CR123 Batteries (Features, Pros and Cons)

Ever experienced confusion between buying a Lithium Battery like a CR123 Battery and other Batteries like AAA or AA batteries? This article will attempt to clarify all the Features, benefits, Pros and Cons of CR123 Batteries. We will start from the basics and will discuss all about what to consider before buying a CR123 battery and will also put light on how to handle such lithium batteries and from where to buy them.

CR 123 Batteries

What is a Lithium CR123 Battery

We need to be fully aware of the technical aspects, features, design and even the chemical formula used in CR123 Batteries before buying such batteries. Well, if you are not already a chemical engineer, you need to know that lithium (Li) is a chemical element which is commonly used in rechargeable batteries.

Lithium ions move from positive to negative electrode when the battery is being charged and vice versa when the battery is discharging itself by being used in an electronic device or even when put alone. There are disposable or non rechargeable CR123 batteries available in the market too.

CR refers to the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) name which determines the position of lithium electrode in a battery. In this case, Lithium electrode is on negative side with a Manganese dioxide on the Positive Electrode. 123 refer to the cells used in CR123 Batteries.

Having diagnosed its technical name completely, we should now move over to its technical aspects which are not hard on mind to understand.

Specifications and Types of CR123 Batteries

There are certain types and substitutes for such batteries which would be discussed later in this article but the most common type of CR123 Batteries is CR123a Battery.

Technical Features

As told earlier, this battery uses Lithium as a chemical element for charging and discharging purposes. Its Nominal Capacity ranges from 1400mAh to 1600mAh and even more.

The important factor to note before buying such batteries is its Standard Discharge Current which is 10mAh on average with the Maximum Discharge Current ranging from 1500mAh to 3000mAh. The allowed Temperature Range for CR123a Batteries is -40 Degree Celsius to 60 Degree Celsius.

At room temperature of 23 Degree Celsius, its nominal capacity to the end voltage is measured to be 2.0V while the battery is discharging at the steady current rate on same temperature. Whereas, the nominal average voltage of such batteries is 3.0V. The current is measured to be at an average of 0.5 amp.

Their Discharge rate is measured in ampere-hours which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Physical Features:

As compared to other batteries, CR123 Battery comes with the unique size and shape with always Lithium as the chemical element in it. However, we have discussed the average physical features here in this article.

The average diameter of this battery is determined to be 17mm with the Height of 33mm. The average weight of this battery is 16g to 18g.

PROs and CONs of CR123 Batteries

There are certain advantages and disadvantages of every product. Thy are highlighted below in case of CR123 Batteries.


You may have used different batteries in your flashlights but you notice a clear difference in the intensity of the light when you use a CR123 Battery in it. You can make a comparison yourself.

Take two flashlights and use AAA or AA battery in one flashlight and use CR123 Battery in the other flashlight. You would clearly notice the difference between the brightness of the light provided you use same flashlights and brand new batteries in both. CR123 Batteries are powered up more with a lower price which gives an exciting customer experience.

  • Efficiency: Extremely efficient in keeping the devices alive.
  • Longer Life: Its long lasting power will help you decrease your fatigue.
  • Recharge-ability: Charge them again and again to save overall battery cost.


With the benefits, come the hazards too. Using CR123 batteries would require you to be careful in their use due to following reasons:

  • Health Hazards:It can catch fire, explode, cause burns if carelessly handled.
  • Environmental Hazards:The chemicals and the gases used in the battery can cause environmental hazards if not disposed of properly.

Precautions of using CR123 Batteries

You would get a precaution manual when you receive a CR123 Battery from a good manufacturer. It is highly recommended that you go through it but the notable precautions have been highlighted here for your reference:

You must not mix a brand new battery with an old used battery. What happens when you use a new battery with the half empty or fully exhausted battery?

Well when you mix them both to complete a circle, your device would power up but there is a high chance of overheating. Why? That’s because the hazardous gases and the chemicals are expected to explode and could flare up your whole system.

​Do not mix different brands of batteries in one device. The different brands may use different chemical formulas in their batteries and when you join them together, you may experience an untoward incidence.

There is a high chance of getting a smoke or flame which might damage you or your device. So be safe! You can obviously use difference brands of batteries in different devices but do not mix them together.

If you accidentally cut it, put a dent on it, drop it on the ground or damage it in any way, just get rid of it. Do not mess with it further. Dispose it off and buy a new one.

Alternates and Substitutes of CR123 Batteries

CR123 batteries can be exchanged with the following batteries but be cautious about your equipment’s original manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations.

CR-P2 batteries, 16340, 17340, R123, RCR123, 2/3A, RCR123A, 123, 123A, CR123, CR123A, DL123A, VL123A, CR123R, BR2/3A, CR17335, CR17345, EL123AP, K123LA, L123A, PL123, CR123, DL123A, CR123A, K123A, EL123A, VL123, SF123A, CR17345, 23-155

Sources to buy CR123 Batteries

It is always recommended to buy such sensitive batteries from an authorized source. CR123 Batteries are highly recommended to be bought online from the following brands.

These brands manufacture these batteries in United States under strict supervision. Hence, they are highly trustable. Always buy such batteries in bulk to save money. You can also find them on the physical stores like Walmart and even on the busy Gas Stations.

  • Panasonic
  • Energizer
  • Duracell
  • Sure Fire

Other good brands include:

  • Autec
  • Maxell
  • Powerizer
  • PowPower
  • Sanyo
  • Tanergy


Cr123 Batteries are the blessing to power up the electronic world. While there are a few limitations attached to it, the overwhelming benefits of these batteries certainly outweigh the restraints.

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