Energizer Recharge Value AA/AAA NiMH Battery Charger review

{ 51 comments }

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How many devices, toys and gadgets do you own that use AA or AAA batteries? Do you feed these devices standard alkaline batteries, or do you use rechargeables? I personally prefer to go the rechargeable route mainly because it’s easier and less expensive for me to pop a set of drained batteries into a charger and wait for them to rejuice, then it is for me to drive to the store and buy a brand new set. I’ve been using an ancient Realistic (Radio Shack) branded charger for years and although it charges batteries just fine, it’s bulky and not efficient because it continues to charge the batteries even after they are fully charged. When the folks at Energizer asked if I would like to review one of their chargers, I gladly accepted and they sent me a sample of their new Recharge Value AA/AAA NiMH Battery Charger. Let’s take a look. 

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.

Hardware Specs

Model: CHVCM4
Charges: AA NiMH batteries up to 2650mAh, AAA NiMH batteries up to 1000mAh
Input Voltage: AC 110-127V 50/60 Hz
Charging Current: 260-300 mA for 2AA and 120-140mA for 2AAA

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What’s in the package?

Energizer charger
4 AA NiMH 1300 mAh batteries
Instruction sheet

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This charger is designed to accommodate 4 AA or 4 AAA Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries. You can not use this charger to charge other types of batteries such as Lithium Ion and standard alkaline cells. It will allow you to mix sizes, so you can charge 2 AA’s and 2 AAA’s at one time as long as you make sure that each battery type is of the same mAh rating. However, you can’t charge an odd number of batteries such as 1 or 3 cells.

The Value charger comes with 4 AA 1300 mAh pre-charged batteries. I was surprised to see the low 1300 mAh rating on the included batteries considering that Energizer also offers 2300 mAh batteries.

The charger itself is compact and attractive.

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It has fold down prongs, which allow it to easily store in a drawer or gear bag.

One feature I really love is the hole that goes straight through the charger. How many times have you used a screwdriver or another pointy object to help you remove batteries from a charger? Removing batteries from the Recharge Value charger is much easier because you can just push them out with your fingers.

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The other feature that I like is the large status indicator, which glows red while charging, green when finished and flashes red when a bad battery has been  detected.

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During the time that I’ve been testing this charger, I’ve used it to charge the included batteries as well as another set of Energizer AA’s that I already had on hand. As luck would have it, I didn’t have any other brands of batteries to test.But the charger should work just fine as long as the batteries do not exceed 2650mAh for AA’s and 1000mAh for AAA’s.

It’s important to note that this is not a smart charger. It’s actually a timer-based dumb charger. What’s the difference and why should you care? A Smart charger monitors the voltage of each cell individually during charging and stops when a charge-termination signal (negative delta-Voltage) is detected. This avoids over-charging. A Dumb charger relies on a timer to stop charging or has no termination mechanism at all. This usually results in over-charging which is bad for battery lifespan.

The Energizer Recharge Value Charger charges at a fixed current (300mA for AA, 150mA for AAA) for a fixed time of 11 hours. No matter what the actual capacity and status of your batteries, it will charge for that length of time and will then turn off.  When you use it to recharge the included 1300mAh batteries, you have to remember to remove them after 5-6 hours (because 1300mAh/300mA = ~5.5 hours). If you forget and leave them in the charger until the auto timer turns off after 11hrs, those batteries will be over-charged by over 50%. That doesn’t mean the batteries will explode or catch fire, but it can negatively impact the overall life of the batteries.

Should you buy the Energizer Recharge Value AA/AAA NiMH Battery Charger? I wish that it was a smart charger with the capability of not over charging each individual battery because I really like this charger for the main two reasons I mentioned above: easy battery removal and large status LED. As is, you’re probably better off spending a few extra dollars on a smart charger so that you’ll get more rechargers per battery, which will save you more money and energy in the long run. I’m going to continue to use this one because it’s less bulky than my old one and it’s easier to remove the batteries. However, I’m going to search around for a similarly sized smart charger.

