DEWALT DC9096-2 18-Volt XRP 2.4 Amp Hour NiCad Pod-Style Battery, 2 Pack
I own/run a low voltage company in St. Louis. We pre-wire houses for phone/TV/networking, install intercoms, security, and central vacuum systems, and home theatres as well. We currently have 20+ DeWalt 18volt cordless tools and at least that many batteries. We are constantly asked by carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and competitiors how the tools hold up.
We can drill 100+ 3/4 holes on one battery every day with no problem. We can drill 10+ 2 1/4" holes with a DeWalt self feed bit on one battery. The recip saw, the circular saw, the angle grinder, and the flashlights all work flawlessly. We even have the vacuums so we can clean up after ourselves.
Now the old batteries (all black) last about 1 year for regular use. We have a few new batteries (yellow top) that are a little over a year old that show no sign of slowing down.
We have found that when it is cold they do not last as long. Also the charge needs to be in a semi warm area (not in a garage). Also, the battery needs to be drained most of the way before charging. Repeated recharging of a half dead battery dramatically reduces the life. But any battery manufacturer will tell you that.