Portable hand warmers provide heated comfort to people roughing the elements. There are two major categories of portable hand warmers, disposable and reusable, and deciding on a category involves some cost/benefit analysis. This article does just that.
Google’s search engine was used to find the price range of disposable and reusable hand warmers. Many experts believe that people typically only browse the first three pages of a search engine, so only the first three pages were analyzed. The keyword phrase “portable hand warmers” was used to search for disposables, and the phrase “battery operated hand warmers” was used for reusables. The price range for disposables fell between $0.26 and $0.59 per unit. The price range for reusables fell between $39.50 and $59.99.
Now let’s assume a consumer purchased two portable hand warmers, a disposable and a reusable, and got the cheapest price for both. Let’s also assume the consumer uses both products 500 times, since that is the number of times a reusable can be used without showing signs of diminished effect (according to one manufacturer’s user manual). Over the course of 500 uses, the consumer will spend $130 more for disposables. Of course, this excludes the cost associated with repeated visits to a retailer for the purchase of disposables. Reusables have a clear cost advantage over disposables when used frequently. However, for the infrequent user, disposables make more sense (much like the disposable camera is for people who seldom use cameras).
That covers the cost part of analysis, and now it’s time for a discussion of benefits. Reusables last up to 10 hours, while disposables last up to 18 hours. In other words, disposables can last for every hour a person is awake. Reusables require more selective use. Reusables also require an energy source to recharge. Reusables are only practical for one day excursions, and not for week-long camping trips without an energy source. To summarize, reusable hand warmers are more cost effective if used frequently, but disposables have more flexibility for use.