03/05/13: Update from Energizer

The Value Charger does include delta voltage detection to avoid over charging. It monitors the voltage to determine when the batteries are full and will then automatically shut off. The green light will remain on to serve as an indicator that the batteries are full.

The charge time for the included 1300 mAh AA batteries is about five hours.

The 11-hour timer is strictly a back-up safety feature in the event the charger doesn’t turn off once the batteries are fully charged.

The Value Charger will recharge any NiMH AA and AAA batteries. We recommend using Energizer rechargeable batteries with Energizer chargers.

Updates 10/12/2015

I still like using this charger for one main reason, the large status light. I don’t pay attention to how long it takes to charge the batteries, I just like that light. It’s easy to just look in my office and see if the batteries are done charging without walking in for a closer look. I also like that it takes no effort to insert or remove the batteries from the charger.

 

Product Information

Price:$14.99
Manufacturer:Energizer
Retailer:Amazon
Pros:
  • Big charge status light
  • Easy battery removal
  • 4 AA batteries included
Cons:
  • Not a smart charger
  • Auto turn off after 11hrs which is a longer charge time than needed
  • Can't charge 1 or 3 batteries
Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, Reviews
{ 51 comments… add one }
  • John Kes February 20, 2013, 5:46 pm

    I have one of these smart chargers:
    http://www.amazon.com/La-Crosse-Technology-Battery-Charger/dp/B000RSOV50/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361400299&sr=8-1&keywords=nimh+battery+charger

    and it works great! I can charge 1 batt at a time, if need be.

    • Julie February 20, 2013, 6:04 pm

      @John That looks like a very nice charger! Lots of positive reviews too. Thanks for the link.

  • Bob DeLoyd February 22, 2013, 5:30 am

    It’s funny that when I’m start looking for something I find it in a new post here 🙂
    You guys reading my mind or is there an APP for that?

  • Bob DeLoyd February 22, 2013, 5:39 am

    I forgot to mention that I got one of those “ancient Realistic (Radio Shack) branded charger”, too!
    Mine runs off of 12volts and I’ve had it since the late 70s. It still works but I thought it time I look for something newer.

    • Julie February 22, 2013, 6:53 am

      @Bob We’ve been experimenting with neural review suggestion technology. I guess it’s working 😉

  • Bob DeLoyd February 22, 2013, 3:12 pm

    @Julie,
    WOW!

  • Alex G October 28, 2013, 2:11 am

    The Energizer CHVCM4 charger with 4 1300mah batteries is A PIECE OF GARBAGE!!!! I bought the package from Home Depot, and will return the package of junk to Home Depot FIRST THING TOMORROW. I CAN’T BELIEVE ENERGIZER IS SELLING A TOTALLY USELESS PRODUCT.

    HOW USELESS?
    1. The 1300mah AA batteries ARE A JOKE!!
    NO RESPECTABLE BATTERY MAKER MAKES
    1300mah ANYMORE!

    2. I HAVE A SET OF 5+YEAR OLD RADIO SHACK AA NiMH
    BATTERIES THAT HAVE BEEN WORKING RELIABLY.
    THESE ARE 1500mah!!! THESE OLD RADIO SHACK
    MODELS MAKE THE BRAND-NEW ENERGYPPER LOOK
    LIKE A PAIR OF OLD CARBON/ZINC TRASH!

    3. I HAVE YET ANOTHER SET OF CVS NiMH, AND HESE ARE
    2450mah!!!! ALMOST 2x THE CAPACITY OF ENERGYPPER
    JUNK!!!

    ENERGIZER: YOU’RE SELLING CRAP!!!!
    I AM SO ANGRY TO HAVE BEEN SOLD TRASH!!!

    DO NOT BUY ENERGIZER JUNK!!!
    THEY LABEL THESE 1300mah TRASH AS IF THEY’RE
    PREMIUM BATTERIES, AND SELL THEM WITH THE
    ENERGYPPER LABEL.

    SO, ENERGIZER (… er.. ENERGYPPER) — ARE YOUR
    PRODUCTS SO CRAPPY, THAT YOU RESORT TO SELLING
    JUNK AND PACKAGING THEM TO LOOK LIKE PREMIUM
    QUALITY???

