The Best Rechargeable Battery Chargers for Your Various Needs

Rechargeable batteries are usually more economical than throwaway alternatives, and they’re certainly more eco-friendly. Here’s how to keep them in peak condition.

By Bob Beacham | Published Dec 4, 2023 12:15 PM

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The Tenergy TN141 Smart 2-Bay 9V NiMH Battery Charger plugged in and charging a 9V battery.

Photo: amazon.com

A good rechargeable battery charger has one purpose: to make sure you always have juiced-up batteries ready to power your electronic devices. But the sheer range of rechargeable battery chargers on the market makes it remarkably complex to choose one. During our research, we looked at over 40 models ranging from those that charge a single battery type to those that can recharge batteries of different sizes and chemistries.

Because there are so many different types of rechargeable battery chargers, it’s quite possible to accidentally buy the wrong type for your needs. And though none of these battery chargers are particularly expensive, nobody likes to waste money. With that in mind, in this article we made sure to specify exactly what each model does. You’ll also find our recommendations for what we think are the best rechargeable battery chargers on the market right now.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Energizer Recharge Pro Charger
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Amazon Basics Battery Charger for AA & AAA
  3. BEST 9V: Tenergy TN141 Smart 2-Bay 9V NiMH Battery Charger
  4. BEST USB: HiQuick 8-Bay AA AAA Battery Charger
  5. BEST C & D BATTERIES: EBL C9008 8-Bay LCD Universal Battery Charger
  6. BEST FOR DC OUTLETS: Titanium Innovations MD-1600L Universal Charger
  7. BEST UNIVERSAL: Keenstone 18650 Smart Universal Battery Charger
  8. BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: EBL 40-Slot Battery Charger Box
A child doing homework at a white desk with the best rechargeable batter charger , a calculator, and a laptop.

Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Rechargeable Battery Chargers

When we put together our guides, our primary aim is to find solutions for as many needs as possible. So while a double-A battery charger might be the most common model people buy, and a small battery charger might be the most convenient, we also looked at chargers that would take C, D, 9-volt, and specialist battery types, as well as those that can charge a dozen or more batteries at the same time.

Mostly we selected rechargeable battery chargers from the leading brands in this market, as these models tend to be the most reliable and durable. In addition to the manufacturers’ reputations, we also considered feedback from actual buyers with personal experience with the products.

We compared our findings with comments from a number of experts with practical experience in battery recharging. Among them was Survive Nature’s electronics and survival expert Mike Millerson, who often has to rely on battery power. He explained that “from a safety perspective, overcharging can cause a battery to heat up and potentially explode, which is why the ideal charger will have automatic cutoff or trickle-charge mode that kicks in once the battery reaches full charge.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency points out that when rechargeable batteries eventually come to the end of their useful life, they should never be placed in ordinary trash. Lithium-ion types, for example, can catch fire, so proper battery disposal isn’t just good for the environment—it’s also safer. It’s important to note that all rechargeable batteries can be recycled. There are several companies with nationwide networks that will accept them, as will several well-known “big box” stores.

Our Top Picks

Our carefully curated list represents what we feel are the best rechargeable battery chargers available today. We’ve assigned categories to help people focus on the models most likely to meet their needs.

Best Overall

The Energizer Recharge Pro Charger with four AA energizer batteries in it on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs

  • Battery types: AA, AAA (NiMH)
  • Charging slots: 4 (2 or 4 simultaneously)
  • Display: 3-stage LED plus audible alerts

Pros

  • Lightweight model from a leading brand
  • Red, amber, and green charging status indicators; beeps when charging starts and finishes
  • Detects bad batteries, has overcharging protection, and includes 4 AA batteries

Cons

  • Quoted 3 hours charging is only for low-capacity batteries, with most taking 5 hours

Few battery brands are more recognizable than Energizer, so it’s no surprise that one of their chargers caught our attention. This particular charger wins our top spot for its user-friendly features and competitive price.

The Energizer Recharge Pro accepts the two most popular types of rechargeable battery, AA and AAA NiMH (short for “nickel-metal hydride battery”). It can charge two of either type, two of each, or all four of the same. One drawback, though, is that it cannot charge single batteries individually—there must be at least two batteries inside the charger, or it won’t work properly.

A red indicator light and a single beep indicate that charging has started. An amber light displays when charging is 50 percent complete, and a green light and double beep signify that the batteries are fully charged. The charger also features overcharging protection. A red X and repetitive beeping will alert the user that a battery is faulty and cannot be charged. It takes between 3 and 5 hours for this charger to fully charge batteries.

