advertisement
Forums

The Forum is sponsored by 
 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: October 02, 2007 05:31AM
I went to my stock of Duracell AA batteries and found one that was leaking. I'm paying about fifty cents apiece for these and I'm wondering if any of you folks who go through batteries in a hurry have an opinon about name brand vs off brand (for example [www.batteries.com] ) Is there a real life difference between the peformance of a $0.50 battery and one that's $0.20? I use mine mostly in TV remotes, optical mice, flashlights and the like. I've had many Energizers leak and ruin the device it was in over the years so I went to Duracell, but pulling this dud from a fresh box over the weekend makes me question the value.



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 02, 2007 05:49AM
eneloop (rechargeable). They don't leak, and you don't fill the dumpster with batteries.

if you insist on alkaline, I have read on a battery forum that Rite Aid brand offer the best bank for the buck. I am not sure how frequent they leak though.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2007 05:51AM by space-time.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: October 02, 2007 05:57AM
Well, I have a potload of NiMh but it seems they are never ready when I am. I have fast chargers, slow chargers and the results using all kinds of batteries have been less than satisfying. The only real success story on that front is at work where I have 2 cordless mice with NiMh batteries. I use them until they go completely dead, then put them in a charger that takes a day to recharge. Meanwhile I pop in a couple conventional alkaline batteries to tide me over. But that's another discussion. What I'd really like to know is the answer to the question posed in my original post.

Do you recall the name of the battery forum?







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2007 06:07AM by olnacl.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Chupa Chupa
Date: October 02, 2007 06:30AM
I use the Costco house brand. They are like .19 each in the 48 pack. They work fine for me in my remotes. etc. I don't have a lot of stuff that runs on AA anymore so a big box lasts me a couple years easy. The batteries at the end of the box perform as well as the ones in the front.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: October 02, 2007 06:47AM
I've found CVS.com house brand to be very reliable. Just bought a load on a BOGO deal. With a $4 off coupon (link is on their website), they came out to 13ยข each [+tax].

btw, batteries.com suck, very poor quality. YMMV of course tongue sticking out smiley
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: October 02, 2007 07:09AM
Ditto Walgreens. When you get them on sale they're about 20 cents apiece. Regularly they'e about 25 cents.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 02, 2007 07:14AM
Quote
olnacl
Well, I have a potload of NiMh but it seems they are never ready when I am. ...

that's exactly where eneloops shine. they come pre-charged (@75% capacity) from the factory, and they do not loose the energy like regular NiMH. They have a shelf life of 2 years (yes, years, not months). I have eneloops that I charged one year ago, put them in my digicam, and they perform like I just took them off the charged.

I shall never use a regular alkaline battery (unless it's an emergency).

EDIT: don't be fooled by the "lower" capacity of eneloops, 2000 mAh, they beat many 2500 mAh NiMH in real life use. eneloops are underrated.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2007 07:15AM by space-time.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Dakota
Date: October 02, 2007 07:23AM
Another problem with rechargables is they tend to get "lost". The lesson is not to use them in devices you rarely use.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: October 02, 2007 07:35AM
I don't buy Duracell or Energizer consumer brand anymore - too many leaks.

I do buy Duracell industrial brand (Procell) - no leaks there, but they aren't cheap new (sometimes surplus shows up on ebay)

Store brand - shop by price.

Chinese-made off-brand alkalines I've tried aren't very good (no leaks, just much lower capacity and shorter lifespan)
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: October 02, 2007 08:15AM
Many name-brands are superior to generics. With batteries, there really is a difference. You'll see longer life in the name-brand almost every time.

As far as which brand is the best, in my experience Energizer Titaniums compare favorably even to Lithium batteries, but those "performance" batteries are hardly necessary for tv remotes.

For tv remotes, I recommend a rechargeable system. I prefer Rayovacs for such purposes as they hit a sweet spot in price/performance.

Duracells are especially prone to leaking at temperature extremes. (This is a well-known problem with that brand). But at room temperature and with normal use, you shouldn't see all that many leaky batteries -- certainly none "fresh" in the box -- unless you leave the boxes sitting in a furnace-room. If you frequently have batteries leak in your home/devices, you may be mistreating them. In that case, you'll hardly get better performance out of ANY replacement-brand. Do not expose batteries to temperature extremes, avoid rapid-discharging and never try to recharge a battery that is not marked as rechargeable.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: October 02, 2007 08:23AM
Thanks all. I believe you've answered my question.



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: threeprong
Date: October 02, 2007 08:36AM
I worked in an EverReady plant one summer in college.

Things may be different now, but in 1990, the same machine with the same setup was making energizer batteries and generics as well.

The battery shells, empty metal cases would come in and get a bit of lamp black dropped into them. From there the lamp black would be pressed into the side of the battery to create an insulating layer. Acid and the internals were inserted and then capped.

These were then sprayed with phenylthalene (sp?) to check to see if it turned purple. (leakers)

Then on come the labels. ANy label will do.

Seriously, if you saw what was inside a battery ,you 'd know there's not a lot of room to save on the cost of making one.

3p
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: October 02, 2007 08:43AM
MM,

My experience differs from yours and I'm actually surprised to hear you say that most name brands are superior to generics. I've found the vast majority of the name brand batteries are no better or worse than generic brands. All of them seem to last approximately the same amount of time and, for the most part, I've yet to have any leak in devices. If I need an alkaline battery, I simply purchase based on price and convenience.

