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NuclearWessels's avatar

Is it dangerous to use a battery charger with batteries of a different brand?

Asked by NuclearWessels (1188points) April 9th, 2016

Warning label says use only Panasonic type rechargeable batteries, other types may burst causing injury or damage. Is this just an attempt to keep you within the same brand or is there an actual danger? If so, what’s the cause?

Feel free to give opinions on rechargeable batteries vs disposable, I am considering making a shift towards rechargeable, but unsure.

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3 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

There is no danger.

kritiper's avatar

No danger if you use rechargeable batteries of the same type/voltage.

jerv's avatar

Brand doesn’t matter, but chemistry does.

Using a charger for NiCads on NiMH batteries (or vice versa) is moderately bad, and LiPo batteries have their own requirements, but putting Energizer NiMH AAs in a Panasonic NiMH charger is perfectly fine. And LiPo packs are not available in standard sizes like AA so you don’t really need to worry about them unless you want to use, say, a cellphone charger to try recharging your AAs. (LiPo batteries are used in things that generally come with their own special charger anyways; laptops, smartphones, etcetera.)

NiMH cells are good at high-discharge tasks like camera flashes. Trying to draw that sort of power from an alkaline (regular non-rechargeable) battery could make a number of bad things happen, in part because they cannot handle high-draw loads as well and partly because they are 1.5 volts instead of 1.2 volts which could fry thinks that were expecting 20% less voltage than an alkaline battery puts out. Using NiCads instead of NiMH is less problematic, though recharging NiCad cells with a NiMh charger is dicey enough that I would advise against it.

Most rechargeable AA batteries on the market right now are NiMH, including Panasonic Enerloop™, and thus interchangable. Some older/cheaper rechargeables are NiCads though, so it doesn’t hurt to check the packaging.

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