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The Best Types of Rechargeable Batteries - Recharge to live large

Updated on January 11, 2013
Alkaline batteries are best suited for clocks, and should not be replaced often.
Alkaline batteries are best suited for clocks, and should not be replaced often.

Disposable Batteries vs Rechargeable Batteries

I buy batteries, lots of them. But are they useful when you compare the costs? Disposable batteries are half the costs of rechargeable batteries but often run out of charge much faster than them. If you find yourself frequently using batteries, then be sure to buy rechargeable batteries. Not just any rechargeable batteries, but ones that hold the charge and are able to function several months after initial use. Let's be honest no body is constantly using the batteries unless its some sort of radio.

What types of rechargeable batteries? These are the main two you should be looking for when you go out to purchase batteries.

Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) - This is good for most use, but not good for rarely used devices like smoke alarms, and flash lights as they lose charge over time. Additionally they come in a variety of capacities.

Alkaline rechargeable batteries - The safest type, can be thrown in the trash after use and have the longest use, so it's great for clocks and other electronics that use them for extended periods. However they have lower capacities and are more likely to leak.

Things to Consider

When you first get a rechargeable battery:

  1. Get the corresponding charger from the same company. Do not use interchangeable chargers for different brand batteries, different voltage levels and charging rates may cause batteries to explode
  2. Higher mAh capacities does not mean better. Companies even brand ones like Duracell often sport high mAh capacity batteries, but the reviews are full of people who complain of being burned, and batteries losing capacities. The technology has not been perfected yet but there are safer alternatives
  3. With newer models, it is better to read reviews of products, sometimes newer models of rechargeable batteries are just a marketing gimmicks with lower performance and higher cost.

Three Best Rechargeables

Brand (Household AA)
Advertised mAh Capacity
mAh Capacity (after charge + use)
Eneloop by Sanyo (1500 cycle)
1774 (after 3.5 months)
$18.26 for 4 pack w/ Charger
Imedion by Powerex
2125 (after 5 months)
$13.95 for 4 pack
Rayovac Platinum by Rayovac
1500 (after 2 years)
$9.74 for 4 pack


After personally reading through dozen or more reviews, Sanyo Eneloops were highly rated batteries, with Imedion by Powerex close behind. There was significantly higher positive reviews for Sanyo's 1500 cycle Eneloop batteries. Sanyo's advertisements said there was a 75% charge capacity retained after 3 years. That's very good for a battery and some reviewers have mentioned that their cameras even responded better to Sanyo's Eneloop batteries than the competition.

Savings Experiment by Bank of America + VISA

Buy Imedion AA 2400mAH 4 pack batteries

Buy Rayovac Platinum 4 pack batteries


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    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I always wondered about these so thanks for the explanation. I think we'll try Sony out as well, based on your recommendation. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • expertscolumn profile image

      Stanley Soman 4 years ago from New York

      Thank you Rajan for dropping by and commenting!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thanks for sharing this useful info.