You are finally ready to hit the road.
You get in your car, turn the key and nothing happens, zero activity. The first thing on your mind is to try it again, thinking please God not today, not now I’m already running late.
Now you are asking yourself what did go wrong. Did you forget to turn off the radio? Headlights, maybe? Anything?
I am getting frustrated by this situation even now while I’m sitting in my home and writing about it. Nothing can spoil your day like a dead battery.
Luckily your situation can be quickly solved; use your car battery charger to restore the dead battery. Don’t tell me you still don’t have one?
If that is a case, today is your lucky day since I am going to talk about the best car battery charger that you can rely on in any situation.
The 10 Best Car Battery Charger in 2020
1. DBPOWER 800A 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter
In all these years, I have never come across a better lithium-ion car jump starter for diesel and gas engines than this DBPOWER model.
Considering its size, it is mighty as hell. Being capable of starting up a 5.5L diesel or 7.2L gas engine in a blink of an eye for 20 times per single charge was enough for me to rank this as one of the best car battery charger and jump starter.
Heavy-duty clamps and cables will do a great job of distributing 800 amps of peak current without sightless risk of excess current or short-circuiting damaging your precious car battery.
In case you are stuck by the road, you can use the LED flashlight as a warning sign. Since it features a smart USB port with 18000 mAh capacity, you can use it to charge your mobile devices on the go.
The LCD screen enables you to track the remaining power, which is great since if it goes under 30%, the chances it will start your battery are low. But that is a minor downside. Just keep it above 50%, and you are good to go.
- 800A peak current
- Can jump big engines and mobile devices 20 times per single charge
- Excellent value for the price
- If under 30% power it probably won’t work
The overall performance of the DBPOWER 800A is impressive. If you are often on the road, consider this model as it is the best portable car charger for the price.
2. Battery Tender Plus 12V, 1.25A Battery Charger
Do I have your attention proud owners of the vehicles with a 12V lead-acid car battery? I am about to present to you your new favorite traveling companion — spark-proof Battery Tender Plus or aka the best AGM car battery charger.
Don’t be tricked into thinking how 1.25A power is not much since I will prove you wrong easily. This model provides a faster charging rate than 3A ones!
It is compatible with all types of maintenance-free batteries, including above mentioned AGM as well as gel cells. The only thing you need to do is follow the simple four-step charging program described on the back, and there will be no risk of overheating.
When I was an inexperienced driver, I always worried about over-charging the car battery.
Well, until I learned, there are models like this one that are designed to automatically switch to float mode when the battery is fully charged and maintains a stable voltage in it.
The best feature, according to my humble opinion, is the reverse polarity protection. It’s worth praising people! Why?
Because it will allow you to prevent all hazardous situations by alerting you with alternately flashing, both green and red light when something goes wrong.
The only complaint I have is that the casing is not waterproof.
- Charge and maintain battery
- Casing is not waterproof
When it comes to maintainers, just a few models can come near the Battery Tender, but none can compete with its value for the price.
3. BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic 6V/12V Battery Charger/Maintainer
We are all familiar with this brand one way or another. You are currently looking at one of the most affordable chargers on the market. This small car battery charger is designed with convenience and versatility in mind.
I love how straightforward it is to use (even kids can do it, but don’t let them). The connection process is a breeze thanks to the O-ring terminals that hooks to the battery clips with ease.
Like all other chargers/maintainers, it will automatically switch to float mode when the battery is fully charged and will stabilize the voltage.
Depending on your needs, you can charge both 6V and 12V car batteries; all you need to do is flip the switch. It shows its versatility by being compatible with maintenance-free AGM, WET, and gel cell batteries.
The integrated circuit protection guard is a valuable feature since it will do wonders like preventing overcharging, and reverse polarity. But a true hero is the DC plug that allows you to charge your battery without popping up the hood. How? Insert it into the car’s lighter and let it work its magic.
The disadvantage of the small design is that it takes a lot longer to charge the battery, and that leads to occasional overheating.
- Integrated circuit protection
- Charge both 6V and 12V batteries
- DC plug
- Take more time to charge
- Overheats occasionally
The intuitive design makes this model a great choice if you need an all-weather maintainer for any type of car battery.
4. Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC660 1700 Peak Amp 12 Volt Jump Starter
This bad boy features a suitcase-like design and it carries some extra weight, but there is a good reason why. This is not the average jump starter that you can carry around in your pocket.
This is what I call a Beast a compelling device that can jumpstart cars and heavy-duty machines without hassle.