That said, in my experience crappy generics are readily identified and easily avoided. You can tell they are low-quality just from their appearance alone. The typical issue I've seen is with the case. On crappy generics it's already starting to peel. Or, you can see bubbling or leaking. Again, easily identified and avoidable.

Speciality and rechargeable NiMH batteries are a different matter entirely. I've had issues with Ultralast rechargeable NiMH batteries not charging well but they've never leaked. The Powerex rechargeables charge well and hold a charge but I've had leakers. Never a problem with the speciality lithium batteries that shipped with my digital cameras. Same goes for the speciality photo batteries I use in my Nikon digicam.

Robert
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: billb
Date: October 02, 2007 09:14AM
You don't want batteries that were made on Monday morning or Friday afternoon.

Batches of batteries can easily explain diferent results.


Not too much different than batches of hamburger or lettuce heads.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: October 02, 2007 09:29AM
Bill,

That reminds me... Many of the generic alkaline batteries are made by the same companies that produce alkaline batteries for the name brands. The specs might differ a bit here and there but overall, from what I've read, they are pretty much the same. I suspect that's why I've had good experiences with both generics and name brand batteries.

Robert
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: October 02, 2007 10:28AM
I picked up a pack of Duracells the other day and they had made in US or China on the
back, I bought the Japanese Fuji's both were at Big Lots at least they only had one option
and were cheaper.



Grateful11
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: October 02, 2007 10:29AM
When Consumer Reports looked into this a few years ago they found virtually no difference between "house brands" and national brands.

However, I've had so many Rayovacs leak and ruin various devices through the years (at least five separate incidents) that I have them on my no-buy list.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: LyleH
Date: October 02, 2007 11:57AM
olnacl posted: Do you recall the name of the battery forum?

Here's one forum that was mentioned some time ago.

[www.candlepowerforums.com]

LyleH
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: October 02, 2007 11:59AM
> My experience differs from yours and I'm actually surprised to hear you say
> that most name brands are superior to generics. I've found the vast majority
> of the name brand batteries are no better or worse than generic brands. All
> of them seem to last approximately the same amount of time and, for the
> most part, I've yet to have any leak in devices. If I need an alkaline battery, I
> simply purchase based on price and convenience.

There are differences.
[www.zbattery.com]

What's the practical difference between 2.8747 AvgWH and 2.5264 AvgWH? For a 1 watt load, the Energizer will last 170 minutes while the Sanyo will only last 150 minutes. The Energizer battery lasts 11-12 percent longer than the Sanyo. If the Sanyo powers your remote for a year, the Energizer will power the same remote for an extra 6 weeks.

That extra longevity means that over the years you'll buy fewer replacement batteries, saving you money and keeping poison out of the landfills.

Obviously there will be differences due to power-draw, environment, variation in manufacturing, etc. so YMMV.

But my own testing has born this out: Generics and off-brands die young.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2007 12:02PM by MacMagus.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: October 02, 2007 12:11PM
MM,

Zbattery is a great supplier. I've bought items from them and have been very pleased with the performance. Unfortunately, the data is more than three years old. Even then, the sheer variety of batteries used is limited at best.

Something I also factor in is price. Even if a generic or off-brand doesn't last as long, the sheer savings can more than makes up for it. I've seen name brand batteries cost more than twice as much as the generic and off-brand counterparts.

Robert
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: October 02, 2007 12:52PM
> Unfortunately, the data is more than three years old. Even then, the sheer variety of
> batteries used is limited at best.

Do your own tests, then. It's not hard.


> Even if a generic or off-brand doesn't last as long, the sheer savings can more than
> makes up for it. I've seen name brand batteries cost more than twice as much as the
> generic and off-brand counterparts.

I mostly rely upon rechargeables, but I shop sales and use coupons from the Sunday paper to purchase good Alkaline batteries for mission-critical devices. A benefit of alkaline batteries is the long storage life... name-brand batteries usually last longer when stored, too.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: October 02, 2007 12:59PM
MM,

I have and that's why I know the difference between name-brand and generic/off-brand is insignificant at best. Like you, I tend to stick with rechargeables when I can but it's always good to have a supply of alkalines. And, I've yet see any significant difference in how long they last in storage. For what it's worth, after X amount of time, I'll simply use the batteries I have in storage and replace them with new ones, the same way that I use and replenish supplies of bottled water I have in my emergency stash.

Robert
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: October 02, 2007 04:50PM
Quote
Grateful11
I picked up a pack of Duracells the other day and they had made in US or China on the
back, I bought the Japanese Fuji's both were at Big Lots at least they only had one option
and were cheaper.

I've been buying the Fuji's at Big Lots too for the last year or so - great prices on them.



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: October 02, 2007 08:21PM
For AA applications, use lithium (e.g. Energizer e2) for emergency (i.e., sit in a closet for 5+ years) or other "mission-critical" uses.

>purchase good Alkaline batteries for mission-critical devices
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: What about off-brand alkaline batteries?
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: October 02, 2007 09:15PM
> For AA applications, use lithium...

I shouldn't have said "mission-critical."

I meant, for emergency flashlights and radios (although I recently replaced my emergency radio with one that has a crank, a capacitor and rechargeable NiCads). Good alkaline batteries will do for that stuff as they typically retain 90% of their charge after 5 years and there are just enough blackouts to ensure that they never go that long without changing. smiling smiley

The real mission-critical stuff is on lead-acid based UPSes. A lot of UPSes.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 168
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 5122 on October 03, 2020