Get the Energizer rechargeable battery charger at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Amazon Basics Battery Charger for AA & AAA on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs

  • Battery types: AA, AAA (NiMH)
  • Charging slots: 4 (2 or 4 simultaneously)
  • Display: 2-stage LEDs

Pros

  • Low-cost charger capable of charging AA and AAA batteries in pairs or 4s
  • Includes useful USB port for side charging of phones, tablets, and other devices
  • Can be switched between 100 and 240 volts for those who travel abroad

Cons

  • Although usually reliable, it isn’t the most durable unit

This is a popular option among those looking for a budget-friendly rechargeable battery charger. Though it lacks alert sounds and its indicator lights aren’t as sophisticated as those on the Energizer Recharge Pro, it charges AA and AAA batteries just the same, either in pairs or groups of four.

However, this is more than just a simple plug-in battery charger—it comes with two useful extras that set it apart. The first unique feature is a USB port. This means it can charge devices like phones and tablets at the same time as batteries. The second feature is a flip-down plug that adjusts automatically between 100 and 240 volts, which means it’s adaptable for international travel. Charging takes around 4 hours, and there’s an auto cutoff to prevent overcharging.

Get the Amazon Basics rechargeable battery charger at Amazon.

Best 9v

The Tenergy TN141 Smart 2-Bay 9V NiMH Battery Charger on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Battery types: 9V (NiMH)
  • Charging slots: 2
  • Display: 2-stage LEDs

Pros

  • A competitively priced charger capable of charging just 1 battery at a time
  • Light, compact, and very portable with fold-out travel-ready plug
  • Capable of charging high-capacity 9V in just 2.5 hours

Cons

  • Complaints are rare, but a few users felt batteries tended to get very hot

Nine-volt batteries are widely used in smoke alarms, walkie-talkies, electric guitars, and some medical instruments, to name a few. Most of these devices use just one 9-volt battery. The Tenergy 9V battery charger can charge two batteries at once, and unlike many competitors, it can also charge single batteries (rather than requiring a pair), making this a convenient option for many.

Weighing only 3 ounces, the Tenergy is very light and compact. It can adapt to different power sources between 100 and 240 volts, so it’s ready for international travel. Although its LED indicators only display two colors—red for charging and green for charged—the Tenergy is advertised as a smart battery charger thanks to a microprocessor that monitors the charging process, automatically switching to trickle charge when complete so that the batteries don’t have to be removed immediately. It charges rapidly, too, taking between 1.8 and 2.5 hours depending on battery capacity.

Get the Tenergy rechargeable battery charger at Amazon or Walmart.

Best Usb

The HiQuick 8-Bay AA AAA Battery Charger on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Battery types: AA, AAA (NiMH and Ni-CD)
  • Charging slots: 8 (1 to 8 simultaneously)
  • Display: 2-stage LEDs

Pros

  • Charges 1 to 8 AA or AAA batteries, NiMH or Ni-CD, in any combination
  • USB input means it can be used at home, in a vehicle, with a power pack, etc.
  • Offers fast charging with independent indicators for each battery slot

Cons

  • A few owners found some slots didn’t function or failed within a few months

Some rechargeable battery chargers offer USB output, which allows them to charge batteries and devices, such as phones and tablets, while also charging traditional batteries. But this eight-bay charger from HiQuick goes beyond that, offering USB input, instead. This means that, with the appropriate adapter, it can be powered by a standard household outlet, a vehicle’s 12-volt DC power outlet (cigarette lighter), a portable power pack, or any other USB-equipped power source.

The HiQuick is a AA and AAA battery charger that is compatible with NiMH and nickel-cadmium (Ni-CD, also called NiCAD) batteries in any configuration ranging from one to eight batteries. It takes around 2 hours to charge AAA batteries and 4.5 hours to charge AA batteries. It features indicators for each battery slot, and it has built-in protections against overcharging, overheating, overvoltage, and short circuits.

Get the HiQuick rechargeable battery charger at Amazon or Walmart.

