Recharge or re-purchase? See the pros and cons of rechargeable batteries and non-rechargeable batteries.

Rechargeable vs. Non-Rechargeable (Disposable) Batteries

Used to be the easiest way to replace a dead battery was to pull out the dead one, bring it to the store and buy its clone, but these days, the easiest way isn't always the best. To begin, most new appliances are sold “batteries not included” and, with some exceptions, even when batteries are included, they're low-grade, non-rechargeable varieties.

Non-rechargeable batteries are called primary batteries, not because they're first in quality but because they were invented first. Rechargeable batteries, classified as secondary batteries, are a must-have for many of today's modern appliances and tools.

Rechargeable Batteries vs. Non-rechargeable Batteries

Recharge or re-purchase?

When comparing rechargeable batteries to non-rechargeables, the facts alone can be confusing!

So, are non-rechargeable batteries obsolete?

No. Some non-rechargeable batteries have a place in every home. For instance, because rechargeable batteries lose their charge quicker than most non-rechargeables, they are not recommended for long-term use in appliances such as smoke detectors and battery operated clocks or high-drain devices such as digital cameras.

Before buying batteries for a new appliance, it's usually best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Yet, while it's easy to figure out what size battery to buy, how do you choose the right type of battery for an old appliance?

Another fact to take note of, when replacing rechargeable batteries is that most batteries need battery chargers uniquely built for their type.

The best way is to compare battery types for either new purchase or replacement is by using a handy chart like our Battery Comparison Chart.