Buying Guide: Batteries / Chargers
Voltage, mAh, and Configurations
When looking at batteries there are three parts that define what the battery is, its voltage, its Amperage (mAh, milliamp hours), and its configuration. First, we will define what each does and show a few different configurations of batteries available.
The voltage output of the battery. This is the peak amount of voltage that can be output. The higher the voltage the faster your motor will spin.
This is the number of milliamp hours the battery has. The larger this value the longer the battery will last. This varies from weapon to weapon drastically based on the amount of power it draws. A standard battery will have around 1200mah which can last between a full day and half a day depending on how often the user fires.
The configuration of the battery is simply the shape at which it is to fit into the weapon. Most of the weapons on our website include information on the correct size of battery to be used with the gun you purchase.
Types of Battery
What is a Ni-Mh Battery?
A Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery, which is usually abbreviated to NiMH or Ni-MH, is a type of rechargeable battery that is used by many hobbyists to power items such as Remote Control Planes, Cars, and Airsoft Guns.
Ni-Mh batteries come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are rated in power by the number of cells that comprise them. For example, a 9.6v Ni-Mh Battery may contain 8 1.2v Cells. These cells can be arranged in any pattern as long as they are connected in series, resulting in a huge variety of types such as Stick, Block, Crane Stock Types and more.
Ni-Mh batteries are great for beginner Airsoft Skirmishers as they are the easiest to maintain and very hard to break. Ni-Mh batteries also have the most average discharge rate and capacity, and are safe to use in almost all Airsoft Guns.
What Charger can be used for Ni-Mh Batteries?
We stock a variety of chargers for Ni-MH batteries. Included with some of the guns we sell are chargers, which are great for starting out, but lack the auto-stop functionality of other chargers, for this reason, we recommend that you upgrade right away to improve the lifetime of the battery.
Here are two examples of chargers we sell:
- ASG Intelligent Auto-Stop Charger
This is an auto-stop charger designed for Ni-Mh batteries, and is a simple plug and play charger suitable for any user. The charger automatically cuts out when a battery is fully charged and has an LED indicator for displaying information to the user.
- NUPROL - NPC-01 Ni-Mh Charger
This is another auto-stop charger, and is designed for only charging Ni-MH batteries. The charger features an LED indicator for displaying information and comes with an additional lead for charging batteries with Deans type connectors.
What is a Li-Po Battery?
A lithium-ion Polymer Battery, also known as a LiPo, is a rechargeable battery, made using lithium-ion technology and usually comes in a pouch format. Unlike Ni-Mh cylindrical cells LiPo Batteries come in a soft package or pouch, meaning they can be configured in more non-uniform shapes.
LiPo batteries are usually smaller and lighter than other types, and have a higher capacity to density rating, meaning these batteries can use a smaller space but last for longer than a similarly sized NiMH. LiPo batteries typically come in two sizes, 7.2v and 11.1v and can be identified by counting the cells. Two celled batteries are 7.2v and three celled batteries are 11.1v. LiPo batteries are great for Airsoft Guns and R/C Cars as they have a higher discharge rate than other battery types, leading to improved motor speed and Rate of Fire.
LiPo Batteries are typically preferred by more experienced Airsoft Skirmishers, as they come with many advantages, but can be broken if mistreated. Fully discharging the battery will result in the cells no longer accepting a charge. This can easily be avoided by taking the battery out when the weapon is not in use, or by stopping using the battery when the rate of fire of the weapon suddenly drops.
We stock a variety of LiPo chargers which all feature auto-stop technology and can detect when a battery is damaged or cannot be charged.
Here are two examples of chargers we sell for LiPo batteries:
- NUPROL Multi-Function NiMh / LiPo / LiFe Charger
Features a compact design and lightweight setup, features an LCD display and LED indicators which allow you to tell if a battery is fully charged, damaged, or charging. It also comes with an adaptor to charge NiMH batteries.
- LE-3 LE-3 LiPo / LiFe Balance Charger
A balance charger that averages out the charge across all the cells in the battery improving its lifespan. The charger also features LED indicators to let you know the current status for the battery.
LiPo Important Notes
When charging LiPo Batteries it is important to note the following steps:
- Do not let LiPo batteries go flat, once they are flat they will no longer hold a charge.
- Never leave LiPo batteries unattended during charging.
- If a battery becomes damaged or swollen do not attempt to use it again.
- Do not leave LiPo batteries in guns once you have finished Skirmishing as this can lead to the battery draining and become damaged.
