DC motor and a slightly higher voltage will only mean that the motor will spin at a slightly higher speed. This could possibly lead to overheating of the electrical components if used on a large project. However, if you are doing small jobs around the house, using a 19.2 volt battery will most likely cause no immediate harm to your drill. That being said, using a higher voltage over a long period of time could put extra wear on the drill motor, thus shortening its overall lifespan.

What risk does charging pose?

Assuming you’re charging a Lithium-Ion battery in a charger that is meant for that type, the biggest risk will be overall battery life. Charing a 19.2 volt battery in a charger meant for 18 volt batteries is only going to leave the 19.2 volt slightly undercharged. Repeating this process over and over again will lead to an early demise of the battery.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, using a 19.2 volt battery in an 18 volt drill is probably not going to hurt it, unless you use it for a long time. If you need a battery in a pinch, we believe that the small difference in voltage would cause no harm to your drill. Just to be on the safe side, you’re probably better off keeping a couple extra 18 volt batteries on hand and charged up, ready for your next project.

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