Best C & D Batteries

The EBL C9008 8-Bay LCD Universal Battery Charger on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Battery types: AA, AAA, C, D (NiMH or Ni-CD)
  • Charging slots: 8
  • Display: Multistage LEDs

Pros

  • Good value battery charger that takes 4 different sizes in multiple combinations
  • Rapid charging and choice of micro USB or Type-C input make it compatible with multiple power sources
  • Charge status indicators can also identify damaged and nonrechargeable batteries

Cons

  • C and D batteries take up 2 slots, and some users found it awkward to load them

While the EBL universal battery charger doesn’t handle all battery chemistries, it will take AA, AAA, C, and D batteries, and both NiMH or Ni-CD, in any combination. It has eight slots, each with its own charge indicator, though the larger C and D batteries take two slots each.

This charger’s power input design allows the user to choose between micro USB or the newer Type-C input. This enables it to draw power from standard household outlets, vehicles, or any source equipped with these ports (although additional adapters may be required). Its sleek indicators show the charging status of each battery, and they can also identify a damaged battery or alert the user if a nonrechargeable has been inserted.

Get the EBL C9008 rechargeable battery charger at Amazon or Walmart (with 8 AA batteries).

Best Multi

The Titanium Innovations MD-1600L Universal Charger on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Battery types: AA, AAA (NiMH)
  • Charging slots: 16 (in any combination)
  • Display: Multistage LEDs

Pros

  • Charges 16 AA or AAA batteries simultaneously in any combination of size or capacity
  • Has 2 USB outlets for charging smartphones, tablets, and similar devices
  • Comes with AC wall adapter and 12-volt DC plug for in-car use

Cons

  • While most seem reliable, fault reports suggest that quality control may be inconsistent

Those who need to charge many batteries on a frequent basis might want to consider this charger from Titanium Innovations, as it can charge up to 16 AA or AAA batteries at a time. It takes between 5 and 7 hours to charge a full set of 16 batteries. That might not seem too impressive at first glance, but this is much less time than it would take to charge the same number of batteries through four- or eight-bay models. Additionally, the batteries don’t have to be in pairs, so any mix is acceptable.

The Titanium Innovations multibattery charger comes with a standard AC wall adapter as well as a 12-volt DC plug (in-vehicle cigarette lighter). It also features two USB outlets to allow the user to charge personal devices. In addition to individual charge indicators, there’s also a button that can be pressed to manually discharge the battery before recharging it. Doing this will “reset” the battery, allowing it to be charged most optimally. The charger also has built-in thermal and overcharging protections, and it will identify alkaline (nonrechargeable) and defective batteries.

Get the Titanium Innovations rechargeable battery charger at Amazon.

Best Universal

The Keenstone 18650 Smart Universal Battery Charger with a DC charger and AC wall plug on a white background.
Photo: Amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Battery types: AA, AAA, AAAA, C, D, SC, IMR, RCR (NiMH, Ni-CD, Li-ion, LiFePO4)
  • Charging slots: 4 (fully independent)
  • Display: Multifunction LCD screens

Pros

  • Excellent versatility with a wide range of rechargeable battery types and chemistries
  • Independent multifunction displays show percentage charged, current, and voltage in real time
  • Automatically detects battery power status and sets appropriate charging rate

Cons

  • It’s best to remove batteries once fully charged or they will begin to discharge

Some universal battery chargers have relatively modest capabilities, but the Keenstone 18650 can accommodate an impressive array of battery types and chemistries. This makes it a versatile choice for those who use SC single cell (SC), lithium-ion manganese rechargeable (IMR), and rechargeable (RCR) series, as well as lithium-ion (Li-ion) and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) types.

The four slots operate independently, so any mix of batteries is acceptable. Intelligent circuitry automatically recognizes each battery type and sets the optimal charging rate accordingly. Multifunction LCDs for each bay show the user the real-time current, voltage, and battery charge percentage. Each battery is monitored to prevent overcharging, overheating, and short circuits, and charging stops automatically when the battery is full. Two plugs are supplied: one for standard household outlets and the other for vehicle use.

Get the Keenstone rechargeable battery charger at Amazon.

Best Large-capacity

The EBL 40-Slot Battery Charger Box filled with batteries on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Product Specs 

  • Battery types: AA, AAA (NiMH, Ni-CD)
  • Charging slots: 40 (in any combination of pairs)
  • Display: 2-stage LEDs

Pros

  • A high-capacity solution for those who use large numbers of AA or AAA batteries
  • Built-in cooling system dissipates heat and provides consistently stable charging
  • Case with handles for easy portability; supports 100 to 240-volt input

Cons

  • It’s quite expensive, and central indicators don’t indicate charge on individual batteries

Individuals or businesses who go through a lot of batteries might want to consider a professional battery charger like this one from EBL, as it can charge up to 40 AA or AAA batteries at the same time. Almost any mix is possible, but the batteries do need to be charged in pairs.

