The 7.4 Li-Po and 9.6 NiMH are both great batteries. They both have unique features that separate them. That’s why choosing one between them can get super frustrating.
So what should you pick from 7.4 lipo vs 9.6 NiMH?
Between the 7.4 lipo and 9.6 NiMH batteries, the 7.4 Li-Po is more efficient. It maintains consistency in power supply whereas, the 9.6 NiMH tends to degrade over time. The Li-Po battery also gives you more trigger response and burst rating. However, the NiMH battery costs less than Li-Po.
Does this seem like what you want to know? This article compares all the key factors between these two giants in Rc battery.
So if you’re ready, just hop into this article.
Before you get into the main discussion, here is a quick comparison between these two.
|Features||7.4 Li-Po||9.6 NiMH|
|Trigger Response||Adequately Responsive||Comparatively less responsive|
|Charge Time||1.07 hours||2-2.5 hours|
|Power Supply||More consistent||Less consistent|
|Cost/Weight Ratio||Lower cost to weight ratio||Higher cost to weight ratio|
|Durability||Higher life cycle||Lower life cycle|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
But again, these are just a brief summary. But don’t worry. We have elaborated on these factors as much as possible.
Before moving on to the next segment check out this graph for a comprehensive view.
Now, let’s get into the details!
First, you must know a little about these two battery types. Then you should know about 7.4 Li-Po and 9.6 NiMH.
7.4 Li-Po cells are lithium-polymer batteries. This means they use a polymer-based electrolyte instead of liquid electrolytes. This improves safety considerably.
It’s much less likely that a short circuit will cause these batteries to catch fire. Or vent their contents with liquid electrolyte batteries.
NiMH stands for Nickel-Metal Hydride and is a type of rechargeable battery. These are used in many devices like TV remotes, cordless drills, laptops, and cars. NiMH batteries have a 3.0 V nominal voltage.
They can be delivered as low as 1.2 volts per cell. This is about one-fourth the voltage of the 7.4 Li-Po battery cells. And it’s known for its lower discharge potential, better cycle life, and lower internal resistance.
Both NiMH and Li-Po batteries work well for drones and other RC devices. Now let’s get into the detailed discussion between these two batteries. Here are 8 key factors that decide the better one.
The 7.4 Li-po has a higher trigger response than 9.6 NiMH. It is due to the low resistance of the Li-po, which makes it ‘energized’ faster.
The lower resistor of the Li-po means it can produce more voltage than the NiMH 9.6, which makes the trigger response higher. This means that it can discharge and charge faster than 9.6 NiMH
Because of this feature the 7.4 LiPo battery is quite famous among RC enthusiasts.
This explains how much people trust this battery in question.
Winner: So, the winner of this category is the 7.4 Li-Po battery.
The 7.4 Li-po needs 1.07 hours for a full charge when using a 7.4 Li-po balancing charger. Whereas the 9.6 NiMH needs about 2-2.5 hours for a full charge using a NiMH charger. Charge time is a factor where Li-po has the advantage over NiMH.
Charge time naturally takes a little bit longer when using 9.6 NiMH compared to 7.4 Li-po, and this is due to the low resistance.
WInner: So, the winner of this category is the 7.4 Li-Po battery.
Li-po cells charge at 20% efficiency, whereas Ni-MH charges at 10%. The 7.4 Li-Po discharge rate can be high up to 5C or 100 amps. It can conduct a single discharge of up to 4500 mAh of charge into a single cell.
On the other hand, NiMH batteries have a low discharge rate, up to 1C or 20 amps. Its self-discharge is higher than most Li-Po cells.
So are Li-Po or NiMH batteries better?
The 7.4 Li-po packs more power per pound than 9.6 NiMH. Hence it is better and lighter in terms of efficiency.
But remember that not all LiPo batteries have higher efficiencies. From my experience, I’ve found only some to work as well as they should.
Some of my go-to LiPo batteries that never disappoint are:
- Zeee 7.4V Lipo Battery 2S – Cult-favourite and easy to use.
- HOOVO 7.4V 70C 6200mAh 2S Lipo Battery – Unique and its performance is quite reliable.
- Socokin 2S 5200mAh 80C 7.4V Lipo Battery – High performing and great value for money.
Using these will affirm your belief that LiPo batteries are indeed superior.
