Most people are familiar with the 12V batteries used in vehicles, but the smaller 6v battery is arguably a more versatile power source, even if it’s not as widely known.
The most common use of 6-volt batteries is in battery-powered lighting systems, like those used for construction teams doing roadwork at night. They can also be used in vehicles, however, including golf carts, RVs, and recreational vehicles.
How you plan to use the battery is one of the biggest questions to answer when you’re deciding which one is best. Let’s take a deeper look at the most important factors in choosing a battery, along with reviews of the 10 best 6-volt batteries you can find today.
Top 3 Best 6V Batteries Comparison Chart
Wild Game Innovations
ExpertPower 6 Volt
Mighty Max Exit Sign
|Dimensions||4.597 x 6.807 x 10.109 cm||2.8 x 1.9 x 3.9 inches||2.76 x 1.89 x 4.21 inches|
New to Batteries? A Quick Intro to the Basics
A 6-volt battery is similar to a 12-volt battery in its operation, and often uses the same chemistry inside. The main difference is that they’re smaller, have fewer cells, and don’t put out as much power.
6-volt batteries are also often called “lantern batteries” because they’re frequently used in lighting applications. Inside the casing are four 1.5V lead-acid cells. These cells contain metal plates that interact with an electrolyte solution (typically battery acid) to store and produce energy.
You can wire 6-volt batteries together to increase the overall power output. If wired in series, the voltages of the batteries will be added together—in other words, two 6-volt batteries connected in series will give you 12 volts. Connecting batteries in parallel keeps the voltage the same and just increases the capacity.
Many 6-volt batteries are deep-cycled, allowing them to store and discharge more energy and last longer between charges. Because of this, two 6-volt batteries wired together can provide more power than a single 12-volt battery in many applications.
Uses of 6-Volt Batteries: What Do You Expect out of Your Battery?
As we mentioned in the intro, 6-volt batteries have a variety of different uses, and each has its own unique power needs. We’ve listed some of the most common applications here, along with what you should look for in a battery in that situation.
Lighting Systems and Flashlights
The long life-cycle of 6-volt batteries compared to other power sources makes them a popular choice for spotlights, lamps, and lighting systems. Construction crews need their lights to last all night, and many 6-volt batteries can provide that power, with up to 10 hours of use per charge.
For lighting systems, you want to look for a battery that has a high capacity. Something on the order of 4.5Ah or higher is ideal. The long-term durability of the battery is something you should look at, too, if you don’t want to constantly be replacing the batteries.
Another common use of 6-volt batteries is to store power collected through solar arrays. In this application, multiple batteries are connected together and linked to a solar panel, charging them so you can use them to power other devices.
High capacity is the main thing you want to look for in this use. You may also get a better value by buying a multi-pack since you’ll usually need multiple batteries.
RVs and Mobile Homes
A single 12-volt battery can power an RV but they’re not always suitable for powering the electrical devices used inside when you’re parked. Using 2 6-volt batteries instead increases the capacity so you don’t have to recharge as often.
Size is the most important thing to pay attention to here. You’ll want to measure and confirm that the batteries will fit correctly in your battery well.
Golf Carts and Electric Vehicles
For electronic vehicles like wheelchairs, scooters, electric bikes, and golf carts, a 6-volt deep cycle battery provides the consistent power they need to operate. Many of these vehicles are designed for 12-volt batteries so like with the RVs above, you’ll be using two together.
Long-term lifespan is your key consideration for powering electric vehicles. Size is important, too, since you’ll need to verify they fit on the device.
Durability and Longevity: Which Batteries Serve Longer?
In the right conditions, a 6-volt battery can last around 5-7 years on average. Deep discharges can drastically reduce that, and batteries designed more for high output may have a naturally shorter lifespan, as little as 2 years in some cases.
One key spec to look at is the number of recharges the battery can withstand. More recharges translates to a longer lifespan and is a better measure of long-term durability than the capacity.
Also consider the quality of the casing. Some cheap plastics will split from impacts and overcharges, and once that happens it’s no longer safe to use. A high-quality casing is especially important for use in vehicles, or outdoor use in extreme temperatures.
Capacity: How Much Power and Performance Do You Need?
Battery capacity is measured in amp hours, abbreviated Ah. This figure tells you how much power the battery can deliver. A 4.5Ah battery can deliver a 1 amp load for 4.5 hours. Two 4.5Ah batteries wired in parallel will deliver that load for 9 hours (4.5 X 2).
