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Rechargable vs. Non-Rechargable Batteries - AA/AAA Size

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So I just had to scrounge around for batteries for my mouse and realised that I have no AA/AAA sizes batteries in the house (I had to steal them from a remote control). It's something I rarely buy, maybe once a year, if that?

Is it worth just buying a bulk pack of batteries for the few devices that use them or invest in a few sets of rechargeables? Everything I use them in are very low drain (wireless mouse/keyboard, IR remote controls etc...). I don't mind spending a bit of money for decent cells like Eneloop.

What are people's experiences?

The answer seems to be based on how much you use the devices. For things I want to work when I need them but don't use much (like some flashlights I have stashed around the house) I spend extra for non-rechargeable lithium batteries. They won't leak and they have a long shelf life.

For things which I use often I use eneloops, which also should not leak. I use them in remotes, powered keyboards, mice, etc. But I have some devices (Russian calculators) that won't run on them, they need every bit of voltage from alkalines, or some HP Calculators for which rechargeables are not available (like the HP 41 models) for these devices I do use alkalines but the best I can find, and I remove them if I don't expect to use the devices for a while. My other HPs run fine on eneloops or non-rechargeable lithiums.

I've had good luck not to have many devices affected by leaks but alkalines will leak if you leave them around long enough. One Palm Pilot I have was injured by leaky Duracells, which in my experience was uncommon enough to be an unexpected, surprising disappointment.

So my general thought is to use eneloops whenever possible except for devices which get very infrequent use in which case I use the lithiums. The latter are very expensive, but not nearly as expensive as replacing precious old devices which are now unobtanium. The eneloops seem to behave well and last long enough in modern devices, and there are all kinds of chargers, some quite smart, to refresh them or at least fill them up.

I seem to end up with bad experiences with Eneloops, I'm not sure how they have the reputation of being good. The last set decreased massively in capacity after about a year and a half. I left some others for 6 months sitting in my flash guns with the power switch turned off but they now no longer accept more than a couple of hundred mAh charge.

The Duracell rechargables have lasted no problem in the same items. That said, I end up just buying GP Ultra batteries in bulk these days since it's less hassle overall and actually cheaper compared to the Eneloops I'd bought!

My requirements are very low drain and long life. The keyboard and mouse I use daily, but a set of alkaline batteries last about a year (if not more).

I'm just wondering if it's worth bothering with rechargeable batteries.

I'm never buying primary Alkaline batteries again. Bought a bunch of AA and AAA rebranded Eneloops. Ikea Ladda was that when I bought it, and some of the Amazonbasics was also, just have to do some research on it before buying. Bought it in bulk and never looked back.


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