Are Expensive Batteries Worth It? Find Out If You Get More When You Pay More

Are Expensive Batteries Worth It? This is the question I found myself wondering about recently when I went to buy a pack of batteries for my son’s toy.

I’m always looking for  a good bargain- which is why unless they are on sale I usually buy my batteries at the local 99 cent store (Brooklyn, NY).

Batteries can be pretty costly and we use them in almost everything (toys, flashlights, TV remotes, more toys)  so if I can save a dollar then why not?

They may not always be name brand, but a battery is a battery right?  Well, maybe, maybe  not.

Name brand doesn’t always equal better quality, but just to be sure I conducted  a little experiment.

I brought 4 flashlights and put a different brand in each- then I left them on to see which batteries lasted the longest.

The results were not what I thought they would be and although it settled the debate, it did bring up some questions too; let’s see if you get more when you pay more:

The Test

I used 4 identical flashlights and 4 brands of AA batteries :

Duracell: $9.49 for an 8-pack

Energizer: $14.80 for an 8-pack

Rayovac: $14.99  for an 8-pack

Panasonic (99 cent store): $6.80 for an 8-pack

Based on their prices (all were purchased in Brooklyn, NY) the cost per battery is as follows:

Duracell: $1.18 per battery

Energizer: $1.85 per battery

Rayovac: $1.87 per battery

Panasonic:  0.85 cents per battery

Each flashlight took 8 AA batteries and I put them all on at 10 A.M. (EST) on Thursday morning.  Here were the results:


Rayovac was the champion, but barely, lasting 6 hours and 7 minutes- only 6 minutes longer than the flashlight with the Duracell’s (6 hours and 1 minute).

They were followed by  Energizer (5 hours and 13 minutes) and last but not least the Panasonic (4 hours and 7 minutes).

Based on these findings it would seem paying more does get you more – but the difference is not that overwhelming and there are additional factors to be considered.

For instance, the Energizer’s, which cost almost as much as the Rayovac’s, didn’t last much longer than the Panasonic.

Also, this experiment was done with flashlights, which we don’t use that often- so buying cheaper won’t really make a difference performance-wise if your using them on devices you use periodically.

Other items though, like toys and your TV remote, are used on a continuous basis- so buying the cheaper brand could end up costing you more in the long run.

Also, different size batteries could produce different results (which I’ll be looking into at a later date).

Bottom line?  If you need batteries for something you plan to use daily it pays to shell out a little extra (or buy them in bulk when they’re on sale).

Otherwise, save your money and go the inexpensive rout- your wallet will thank you.

What do you think of our experiment?  Tell us which brand you’ll be using and why below.

Consumer Expert Tracy Ortiz

I am a mom to 2 little boys: a 10 year- old and an 8 year-old and they are the only things I love more than writing. I am an avid reader, a big sports fan and love a good deal. Most of all, I love keeping up on the latest consumer news and sharing my findings with all of you. When I'm not writing I'm painting- check out my latest in my shop: