In A Nutshell
The best Ni-MH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) battery charger is a “smart charger” like the LaCrosse BC-700 Charger (sells for $36). Smart chargers have circuitry to prevent overcharging and damaging your batteries. They also provide features that allow you to test and “renew” Ni-MH batteries. If you are looking for a charger that also charges C, D and 9V batteries, we recommend a smart charger like the Ansmann Energy 8 Charger. If you are look for a budget choice, we recommend the $12 Sanyo Battery Charger.
If you are looking for the best AA rechargeable batteries, see our article, The Best Rechargeable Batteries and Chargers Of 2012.
Here are the details on the best Ni-MH battery chargers:
LaCrosse Technology BC-1000 Alpha Battery Charger
The LaCrosse Alpha BC-1000 Charger has sophisticated monitoring circuitry that controls the charging process, and it is also capable of “reconditioning” batteries by running a series of discharge-recharge cycles.
The charger shows battery voltage and charge status on its digital display. It has four separate charge channels so you can charge one, two three or four batteries at a time – even on individual charge programs. This allows you to test one battery while charging the others. It comes with four AA and four AAA batteries, four battery adapters (which convert AA sized battery to C and D sizes) and a carry case. Note, however, if you want to charge C or D size batteries, you’ll want to get the Ansmann chargers (details below).
This charger is rated an average of 4.4 out of 5 star from 420+ buyers on Amazon.
It’s available from Amazon:
- LaCrosse BC-700 Charger - $36
- LaCrosse BC-1000 Alpha Charger - $60 (same as the BC-700 but includes four AA & AAA cells, plus the four C + D-cell converters)
Ansmann “Energy 8″ Charger
Ansmann is a German company known for their range of high-end, intelligent battery chargers. Ansmann’s “Energy 8″ charger can handle both NiCad and NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) rechargeable batteries. When the batteries are inserted into the charger, they are analysed, and batteries needing reconditioning are automatically restored by several cycles of charging and discharging. The charger will also indicate if a battery has been damaged and cannot be charged.
This charger has six charging positions: four for AAA, AA, C or D sized cells, and two for 9V cells. An LED display shows the state of charging for each cell. This charger can be used worldwide — it accepts 100-240V and 50-60Hz AC.
It’s available from Amazon for around $56.
Ansmann Deluxe “Energy 16″ Charger
This Ansmann “Energy 16″ is similar to the “Energy 8″ but it has ten charging positions: six for AAA, AA, C or D sized cells, and four for 9V cells. The six top positions can handle two AAA or two AA cells or one each of the larger C or D cells. A LED display shows the state of charging for each cell. This charger can be used worldwide — it accepts 100-240V 50-60Hz AC.
It’s available from Amazon for around $87.
Maha PowerEx “Ultimate Professional” Charger
The Maha’s Ultimate Professional Charger almost lives up to its hyperbolic name. This compact charger can charge any combination of 1 to 8 batteries. You can mix and charge AA, AAA, C and D sized cells at the same time on individual charging circuits. Each battery size also has its own fixed contact charging points (i.e. not a spring). An LCD display shows charging and conditioning status of each rechargeable battery.
Like the Ansmann chargers, Maha’s chargers can restore batteries to their optimal performance level by repeatedly charging and discharging them. It also has intelligent charging technology and overcharge protection. It also comes with an international AC adapter, and short-circuit protection.