We briefly reviewed battery chargers in a previous post “The Best Rechargeable Batteries of 2012“. But let’s take a look at the best “Universal Battery Chargers”. These are chargers that can handle AAA, AA, C, D sized cells, and well as 9V cells.
Ansmann Deluxe “Energy 16″ Universal Battery Charger
Ansmann is a German company known for their range of intelligent universal battery chargers. Ansmann’s “Energy 16″ charger can handle both NiCad and NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) rechargeable batteries. When the batteries are inserted into the charger, they are analyzed, 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 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 universal charger can be used worldwide — it accepts 100-240V 50-60Hz AC.
It’s available from Amazon for around $120.
Ansmann Deluxe “Energy 8″ Universal Charger
Ansmann’s “Energy 8″ universal battery charger has all the features of the “Energy 16″ charger, but has 8 charging points instead of 16. It has four AAA/AA/C/D and two 9V positions.
It’s available from Amazon for around $70.
Maha PowerEx “Ultimate Professional” Charger
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 univseral battery 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.
It is available from Amazon for around $89.
Energizer Overnight Universal Battery Charger
The Energizer Overnight Universal Battery Charger is an inexpensive charger that lacks the smart charging features of the other charger featured here. This charger can handle AAA, AA and C, D, and 9V sized cells. But it only charges NiMH (not NiCad) batteries. It has a charge status indicator, and a trickle charger to keep batteries topped up.
It’s available from Amazon for $22.