Makita tools are lighter than DeWalt

Stiftung Warentest: Only three tool batteries in the test are "good" and one brand manufacturer fails

They fit on drills, leaf blowers and jigsaws: Many large manufacturers rely on a universal battery system for their tools. Do-it-yourselfers only need one battery for all devices. This saves money and is practical as long as the battery lasts a long time. The Stiftung Warentest tests batteries from Lidl, Bosch, Makita and Einhell.

Tool batteries in the test: one manufacturer fails

Stiftung Warentest tested a total of eight batteries with a voltage of 18 and 20 volts in its current issue 11/2020. The conclusion is positive: The batteries are getting better and better, are versatile and safe. Three manufacturers came off with a "good" rating, including Einhell and a battery from Lidl. Three achieved the grade "Satisfactory". The traditional manufacturer Makita pays a negative surprise: Two batteries fail early in the test and only achieve the grade "poor". They are the most expensive models in comparison. Durability is given the greatest weight in the test, and the testers also rate handling, power consumption and safety.

The test winners at a glance: Einhell, Metabo and Lidl are "good"

The test winner with the rating "Good (2.0)" is the 18 volt battery from Einhell. In terms of price, it is in the mid-range, withstands the endurance test and also achieved good results in the intermediate grades. In addition, it is compatible with over 170 devices from the manufacturer and offers the largest selection.

In second place is the 18 volt battery from Metabo with the test result "Good (2.1)". In terms of durability, it even does a little better than the test winner. On the other hand, it is a bit worse in handling. The testers rate the power consumption as "very good". With 100 devices, the choice for DIY enthusiasts is also very large. The third place Prize winner from Lidl. The Parkside battery with 20 volts achieved the test rating "Good (2.3)". At less than 20 euros, it is by far the cheapest power storage device in the test. It achieved good results in all test criteria. Bosch achieved the final grade of "satisfactory" with two models. The model PBA 18V with the verdict "Satisfactory (2.8)" and the battery from Bosch Professional with the grade "Satisfactory (3.0)".

The test winners in detail

The versatile test winner: Einhell 18V 2.0 Ah Power X-Charge

Good durability, good handling, very good security and many compatible devices: The 18 volt battery from Einhell is the test winner with the rating "Good (2.0)". It fits into the devices of the Einhell Power-x-Charge series and is available individually and in a starter kit with charging station. It survives the endurance test with 400 charging cycles without failures and without any loss of performance. This means it can be kept for over eight years. It does very well on storage and ages slowly. In the test, it is fully charged in just under 48 minutes.

The endurance runner: 18V battery from Metabo

The battery from Metabo with the test rating "Good (2.1)" is just behind the test winner. It scores with an even longer shelf life and a particularly economical charger. In terms of handling, durability and safety, it achieved good marks and is compatible with 100 of the manufacturer's devices. The battery is recharged in 46 minutes and, like the test winner, has a charge level indicator. The model does not have any real weaknesses. The praiseworthy charger is not included in the set and has to be purchased separately.

The award winner: Lidl Parkside 20 volt battery

Good and also cheap: The Parkside PAP 20 A1 from Lidl achieved the end note "Good (2.3)" in the test and is also the cheapest in comparison. He achieved good results in all test categories. Only the charging time of 69 minutes is a little longer than that of the first-placed. A display informs about the current charge level directly on the battery.

What is interesting in the endurance test is that the battery lasts longer than the test devices. Two out of three drill / drivers from Lidl failed with engine failure. The tool also went on strike at Bosch and Worx and only managed two thirds of the testing time. The testers therefore declare that the batteries are only as good as the devices that go with them. The endurance test simulates use over eight years.

Bosch with top marks for durability, but with safety deficiencies

Bosch comes up with the green tool series and the blue professional line. Both batteries achieved the final grade "satisfactory". The green Bosch PBA 18 V is a little better because the testers found a safety deficiency in the professional battery. The battery does not have overload protection. In the worst case, it can catch fire. This leads to devaluations in terms of security with the grade "sufficient". However, Bosch informed Stiftung Warentest that models from the production year 2019 onwards will have the important protection and that the overload can no longer occur.

In terms of durability, the professional battery received the best partial rating "good (1.6)", the green Bosch battery a significantly poorer partial rating ("good (2.5)").

Conclusion on the battery test by Stiftung Warentest

When choosing the right battery, however, it ultimately depends on which brand you are already loyal to and which tools you have. The fact that Makita does not survive the endurance test and offers the most expensive battery is certainly the big surprise in the test.

Everything you need to know about tool batteries

How many volts does a good battery need?

When it comes to battery systems, there are models that differ in terms of the voltage. As a rule of thumb, the higher the voltage in volts, the more power the battery has. At 18 volts, the batteries are already in the higher range in this test and are therefore also suitable for high-performance tasks.

How do you store the battery correctly?

Lithium-ion batteries like those in the test react sensitively to temperatures that are too high or too low. Store batteries in a dry, frost-free place. Make sure not to expose them to direct sunlight and keep the batteries away from flammable objects. An ideal place for storage is a dry, cool cellar.

What should you watch out for when charging the battery?

Batteries are also picky when it comes to charging. It is best to always keep the charge level between 20 and 80 percent. A deep discharge or charging for hours damage the battery cells and cause them to age faster. Therefore, remove full batteries from the charger.

How do you dispose of the battery?

When the service life of the rechargeable batteries has ended, dispose of the energy storage device at a specialist dealer or in a recycling center. In addition, do not use damaged batteries and tape off the poles to be on the safe side.

Which battery fits your tool?

The major manufacturers explain in detail which devices are compatible with the particular battery. Look for the same brand of battery and tool and compare the voltages. Manufacturers make it easy for customers by giving the batteries certain names. So you can see at a glance whether the tool you want is compatible with the battery.

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