    SHAME ON YOU!!!!

    • ConsumerResponsibility December 12, 2014, 3:42 pm

      It sounds like you’re upset that you didn’t read the package. It is not Energizer’s fault that you bought their low-capacity batteries.

      It is also not Energizer’s responsibility to make sure you know what you’re buying; that is the consumer’s responsibility.

      Are you so influenced by “premium,” packaging that you can’t resist good marketing?

      Don’t be mad at Energizer for selling a low-tier product for a lower price; variety’s purpose is to give options to not only you but others who want cheaper products.

  • roger hunter April 29, 2014, 2:08 pm

    Why does my charger only blink red ??? I left it on for 2-3 hours and it still blinks red and will not got

    to green

    • Julie Strietelmeier April 29, 2014, 2:23 pm

      @Roger it’s blinking? I think that means an error either with the charger or the batteries. It should just be a steady red when it’s charging. Do you have the batteries seated properly? Maybe try another set of batteries. Are you plugging the charger into a power strip? Try plugging it directly into a wall outlet.

  • blessy June 11, 2014, 6:03 am

    Hi,

    I have problem with my Energizer Mini Charger, pls see below website for the charger type :
    http://www.energizer.eu/ua/ua/products/batteries/mini

    When I charge it, light will turn green. Then I waited more than 10-11Hrs. but the light is still on green (not blinking), it doesnt even turned off.

    How can I know that the battery is already fully charged?
    Does the green light need to be turned off so that I will know that it is fullycharged?

    Indicated there that this is auto shut off. But how will I know?

    Thank you, pls need help.
    Regards.

    • Julie Strietelmeier June 11, 2014, 7:54 am

      @blessy this isn’t a review of the mini charger, but it looks like it’s just a smaller version of the product we did review. If that’s the case, the green like does NOT turn off when charging is complete. It still glows. Green means it’s finished charging and red means it’s still charging.

      • bob May 26, 2016, 1:34 pm

        The charger is a pile of junk. It turns green after 20 minutes and the batteries are still completely unusable

  • Greg Kissel January 26, 2015, 7:11 am

    Junk! Period!

  • marie May 1, 2015, 1:50 am

    hi. as for me I hv th one that accommodates 2 batteries and ever since I bought the charger, whenever am charging it has always been green, the instructions reads green indicates charging but how do I know they are fully charged, I just read somwere on the instructions that I need to charge for 8hrs.

  • Frederick Gasoi July 28, 2015, 4:17 pm

    This charger is listed at 110-127V input, however I see an apparently identical model on the web with 110-240V input. I suspect they are identical and the limitation is purely regulatory. Would you have any idea about this? A 110V-only charger makes no sense when you are traveling.

  • Paul Taylor August 20, 2015, 3:19 pm

    I plugged this charger in as soon as I got it home, complete with the 4-AA NiMH batteries. Within 5 hours, the red light turned green, and I thought, OK! But two of the batteries were hot, and the other two on the other side were cold. Obviously, the hot batteries charged successfully, and the cold ones did not. I put the cold ones in place of the hot ones (left side) the light turned red,and within 5 hours they were charged (green light). I thought this unit charged all four at once! Junk?

    • Julie Strietelmeier August 20, 2015, 3:41 pm

      You must have a bad charger or bad batteries. I’m still using this charger and charge 4 batteries at once all the time. They don’t get hot for me.

  • Tom December 13, 2015, 2:16 pm

    Doesn’t seem to work for me. I bought the charger and 4 additional batteries. I left the first set plugged in over night and while I did have the red light for charging the light never goes off. I replaced those ‘non-charged’ batteries with the second set and left it on for well over the 5-6 hours the manual told me it should take to charge them and the red light has not gone out. When I tried to actually use the batteries in a device, thinking perhaps the charge indicator was bad, the device didn’t work. Clearly this charger is not going to work for some reason.

    • Julie Strietelmeier December 13, 2015, 3:03 pm

      What type of batteries have you been using? Are they Energizer NiMH? I’m still using this charger and the original batteries that were included with it and haven’t experienced this issue.

