Batteries, cost can be misleading

Clark’s recent article on purchasing batteries based on cost is missing important considerations. Most batteries today are alkaline and (for me) have a big negative because they can leak which can ruin whatever they were powering. It seems every year I’ve had to throw away various devices like remote controls, clocks, radios, flashlights, etc. You get the idea, you open up the device to check/replace the batteries and find the fuzzy corrosion on the end of the battery and the device’s connection to that battery. Yeah you can try to clean it up but the connection point will be forever scarred and won’t make as reliable a connection as it did before the leak.

So if you figure in the cost and aggravation of replacing those devices to the cheap batteries, you aren’t getting the bargain you wanted.

So what do I do instead? I spend more money, a lot more. I’m now using Energizer Lithium batteries (some of the time). I use them in devices that normally go for long periods between battery changes; in remote controls, flashlights, clocks, etc. For things that use a lot of batteries like toys and/or use them up quickly I’ll use Alkaline but try to keep an eye on them expecting a leak eventually.

The costly Lithium batteries have several advantages like longer life, voltage that remains high’ish thru its usable life but they will likely suddenly die at the end instead of slowly fading away. They are also lighter in weight but that is less valuable than most things, flashlights may be an exception. And very important, I’ve never had one leak and ruin a device.

The overall cost may be higher but the convenience of not replacing electronics is worth it, to me.

I’ve wondered why alkaline batteries leak all the time now, but as recently as twenty years ago I’d never heard of it happening it once. Like you, I keep an eye on them. I’ve cleaned up a lot of devices, but some can’t be fixed.