Buying Guides

  • Power Tool Batteries – A User 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.

    What type of battery should I choose?

    <h2 “>NiCD (Nickel Cadmium)

    NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride)

    Li-ion (Lithium-ion)

    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. 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 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.

    What does Ah mean?

    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.

    What Voltage do I need?

    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.

    Work Type


    Types of Tools

    Light Work: 7v-15v Small Drills, Electric Screwdriver
    Medium Work: 12v-18v Impact Drivers, Hammer Drills
    Heavy Work: 18v-36v SDS+ Drills, Disc Cutters

    What shape of batteries are there?

    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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    12 comments on “Power Tool Batteries – A User Guide
    1. Jim says:

      Can I put my 18v batteries into my 10.8 v impact drill, both dewalt

    2. stacie says:

      I’m really thick when it comes to tools but I brought my partner a 18v lithium drill with a 1.4ah battery and was wondering if it would damage the drill if I brought a spare battery marked 2.0ah both batteries are 18v. Thanks in advance

    3. Bob says:

      Can I use a Bosch 36v 2.6 Ah battery in a Bosch 36v 4 Ah mower? Will continued use harm either?

    4. Mike hallmark says:

      I only use my drill when
      I go out in the my drill can be stood a couple of months between uses do I keep it on charge when not in use

    5. Colin says:

      Can I use my 18v drill battery on a 14v jigsaw?

    6. Trevor Smith says:

      I have a Makita chain saw ‘Electric’, It came with one battery but requires two to run. I already had another battery but I later realised one is 4.0 Ah and the other 3.0Ah. Can I use them together on the tool or do they have to be the same?

    7. Paul says:

      I would like to know if I can put a 18v 3.0ah makita battery to my 18v 1.3ah makita

    8. Mark Morgan says:

      To answer what seems like a common query as long as the voltage is the same you can use batteries with a different ah rating in your tools. The ah rating means ampere hours and a battery with a higher ah rating will sustain longer running. Hope this helps you all. Mark

    9. Pip says:

      Can I put my 18v batteries in a 10.8v impact driver dewalt.

      • Richard Hughes says:

        Hi Pip,

        I’m afraid not no – 10.8v and 18v are totally different tools, with different inputs and so are unable to be cross-compatible, regardless of brand.

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