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The Best C Batteries

🕚 Updated September 2021

Perhaps their heyday has come and gone, but in several shapes and heavy-duty forms, the world still has to rely on the occasional use and trusted energy surge that only C batteries can offer.

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  Top Choice Best Budget Pick Best Rechargeable Pack Best Bulk Buy Best Hard-Wearing Choice
CopperTop C Alkaline Batteries
Super Heavy Duty C Batteries
C Batteries
MAX C Batteries
Industrial Alkaline C Batteries
Our SummaryThese alkaline C batteries are designed for a longer window of operation, especially when used with low-drain electronics.The ideal choice for vintage electronics that don't require a high demand of energy to function.These rechargeable C batteries feature sustained longevity that's not only better than standard cells but other rechargeable options, too.These alkaline C batteries promote long usage between sets and are easily stored, thanks to their 10-year shelf life.A 12-count of C batteries that aren't just built for high energy, but high energy in some of the most harsh conditions you can think of.
ProsLongevity on the shelf and when in-use, moderate unit size, capable of being used in varying temperatures.Simple by design and energy output, eco-friendly, wallet-friendly cost.Rechargeable design means repeated use over several months, eco-friendly.Large unit size, long battery retention, 10-year shelf life when not in use.Large unit size, built to take a beating, designed for high performance throughout non-stop usage.
ConsProne to draining quickly when used in less than ideal conditions, alkaline design adds extraneous weight.Limited unit size, batteries may not be long enough for all devices.Notably larger price tag, charging port can be difficult to manage, batteries may overheat while charging.Higher energy output makes them prone to leakage, weighty feel can aggravate hands over time.Prone to leaking, shorter shelf life than standard battery choices, weighty feel.
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The Best C Batteries

C batteries and a flashlight, electric razor, and robot.

If you’ve ever had to run out to the store for larger toys, bright flashlights, or booming radios, then you’re definitely well acquainted with the commanding sight of a pack of C batteries. However, it goes without saying that not all C batteries are created equal in this day and age. Despite their shared size, some offer a minimal type of energy, while others grant exactly what you would expect from their shell. If you’re on the hunt for the former or the latter, then here are a few C battery packs that we think you should check out.

Buying Guide for C Batteries

Various batteries stacked on each other.
Yevhen Roshchyn/Shutterstock.com

Why should you buy a pack of C batteries?

C batteries are the ideal choice of energy cell for devices that require no more than medium energy output, but they’re still known to provide more than enough power for high-drain devices and a wallop of power for the low-drain devices, too. But more so than buying these batteries simply because your device can only run on them, they’re an important buy to instigate an equally important purchase down the road. A variety of must-have emergency equipment runs on a pair or more of C batteries, so it’s necessary to have these at your disposal when the unexpected happens.

What should you look for in a C battery?

  • Battery Model: A key to determining appropriate power output and the overall life expectancy of a battery is its model type. Yes, there’s more than one type of C battery, and they share their own set of perks and drawbacks. These varying C batteries include the carbon-zinc model, which is inexpensive and simple by design, the alkaline alternative, a slightly pricier but powerful choice over time, and the lithium battery, a top-drawer option that runs you a top dollar for some of the longest-lasting energy on the market.
  • Intended Usage: The type of devices that you’ll be powering with your next pair of batteries will and should come into play, as the improper usage of certain cells might not provide you with enough or with an overabundance of power. For high-drain devices, like digital cameras, power tools, and Bluetooth electronics, you’ll want to seek a pack of C batteries that are fueled by top-level voltage. For low to mid-drain devices that don’t ask you to go above and beyond, like radios, children’s toys, and remote controllers, you should look to C batteries that employ a moderate voltage.
  • Unit Size: It’s wise to consider the unit size of the C batteries that you invest in. When it comes to bundling batteries, you really can’t go wrong, as their extensive shelf life means that they won’t falter within several years of your purchase, assuming that you keep them in ideal conditions. Your bundling decision really comes down to what you need in the current moment. A failsafe for times of uncertainty? Buying in bulk it is. A quick fix for the drained TV remote? A smaller pack will suffice.

How can you preserve energy in a pack of non-rechargeable batteries?

While rechargeable C batteries are undoubtedly the best investment that you could make for long-term usage, there’s still plenty of mileage that you can get out of your standard and high-end packs. For starters, it’s important that you not only turn off battery-operated devices when they’re not in use, but that you also remove the cells from the devices entirely if you really want to extend their life. Electronics draw energy from batteries whether you’re using them or not, so removing the power supply is your best bet to maintaining steady energy over time. Additional means, like storing spare batteries in ideal conditions (room temperature) and without their contacts touching one another, also assist in their preservation.

Our Picks for the Most Efficient C Batteries

Best Battery Life

Duracell CopperTop C Alkaline Batteries

These alkaline C batteries are designed for a longer window of operation, especially when used with low-drain electronics.

Pros: Granting users an especially long battery life when in use and when stored on the shelf for safekeeping, this eight-count of C batteries is one of the most dependable cells on the market. A trusted name like Duracell means that you’re unlikely to receive duds or defective batteries in a pack anytime soon. Moreover, what you’ll get in each pack are batteries that are great for daily devices and capable of keeping said devices running even in hot or cold temperatures.

