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I love my new Greenworks 60V mower, but some weeks I need a second charge on my battery to finish the yard. Since the Greenworks 60V line is a Lowes exclusive, the batteries are quite expensive. This led me to ask, “Can I use a Snapper battery in my Greenworks mower?” Similarly, I discovered that many people online were wondering, “Are Greenworks and Kobalt batteries interchangeable?”
The official answer is that the various brands of batteries are not compatible. When you look closely, though, you can see that batteries from Snapper, Greenworks, Kobalt, Powerworks, and Victa are all very similar. This post has information on the batteries, and my next post tells you how to use Greenworks batteries in Kobalt Tools.
Note: This post is provided for informational purposes only. If you decide to make any modifications to a battery, do so at your own risk. The author takes no responsibility for your personal choices. Warranties may be voided by modifying original equipment, and personal injury may occur through the use of power tools. Electrical equipment is dangerous. Fire or equipment failure can occur if attempting to use parts not certified by the manufacturer or if batteries are damaged. You have been warned.
What Are the Brands of Yard Tool Batteries?
Major brands of battery-powered yard tools include:
- Greenworks: 24V, 40V, 60V (Lowes only), 80V, 82V
- Kobalt: 40V, 80V (All Lowes only)
- Snapper: 60V (Walmart only, discontinued?), 82V
- Ryobi: 18V, 40V (All Home Depot only)
- EGO: 56V
- Black and Decker: 40V, 60V
- Worx: 24V, 40V
- Powerworks: 40V, 60V, 82V
- Victa: 80V
- Too many more to list
Are Greenworks and Kobalt the Same?
Greenworks and Kobalt are both sold at Lowes. Kobalt tools brand is owned by Lowe’s but contains tools made by many different companies. Globe Tools (aka Changzhou Globe Tools or Globe Tools Group) is a Chinese company that manufacturers tools sold by many companies, like Stanley, DeWalt, Black & Decker, Snapper, and Kobalt. Globe Tools also owns multiple tool companies, including Greenworks and Powerworks. Greenworks 80V and Kobalt 80V yard tools are made by Global Tools using the same design, with slight branding changes.
What Is the Difference Between 60V and 80V Batteries and Tools?
60 and 80 volts listed on these tools and batteries is the maximum output that each is capable of producing. 82V lines are within the 80 volt family of tools.
Higher Voltage Tools Generally:
- Have more power.
- Charge faster.
- Are larger.
- Are heavier.
Electric motors designed for higher voltage are generally more powerful. This peak voltage also affects the charging time of the batteries, and higher voltage systems usually charge faster.
The downside is higher voltage motors are also larger. Bigger motors add weight to the equipment. Compared to 40V yard tools, 60V equipment can be a good compromise between power and weight found in 80V equipment. Each family of equipment has a motor designed for a specific voltage, so batteries are not compatible between different voltage systems.
What Does the Ah Rating of a Battery Mean?
Batteries also have an ampere-hour rating (Ah). The Ah number represents the capacity of the battery. This is like fuel in the tank. Each voltage system offers multiple battery versions with different capacity. Higher Ah batteries will last longer but will also be heavier.
In summary, higher Ah batteries:
- Last longer.
- Are heavier.
What’s Inside a Lawn Tool Battery?
Most lithium-ion battery packs use the same parts. Inside of each are rechargeable cells that look similar to a AA battery. Lithium-ion 18650 cells are used in battery packs for laptops, electric skateboards, remote controlled cars, power tools, and even electric cars!
Voltage and Ah from each cell is limited, but multiple cells combined reach higher voltages and capacities. Cells in a series combine voltage while cells in parallel combine capacity. Most battery packs have a mix of both combinations.
More cells needed to make more voltage or higher capacity also add weight. Weight matters because a heavier tool is more work to use. A powerful tool is not as useful if it is uncomfortable or uncontrollable.
What Sizes of Greenworks Batteries Are Available?
See the table below to compare differences in the Greenworks batteries.
Can I Convert a 60V Battery to an 80V Battery?
