9V Batteries

Unlike cylindrical dry cells, 9-volt batteries are rectangular with rounded edges. They also have both terminals on the same end rather than on opposite ends. A 9V battery contains multiple cells stacked together and enclosed in a water-resistant wrapper. Its high voltage output makes it suitable for powering transistor radios, flashlights, and smoke detectors. Staples® offers a variety of high-performance 9-volt multi-cell batteries.

Power Low-Drain Devices With Disposable 9-Volt Batteries
A disposable 9V battery can be made of alkaline, lithium, or zinc-carbon cells. Alkaline variants are the most popular. They have a typical capacity of 550mAh and are ideal for powering flashlights and portable radios. Zinc-carbon 9-volt power cells are inexpensive and can store up to 400mAh. However, they tend to perform poorly in cold weather. Lithium cells make the most powerful type of 9V batteries. They can store up to 1200mAh of electric charge, have very low self-discharge rates, and last 7 to 15 years. These features make them perfect for powering smoke detectors and similar low-drain and infrequently used devices.

Choose Rechargeable 9-Volt Batteries for Regularly Used Electronics
Disposable 9-volt power cells do have higher charge capacities than rechargeable ones and can power devices longer. However, running high-drain electronics with single-use batteries can get costly. Rechargeable cells deliver comparable performance and offer a much longer shelf life. The three major types of rechargeable 9V batteries use NiCd, NiMH, and lithium-ion cells. A 9-volt NiCd battery is no longer available in most markets for a number of reasons. They contain a toxic metal, experience memory effect, have low charge capacity, and drain rapidly.

In contrast, 9-volt NiMH batteries can store up to 300mAh of electric charge and power electronics for longer. There are also LSD (low self-discharge) NiMH power cells in this size with much lower self-discharge rates. Choose these when stocking up on spare batteries. While NiCd and NiMH 9-volt batteries use 6 to 8 individual 1.2-volt cells, a lithium-ion 9-volt battery houses two cells with nominal voltages between 3.7 and 4.2V. Rechargeable 9-volt lithium-ion batteries have twice the capacity of NiMH ones.

Are There Special Chargers for 9-Volt Batteries?
Yes. Since these power cells are physically different from cylindrical AA, AAA, C, and D batteries, they require different chargers designed to fit rectangular units. The different types of rechargeable 9V batteries also require separate chargers.

Are All 9-Volt Batteries the Same Size?
Yes. The typical 9-volt cell is 1.9 inches tall, 1.0 inch wide, and 0.68 inches thick with a 0.5-inch gap between its terminals. The industry designation for this battery size is PP3. While there are slight variations between batteries made by different brands, most can comfortably fit inside battery compartments made for 9-volt cells. However, there are other batteries that deliver 9 volts besides the common 9-volt battery. These come in other sizes. Two available examples of these are PP7 and PP9 batteries.

Do Rechargeable 9-Volt Batteries Have the Same Voltage as Disposable Ones?
No. Disposable 9-volt cells deliver 9 volts but rechargeable ones have higher and lower nominal voltages. The three common voltage outputs for rechargeable 9V batteries are 7.2, 8.4, and 9.6 volts. Those rated at 9.6V are rare and ideal for power-hungry, high-drain devices. For optimal performance, choose 9.6 and 8.4-volt batteries to power electronics that run on 9-volt primary cells.
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