Accumanager 10 Review: Best Low Cost AA Battery Charger to Date

My Best AA Batteries post included a section on low-cost chargers. That section had only a single charger, as several models I previously recommended were discontinued (Update: A new AA Battery Charger post now discusses two chargers, and one of them is an excellent new model from Fujitsu).

Earlier this year I purchased another good charger:

AccuPower AccuManager 10

After several months of use, I strongly recommend the Accumanager 10. It is the best low-cost charger I’ve ever used.

Background on Battery Chargers

I discuss criteria for evaluating AA battery chargers in several other posts (see especially La Crosse chargers or Eneloop BQ-CC17). In summary, there are two “smart charger” characteristics a charger must have to be suitable for use with high quality AA batteries (such as Eneloops):

  • Stop charging batteries when full
  • Independent charging bays

There are very few chargers costing $25 or less that have both of these characteristics. Several models I highlighted a few years ago have all been discontinued so the only one I have been recommending since late 2014 is the Eneloop BQ-CC17 charger, a compact charger with the above two characteristics that charges slowly but eventually gets the job done.

The Accumanager 10 also has these two characteristics. For that reason alone it is worth considering, though there are several additional benefits to this charger discussed below. Aesthetics is not one of them.

Edit: The Accumanager 10 was typically available for less than $25 in the first half of 2015. Since then it’s availability for a good price in the U.S. has been sporadic. If unavailable for less than $25, consider instead the Eneloop BQ-CC17 or a La Crosse charger.

Design of the Accumanager 10

Accupower’s Accumanager 10 is clearly designed for an international market. The instruction manual is in 6 languages and the labeling on the device is in German and English. AccuPower is based in Austria.

The device has a cheap feel to it. It is made from inexpensive-looking plastic, and has labels on it that are informative, but not particularly attractive. The aesthetic of the packaging is, to put it kindly, not one that is very appealing to the U.S. market. The old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” definitely applies to this device, as the beauty of this device all resides in its functionality.

Why the Accumanger 10 is so Good

The Accumanager 10 has 4 bays just like the Eneloop model. However, as you can see in the image below, it is much bigger.

Accumanager 10 is quite large compared with the BQ-CC17
Accumanager 10 larger than BQ-CC17

For home use, I see this as a big plus. Inserting and removing batteries is easy and obvious. Sliding negative contacts stay still when inserting AAA batteries, but slide when inserting AA batteries. The ample space between batteries makes for good ventilation, which in turns makes it easy to design the charger to charge at a faster rate.

The Accumanager does charge reasonably fast at 600mA for AA batteries, which is twice the rate of the Eneloop BQ-CC-17. It can charge 4 AA batteries at 600mA each, but it will not charge at a higher rate when only 1 or 2 batteries are inserted. 600mA is approximately the fastest charging rate possible that is still gentle on batteries, so therefore an excellent choice of charging rate.

This charger was simpler to use than any other smart charger I’ve tested. In addition to ease of battery insertion and removal, the indicator lights are completely obvious. Flashing means it’s charging, solid means it’s done. This is described on the device itself, so you never need to open the instruction booklet. The charger also gracefully charges batteries that have been too heavily discharged, unlike La Crosse models which often suggest a heavily depleted battery has gone bad.

Most modern AA battery chargers handle NiMH batteries and NiCD batteries. In addition to handling both of these battery chemistries, the Accumanager 10 can also charge RAM (Rechargeable Alkaline-Manganese) batteries. Any number of batteries of any of these chemistries and of either AA or AAA size can be inserted in any bay in any order. The unit automatically detects the battery chemistry so as to charge with appropriate current and cut off at the appropriate time (negative Delta V method). I’m not aware of other chargers at this price which can do this.

The cost of the Accumanager 10 is typically around $25, though sometimes lower. The charger comes with both a 100-240V AC power adaptor and a 12V DC car adapter. There is no carrying bag, though it’s possible to store in the original packaging.

I could stop the review at this point and conclude that this is easily the best charger for $25 or less (assuming you don’t care about portability). But there is something else that not only makes this the best budget charger, but in one way better than most premium chargers costing $35 – $65:

The main point of a smart charger is to keep charging until the battery is at full capacity, and then stop to prevent damage to the charger. I was very surprised to learn that this charger charges to a slightly higher capacity than other chargers. The test for this is simple. Remove a battery that just completed charging on a different brand of charger. Insert into the Accumanager. I’ve done this a few times with AA batteries charged by my La Crosse BC1000 charger. Every time I try this, the blinking light comes on for somewhere between 3-15 minutes to show that the battery is charging. That’s the equivalent of an additional 50mAh to 150mAh of additional capacity, or roughly 2% to 8% higher. If you look through Amazon reviews, you’ll see that I’m not the only one to have observed this. (EDIT: I forgot to mention that when inserted into a different charger such as the La Crosse, the battery shows as immediately full and it won’t add more charge. I should also note that this was a quick and dirty test that wasn’t a good testing methodology. A better test would be to do a discharge/charge test on my La Crosse to test batteries after they’ve been changed in different chargers).

In other words, if you use the Accumanager 10, your batteries may a little longer per charge than if they were charged with a different brand of charger.

Last Words

This charger may be the least attractive charger I’ve ever seen. The packaging does not particularly inspire confidence. It is surprisingly big, given the budget price. But this charger goes far beyond what I expect from a budget charger.

The AccuManager 10 is simple to use, does everything you could ever want from AA chargers without buttons or displays, and it even charges batteries to a slightly higher capacity than other brands. Chargers costing $35 and up provide a display and additional, button-controlled functionality. But that is not what this charger is about.

