New Milwaukee tools NPS 18 & Battery Compatibility


Reading the article on this site about Milwaukee’s new tools, this section stood out:

You can use M18 XC battery packs in the new heaviest duty cordless tools. We talked a little about performance, but the bottom line is that you can use other battery packs together with the current breed of High Output M18 Fuel tools.

I saw it with my own 2 eyes. We paired several of the new M18 Fuel tools with both battery types, and there were few perceivable differences…

Tool performance will depend on the application, but you CAN use a non-High Output battery packs in the new breed of highest performance tools.

I cannot even begin to think about the potential this brings. Milwaukee is keeping other battery form factor options on the table, but for M18 High Output, this is just the start.

They made a VERY compelling case for the new M18 High Output battery packs, and the new Fuel brushless power tools designed to take advantage of their superior power delivery ceiling.

Am I correct in thinking that if I bought one of the new tools (for example the jig or chainsaws) bare, they’d work with existing 5.0 Ah batteries with a shorter runtime? Or the 12 Ah batteries would last forever on a Drill/Driver?

If there’s no compatibility issues whatsoever m18 seems, to me, to edge other manufacturers offerings.

I guess we’ll have to wait for some reviews of these tools - hopefully each review has a section on downsides of old battery packs.


You’ll definitely have a shorter runtime. You might also experience a loss of power with the tools designed for the High Output batteries.

Even if you use a 9.0Ah battery in a tool that has been designed for a High Output battery it’s possible that you might get better performance with the HD6.0 battery. I’m not sure of the specs, but there are additional improvements to the batteries besides the cell size that might make a difference.

So in your example the D-handle and barrel jigsaws should work fine with any battery (although the larger batteries will block the dust port on the barrel grip), but the chainsaw is going to see a performance boost with the HD12.0 battery and possibly even the HD6.0.

The last thing is if you think the 9.0 is large on an impact wrench, wait til you see one with the HD12.0.

You can definitely tell the performance difference between the 5.0 and the HD12.0 on the table saw. Check out the video below:


I’m just guessing - but it seems like there might be a few factors involved in how an old tool will perform on the new batteries and how an old tool might perform with the new batteries.

You asked: “Or the 12 Ah batteries would last forever on a Drill/Driver?” I guess that might true if you change “forever” to something less expansive. But the pertinent question might be: will your wrist and arm last long enough to get the job done using a drill with a 12Ah battery attached? The 12Ah battery would seem better suited to tools like a table saw that you don’t need to support with your muscles.

Regarding using an older 4 or 5Ah battery in one of the high demand tools - I wonder if there will be issues about delivery rate and/or thermal cutout - beyond just what number of Ah the battery can deliver. I think that the new 6.0Ah batteries have been designed to deliver power at a faster rate - so maybe some of the new tools have been also designed to draw current at this faster rate. If that’s the case - one might think that performance of those tools would be degraded using an older battery. I think it was also said that the new battery cells run cooler - so will an old battery tend to overheat and be shut down in a high-draw tool?


I missed the HD6.0. Maybe on balance that’s the best for most DIY/Weekend Warrior types - I rarely even fully run down my Bosch 2.0Ahs. Hadn’t given much thought to the size aspect; a 12 on an impact would be comical!

That table saw video is a good indicator. Probably wouldn’t ever justify a cordless version of that, but maybe someday I’ll pull the trigger on a chainsaw (or a lawnmower after NPS '19?).

I would imagine there’s some circuitry in the new batteries that only delivers the higher rate if the tool “asks for it” much like quick charge on modern smartphones. Elsewhere they’d just deliver at the “standard” M18 rate. Thermal throttling/cutoff might factor into it though.

I guess we’ll have to wait for some hands on reviews to know for sure.

I would imagine based on this photo of the chainsaw they haven’t get anything bigger than 12 in the pipeline just yet.


Actually, there is a gap at the base of the battery allowing for a slightly larger pack.

The performance for high draw tools is impressive. That table saw rips through the 2x. Same with the chainsaw with what appears to be a 12” log. And the weight would probably still be lighter than a gas model with similar power (my shoulder still hurts from lugging a Stihl around for half an hour the other day).


The chainsaw is super impressive. I don’t need it… At all… But I want it