The evolution of batteries

The power behind the cordless revolution

evolution of batteries

A decade ago, it was almost unthinkable that high-powered tools could be cordless. Fast forward to today, cordless battery packs have completely transformed how the construction industry works.

But how do you choose the right battery platform? And what should you watch out for? Before we dive in, let’s start with a brief history of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology...

Why Li-Ion batteries?

Because batteries are so normal to us, we almost forget how remarkable they are. Essentially, they're small chemical reactors, with the reaction producing energetic electrons that flow through the external device.

However, new technologies often demand more compact, higher capacity, safer, rechargeable batteries - which is why the Lithium battery was born. Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight, provide efficient power for consumer electronics, and become more and more powerful as the technology develops – making them perfect for tools. Whilst more power density means more application opportunities, it also brings higher risk in terms of misuse and lack of care.

These risks aren’t related to a specific brand, but affect the whole power tool industry. For example, if temperature and pressure in one or more Li-ion cells surge beyond the levels that the cell package can withstand, the pack can leak hazardous chemicals and release toxic smoke. So, it’s good to be aware of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to batteries.

The history of batteries

Baghdad battery

250 BC

Baghdad battery

Linked capacitors


Linked capacitors

Voltiac pile


Voltiac pile

Li-ion battery

Current day

Li-ion battery

How to choose the right battery pack for your tools

Investing in the right battery platform can save you money in the long run, especially if you have one battery for many different tools. However, choosing a platform can often be the hardest part - although a great place to start is voltage. You can begin by de-mystifying voltage and amp hours and use the universal method to independently compare battery performanceOr, you can focus on the tools you need to carry out your most common applications, then choose the battery platform that best suits those tools. 

Whether it's weight or reach that's most important to your business, Hilti has a range of reliable tools and batteries that not only match your applications, but give you the best performance.

What makes Hilti’s batteries different?

Our batteries are sealed against moisture and dust, whilst our glass-fibre housing means they're up to four times more impact-resistant than standard plastic casings. Lithium technology is also lighter, cleaner and stores more energy in each cell compared to Nickel-based batteries.

Because the Li-ion cells we use are electronically controlled, we've improved the energy management inside the tool too - preventing overload and enabling you to verify the level of charge with the LED light indicators.

Our 22v battery packs also work with all new and previous generations of Hilti cordless tools, providing a seamless transition. We even offer free repairs up to a 2-year repair warranty period (commonly known as a ‘no cost period’) where we’ll collect, repair and return the tools to you within 3 days.

They're easy to transport too, as our Hilti tool cases are UN-approved - meaning packaging of batteries in cardboard boxes is no longer mandatory.

Still not sure what you need in your kit? With our Make It Fit Selector, you can choose and compare tools, batteries and inserts from our complete cordless range - providing a tailormade tool park for your specific needs.