The almighty 1700 peak Amps and 425 Cranking Amps sounds scary, I know, and if you ask me this amount of power can bring anything back to life, not just dead battery. It will bring an 8L diesel engine back from the dead in a second.
The Beast will come in handy, especially during long cold winters, when even the best car battery needs a significant Amp boost to start working.
This is all possible thanks to the fully replicable Clore PROFORMER battery that is designed to provide exceptional cranking power and durability. Also, it will never fail to serve you since it comes with an integrated automatic charger.
The voltmeter shows the current status of the battery, and I give a big plus to that feature as well as to the 12V outlet since you never know when you will need a portable power source.
No amount of power can melt down the jumper cables or the hard-casing, so rest assured you are totally safe to use it.
- Power and more power
- Quality build
- Heavy and bulky
There is not much to be said only that this is the best heavy-duty car battery charger nowadays.
5. GOOLOO 800A Peak 18000mAh SuperSafe Car Jump Starter
Nothing can beat a product that combines versatility, affordable price, and compact design.
Most vehicles do not need a vast jump starter to do the job right. Rest assured, this mini jump starter is all you need.
If your car collapses in the middle of the road, this device is a lifesaver since it comes with an LED flashlight with three different modes.
While you wait for help, you can relax and spend time playing games or browsing the internet without worrying your phone battery will die on you. Why? Well, it also utilizes a quick-charge USB port.
The performance is outstanding, but it’s not like I had any doubts considering it has 800A peak current. In simple words, that means it will charge your battery 75% faster than a traditional charger. If it goes out of power, you only need five hours to recharge this portable device fully.
What impressed me the most are smart jumper clamps that feature advanced protection technology with eight levels of circuit protection.
The flaw is that it won’t hold power in storage for more than a few months, and I’m sure you are all aware of it, but just in case I will mention that it can’t jumpstart larger engines.
- Excellent value
- Super safe to use
- Not compatible with large engines
- Doesn’t hold power for long
In general, this is a great versatile device; I recommend you to go for it if you are an owner of a smaller vehicle.
6. NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5 Amp Battery Charger
This device does not carry the name Genius in vain. This smarty provides seven different charging modes. There you have the best commercial battery charger.
Let’s find out what makes it so special.
Not all chargers can work with both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. But this one can no matter if it’s 12V or 6V type. That is what I called an efficient device.
Bringing a dead battery back to life is not the only superpower; it also keeps it running strong for as long as it can since it features automatic Maintenance Plus mode. Overcharging a battery will stay in the past from now on.
Clearly, the manufacturer made this charger with safety in mind, considering how many safety features it offers. First, it will run a full diagnostic check to see if there are any issues. In case it caught something, it will start recovery and repair mode, which includes hitting the battery with a low-voltage pulse to undo the damage.
You can leave the charger connected to the battery for as long as you need without supervising it thanks to the spark-proof technology.
There is just one catch if you let your battery discharge completely; the device will struggle with recharging.
- Works with all types of batteries
- Repair mode
- Charge and maintain
- Struggles with fully discharged batteries
If you need a device that will maintain your car battery in the best possible condition, choose this one, and you won’t get disappointed, believe me.
7. Schumacher SC1305 12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger
Charging, maintaining, and jumpstarting is what you can expect from this device. Being an all-in-one product is reason enough to count it as the best car battery charger for dead battery.
It is completely controlled by a microprocessor technology that provides several charging modes. All you need to do is set it and forget it.
Seriously, the device will automatically adjust the amperage current level for charging, and when it’s full, it will switch to float mode and maintain the battery on stable voltage.
Completely discharged batteries are a nightmare. In that case, you need a powerful ally to help you restart it. I guarantee you that the SC1305 is the one that can help you with its 10A boost function that will juice up your battery faster than any other model.
Engine failure is something that usually happens when you least expect it. Just switch to 50A current rate and jump start your car effortlessly. Do not worry; the reverse hook-up protection is in charge of the safety of both battery and charger, avoiding all triggering action.
The bad news is that it is quite heavy, so that is the main reason why you can’t use it for long term maintenance, especially on smaller batteries.
- Reverse hook-up protection
- Fully controlled by a microprocessor
- Not suitable for long-term maintenance
- Not suitable for smaller batteries
Offering impressive performance in all its modes makes it the most powerful all-in-one device, in my opinion.
8. MOTOPOWER MP00205A 12V 800mA Fully Automatic Battery Charger/Maintainer
It can’t go better than this; fully automatic, portable, and cheap. Just in case I double-checked the price (you are not the only one who is suspicious) and it is real. Did you ever buy anything more useful under twenty bucks? I know I didn’t.
