CR2032 VS CR2016 Batteries – What’s the Difference? 

Batteries come in all shapes and sizes. But does that mean we can use similar-looking batteries interchangeably? Probably not. 

A few batteries may appear similar, but subtle differences – not visible to the naked eye – make them contrasting. 

Recently, there has been confusion surrounding the CR2032 and CR2016 batteries. Many consumers believe they are similar given their identical appearance, but they are not. 

While both batteries have minor similarities, their diameter, capacity, and cell numbers differ. 

CR2032 VS CR2016 Batteries - What’s the Difference?

But can you still swap one with another, using them interchangeably? You’ll find your answer by the end of this guide. 

What Are CR2032 Batteries? 

The CR2032 battery is a coin-shaped lithium-ion battery. It is capable of generating 3 volts of energy. These batteries are also called complementary metal oxide semiconductors, and you can use them to power a PC’s basic input and output system. 

Manufacturers assign these batteries an official identification number. That is, CR2032 is the international electrochemical label for these batteries. 

They typically feature lithium-manganese dioxide (LiMnO2) – the anode is made from the former while the cathode with the latter. 

The battery functions optimally at temperatures between -20C to +70C. Besides, the discharge rate of CR2032 batteries is considerably low, which is a plus. 

So, you can store them for prolonged periods without worrying about their reduced performance. The battery successfully maintains its original charge. 


CR2032 Uses

The CR2032 batteries are excellent for powering electronic systems requiring incredibly low power. For instance, real-time clocks and oscillators work efficiently even with less energy. 

Their design allows them to operate even when the system power is off. Consequently, their standard use is to provide energy to real-time clocks of PC motherboards. Modern electronic gadgets are manufactured to keep the CR2032 from drawing power. 

Life Expectancy 

You can expect your CR2032 battery to last up to 2 years before dying. 

A simple way to calculate the battery’s life is by dividing the net charge in milliamp hour by its existing consumption. 

If the gadget is drawing 1 or fewer microamps, your CR2032 battery can last for up to 10 years. However, this is possible only when your battery is powering the PC BIOS. Note that the subsystems of electronic gadgets are often powered by the main supply – not the CR2032 battery. As such, the gadget depletes while the CR2032 is still in good condition. 

What Are CR2016 Batteries? 

Most people have been using the CR2016 batteries without even realizing it. This battery remains a popular choice for most compact electronic gadgets. The temperature-resistant factors make it an ideal fit for most customers. 

So, if you live in a region with major temperature fluctuations, the CR2016 can tackle those without compromising the battery’s quality. 

Overall, it provides consistent voltage and offers reliable functionality. 


CR2016 Uses 

CR2016 also called a button cell, is a preferred choice for portable electric devices. For instance, it is often used in wristwatches and small calculators. A few people also call it a coin cell due to its resemblance to a coin. 

Electronic gadgets featuring the CR2016 batteries have extended life. If you use them consistently – think of a wristwatch, for instance – expect them to last for a year or more.

Besides, because these batteries have a minimal discharge rate, they can last for years when stored. However, if you use the CR2016s in electronic devices that require maximum capacity, they’ll soon run out of power. 

They are, however, an ideal option for powering fitness equipment, calculators, watches, car fobs, medical appliances, and toys. You can also install these batteries in pairs – instead of using only one as in flashlights. 

Life Expectancy

CR2016 batteries have an extended shelf life. They typically last for up to 6 years. However, a few battery manufacturers say that their silver-zinc batteries have a shelf life of 10 years. 

Further, some watch user manuals equipping CR2016 claim the device lasts for 2 years with these batteries.

If, however, you do not use the special watch features, including the alarm, EL light function, and more, the watch battery can last for more years. 

CR2032 Vs. CR2016 Batteries – What’s the Difference? 

The CR2032 and CR2016 are used to power small electronic gadgets, including key fobs, PCs, watches, toys, medical equipment, and more. Their affordability and long shelf-life make them popular among consumers. 

However, because they look identical, a few people question whether they have similar features and if they can use them interchangeably. 

