18v vs 20v Impact Driver – Which is Better

Considering purchasing an impact driver to drive or tighten screws on DIY projects? Confused between 18v vs 20v impact driver. And don’t have an idea which one works better?

Choosing an impact driver from the market among hundreds of impact drivers is like searching a needle in a haystack. However, it’s not as difficult as it seems. You have to understand your work requirements and impact driver features.

We know that some questions might be ringing the bell to your mind, for instance.

  • What is the difference between 18v and 20v batteries?
  • Which battery is more powerful between 18v vs 20v?
  • Which impact driver should you choose between 18v and 20v?

To give you answers to all of your queries, we’ve come up with this article for you. So hurry up and scroll down to find solutions.


Difference Between 18v and 20v Batteries

First and foremost, there are a large number of batteries that have made it to market. Every battery is different from others. Although it is a long debate about which one is best but don’t be upset, we’ll try our best to give you an accurate answer.

No doubt, the battery is an essential part of any cordless impact driver because it’s the only way to provide power to the machine. The power of the battery is presented in “V,” which means voltage. The V after 18 or 20 signifies volts of battery.

Each battery consists of cells, and 18v and 20v batteries are created with five cells. More cells mean higher voltage or power for the battery. These cells are connected with wires in parallel patterns. They work together to produce power or volts for the battery.

Every cell has two ratings; one is nominal, and the second is the maximum rating.


18v vs 20V Impact Driver
18v vs 20V Impact Driver


Maximum Rate of Cell

As I mentioned above, that cell has two different ratings for voltage. The maximum rating of a cell means the voltage a cell produces for the battery. Such as one cell producing 4.0V (volts) for the battery. And the battery has four other cells as well.

The five cells in the battery produce 20V MAX.

For example – (4.0 volts × 5 cells) = 20V (Voltage) is the maximum rate (MAX).

Remember that the maximum rate is about how much power or volts a cell can produce when the battery is charged fully.


Nominal Rate of Cell

The nominal rate of a cell means how much power or volts a cell can produce during the discharging period of the battery. A cell delivers 3.6V nominal volts means (3.6 volts × 5 cells) = 18V (Voltage).

Note: Cells deliver a 20 Volts MAX rate to a fully charged battery. But when the battery discharges or drops-down and hits 99%, then after that cell produces 18 Volts nominal rate.

The crux of the matter is both batteries are the same. The only difference is the marketing strategy. Some brands advertise their tools using the MAX volts rate of battery like 20V MAX impact driver or nominal battery rates like 18V impact driver.


18V vs 20V Impact Driver: Which one should you choose?

Now you know what 18V and 20V batteries are, then which one should you choose among the 18v vs. 20v impact drivers when it comes to batteries?

Even though both impact driver batteries are the same. However, still, there are some factors that you’ve to consider other than batteries while choosing between 18v vs. 20v impact drivers.


The first important thing you should consider is the torque of the impact driver. Torque defines the power of your impact driver, just like volts define the capacity of the battery.

Torque is the twisting power of the impact driver. Higher Torque means the impact driver works fast compared to other impact drivers that don’t provide good Torque.

So while choosing an impact driver, always go for the 18v or 20v impact driver that offers higher Torque.

Size and Weight

The second thing that matters while choosing an impact driver is the size and weight of your tool. You don’t need to always end up working in a comfortable place.

The problem starts when you have to work in a tight spot. A heavy and long impact driver does not suit a tight spot. After all, No one can hold a heavy and big impact driver for a long time, especially in a tight working place.

That’s why it is wise to choose a small and light-weighted 18v or 20v impact driver.


Buying a tool from a trustworthy brand or company is a good decision compared to purchasing something from a new brand.

It is essential because brands such as DeWalt and Makita are reputable because they care about their purchasers. Their customer care service is also the best, meaning you can contact them in case of any problem.

So always remember to do some research about the brand and buyer reviews. Then decide between buying an impact driver. By following this advice, you can also protect your money from purchasing low-quality products.


If you’re searching for an impact driver, you probably saw the difference between the 18v and 20v impact drivers rates. As I stated above, 18V vs. 20V is just a marketing strategy; both are the same.

Usually, a lot of people don’t know the difference between 18v vs. 20v batteries. Moreover, what companies do is, they cleverly take advantage of customer lack of awareness by selling them 20V (volts) impact drivers at high rates.

The bottom line is never buying an expensive impact driver only because it offers a 20V battery.

Other Features & Accessories

Why are you reading this article? You probably want to know about the 18v and 20v impact drivers because you want to buy the best for yourself.

Remember that the best impact driver does not only depend on the batteries. It also depends on Torque, brand, design, size, and weight. But there is one thing that everyone forgets to compare, which is the features in impact driver and accessories included in the package.

So always look for LED light, fast charger, belt hook, Onboard bit holder, and other features in an impact driver. Also, select the one that can do your work within the shortest time.

Besides, don’t forget to compare the warranty and accessories included in the package.



What’s the difference between 18v and 20v tools?

18v and 20v both are batteries. The V you see after 18 or 20 signifies the voltage of the battery. Every 18V and 20V battery consists of 5 cells. Each cell delivers 3.6 V to the battery during the dischargeable period, which means it provides (3.6 x 5) = 18v (volts); this is called nominal rate. An Individual battery cell provides 4.0V when the battery is fully charged, which means (4.0 x 5) = 20V (volts); this is called Max rate. That means both are the same in terms of power. The only difference is how companies advertise. Some brands advertise the Max rate (20V), and some sell the impact driver using the nominal rate (18V).

Can you charge a 20v battery with an 18v charger?

No, you can’t charge a 20v battery with an 18v battery charger. To charge a 20v battery, you’ve to buy a separate charger specifically for the 20v battery.

What should I look for when buying an impact driver?

It would be best if you looked for these things while buying an impact driver.

  • First, choose Cordless or Corded which ones work best for you.
  • Look for an impact driver that delivers high Torque.
  • Look for a trustworthy brand.
  • Select a compact impact driver.
  • Choose an impact drill that offers more features compared to others.



Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ve understood that 20V vs 18V impact drivers are the same when it comes to batteries. Two of them are similar in terms of power. There is no need for you to buy another 20V impact driver only because it advertises more capable than an 18v impact driver.

Still, there are some factors you should consider that I mention above while buying an impact driver that can be valuable for your money.