WInner: So, the winner of this category is the 7.4 Li-Po battery.
The 7.4 Li-Po is much lighter than the 9.6 NiMH. The 7.4 Li-Po weighs 230g and the 9.6 NiMH is 300g. The 7.4 Li-Po has a volume of 2800cc and the 9.6 NiMH is 6000cc.
This makes it very large. But relatively heavy at 300g vs 2000g for the 7.4 Li-Po battery pack!
Low weight and large volume mean that it is possible to fit more in the same space.
Let’s put the 9.6NiMH battery pack into the same volume of space as the 7.4Li-Po. It would have to be 1/3 its weight and 3 times as large with a diameter of 6 inches.
Winner: 7.4 Li-Po batteries are lighter.
Power Supply Consistency
The amp output of NiMH batteries is minimal when compared to Li-po. Especially when considering the size of the cells and the overall cost of the battery pack. The Li-Po gives a more consistent power supply.
When it has just been charged, it will operate better. But from there, things soon become worse. The Li-po, however, will deliver a more reliable overall effectiveness.
Winner: Li-Po has a more consistent power supply.
The 7.4 has a higher burst rating than the 9.6 NiMH. This is because the 7.4 has a higher voltage than the 9.6 NiMH.
The 9.6 NiMH has a lower burst rating than the 7.4 Li-Po. Because it has a lower voltage than the 7.4 Li-Po.
You can get a better idea about this if you understand voltage relation with output power supply.
Winner: The 7.4 Li-Po is the winner here!
You can get a 7.4 Li-Po battery with 3.7 volts and 600mAh for about $6.99-$8.00.
You can get a 9.6 NiMH battery with 1,200mAH for about $4.50-$5. It depends on the size and brand of battery you buy.
In the NiMH vs Li-Po airsoft comparison, the NiMH ones are cheaper. So, if you’re on a budget then you can easily look into NiMH batteries.
But be careful as not all 9.6 NiMH batteries are good. Some tend to not work properly. S, for your convenience i’ve listed some of my tried and tested 9.6 NiMH batteries:
- TATTU 9.6V NiMH Battery – It has special features to avoid overheating and has a longer charge cycle.
- Blomiky 9.6V 2000mAH NiMH Rechargeable 8-Cell AA Battery – Recharageble and sturdy.
These are some of the only good quality NiMH batteries in the market.
Winner: 9.6 NiMH batteries are the winner here!
In terms of durability, is Li-Po better than NiMH?
Well, yes! You can get 8 to 10 times more battery life with the 7.4 Li-Po. That’s when you compare it to a NiMH battery.
The 7.4 Li-Po can be charged at a higher current than the 8.4 NiMH. That’s with the same voltage output.
It means that it has a higher charging efficiency than the 9.6 NiMH. The 7.4 Li-Po should also have better cycle life than the 9.6NiMH.
The 7.4 Li-Po can last up to three hours on average. The life expectancy of a 7.4 Li-Po battery is around 300 cycles. The best NiMH batteries will last around 150 cycles.
Winner: Easily, the 7.4 Li-Po batteries are more durable.
Final Verdict: Which One Should You Get?
Overall, the 7.4 Li-Po seems to be a better choice. Because it is more efficient and constant in power supply. It also has a faster trigger response and burst rating.
On the other hand, the 9.6 NiMH has been around for about 20 years. And it’s currently the most popular rechargeable chemistry on the market today.
Especially if you’re looking for something worthwhile that will provide power for multiple devices at once. You’ll not have to constantly change batteries or buy new ones all too often.
That’s all on this topic!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are Li-Po batteries suitable for airsoft?
Yes, Li-Po batteries work well for airsoft. Compared to NiMH batteries, these batteries offer more constant performance and faster discharge rates. Depending on the voltage, Li-Po batteries for airsoft are available in two-cell or three-cell configurations. The battery pack has 3.7 volts per cell.
How long do Li-Po batteries for airsoft last?
A 1,400 mAH battery should let you shoot around 1,400 rounds before running out of power. That could seem like a lot. However, many airsoft battles can stretch for many hours.
How long should my 9.6 airsoft battery be charged?
The first two times you charge your 9.6 airsoft battery, you should charge it for 5.5 hours. Only four hours will be needed for subsequent charges.