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Top-10 Best Car Battery Chargers 2018

What Is Car Battery Charger, and How Does It Work?

Battery charger serves to restore energy of vehicle’s accumulator and helps to supply all car electronics with it when the engine isn’t working. Without a battery, a car cannot start, and an alternator won’t function at its full capacity. The principle of work is pretty simple: a battery charger puts energy into the battery by putting voltage or electric currents through it: it rearranges chemicals inside the battery to their initial state.

Types of Car Battery Chargers

The choice of device depends on the batteries used in your vehicle. The following kinds of chargers are distinguished:

  • A simple charger supplies DC power to the object charged. Its power isn’t adjusted to the time of battery charging or the degree of charge. A simple charger requires more time to ‘juice up’ the battery (that helps to prevent serious over-charging), but still you shouldn’t leave the battery for too long – it can be destroyed or weakened.
  • A trickle charger is traditionally applied for batteries of low capacity, though it can also be applied to stronger batteries (with more than 30 Ah of capacity), which are designed for bigger machines like cars and boats. Trickle chargers are sufficient for maintenance, or trickle currents (the finishing charging stage).
  • An intelligent or a smart car battery charger can stay connected to the battery for hours without affecting it. They adjust the output power according to the percent of battery charge. A smart charger monitors battery’s temperature and voltage to calculate optimal time and current of charging. An intelligent charger starts charging the battery at full capacity during the first hour and then switches to the mode of trickle charging.

Compare the Best Battery Chargers

Model/Characteristics

 

 

Voltage

Weight

Indicator lights

Amperage

Protection

Smart Charging

Warranty

Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, 1.25 Amp Battery Charger

BUY NOW AMAZON 12 V 2.3 pounds Yes 1,25 A Reverse polarity protection Yes (4 Stages) 10 years

DBPOWER 600A 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter (up to 6.5L Gas, 5.2L Diesel Engine)

BUY NOW AMAZON 12 V 1.1 pounds LED Display + Flashlight

600 A

Current, short circuit, overload, over-voltage, and over-charge protection

Yes

3 Years

NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger

BUY NOW AMAZON 12 V/ 6 V 1 pound Yes 3.5 A Spark-proof technology, reverse polarity and overcharge prevention Yes 5 Years

GOOLOO 450A Peak Car Jump Starter (Up to 4.0L Gas or 2.5L Diesel Engine)

BUY NOW AMAZON 12 V

1,75 pounds

Yes (LED screen)

450 A

Over-current, short-circuit, over-voltage, and  over-charge prevention Yes 12 + 6 months

Beatit 800A Peak 18000mAh 12V Portable Car Jump Starter (Up to 7.0L Gas or 5.5L Diesel Engine)

BUY NOW AMAZON 12 V

1.19 pounds

Yes (LED screen) 800 A Current, short circuit, overload, over-voltage, and over-charge prevention Yes (intelligent clamps)

2 years

Rugged Geek RG1000 Safety 1000A Portable Car Jump Starter

BUY NOW AMAZON 12-19 V

15.8 ounces

Yes (LED screen)

1000 A

Current Yes

12 months

Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior 12V, 0.75A Battery Charger

   BUY NOW AMAZON 12 V 1.8 pounds Yes

750 mA

Reverse polarity Yes (4 Stages) 5 years

Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA 1.5 Amp Speed Charge Battery Maintainer

  BUY NOW AMAZON  12V – 14.8V 1.3 pounds Yes

1.5 A

Current, short circuit, overload, over-voltage, and over-charge prevention Yes 1 year

BLACK+DECKER BC25BD

  BUY NOW AMAZON  12 V 8.25 pounds Yes (screen) 25 A Over-current, short-circuit, over-voltage, and  over-charge prevention Yes 12 months

STANLEY J5C09 Jump Starter

  BUY NOW AMAZON  12 V 18 pounds Yes 1000 A Reverse polarity, overload Yes 1 year

What Should Be Considered When You Make a Purchase?

When you choose a battery charger for your vehicle, pay attention to the following aspects.

Type

Considering the fact that most smart chargers are not too expensive, it’s better to opt for this variant. This way, you can leave the battery charging and be sure that nothing will be damaged. Besides, it charges quicker and works with different kinds of batteries.

Voltage

Voltage is what defines the speed of charging. The vast majority of chargers are 12 V. If you have a large capacity battery, choose a model with a better voltage range, for instance, 12-16 V.

