There are many reasons to pick one tool brand over another, it could be preference or loyalty or even price. There are reasons that you may pick corded tools over cordless tools and what kit you buy and what tools you even need. But when it comes to cordless, battery powered tools, there really isn’t a great argument for not going with lithium ion power.
You’ve undoubtedly heard all of the benefits for picking up lithium ion over the older style batteries. Most of the best arguments are going to be because of the power to weight ratio. You can get the same amount of power in the lithium ion battery pack that you get from NiCd. You get some advantages from using NiCd, most of which are related to how long the parts have been on the market, so you get proven technology that has been used in real world applications for a long time. But what you also get is a battery that is filled with toxic materials that are harmful to the environment. There are many recycling programs in place, form your local government recycling to programs run by local and regional suppliers and manufacturers. But even with these recycling programs, many batteries still end up in the garbage and then in the landfill where they can do some real damage.
Over the years, there have been many advances in cordless power tool technology. For a long time it was all about getting more power by having a higher voltage tool. So, you saw a rapid increase in voltage from 9.6 volts all the way to 36 volts. Of course, with the older technology you were going to make some tradeoffs for all of that extra power. With NiCd or nickel cadmium, you were going to get the power that you wanted, but you were going to have to make some sacrifices to get there. With the newer lithium ion technology, you get the power that you need, and gain some other significant improvements along the way. Bu,t like anything else with benefits, there will always be a few drawbacks, as well.
Let’s look at the positives for both types of batteries first:
Pros for lithium Pros for NiCd
- Lighter weight 1. Technology is proven
- Smaller size 2. No memory
- No memory 3. Lower price point
- Almost no discharge 4. Established on jobsites, built-in compatibility
Milwaukee 48-11-1828 18V M18 Red Lithium Battery
DeWalt DC9096 18V XRP Extended Lithium Battery
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The Milwaukee 48-11-1828 18 Volt Lithium Ion Battery features the no memory effect. This means you can charge your battery at any time with any amount of charge remaining and not limit the maximum charge the battery can take. M-Technology batteries provide fade-free power from the first to last use on a charge. Excellent cold weather resistance allows the battery to provide nearly full run-time down to -4°F (-20°C).
Milwaukee 48-11-1828 18 Volt Battery Features:
- M18™ lithium ion batteries run up to 50% longer than 18V NiCd batteries at a 14.4V NiCd weight
- Excellent cold weather resistance allows the battery to provide nearly full run-time down to -4°F (-20°C)
- M-Technology batteries provide fade-free power from the first to last use on a charge
- No memory effect means you can charge your battery at any time with any amount of charge remaining and not limit the maximum charge the battery can take
- LED fuel gauge lets the user check battery charge level at any time even when the battery is not attached to a tool or charger
DeWalt DC9096 – 18 volt XRP Battery Pack. The DC9096 XRP 18-volt Extended Run Time batteries delivers 40% more run time than standard batteries. For use with all DeWalt 18-volt cordless tools.
DeWalt DC9096 Battery Pack Features:
- High capacity XRP battery has 40% more run-time than standard batteries
- Powers entire DEWALT line of 18V tools allowing users to run multiple tools off of the same battery pack
For handymen, contractors and construction workers, if you’re an owner of DeWalt cordless power tools, and have been looking for a cordless power solution, your quest is over. DeWalt now provides you with the DC9096 18V XRP Extended Run-Time High Capacity Battery Pack. The new DC9096 outperforms all previous DeWalt models and stacks up well against the competition.
18V 3.0 Amp Hr Lithium-ion Battery. Sixteen (16) firm holding contact terminals reduce the risk of power loss/fluctuation in high vibration work environments.
Makita BL1830 18V Battery Features:
- Charging Technology: Rapid Optimum Charger communicates with the battery’s built-in chip to optimize battery life by actively controlling current, voltage and temperature; and has a built-in fan to cool the battery to produce more lifetime work.
- More Work: LXT Lithium-Ion batteries and Rapid Optimum Chargers produce 430% total lifetime work with 2.5x more cycles than Ni-Cd batteries.
- Faster Charging: 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Batteries charge in 30 minutes. 18V Compact Lithium-Ion Batteries charge in 15 minutes; 4X Faster than Ni-Cd batteries.
- Less Weight: LXT Lithium-Ion Batteries weigh 40% less than Ni-Cd.
- Charging at any time will have no effect on the battery.
- Built-in shock absorbing features protect the battery.