Cons: Despite the ability to work in varying conditions, these C batteries weren’t designed for harsh environments. Extreme heat or cold will negatively affect the battery performance, thus limiting the amount of time that you can actually use your device. A universal drawback to alkaline batteries is their overall weight. C batteries come hefty as is, so the inclusion of alkaline properties can tack on unnecessary weight and bulk.

Bottom Line: Coming from a top-selling brand name that’s proven multiple times why you keep a pack of their batteries in the media console drawers, it’s hard to beat these Duracell Alkaline C Batteries that provide exceptional power for moderate-use devices.


Best Budget Pick

Panasonic Super Heavy Duty C Batteries

The ideal choice for vintage electronics that don't require a high demand of energy to function.

Pros: Great for simple electronics that can’t handle the constant surge of energy that modern alkaline batteries emit, these C batteries are another solid choice for your low-drain tech and household products. This two-pack contains no added mercury or lead, so it’s an environmentally friendly choice for users who already share concerns about excess battery usage. Given how long a pair of batteries last and the devices that you’ll be storing them in, these cells are offered at an immensely affordable cost.

Cons: The most glaring drawback underlying this two-pack is its limited content. Most users tend to buy batteries that come in multiple pairs, and because this option only features one, some users might feel that it’s worth spending a few extra dollars on in order to prevent a re-up so soon. Some users have also reported that these batteries aren’t long enough to fit in the positive/negative slots of some devices, nor do they hold up well with excessive use.

Bottom Line: Simple in approach and cost efficiency, this pair of Panasonic Super Heavy Duty Carbon C Batteries is the best choice for undemanding devices that don’t require a tidal wave of battery power to function.


Best Rechargeable Pack

EBL C Batteries

These rechargeable C batteries feature sustained longevity that's not only better than standard cells but other rechargeable options, too.

Pros: The modern choice for everyday technology—and we do mean tech devices that are used every day—this four-pack of rechargeable C batteries favors endurance over repeated use above all else. Moreover, these cells have a low self-discharge rate, so even when they’re left in storage for two years, you’ll have a majority of the battery’s power readily available without having to charge it. They’re also mercury-, cadmium-, and palladium-free, so eco-conscious users can take a breather.

Cons: While its overall price isn’t outrageous, its price per battery might leave some users second-guessing a purchase or asking themselves if they will pay less in the long run so long as they pay up right now. Some users have reported that the batteries themselves heat up to worrying degrees on occasion. Plus, you’ll have to buy a charging port separately in order to recharge these batteries.

Bottom Line: These Amazon Basics C Cell Rechargeable Batteries arrive pre-charged and can be recharged up to 1,000 times, making them a great cost-saver for people who burn through C batteries.


Best Bulk Buy

Energizer MAX C Batteries

These alkaline C batteries promote long usage and are easily stored thanks to their 10-year shelf life.

Pros: For people who are seeking the perfect bulk purchase to combat times of doubt, these alkaline C batteries come to you in a sizable package that’s more than worth the price. Each pair that’s included in this 12-pack features exceptionally long battery life and long-term power retention thanks to their reinforced alkaline properties. These batteries are great for using right away or for storing for a rainy day, given their 10-year shelf life.

Cons: Because these are alkaline batteries, they’re better equipped to provide a higher form of energy, but this comes at the expense of overall comfort. These batteries will feel weightier in the device you’re holding, and that can prove especially discomforting if the device already weighs a few pounds or if you live with hand and wrist complications that irritate with the additional mass.

Bottom Line: Well-suited for low- to mid-drain electronic devices but still offering plenty of strength for high-drain devices, this 12-pack of Energizer Max C Batteries features the proper ratio of longevity to content per pack.


Best Hard-Wearing Choice

Energizer Industrial Alkaline C Batteries

A 12-count of C Batteries that aren't just built for high energy, but high energy in some of the harshest conditions you can think of.

Pros: With durability that outmatches every form of competition, these 12 C batteries are designed for the toughest work you can throw their way. They’re capable of withstanding temperatures from the raging high of 130 degrees to the polar low of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Energy output over time is largely dependent on the device that you’re powering, but these batteries can still last for upward of 24 hours of nonstop use in a high-drain electronic, such as flashlights, tools, and medical devices.

Cons: The high-energy output of this 12-pack might lead to leakage over time, which is why this option is listed as having a 7-year shelf life as opposed to the standard 10 years that most traditional C batteries can grant you. Their industrial nature is also due, in large part, to their alkaline side, which, as previously noted, can add extraneous weight to already hefty electronic devices.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for truly strong batteries that know how to function in the roughest conditions for longer periods of time, then these Energizer Industrial Alkaline C Batteries should be your first choice for ensured performance levels. 

Final Thoughts

The ideal C battery should reflect the same qualities that you believe your electronic device bears. Because if you’re wielding an item that’s renowned for its durability and long life span, then it’s vital that you sustain it with the same kind of battery power. These C batteries can provide the power that’s needed.

Zachary McCarthy Zachary McCarthy
Zachary McCarthy is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English from James Madison University and experience in blogging, copywriting, and WordPress design and development. In his free time, he can be found frying up Tangsuyuk or watching Korean films and MMA events. Read Full Bio »
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