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Practical Considerations and Tips for Battery Replacement

A brief overview of CR2032 and CR2016 batteries

CR2032 and CR2016 represent two commonly used button-cell lithium coin batteries. Their key differences lie in physical dimensions and capacity ratings.

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Importance of understanding the differences

Being familiar with the key specifications like capacity, size, voltage and applications for CR2032 vs CR2016 batteries allows proper battery selection and replacement for electronics requiring these cells.

Common use cases for both battery types 

The slim CR2016 sees frequent usage in space-constrained devices like fitness trackers, while the thicker, higher-capacity CR2032 is well-suited for remote controls, wall clocks, and other battery-powered gadgets.

CR2016 vs CR2032: Unveiling the Distinctions

Physical Specifications

Size and dimensions of CR2016

The CR2016 battery measures 20mm wide by 1.6mm tall, giving it an ultra-slim stacked cylinder shape. This miniature thickness allows the fitting of the cell into very tight spaces.

Size and dimensions of CR2032

In contrast, the CR2032 has a diameter of 20mm but over double the thickness at 3.2mm tall. This gives it a slightly larger, thicker coin profile.

Capacity and Voltage

Capacity comparison 

The CR2016 offers a capacity ranging between 90-95mAh, while the CR2032 sees a typical rating of 220-240mAh. This gives the CR2032 over 2 times more capacity.

Voltage characteristics

Despite differences in container size and fuel reserves, coin cell batteries maintain the same nominal voltage output of 3V, making them interchangeable in specific 3V devices.

Interchangeability: Myth or Reality?

Can I use CR2032 instead of CR2016?

Exploring compatibility The CR2032, at 3.2mm thick, is too large to properly fit into electronic devices engineered explicitly for the 1.6mm wide CR2016 battery. Device damage could occur forcing in an oversized cell.

Factors to consider

Consider that the device housing and connectors are designed to enclose and contact a CR2016’s narrower form factor. A CR2032 likely lacks comparable contact pressure or stability in the smaller enclosure.

Can I use CR2016 instead of CR2032?

Assessing the viability While the CR2016 at 1.6mm may technically fit into some spots made for a CR2032, its 90-95mAh capacity remains below the devices’ targeted 220-240mAh operating reserves. Lifetime would be compromised.

Potential implications

A CR2016 substitute could supply a fraction of the intended runtime before dropping device voltage to non-functional levels, leading to potential lockups or shutdowns. Best practice matches replacement capacity to original.

Debunking Common Misconceptions

Are CR2016 and CR2032 the same? 

While their 20mm diameter and 3V voltage may seem similar initially, CR2016 and CR2032 batteries differ significantly in height and capacity ratings, making them suited for very different devices.

Is a CR2016 interchangeable with a CR2032?

Aside from fitting some generic 20mm battery holders, CR2016 and CR2032 batteries should not be used interchangeably in most applications due to differences in intended lifespan and device dimensional clearances.

Exploring the myth of using 2 CR2016 instead of CR2032

Technically two 90mAh CR2016 batteries wired in parallel could equal a single 220mAh CR2032 in capacity. However, finding a custom housing to achieve solid contact pressure on both thin cells simultaneously is impractical compared to purpose-built CR2032 solutions.

Practical Tips for Battery Replacement

Proper battery selection

Matching device requirements When replacing a battery, match new cell specifications to the original OEM battery in terms of battery chemistry, rated capacity, dimensions, and nominal voltage output. This ensures optimal performance and lifetime.

Longevity considerations Consider the annual usage cycles and environmental operating temperatures involved when selecting the highest capacity cells from quality brands designed to have more extended service lives under such conditions.

Storage and Handling

Best practices to extend battery life For best longevity, store replacement coin cell batteries in a cool, dry area away from hot sunlight or freezing temperatures. Batteries in moderate room temperatures with average humidity tend to have the most extended shelf life. Avoid high-drain devices with batteries when not in regular use.

Avoid common pitfalls Take caution not to accidentally short positive and negative CR2032/CR2016 battery terminals when handling or incorporating them into projects. While lithium cells have built-in failsafe mechanisms, the best practice is eliminating short circuit risk. Additionally, ensure correct polarity alignment before connecting any battery to an application.


In summary, while the CR2016 and CR2032 share similarities in 20mm width and 3V output that allow use in some ordinary battery holders, their differences in battery height and capacity make them suited for largely non-interchangeable applications. Devices engineered for the 1.6mm thick, 90mAh CR2016 cannot safely accommodate substituting in the larger capacity, 3.2mm wide CR2032 cell.

Likewise, equipment counting on 220+ mAh reserves from a CR2032 would face potential stability issues or abrupt shutdowns if relying on the shorter runtime of an under-capacity CR2016 stopgap. For this reason, always replace lithium coin cell batteries with identical chemistry, dimensions, and ratings as the original. Carefully matching replacement CR2032 or CR2016 cells to the intended application ensures proper operation and lifespan. Evaluating environmental operating conditions can inform the selection of higher-capacity cells from quality manufacturers suited for extreme temperatures.

With this crucial background understanding of the differences between two popular 20mm lithium batteries, readers can better inform battery selection and replacement decisions around CR2032 and CR2016 coin cells when maintaining their compact battery-powered projects and gadgets.

Courtesy: Top Reviews youtube channel

Source: Simulated discharge overpotential distributions for sintered electrode batteries in rechargeable coin cell form factors

Battery modeling at cell Level

Ch Ashraf
With over 25 years of electrical contracting experience in the Gilawala area, Ashraf Electric provides reliable and efficient residential, commercial, and light industrial electrical services. As a locally owned company based in Lodhran, we specialize in quickly diagnosing and resolving electrical issues both big and small. Our team of highly skilled electricians is available 24/7 to ensure your electrical systems continue running safely. Whether you require a full rewiring, socket and switch upgrades, safety inspections, or lightning protection systems, contact Ashraf Electric for exceptional customer service and quality electrical workmanship.