The (alkaline) battery run time thread (graphs and actual test run times)

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Deputydave
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The (alkaline) battery run time thread (graphs and actual test run times)

The last couple of years or so I’ve been increasing my supply of batteries, both rechargeable and consumable. Always looking for a bargain (while keeping value). I did the following test for grins and to see personally what would happen. I used two Maglite AA mini-mag with incandescent bulb to test them in. Here’s what I got:

Quote:

Sunbeam Heavy Duty (Dollar Store non-alkaline) Continuous run time: 2:10 (dim at 1:30) 15 cents per battery normal price ($3 for 20)

CVS Brand Alkaline

Continuous run time: 4:58 (dim at 4:20) 49 cents per battery normal price ($11.79 for 24). BOGO brings it down to 25 cents per battery.

Harbor Freight & Tools Thunderbolt Alkaline

Continuous run time: 5:00 (dim at 4:50) 25 cents per battery normal price ($5.99 for 24). Sale price for this test ($4.29) brings it to 18 cents per battery.

Duracell Alkaline

Continuous run time: 5:20 (dim at 4:50). 42 cents per battery based on Walmart price of $9.97 per 24.

I’ll normally get the CVS alkaline batteries when they’re BOGO. But lately I’ve also been getting the HFT Thunderbolt batteries when they go on sale or I have the 20% coupon (which I always have a plethora). I was at Lowes yesterday and saw their Utilitech batteries. Never used them so I bought a 48 count box (and the box was a nice plastic carrying case) for $13.17. That’s 27 cents per battery so it’s about the same as the CVS brand and cheaper than Duracell. Only the Thunderbolt does a bit better and they came in second of the three alkaline brands I tested.

Anyone use the Utilitech? I’d like to toss one in the mini-mag and see how it performs.

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Edited by: Deputydave on 02/26/2015 - 09:34
garrybunk
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Interesting find on the Thunderbolts.  I use them, but never tested them.  I have a big box of Utilitech's too, but again never tested them.

-Garry

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I have been buying the HFT Thunderbolt batteries for maybe a couple of years. I have found that they last about as long as US Alkaline Batteries. I have been using them, AA & AAA in my lights and in some I have gifted. A week ago I had a new, I think, box of AAA and when I picked it up to install I saw some corrosion on the bottom. I could not tell which battery had leaked, but I didn’t want to take a chance so I tossed the box.
That was a disappointment as I had good luck with them previously.

I am not sure if I am going to buy more or not. I still have a box of AA and AAA left, and I will use them
Jerry

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Since I ran the test in the OP I converted all my AA mini-mags to LED, or so I thought. Just found one that still has the incandescent bulb. So my plan is to test the Utilitech alkaline, Sunbeam alkaline and also the Walgreens battery (the one that is silver like the energizer). I’ll wait till I see a BOGO on them though cause I’m chea…er, frugal Wink

Come to think of it, I should also test the Energizer and Eneloop rechargeables as well.

Once I get that test done (and the Sipik test) I’ll post the results I get.

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Deputydave
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Quote:

Utilitech Alkaline (Lowes store brand) 27 cents per battery at normal store price. Continuous run time 3:51 (dim at 3:30)

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Wow!  Worse than harbor freights!  I didn't expect that.  Curious on the Sunbeam alkalines. 

I guess with my new hobby charger I can do discharge tests on alkalines, right?  I realize I'd have to do it at a low current draw.  What current draw is appropriate? 

-Garry

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Deputydave
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I was a little surprised as well at the results with the Ulitech. My only current reservation with the HFT Thunderbolt is that I noticed last night one of them had leaked in the box and actually had to toss a few of them in the trash. But then I guess that happens with the premium line as well. Though I don’t recall a CVS brand ever leaking. I have the Sunbeam Alkalines in both the ML and the Sipik as I type this. I’ll post as soon as the test is complete.

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Sunbeam Alkaline (25 cents per battery)

Continuous run time 4:54 (dim at 3:24)

Fairly impressed with this battery for the price. Not quite as good as the Thunderbolt or CVS but not that far off.

