Discount hardware store, Harbor Freight, sells packs of very affordable Heavy Duty batteries under the Thunderbolt Magnum brand name. Occasionally, Harbor Freight even gives large packs of these batteries away for free (with a coupon).
This is how I acquired a pack of 24 Thunderbolt Magnum AA cells earlier this year: for free during a store promotion.
In truth, I use quality rechargeable AA cells quite heavily (mainly Powerex and Panasonic Enloops). If I am reviewing a radio, I buy fresh Energizer or Duracell AA alkaline batteries to make sure the radio is receiving full voltage from the batteries during the evaluation.
But, on occasion, a cheap AA will suffice, right?
I put three in a shortwave portable in June because all of my other batteries were in use. I had just planned to take the portable on a weekend trip. Though it shouldn’t have been a problem, I forgot and left the batteries in the radio.
Tuesday afternoon, I checked the batteries because they were already dead. Turns out they were already leaking! I then remembered that other cells–from the same pack–had leaked in one of my kid’s flashlights.
It could be that I simply got a bad batch of batteries, but these cells really do feel of poor quality–I bet they weigh half that of most other Heavy Duty cells.
My advice? Free is too costly for these batteries. Stick with quality cells!
Now I need to go through my house and find where the remaining four batteries are hidden before they damage another device.