Guide to Rechargeable Tool Batteries

Cordless drill screwing in screw on door
The right cordless tool battery can make all the difference!

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:

    Three different types of batteries
    Different types of batteries.
  • 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.


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