How to Buy Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries have become popular for their efficiency. Instead of buying new batteries every time the power runs out in the electronic item you are using your batteries for, you simply need to charge your batteries back to full strength. It makes sense for most people economically and environmentally, and it is also more convenient. There are a variety of rechargeable batteries on the market, and they can be purchased from most major retailers online and in stores. Buy rechargeable batteries by determining what kind of battery you need, and comparing its power, performance, memory and safety.


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    Find rechargeable batteries that are compatible to the device you have. The type of batteries discussed here will be either AA size or those that fall under the category of lithium-ion.
    • Familiar sizes, such as AA, AAA, C and D can be found at almost any store imaginable. Concerning cost, rechargeable batteries are a wonderful investment. Rechargeable AA or AAA batteries are known as Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH).Generally, C and D size are not available in this form.
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    Adjust your budget. You will pay more for rechargeable batteries than you do for disposable batteries but they will pay for themselves quite quickly.
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    Choose between nickel and lithium batteries. Most rechargeable batteries are made from nickel cadmium (NiCd) or lithium cadmium (LiCd).
    • Watch for the memory effect with your NiCd batteries. The battery life decreases when you recharge the battery before it is fully depleted. So, if you buy a nickel rechargeable battery, make sure you use up all the battery life before you charge it. The aforementioned NiMH battery (especially the new ones) have no memory and can be charged anytime. These are what you'll generally see in most stores ... when rechargeable batteries are sold.
    • Choose a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery if you want to be able to charge it at any time. These types of batteries do not have a memory effect, and they hold their charge for months at a time regardless of when you charge them.
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    Compare battery life. When you buy a rechargeable battery, the milliamp hour rating (mAh) is what to look for as far as knowing the amount of energy a battery will hold. The higher the rating, the longer it will power a device before needing to be charged again.
    • Consider the device you are using the battery for. A high energy item, such as a digital camera, or an LED flashlight will use up the battery quicker than a remote control will.
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    Buy a charger when you buy your batteries. A battery charger is necessary to recharge your batteries over and over again.
    • Look for a charger that is reliable, and utilizes a CC/CV (constant current, constant voltage) algorithm. Some chargers will accept many different battery sizes, and be able to charge both NiMH and lithium batteries at the same time. Most chargers can be used through a wall plug, USB port and even a car charging port.
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    Consider the environmental impact of your battery choice. All rechargeable batteries are better than single use batteries for the earth. NiMH batteries are even greener than cadmium batteries.
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    Check out consumer reviews when considering batteries and battery chargers. But don't be fooled by extremely inexpensive lithium batteries! Even if some consumers rate them well, they are cheaply made and can be dangerous sometimes!
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    Look for safety features. Buying "protected" batteries is your safest bet. Make sure you buy products that are safe and not the subject of government or industry recalls.
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    Buy NiMH rechargeable batteries anywhere you would normally buy batteries. Department stores such as Target, Sears and Walmart, hardware and electronic stores such as Home Depot, Lowes and Radio Shack will all sell them. Only online retailers will sell rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
    • Buy online from major sites such as Amazon, eBay and Overstock or on sites that specialize in rechargeable batteries and chargers. Just be aware that Amazon and eBay are also where you could be fooled into buying extremely cheap batteries that will NOT last, and be potentially unsafe.


  • Save all receipts and packaging in case the rechargeable battery is defective or does not work. Check return policies before you buy.

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Categories: Buying Wisely