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Years ago, we went through a rash of rechargeable batteries for things like flashlights etc...but the batteries never held up very well, and were not really worth what they cost us in the long run.
Today, my husband has a few hand tools which are powered by batteries (the kind which are rechargeable and come with a recharger). At first, they seem to hold the charge very well, but gradually they lose their strength too, and wear out before they should. The tools serve very well in places where an A/C power source wouldn't work well, so wer're stuck with things the way they are.
I'm waiting to see what the automobile industry comes out with for powering the new electric cars... They're going to have to make a better rechargeable battery, that's for sure. It could change things for the "rechargeable battery" business all around.
Julia in Orlando, FL
This, of course, is just what I've experienced in using rechargable batteries.
We use AA and AAA batteries in things like digital cameras, high-end laser pointers, remotes, game controllers, and everywhere else we can. As the previous poster mentioned, most NiCad batteries of yesteryear failed miserably compared to their alkaline counterparts. However, with the advent of the NiMH batteries, alkaline batteries could find themselves on the outs. NiMH batteries last a lot longer in digital cameras (at least in my Olympus C-4000), cd players, portable DVD players, and jus about anything else I've tested them in. I'd highly recommend keeping several sets around the house.
Another plus for NiMH batteries is that they don't lose their life just sitting there. The old NiCads tended to have a relatively short half-life as far as non-use goes. NiMHs can be charged and throw in a drawer for months at a time and still hold their charge.
As far as chargers go, I find that charging two at a time works better than 4 at a time. In one of the chargers I have, charging 2 is an option, but the other charger requires all 4 slots be used to actually charge the batteries. Good chargers will give you an option of charging 2 or 4 at a time.
Again, this is just what I've experienced over using rechargables over the last 10+ years. I hope this info helps.
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