- Only use LiPo rated chargers, NiMh chargers cannot detect when a LiPo is full and will overcharge them.
- When charging any battery it is important to charge it using only a charger designed for that type.
- Never leave a charging battery unattended.
- When charging the battery do so in a fire-safe environment. We always recommend that you charge your LiPo batteries in a charging bag.
What type of battery should I use?
This usually comes down to what kind of battery you feel most comfortable with. NiMH batteries are the easiest to use and come with little consequence, you can use them fully without breaking them and they offer a better consistency between different types and are best suited for new players who may forget to disconnect them.
If there is not much battery space in your gun or you want to make it easier to place a battery in your gun and remember to look after your battery then LiPo is for you.
What kind of battery will fit in Gun X/Y
Typically on all of the guns on our website, we will suggest a battery that will fit inside the weapons we sell, however, if it is a weapon we do not stock you can always measure the battery compartment and compare them to the size charts we have on the weapons themselves.
If you can’t figure out what battery will fit please feel free to ask our community and staff using the website live chat and we can help you figure it out.
Can I use 11.1v LiPo in my gun?
For most users and most AEGs, we recommend you avoid using 11.1v LiPo unless we have recommended 11.1v for your AEG. Using such a high voltage battery on your gun will increase the rate of fire of the gun to the point at which it can start causing excessive wear to most stock Airsoft AEG internals, and puts electronic components such as ETUs at risk of over-heating. Imagine buying a car, and then driving it everywhere at high revs, that's essentially what you would be doing to your Airsoft Gun.
Although we don’t recommend using them, we do sell them. This is because some people in the Airsoft Community are creative, and like building high rate of fire setups. Guns can be custom made to work at such high speeds, with reinforced parts which aren't featured in the vast majority off-the-shelf Airsoft Guns.
As such we do not offer any Warranty on weapons that have used 11.1v or Higher Batteries unless it is our recommended battery type for the particular AEG.
How long should my battery take to charge
Most chargers are auto-stop chargers, meaning you do not have to worry about the length of time a battery is charged, however, if you want to plan for charging a collection of batteries it is important to know when the charge will be completed.
To work it out take the mAh rating of your battery, and divide it by the mAh output of the charger, the result is the
amount of hours it would take. For example, a charger outputs 800mah, and a battery has a rating of 2200 mah so
would take around 2h45 to charge:
2200 / 800 = 2.75 ~ 2h45
How do I know when my Battery is Flat?
When the battery in your gun is starting to die, it will begin to act sluggishly. The weapons trigger response will slow and the rate of fire will drop. The amount varies from gun to gun, but as soon as you start to notice this stop firing immediately and charge your battery.
If you have a LiPo battery you can also purchase a LiPo alarm separately, which can be plugged into the data cables of the battery and will provide a visual representation of if the battery is still good to use, and will let off a loud audible beep when the battery is too flat to use.
How long do Airsoft batteries last?
It is recommended that you take at least two batteries to an Airsoft Skirmish in case one should go flat. The length of time a battery lasts varies entirely from gun to gun, and the way you use the weapon. The more shots you take, the more power you will use. For a 3 hour session, if you are sparing on the trigger one 1200-1600 mAh battery should suffice. For a full day, we always recommend taking a second battery to avoid disappointment.
Once you have been to a few Skirmishes you will know exactly how long a battery will last in your AEG with your own finger on the trigger, the above is merely a rough average.
Do Airsoft guns come with batteries?
It is not likely that your airsoft gun will come supplied with a battery (or charger). And if it does, it will be inferior in quality and could lead to poor performance or issues down the line. We always recommend an aftermarket battery and charger (especially for a first gun), as they will perform better and are more reliable. We consider most of the included batteries and chargers to be free gifts and do not recommend their long-term use. To check if your airsoft gun is supplied with a battery or charger, you can refer to either the 'Package Includes' section of the product description (near the bottom), or the 'Included Battery' section of the 'Specifications'. Picture examples below:
Is there a ‘one size fits all’ battery charger?
Yes, the NUPROL 80W Smart Charger charges every battery type you will ever need and has an array of additional features such as discharging, fast charging, and balancing batteries. The charger itself is more expensive than the more basic offerings but is a far better and more cost-effective alternative to buying lots of different chargers for different batteries, and, as a bonus will charge batteries a lot faster than others.
Is there someone I can talk to about Airsoft Batteries, I’m still confused!
Feel free to get in touch via our Contact Us Page and we can help you figure it out. All our staff are Airsoft Skirmishers and we also have a Tech Department for more complex questions, so we should have no trouble sorting you out!