Well, I am deeply disappointed. Who knew that you can’t use rechargeable batteries in every sort of device that is battery-powered? Not me.

My much-loved mini Maglite is a case in point.

This tough little flashlight is just the right size for holding in the same hand as a dog’s leash, there being a touch too much arthritis in the other hand for easily handling of anything smaller than a doorknob. The mini Maglite is water-resistant and shock-resistant, and it even came with a nifty little holster to hang off my belt. Best, it casts a light bright enough to let me scout the yard for skunks when taking the dogs out before bedtime.

Unfortunately, the same miraculous bulb that does the yard-lighting job of a much larger flashlight is picky when it comes to battery replacement.

Now, I greatly prefer to use rechargeable batteries whenever possible, rather than alkaline disposables that fade and die and go to the landfill as tiny tubes of toxic waste. Rechargeables can be reused a great many times, and when they do finally die there is a recycling program for them that is run by the manufacturers. Now, that just makes good sense!

But it seems that only alkalines will work in my mini Maglite — for reasons that elude my unscientific mind, apparently the bulb will burn out if rechargeable batteries are used.

So, I am disappointed.

Who knew that rechargeable batteries aren’t always completely interchangeable with the old style batteries of the same size? (AA is AA is AA? Not!)

Fortunately, as it turns out, He Who Hogs The Power Tools did know this — and his esoteric knowledge of things electrical no doubt saved the life of my Maglite, and saved me from stumbling into a stinky old skunk in the dark.

So. What other battery-powered devices can’t take the environmentally friendle rechargeables? And do they always warn you of such limitations on the outside of the package, before you buy a thing and take it home?

Just wondering.

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