Surprising disposable AA batteries review

One of the main problems with opening presents is getting gifts that say “Batteries not included”. Even still, many childrens’ toys drain them within days, at least during the first few weeks after they get them. Obviously the best way to go is to use rechargeable AAs, but not everyone can afford the batteries and charger upfront, particularly if they need batteries for multiple items.

With all the TV commercials advertising “Ultra long lasting”, “Last 7 times longer”, etc. AA’s, I’ve always wondered how they perform in comparison to let’s say discount or supermarket batteries. Well, you’ll be in for a surprise on what’s the best value AAs to get, going by a review I came across. :bigsmile:

When it comes to both low and high drain tests, without even taking the price into account, most alkaline batteries perform very similar with very little difference between regular and “Ultra” series. Ikea’s own brand AAs perform near the top, out-performing both Darcell Ultra and Energizer Ultra+ AAs! As for the price, Energizer Ultra+ costs 8x the price and Duracell Ultra costs 11x the price of Ikea’s AAs. Other discount store Alkaline batteries also did surprisingly well in the tests. Avoid Zinc based batteries, they only last 1/4 that of Alkaline batteries even with low power usage.

For high drain usage, Lithium batteries last roughly 3 times longer than Alkaline batteries, but at 11x the price of Idea’s, they work out about 4 times more expensive in the long run. Then again, still useful for digital cameras or flash-lights where you don’t need to worry about carrying lots of spares.

Two factors, that are not tested here, are important to me:

  1. Is the expiration date trustworthy?
  2. Will the batteries leak thus potentially destroying the electronics they’re in?

For me the answer to both of these questions is acceptable for Duracell alkaline batteries, but not always so for some other brands. I’ve had other brands be flat years before their expiration dates and I’ve also had some destructive battery leaks.

Buying “cheap” batteries that are flat before I use them, or even worse will leak into my gadgets/remotes and killing them, is an experience I no longer want.

So I always only buy the batteries I can trust (for me that’s Duracell), regardless of whether the capacity or selling price is the best available. In the long run I think that’s the better choice.

I tend to put Lithium AA and AAA batteries in things that MUST work when I go
to use them, typically flashlights kept in vehicles or emergency kits.

OR in things that get ignored for long periods of time (my digital camera
or my Logitech Wireless Joystick) because should a battery “leak” the
lithium battery leakage is less likely to “eat” the device.

My only issue with Ikea’s house branded batteries is that the nearest
Ikea is a long enough drive to defeat any economy advantage.

add to that I recently aquired a largish “Stash” of Energizer Lithium
batteries at a local retail liquidation store (one of those places that
food in “Dented cans”) in the form of those Eveready “emergency
cell phone chargers” that include two Lithium AAs in the package.
They were selling them for $1 each and didn’t realize that the
batteries themselves were worth $4-$5 for the pair I did what
any shrewd person would have done, I bought all they had

As Dragemeister points out leakage of batteries is critical
I know that it is the policy of the parent company of Energizer batteries to REPLACE any item damaged by leaking batteries.

I have personally had them replace two MagLight Flashlights.

they do so pretty much without question because most people are oblivious
to the fact that they are warranted against that damage.

I doubt Ikea has a similar policy

Over the years, I’ve come to hate disposable batteries. I don’t care if I aquire the best disposables in the world… they’re still disposable. Also, they leak acid all over everything. Then, just when you need them the most, they leak power, thus causing them to be nothing more than a waste of money. The worst is when you get both problems at once, usually before you ever get to actually use them!:sad:

Like most things companies say there last longer but it most cases the amount of time they out last other Alkaline batteries is so small that it is not worth the extra price. Funny how they never seem to tell how much longer they last. I just buy the cheapest Alkaline batteries.
So many things today you pay so much more for the biggest,best or last longer that there is no deal.

Despite all the years of claimed improvements, the one thing no one has perfected is preventing leakage, which generally occurs within a few weeks of the batteries running out. I’ve seen a wide variety of brands, including Duracell, Every Ready, etc., although mainly while stored in a container for several weeks awaiting disposal. Due to the price of Lithium AAs, I’ve only ever used 2 in the past, so am unable to comment about how reliable they are for not leaking. Nice to hear Energizer will replace items damaged by leakage.

I’ve also used a lot of budget store Alkaline batteries in the past and they don’t seem to be any worse for leakage, as long as they were removed once the batteries were flat. The only batteries that leaked while still in an item in the past few years were two Duracell Ultra’s in my audio amp remote, where the remote worked one day and the next day had goo over the battery cover from one of its AAAs.

I don’t recall having any Alkaline AA or AAA batteries dead fresh out of the pack even after a few years of storage. However, I have seen Alkaline button cells (watch batteries) dead and leak without ever being used. So I’d advise sticking with the more expensive lithium cells instead for watches.

From my experience, Ni-MH rechargeable batteries seem to be the most reliable for not leaking. I’ve only had 4 leak and that was after at least 5 years of storage, i.e. forgotten about until a recent room remodelling.

If you do make the switch to rechargeable AAs or AAAs, I strongly recommend getting pre-charged Ni-MH’s, which are also known as “Ready to use” or “Hybrid” batteries. They have a different chemistry to prevent them self-discharging, the main issue where batteries would otherwise self-discharge in just a few months. For example, the Sanyo Enloops claim to retain 75% charged after 3 years of storage. From my experience, they also work better in flash lights and camera flashes that use AAs, particularly when left a drawer and I’ve pretty much stopped using regular Ni-MH’s altogether as a result.

Years ago i have invested in a lot of rechargable batteries. I still reap the benefits from that, only replacing some of them over the years.

To my surprise the best non-rechargable batteries come from… IKEA… These things last very very long.

Im with you mr. B. I only use sanyo eneloops.

[QUOTE=harley2ride;2670490]Im with you mr. B. I only use sanyo eneloops.[/QUOTE]

I get Ansmann Energy AA Rechargeable Batteries 2850mAh Ni-MH from Amazon. 15% more power than the best eneloops (2500mAh)

[QUOTE=olyteddy;2670492]I get Ansmann Energy AA Rechargeable Batteries 2850mAh Ni-MH from Amazon. 15% more power than the best eneloops (2500mAh)[/QUOTE]
I’ve had lots of +2500mAh rechargable batteries. Most of them are junk and lose a lot of their capacity within the first ten recharges.

The best batteries i have today come from Aldi (über discount store in Europe). 8 AAA’s for 5 euro’s. 2200mAh if i’m not mistaken.