So far the ranking based on run times stacks up like this:

1. Duracell Alkaline – Continuous run time 5:20 (dim 4:50) (cost for test 42 cents per battery)
2. Harbor Freight & Tools Thunderbolt Alkaline – Continuous run time 5:00 (dim at 4:50) (18 cents per battery)
3. CVS Brand Alkaline – Continuous run time 4:58 (dim at 4:20) (25 cents per battery if BOGO)
4. Sunbeam Alkaline – Continuous run time 4:54 (dim at 3:24) (25 cents per battery)
5. Utilitech Alkaline (Lowes store brand) – Continuous run time 3:51 (dim at 3:30) (27 cents per battery at normal store price.)

Not counting the Sunbeam heavy duty as it isn’t in the same ballpark.

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Deputydave
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Walgreen’s store brand alkalines. Little surprised as it ran over 5 1/2 hours and was still dim but on when I had to leave.

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I'm starting to do some discharge testing of some "budget" alkalines on my hobby charger.  I've decided to test at 0.5A down to 0.8v.  I'm discharging a Utilitech alkaline now.  I have to pickup some other budget options - at least the Harbor Freight Thunderbolts and some of the dollar store Sunbeams as well as the Panasonics sold at the dollar store.

-Garry

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1025mAh on the Utilitech.  Eventually I can post graphs. 

-Garry

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Ok, I just finished testing a fresh new Sunbeam alkaline at the same 0.5A to 0.80v - 1,125mah.  Here is a comparison graph between the Sunbeam and the Utilitech.  Sunbeam in the yellowish-orange color and the Utilitech in red. 

 

122

 

Sorry, I'm new to logview and learning how to work with the graphs. 

-Garry

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Just finished testing a fresh new off the shelf Harbor Freight Thunderbolt - 1,096mAh.  Graph:

1

-Garry

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Alright, this is quite interesting and I’ve been curious about the capacity of various alkaline batteries. So far we’ve got:

Utilitech = 1025mAh

Harbor Freight Thunderbolt = 1,096mAh

Sunbeam alkaline = 1,125mah

I wonder how that compares to say Energizer or Duracell alkalines? So far the $ store alkalines are leading the pack.

I’ve got Eneloop = 1900mAh and Engergizer rechargeables = 2300 mAh. I know the Eneloops claim up to 2100 recharges, I wonder how many for the Engergizer?

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I'm testing a Panasonic Alkaline Plus now (from the same dollar store as the Sunbeams).  I've always been curious whether these Panasonics were really any good.  I do also have some Energizer Max to test as well.  I didn't buy any Duracell - at least not yet.  In the future I was also going to order and test the Amazon Basics and the Maxell's.  I have some AAA Maxells I've been using which seem ok. 

-Garry

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garrybunk wrote:

I’m testing a Panasonic Alkaline Plus now (from the same dollar store as the Sunbeams).  I’ve always been curious whether these Panasonics were really any good.  I do also have some Energizer Max to test as well.  I didn’t buy any Duracell – at least not yet.  In the future I was also going to order and test the Amazon Basics and the Maxell’s.  I have some AAA Maxells I’ve been using which seem ok. 

-Garry

Looking forward to the results. I like to get the best “bang for the buck”. I have not been able to determine the best in AAA size. In my limited testing the AA Duracell has shown up best against a couple of others.
Super Light  Hi AA
 
 Thunderbolt 2hr 46min 2nd run 3hr 26min
Duracell 6hr 30min 2nd run 5hr 45min
Energizer 4hr 20min

Jerry

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Panasonic Alkaline Plus = 1,253mAh (not surprising to me that it's the best so far).  It hold voltage much better too.  Graph:

1

 

These are the Panasonic batteries (made in Indonesia) and Sunbeams (made in China):

2

1

I always look for the "2+1 free" packs of the Panasonics.  Sometimes they are hidden behind the standard 2 packs.

I don't want to start the Energizer test just in case it goes beyond the time I have to leave work.  I should get to that one tomorrow.

jerm's data brings up a good point; I'm not testing for consistency.  Perhaps I had one good performing Sunbeam and the other 3 in the pack are junk.  Not sure of the likelihood of that. 

-Garry

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You should give Rayovac alkalines a try. Personally I think they are the best bang for your buck.

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pilotdog68 wrote:
You should give Rayovac alkalines a try. Personally I think they are the best bang for your buck.

Yeah, I was thinking I should do that too.  They have usually been my "goto" for a Duracell / Energizer budget comparable.  I'll have to pick some up though. 

