This is a guide to the several equivalent LR44 batteries so you know which one to buy.
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LR44 is an alkaline 1.5 V battery. The most common equivalent batteries are:
Silver Oxide Equivalent Batteries
LR44 can be also be replaced with a silver oxide battery. The most common silver oxide equivalents are:
Many generic packages will list both AG13 and 357 on the label, which are different battery chemistries. Generally, if it lists any alkaline name, then the batteries are alkaline and not silver oxide.
Comparing Equivalent Batteries in Detail
So now you know the equivalent names, but even though the size is the same, they may not be exactly alike. Prices can range among equivalent batteries and knowing how to compare specifications will make you better informed for choosing one.
These days, brand name batteries are mainly selling silver oxide equivalents. So if you are buying from a big box retailer, you will only probably find 357 or 303 Energizer or Duracell batteries. But with the price of silver going up, they are getting more expensive all the time. Alkaline LR44 batteries are cheaper, but which one should you use?
- Voltage decreases with battery life
- Shorter life
Silver Oxide Equivalent
- Maintains voltage with use
- Longer life
The differences are the price, battery life, and voltage. If you are just using the battery for some toys, blinking lights, or a calculator, an alkaline might suit you better. Some electronics which require a certain voltage to operate such as a digital caliper, will fare better with a silver oxide battery.
Compare the following voltage discharge graphs. You can see silver oxide equivalent batteries maintain a higher voltage longer. This is why devices that require a certain voltage to operate will seem to eat up alkaline batteries because at 50% capacity, the alkaline battery will not have enough voltage to operate the device.
Chart 1. Alkaline discharge curve.
Chart 2. Silver oxide discharge curve.
Comparing Equivalent Capacities
If you use a lot of LR44 batteries, then the following info can be useful. When shopping for an LR44 equivalent, you can compare battery capacity by looking at the milliampere (mAh) number. Often they will claim 150 to 165 mAh capacity, but is that really true? To find out, you need to take a closer look at their data sheet to compare apples to apples.
|Chinese Brand 1. Lists capacity at 158 mAh.||Chinese Brand 2. Lists capacity at 165 mAh.|
|Energizer Brand. Lists capacity at 150 mAh.||Maxell Brand. Lists capacity at 165 mAh|
At a glance of the numbers, it seems the cheaper Chinese brand batteries have more capacity than the brand name Energizer batteries. But to compare equally, you must use the same cut off voltage which is the voltage the battery is considered fully discharged. Using a cut off voltage of 1.3V, we see Chinese brand 1 reaches it in 500 hours draining at 6800 ohms. Current is calculated by dividing the voltage by the resistance. To calculate capacity (mAh), we take the current and multiply by the hours:
Chinese Brand 1: 1.5/6.8 x 500 = 110 mAh.
Chinese Brand 2: 1.5/5.0 x 360 = 108 mAh
Energizer: 1.5/6.5 x 630 = 150 mAh
Maxell: 1.5/4.7 x 500 = 160 mAh
As you can see, these generic batteries have less capacity when compared with the same cut off voltage. The price of Chinese Brand 1 would need to be 73% of the Energizer price to be equal.