Amperage

Amperage is another factor that defines the time required for charging. In this case, it doesn’t have to be too high. Using a device with 1.25 A, you can be sure that no current fluctuations will happen. Chargers with a high amperage will give batteries an instant charge, but such devices pose danger to them.

Element Proofing

Make sure that the wires and connections are properly rubbed and protected. It is crucial because the charger can be impacted by moisture and other factors.

How We Chose The Best Car Battery Charger

To figure out the best car battery charger 2018, we read hundreds of feedbacks and evaluated ratings of some popular models. This Top-10 is based on numerous car battery charger reviews, as well as our experience. We took the below-mentioned devices for a spin and checked how quick and safe they were.

Top-10 Car Battery Chargers: Reviews

In this chart, you’ll find short reviews and characteristics of each model with both advantages and drawbacks.

Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, 1.25 Amp Battery Charger

Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, 1.25 Amp Battery Charger

This smart charger ensures optimal voltage by adjusting to the temperature, and can select the right mode: full charge or float charge. Although it has pretty low (1,25 A) voltage, it can charge your car battery as quick, or even quicker than a 3A charger. No side effects of trickle charges appear.

PROS

  • switches modes automatically;
  • has two indicator light;
  • connects easily;
  • fast charging.

CONS

  • relatively heavy;
  • doesn’t charge dead deep cycle batteries.
DBPower is a versatile charger for car engines and electronics.

DBPOWER 600A 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter (up to 6.5L Gas, 5.2L Diesel Engine)

DBPower is truly worth being called the best portable car battery charger so far. This is a multifunctional device that comes with smart protection clamps, LED flashlight and display, and even a compass. This compact model allows performing up to 30 jump-starts on diesel and gas engines, and fits the glove compartment. Smart charging makes it possible to use it for fully charging a car battery, laptop, smartphones, tablets and many other devices with a USB port. Gold clamps prevent, overload, over-charge, short circuit and over-voltage. According to portable car battery charger reviews, this device is recommendable for drivers going long distances.

PROS

  • high capacity (18000mAh);
  • compact;
  • features an LED screen and flashlight.

CONS

  • if the battery has a very low charge level, the device may fail to jump-start your engine;
  • users need an instruction to exploit it.
One of the most compact car battery chargers, Noco Genius is efficient and multifunctional.

NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger

Searching for a 6-volt battery charger for a toy car? Pay attention to NOCO Genius G3500: this model combines charging and maintaining and allows switching between 6 V and 12 V. It works with various systems, including micro-hybrid machines, and CANBUS electric systems, and can charge Lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. Some of portable car battery charger reviews claim it can revive dead batteries. The smart charger monitors battery activity and automatically switches charge modes.

PROS

  • smart charging;
  • lightweight and compact;
  • water- and UV-resistant;
  • compatible with CANBus systems.

CONS

  • works not with all batteries;
  • relatively expensive.
GOOLOO jump-starter is suitable for different types of vehicles

GOOLOO 450A Peak Car Jump Starter (Up to 4.0L Gas or 2.5L Diesel Engine)

Another great portable car battery charger is offered by GOOLOO: the model features a top-notch Li-Ion battery cell, which allows jump-starting almost any vehicle, including a car, a motorcycle, a tractor, lawn mowers, light-duty trucks, ATVs, oil boats, and so on. Thanks to the overall capacity of 10000 mAh, GOOLOO Jump Starter GP03B can perform up to 20 jump-starts, and be applied to charge tablets, smartphones and so on at the speed up to 2 A/sec. To top it off, the model has LED flashlight and may signal for help.

PROS

  • multiple protection features;
  • lightweight and portable;
  • withstands low and high temperatures;
  • comes with 3-in-1 USB port.

CONS

  • one Li-ion battery needed;
  • short cables.
Beatit charger has a very high capacity for performing tens of jump-starts of car engines.

Beatit 800A Peak 18000 mAh 12V Portable Car Jump Starter (Up to 7.0 L Gas or 5.5 L Diesel Engine)

This top-rated car battery charger features everything you need for long-term traveling in your car. It can jump-start your vehicle up to 30 times with heavy-duty clamps and 800 amps current. The set is lightweight and compact, it can fit your glove compartment. Total recharging takes about 5.5 hours, and power bank charger with 18000 mAh Battery Capacity can also be used to charge your smartphones, laptops, or any other device at the rate of 2.1 amps (which is twice faster than with usual power banks).

PROS

  • has 2 USB charging ports;
  • SOS flashlight is helpful in emergency situations;
  • comes with the portable compressive case;
  • high capacity.