-Garry

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Here are my results for AAA alkalines.
Tank 007 e09 Hi
Thunderbolt 1hr 29 min
Energizer 1hr 58min
Ray O Vac 1hr 39min
I did not have a Duracell, but I got some and have it running now.

ADDED: I finished running a Duracell, and it is disappointing. It only lasted 1he 17 min. Expiration date is 2021.

Here is a test you might find interesting.
http://www.batteryshowdown.com/results-lo.html

Jerry

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Ok, Energizer "Max" =1,316mAh HOWEVER, the Panasonic holds a higher voltage.  (Energizer gave 7 minutes more runtime over the Panasonic.)  Graph comparison:

 

2

(Sorry if the above image is not appearing, I'm out of Photobucket bandwidth and it will reset on the 24th of the month (I believe).) 

EDIT - here is a direct link to the above picture that works

Testing a Duracell with "Duralock" now. 

-Garry

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WOW!  Just blew the rest out of the water!  Duracell "with Duralock" = 1,799mAh!  3hrs 34mins runtime (Energizer was 2hrs 36mins).  Duracell has higher voltage than both Panasonic and Energizer.  Graph comparison:

1

(Sorry if the above image is not appearing, I'm out of Photobucket bandwidth and it will reset on the 24th of the month (I believe).) 

EDIT - here is a direct link to the above picture that works.

-Garry

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apt323
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This is some very useful information.

Thanks everyone for spending the time making it happen

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After the Duracell rested awhile (about 15 to 20 minutes) it was back up to 1.27v (which every cell I have tested thus far has sprung back to) so I tried to begin another 0.5A discharge.  I got another 109mAh out of it.  I did NOT do this with any of the other cells.

-Garry

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I just finished a test on a "standard" Rayovac alkaline (standard silver & blue with the "Lasts as Long as Duracell" labeling on the package) = 1,564 mAh.  Performance is close to the Duracell with slightly less capacity (perhaps the claim is based on a lower current draw).  I also tested a Duracell 2,000mAh NiMh "Duraloop" for comparison.  It is clearly seen how the NiMh cell holds voltage much better and has more capacity than even the Duracell alkaline.  (Note my tested capacity came very close to HKJ's Eneloop test, so I feel pretty confident with my tests.)  Graph:

3

EDIT - here is a direct link to the above picture that works.

Here is a pic of the Rayovac package:

1

Link to above pic

I also noticed that there are some new fancy "higher power" "Rayovac Fusion" batteries out there too.  Those were a bit pricey for me to buy to test.  Maybe another time. 

-Garry

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Great data, thank you for adding it. I’ve found it extremely informative and it’s answered some questions. Smile

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Received my Maxell's from Amazon ($13.97 for pack of 48) today and put one right on the discharger.  Total capacity = 1,251mAh, for 2 hours 28 minutes of run time.  Here is a graph comparing to the other similar performing cells:

22

Graph comparing to the better performing cells:

2

Photos of the Maxell's (they are made in China):

2

2

 

So far it might be the best performer for the price depending on how cheap you can buy the Panasonics.  I'm still interested in the Amazon Basics. 

-Garry

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I am in the slow group, but I cannot read the graphs. What do I need to do?

FWIW, I decided to buy a pkg of AA and AAA Sunbeam Alkalines from the local $ store. Price was $1 for four.
Here is the result of the AAA test along with other alkys.
Tank 007 e09 Hi
Thunderbolt 1hr 29 min
Energizer 1hr 58min
Ray O Vac 1hr 39min
Duracell 1hr 17min
Sunbeam alk 1hr 40min

Results of AA test Sunbeam vs others.
Super Light Hi
Thunderbolt 2hr 46min 2nd test 3hr 26min
Duracell 6hr 30min 2nd test 5hr 45min
Energizer 4hr 20min
Sunbeam alk 4hrs 40min

The Sunbeam alkaline compares favorably with others, except the AA Duracell. In the case of the AAA the Sunbeam alky showed up to be a good battery, and for $.25 ea.

Thanks,
Jerry

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This thread keeps getting better and better. I was also pretty impressed with the Sunbeam alkalines. Inexpensive compared to the big brands and the run times were very comparable. My hope is that they are consistent from batch to batch, as much as can be expected.

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I changed the name of the thread to better reflect how it has progressed.

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Deputydave wrote:
I changed the name of the thread to better reflect how it has progressed.

You might add "Alkaline" to the title though.

-Garry

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