Why You Probably Shouldn’t Buy Batteries from the Dollar Store (2023)

They're a bargain that could cost you more in the long run.

The dollar store is a handy destination to get a quick bargain. That said, there are some products you’re better off getting someplace else.

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Case in point? Batteries. Sure, that huge econo-pack is tempting. How many times have your batteries died at exactly the wrong time, like the middle of a blackout? Having a ready supply on hand is a good idea. Check out these11 items you should always get from the dollar store.

But experts say that the batteries you can buy at dollar stores are lower quality, Kiplinger reports. The carbon-zinc batteries that dollar stores typically sell don’t last as long as the alkaline name brands. In a comparison, Wired foundAA batteries from the dollarstore had less stored energy than those from Energizer and Duracell:

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  • Dollar General: 2,983 joules
  • Energizer: 10,798 joules
  • Duracell: 9,398 joules

Even worse, dollar store batteries are likely to leak. For example, the “heavy-duty” packages of batteries you might find at the dollarstore from brands such as Sunbeam and Panasonic may seem like a bargain at $1 per pack. But both packages were stamped with a warning that recommended you use them only for “low-drain devices,” such as clock radios. Find out the difference between Dollar Tree and Dollar General.

To preserve your gadgets, you’re better off buying your batteries from regular retailers, Gobankingrates.com reports.That doesn’t mean you can’t still get a bargain, however. “Save by purchasing these from the warehouse stores for the best deals, or use a coupon,” consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch says. Next, don’t miss 14 more things you shouldn’t buy at the dollar store.


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Why You Probably Shouldn’t Buy Batteries from the Dollar Store? ›

But experts say that the batteries you can buy at dollar stores are lower quality, Kiplinger reports. The carbon-zinc batteries that dollar stores typically sell don't last as long as the alkaline name brands.

Is it safe to use dollar store batteries? ›

But experts say that the batteries you can buy at dollar stores are lower quality, Kiplinger reports. The carbon-zinc batteries that dollar stores typically sell don't last as long as the alkaline name brands.

Does battery brand really matter? ›

When replacing the batteries, it is best to use new and unused alkaline batteries. We recommend name brand batteries, Duracell or Energizer brands are always good choices. Store brands do not operate at the same level of reliability.

What is the problem with AA batteries? ›

A common cause of alkaline AA battery rupture is to run a fresh cell with a heavily drain one. This can, in rare cases, reverse the polarity of the cell and can lead to problems. Most AA batteries will experience an explosion that produces a loud pop sound and the ejection of corrosive substances.

Are store brand batteries as good as brand name batteries? ›

Is a brand name battery any different from a generic or a store brand? "If you're talking about alkaline batteries, the chemistry is always the same," Illinois Institute of Technology physics professor Carlo Segre says. He says the quality of manufacturing can vary, making the name brands a safer bet.

What are the safest batteries to use? ›

Today, lithium-ion is one of the most successful and safe battery chemistries available.

Is Duracell or Energizer better? ›

The battery life in these two brands differs. Energizer lasts three times longer in clocks than the Duracell, but Duracell takes the crown by lasting two times longer when used in flashlights. To ensure that our environment is not harmed, both brands support the Call2Recycle program.

Do Duracell batteries really last longer? ›

As you can see, alkaline batteries, such as Duracell, can store up to 5 times more energy in the same volume. However, alkaline batteries also have a better energy efficiency, up to 85% against up to 60% (i.e. a difference is what percentage of the energy in the battery can actually be used).

What brand of battery last longer? ›

In general, batteries made by reputable companies with strong brand names do indeed perform better than the cheap stuff. Energizer, and Duracell (probably the most expensive battery brands) are among the best performers.

What are the problems with alkaline batteries? ›

In normal use, alkaline manganese batteries provide a safe and dependable source of power. If they are misused or abused, leakage, heating or explosion in extreme cases may occur.

What is the difference between batteries and alkaline batteries? ›

Alkaline batteries have a higher energy density and a longer shelf life – the time a battery can remain in storage without losing any of its capacity. The Alkaline Battery Technology is one where intensive research and development have led to three unique technologies.

Why can't you throw away batteries? ›

Batteries can contain metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel and silver, which can pose a threat to human health or the environment when improperly managed at the end of their service life.

Why do dead AA batteries bounce? ›

However, once a circuit is made with the battery, the molecules are aligned, and the kinetic energy from a dropped battery can't simply go into the molecules, but instead transfers into the bonds between molecules, causing a recoil, or bounce action.

What is Walmart's brand of batteries? ›

Great Value Batteries - Walmart.com.

Is there a difference between Kirkland batteries and Duracell? ›

However, as per Yahoo!, Duracell owns a generic brand called Kirkland that is only available at Costco stores. Since Kirkland is not considered an expensive brand, it doesn't get the rep that Duracell does — yet, the batteries may be just as good.

Who makes Kirkland batteries? ›

Much to my surprise, the Costco CEO recently divulged that Kirkland batteries are actually made by Duracell. So why pay up to 35 cents more per battery with Duracell when you can opt for the Kirkland brand knowing that the quality is probably identical.

