While more battery-powered tools and equipment now feature built-in rechargeable batteries, there are still plenty that work with AA, AAA, 9V, CR123, and other types of alkaline, NiMH, and lithium cells.
How do you store extra batteries in your tool box or cabinet? How do you carry them in your tool bag?
You can throw them into your bag willy-nilly or dump them into a ziploc bag and then your tool bag, but both are bad ideas. You could line them up and stash them in a pouch or tool bag pocket, which can work well at times. Securing a couple of batteries together with a rubber band can also work, but there’s a limit as to how many batteries you can do that with. With loosely organized batteries, sometimes you can find them right away, but other times – good luck hunting.
I have been using PowerPax battery holders for years, and I continue to find them highly recommendable. I use them at home for organizing rechargeable NiMH batteries, and on the go for packing and carrying AA or AAA cells. I keep a couple of CR123 batteries in another caddy near my go-to flashlight.
I talked about these battery caddies a few times over the years, starting with this 2011 post, and I will continue to post about them every now and then.
I wouldn’t necessarily call these PowerPax battery holders indispensable, but they sure do make things easier.
They’re especially convenient for storing rechargeable NiMH battery cells, or for carrying depleted alkaline batteries when there’s no place to dispose of them. Fresh batteries can be inserted with the positive terminal facing up, and spent batteries can be inserted with the positive terminal facing down. That way, you can tell at a glance which batteries are fresh, and which need to be recharged or disposed of, depending on the battery chemistry.
These battery caddies are not sealed, and so you still need to protect them from the elements.
Price: $5 and up
Buy Now(4AA Holder via Amazon)
Buy Now(6AAA Holder via Amazon)
Buy Now(More Styles via Amazon)
There are lots of different sizes and colors available, but I think the 4AA or 6AAA models are a good place to start.
I have a couple of sizes, but not 9V yet. When I need a 9V battery backup, which is rare, I’ll pack it in a tiny pouch meant for camera batteries.
The last I checked, PowerPax battery holders are still made in the USA.
I like the little plastic cases. Add benefits of those include some degree of dirt / moisture protection, and the ability to store smaller sizes in a case meant for bigger batteries, e.g. AAA in an AA case.
I use the small plastic cases religiously. Especially since you can orient the batteries…one way for charged, other way for discharged.
Home depot carries them too on their website for cheaper.
These look great! I kind of hate batteries when I have to carry them. I’ve tried the various things you mention, with mixed success. I just put 3 of them in my shopping cart, the glow in the dark ones might be good during a power outage, or even to find in the bottom of a dark bag, so I got a couple of those, since they weren’t much more.
I’m never quite sure on this, but if I use your link to put them in my shopping cart and then get something else later (two of these were add-on items) do you still get credit for the purchase?
Amazon has a 24 hour cookie window. If something is added to the cart within 24 hours, and then purchased within x-amount of hours or days (I’m not sure about the number), the referral is credited to ToolGuyd. I’m never quite sure of things either; with different devices, and Amazon sometimes even using referral links within their own site, it’s hard to know for sure. If a sale gets credited to ToolGuyd, great (thank you), but don’t worry about it, or expend extra effort to ensure it.
The glow in the dark holders might work okay in case of a power outage, but they’d have to be kept out in the open to ensure “charging” of the phosphorescent material.
I organize little things in DeWALT’s little Tic Tac boxes, I keep 48 of these Tic Tac boxes in DeWALT DS100 Box, they are the best to organize little things like small screws, washers, spring washers, nuts, bolts, batteries, rivet nuts, rivets and many others, nothing gets messy like this.
Like the little boxes that bits come in? Where do you buy empty ones?
Really Useful Boxes .14L Box holds AA & AAA’s perfectly and are $1 or less at Staples and many other places.
A 14 liter box? How many batteries are you storing? I would like to see a photo of your use of this box. Really Useful Boxes are amazing.
Oops. I didn’t see the decimal point.
How many AA & AAA batts will the 0.14L Really Useful Box Hold? You can buy the 0.14L as a set: https://www.amazon.com/Really-Useful-16-Box-Organizer/dp/B004VRQF7A/
I have some 0.2L and 0.3L Really Useful Boxes. Those are pretty good for bulk battery storage. The 0.3L will hold 30 AA (vertically or laid flat) and 60 AAA (laid flat). The 0.2L will hold 14 AA (laid flat) and 36 AAA (laid flat). The 0.2L box is the same footprint as the 0.3L box, but half the height. The 0.3L is also available as a set: https://www.staples.com/Really-Useful-0-3-L-Storage-Boxes-and-Organiser-Clear-16X0-3CORG/product_325906
I have a bunch of the 12 slot versions for rechargeable batteries for AA and AAA. I also use the 9 volt ones for smoke detector batteries. I have a couple of 4 slot ones for my camera bag (so they lay flat) for AAs for my flash. They’re easy to use and fit in drawers with minimal wasted space. Since you can load the batteries either way, I turn the discharged batteries negative pole up so I know when it’s time to do some charging.
