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Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2017


Cordless power tools
22 February 2017, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services

Available from RS Components is a wide range of power tools that use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, from leading manufacturers such as Bosch, DeWALT and Makita. These power tools are ideal as a replacement for those that currently run on nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries, which have been widely used in power tools for many years. Previously, the advantage of this type of cell was that NiCd batteries would maintain a steady output voltage until they are almost completely depleted, whereas the voltage offered by alkaline or lead-acid types, for example, will drop along with depletion of the battery.

However, the cadmium used in this type of cell is both carcinogenic and highly toxic, which has an impact on the environment when disposed in landfill. The EU Batteries Directive 2013/56/EU previously included an exemption for NiCd batteries used in power tools. However, this exemption has now been removed, as of 31 December, 2016, which means that new NiCd power tool batteries can no longer be made available to the market.

Li-ion battery-powered tools are not interchangeable with NiCd types, which will mean an upgrade in power tool will be required. Key advantages of Li-ion batteries include no memory effect; virtually no self-discharge; the ability to be recharged at anytime, regardless of the current state of charge; and smaller size and lower weight compared to their equivalent NiCd versions. These advantages mean that manufacturers can create higher voltage and higher capacity batteries and therefore a longer run-time without increasing the weight or size for the equivalent NiCd version.

For more information contact RS Components, +27 (0)11 691 9300,,

Supplied By: RS Components (SA)
Tel: +27 11 691 9300
Fax: +27 11 466 1577
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