The first step to knowing what capacity you need is to find out the load of whatever you’re powering. Next, determine how long you need to run it. When you multiply those numbers together, you’ll end up with you ideal battery capacity.
1. Wildgame Innovations 6V Rechargeable Battery
Finding the right battery to fit your needs can sometimes be a tricky proposition. A smaller battery like this Wildgame 6V rechargeable battery can be a great solution. It fits into whatever devices need a new power source.
Even though this battery is small, it still gives you the same power as comparable brands. In a trickle charge or float use, it works beautifully. If you’re using it in something like a camera, you will need to watch the level and charge it often. Deep discharges can drastically shorten its lifespan.
Convenience is definitely the main advantage of this Wildgame battery. It’s easy to install, absolutely maintenance-free, and will last a while once you install it. It’s the best 6v battery if versatility and usability are your main concerns.
- Materials are pure and high-quality
- High capacity for its size
- Works well in cold temperatures
- Smaller size makes it very versatile
- Tab style terminals are easy to work with
- Connection points are small
- Doesn’t recover well from deep discharges
2. Expertpower 6V Lead Acid Battery (EXP645)
This is a great choice if you’re buying a battery for an alarm or lighting system. It can put out a lot of power when you need it but also holds its charge well. The reliability of the EXP645 is the main reason it caught our attention.
Not only is this battery reliable, but it’s also durable. The casing is designed to resist impacts and vibration. It also won’t take damage from external shocks or high temperatures. The only things that can seriously damage it are deep discharges and overcharges. You’ll get the most out of it using a trickle charge or float charge.
If you’re kind to this battery, you can get up to two years of use out of it. Realistically, you’ll probably have to replace it closer to the 18-month mark – about average for this type of battery. At the price, though, it’s a great value.
- Quality controlled to guarantee reliability
- Easy to install
- ABS plastic case is non-conductive and impact resistant
- Long shelf life in storage
- Capable of delivering high current levels
- In-use life is short (less than 2 years in most uses)
- Doesn’t recover well from deep discharges and overcharges
3. Mighty Max 6V Golf Cart Battery (ML4-6)
You might think this one is a bit out of your price range until you look a little closer. This isn’t a single battery – it’s a pack of 10 batteries. Turns out, this makes it a great value at the per-battery level. In fact, it might be the best value for a 6v golf cart battery out there.
These Mighty Max batteries are sized to be versatile. They’re designed with UPS applications in mind and work best when used in a float capacity. The capacity is around average for a 6v battery. Where they excel is in giving that same charge every time, even after many recharges.
It’s best if you use these batteries right away. They’ll last a little while in storage but not more than a couple of years. If you need a lot of batteries, though, this is the best way to get them without spending a ton of money.
- Rugged performance from a heavy-duty calcium-alloy grid
- Works in both cyclic and float applications
- Low cost per battery
- CE certified for performance and safety
- Powers a wide range of devices
- Higher initial cost
- Not a long storage shelf life
4. Jiming 6V Sealed Lead Acid Battery (JM-6M)
AJC Battery has made their name with replacement batteries sized to OEM standards. This replacement for a Jiming JM-6M4 is the high-quality sealed lead acid battery for pumps, lights, and more. At just over ten bucks, you’ll get a lot of power for your money.
The main thing you want in a battery is consistency. You don’t want to have to think about it once it’s installed. That’s what you get with AJC 6V batteries. It puts out a consistent charge and will do so for years. This makes it a great choice for back-up systems, too.
Sizing on replacement batteries can always be tricky. The battery itself fits perfectly, but the terminals won’t fit all connectors. That can be a bit of a hassle since it doesn’t come with its own cables. Even with this added expense, it’s a much better value than the battery it’s built to replace.
- Sized to fit OEM specifications
- Holds its charge well
- Great value
- Long lifespan
- Consistent power discharge
- Doesn’t come with mounts or cables
- Some inconsistency on the terminal size
5. Interstate 6V Sealed Lead Acid Battery
You don’t have to sacrifice capacity to get an affordable replacement battery. This option from Interstate has a 4.5Ah rating and costs just over ten bucks. It’s sized perfectly to fit Coleman lanterns and similar products.
