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What is Nickle Cadium (NiCd)?

What is nickel cadmium (NiCd)?

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Nickel cadmium battery The first rechargeable batteries used in cordless power tools were made from nickel cadmium. However, as battery technology has progressed, these types of batteries have become less widely used for a number of reasons, including their use of the toxic element cadmium, which requires special care when being disposed of.


Battery cold NiCd batteries perform well in lower temperatures so they can be used outdoors in cold weather.
piggy bank They are the least expensive when compared to NiMH and Li-Ion.
Old battery They have a longer life-cycle than Li-Ion or NiMH. The exact length of life will vary from battery to battery and will depend on a couple of factors:

  • How well you look after your battery
  • If it suffers from memory effect, how frequently your battery is ‘overcharged’

However, some manufacturers will offer an estimate as to how long the battery will last before it needs replaced – for example, 800 charge cycles or 3-5 years.


Heavy battery They tend to be heavier than other batteries of the same voltage.
cadmium They contain cadmium which is a very toxic metal that requires hazardous waste disposal. To do this responsibly, you should contact your nearest licensed recycling centre.
Memory effect battery They suffer from ‘memory effect’. For more information, see our section: Important battery terms

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