      • Tom December 13, 2015, 3:22 pm

        I’m using the four that came with the unit. Theya are 1300 mAh and did get warm when the charger was on but don’t seem to have charged. The others (in a four pack are 2300 mAh and also get warm but both sets when left in the charger over night will not charge and while they do get warm, the red light never turns to green. And I do have all four slots full when attempting to charge. Ideas?

        • Julie Strietelmeier December 13, 2015, 3:41 pm

          Mine are 1300 mAh. I think there is something wrong with your charger. You should see if you can get it replaced.

          • Tom December 13, 2015, 3:44 pm

            Yes, I was afraid of that. I think the packaging already got thrown away. Of course you don’t suspect something like this will not work right out of the box. I wonder if I bought another brand if I could charge these same batteries?

          • Julie Strietelmeier December 13, 2015, 3:47 pm

            Any NiMH charger will charge those batteries.

          • Michelle December 14, 2015, 8:02 pm

            I have the same problem as Tom. I bought this charger a couple of years ago at Target. I took it home and the light stayed red forever. Even over-night. The next day I went to the store to change it for another of the same one, thinking I just had bad luck with the first one, and the same thing happened. The red light never goes off and never changes to green. I stopped using it for a long time and never tried it again, very frustrated. I just started trying it again because I am using a new device that needs constant batteries, so I figured I’d come online and try to find answers once and for all. Right now I am using two of it’s original batteries and two Duracell 2000 mAh, so that might be it, but I have also tried it with it’s 4 original Energizer 1300 mAh and it’s the same thing.

  • Bob Deloyd December 13, 2015, 6:59 pm

    Julie,
    Wow, talking about things coming back to haunt you, Feb 18, 2013…

    Up until March 2015 I was still getting comments about the article you wrote about PDAs:
    “Is there still a market for PDAs?”
    by JULIE STRIETELMEIER on DECEMBER 21, 2011
    http://the-gadgeteer.com/2011/12/21/is-there-still-a-market-for-pdas/#comments

  • Tom December 15, 2015, 4:41 am

    I ended up (on a trip to Target) buying a Duracell charger that came with two each AAA and AA bateries and it works fine. It charged all the batteries and eight more that I bought in less than three hours. I loaded the eight I needed in my telescope and they hold the charge great, more than eight hours of use. I’ll never get back to the place where I bought the Energizer one so I trashed it. My final advice is pay the extra four bucks and get a Duracell brand.

  • joseph bordynski December 22, 2015, 10:39 am

    this charger is excellent. i traded the 1300s for 4 2300s

  • Cindy Boudreaux December 31, 2015, 11:07 am

    I am having the same problem as Michelle. The light stays red and the batteries never charge. The one time it did turn green, the batteries ran out of juice very shortly after trying to use them in a camera. I will for sure invest in a smart charger next time.

  • Mark January 4, 2016, 12:47 pm

    My question is, how do you know when the batterys are fully charged? Does the red light go out?

    • Julie Strietelmeier January 4, 2016, 1:02 pm

      The LED will turn from Red to Green when the batteries are fully charged.

      • mark January 4, 2016, 1:22 pm

        I don’t have the type shown. Mine is the small white 2 AA/2 AAA kind. It does have the red light meaning the batteries need charging but does it change to green/go out when done?

      • Mark Wolfgang August 4, 2016, 8:49 pm

        I’ve been charging batteries for more than 24 hours now and all I have is a red light and hot batteries– both the 1300mAh ones that came with this charger and the bigger Energizer 2300mAh, all brand new out of the packages! I see I’m not the only one, but this is not good.

  • mark January 4, 2016, 1:33 pm
  • John Dornellas January 31, 2016, 12:14 am

    I just bought the CHVCM4 chargers today. I had it plugged in for about 6 or 7 hrs, and the RED indicator was still on. I was getting ready for bed and thought I should check the charger, and I found that the batteries were pretty warm to the touch, as was the charger. I’m not too comfortable with batteries getting this warm….or the charger either. I’m not too sure if this is NORMAL for this charger or not.

