Top critical review
93 people found this helpful
lousy construction, but VERY NICE to use!
on August 5, 2012
After almost two years of regular use, I felt obliged to raise my rating of this device, and comment further on my experience with it.
First of all, *everything* that I stated about its construction quality was true, and I am still disappointed by it; I'm even more disappointed because I have come to *really* love this charger (!!), and having to using a string to hold it closed is very annoying!!
However, it has become my Number One charger, for several reasons, all of which I alluded to in my original review.
1. The ability to charge odd numbers of batteries is Supremely valuable in this world, where so many of my devices use either one or three batteries. I approved of that in my original review, but the reality over time has been that I appreciate this far more than my original review indicated; I have come to treasure this charger!!
2. The LCD display on this unit is superb!!! Every other charger just gives a done/not_done LED for each battery, but this unit shows the current level of charge for EACH battery, and then just shows a solid, non-blinking battery when the battery is fully done... it is Far clearer than the plain LED indicators are, and provides much more confidence to the user!!
3. Although my initial impression of the device was that it might fall apart at any moment, the reality has been that I've been using it for two years now, using it HEAVILY for the last few months, and it is Fine!! I've seen no indications that it has any thoughts of failing on me... so clearly it is more robust than my original impressions indicated.
I still cannot bring myself to give it 5 stars, because the initial issues with its construction were valid, and I still have a cover that will not stay closed - and having to deal with the string is very annoying, especially now that I use it regularly!! Also, I suspect (given the initial issues that I had with it), that some folks may well end up with a device that does not work at all, right out of the box. However, if a user is willing to deal with these issues, and is fortunate enough to get an initially-working unit, they will certainly appreciate its unique capabilities.
BTW, some reviewers have commented that this device does not charge batteries fully; I can assure everyone that MY unit definitely was fully charging each battery completely. I have charged countless batteries, both NiMH and LI+, in this charger; I purchased a batttery-charge tester, and for the first hundred or so batteries that I ran through this device, I was checking every battery that came out of it, and they always measured at absolutely full charge on the tester. Furthermore, they have all held up quite well in use, which suggest that the charge tester is correct.
My current summary: GO AHEAD AND TRY THIS CHARGER!! With Amazon's unconditional return policy, you have nothing to lose!! If it *does* work for the first month, and if you don't mind using a string to hold the D#&@ lid shut, you will not regret owning this charger.
Original review from August 5th, 2012:
I've used numerous NiMH battery chargers before, but this is my first that will handle C and D cells, which I suddenly had a need for.
My primary, overwhelming observation is that the construction quality of the device is *horrible* !! Right out of the box, the battery cover panel does not stay closed at all, we have to use a rubber band to hold it closed. Of the four spring-driven strips that hold the battery in place, one did not make contact with the battery at all, until I did some bending and tweaking of it. The box warps a little with even light flexing. Absolutely miserable construction; I can't even blame China for this, I've had many inexpensive Chinese-made products which have been excellent examples of physical engineering. This one is a piece of C*.
However, once I tweaked the bar around so that the fourth battery would actually charge, the machine brought all four pre-charged NiMH batteries to full charge in a couple of hours, according to my inexpensive Chinese-made battery-charge tester, which has been working very reliably for months now.
I *really* liked the display information on this unit. First of all, it's the only four-battery charger that I've ever seen, that would charge ONE battery; all the others have always required pairs. That will be *really* handy with the AAA batteries, which I usually use in sets of 3 because of the sweet LED flashlights that I've been using. It independently reports charge on each of the four batteries, and stopped charging when they were full, displaying a clear, simple FULL message.
Clearly, alot of thought went into the user-interface and general design of this unit. I just wish they had put as much care into the mechanical aspects as they did in the others.