Whether we’re talking about your smartphone, laptop, electric toothbrush or even your car, we’re talking about the same battery technology keeping them working as they should be – lithium-ion (Li-Ion). This once expensive and rare battery technology is, today, the most commonly used rechargeable battery technology in the world.

All of which means that, of course, cordless power tools make use of the technology too. However, when you’re buying power tools (and spare batteries for them), it’s still easy to get lost in a world of techy terminology.

That’s why we’ve decided to put together this guide to help you not only identify which batteries are right for you, but why lithium-ion is such a popular technology. Let’s get started.


When you’re looking for a new power tool or a replacement battery for your current power tool, you’ll find you see the Ah rating quite a bit. Why? Well, it’s the measurement of how long your battery will last under usage.

It stands for ampere-hour and effectively gives you an indication of how large the ‘fuel-tank’ is for your power tools. However, it’s important to note that because every power tool will have its own power requirements, it’s not possible to simply look for the highest Ah rating and expect that to be the longest run time.

Since 2014, many power tool battery manufacturers have rallied behind 5Ah battery technology as a popular standard.


V stands for voltage, and indicated the amount of power the battery will deliver to the power tool. However, whilst it’s tempting to want to pair your power tool with a battery with a higher-than-standard voltage, that’s not recommended. You’ll find that rather than being more powerful, your power tool simply won’t work properly.

As such, we’d always recommend that you source a battery with the same voltage as is recommended by the manufacturer.

Self-Discharge Rate

The self-discharge rate of your battery is the rate in which it loses power when not in use. Li-Ion batteries boast the lowest self-discharge rate of any widely available battery technology, making them ideal for leaving in vans between jobs.

As a rule, Li-Ion batteries have SDRs of between 5 and 10% per month. However, with the slight variances in battery technology boasted by different manufacturers, this number can and does vary.


The C-rate of a battery is a measure of the rate in which the battery will be fully discharged, relative to its maximum capacity. For example, 1C means that the battery will discharge its battery in 1 hour, 2C means two hours of functional operation time and so on.

Naturally, a battery with a higher C-rate is preferable, but it’s not utterly essential. Spare power tool batteries are available at a reasonable cost right here at MAD4TOOLS, and with such affordable prices, there’s no reason why you can’t carry multiple batteries for your power tools.

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