I cannot recommend making any modification to a battery that changes the electrical properties. It is technically possible to modify a battery to change voltage or add capacity, but it is difficult to know how that may affect the total system. There are likely differences in the electronics used between voltage equipment families. At best, the result wouldn’t work. At worst, equipment would be damaged or catch on fire!
Can I Add Capacity (Ah) to a Battery?
I would not recommend attempting to add capacity to a 60V or 80V battery. Adding capacity to a smaller battery is less complex than changing voltage but not advised. Manufacturing differences between different capacity batteries are likely, requiring additional electronics. It requires extensive electronics knowledge to safely handle any differences.
Can I Use One Brand of Battery In Another Brand of Tool?
No. At least not without modifications. Thankfully, though, some batteries are fairly easy to modify to fit other brands, if you’re fairly handy. I’ll show you how to use Greenworks batteries in Kobalt Tools and how to make other batteries or brands compatible in my next post.
Which Brands of Batteries Are Compatible?
As I stated above, none of the brands are compatible with each other out of the box. With modifications, many of the brands can potentially be compatible.
Not all lithium-ion battery packs use the same connectors. Ones that have the same connectors, or pinout, also have to physically similar to fit. Fortunately, contract manufacturing in China leads to some overlap. They’re really all the same battery in very slightly different cases. Models made by Global Tools using their design should all be compatible. Unfortunately, Global Tools does not provide a list of models using this design.
These 60V batteries all appear to be compatible with case modifications:
These 80V and 82V batteries all appear to be compatible with case modifications:
Take a look at these two batteries to see how similar they are:
Other than the slots on the side of the battery case, coloring, and label they appear identical.
80V 4Ah and 80V 5Ah batteries us a longer case to fit additional cells for higher capacity. They are compatible with shorter batteries, but some tools do not have space to close the battery door when using a longer battery. Look at the Greenworks battery chart above to see full dimensions. Information on Greenworks batteries should remain consistent across other branded models with the same capacity.
You can find some good battery deals if you keep an eye out. I picked up a 60V 4Ah Snapper battery on a recent sale for 1/4 the cost of the Greenworks version!
Why Won’t a Snapper Battery Work in a Greenworks Mower?
From the physical dimensions to the electrical connection, differences between the batteries are small. One detail makes them proprietary to a single brand. In the pictures above, you may have noticed the grooves cut out on the sides are slightly different between brands. I took a picture of the original Greenworks battery on the left compared to the Snapper battery on the right showing the different slots.
Global Tools is using the same overall design on many different models. As a consumer, it is frustrating that batteries from the same company are not interchangeable, but a contract limitation is likely to blame. Because the batteries are sold under different brands, Lowe’s doesn’t want to explain how their 80V Kobalt mower is different from Briggs and Stratton’s Snapper branded 82V mower. That would be much more difficult if the batteries all worked together!
Manufacturing is cheaper and easier when small details are changed. Changing the slots to only fit a specific brand allows every company to have a “unique” product. This can be an even bigger problem if a brand discontinues a product line to work with another manufacturer or make their own design. Victa discontinued their 80V equipment, and it appears the 60V Snapper line exclusive to Walmart may be eliminated. Owners have no way to get new batteries without an alternative.
Are Greenworks and Kobalt Batteries Interchangeable?
The original question of this post is “Are Greenworks and Kobalt Batteries Interchangeable?” The answer is no straight out of the box. The grooves on the battery case prevent the battery from fitting in the opposite brand.
If you’re up for a bit of handiwork, the answer is yes. Greenworks and Kobalt batteries are compatible, but you have to alter the case or the tool to make them fit. This also should work for any combination of 60V batteries from Greenworks, Snapper, and Powerworks as well as any combination of 80V or 82V batteries from Greenworks, Kobalt, Powerworks, Snapper, Victa, and Powerworks. Please see my next post that will include a tutorial about how to use Greenworks batteries in Kobalt Tools.
Have you used a different brand of battery in your yard tool? Please leave your questions and comments below!
Latest posts by Brad Scott (see all)
- How to Use Greenworks Batteries in Kobalt Tools - September 13, 2018
- Are Greenworks and Kobalt Batteries Interchangeable? - September 12, 2018