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Dewalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi – Are the Batteries Interchangeable?

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Tool companies do what they can to make their batteries interchangeable. If you’re using, for example, a Ryobi 18 volt battery, it will fit on a variety of drills, saws, and other tools.

This goes for a lot of the products that the main tool manufacturers make, with the exception of many lithium-ion battery-powered tools.

The reason companies make their batteries interchangeable among their brand of tools is obvious.

They know people working on projects, whether it’s working in your small tool shed, hanging a picture, or framing a house, will often use multiple tools for a single project.

Young man compare two drills in a power tool store

They also know that batteries will run out if the job goes longer than a few hours. Rather than buying additional batteries, you can simply grab one from one of your other tools, slide it into the new tool, and you’re good to keep going.

But what about switching batteries in between brands? Can you use a Dewalt battery on a Milwaukee tool and vice versa?

In most cases, batteries are not interchangeable between tool brands. Most of the time, tool manufacturers make their batteries proprietary, meaning they will only work with their specific brand of tools.

Why Companies Make Batteries Proprietary

If you think about it, it makes sense why companies build their batteries to only fit their toolsets.

A green cordless drill, spare battery and a charger on wooden table

When you walk into a tool store or your local home improvement department store, you’ll see brands of tool collections in separate spaces.

It’s not like all the drills are lined up together. Typically, they are lined up in different product lines, but each prominent brand will have designated shelf space.

If you could fit any battery into any tool, then you wouldn’t be anchored to a certain brand.

By making their batteries interchangeable within a brand, the companies are doing what they can to encourage you to stick with them when it’s time to buy your next tool.

If you’re shopping for a new saw, for instance, and you know that your old batteries will work with it, you’re going to most likely stick with the brand you know and already have batteries for.

The inability to use batteries interchangeably is understandably frustrating for many people. For most of us, all we want is to get the best tools at the best price and get the job done.

However, when you have to buy separate batteries for a new tool, it can be pretty annoying.

Types of Batteries for Each Brand

If you look online, you’ll see a variety of replacement batteries available for Dewalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi, and many other tool brands. You can buy 6 packs of 20-volt batteries, 4000mAH 18V batteries, and anything else you need.

Battery for DEWALT 20-Volt Battery for DEWALT All 20V Max XR Cordless Tools
  • 【Battery Specs】Replacement for Dewalt ALL 20V Max XR Battery | Battery type: Lithium-ion | Voltage: 20V | Watt: 120Wh | Capacity: 6000mAh/6.0 Ah | QTY: 4-Pack
  • 【Full Compatible with Dewalt 20V Tools】for DEWALT 20v battery DCB207, DCB206, DCB205, DCB204, DCB203, DCB201, DCB200, DCB180, DCB181, DCB182, DCB183, DCB184; compatible with Dewalt 20v cordless power tools. And fit for Dewalt DCB118 DCB107 chargers

For Ryobi, you’ll see much of the same thing. You can find 2-packs of 2500mAH 18V batteries that are generic brands or you can buy original Ryobi batteries for your tools.

Milwaukee has a variety of generic replacement batteries that come in a 2-pack that slides onto the bottom of your tools with a charger, or you can buy them one at a time.

Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-Ion 4.0 Ah High Capacity Battery
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories

No products found.

You’ll save money buying replacement batteries online and they are great to have in a bind when you need more power for a larger project.

What About Adapters?

If you’re not the kind of person who wants to stick with a single brand of tools, there are some workarounds that will make it so you can use batteries interchangeably.

One of the best ways to do this is with a battery adapter that changes the insert, allowing you to use a Dewalt battery on a Ryobi tool and vice versa.

A good example of this is an adapter that slides onto the Dewalt battery and then has the insert portion required on other tools. They don’t cost that much to buy and, over the lifetime of your tools, will save you a ton of money.

All you have to do is research the type of battery adapter you need for specific tools and you’ll be good to go.

20V Battery Adapter DCA1820 for Dewalt 18V Tools Convert 20Volt Lithium On Battery
  • Application: Made of good material,this DCA1820 battery Adapter Compatible with 20V battery DCB200 DCB201 DCB203 DCB203BT DCB204 DCB205 DCB206 batteries.
  • Usage: Replace old 18V Ni-Cad and NiMh batteries DC9096 DC9098 DE9039 DE9095 DE9096 DE9098 DW9095 DW9096 DW9098, running older 18V tools.

With an adapter, you’ll never have to worry about switching tools or buying something new out of the brand’s battery ecosystem.

Even some of the tool companies have started recognizing the importance of interchangeability and have started making their own adapters that let you use an 18V battery on a 20V tool.

DEWALT Battery Adapter 18V to 20V
  • Compatible with most DEWALT 18V tools and allows for use of 20V MAX compact batteries
  • Requires use of DEWALT 20V MAX charger
  • Use with DCB201, DCB203, DCB203BT compact batteries

Using battery adapters is a great choice for people who don’t want to spend as much money on higher-end brand names but still want to use the batteries from an older Dewalt tool.

If it’s a tool that you use all of the time, it’s easier to spend on the best brands. However, fringe tools don’t have to be the best on the market, and using an adapter is a nice solution.


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