Main differences between the battery technologies
Lithium Ion battery (Li-ion)These batteries have a much higher ‘energy density’ than both NiCd and NiMH, resulting in much smaller and lighter batteries for the same working time. They also have a much lower self-discharge rate, so batteries do not become discharged so easily by themselves during storage. Batteries can be charged at any time, even when they are not empty, without affecting their capacity. Lithium Ion batteries are also environment-friendlier than other types. Lithium Ion technology has clear advantages, but it is also more expensive in comparison to NiCd and NiMH batteries. The materials used in these batteries are less environmental-unfriendly than those in NiCd batteries, however batteries should still be disposed of responsibly of course.
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)These batteries have a higher ‘energy density’ than NiCd, which means you can work longer before recharging is needed. Like NiCd batteries, NiMH batteries should only be recharged when they are discharged (empty). However if they are charged before then, the capacity loss (loss of working time) is less than compared with NiCd batteries. NiMH batteries have the highest self-discharge rate, which means they become discharged quickly by themselves during storage. NiMH batteries should be charged before storage. The materials used in these batteries are less environmental-unfriendly than those in NiCd batteries, however batteries should still be disposed of responsibly of course.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)
Long lifetime, as long as the battery is well maintained. NiCd batteries should only be charged when they are discharged (empty), otherwise they lose their capacity! (which means a shorter working time before recharging is needed). This is the most solid and reliable type of battery, especially under warm and cold weather conditions. They offer the most power when it is needed, for example when starting or when handling tough jobs. NiCd batteries have a high self-discharge rate, which means they become discharged by themselves during storage. NiCd batteries should be charged before storage. Cadmium is an environment-unfriendly material, batteries should be disposed of responsibly.
From 1 January 2017, manufacturers are no longer allowed to sell NiCd batteries for use in cordless electrical power tools in the European Union and associated countries. However, any NiCd batteries and products using them that are still in existing stocks at retail outlets in the European Union and associated countries after 1 January 2017 can still be sold.