If you’ve been collecting cordless rechargeable tools over the years, your workshop likely contains a variety of batteries, as this years “new thing” soon is replaced by next year’s “newest thing”. If you’ve been shopping for tools lately, you know that there are a variety of battery technologies available to choose from, each with their own advantages.
Types of Rechargeable Tool Batteries
Most cordless tool batteries are one of three types:
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd): For many years, NiCd batteries were the “workhorse” of rechargeable tools. The technology is well understood and reliable, but may have reached its maximum performance.
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH): NiMH batteries are similar to NiCd, with the toxic cadmium replaced with a more environmentally-friendly metal alloy. NiMH batteries have some advantages over NiCd but can’t quite compete with the newest lithium-ion technology.
Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion): The newest and lightest batteries on the scene, Li-Ion offer their own set of advantages and disadvantages while taking performance to a whole new level.
Read on for a handy guide to the three main types of rechargeable tool batteries, to help you determine which one is right for you.