Updated: May 9, 2015
Battery Charger Reviews:If you own rechargeable batteries - AA, AAA, C, D, 9V etc, odds are you also have a battery charger or are looking for one so you can charge them up within a few hours. Digital cameras are probably the #1 reason why people are buying battery chargers these days so they can always keep a fresh pair of AA batteries on hand. That was the main reason my wife and I bought our charger, which came with AA batteries. The Digital Concepts rapid charger claims to get your batteries up to full charge in 90 minutes, but we have found that claim to be less than accurate. Many of the fast battery chargers didn't get nearly as good reviews as did the regular ones that take longer to charge the batteries. When you are looking for a battery charger keep in mind that most NiMH chargers will work with NiCad cells but not the other way around. The majority of the battery chargers on the market are for either AA or AAA batteries since those are the most common battery types. Specific chargers like the Canon CB-2LV Battery Charger are meant just for certain digital camera battery packs sold by Canon.
The battery chargers for AA or AAA's tend to have slots for 4 or 6 batteries and some are able to accommodate up to 8 batteries. You will usually find the charger plugs into the wall via an AC adapter but some eliminate the AC outlet altogether and plug straight into the wall. For those of you traveling overseas to places like Europe, make sure your battery charger will work with both 100 and 220 volt outlets. Otherwise you will need to buy an adapter to handle the voltage difference. On a recent trip to Italy, my wife and I had our rechargeable batteries and our battery charger, but forget the adapter piece and had to buy regular AA alkaline batteries the entire trip. Look for a charger that will shut off when the batteries are fully charged - not all offer this. In reviews, owners say some battery chargers are designed to only charge for a particular amount of time and therefore waste energy if the batteries only need a partial charge. One of the most popular battery chargers around is the LaCrosse BC-900 which is versatile and well the price tag of $38. It has lots of features like charging current, discharging current, time elapsed, accumulated capacity, and terminal voltage. The LCD readouts let you monitor the charging process and you can charge up AA and AAA batteries at the same time in the 4 slots. The MAHA MH-C204W is another top selling world battery charger that will recharge high capacity NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) AA and AAA batteries. Besides versatility, most people want a battery charger that will charge up "dead" batteries in the littlest amount of time possible. Generally speaking, the fastest battery chargers will cost you $50 or more while the ones that charge batteries in 7 hours or so are much cheaper. Even the faster chargers can only do a recharge in a little under 60 minutes. If you don't anticipate having to charge batteries in a hurry, don't overspend for the fast battery chargers. The best selling digital camera battery charger is the Lenmar DCC04 Omnisource Lithium Ion battery charger which works with many of the leading digital cameras from manufacturers like Sony, Fuji, Nikon, Panasonic, Canon, Kodak, Toshiba, JVC, Ricoh, and Leica. The Lenmar MSC1LX2 handles 3.6V to 7.4V lithium ion batteries for both camcorders and digital cameras and costs about $42. 9 Volt batteries are less common, but you can still buy a 9 volt battery charger on sites like Batterymart.com which carries the Hitech 9 Volt Battery Charger for only $8. Batterymart also sells the Powerizer AA/AAA/C/D/9v NiMH/NiCd Computer Controlled Smart Charger which handles C size batteries with capacity from 1200 - 4500mAh and charging times of 2 to 7 hours. Products like the 15 minute battery charger from Energizer (listed on Amazon) get less than favorable reviews and the Lenmar MSC815 2000mAh 8-15 Minute Mach 1 Lightning Battery Charger is just the same. People complain of burned out batteries and batteries that get little life even when fully charged. Stick with battery chargers that say at least 60 minutes or more if you want a complete and full charge. Stores like Radio Shack, Circuit City, and Best Buy all sell rechargeable battery chargers and online you will a plethora of etailers like Amazon.com, Batterymart.com, and Thomas-distributing.com. Many websites now feature online reviews posted by customers which should help guide you to the best products for each battery type. We found excellent non-biased reviews for battery chargers on Steve-Digicams.com and Imaging-resource.com (both digital camera sites) as well Amazon and Epinions always have a good amount of owner feedback for devices like battery chargers on their websites. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any articles by Consumer Reports on battery chargers - we really respect their findings. You can browse the top selling battery chargers for AA, AAA, and C batteries online here.