Best Battery Tester

Of all the things we use in our daily lives, we don't give a heck of a lot of thought to the batteries that power some of our most crucial electronics. Remote controls, camera equipment, alarm clocks are all powered by simple batteries that we don't give a second thought to until they're out of juice. Then you're stuck with a dead device and you're scrambling to find a new battery to replace it. But with a battery tester, you'll know how much power is left in any size cell that you use most often before it dies out on you. They're pretty straight-forward little units that can meter the amount of power in almost any size battery and tell you when it's time for replacement in just seconds. All you need to do is touch a contact to both ends of the battery and instantly read the level of potency on the gauge. It's that easy. The battery testers on our list have been chosen based on factors such as functionality, ease of use, types of batteries that can be tested, portability, and price.

Gardner Bender GBT-500A Battery Tester

The GBT-500A tests 12 different battery types, including all of the standard general purpose formats and even some that are used considerably less in most electronic devices. It also gives you a true and accurate reading of the amount of current left in the cell instead of just the voltage. Read Full Review

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    Why it's best:

    Gardner Bender designed the functionality of this tester very well, starting with the meter interface. The red to green gauge is simple and easy to understand, offering readings for general purpose, nickel cadmium and button lithium cells with one needle. Red and black tester leads are attached with wires and easy to manipulate, instead of installing batteries into contacts within the unit itself. The GBT-500A is also highly accurate to testing the amount of actual current left inside of the cell as opposed to reading only the voltage. This will cut down on false positives as dead batteries will read proper voltage even if they're out of juice. So you can be sure when it's time to trash those dead cells instead of sticking them back in your camera or remote control.

    Gardner Bender GBT-500A Battery Tester

    Tekton 7333 Battery Tester

    If you're going to take the time to research and ultimately purchase a battery tester, why not get one that tests more than just batteries? This unit from Tekton will give you readings on five battery sizes in alkaline or rechargeable formats, as well as certain types of fuses and a wide range of light bulbs. Read Full Review

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      This inexpensive little unit does a lot for the money. The 7333 tests AA, AAA, C, D, 9-Volt and some button cell batteries. Unfortunately, it won't accommodate all button types because the slider input on the side of the device only moves so far and those tiny little ultra thin cells won't fit between the contacts. But for all those batteries that do fit, the meter reading is a simple to understand, using red/yellow/green insignias and text to tell you when a battery is good and when it needs to be replaced, as well as an indicator for the battery's voltage reading. Tekton also included testing contacts to be used with glass and blade type fuses, commonly used in automobile and household applications; as well as capabilities for checking appliance, automotive and decorative light bulbs. The contacts for these are located on the unit itself and don't require the sliding apparatus.

      Tekton 7333 Battery Tester

      La Crosse Technology 911-114 Portable Battery Tester

      This portable unit from La Crosse is all too easy to use for testing the five most popular sizes of alkaline and rechargeable batteries. Just place your cell in the unit and it quickly tells you how much charge is left. Read Full Review

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        La Crosse couldn't have made testing your batteries any easier. This small unit (only about four inches long) can go anywhere you need to test batteries effectively and accurately. Just stick an alkaline or rechargeable AA, AAA, C, or D battery into the slot at the front and push the contacts together. Instantly, the needle reacts on the multi-colored meter at top. You can test 9-volt batteries as well, just apply one to the top of the unit instead of the front. There is one drawback to the 911-114, in that the meter is pretty small and might be hard to read for those with poor or impaired vision.

        La Crosse Technology 911-114 Portable Battery Tester

        ZTS MBT-1 Multi Battery Tester

        This is the priciest option on our list but it can also handle the most batteries of any other unit. Some folks may never need something this comprehensive and it might be better suited to professionals who work with a large number of electronic devices that hold a wide variety of battery types. Photographers, sound engineers, or broadcast technicians, for example, may fully appreciate this tester. Read Full Review

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          This ZBT tester can give readings on lithium, nickel cadmium and alkaline batteries along with a large variety of sizes. Standard AA, AAA, C, D and the like, in addition to button cells, coin cells CR123's, and more. In fact, the MBT-1 can test over 30 different types of batteries using ten contact points along the front of the unit. You simply place the positive side of the cell up against the corresponding contact, clearly labeled on the device. Then touch the tester lead to the negative side facing up and the bright LED display tells you how much power the battery has inside. Using the MBT-1 is extremely simple and straightforward, all you really need to know is the type of battery you're testing. The tester itself uses four AA batteries.

          ZTS MBT-1 Multi Battery Tester

          Amprobe BAT-200 Battery Tester

          Here's another inexpensive battery tester that does the same job as every other unit on our list in a straightforward, no-nonsense manner. A multi-colored gauge with a slide contact that tests the standard five types of either alkaline or rechargeable batteries. Read Full Review

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            The Amprobe is small and lightweight as well as dependable. Just be sure the gauge has been calibrated correctly or you'll get inaccurate readings. The tester uses a slide contact that is nearly identical to the Tekton's and poses some of the same drawbacks as well. Contacts at the end of the device allow for 9-Volt testing while the slide contact can test AA, AAA, C, D and some button cells. The gauge is simple with one color-coded bar graph and needle that are both easy to read and understand. Bottom line, this is a good basic battery tester when all you need is to check out some of those loose batteries in the catch-all drawer of your kitchen or garage.

            Amprobe BAT-200 Battery Tester
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