In A Nutshell
- ZTS MBT-1 can test more than 30 different battery types and gives meaningful, accurate readings.
- The ZTS Mini is an affordable and portable alternative. It tests 15 battery types.
Musicians, professional photographers, hobbyists, parents, and anyone else who is a frequent battery user should invest in a quality professional-grade battery tester. Be cautious of the slew of cheap Chinese battery testers available for sale on the internet. These products do not give an accurate reading, and instead will do little more than tell you whether or not your battery is dead.
Consider the Amprobe, the best selling battery tester on Amazon. It is available for $7, which sounds too good to be true because it is. As expected, it is flimsily constructed and gives iffy reports on rechargeable batteries. As many reviewers noted, it is only good at identifying dead batteries. Worse, it gives inaccurate battery readings and gives artificially high “good” readings on batteries that are on the precipice of death. That can cause unfortunate mix ups, like taking a battery “good” on charge to an important photo-shoot, only for the flash to die after a few snaps.
Luckily, ZTS makes a quality tester that gives a dependable reading. This battery tester is manufactured here in the United States and gives an accurate measurement in a very short period of time. Just place the battery on the nickel-plated brass contact and wait for the bar at the top to show what percentage charge the battery holds.
It tests almost every battery type, including NiMH, Lithium-Ion, Alkaline Lithium, Coin Cells, CR1620 Cells. It has a row of six LED testers that gives percentage reading of how much life the battery has left.
This is not a portable tester — it weighs over a pound and is 8 inches tall.
A Portable Option
If you want a professional quality battery tester that can fit in a purse or glove box, ZTS has the MINIMBT. The Mini is exactly half the MBT: half the size, it can test half the number of batteries (15), and is half the price.
The Mini tests 1.5v alkaline (AA, AAA, C, D, N), 1.2v NiMH/NiCd, 3v photo lithium, and 9v alkaline batteries.
1 thought on “The Best Battery Tester”
I have both the ZTS MBT-1 and the ZTS Mini (or MINIMBT). I purchased the MINI first on August 8, 2011. After using it for testing and verifying alkaline batteries I have been able to save money by not throwing out semi-dead alkalines (using them in low drain flashlights to use them up). I was able to better monitor the different brands of rechargeable batteries and weed out the poor performers. Loved functionality and the size of the MINI, but started getting devices that used button cells it couldn’t test. When it stopped working unexpectedly after 5 years (my sons were young, so there may have been a drop involved), I opted for the full size ZTS MBT-1 (December 5, 2016). The only battery I have that it doesn’t test are 9V rechargeables. Thinking about buying a new MINI so that I can have a tester with my in my office knapsack. I highly recommended both of these ZTS testers.