Top positive review
259 people found this helpful
A must have, but please take note!
on 18 August 2011
First I must say I think this charger is utterly brilliant. To be able to successfully charge a mixture of batteries at the same time, each with their own light to indicate progress (well, whether they are not charging, charging or charged, anyway) and charge any number of them up to 8 is a versatility lacking in all the chargers I researched - even the more expensive ones. There are, however, some points you may wish to consider.
Don't trash the batteries when the red light flashes!
Some reviewers have said that they throw away a battery if the red light flashes because they believe it has come to the end of its life or that it is faulty. Of course, this may well be true in many cases but not always, so please don't throw them away until you have checked that they are correctly inserted. This was touched on by one reviewer last April but needs emphasizing.
It is a bit awkward to insert a battery - you can't just press it into a battery slot like you do in equipment where in such they would have no room to move. The charger has spring-loaded arms which you pull and hold back while you insert the battery into an area that has no walls either side to restrain it. It is very easy NOT to fit it properly. I have found that a battery just needs to have moved slightly off 'centre' for the red light to flash. Thin light batteries (AA and AAA) have a tendency to move more than the wide heavy ones (C and D). At first I thought I had bought dud batteries - some of the batch showed the stable red light for charging while some were flashing red - but a little adjustment of position and the red light stops flashing. All the batteries successfully charged. This was a minor drawback for me as I soon became adept at whipping them in and out without the false alarms.
As an aside, when there may be other reasons for rejection, someone in comments suggests using a non intelligent charger first then an intelligent charger such as this one will accept them. This would of course mean buying a second charger and you would have no guarantee that this would work for your batteries.
Don't expect the batteries to charge quickly
Another well reviewed point is how long the batteries take to charge. The Product Description here says 6-8 hours. To my mind it depends on too many variables: age (battery that is not yours!), capacity, etc., to be that explicit. This charger isn't regarded as a 'fast' charger in the technical sense of the term. My 7dayshop Rechargeable C and D Ni-Mh 3000mAh batteries take about 6 hours to charge but they may not be completely drained when I recharge them - they are removed from the equipment when the equipment ceases to work! When I charged my Sanyo Eneloop AAA (HR-4UTGA) min 750mAh and AA (HR-16UTGA) min 1,900mAh batteries for the first time they took less than an hour but apparently even after 3 years storage they retain 75% of their capacity. I haven't had to recharge them since as I've only been using them for a short while. One review comment says that the 9V battery takes 8-10 hours; the chart on the instructions you receive with the charger says 10 hours.
To be honest, it matters not to me how long they take to charge but it may well influence your decision to buy or not to buy. I just sit the charger on a shelf and leave it to look after itself - the batteries can't overcharge so can be harvested when needed. If you have energy-hungry equipment you'll know that keeping backup batches of the various types you need is a good idea and the incredibly slow draining advantage when stored make Eneloops my choice.
It has to be large in order to hold 8 batteries
Its large size has been an issue for some. I actually expected it to be bigger to accommodate 8 batteries! Interestingly, although it has been mentioned many times in reviews I can't find one that has given the dimensions and they are not in the Product Description here. So, in case it's of use to you the dimensions are (WxDxH) 8 x 4.2 x 2.5 inches viz 203 x 106 x 63 millimetres. Height includes the feet. I don't think the designers could have trimmed it down further and it's really quite attractive with its curves and smokey plastic cover. It is after all designed for household use.
It has no integral On/Off switch
You have to switch it on at the electric socket where you insert the adaptor.
Be careful opening the plastic packaging it comes in
A very good point another reviewer made is in regard to its factory packaging. It is completely encased in that very hard, very tough, almost impossible to cut plastic. I had to use carpet/metal/... cutting scissors to chop it out and the edges of the cut plastic can cause nasty damage/cuts to your hands. I got a few scrapes; that reviewer got cuts! Why on earth manufacturers still (for as long as I can remember they have and that's a very long time!) package such goods in these sealed near impenetrable plastic cocoons is a mystery.