Comparing Nimh, Li-ion, and Nicad Drill Batteries: Which one is Best?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the Nimh, Li-lon, and Nicad drill batteries:

Nimh Drill Battery


-Top of the line quality

-Long Lasting

The Nimh drill battery has developed quite a reputation for its superior quality and ability to serve as a much longer lasting option than the Nicad model.


-Weak ‘holding’ power


One of the main issues that users have with the Nimh drill battery is that it tends to have a much weaker ‘holding’ time than the other options. In other words, the battery will drain even when the drill is not in use and will require more frequent charges. Another slight issue with the Nimh battery is its heavier weight. While this doesn’t seem to be an issue for most small home-based projects, it can be detrimental for contractors that are regularly climbing up and down ladders to make repairs.

Li-lon Drill Battery


-Light Weight

-Longer Lifespan

The Li-lon battery is very well liked by contractors due to its light weight characteristics. Users also enjoy its long lifespan, as it provides a much better value than many of the other available options.


-May shut off in warmer weather

-Lighter weight means they are easier to break

One of the biggest problems that users experience with the Li-lon batteries is that they have trouble performing well in the heat. There have been multiple reports of batteries shutting off for extended periods due to hot weather, which can be a major issue for those who live in the Southern states. While these Li-lon batteries are meant to serve as a light weight option that have a long lifespan, the light weight characteristics cause these batteries to be less durable.

Nicad Drill Battery


-Very versatile

-Solid value

These are one of the most popular battery types used by contractors due to their versatility and ability to take a beating. While Li-lon batteries may shut down in extreme weather, you can generally expect the Nicad to get you through your project no matter what the conditions look like. Another reason the Nicad batteries are popular is due to the low price. Many top brands sell their Nicad drill batteries for under $70.


-Can be unpredictable after a few years

While the Nicad batteries generally receive great reviews from users, there are also many people that have had issues with charging after only a year or so of use. These inconsistencies are rare, but for the price you may want to be sure that you are getting a warranty with your purchase.

In Summary

It is safe to say that the type of drill battery that you choose will depend on your specific needs. For contractors looking for a cheap option that is versatile and will last them throughout an entire day, Nicad is probably the best bet. If you’re a homeowner looking for something simple and high quality for occasional home projects, then Li-Ion is the way to go. Most new drills today especially the higher priced options in $200+ range use exclusively Li-Ion batteries.