The Power Tool Battery guide

When buying your cordless power tools, choosing the type of battery that the tool uses is almost as important as the choice of tool itself. Li-ion, NiMH, 3Ah, NiCD, 18V, 10.8V, 1.3Ah… all these terms can become confusing which is why we’ve put together this buying guide.


NiCD (Nickel Cadmium)

Entry level rechargeable battery which must be fully discharged before recharging. Failure to do so can reduce battery life. They are tough, inexpensive, and have a long cycle life and therefore are still commonly used and still work well for most jobs.

NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride)

These batteries have no memory effect therefore can be “topped up” or charged at any time without affecting battery life. The biggest improvement with NiMH is their increased capacity, which can be two to three times longer than NiCD batteries and also tend to out-perform NiCD batteries in high drain applications.

Li-ion (Lithium-ion)

The latest battery technology for cordless power tools. Like NiMH batteries, they  have no memory effect and can be “topped up” with no effect to battery life. The main benefit to this battery type is the weight – up to 40% lighter than NiMH batteries makes these the favourite for power tools.


The Ah rating is what determines how long your battery will last per charge. It stands for ampere-hour and is the measurement of time it takes for a battery to discharge. It is impossible to give battery run times on most cordless power tools as the variables of different working applications can change this drastically, however the more amp hours the more run time – like having a larger fuel tank. Something to consider is that if you intend to use your batteries for more demanding tools such as Jigsaws and Circular saws, then a higher amp-hour battery is almost an essential (e.g. An 18V Makita Jigsaw wouldn’t be very useful running off of a 1.3Ah battery).

Please also be aware that run time is always dependent on work load and demand. Because most of us demand a lot from our cordless tools, a 18v tool will always outperform a 10.8v, regardless of the amp-hour rating.


Voltage determines how much power a battery can deliver at a given time. Simply, cordless tools with higher voltage are more powerful. Rechargeable power tool batteries are usually a cluster of individual cells. The combined voltage of the cells determines the battery’s overall voltage.


Batteries come in 3 main shapes: Slide-on, Clip-on and stick batteries. It is important when buying batteries to fit your cordless power tools that you buy the correct shape batteries as only the shape that is designed to fit your tool will work. The 2 most popular types are slide-on and clip-on. Slide on batteries do as their name suggests and slide on the the tool on tracks. Clip on batteries have a pod which can be seen outside and a stalk which goes inside the tool and clips on. Stick batteries are totally hidden from show and go inside the tool completely.

To Conclude

At ITS we stock a large range of batteries in all shapes and sizes. We have batteries for all of the biggest brands at great prices. Be it a high powered 24V NiMH slide-on battery or a 7.2V NiCD stick battery we will stock it.

020 8532 5000

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