More than any other sub $25 charger I’ve tested, you just plug it in, and it works.

Author: Joe Golton

I’m a dad with a son who loves baseball. Professionally, I’ve been a software developer, investor, controller, and logistics manager. I now make my living from this blog, supplemented with occasional consulting gigs.

20 thoughts on “Accumanager 10 Review: Best Low Cost AA Battery Charger to Date”

  1. Zach – I also haven’t seen this charger available in the U.S. for the past couple months. Maybe a bunch came in from Germany a year ago and they all sold off?

    It’s a bummer, because it’s a really good charger that occupied the $20-$25 price point and had a unique combination of simplicity and features. The somewhat more expensive La Crosse Chargers are not too complicated but they are not as easy to use as the Accumanager.

  2. Yeah literally no one sells it. Lol maybe you wanna sell yours? I haven’t decided to get the LA Crosse or Powerex. Maybe even opus.

  3. Well, given how expensive it is in Germany, this suggests it has been discontinued. Perhaps the nice deals in the U.S. half a year ago were a result of the company dumping the remaining inventory into the U.S. market. This is all just speculation, but from what I’ve learned about business over the years, I can easily imagine that this is what happened.

    If you want something very good, you should choose between La Crosse, Maha, or Opus. Or you could make due with the inexpensive but adequate Panasonic model (which you can get as part of a package of Eneloops if you want).

  4. Good things never last. I just bough a 8 back of Panasonic from news egg for $21.99 with a $7 rebate. I may just cancel and buy the 4 pack with the charger and 4 pack without

  5. Sorry but hopefully last question. Do you know if they make fake Panasonic chargers? They have the 300mah one on ebay for $8.50 from USA.

  6. I’m not aware of fake Panasonic chargers but I’ve never really looked into it. I do know that there are some fake Eneloop batteries. If you buy direct from Amazon (not 3rd party seller) or Costco you’ll never get fake Eneloops. So I would never buy Eneloops from ebay. But I don’t really know if that’s the case on Panasonic Chargers.

    I bet quite a few people have more than one charger and want to dump their extra, because of the package deals. If you buy one of those Eneloop packs that has 10 AA batteries, and 4 AAA batteries, you get the charger thrown in essentially for free. See links above in the article.

  7. I’m just going to assume there real. There bulk packaging and he sold over 50 of them. I doubt it’s financial to make fake chargers. Also I never seen the 10 AA and 4aaa deal. I’ve seen it online saying Costco
    Has It for $22 for that deal all the time but not right now. Also I don’t have a member ship there. If not I’ll get 8 AA and a charger for $23.50 which is all I really need. Thank you.

  8. The Sony BCG34HRE4KN is a terrific charger. It was discontinued last year so I didn’t include it in my latest battery update. The price listed is higher than it used to be but it’s still a good deal as it includes batteries that are identical to early Eneloop batteries (2nd generation, if I remember right).

    Get it while you still can – when this seller runs out it may be unavailable. I can’t for the life of me understand why Sony would discontinue one of the best chargers on the market, but they did.

  9. It’s kind of strange that of the 5 low cost chargers I’ve recommended over the last few years, 4 have been discontinued. Only the Panasonic is still being manufactured.

  10. So would you say this is the best cheapest charger? It said it charges two battery’s at 1000mah and two at 525mah is that true? Again I found one on ebay for $17 it says new open package and only has 2 battery’s. Not that I care since I bought the new eneloop anyways. Also thanks for all your help. It’s funny sony made the best 18650 battery’s and decided to get ride of those as well

  11. I think all 5 low cost chargers I’ve recommended over the years were very good, but they all had their little differences so I’m not sure I could call one of them best. This one is a little more expensive than the others but has extra features, namely refresh. So it is kind of in between the super simple to use chargers like Panasonic and Accumanager, and the more complex but feature rich chargers like La Crosse or Maha.

  12. Alright thanks I bought the one that was $17 for $14 so I feel like it was a better option than the Panasonic one thanks for everything.

  13. Great posts on rechargeable resources! One remark though on the Accumanager seemingly ‘topping off’ a battery more so than other premium chargers.

    I know Maha’s C-9000 will terminate when it detects negative delta. (Battery saying, “Stop! Can’t take more.”) The higher the charging current, the sooner, yet more positive this signal will be. This may happen at about 80 to 90% of the batteries’ full capacity after which the charger goes into top off mode. So, at the time of the charger seemingly having terminated the charge, the battery may not be at full capacity yet where, when transpositioned in the Accumanager (charging at lower currents and thus triggering the negative delta closer to full capacity) it will indeed remain charging for a little bit more.

    Anyhow, just a little more detail as to why it continues charging ‘more’, thereby wishing that the Maha C-9000 charger would indicate when applying its top off charge and trickle charge.

  14. I appreciate all the information you have on your site regarding rechargeable batteries and chargers.

    I am shopping for a charger. I think I will pay the extra and go with one that can refresh old batteries because we have a number of older batteries that need it. We also ordered some new amazon basics made in Japan. Hopefully they hold up.

    My question is on Amazon the La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger and the Opus BT-C2000-charger-set AC 100-240V Battery Charger are nearly the same price $35-37. Considering there isn’t a significant price difference which do you recommend? Thank you!!

  15. Natalie – They are both good chargers, but given the nearly identical price, the Opus does more for you (but make sure it has firmware version 2.1 or higher). It gives you a higher potential charge rate (though you should only use that sparingly to maximize battery life). It more simply charges over-discharged batteries. It offers more flexibility and control while being just about as easy to use as the La Crosse.

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