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HomeTips & GuidesDifferent Types of Battery Posts: Battery Configuration and Battery Post Types

Different Types of Battery Posts: Battery Configuration and Battery Post Types

We will look at the different types of battery posts below, which you can get for your DC electrical power connections.

All portable/movable self-starting or self-running devices require batteries to start their engines, power their motors, or run the electrical circuits inside.

Batteries have a finite lifespan, meaning you’ll have to replace the component at some point. Also, their lugs can corrode due to salt formation.

So, whether replacing the battery or changing the connectors, you must know the specific battery post of the current power source.

Here’s a list of the different types of terminals in the market.

Table of Contents

How To Identify Battery Posts

Battery posts are the metal pieces that form the electrical contact to your battery’s cells. These posts don’t have a standardized structure because they come in different shapes and sizes.

But each battery must have two posts: the cathode or positive terminal and the anode or negative terminal.

A car battery with a crocodile clip on the positive post

A car battery with a crocodile clip on the positive post

The standard indication of the former is usually a positive sign or a red color. On the other side, black or a negative sign represents the anode.

You should know the difference between the two for correct identification before connecting or jumpstarting your machine.

Different Types of Battery Posts

We’ll split these battery posts into two categories.

Primary Battery Posts

Batteries with these posts are more typical in cars.

SAE Posts

SAE is an acronym for the Society of Automotive Engineers. These terminals are the most typical in car and marine batteries, and they feature a cone-shaped tapered design with the top chopped off.

Most people know them as round battery posts, but they are more of trapezoidal cylinders.

An automotive battery with SAE posts

Batteries with SAE posts have them at the top of the casing, with the cathode or positive terminal slightly larger than the negative post.

JIS Terminals

Like SAE, JIS is an acronym meaning Japanese Industrial Standard. JIS terminals have a similar shape to their SAE counterparts, but the posts are tinier.

Also, the positive terminal is slightly larger than the negative one, and both sit above the battery casing.

JIS terminals are no longer popular in car batteries, so you’ll mostly find them in old Japanese vehicles.

L Terminals

These terminals resemble an upside-down L with a hole on the vertical side for battery lug connections. L terminals are more typical in lawnmowers, snowmobiles, and light-duty motorcycle batteries, but not cars.

However, you can find them in some European car batteries. And like SAE posts, they sit at the top of the battery on the casing.

A motorcycle battery is being replaced

A motorcycle battery is being replaced.

Stud Terminals

As the name suggests, this type of terminal resembles a threaded rod. So you make the electrical connection by screwing the battery connector to this post. Studs sit above the battery casing and are common battery terminals in class 8 medium and heavy-duty trucks. Also, they come in various sizes, including T6, T8, T11, and T12.

A motorcycle battery with screw-in terminals

A motorcycle battery with screw-in terminals

Side Post Battery Terminals

Unlike the other four posts above, this terminal sits on the battery’s sidewall, close to the casing’s top edge. This battery design is typical in old vehicles plus GM and GMC cars.

Secondary Battery Posts

These battery terminals are typical in light-duty equipment or power backup systems.

F1 Terminal

Also known as tab 187 terminals, F1 posts are types of Faston terminal connections that measure 0.187 inches wide, hence the name. They are standard battery terminals in toy cars, home alarm systems, and fish finders.

F2 Terminal

F2 terminals are also Faston terminal connection types but with a broader surface area than their F1 counterparts. The post measures 0.25 inches wide. So, it also goes by the name tab 250.

F2 terminals are the common battery terminal types in batteries for UPS systems.

Sealed UPS batteries

Sealed UPS batteries

Faston Polarized Terminal

These polarized battery terminals combine the F1 and F2 types above. Since F2 posts are broader, they form the positive battery terminal. The negative terminal has the narrower F1 post.

Multiple batteries with F1 and F2 terminals

Multiple batteries with F1 and F2 terminals

Spring Post

SP stands for spring. It is the typical battery post type on batteries powering lanterns and flashlights. The spring is collapsible to form a reliable connection with the device.

WL Terminal

This insulated wire lead housing can have the form of a Molex or an AMP housing. You’ll mostly find it in medical devices or alarm system batteries.

PC Terminal

PC stands for Pressure Contact. This post is usually on the battery’s sidewall, and you’ll mostly find it in medical device batteries.

TH and TS Terminals

TH and TS battery posts are typical in electric toys.

U Post

Universal automotive battery posts feature bolt and nut connectors for making secure connections.

NB Terminal

NB posts come in several variations, such as NB1, NB2, NB3, and NB4. But all have one common feature. They use nuts and bolts to create proper connections.

Battery Configuration Types

There are six battery configuration types.

  • R or Right Hand Positive (RHP) orientation means the positive post is on the right side relative to the negative terminal, with both sitting above the battery case on the longer battery side.
  • L or Left Hand Positive (LHP) refers to the positive terminal being on the left side relative to the negative battery post, with the two terminals on the longer battery side.
  • An Offset orientation refers to the positive and negative battery posts sitting diagonally on the top surface of the battery above the case.
  • Center post means the two terminals sit on the top surface across the long battery side but not on one end. They are midway along the width or shorter sides.
  • 3R Right Hand Positive is similar to RHP. However, the terminals are on the shorter side of the battery.
  • 3L Left Hand Positive is similar to LHP. But the terminals are on the shorter side of the battery
Battery terminals in a 3L LHP configuration

Battery terminals in a 3L LHP configuration

Wrap Up

Most people define batteries using their electrical properties, such as voltage and ampere-hour capacity. But the device’s physical properties matter, as well. 

And as you can see, battery posts play a critical role in defining these power sources. The battery post configuration is equally important, so the information above is critical when shopping for a battery. 

We hope this article has been insightful. Contact us or comment below to let us know if you need further assistance handling these terminals.

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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