Life is completely unpredictable. You never know when your precious car’s battery might give way and leave you stuck on the side of the road. Keeping the best car battery charger handy will help you sidestep such occurrences effortlessly, and you won’t have to fret about getting stranded or about how long the towing company will take.
A battery charger can help revive your battery in no time, and it’s easier to operate than a jumper cable. Compact and portable car battery chargers are easy to store in your vehicle for all emergency situations, whether it involves weather-related incidents or your battery wearing out due to age. Check out our list of tried-and-tested car battery chargers that will help you figure out which one’s best for you.
Types Of Car Battery Chargers
If you own a car or are planning to get one, there are many things that you must know about including the type of battery that goes into the car. Here are few of the common types of battery chargers:
- Calcium battery: These batteries are lead acid batteries that use calcium in the positive and negative terminals of the battery. The antimony makes use of lead, thereby making it a low-maintenance option. Calcium batteries are relatively easier to recharge as they don’t need a higher battery voltage for charging.
- Deep-cycle battery: Deep cycle battery chargers are lead acid batteries that offer a deep discharge value, meaning they provide better battery performance than other common car batteries.
- Wet-cell battery: These batteries contain a combination of water, lead, and sulfuric acid. These are cheaper than most other batteries but may not offer the conveniences or capacities offered by the modern batteries.
- AGM battery: AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat. These are similar to flooded types of lead acid batteries but the difference is that the electrolyte is engulfed in mats of glass. Offering higher capacities, they are increasingly being used in modern cars.
- EFB battery: It stands for Enhanced Flooded Battery. This is essentially an improvement over older wet or flooded batteries, which means that it offers higher capacity and meets the high energy demands of modern cars. These batteries are also more durable and provide better battery performance than traditional cells.
10 Best Car Battery Chargers
1. Best Reverse Polarity Protection: Nexpow G17 Jump Starter
Using a high-speed polymer battery, this 1500 amp, 21800 mAh battery charger can quickly charge a gas as well as diesel engine. This 6-in-1 portable car battery charger comes equipped with an LED flashlight (with 3 modes of operation) and 2 USB ports, and can even be used in temperatures as low as -4°F~140°F. It also comes with smart jumper cables that are spark-proof, offer overcharge protection, over current, short circuit, and overload protection. Check out a tester’s experience in this review video to learn more about the product.
- Comes with reverse polarity protection
- Two USB quick-charge ports for charging devices like laptop or phones
- 12-volt car battery charger–can charge up to 30 times
- Two-year manufacturer’s warranty
- USB C-type cable and a carry-case
- Some users have reported that it may be complex to use.
This battery charger and maintainer is designed for automotive and marine batteries. It is a fully automatic, high-capacity car battery charger that can detect if the battery to be charged is rated 6 or 12 V. It also comes with a digital display that helps one keep track of the charge percentage and battery voltage and LED indicators that indicate the charging status. It is compatible for use with AGM, deep-cycle, standard, and gel type batteries. Learn more about the portable charger in this video by a reviewer.
- Offers reverse polarity protection
- It can automatically select the right charge rating for maintaining and charging
- Schu Eco Energy meets the best industry standards
- 800 CCA-rated
- May heat up very fast
3. Best Energy-Efficient: Noco Genius1 Battery Charger + Maintainer
This new and improved NOCO Genius1 features a compact yet highly efficient design that helps revive dead batteries. It is designed to operate in all seasons and includes a thermal sensor that prevents both overcharging and under-charging. Interestingly, not only does it feature a display that helps you keep track of battery charge levels but also has indicators of battery health. It features a Force Mode that detects batteries that are down to 0 V or dead and charges them. This trusted charger is rated 6 and 12 V and is suited for use with marine, deep-cycle, AGM, flooded, and gel batteries. Explore this review video for more information about the product.
- One of the best energy-efficient and powerful chargers available today
- 4-in-1 functionality, including charger, battery maintainer, desulfator to prevent sulfated battery, and trickle charger for car batteries
- Improved heavy-duty clamp design that makes it compatible with most battery terminals
- Features automatic acid stratification and sulfation
- It can reverse and repair battery damage automatically
- The cables provided may not be long enough.
