The Best Battery Charger in Town

The BC-900 not only re-juices your AAs, it gives you the vital stats about them

BC-900 Battery Charger from La Crosse Technology
Mikey Sklar

All batteries need love and the BC-900 is a great way to show that you care. I'm constantly charging for my five digital door locks, flashlights, GPS and cordless mice. This charger has been one of my favorite devices not only for keeping my gadgets going, but for prolonging the life of my rechargeable AAs as well. It sports a display and charge-control modes for each battery. Find out more about what this device can teach you about your batteries after the jump.

Typical Battery Charger
Mikey Sklar

A standard battery charger provides the end user with little information: maybe a red light for discharged cells and a green light for charged ones. Put the batteries in one day and pull them out the next. It's easy not to even realize what you're missing. How about a test mode to quickly discharge and charge the cells to find out just how much life they have left? How about a discharge/refresh mode that runs several discharge/charge cycles to restore the battery? Perhaps even control over the charge current which allows for slow or rapid charging? (Slow charging is far more healthy than rapid charges.) That's the magic of the BC-900.

AA Batteries from GP Batteries
Mikey Sklar

I have been using the BC-900 on all my AA for a year or so, after I learned about it on the cooltools blog. Over this time I've discovered that my eight-year-old panasonic Ni-MH batteries are holding up better than the GP Batteries that I bought a month ago on-line. I've also been able to suss out the cells with unacceptably low capacity and remove them from my battery rotation, which means I spend less time replacing batteries in my devices.

At about $40, you can pickup the BC-9009, which looks identical to the BC-900 except for its black case. Pick one up and get smart about your batteries.