AAA batteries vs AA - Which One Does What?

  • 18 Oct, 2021

You may have wondered about the difference between AAA and AA batteries. In some ways, they are very similar, apart from the obvious difference in size. They are both 1.5V batteries and have similar uses. So, AAA batteries vs AA, what's the difference? Being smaller the AAA battery may contain less charge than an AA battery, but the type of battery is also important.

AAA batteries are used in many of the same types of appliances as AA batteries, but high-powered devices are more likely to use the larger AA batteries because a higher-charged battery will last longer before it needs to be replaced.

Types of AA and AAA batteries

There are two main types of disposable batteries, the sort you throw away when they run out of power. Zinc chloride batteries are cheaper but hold less charge. A zinc chloride batterie may be suitable for a device that uses less power.

Alkaline batteries hold a much higher charge and are, therefore, more suitable for devices that have higher power demands. While they are more expensive to buy, they will last longer and could be more cost-effective for high-powered devices.

Comparison - AAA batteries vs AA

What are the differences between AAA and AA batteries and what can they each be used for? Are there reasons to use one or the other?

  • AAA batteries are smaller than AA batteries.
  • AAA batteries hold less charge than AA batteries.
  • AA are more suitable for high-powered devices, AAA for lower-powered gadgets.
  • AA batteries will generally last longer than AAA batteries.
  • AAA batteries may be used in smaller appliances simply because of their size.

Rechargeable Batteries

When you make the choice between AAA batteries vs AA batteries, you then need to choose between disposable and rechargeable batteries. While rechargeable batteries are a lot more expensive to buy, they can be cost-effective in the long run.

The upside to rechargeable batteries is that they reduce waste and don't need to be replaced when they run down. A small downside, if you have only one set of batteries, is waiting for the batteries to charge. However, rapid chargers are available, reducing the recharging time to minutes.