The 10 Best AA & AAA Battery Chargers

Updated November 09, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best AA & AAA Battery Chargers
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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Now that just about every device in the world is small and battery powered, you are going to need one of these AA and AAA chargers if you don't want to run out of juice at an inopportune moment. You'll never again lose the use of your TV remote, wireless computer mouse, or other small electronic devices for more than a few seconds by always having a charged set of batteries on hand. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best aa & aaa battery charger on Amazon.

10. SunJack USB

The SunJack USB features individual monitoring technology, so it keeps track of what's in each of its slots, cutting off the power when an individual cell has reached its capacity. The charge time does often exceed five hours for AAs, though.
  • translucent protective door
  • does not include any batteries
  • micro usb connection is flimsy
Brand SunJack
Model SJAA
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

9. EBL Individual Rapid 807

The EBL Individual Rapid 807 features LEDs next to each of its slots that shine red when a drained cell is inserted, steadily fade as it recharges, and finally indicate a complete charge with a green light. A trickle mode keeps batteries topped off but not overcharged.
  • dissipates heat well
  • included batteries are low quality
  • slower than many comparable units
Brand EBL
Model EBL-807-AAA
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

8. Nitecore New i2 Intellicharge

The Nitecore New i2 Intellicharge only features two charging slots, which means much less efficiency, but if you have limited needs, it's a great and compact choice. Impressively, those slots can adapt to accommodate nearly any type of lithium ion cell.
  • three-color led progress indicators
  • adjusts current to battery capacity
  • some units are poorly soldered
Brand Nitecore
Model I2
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

7. SOAIY Universal 1000mA

With the SOAIY Universal 1000mA, you don't even need a wall outlet to refuel your stash. It can be powered via USB connection, so you can conveniently recharge your batteries using a laptop, a portable battery pack, or another compatible device.
  • blinking progress indicator lights
  • works with solar chargers
  • doesn't include an ac adapter
Brand SOAIY
Model No Model
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. AmazonBasics V-3299USB

The AmazonBasics V-3299USB comes in at a bargain price, as is standard for the shipping giant's line of branded essentials. A great choice for travel, it's compatible with international voltages and has a built-in USB port for charging an additional device simultaneously.
  • retractable ac wall plug
  • built-in overcharge protection
  • can't charge one battery at a time
Brand AmazonBasics
Model V-3299USB
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

5. SunLabz 16 Slot Smart Bay

The SunLabz 16 Slot Smart Bay costs more than twice as much as most models, but it more than makes up for it with its high-capacity design. This massive and efficient unit will save you hours and hours of charging time over the years.
  • dual easy to read backlit lcds
  • eight-hour automatic shutoff timer
  • tends to get fairly hot while in use
Brand SunLabz
Model MOSL00056
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

4. Energizer Compact CHDCWB-4

The Energizer Compact CHDCWB-4 has a slide-out design that makes it a great choice for taking along on trips, as it occupies much less space than most models when it's not in use. It features green indicator lights that let you know when its work is done.
  • includes 4 top-quality aa batteries
  • slots quickly adapt to battery type
  • considerably expensive
Brand Energizer
Model NH15BP4
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Panasonic BQ-CC17

The Panasonic BQ-CC17 provides an impressively good value as it includes a set of four high-capacity Eneloop Pro AAs, each of which can be recharged up to 2,100 times. It features a convenient flip-up plug and low-profile LED indicators along its bottom edge.
  • can charge one cell at a time
  • safe to keep plugged in overnight
  • no cumbersome cables to deal with
Brand Panasonic
Model K-KJ17MCA4BA
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. La Crosse BC-700 Alpha Power

La Crosse BC-700 Alpha Power does more than just power up your nickel-metal hydride and nickel-cadmium rechargeables. It can also be used to discharge, refresh, and test their capacities, providing plenty of useful data on its LCD screen in the process.
  • can set each channel to its own mode
  • high 3000 mah charging capacity
  • quickly identifies defective cells
Brand La Crosse Technology
Model BC700-CBP
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Panasonic BQ-CC55

The Panasonic BQ-CC55 can charge one or two cells in just 90 minutes, but is still blazing fast when working at full capacity, with a full charge time of 3 hours. Each slot features a corresponding LED bar that indicates its progress with red, orange, and green lights.
  • elegant white design
  • compact flip-up wall plug
  • delta-v overcharge protection
Brand Panasonic
Model BQ-CC55SBA
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

How Battery Chargers Work

To understand the technology at work in a battery charger, one must first be familiar with how batteries themselves function. Essentially, batteries consist of two different metals separated by a somewhat porous insulating material. The metals must have chemical potentials that are not equal to one another. Chemical potential is the energy that is inherently stored within the molecules and atoms that make up the metal itself.

