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Power Tool Batteries Guide

Power Tool Batteries Guide

What type of battery should I choose?

Battery Guide

When Hiring cordless power tools, choosing the type of battery that the tool uses is almost as important as the choice of the 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 Hire guide.

At Brandon Hire Station our fleet of battery-powered and cordless power tools run on Li-ion. Lithium-ion is the latest battery technology for cordless power tools. Li-ion batteries have no memory effect

(Memory Effect  - The name comes from the fact that the battery remembers how much of its charge was drained before being charged and then uses the shorter charge period as its new capacity.)

and can be topped up” with no effect on battery life. The main benefit of Lithium-ion batteries is the weight – up to 40% lighter than NiMH batteries.

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 the 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 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 workload and demand.

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.

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

Battery Shapes

The three most common shapes of cordless power tool batteries are:

  • Pod Batteries
  • Stick Batteries
  • Slide Batteries

Pod Batteries, Slide Batteries The effects of these shapes on actual battery performance is nominal, but battery shapes can affect user preference by the way that they contribute to the overall balance of the tool.

Li-Ion batteries are especially liked by users because the way they are made does not restrict them to blocky shapes, and they can be contoured to provide better tool balance.

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