How-to Choose the Right Type of Battery for Your Handheld Scanner

January 30, 2017

Most people only think about batteries when they run out of power, and even then they rarely think too closely about the replacement That’s a shame, since choosing the right battery can make a surprisingly big difference. Long-lasting batteries save valuable time, since workers don’t need to waste time finding replacement batteries nearly as often, or wait for a new set to arrive. Losing access to a scanner part of the way through a shift can also lead to late or incomplete inventories, which hurts any business that is worried about loss prevention or keeping accurate records. It’s worth going to the effort of picking the right battery, especially because the process isn’t terribly complicated.

Check the Requirements

The first step in picking a battery for a barcode scanner is checking the machine’s requirements. All batteries work on the same chemical principles, but the precise composition and the chemicals involved do vary depending on the type. Using the wrong one can lead to mechanical problems, so starting with a compatibility check is the best way to narrow down the choices.

The best way to get this information is to check the barcode reader itself. Some of them will have the requirements written in or around the battery compartment, or even written on the battery itself, but others will not. In that case, check the reader’s documentation. If that manual isn’t available or does not include information of the reader’s battery, contact the manufacturer to ask for help.

Check the Battery Life and Price

If there are multiple batteries to choose from, you should compare both the expected lifespan of the battery and its price. In financial terms, the best deal will be the one that offers the highest ratio of lifespan to price, even if that isn’t the battery that lasts the longest time. It’s better to think in terms of dollars per hour of use rather than dollars per battery.

However, that isn’t the only factor to consider. A shorter lifespan means slightly more time spent replacing batteries, and it necessitates dedicating more space to storing spares. The increased cost of storage is equivalent to a slight increase in price for the battery, and the time spent replacing them can be considered roughly equivalent to a slight decrease in their battery life. It’s rare for this to make a big difference, but it does mean that most people should err on the side of a longer lifespan if the options have similar price ratios.

Check Availability

The final consideration is availability. This is a minor factor for people that use batteries slowly, but a business that needs a huge number of them has to consider it. Make sure that you can get enough batteries of the chosen type to meet your needs. Getting them from a single source is best because it cuts down on paperwork and administrative time, which ultimately saves money.

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