- by Joe Weber - updated on 10/20/2022
It's common to see batteries like AAs or AAAs being sold at discount retailers that are labeled "Heavy Duty" or "Super Heavy Duty". You might be surprised to learn that these batteries are not what you think and contain considerably less power than normal alkaline batteries. Discover what the difference is between these two types of batteries and why cheaper is not always better.
While they look very similar to alkaline, heavy-duty batteries are actually a different chemistry all together. Heavy duty batteries use zinc chloride as the electrolyte encased in a zinc case as the anode while alkaline batteries use potassium hydroxide, an alkaline, as the electrolyte with a zinc gel encased in a steel case. Both heavy duty and alkaline batteries are intended for single use applications and are not rechargeable.
The differences in the construction of these batteries has a definite effect on the power produced. Heavy duty zinc batteries store about half the power of alkaline batteries resulting in a much shorter lifespan in higher drain applications like hand-held video games.
Another drawback of heavy duty batteries is their considerably shorter shelf life. Alkaline batteries generally claim to have a 10 year shelf life while heavy duty batteries only have a 3 year shelf life.
No one likes to make extra purchases. One of the biggest drawbacks to choosing heavy-duty over alkaline batteries is the much shorter lifespan. If you don't want to have to go out to buy new batteries at a much faster rate than normal, alkaline batteries are really worth the money over heavy-duty batteries.
Alkaline batteries come in many varieties to suit your device's power needs and your budget.
Don't fall for the "cheaper is better" trick at many discount retailers. Let the experts at Batteries Plus help you pick the best alkaline batteries for your devices power demands. Learn more about alkaline batteries by taking a look at our handy alkaline buying guide. Need to know what to do with all of your old expired batteries? Read our blog article "Batteries 101: Everything You Need to Know About Expired Batteries" to learn more about what you should do with them and the recycling services offered at your local Batteries Plus.