CONS

  • fails to charge some car engines.

Rugged Geek RG1000 Safety 1000A Portable Car Jump Starter

Need the best battery charger for a car with multiple USB ports? Pay utmost attention to Rugged Geek RG1000 Emergency Jump Starter: it features 2 USB ports, 1 laptop port, and Micro USB port. The model has LED screen indicating the percent of charge, output level, and other important information. Flashlight with SOS mode are useful for travelers.

PROS

  • low discharge rate (1-2% a month);
  • cables with dual power tip clamps;

CONS

  • if it’s charging, it cannot be used for output simultaneously;
  • expensive;
  • not powerful enough to restart dead batteries and restore some car engines.

Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior 12V, 0.75A Battery Charger

Those who are in search of a cheap car battery charger should opt for Battery Tender Junior that ensures fast smart charging (4 steps of charging) and prevents overcharging. 80-hours safety timer guarantees a long lifetime, and switch to the float charging is automatic. This device can be used for sealed and many other batteries. Two LED indicators show the stage of the charger.

PROS

  • lightweight and compact;
  • cheap;
  • suitable for all types of vehicles.

CONS

  • some customers complain it breaks after several months of use.
Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA 1.5 Amp Speed Charge Battery Maintainer

Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA 1.5 Amp Speed Charge Battery Maintainer

Review:

This is a highly adaptable model that can work with both 6-volt and 12-volt batteries. Schumacher SEM-1562A supports full-charge and float mode (it will switch to prevent battery damage). The display is equipped with LEDs that indicate the level of charging and trouble errors. The model can be used to charge cars, motorcycles, boats and ATVs. The reverse hookup protection and automatic disconnect are also featured. The kit includes the charger, jump cables, and ring connectors. The plastic housing is rugged. The manufacturer provides 1-year warranty.

Our opinion:

This is one of the most thought-through battery chargers. It features everything for safe charging, and its price is agreeable. We definitely recommend this charger to beginners and advanced drivers.

PROS

  • both 6V and 12V batteries are supported;
  • cheap;
  • all safety features are included.

CONS

  • absence of screen makes it a bit less convenient than more advanced models.
BLACK+DECKER BC25BD 25 Amp Bench Battery Charger

BLACK+DECKER BC25BD 25 Amp Bench Battery Charger

Review:

Black+Decker offers a totally automatic high-frequency charger that works in three modes: fast charge, trickle charge, top-off. The charger supports different kinds of batteries, including the ones in boats, jet skis, snow mobiles, ATVs, lawn tractors, and regular cars. There’s a digital LCD screen to check the charging status, and the alternator check to see the maintaining battery level. Black+Decker charges 40% faster than other models and has 75A engine start that allows turning the engine on in 90 seconds. The kit includes the charger, clamps, cable wrap and a cord. Reverse polarity protection and overload protection are both included.

Our opinion:

Black+Decker BC25BD is the best portable car battery charger of its series. It charges fast and has all basic protection features. However, it is twice more expensive than its analogues.

PROS

  • charges 40% faster than some other models;
  • features superior protection and One Touch charge mode.

CONS

  • expensive;
  • relatively heavy.
STANLEY J5C09 Jump Starter

STANLEY J5C09 Jump Starter

Review:

If you often need fast battery reanimation, consider this model. It allows for several hundred instant startings and has two outlets: a 12-volt outlet, and a USB one allowing you to charge electronics. The device has a powerful LED torch and 120 PSI compressor that may help with low tires. There’s also a reverse polarity alarm to protect the device in case of improper connection.

Our opinion:

This charger seems to be a great versatile solution that can save you out of any situation. However, judging by portable car battery charger reviews, it breaks quickly and doesn’t perform some of its functions. If you decide to order one, make sure that everything works properly.

PROS

  • allows for quick start and quick charge;
  • features a big LED light and a compressor.

CONS

  • tends to break quickly, poor quality;
  • very heavy.

Interesting Facts

This is what a typical car battery charger looks like

  1. Typically, a car battery’s life lasts about six years depending on exploitation. Using electronics too often and leaving headlights on shorten battery’s life.
  2. Despite the widespread myth, pulse chargers are not better than chargers with constant voltage for sulfated batteries. There’s no definite proof that some additives can prolong battery’s life.
  3. The smarter the automotive car battery charger is, the more battery lifespan you can expect.
  4. Although some drivers claim that using batteries in cold weather kills them faster, hot weather is damaging for batteries, too. Parts of the battery can melt, and it loses charge quicker.
  5. Depending on battery kind and temperature, it can experience self-discharge or natural loss of electrochemical level at 1-25% rate per month.