Now, this is a spillproof battery. As long as you don’t damage it, it’s completely safe and won’t leak any battery acid. The case isn’t as resistant to drops as more expensive batteries and can split if you’re rough with it. Keep this in mind if you’ll be using it in any equipment that takes abuse.
This battery probably won’t last as long as most of the others on the list. Recharges wear it out fairly quickly, along with the susceptibility to damage mentioned above. For the right application, though, it’s a strong battery at the right price.
- Sized perfectly for lighting systems and flashlights
- Good capacity for the weight
- Excellent value
- Simple to install with tab style connectors
- Provides high power with more than 6 hours of use per charge
- The case can split if overcharged or dropped
- Doesn’t last through as many recharges
6. Beiter DC Power 6V Rechargeable Battery (WKA6-5F)
The obvious advantage of a multipack is convenience. You’ll also tend to save a bit of money in the long run if you know you need a lot of batteries. These Beiter batteries are a perfect example, letting you power a whole system with one purchase.
This is a great battery for UPS applications. They have a fairly standard capacity of 4-5Ah and a nice compact design, weighing just a couple of pounds. The terminal style makes it easy to connect either singly or in parallel.
These aren’t the best batteries to store. They won’t hold their charge well long-term if they’re not used regularly. For immediate installation, though, they’re a good option.
- Easy to use and install
- Buying a multi-pack saves you money per battery
- Recharges quickly
- Perfect for standby use
- Casing size and terminals fit OEM specifications
- High self-discharge rate in storage
- Don’t always arrive charged and ready
7. AJC 6V Replacement Battery (BP12-6)
For the most power and longest life between charges, AJC has you covered. With 16 amp hours, it gives you a high capacity for a 6v battery. This also gives it a longer overall lifespan- up to 5 years, if you use it right.
The AJC BP12-6 is a replacement battery for products that use B&B batteries. The only issue in terms of sizing has to do with the terminals, which are narrower than the standard size. This may require you to buy new connectors before it’ll work in many vehicles and devices.
Even though this is an “off-brand”, so to speak, the construction quality is high. It stands up to just as many charges as name-brand batteries of the same type. This makes it a great replacement for B&B 6-volt batteries in all applications.
- Reliable performance between charges
- Highest capacity on the list
- Lifespan up to 5 years
- Arrives fully charged and ready to go
- Casing sized to OEM standards
- Doesn’t include cable or hardware
- Terminals aren’t as widely compatible
8. Honeywell Casil Genuine 6V 3.1Ah SLA Battery (CA631)
You probably know Honeywell more for their thermostats and other smart devices. They also take care of other home necessities, like batteries. This CA631 6-volt has a 3.1Ah capacity and is designed to give you high performance from a little package.
Now this is the most expensive single battery on the list. What you’re paying for here is the build quality. This battery resists shocks, drops, heat, and cold. On top of that, you can recharge it more than 150 times without losing any maximum capacity.
Whether its performance is enough better to justify the hike in price is the question. In our opinion, while this is a great battery, it’s not the best value. If what you need is a combination of portability and durability, however, this is the best 6v battery for you.
- Long maximum lifespan (5 years, even with heavy use)
- Resists damage, even from shocks or impacts
- Continues to work even in hot and cold temperatures
- Only weighs about a pound
- Easy to connect in a variety of systems
- Expensive for a single 6V battery
- Can take a long time to charge
9. Duracell 6V SLA 5.0Ah SLA Battery (6-5F)
Duracell is a name that people know and trust. This battery lives up to that solid reputation. You’ll get more out of each charge and get more total recharges than with other similar batteries. In fact, in terms of performance, this is one of the best 6v batteries on the market.
This is a good battery if you need to lose it a lot. It does lose its charge fairly quickly in storage and will need occasional top-offs. The good news is that if you forget you won’t damage the battery. It’s better at dealing with deep discharges, and even complete discharges, without losing capacity.
As you might expect, this Duracell comes in at a higher price point than many of the other options. You’ll be paying both for the name and the quality. Aside from the price, though, we highly recommend this battery.
- Compatible with multiple connection styles
- Perfect for cycling
- Can fully discharge without taking damage
- Lasts more than 150 recharges
- High capacity for its size
- Runs many devices for 10+ hours per charge
- Relatively high cost for a single battery
- Requires regular charging in storage
10. Universal Power Group 6V Replacement Battery (UB613K)
For the super budget-conscious buyer looking for the most affordable option, Universal Power Group is a great place to go. Their batteries use a no-frills design that keeps the price low without sacrificing quality.
