What Airsoft Battery Should I Use?

What Airsoft Battery Should I Use?

When getting into airsoft its hard to choose the correct airsoft battery, whether it is NIMH / Lipo / LiFe / Li-Ion, and then which format of cells you require for your Airsoft gun.

Below we have a short breakdown of the benefits and types of batteries available to help guide you through the purchase of your new airsoft battery.

Battery Chemistry

When choosing  a battery you will notice there are three common types of Airsoft battery

NIMH LiPo and Li-Ion – although other cells are available like LI-FE and NICAD these are becoming obsolete.

NIMH

NIMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) are a great starter battery constructed from cells with a nominal voltage of 1.2v per cell and commonly built-in packs of either 8 or 9 cells producing 8.4v and 9.6v.

These are known for being reliable and low maintenance for people new into the sport,  and most commonly found as a free battery on starter packages.

Pros 

  • Safe
  • Reliable
  • Smaller voltage increments
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Heavy
  • Inefficient
  • Storage can be effected by Temperature change and can find on cold days they run out faster.

LiPO

LiPO (Lithium-ion Polymer) are probably the most commonly used batteries in airsoft. This is not only due to there performance but also due to there size.

Lipos typically are smaller and slimmer than NIMH cells enabling them to fit into smaller space. ie stock tubes and stocks with limited space. All though they are common they also have cons

Common Airsoft Lipo pack size 7.4V and 11.1V

Pros

  • Flat compact cell design
  • High discharge rate
  • Not affected as much by cold weather
  • High capacity to size ratio

Cons

  • Require a balance charger
  • Requires additional care when charging
  • If run-flat they can not be safely recharged

When using LIPO cells please follow any safety instructions and do not leave them unattended

Li-ION

Li-Ion (Lithium-ion) are one of the newest types of airsoft battery coming into the market over the last year or two. Although very similar to LIPO, there are some differences.

From looking at them they can look very similar to NIMH cells in size and shape, however maintenance and performance are drastically different.

Common Airsoft Li-Ion pack size 7.4V and 11.1V

Pros

  • No Memory effect
  • Higher capacity (MAH) compared to Lipo and NIMH
  • High efficiency
  • Long-lasting

Cons 

  • Can combust
  • Currently higher price point over NIMH and Lipo but over the last 2 years prices have dropped by around 60%
  • Bulkier over Lipo sizes making it harder to fit some AEGS

Battery MAH Rating

What is the MAH rating on airsoft batteries? its simple its basically how long it lasts compared to another. Typical airsoft batteries go from 800mah to 4000mah and some reaching up to 7000mah+

All though there isn’t an exact calculation of how long your battery will last (as it needs to take into account how much your airsoft guns draw, and very few are exactly the same)

The more upgraded your AEG is, the more chance it will draw on the battery due to more stress. The power used for the gun to cycle a stronger spring will increase the tension on the motor, causing it to use higher amp draw on the battery.

Along with other factors, like motor start-up current, if using single shot your motor uses higher draw to get the motor started,  compared to when it’s running on full auto.

Battery Connector

There are three common types of connectors used in airsoft below

Tamiya

These are available in two common types both standard and mini Tamiya. Tamiya is the industry standard for out of the box airsoft guns when you first purchase, but normally one of the first things people change out of the box.

All through standard, these can dramatically affect performance in the long run due to the pins becoming dislodged and female ends sprayed causing higher resistance, and risk or short circuit when the connector becomes damaged.

T plug / Deans

T plug are most commonly referred to as deans connectors, and are also available in two sizes – Standard (most used) and Mini.

These are airsoft go-to connectors, providing great connection and low resistance, as well as soldered direct to the cables and not crimped like on Tamiya. Providing a decent join is made, its very unlikely any issues will occur in the life span of these connectors. The main cause of failure is when players disconnect the battery from the airsoft gun by pulling from the cables and not the Deans connector.

XT 30 / XT60 

XT 30  and XT60 Connectors all though not as popular these are a great alternative to T plug connectors.

XT connectors provide a secure connection and are rated up to 60 amps on a XT60,  providing low resistance and high draw capacity.

Battery Layout and Design

When buying an airsoft battery you may be confused when looking at all the different styles and battery types.

Common airsoft batteries are normally in all three cell types.  Although please ask which types are best suited for your AEG

Stick

Sticks are normally great for certain types of airsoft guns which require a long type,  including AKs / MP5ks or even down the stock tube of your airsoft gun on some lipo sticks.

Block

Designed normally to fit into the front hand guard, or into a solid stock with limited joining cables which reduces risk of snagging and cable damage.

Crane stock/nunchuck

Normally split into two or three packs resembling a nunchuck, these are great for fitting into stocks which have tubes down the side. This enables quick and easy change and limited rattling.