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.
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 Maha chargers (details below).
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)
The Maha PowerEx “Ultimate Professional” Charger
Maha’s PowerEx 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.
Maha’s universal 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 adaptor, and short-circuit protection.
It is available from Amazon for around $96.
11 thoughts on “The Best Ni-MH Battery Chargers”
What USB-powered battery charger do you recommend for Eneloop AA & AAA Rechargeable batteries? I’m looking for one that can be recharged from a solar panel or USB Power Bank.
Have you tried the everActive 1000 plus charger http://www.ebay.com/itm/everActive-NC-1000-Plus-as-La-Crosse-BC-1000-Smart-Charger-AA-AAA-USB-12V-EU-/251634692492?
These reviews are very good and much appreciated. Could you also include a mention of the wall wart that goes with these chargers. It would be good to know how compact they are, especially when portability is a factor. Wall warts that hog several outlets on an AC quad box or power strip are a drag.
Is the LaCrosse Technology BC-1000 Alpha Battery Charger the same as this one http://www.amazon.com/La-Crosse-Technology-Battery-Charger/dp/B000RSOV50?SubscriptionId=AKIAJM4NKIQGABP2PIRA&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B000RSOV50&tag=thewire06-20&ascsubtag=WC68593?
In the BC-1000 I think they made slight adjustments to the electronics inside.
I would highly recommend the top #1 rated Li-Mh charger on the market today: The Maha PowerEx MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer for 4 AA/AAA Batteries, that is NOT “Made in China”, but instead is “Made in Taiwan”, whose manufacturing quality far surpasses those made in China! Avoid the “over-rated & hyped: “LaCrosee” Li-Mh Rechargeable Li-Mh charger. Another PLUS is that the Maha brand comes with a 3-year factory warranty, whereas the LaCrosse only comes with a 1-year warranty. Obviously the factory “probably” realizes their brand doesn’t really last very long!!!
Michael did you get an answer about chargers for use on the go, i.e. with solar panels? I have the same interests.
Have you done any testing on the best chargers to use with portable solar panels to charge AA or AAA batteries? I have an Instapark Mercury 10 and want to charge my Eneloop batteries on the go!
Nice review/article. It’s worth mentioning that the LaCross BC700/1000 chargers can charge and recondition nicad’s as well as NiMh cells making their value and utility better than a dedicated unit.
I noticed back in January you mentioned the PowerEx MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer “could be a serious rival” to the top LaCrosse charger but in this article you didn’t even mention it.
Did it have problems?
Or was there another reason it didn’t make your list?
I haven’t tried the PowerEx MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer, but the reviews I’ve seen are good, so I’ll be adding it to this list soon.