F-Cell Battery Equivalents and Replacements
F-cell batteries are not widely used batteries, especially not when compared with, for instance, AA, AAA, CR2032, and similar batteries.
Individual F-cell batteries are rarely used, but four connected in series (6V) are used in lantern batteries. Also, battery packs consisting of 2 to 10 F-cells are often used in high-drain tools, high-end toys, and similar.
Published: August 16, 2023.
F-Cell Batteries Features and Specifications
F-cell batteries feature physical dimensions of (D x H) 33.0 x 91.0 mm (~1.3 x 3.6 inches), and they usually weigh between 150 and 300g (~5-10 oz), chemistry dependent.
The most common battery labels for cylindrical 33.0 x 91.0 mm batteries are "F battery" or "F-cell battery," but others are also common, including R25 (Zinc Carbon, IEC), LR25 (Alkaline, IEC), 60 (ANSI), etc.
F-cell batteries may have several types of battery contacts, including button tops and flat tops, or they can come with soldering tabs.
Note: If You are looking for F-cell batteries for making custom battery packs, go for models with factory-connected soldering tabs - You will save yourself plenty of time and possibly some money.
F-cell batteries may be found in several chemistries, including:
- Zinc-Carbon, 8-11Ah, 1.5V, non-rechargeable,
- Alkaline, 15-26Ah, 1.5V, non-rechargeable,
- Nickel Cadmium, 5-8.5Ah, 1.2V, rechargeable,
- Nickel Metal Hydride, 10-14Ah, 1.2V, rechargeable.
Zinc-Carbon and Alkaline F-cell batteries are commonly found in 6V Lantern Batteries, where four batteries are connected in series to provide full 6 volts.
Rechargeable 1.2V NiCd F-cell batteries are able to provide very strong currents and are often found in older cordless tools that require relatively lightweight but very strong battery packs.
Due to their Cadmium content, these batteries are often being replaced with rechargeable NiMH 1.2V F-cell batteries in older tools or with lithium batteries in newer tools, toys, and other similar applications.
Modern NiMH F-cell batteries feature a typical capacity in the 10-14Ah range and a nominal voltage of 1.2V. When replacing NiCd with NiMH batteries, be sure that new NiMH batteries are able to provide strong enough currents and that you have a battery charger compatible with both NiCd and NiMH batteries.
If your older NiCd battery charger is not compatible with new NiMH batteries, get a new battery charger, or your new battery pack will not last for a very long time; on the contrary...
F-Cell vs. D-Cell vs. M-Cell Batteries
F-cell, D-cell, and M-cell batteries are relatively large cylindrical batteries commonly found in several chemistries. These batteries differ in size and hence their performances:
- F-Cell battery: 33.0 x 91.0 mm
- D-Cell battery: 34.2 x 61.5 mm
- M-Cell battery: 42.0 x 91.0 mm
As one can see, D-cell and F-cell batteries have very similar diameters, allowing the user often to replace the F-cell battery with a D-cell battery using a simple battery adapter.
However, D-cell batteries have slightly larger diameters and sometimes cannot fit into the battery compartment intended for F-cell batteries. Also, D-cell batteries are smaller, have a smaller capacity, and often have a smaller maximum discharge current.
When compared with other larger cylindrical batteries, D-cells are the most common and can be easily found. Thus, if You cannot find F cell battery, consider replacing it with smaller D-cell batteries with suitable battery adapters.
M-cell batteries feature the same height as F-cell batteries but are wider (42 vs. 33 mm) and thus have a larger capacity. Since M-cell batteries are not very common, they can be replaced with F-cells using suitable battery adapters.
Again, due to the smaller dimensions, when replacing M cells with F cells, expect shorter runtime. Also, be sure that new F cells are strong enough to provide strong enough currents.
Long Story Short: F-cell batteries are relatively large cylindrical batteries present on the market in different chemistries. Most single F-cell batteries are rechargeable NiCd or NiMH F-cell batteries, while non-rechargeable individual F-cell batteries are not that common.
Theoretically, if you really need individual F-cell Carbon-Zinc or Alkaline batteries, either go for D-cells with suitable battery adapters (highly recommended) or try to disassemble one 6V lantern battery (Not recommended at all! In fact, don't do it for your own safety!) and use one or more individual cells.