Just how dangerous are generic batteries?

When shopping online for various Rechargeable Batteries, you are bound to run across some brands that are far cheaper than the quality name brands such as Vapex or Ansmann. They seem like such a great deal that you just can’t pass them up – 3000mAh AA batteries for 1/4 the price of the name brands. But what value really do you get for your money?


A user over from CandlePowerForums had the following review and opinion after purchasing some to test:

I made the sad, sad mistake of purchasing some cheap BTY brand batteries awhile back, thinking that even if they’re not as good as advertised they’d at least be somewhat close.

I got 8 AAs and 8 AAAs for some obscenely low amount, shipped from somewhere in the orient. I forget where exactly.

The AAs are advertised as “2500”.. no “mah” after that number, but the ebay listing said “2500 mah”. The AAAs have “1000,” again with no “mah” on them.

Whereas all my other Nimh AAs weigh 28-30g, these BTYs weigh in at 16g. Waaay lighter. The BTY AAAs are about 2g lighter than my other-branded AAAs. A little lighter.

So I did some testing recently on my LaCrosse and it turns out that, after a couple of chargings, the AAs have an average capacity of 450 to 500 mah. The AAAs actually have MORE capacity than the AAs… around 600 mah.

The more disturbing part is that when put on the charger, the AAs will rise up to 1.8 volts before the charger stops charging them. This happens for all of them. I don’t know why.

The item of concern is not the lower than average mAh capacity than advertised  but the excessively high voltage that was being registered. 1.8v per battery can wreak havoc on some sensitive electronic items, and possible do some irreversible damage. If a device was designed to run on 6 AA batteries, at a typical alkaline voltage of 1.5v per cell, this would give you around 9v output. It you were using these BTY brand, you could be pushing as much as 10.8v, and possibly render the device or gadget useless from excessive voltage.

Another example of a generic boost’ battery (Charge your gadgets on the go) goes the extra step to fool the purchaser – by adding sand to the inside of the battery case to give the illusion of battery weight. It is highly unlikely this company that slapped this battery together took any time to make sure that the battery would safely charge your devices as intended. All they care about is that the appearance of a initial charge passes to make a quick sale.


So what may seem like an initial savings up front, may cost you far more than you think if these bargain cheap batteries do any damage to your expensive goods. And good luck trying to file a claim for damages, it is likely the complaints will go unanswered.

Thanks for reading our article!  Make sure you shop at a reputable Battery supplier such as Electronics Warehouse for all your Rechargeable battery needs!


By Michael Nace.

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