If the core of any cordless system is the battery (and it is), then Ridgid's system just got better.

Ridgid recently upgraded the cell chemistry and electronics in the Hyper Lithium-Ion packs for their 12- and 18-volt tools. The new batteries are the same size and shape as previous models but the colors and graphics are slightly different.

Available in both 2.0 and 4.0 Ah sizes, the batteries are said by their maker to operate in extreme temperatures, from 29F (-20C) to 158F (70C). The improved electronics perform a number of functions, including providing protection against short-circuiting, over-discharge, over-current (too rapid draw that can overheat the pack). The company also released a new charger that it claims fills the 18-volt batteries 50% faster than earlier models.

The 18-volt batteries were released in July and the 12-volt batteries in August of 2013. All packs have a limited 3-year limited warranty. Prices are listed below.

18-volt 2.0 Ah: $79
18-volt 4.0 Ah: $119
12-volt 2.0 Ah: $49
12-volt 4.0 Ah: $89