Why Batteries Function Better with Their Dedicated Chargers?

Hello. Have been hearing that for better charge and battery longevity batteries should be charged with their respective chargers i.e. eneloops with eneloop charger, Powerex with MAHA charger etc.

What about those complex chargers that allow for selective charging, draining, monitoring, cycling and refreshing? I have see those from MAHA, BT, LaCrosse. Can these chargers be optimal for popular brands rechargeable NiMH batteries sold today?

I have Amazon Basics, white eneloops, older black Sanyos, Duracells. I have been using Camelion cheap 4-channel charger to charge them. Can I just buy one of aforementioned chargers to have “best of both worlds” and not buy charger for every brand of batteries?

They don’t.

Can you buy a decent charger for all brands of regular NiMh cells? Yes.

HKJ has reviewed many chargers, hopefully the table will help you decide which to buy.

Forget about the chargers that come with the batteries you buy. Get a good charger and that will charge all your batteries very well.

…Although you may have a good charger that came with your batteries that will work with them all. The advice to peruse the HJK site is excellent. Panasonic, for instance, who sells chargers with their eneloops, has both excellent and not so excellent chargers tested on his site. You can sort by feature simply by clicking the heading you want to sort by.

Yes the charger that comes with the batteries is for beginners that don’t have any charger and need to charge the batteries they are purchasing. If you buy Eneloop’s for example, get the ones w/o the charger and then get a good charger. I have found the Miboxer to be excellent but there are many to choose from.

Old men’s tale. Mostly BS, like a lot of them.

Research the advice you’ve been given. Check out the link to battery charger reviews.


I’d say just the opposite. Get a good quality charger and it’ll treat a cell better than an afterthought of a come-with charger that’s “free” with the cells.

Lotta cheep-cheep-cheep leetle cheeken chargers are just trickle-chargers that can slowly fry a cell’s innards.


A good charger and good cells should work, it´s the combination. And I´m not sure whether most of these manufacturers really manufacture chargers and cells or just buy from another and lable it

I have chargers which have problems with a lot of cells and (cheap) cells which cause problems in every charger.

Thanks. Looks like years of work went into making that list.

There was a theory someone told me decade ago that manufacturers of chargers use default algorithm that is not optimal causing batteries to wear out sooner. Don’t know if it is a part of collusion for planned obsolescence.

The “algorithm” is typically some fixed current like 1A and then trickle charge to full. More advanced chargers can track the battery temperature to make sure it doesn’t go above some value (like 40C). You don’t need anything more fancy than that.

If you want to just minimize the wear of your battery, then charge at something like 0.1A but it will take forever. Most people will never get close to the cycle life of their battery for usage in flashlights so I wouldn’t worry about it.

Sounds kinda like one of those ‘old men’s tales’, eh? :person_facepalming:
How the hell did they know? What was their information source? Did they do ANYTHING to check it out?
Maybe women gossip, but men just bullshit themselves a lot. I think it’s the sapiens equivalent of chest thumping.

one thing about li ion cells is, they should only be charged up to about C/3 or so, in the initial constant current phase

any more and you may overvoltage the cell before it quits charging

any less and the charge takes a long time

using the charger that came with the battery or the light, may be already set to that charge rate

(he says optimistically - at least it is possible)

if you get to pick charge rates, you might pick the wrong one

I charge just about everything (You name the cell & chemistry) with Nitecore chargers. Been doing it for about a decade and never had an issue. I don’t buy cells that come with a charger or cells with built-in charging capabilities. Hopefully that gives you some insight to others experiences.

What is C/3 and does this extend to other lithium cells like those in laptops and phones?

Lithium ions you refer to? I never heard of these kind of batteries. Only know that 18650 have built-in overcharging protection.

They’re saying Capacity divided by three = charge rate. So a hypothetical 3000mAh li-ion cell should have an initial charge rate (the setting you put the charger on) of 1000ma.

Second point is one I also agree with, often the clamshell packages of cells and charger you buy in stores includes a cheap charger which isn’t very good.

I thought you meant charging battery to 1000mAh capacity out of its 3000mAh capacity initially. So it’s charge rate 1000mAh and not maximum charged capacity? I know in cellphones its the opposite. They are charged at normal rate but slow down after around 90%.

Can even be charged using quick charge technology that is so much marketed these days but in itself introduces heat that affects battery longevity.

Do Nitecore, LaCrosse and BT chargers detect lithium battery automatically and set C/3 preset or I set it manually?

18650 don’t ‘automatically’ have built-in overcharging protection. It has to be added after the raw cell or pack is made.

Some chargers automatically set the charge rate, but not by capacity. Its usually by testing the internal resistance. There is no way it can figure out capacity in a short electronic ‘probe’.
Some people like that feature-put it in and let it go. You usually CAN over ride it if you want.
I dislike it. I want control.