How to Use Car Battery Charger Smartly

The most difficult part was finding a perfect car battery charger. “How to use it”, – users ask next. It’s pretty easy. First and foremost, learn all buttons and what LED lights mean: it’s crucial to understand the principle of charger’s work, and what every dial means.

Connecting the Charger to the Battery

As soon as user learns all specifications of the device, he can connect it with the battery. There’s no need to remove the battery. The positive (red) clamp is to be connected with the positive post of the battery (“+”), the negative (black) – to the negative post ( “-”).

Set the Charger

The next step presupposes setting the amperage and power of the charger (if it’s not a smart one). In order to set up trickle charging mode (if there’s enough time for it), select lower amperage. However, if you need to jump-start your vehicle, select higher amperage. In order to calculate the time of full battery charge, you should know how long does it take to charge a car battery with a 10 amp charger (in fact, from 2 hours to 16 hours depending on battery capacity), and the level of battery charge.

Plug The Charger

Now the charger should be plugged in and switched on. If timer cannot be set, or the charger is not automatic, the user should note the time. During the process of charging, the device should not be moved.

Disconnect

As soon as the process is over, the charger should be turned off and unplugged. The cables should be disconnected in the reverse order they were attached. First, disconnect the black clamp, then the red one. As soon as the battery is charged, you can start your vehicle.

How to charge a car battery without a charger? Jump-starter is a great alternative to this device: it can be used on-the-go. But if there’s neither of them, and the battery is not sealed, theoretically, you can try pouring acid in it (alternatively, wine or vinegar). In a few minutes, the acid will ionize its components (anhydrate and proton), which will add energy to the car. Sulfuric acid can work, as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Many Amps Should A Car Battery Charger Be?

It depends on what you need the charger for. If you need a quick emergency charging, 600-1000 A devices can be used. However, the lower amperage is, the safer is the process of charging.

Q: Do Trickle Chargers Damage Car Batteries?

No, they are quite safe, if the user disconnects them right after the end of charging session. But if they are left with the battery charged, it can lead to overload. This problem can be solved by using a battery regulator.

Q: How To Charge A Car Battery Without A Charger?

In order to charge the battery without an automotive car battery charger, a driver should have some other car nearby. Ask friends or family members to come and help you. The ‘life saving’ kit should include a screwdriver, a flashlight, and a blanket. Take the jumper cables and switch the car engine off. Place the negative jumper on the battery terminals, and the black clamps should be placed on the car’s metal frame. Make the connection secure. Place the other end of the black clamp on the battery’s negative terminal.
The other pair of jumper cables should be placed on the red positive terminals of each car. The charging car should be turned on first and run for a couple of minutes.
In several minutes, your car should be able to start immediately. As soon as it is started, let it run and gain a charge. Now disconnect the battery cables.

Q: Charging A Car Battery With A Charger: How Long Does It Take?

It depends on the amperage. If your battery holds 48 amps, it will be charged during 12 hours at the rate of 4 amp per hour. A fast car battery charger can boast over 1,000 amp charging capacity. The higher charger’s amperage is, the less you have to wait for a battery to be charged fully.

Q: How Long Does It Take To Charge A Car Battery With A 12 Volt Charger?

It also depends on the type of device used. A trickle charger operates at 2 amp, and it will take about 24 hours to have the battery charged fully with such a device. The general formula is:

Battery amp capacity ÷ charger amp speed = charging hours.

It usually works for the standard 12 V voltage. With other voltage, the formula will be different.

Conclusion and Our Recommendation

After analyzing seven popular models of car battery chargers we can say that all of them are equally good, and the choice depends on whether you need a stationary device or a portable jump-starter. Besides, the price, the model of your car, and extra functions should be considered.

Among chargers under $50, Schumacher SEM-1562A shows the best performance. But if you need a solution for instant charging, opt for STANLEY J5C09 Jump Starter: it’s not the cheapest option, but you will have the battery revived in a couple of minutes. As for compact and small chargers, NOCO Genius seems to be a more reliable solution than Battery Tender models. Please, note that they don’t keep much charge and can be used once before you’ll need to charge the model.

Don’t forget to read car battery charger reviews to understand whether the model is reliable and efficient enough: this is the best way to learn essential information about the product.

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