The capacity of the UB613k is on the low side at 1.3Ah. This is plenty if you need the battery for something like an emergency lighting system. It might not be sufficient for things that need more power, though.
Aside from that, we have no complaints against this battery. It’s a solid lead-acid battery that’s lightweight, compact, and easy to install. And you definitely can’t argue with the price.
- Low cost
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Won’t get damaged by vibration
- Comes with F2 adapters included
- Low self-discharge rate in storage
- Low capacity
- Maximum in-use lifespan is around 2 years
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of factors in play when it comes to picking a battery. The most important thing is to make sure the battery is compatible with whatever you need it to power. Check the voltage and the amp or watt requirements. Also check the size of the battery cavity – you can eliminate any batteries that straight up just won’t fit.
For overall performance, our top choice is the Expertpower 6V Lead Acid Battery. Not only does it hold a charge well and have a high power output, it’s durable and reliable, giving users consistent long-term performance. If that one won’t fit your needs, the Wildgame Innovations 6V Rechargeable Battery’s small size gives it the versatility for almost any use.
As we said, though—it all depends on what you need it for. Hopefully, this article has helped you shed some light on the right 6v battery for you!
What do SLA and AGM mean?
These are both acronyms used to describe the way the battery is designed on the inside. They’re actually very similar terms but mean slightly different things.
SLA stands for Sealed Lead Acid. It describes a dry cell battery that doesn’t require you to check the electrolyte levels or refill it with water. They’re popular because they don’t need maintenance and won’t spill, making them safer.
AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat. It is a specific type of SLA battery that uses fiberglass plates soaked in battery acid to generate the charge. They can deliver some of the highest charges of all the types of SLA battery. This makes them great for when you need a compact punch for vehicles and devices.
What should you look for in a 6v motorcycle battery?
There’s no one battery that will be the best option for every motorcycle. There is a lot of variation both in terms of the size and the power requirements between motorcycle engines.
The best way to tell what kind of battery your motorcycle needs is the look at the one that’s installed in it now. The specs should be printed on the side of the battery. You can also check the manual for the bike itself to see what’s recommended.
A motorcycle battery will need to have a capacity of at least 5Ah. The higher capacity, the better its starting performance will be, especially in cold weather. The AJC BP12-6 could be a good motorcycle battery. Just make sure to check the dimensions and verify it will fit.
Would these be suitable 6-volt golf cart batteries?
Again, it depends on your golf car and its specific power needs. If you have a lot of electronic extras, you’ll probably need more power than you can get from these batteries. For a smaller, simpler vehicle, though, some of these options might work for you.
Remember that a golf cart will use a group of batteries wired together in parallel. This makes something like the Mighty Max 10-pack an appealing option. When you link the batteries together, their capacities will add but the voltages won’t change.
Can a 6-volt battery be used in any position?
Sealed lead acid batteries can be safely installed on their back, side, or front. This makes them more versatile in terms of installation, especially when you’re connecting multiple batteries together.
If the battery is not sealed, you’ll need to be more careful about how you position them. It’s safest to keep these batteries upright to avoid acid leaks. Having said that, the majority of the batteries you’ll find on the market today are sealed and safe to use in multiple configurations.
Can I use a car battery charger to recharge a 6-volt battery?
The voltage of the charger has to match the voltage of the battery. Many 12-volt car battery chargers also come with a 6-volt setting and can be safely used to charge your batteries. If there isn’t a 6-volt setting, don’t use the charger. Over-voltages can cause a power surge and cause permanent damage to the battery.
What is the best charging rate for a 6-volt battery?
That depends on the capacity of the battery. Most 6-volt batteries can be safely charged at 4.5 amps. The best way to find the right charging rate for your battery is to look in the user manual that came with it. You could also use a smart charger that adjusts the rate of charge to the battery’s current capacity.
Can I recharge 6-volt batteries that are connected together?
Yes. Once batteries are wired in either parallel or series you can consider them a single battery pack for charging purposes.
If the batteries are connected in parallel the total voltage is still 6, so you’ll need a charger with a 6-volt setting. Charging this way can be more convenient, though it will take much longer than separating the batteries and charging each one separately.
For series connections, the voltage of the batteries is added together. This means 2 6-volt batteries in series need a 12-volt charger. Keep the charger on its lowest setting and turn off any boost or quick-charge settings for the best results.