  • Hammad April 24, 2016, 9:50 am

    I bought Energizer Recharge MINI Model CH2PC3 charger few weeks ago. It comes with two AA 1300 mAh Energizer Rechargeable batteries. I let this charger ON for more than 14 hours to charge my two AA 1300 mAh Energizer Rechargeable batteries but it never charged them and I guess it won’t. Green Light Never Goes off, not at least before then 14 hours although its written in its specifications that it is automatic Switch-Off charger. You will never know when your batteries are fully charged. I have a bad experience with energizer so I won’t make a mistake to buy it or to recommend it to anyone. ENERGIZER SUCKS !!!!!!!

  • andy May 1, 2016, 12:00 pm

    I bought this and not impressed. I put these batteries into xbox 🎮 controller and didn’t work, yet the duracells did???

  • Laurel Havens May 7, 2016, 8:27 pm

    I have been charging 4 AA batteriies for 7 hours and the batteries are HOT, the light is still red. Should I unplug and try to use the batteries?

    • Julie Strietelmeier May 8, 2016, 8:14 am

      If the batteries are actually HOT instead of warm, then there may be something wrong with the charger.

      • Laurel Havens May 8, 2016, 8:43 am

        I put the batteries in my fan and they work great, I guess the indicator light does not change to green. I will give it one more chance tonight, this will be the second one going back in a week, if I have to take it back.

  • Laurel Havens May 8, 2016, 8:45 am

    The first one had a blinking red light, so I knew that one was a no go. The store already said if this one does not work I can bring it back and they are calling the manufacturer and not carrying it anymore. A LOT of people returned.

  • Jules May 23, 2016, 9:30 pm

    Same as a lot of you. Bought the charger with 4 batteries, plugged in at 11 am, and red light still on at 9:00 pm. Batteries are hot. Needed this for new inspection job tomorrow. Thanks a lot Energizer – you really suck! Back to Wal-mart tomorrow for you and NEVER again, as I tried your crap 5 yrs ago and it sucked then too.

  • JB June 25, 2016, 2:58 pm

    A MAJOR negative for me is, as pointed out, the charger is not designed to accommodate an odd number of batteries. I have a few battery-powered devices that use three batteries, so it’s always a challenge to find a way to charge that odd battery. I wish I had known this before I purchased it.

  • John Daignault August 11, 2016, 3:31 am

    Well What Can I Say……Mmmmmm, The Charger is VERY fussy, i have Lots of Brands in both AA, And AAA sizes, had bought the Charger Model CHPRO-UK so the
    Camera would have a Set in use plus a set ready to replace, That seems to work as long as you stick to ENERGIZER MiMH Rechargables.
    Even in the old days of of this concept, recharge could only be done safely in Pairs of the Same brand and type ie 550mAh, 800mAh, 1000mAh etc:
    BUT today just 2 of the 2000 mAh, ACCU Power Plus (That’s a Laugh!) fully Charged FAILED to power up a 2 Cell portable cd player!, lets see Oh look…..
    Battery speed is only 1.2V not 1.5 as standard Batteries are I dont have many of this type spare, but thinking the player itself was wonky, i put in 2 x odd alks of different brands, did it work, of course it did, so why dont these do the same job?
    is there a full 1.5Volt AA/AAA recharge out there, if not i need to buy more replaceable batteries or buy a power plug model cd player, (how long is the lead? 3 Miles? i will get one NOT!

  • beil August 23, 2016, 10:14 am

    What is the true color that will indicate when you charge the battery is it Green or red? Im so confuse about reading the comments above because the green light is there light when i recharge it my energizer NiMP. Iexperience to see red indicators

  • beil August 23, 2016, 10:21 am

    I didnt experience to see redlight indicator in my NiMP when it reached 6hours charging is it green indicates that charging is properly working i mean the NiMP charger?

  • Neal October 29, 2016, 5:24 am

    I bought the charger with its 4 batteries, I charged them overnight until the light turned green. I removed the batteries from charger and placed them in a drawer and left the batteries for like 5 days without attempting to use them, when I tried to use them and they were totally helpless. I am very disappointed with the product because I didn’t expect such a poor performance.

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