What damages the battery the most? ›

Things you should avoid to have a healthy phone battery
  • Charging overnight. ...
  • Using inappropriate chargers. ...
  • Avoid using your phone while charging. ...
  • Avoid charging constantly. ...
  • Reduce apps running in the background. ...
  • Reduce your brightness.
Aug 31, 2022

Do AA batteries drain when not in use? ›

Batteries eventually leaking or corroding is a relatively common occurrence, especially familiar with alkaline AA cells if they're left unattended for long enough. In short, the reason alkaline batteries leak is that they're continually self-discharging in tiny increments, even when not in use.

Which AA batteries leak the least? ›

Lithium-ion are considerably less prone to leakage compared to alkaline, because the liquid electrolyte inside is not prone to off-gassing. You do not get the same pressure build up inside the case.

What are the strongest longest-lasting AA batteries? ›

Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ Batteries

Nothing outlasts Energizer® Ultimate Lithium AA batteries. The Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries are not only the #1 longest-lasting AA batteries…they are complete with leak resistance and performance in extreme temperatures (-40ºF to 140ºF or -40ºC to 60ºC).

Why does Duracell last longer? ›

When it comes to rechargeable batteries, Duracell batteries use Ion Core Technology, which allows for a longer-lasting charge.

Why does Energizer last longer than Duracell? ›

Energizer's AA batteries have 2200 mAh by contrast. A Duracell AAA battery has 1150 mAh. An Energizer AAA battery also has 1150 mAh. This gives Duracell a slight disadvantage in comparison to Energizer, which packs more power into its AA batteries.

What is the longest lasting battery in the world? ›

With its ability to perform in extreme temperatures and last in storage for up to 20 years, Ultimate Lithium is the clear choice to dependably power the essential devices in your life.

How many years do AA batteries last? ›

On average, AA batteries last for about 5-10 years, but it still depends on the different key factors discussed here.

Are more expensive batteries worth it? ›

If you buy the cheaper batteries, you're paying a little bit now and then you'll pay a little bit later. It's thinking more short-term. If you buy the more expensive batteries, you pay more up front but they last longer. In the end, there's not that big a difference – it's the same amount of energy per price.

Do Rayovac last as long as Energizer? ›

Performance: Energizer is known in the industry at the longest lasting AA battery but tests have shown that Rayovac batteries perform just as long as Energizer batteries.

Which batteries last 10 years? ›

Frequently Asked Questions About Batteries

Energizer MAX® AA, AAA, C, and D cells last up to 10 years in storage, while our 9V lasts up to 5 years in storage. Energizer® EcoAdvanced® AA and AAA last up to 12 years in storage.

What company makes battery that lasts for 20 years? ›

Lithium-ion vs lithium metal batteries

The new EV battery from Adden Energy is a lithium-metal battery with a lifespan of up to 20 years.

What is the number 1 AA battery brand? ›

Best Overall: Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Batteries

The decision over which are the best overall AA batteries has to be primarily about power output, and at the moment the Energizer Ultimate Lithium is the clear market leader.

Should batteries be kept in the fridge? ›

While cold environments help maintain battery life, refrigerators and freezers are not safe to put batteries in. The moist environment will cause condensation on the batteries. This in turn will lead to rust or other damage. Avoid putting batteries under extreme temperatures at all times.

Why do people still use alkaline batteries? ›

Alkaline batteries have roughly double the energy density of zinc-carbon (aka Leclanché cell) batteries, meaning they will produce the same amount of energy for twice as long. Long Shelf Life - Alkaline batteries will hold their charge for long periods of time when they're not being used.

What batteries last longer lithium or alkaline? ›

However, lithium iron disulfide batteries, or lithium batteries, have several distinct advantages over their alkaline counterparts: Lithium batteries are designed to last longer, making them a good choice for high-tech and smart devices, and those electronics for which changing the battery is inconvenient.

Which is safer lithium or alkaline batteries? ›

Lithium batteries are environmentally friendly

Whereas alkaline batteries have a higher energy density, last longer than other types of batteries, and have a longer shelf life, they are prone to leakages involving potassium hydroxide.

Why do alkaline batteries eventually stop working? ›

In non-rechargeable cells, eg alkaline cells, a voltage is produced until one of the reactants is used up. When this happens, we say the battery 'goes flat'. In rechargeable cells and batteries, like the one used to power your mobile phone, the chemical reactions can be reversed when an external circuit is supplied.

What batteries last longer than alkaline? ›

Lithium Batteries:

Can last up to 6X longer than an alkaline battery. Performs even in extreme temperatures ranging from -40℉ to 140℉ Can hold power for up to 20 years in storage. Weighs approximately 33% less than an alkaline battery.

Can you mix alkaline and non alkaline batteries? ›

DON'T – Mix old and new batteries, batteries of different brands, or batteries of different types (for example heavy duty zinc chloride batteries and alkaline batteries) in the same device as this may cause the batteries to leak. DON'T – Attempt to recharge non-rechargeable batteries.

Do I throw batteries in recycling bin? ›

Recycle at home

If your local authority accepts batteries as part of their home recycling scheme there may be special instructions on how to put them out for collection - for example, place batteries in a clear plastic bag tied to your recycling bin. It is best to check with them first.