Because of the imbalance of chemical potentials in the two metals, when connected to a circuit, a battery works to automatically balance itself. In that process, a stream of electrons flows from the metal serving as the anode, which is negatively charged, through the circuit, and back to the metal serving as the cathode, which is positively charged. This allows the anode to give up its negative charge and the cathode to absorb the electrons that it emits, once they've passed through the circuit. Somewhere along the way, the electrons can be used to power a cell phone, car, or just about anything else.

In standard batteries, often called primary, the flow of electrons cannot be replenished. When either the anode or cathode is spent, the battery can no longer power anything. The most common type of primary battery uses zinc as its anode and a carbon rod as its cathode.

Rechargeable batteries work because their flow of electrons can be reversed. This only works with certain pairs of metals, including nickel and cadmium, which are common in AA and AAA household rechargeables.

Battery chargers work by reversing the flow of electrons. In this process, the metal that works as the anode while being discharged technically becomes the cathode, and vice versa. For that reason, those terms aren't generally used for rechargeable batteries. The charger applies a direct current to enable this process, usually drawn from a wall outlet or USB port where household batteries are concerned.

This process also applies to other types of rechargeable batteries, like those found in cars. In order for a battery to successfully recharge, the current applied must be slightly greater than its output. More powerful currents can recharge batteries faster, but also lead to a greater risks of overheating, damage, or explosion.

Why Use Rechargeable Batteries

The benefits of using rechargeable batteries are myriad. For one thing, though the cost of the batteries themselves may be somewhat greater than their disposable counterparts, they will save you money in the long run. Of course, overhead costs may outweigh long-term benefits for some customers. That being said, over the course of several years, the savings become considerable. The more batteries you use, the faster you'll recoup your investment.

Once you've invested in a good set of rechargeable batteries and one of the chargers on our list, the benefits continue. Perhaps the most noticeable impact is that it will be a long time before you have to go out and buy new batteries again, if you ever do. If disposable AA or AAA batteries are often on your shopping list, you'll be sure to notice the convenience when they're no longer necessary. Instead of remembering to buy new ones, you just need to remember to charge them. This shouldn't be too hard, as you're probably used to taking the batteries out of a device when they're dead and tossing them in the trash. If you're worried you'll forget, just put your charger next to your trash can as a reminder.

Aside from the personal cost and time savings you'll experience with rechargeable batteries, you'll also be doing your part to help the planet. In addition to taking up space in landfills, discarded batteries also leak harmful substances like mercury and lead into the earth. Recycling batteries can mitigate this issue, but that option is not available everywhere. Even where it is, many households can't be bothered with the added hassle of bringing their used batteries to a designated drop-off site. While some states do mandate residents to do so, it's a difficult policy to enforce.

Most rechargeable batteries can be charged up to 1,000 times. That means, in the long run, you're saving yourself the cost of 999 disposable batteries. If you typically throw used batteries in the trash, you're also keeping those 999 extra batteries out of a landfill. It's okay to pat yourself on the back.

Rechargeable Battery Technology

If you've ever shopped for rechargeable household batteries before, you may have noticed that there are quite a few types on the market. In truth, there are far more kinds of rechargeable batteries than those found on shelves at supermarkets and electronics stores. Lead-acid batteries power most cars, while lithium-polymer is the technology found in many cell phones.

The most common types of rechargeable AA and AAA batteries include nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, and lithium-ion. Rechargeable alkaline manganese batteries are also available, and are often cheaper than other options, but tend to have limited life cycles. Lithium-ion batteries, by comparison, typically last the longest of any type.

Self-discharge is the phenomenon of a battery losing its charge when not in use, and is present among all battery types, including disposables. While the rates tend to be higher among rechargeable units, there are many factors involved in the rate at which a battery loses its charge. These include age, storage temperature, and the charge capacity at which a battery is stored. While it's typically thought of in terms of shelf-life for disposable batteries, it can be represented as a percentage per month for rechargeables.

Lithium-ion batteries typically have the lowest self-discharge rate of all rechargeable battery types. They tend to lose two to three percent of their charge each month while in storage, compared to four to six percent for lead-acid and 15 to 20 percent for nickel-cadmium. Standard nickel metal hydride, or NiMH batteries, have the highest self-discharge rate at up to 30 percent per month. To combat that effect, Sanyo introduced a so-called "low self-discharge NiMH" style under their Eneloop brand in 2005. These have self-discharge rates closer to those of lithium-ion models.



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Last updated on November 09, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.


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