The truth is, there’s a fine line between both batteries. Three significant differences between these batteries include the following: 

Cell Numbers 

Both batteries have different identification numbers, implying varying meanings. The first two digits indicate the battery’s diameter, while the last two signify its thickness in millimeters. 

The CR2032 has a 20mm diameter while 3.2mm thickness. The other battery has a 20mm diameter and a 1.6 mm thickness. 

Simply put, both batteries have similar diameters, but their thickness differs – CR2032 is thicker than CR2016. 


The capacity of batteries is measured in mAh or milliampere-hour. It refers to the amount of charge a battery can save. This charge typically depends on the proportion of active material in the battery cell. 

An average CR2032 battery has a capacity of 240 milliampere-hour. This signifies that a battery can last up to 10 hours when used with a 24 milliamps load. The CR2016 battery, on the flip side, has a 90 mAh capacity, lasting for up to 6 hours when used with a load of 15 milliamps. 


As stated earlier, the last two digits of battery identification numbers indicate a battery’s thickness. So, the thickness of the CR2032 battery is 3.2mm while that of CR2016 is 1.6mm, making them both different. 

Is It Ok to Use Both Interchangeably? 

Although the CR2032 and CR2016 feature lithium coin cells, they aren’t identical. Their chemical composition differs slightly, depending on their intended functions. Therefore, it might not be possible to use them interchangeably. 

However, that alone isn’t a reason enough not to use them in place of one another. The size difference also makes it difficult to swap them. 

Although their diameter is the same, the thickness of the CR2032 is twice that of CR2016. While this may not be a considerable difference, it becomes noticeable when you observe the batteries closely. 

Besides, their battery casings also differ. Both batteries feature a plastic casing, but their colors are not identical. The CR2032 has silver color while the CR2016 is colored white. 

While the color difference doesn’t matter, you’d need to pay attention to the dimensions by the end of the day. It isn’t possible to fit the CR2032 battery in place of CR2016 or swap the latter with the former. 

Therefore, buying a similar battery type is better to avoid unwanted hassles if you’re looking for replacements. 

Which Battery Type Is Suitable for My Device? 

This question is tricky because the right battery type depends on your gadget. Therefore, different electronic devices come with user manuals and detailed guidelines about the gadget’s requirements. 

You need to check your device’s instruction manual to confirm which battery goes with your appliance. If you’re still unsure, better reach out to a professional for advice. 

You can also contact your device’s manufacturers to avoid choosing the wrong battery type. Inserting an incompatible battery isn’t harmful to your battery’s health alone; it also risks damaging your electronic gadget.  

Where to Purchase the CR2032 and CR2016 Batteries?

You can purchase the CR2032 and Cr2016 batteries in any store selling electronics. However, be wary of fake battery manufacturing brands. As a rule of thumb, always confirm a brand’s reputation before buying the battery. 

You can always check a company’s official website and skim the reviews. 

This practice will keep you from damaging your devices. If, however, you’re looking for a battery replacement, consider visiting your device’s manufacturing site to discover the ideal fit. 

Do CR2032 and CR2016 Batteries Pose Any Safety Hazards?

The CR2032 and CR2016 batteries have safety hazards like other standard batteries. 

Make sure you keep them in a dry place at an optimal temperature range. A temperature too high or too low isn’t good for a battery’s health. In fact, blazing heat can explode the battery. 

Further, try keeping the batteries out of children’s reach as kids may swallow the toxic battery substance leaking out of the device. 

Lastly, if you want to dispose of the batteries, toss them away in a proper place. Not only will it prevent environmental hazards, but it’ll also protect the surroundings. 

How Is CR2032 Better Than CR2016?

Because the CR2032 has 4 times that of the CR2016 battery capacity, a few people prefer it over the latter. Not only does it last long, but it also provides optimal power. 

However, that by no means indicates that the CR2016 has reduced performance. The only difference is that of capacity. 

Wrap Up 

A few batteries appear identical, but that does not mean they’re similar. 

The CR2032 and CR2016 batteries vary in thickness and capacity. While both batteries power similar gadgets, you cannot use them interchangeably. 

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