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Are Brand Named Batteries Worth It?


Rhett Allain of Wired [3] did an extensive study of three battery brands (Energizer, Duracell, and a dollar store variety) and concluded that the brand named batteries are worth the added cost. Brand named contain more energy, disperse that energy better, and cost, on a joule per dollar basis, less than the dollar store variety. The differences between the brand name (Energizer vs. Duracell) were not significant. He did this by having the batteries power a light and took some measurements to arrive at his conclusions.

It was nice to see my own opinion confirmed (I use mostly rechargeable batteries but when in doubt I avoid dollar store varieties) but the big takeaway for me was the energy dispersed over time [4]. As you can see, current (Amp) and potential (V) are highest at first and then drop significantly between 3 and 5 hours. At around 6-7 hours, it has minimal energy left but has that for quite some time. What I typically do with alkaline batteries, after they’ve exhausted most of their charge, is use them in remotes. Then, as new alkaline batteries come into the system, I cycle out the ones in remotes (for fear of leakage). I find that remotes use very little energy.

The difference between brand name and el cheapo batteries is significant and this little study, with its wealth of data, proves it.

(and please use rechargeable batteries… alkaline batteries are horrible, especially if you don’t recycle them!)

(Photo: grandhi [5])