This EBL charger is designed in the shape of a fold-out case with carry handles. It should be left open when charging, but once closed, it doubles as a carrying case for the batteries inside. It’s compatible with any power input from 100 to 240 volts, so it’s suitable for international travel. It features basic indicators that shine red when the battery is charging and blue when it’s fully charged. A microcontroller unit (MCU) ensures constant current and voltage for better charging, and overcharging protection is included.

Get the EBL 40-slot rechargeable battery charger at Amazon or Walmart.

Jump to Our Top Picks 



What to Consider When Choosing a Rechargeable Battery Charger

When choosing the best rechargeable battery charger, some of the considerations should be fairly straightforward, such as the type of battery shoppers need to recharge and the amount they’re prepared to pay. Others can be a bit more complex, so we’ve outlined the most important qualities to pay attention to.

Battery Compatibility

There are two aspects to battery compatibility: size and chemistry. Unsurprisingly, the most common models are AA and AAA battery chargers, with many capable of charging both sizes. Other popular round types are C and D, which have different diameters. That being said, some chargers are designed to accommodate both. The 9 volt, the commonplace rectangular battery, usually requires a separate device specifically designed for its dimensions, as do larger lantern batteries. If you use lots of batteries of multiple sizes, it can be worth searching for a single model that will handle all of them, as this can save money and space.

The most common chemistry at the time of writing is NiMH, but Ni-CD, Li-ion, and LiFePO4 batteries are also available. Many chargers are not compatible with the entire range of battery chemistries, so consumers ought to consider the chemistry of the batteries they’ll be using. Some chargers are designed to work only with a single type of battery chemistry, such as a lithium batteries charger, but folks who work with several different battery chemistries may find a universal charger more valuable.

Capacity 

Capacity is a term that can have two meanings in this context. The first is pretty straightforward: Capacity can refer to the number of batteries that the charger can accept. But pay close attention here, because different battery combinations are possible. For example, a charger with a total capacity of four batteries might take four AAs, or it might take two AAs and two AAAs.

Battery capacity can also refer to the charge in milliamps (mA) that the battery can hold. Despite two batteries both being called AA, they might have different capacities. For example, one could be rated at 1,300 mA and the other at 2,900 mA. The higher the battery’s mA capacity, the longer its charge will last.

Charging Time

Many rechargeable battery chargers are advertised with a broad estimate of the time it takes them to charge batteries. Some are considerably faster than others, though the estimated range provided by the manufacturer may not be particularly precise. This range can span many hours—for example, many chargers are advertised for their ability to charge AA batteries in 3 to 5 hours.

This is partially because battery capacity varies; the higher the mA capacity of the battery, the longer it takes to charge. It may also be due to the charger itself. Some are designed to charge more quickly than others. Choosing a fast battery charger can be tempting, but not all fast chargers offer overcharging protection, which is a crucial feature that protects the charging battery from being accidentally damaged in the process. Top models typically feature an auto shutoff function to prevent this from happening.

FAQs

The article above provides lots of valuable information about the capabilities of rechargeable battery chargers. It also offers details on specific models. During our research, we came across a few questions of a more general nature to which we’ve provided answers here.

Q. Are rechargeable battery chargers safe?

Rechargeable battery chargers are perfectly safe as long as they’re used as recommended by the manufacturer. Terminals do not carry a high enough charge to do harm unless the device has a fault. That being said, it’s not a good idea to touch positive (+) and negative (-) terminals at the same time. Although overheating is extremely unlikely, it’s best not to place the charger on top of flammable materials, such as paper or fabric.

Q. How do you know when a rechargeable battery is fully charged?

Most chargers give an indication of when a rechargeable battery is fully charged. This can be as simple as a colored LED indicator. There may also be an audible alert or a more detailed display. If accurately checking the charge state of a battery is important to you, consider using a voltmeter and check the voltage across the terminals.

Q. How many years do rechargeable batteries last?

There is a limit to how many times a rechargeable battery can be charged, so this impacts how long it will last. Typically, NiMH batteries can be recharged about 500 times. Many sources quote a life of 2 to 5 years, but it very much depends on how much the batteries are used.

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