Which Power Tool Batteries are the Best? A Comprehensive Guide


Which Power Tool Batteries are the Best? A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s market, there are many power tool brands to choose from, each offering a range of features and benefits. One of the most important aspects to consider when selecting power tools is the battery that drives them. After all, what good is a power tool without the power? In this guide, we’ll unpack all the key features of a power tool battery such as voltage, capacity, and charge time, so that you have all the information to make an informed decision.

What are the Different Types of Power Tool Batteries?

There are four main types of power tool batteries: Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), Graphene, Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd), and Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH). Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries have largely been phased out in favour of newer technologies like Li-Ion. Li-Ion batteries have become the standard in the power tool industry due to their high energy density, lightweight nature, and lack of memory effect (loss of capacity over time). Graphene batteries are an emerging technology that promises even greater energy density and faster charging times than Li-Ion batteries. While some brands are yet to catch on, they represent the future of power tool battery technology.



  • Long battery life
  • Fast charging
  • High energy density
  • Lightweight
  • No memory effect


  • Sensitive to extreme temperatures



  • Extremely fast charging (within 20 minutes*)
  • High energy capacity
  • Long lifespan (4x the cycle life of a Li-Ion battery*)
  • Very lightweight
  • Outstanding temperature control (10x slower temperature rise-up*)


  • Costly
  • Not yet widely available across brands

*Based on the CAT® GXB5 Graphene battery. Learn more here.

What are the Key Features of a Power Tool Battery?


Voltage (V) determines the power output of the battery. Higher voltage generally means more power. For example, 12V batteries are typically used in lightweight, compact tools designed for less demanding tasks. They are ideal general household use. 18V batteries are the most common in professional-grade power tools. They provide high power output, making them suitable for heavy-duty applications such as construction.

Battery Capacity (Ah)

Battery storage is measured in ampere hours (Ah) and indicates how long a battery can run before needing a charge.

An 18V CAT® power tool connected to an 18V battery uses 1Ah per hour. Therefore, if it’s running on the 4Ah DXB4 Li-Ion battery, it will have a run time of 4 hours load pending. If it’s running on the 5Ah GXB5 Graphene battery, it will have a run time of 5 hours load pending. Of course, this is just a rough estimate. The real run time will depend on how the tool is used.

Extending Your Battery Life

Looking after your batteries gives them the longest life possible. Store them in a cool, dry place, and be sure to protect the pins in the battery terminals of your power tools so that your batteries and tools can connect properly. It’s also best for battery health to keep your batteries charged when storing them.

Choosing the Right Battery for Your Needs

Factors to Consider

  • Compatibility: Ensure the battery you choose is compatible with the brand and model of your power tool. Most brands use proprietary battery designs which aren’t interchangeable. CAT’s 1 For All battery system means that any CAT battery can be used with any CAT tool.
  • Usage frequency: For frequent, heavy-duty use, opt for batteries with higher capacity (Ah) and faster charging times to minimise downtime. For occasional or light use, standard capacity batteries are often sufficient.
  • Power requirements: Higher voltage batteries (18V) deliver more power, suitable for demanding tasks.
  • Warranty: Look for batteries that come with a good warranty to protect your investment. For example, CAT® Graphene batteries come with a 5-year warranty, indicating their quality and longevity.

Our Recommendations

For DIY Enthusiasts and Regular Users: CAT® DXB4 Li-Ion Battery

A powerful, versatile option with excellent run-time and fast charging.

Buy the DXB4 here.

Jig Saw with DXB4 Battery

For Professionals and Heavy-Duty Users: CAT® GXB5 Graphene Battery

CAT’s top-of-the-line battery with cutting-edge graphene technology, the first of its kind in power tools.

Learn more about why graphene batteries are the future in our blog: Lithium vs. Graphene Batteries: Top 4 Reasons to Upgrade.

Buy the GXB5 here.

Angle Grinder with GXB5 Graphene Battery

We’ve unpacked everything you need to know when choosing the right power tool battery for you. Picking the right battery is key to getting the best performance and efficiency from your tools, so don’t forget to consider crucial factors such as battery type, run time, charge time, and warranty.

Want to know more about CAT? Explore the range.

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