Nexpow G17 Jump Starter
Best Reverse Polarity Protection
Schumacher Fully Automatic Battery Charger
Best Automatic Battery Charger
Noco Genius1 Battery Charger + Maintainer
|Batteries||1 Lithium Polymer batteries required||-||-|
|Weight||2.3 pounds||3.02 pounds||15.2 ounces|
|Dimensions||9"D x 3.4"W x 1.2"H||9.96 x 4.29 x 10.03 inches||3.5 x 2.3 x 1.3 inches|
The Topdon 2-in-1 smart car battery charger and tester is great for charging 6V and 12V batteries. The portable charger can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth to receive real-time data, schedule charging times, and switch between charging voltages and modes. You can also test the battery for its technical details such as CCA, internal resistance, battery voltage, state of health, and other parameters with the built-in tester and get an instant report. This automatic battery charger can also desulfurize and maintain your car battery to increase its longevity.
- Water- and dust-resistant
- Made of ABS material
- Charging current- and voltage output-adjustable
- Saves battery testing reports as photos
- Short circuit protection
- Reverse polarity protection
- Limited Bluetooth range
- Clamps may be weaker than expected
If you have been looking for a smart battery maintainer for your car, this is a good choice. It comes with an in-built intelligent microprocessor unit and allows the unit to improve the charging cycle over time, while also enabling you to track the charging status, battery type, voltage, and any error message. This microprocessor-controlled battery charger features one-click high-voltage reconditioning that determines a battery dead if it still shows less than 12V after 5 cycles of charging. The design of the case is made keeping in mind convenience and ease of storage, while also ensuring that it is durable and sturdy.
- Features a reliable and effective cooling fan and vent
- Well-insulated and employs the use of ABS material shell
- Cords and clamps are easy to store
- Comes with accredited certification from UL
- 6-step charging process that helps avoid damage caused by overcharging
- The user manual is reported to come with a limited set of instructions.
With the ability to charge all types of 12V lead-acid batteries like GEL, STD, and AGM, the TowerTop 12V Smart Battery Charger is suitable for charging motorcycles, automotive, marine, RV, and PowerSports. Tested by many reviewers, this battery charger features an eight-step charging program that helps optimize battery power without causing damage or overcharging. This product also has an engine start aid feature, allowing you to start your vehicle within 100 seconds. The emergency battery charger also has specific safety features, which give you a hassle-free charging experience.
- Easy to use
- Lightweight design
- Reliable cooling system
- LCD screen display
- Has auto-detecting systems
- Might make noise while charging
- May not have proper instructions
Rated UL2743 for safety, this portable car battery charger features a smart safety cable that provides short circuit, reverse polarity, over-current, spark, overload, high-temperature, over-voltage, and overcharge protection. The main feature is the 4-battery lamination process it adopts that enhances its functionality as a charger/maintainer. There is an indicator that indicates if you are using the device incorrectly. Functional at an impressive ambient temperature range of -10°C – 60°C, this charger is a flashlight and a power source as well, allowing you to charge devices such as smartphones and quick-charge car battery chargers.
- Powers up 12 V vehicles with up to 6 L gas or 5.5 L diesel engine
- 3 modes of flashlight: SOS, strobe, and lighting
- Audible warning and flashing lights in case of erroneous use
- USB 3.0 port for fast charging
- 2-year warranty
- The device does not come with exterior grips making it difficult to carry.
The HTRC Smart Battery Charger features a dual intelligent automatic recognition 12/24V battery which offers quick and ultra-high power charging. This charger has a nine-level fast intelligent charger that automatically or intelligently adjusts the charging current to prolong battery life. This digital display battery charger has an LCD backlit digital screen that showcases information like charge quantity, charger’s inside temperature, and real-time battery voltage. The charger also has safety features, such as a compensation charging process that helps regulate the battery maintenance and activate the battery efficiently for safe use.
