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Torches: alkaline or rechargeable batteries?

Question to Knivesandtools:

Many current torches are suitable for use both with Alkaline and rechargeable NiMH batteries. The AA (penlite) format is most popular.

What is the best choice?

Answer of Knivesandtools:

It is often assumed that alkaline batteries are the easiest. You buy them cheaply in the supermarket and when they are empty you throw them in the chemical waste box. Rechargeable (NiMH) ones are for people who use their torch very often. You recoup the price of a set with charger only after some 30 charges.

However, there are other reasons besides the price tag to use rechargeable NiMH batteries instead of alkaline batteries.

NiMH batteries are perfectly suitable for heavy use, like - you guessed it - in powerful LED-torches. Alkaline batteries are not. The consequence is that the light duration often disappoints and that alkaline batteries often start leaking!

Take a Fenix LD20 for example. It works for 2 hours on 2 rechargeable NiMH batteries and only 50 minutes on 2 good quality alkaline batteries.

Or for example the Fenix LD10 we just tested. It works more than 80 minutes on 1 Varta Ready2Use 2100 mAh NiMH battery (2 years old and approx. 20x charged) and only 35 minutes on a Duracell Procell alkaline battery.