Why can't you store batteries in a bag? ›

This can result in leakage or rupture. DON'T carry loose batteries in a pocket or purse with metal objects like coins, paper clips, etc. This can short-circuit the battery, leading to high heat or leakage.

What can you do with old batteries? ›

You should be able to take these to your council household waste and recycling centre. Alternatively, thousands of electrical retailers and large stores now offer an in-store take-back service. This means you don't even need to know how to recycle batteries – as they will do it for you.

Why do batteries go flat when not used? ›

Batteries are filled with acid and start deteriorating internally from day one. Heat, cold, vibration, and electrical loads all go towards reducing the lifespan. Leaving your lights on - we've all been there.

Can dead AA batteries cause a fire? ›

Batteries contain heavy metals and corrosive materials that can react and catch fire. When stored or disposed of improperly, batteries have the potential to catch fire in your home, in a garbage truck or at waste and recycling facilities.

Can you bring an old dead battery back to life? ›

In any case, you will have to plug in the battery and wait until it is 100% full. Then wait until it is almost empty, about 5%. Then, plug it in again and recharge it again. Repeat the procedure several times, until you get a reconditioned battery.

How many times can you recharge a AA battery? ›

Energizer Recharge® rechargeable AA and AAA batteries come pre-charged and ready to go, providing reusable power for the devices you love. 1 Capacity is measured in Milliamp Hours (mAh) – the higher the capacity, the longer the device will run. 2 Number of times a battery can be charged.

Can a completely dead battery be revived? ›

You can do this by applying an overcharge to a fully charged battery using a regulated current of around 200mA (milliAmps) for a period of roughly 24 hours. This allows the battery's terminal voltage to rise between 2.50 and 2.66 volts per cell, which helps to dissolve sulfate crystals.

Are coin batteries hazardous? ›

Thousands of children are treated in emergency departments each year after ingesting either button batteries or lithium coin batteries. Both types of batteries are small, shiny and appealing to children. And both can cause major injury if stuck in a child's nose or ear, and possibly even death if swallowed.

Are coin batteries safe? ›

Button Batteries can be Extremely Dangerous

If swallowed or placed in the nose or ears, button batteries can cause serious injury or death, according to the National Capital Poison Center.

Are cheap car batteries worth it? ›

Buying a cheaper battery is a very tempting option to get you back on the road with minimum expense. However, cheaper batteries are often made using lower grade components such as cheap cables, wires, metals and electrolytes. These components wear out much quicker than higher quality batteries.

Do store brand batteries last longer? ›

It's thinking more short-term. If you buy the more expensive batteries, you pay more up front but they last longer. In the end, there's not that big a difference – it's the same amount of energy per price.

What is the negative side of a coin battery? ›

The upper part of the battery is usually an insulator which acts as the negative terminal, while the positive terminal is at the bottom, made up of metal.

What are the dangers of using fake batteries? ›

While alkaline batteries may also be fakes, most counterfeit batteries are lithium-ion because the market is bigger and more lucrative. The danger is greater too, as lithium-ion runs the risk of thermal runaway and deflagration.

Are AA batteries toxic? ›

AA cells typically contain a mixture of toxic heavy metals including mercury, lithium, zinc and nickel that can cause severe damage to the gastrointestinal tract due to their corrosive nature, with mercury oxide batteries most likely to degrade and fragment.

Is Duracell battery toxic? ›

Our alkaline batteries are made mainly from common metals steel, zinc and manganese and do not pose a risk to health or the environment if they are used and disposed of appropriately.

Do coin batteries have mercury? ›

Mercury was discontinued from regular alkaline batteries in 1996. Mercury is still used in button cell batteries in the types listed below. Do not place button cell batteries in the regular trash. It is recommended, to place the spent batteries in a sealed childproof container out of reach of children.

How much lithium is in a coin battery? ›

Typical Li Content: 0.109 grams (0.0038 oz.)

Do expensive batteries last longer than cheap ones? ›

More expensive batteries will last you longer, but the GP Ultras are a good choice if you like to buy in bulk.

How much is a dead battery worth? ›

Old car, truck and equipment batteries working or not, have a dollar value based on their lead content. Lead values change daily on the market affecting the price paid by scrap dealers. Typically, you should expect to be paid 5-8$ per scrap car battery. Truck batteries are larger and are paid between $10-12 each.

Why pay more for a car battery? ›

Today's high-tech cars need more electrical power. As vehicle technology evolves, cars need more and more electric power to operate features such as today's stop/start technology, safety and convenience features, and all the additional power outlets that charge our devices.

What company sells the forever battery? ›

In late 2021, QuantumScape illustrated that its forever battery performed in 4-layer formats up to 800 charging cycles. A quarter later, the company scaled successful results to 10-layer batteries up to 800 cycles.

What brand of batteries last the longest? ›

In general, batteries made by reputable companies with strong brand names do indeed perform better than the cheap stuff. Energizer, and Duracell (probably the most expensive battery brands) are among the best performers. It turns out that when it comes to batteries, you get what you pay for.


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