- Dual-output charging channels
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t overheat
- Long charging cable
- Versatile use
- Instructions may be vague
- Clamps may be shorter than expected
This weather-resistant battery charger by CTEK has a special eight-step approach to battery care. Made for multiple vehicle types and high-demand battery charging, this product is easy to use with a simple operation. It has a built-in automatic temperature sensor and a fully automatic microprocessor-controlled charger, making this battery charger fast, and versatile. It is also suitable for charging rapid car battery chargers. This portable car battery charger also has a special reconditioning or RECOND mode that helps revive batteries that have been unattended or unused for a long time.
- Easy-to-read LED display
- Splash- and dust-proof
- Spark-free and safe operation
- Reverse polarity protected
- Short circuit-proof
- Completely sealed unit
- May be smaller than expected
- May have voltage output issues
10. Best Heavy-Duty: Schumacher SC1309 Battery Charger
The Schumacher SC1309 battery charger is a fully automatic wheeled charger made especially for heavy-duty charging requirements. This trusted battery charger with built-in diagnostics has a sturdy construction and is suitable for efficient charging. This product has a microprocessor control that adjusts the amperage rate to maintain and charge the battery charger. The heavy-duty portable car battery charger has float-mode monitoring that automatically maintains optimum battery charge.
- Reliable power
- Diagnoses electrical problems
- Reverse hook-up protection
- Superior booster cables
- May not jump-start effectively
- Some may not find the interface user-friendly
How To Choose The Right Car Battery Charger For Your Car?
Here are a few points you should keep in mind while buying a modern car battery charger:
- Battery charger type: The most important point to consider while buying a battery charger is to make sure it is compatible with the battery you want to charge. If you have AGM, EFB, deep-cycle, dry-cell, or wet-cell batteries, you must be sure to check that the intelligent battery charger you are considering works well with it.
- Size of battery: If your battery is rated 50 Ah, a 10 Ah charger would take about 6 hours to charge it. So, knowing the battery size helps you determine if you are looking for a charger that charges fast or if a standard charger would do. Smaller vehicles like lawn mowers and golf carts may require smaller battery chargers.
- Purpose: It is helpful to understand if there is a specific purpose (other than charging batteries) that you need the charger to fulfill and look for one accordingly. Sometimes you would need your battery charger to serve a particular purpose such as being waterproof or you would need it to double as a power source as well. You could choose multi-functional battery chargers or a charger with multi-voltage capabilities so that you can charge more than one battery at a time.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Wedetso Chirhah is an electronics and automobile enthusiast who enjoys researching the latest and best-selling products. He recommends products after conducting advanced analysis of numerous user reviews and consumer-tested product listings to offer quality assurance. Thus, he has compiled this list of the best car battery chargers including top-rated, high-quality products with a variety of safety features for optimal battery performance. This post also includes information on the types of car batteries and an additional guide on how to choose the right one.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I charge my car battery while it’s connected to the vehicle?
It is always a good practice to leave the battery of your car disconnected before charging it to avoid any mishaps or overheating.
2. Should I fill my car battery with battery water before charging?
Usually, you have to fill the battery water only after the charging is complete. But you must check the water level before charging as well to ensure that the water covers both plates.
3. How can I know what size (in Ah) of a car battery charger to buy?
This depends on the kind of vehicle you are looking to run using the battery. Typically most automatic batteries are rated at 50 Ah, while the bigger batteries come in at 100 Ah. Smaller vehicles like lawn mowers and golf carts may require smaller battery chargers.
The best car battery chargers may come in handy when your car breaks down and you cannot get it towed. The options in this article are compact and compatible with several car batteries. When picking the right one, check its battery size, whether it suits your car, and how long it will take to get charged so that you do not face any hassles while traveling. Further, ensure you pick a car battery charger with a warranty and accredited certifications.
Infographic: How To Use Car Battery Chargers Properly?
Car battery chargers offer a dependable solution for recharging vehicle batteries, ensuring peak performance and prolonged lifespan. However, it is vital to exercise utmost caution when using them to avoid fire hazards, explosions, and acid burns. Refer to the infographic below for essential guidelines when working with car battery chargers.