I wish they made one for CR2032 batteries — though I’m not sure how that would work.
I carry the AA and AAA holders in my work bag and they have saved my bacon many times over the years. And they have also earned me many friends!
My local chemist (drug store?) sells a gout cocktail that comes in a handy plastic pill bottle which just happens to be the exact size for an A sized battery. Painfully I have plenty of these.
Having a ton of experience with high-discharge li-ion cells, I’d NEVER carry a loose battery in my pocket, or anywhere else I didn’t want to light on fire. These battery holders seem nice, I’m personally fond of solid plastic boxes purpose-built for holding a variety of cells.
Ever seen an “exploding e-cigarette lights man’s pants on fire” story on the news? In 99% of these instances it’s a guy who was carrying loose spare batteries in his pocket and the terminals contacted his keys or loose change in his pocket, sending them into thermal runaway…
This is less of an issue for low-voltage AA or AAA cells, but carrying loose batteries is still poor practice.
I have one of these for my 18650 batteries, its probably the best battery holder for this size. I could one for 21700 batteries too.
Also: Winter temperatures prove these PowerPax holders are tough.
I’ve had various cases blow apart when they’re cold, but so far (10 years?) all of my PowerPax holders (in various traveling tool bags) are like new.
OK, Toolguyd, here’s your 3D team’s challenge:
Make us a printable model, print it in different materials, and tell us the least expensive one that still holds up well.
I’ll let Ben decide whether to try that or not.
To be fair, if something is commercially available and affordable, it’d only be worth the time and effort to design, troubleshoot, and built something similar if special customizations are required. But if not, I can’t see how a 3D printed version could compare to an injection molded one.
There are a bunch of creative solutions on Thingiverse, for those who have 3D printers and don’t quite like what’s available to buy. https://www.thingiverse.com/tag:battery_holder
Came here to say this, but you beat me to it! =) MANY good ideas and models on Thingiverse, including one which is very similar to the commercial product you wrote about… I’ve tried many. Really, it comes down to personal preference. But if you’ve got a 3d printer, these are super easy to make yourself.
Oh, sorry, I should have been more clear. I know all about Thingiverse and build vs buy. I was thinking of this as an article idea.
ARTICLE: Show Toolguyd readers how to approach a “Could I make that? ” or ” Could I make that with this little tweak?” scenario. Explain going from the product you see to a 3D model to a print. Explain what filament you’d use to match t by e purpose/environment.
I leave batteries in their store packaging untill i need to use them. If they are spent then I don’t put them back in the package and don’t’ care about them.
Found this out the hard way on a trip, had a bunch of spare batteries in my carry on backpack and a few managed to jumble themselves into contact. Reached in to get my headphones as we were taking off and the batteries were screaming hot. Thankfully it wasn’t worse!
Six bucks for a holder for four batteries? That is a joke isn’t it?
Hey if you’d like a more expensive model, I know of a 4 AA battery case for $29.99 https://thyrm.com/product/cellvault-xl-battery-storage/
I have a lot of these. What I like most over a generic box, is they work great with only one battery or completely full, and I can tell at a glance weather the batteries are flat or charged. (Tits up are GTG.) Other than the older crystal clear ones, they are very rugged and dependable. The 4xAAA+8XAA+1X9V and 4x9V lives in my travel toolbox. Can’t imagine working without it.
I also depend on my 18650 case daily. Keeps the charged sorted from the discharged.
Rotopax usually runs a great Black Friday sale, where I usually order some for stocking stuffers.
Thanks, bought a few. Crazy that the 12xAA are cheaper than the x8, and about the same price as the x4.
Would be nice to see a button battery one, as they seem to be the most dangerous when haphazardly stored. It would be cool to to see them making the packs
It’s a bit bulky, but AA and 14500 fit pretty nicely in 1/2″ PVC, and 18650 fit pretty nicely in 3/4″ PVC.
I’ve got some threaded pieces cut down to fit 1-2 batteries of each type, and am going to glue on the smooth caps (one of these days when I get some spare time…), and just hand tighten the threaded end. I’m also planning on putting some EVA foam in there, just to minimize rattling and such.
I haven’t yet figured out anything for AAA, but I’m not as concerned with those as I am with the lithium batteries.
Best way to store them in bulk is a plastic ammo box. Search for “ammo box” on Amazon. Just find the corresponding ammo size that matches the battery type.
Looking for a pen sized holder for plugtop fuses any know of a product?
Not specifically, but if you search for “EDC capsule” or even “EDC toothpick holder,” you might find some suitable products.