Product Review: Panasonic Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries

Eneloop set, green case showing the battery sets inside.

After writing about battery recycling and discovering that most alkaline batteries are landfilled, I became disheartened with them. Recycling batteries remains far more difficult than it should be. It is only available in my area through pay-for-recycling programs, like TerraCycle. I felt like I was paying a lot of money for something I would just toss, or have to buy and then spend additional money on to recycle.

First, I wanted to see if I could stop using batteries altogether. While that is a nice idea, so many things use batteries! The food scale, the camera, the weather radio’s backup, game controllers, all remote controls, and many of my son’s toys. So my family reduced our battery reliance by using chargeable or wired items, like wired mice and keyboards. While I was able to reduce battery usage, I was not able to completely stop using them.

I read that rechargeable batteries have greatly improved over the years, which encouraged me to try them.

Pile of dozens of batteries, alkaline, laptop, and others. All different brands and colors.
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash.

Panasonic’s Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries

Interior of Eneloop battery set, showing the white batteries and charger inside of a green case.

Right after I published that article, I transitioned to rechargeable batteries. I stopped buying alkaline batteries and purchased a set of rechargeables. Online reviews at the time favored Panasonic’s Eneloop batteries, though EBL brand was my second choice because they are well-rated. I bought the above set, which included a four-battery charger, 2 AAA and 8 AA batteries, and 2 C and 2 D “spacers.” Spacers allow you to put an AA battery inside a plastic case shaped like a C or D battery.

Overall, I am happy with the Eneloop batteries. As with all rechargeable batteries, they take a few hours to charge. I always keep some charged so that when the remote dies or my son’s lightsaber stops working, I can replace them. Then I charge the ones I removed immediately. It’s as simple as putting them in the charger and plugging it into the wall. Easy.

In 2023, Wired reviewed rechargeables and said “Nothing beats Panasonic’s Eneloop range for durability and reliability.” The standard Eneloop batteries can be recharged up to 2,100 times, and retain 70 percent of their capacity after 10 years in storage. They are rated for use in temperatures between -20 °C and 50 °C, which makes them optimal for outdoor activities.

My only complaint is that my Samsung TV remote drains its batteries fast, so we must recharge those frequently. For all of my other uses, the batteries last a long time.

C and D Spacers

I haven’t used the C and D spacers much, since we use few C batteries and only use D-sized in the flashlights. And for some reason, we still have D alkalines in the house. But in their review, Wirecutter chose Eneloop spacers as the best pick for C and D-sized batteries. “Since most household battery chargers charge only AA and AAA batteries, these adapters could save you from having to buy a separate charger for your larger batteries.” Good point, as I noticed this issue when I first started shopping for a rechargeable set and I ultimately chose Panasonic Eneloop because it had all four common types of batteries.

White battery spacers, plastic battery shapes, that hold a AA battery and take the place of a C or D battery.
Eneloop spacers.

Cost

The initial investment in these is higher than standard alkaline batteries. I spent about $50 for the initial set and I’ve had to buy additional batteries over the years to have enough (especially around the holidays). However, if you add up the cost of replacing those same-size alkaline batteries repeatedly, it would cost more. A four-pack of AA Eneloop batteries costs $14.98 on Amazon; a four-pack of Duracell costs $4.97. By reusing the Eneloop brand just four times, you’re starting to save money. C and D cost more, so you can really save with the Eneloop spacers.

9-Volt or 9V

We use 9V alkaline batteries in the smoke alarm since rechargeable batteries were not recommended for them in the past. I’m not sure that’s the case anymore, though I could not find anything official online. I did discover that EBL brand makes rechargeable 9V batteries, which cost around $32 for five batteries with the charger. For comparison, a four-pack of Duracell 9V costs around $17. I am considering these for the future.

White battery charger with 5 white 9V batteries charging in it. White background.

 

Have you tried rechargeable batteries? I’d love to know what you’ve tried, so please leave a comment below. Thank you for reading, please share and subscribe!

 

This article does not contain affiliate links nor was I paid to promote the products in this post. This is an honest review.

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