Comparative analysis on nicd vs nimh battery - which is better



The demand and use cases for rechargeable batteries are increasing every day, and these rechargeable batteries come in different types, two of the most common are NiCd and NiMH. These nickel-based batteries is mainly used in smaller power equipment, such as remote control, flashlight, garden street lamp and so on. But some people may ask, nicd vs nimh battery, which is better? Or is there a better option? This article will answer this question in detail, to help you choose the most suitable one.

1.Is NiCd a lithium battery?

No, NiCd is not a lithium battery. Strictly speaking, lithium batteries are different from the common lithium ion batteries, they are "disposable" power sources, which means they can't be recharged once empty and NiCd batteries are different. Nickel-cadmium battery, otherwise known as NiCd or NiCad, is also a rechargeable battery. In place of the iron, the electrodes of NiCd batteries are nickel and metallic cadmium. As NiCd are rechargeable batteries, it means that it's not a lithium battery. However, it's pretty similar to the common lithium-ion battery. Like every other rechargeable battery, NiCad has an excellent capacity, a relatively long lifespan. After discharging, it is very simple and fast to charge them. They are also one of the best off-grid batteries.

Is NiCd a lithium battery

2.FAQs about the NiCd batteries

① What is a NiCd battery used for?

Nickel Cadmium rechargeable batteries are mostly used where high discharge rate and large capacities are needed, such as in biomedical equipment, portable electronic devices, small digital cameras, and home power tools like drills, etc.

② Are NiCad batteries bad for the environment?

Yes. Nickel Cadmium batteries contain cadmium, which in itself is a heavy metal with toxic effects on humans. You get exposed to this heavy element when the battery is not disposed of properly. The ingestion of cadmium can lead to many diseases and, ultimately, death. On the contrary, lithium ion batteries are low-carbon and environmentally friendly, and do not contain harmful heavy metal elements and chemicals such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Other heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium are commonly found in batteries. This heavy metal element has great toxic and side-effects, and causes environmental pollution to the soil layer and water quality.

③ Can you revive a dead NiCad battery?

Yes, you can revive a dead NiCad battery. You don't have to throw away your NiCd battery simply cause you believe they are dead. Dead NiCd batteries are always a result of crystal dendrites' growth. You can revive your NiCd battery by charging it with asymmetrical current. Both methods can help destroy shorted crystal dendrites.

④ Do Nicad batteries have a memory?

Do Nicad batteries have a memory


The memory effect between nicd vs nimh battery is different. Memory effect is prevalent with NiCad rechargeable batteries. The NiCd memory effect is one of its biggest disadvantages compared to other rechargeable batteries like NiMH and even lithium-ion batteries. The NiCad memory effect is always happen when the battery is not fully discharged before charging the battery. Ultimately, this will make the NiCad battery lose some of its capacity or hold less charge. On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries have no memory effect. It can be charged and used at any time. And if its power is kept between 20% and 80%, the life  of lithium deep cycle battery will be improved.

3.What does NiMH mean on a battery?

Nickel metal hydride battery is a type of rechargeable battery with a higher capacity than NiCad battery. It also called NiMH or Ni-MH. There are some differences between nicd vs nimh battery. Unlike the NiCad batteries with an electrode made from nickel and cadmium metals, the NiMH electrodes are made from a hydrogen-absorbing alloy. However, another point between nicd vs nimh battery is that the cathode is still from a nickel-oxide hydroxide like in the NiCad batteries. NiMH batteries are slowly replacing the NiCd batteries in many areas, thanks to their higher capacity compared to NiCad batteries, and environmental friendliness, compared to NiCad batteries with a hazardous elements like cadmium.

4.Analysis of NiMH batteries

① Do NiMH batteries need a special charger? Can you overcharge a NiMH batteries?

Yes, NiMH batteries come with special chargers. You must endeavor to charge your NiMH batteries with a suitable charger. Charging with any other charger is unacceptable. NiMH batteries require charging correctly to ensure functionality and long life. Overcharging your NiMH batteries lead to overheating and loss of capacity, so never overcharge your NiMH batteries. NiCd batteries can be stored at any woltage. Its overcharge resistance is better, and a long overcharge can lose some capacity at most.

Do NiMH batteries require a dedicated charger Can you overcharge a NiMH battery

② What is the voltage of a fully charged NiMH battery?

The voltage of the 1.2V nickel hydrogen battery for daily use is usually 1.4V after full charge, and the discharge termination voltage is 0.9V.

③ Can NiMH batteries explode?

NiMH batteries are considered safe batteries as they rarely leak. However, it's a rechargeable battery. Rechargeable batteries come with electrolytes that can leak when the batteries are abused.

④ How do you extend the life of a NiMH battery?

To extend the life of your NiMH batteries, use them and don't storage them for so long. Also, do not charge them at low or high temperatures. Don't use ultra-fast chargers, and don't wait till they are 100%discharge before charging them.

5.What is the difference between nicd vs nimh battery?

There are some differences between nicd vs nimh battery, as follows:




Li-ion(Lithium iron phosphate)

Lead acid

Energy density (wh/kg)





Overcharge Tolerance



 Very low


 Cycle life





  Self-discharge rate





Nominal cell voltage





Cost ($/kwh)





Compared to NiMH batteries, NiCd batteries suffer from a memory effect, which reduces their rate capacity. NiMH doesn't suffer from that. And the Cadmium in NiCd makes them more toxic and less environmentally friendly than NiMH batteries. When comparing nicd vs nimh battery, the latter has higher capacity and higher discharge rate than the former. However, NiMH battery is less adaptable than NiCd battery, and it cannot be charged quickly below 10 and cannot be charged slowly below 0℃. These are the main differences between nicd vs nimh battery.

① Can I charge a NiMH battery with a Nicad charger?

No, charge your NiMH battery with only the suitable charger.

② Can I replace a NiCd battery with a NiMH?

No, Because the battery specifications may not match.

③ Which battery is better NiMH or NiCd? Are lithium batteries better than both of them?

Which battery is better NiMH or NiCd Are lithium batteries better than both of them


Here is the detailed comparison between nicd vs nimh battery, NiMH may be a better choice than NiCd batteries. However, neither option is better than the best lithium batteries. Li-ion batteries are far superior to these two batteries in terms of energy density, cycle life, self discharge rate, environmental friendliness and son on.

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