Sometimes it is taxing to find the right batteries for your equipment, but doing so is crucial. C and D batteries are the most common rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries found in most homes and offices. It can be challenging to distinguish between the two at first, but once you understand what each does and what your device requires, you’ll be good to go.
C and D batteries are dry cells often produced for medium-high drain applications, including toys, remote controls, and flashlights. Although C and D batteries may look quite similar, in reality, they differ in capacity, size, and other properties, raising the question of whether or not they may be used interchangeably and what the actual differences are.
It is crucial that you understand the various sorts, sizes, and chemistries of the batteries and how they will function on your device before you start browsing the end cap of the store where you buy your batteries and become overwhelmed by the wide variety of options available.
This article highlights the differences between the C and D batteries in terms of sizes, properties, and other features. Read on to find out how the two compare with each other.
C vs. D Batteries: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Up to 20000mAh
|NiMH, NiCd, Li-ion, Alkaline
|Low and medium-high drain applications
|High drain applications
|49.5 ± 0.5 mm
|59.0 ± 0.5 mm
|25.3 ± 0.2 mm
|32.3 ± 0.2 mm
|50mm x 26.2mm
|61.5mm x 33.2mm
C vs. D Batteries: What’s the Difference?
If you take a close look at the batteries, you will notice that the alphabets represent their sizes. The further away from the alphabet the battery name is, the larger it is. For instance, AAA is smaller than C batteries. In this case, D batteries are larger than C batteries. The standard size for C batteries is 50mm x 26.2mm, D batteries measure 61.5mm x 33.2mm.
Similarly, C and D batteries differ in diameter and height, with C batteries measuring less. The standard height and diameter for C batteries are 49.5 ± 0.5 mm and 25.3 ± 0.2 mm, respectively, while D batteries measure 59.0 ± 0.5 mm and 61.5mm x 33.2mm, respectively. It is important to note that these are only standard measurements; the sizes can differ slightly across different brands.
Basically, C and D batteries are 1.5 volts. This makes you wonder what the difference is. For this same reason, people think the two types of batteries can be used interchangeably.
Considering that D batteries are larger than C batteries, it goes without saying that it is impractical to use them interchangeably. D batteries cannot fit in the battery compartments intended for C batteries, and C batteries cannot fit in compartments meant for D batteries.
C batteries are manufactured to provide a voltage of 1.5 and less overload capacity, making them ideal for small and medium drain applications, typically smaller devices. Such devices include small flashlights, toys, and other portable devices.
On the other hand, while D batteries provide the same amount of voltage, they have higher overload capacity and are intended for high-drain applications like large flashlights, radio receivers, and alarm systems.
Since D batteries are larger than C batteries, it goes without saying that they have more weight. D batteries have an average weight of 160-180 grams, while C batteries have an average weight of 65 grams.
While the two battery types provide the same amount of voltage, they differ significantly in capacity. D batteries are larger than C batteries, storing more charge and lasting longer. This makes D batteries undoubtedly more powerful and ideal for devices that require high amounts of current.
C batteries have a capacity of up to 8,000 mAh, while D batteries have a capacity of up to 20,000 mAh. Next time you think of buying batteries, remember a battery’s capacity to store energy increases with its size. So, despite both big and small batteries being rated at 1.5V, the big battery has a larger energy reserve and a longer battery life.
How long both batteries will last depends on a number of factors, such as current draw, application, and how long you use them. Generally, though, D batteries tend to last longer as they have more energy storage than C batteries.
Note that C and D batteries made of lithium chemistry will last longer and perform better than typical batteries. D batteries will also outlast C batteries even when made of the same chemistry.
C vs. D Batteries: 8 Must-Know Facts
- C batteries have a standard 1.5 voltage and 8,000 mAh capacity.
- C and D batteries provide the same amount of voltage but differ in the capacity to store charge.
- D batteries are larger than C batteries so they have more space to store charge.
- C batteries are ideal for small and medium high-drain applications like small flashlights and toys. In contrast, D batteries are suitable for high-drain applications like radio receivers and larger flashlights.
- D batteries carry a voltage of 1.5v and have a standard capacity of up to 20,000 mAh.
- Because of their size, D batteries tend to be more durable than C batteries. They are, however, bulkier and more expensive.
- Both C and D batteries can be connected in series or parallel to increase capacity or voltage.
- The battery chemistry of both C and D batteries affects their quality and durability. C batteries are available in NiMH, NiCd, Li-ion, and Alkaline, while D batteries are available in NiMH and NiCd.
C vs. D Batteries: Which One is Better?
It all trickles down to one answer: it depends on its use. The best battery depends on the device you need batteries for and the battery compartment size. It is impractical to purchase larger batteries for a small-compartment device or purchase small batteries for a large-compartment device.
C and D batteries typically differ in capacity, size, consumption rate, and other factors. However, each is built for a suitable application scenario, preventing them from totally replacing one another.
To get the best out of your investment, go for rechargeable batteries when and where possible. This will help minimize the stress of regularly purchasing a pack that will need to be exhausted after a few months. Remember to check your device’s current and voltage requirements before purchasing batteries. It also helps to buy batteries with higher mAh ratings as they have longer run times. We recommend buying batteries from recognizable brands and avoiding generic and cheap batteries with diminished capacity. Such batteries will likely spend more time charging than in use.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Rakesh Pittamandalam/Shutterstock.com.