Just like the previous model, it features a microprocessor-controlled program that automatically sets the amperage current level when charging and when maintaining the battery. This is truly an energy-efficient device since the output voltage is 0 during standby mode, which prolongs the life span of the charger.
It is a perfect choice for smaller vehicles with 12V acid-lead batteries, including AGM and gel cell batteries. The amount of safety features is impressive, considering the price tag. Spark-proof technology, battery-rescue, short circuit, and reverse polarity all that is packed into this little power box.
I know you will start doubting when you hear that casing is made of plastic, but it is really thick and resistant to damage (tested and proven by me).
The only remark is it will take a lot longer to charge your battery since the current level is 800mA; that is why I recommend using this device for charging smaller batteries or using it maintaining purpose only on big engines.
- Safety features
- Controlled by microprocessor
- Slower charging
If you are on a strict budget and you only need a charger for some recreational vehicles like ATV or motorcycle, then you will truly hit the jackpot with this little gem.
9. Beatit BT-D11 800A Peak 18000mAh 12V Portable Car Jump Starter
Behold the best emergency car battery charger. A true superhero among small jump starters, and you will learn why.
First, I was sincerely surprised how well made the casing is; this is important since small devices spend most of the time tumbling in the glove box or a car trunk.
The manufacturer claims it will provide 30 jumps on a single charge, which is worth admiring. I still can’t confirm this information since my device didn’t reach the point where I need to recharge it, and months have passed since I used it for the last time.
Like all this was not enough to impress me, I found out it can jumpstart a 7.5L gas engine in a heartbeat; for diesel vehicles, the range is 5.5L. Not bad at all for a device that weighs a pound.
As I said, it is great to have this device around in case of emergencies. It is packed with a compass, a LED flashlight, and my personal favorite, a USB port times two.
The only complaint I have is for cables and clamps. The cables could be longer, and regarding clamps, well they are made from plastic, don’t get me wrong they are durable, but I still prefer metal ones.
- 30 jumps per single charge
- Short cables
- Plastic clamps
All in all, this remarkable device offers everything you expected (and more) from a small-sized jump starter, and it is a must-have for anyone who is on the road often.
10. JUMTOP QDSP 2500A Peak 20800mAh Portable Car Jump Starter
If you are always on the move as I am, you will know how to appreciate a device that is fast, powerful, yet compact, and easy to carry. That is exactly why JUMPTOP QDSP is the best fast car battery charger.
I was a witness of how powerful this magnificent jump starter is, and I was left speechless. In just a few seconds, this jump starter with a massive 2500A current peak and 1200A cracking power brought back to life an 8.0L gas engine like it was nothing.
That leads us to the conclusion that powering a lithium-ion 12V battery is a piece of cake with it.
The best part is that the battery level of the device only dropped in a few percentages, and I was sure it would need a recharge. Well, now I know that is because a single charge will provide a modest 50 jump starts.
It is also multifunctional. It will serve as a power bank for your mobile devices since it comes with two USB ports, so you can charge two devices simultaneously.
If you are worried about safety, the smart protection clamps will provide great protection for both your car and charger.
The only thing that disappointed me is that cables are a bit too short.
- Extreme power
- Safe to use
- Cables are short
Long-distance driving can be a risky adventure if you go on the road unprepared; to avoid any unpleasant situation, make sure this device comes along too.
What is a car battery charger?
A car battery charger is your new best friend and a lifesaver. Joking aside, this is a small and powerful device that any car owner needs to have by their side on the road, just like a spare tire.
They will recharge your battery, but many models nowadays can jump start your car too to avoid leaving you stranded. Also, many of them can monitor your battery’s overall condition and notify you when something is wrong so you can prepare for the inevitable replacement costs.
Why do you need a car battery charger?
There are a few good reasons why you need to have a car battery charger ready at all times. Your car might be working perfectly now, but we all know that time will come when the battery will fail on you.
First, if you drive your car sporadically, that means your battery sits and partially discharges with each passing day. When you don’t drive your car enough, the alternator is not able to keep the battery juiced up and ready to use.
The very important thing to remember is that the alternator is not designed to restore a discharged battery; it is designed to maintain a healthy battery in the best possible condition for as long as it can.
So why overburden the alternator and risk the damage when you can invest in a car battery charger and maintainer that is designed to prevent this kind of situation. To avoid any complications, just simply hook up the battery charger a few hours before you need to use the vehicle and restore the power. Or if you have the maintainer type, leave it on indefinitely.
The second scenario is when the battery simply fails on you for no apparent reason, or that is what you like to think.
If the battery is exposed to a high-stress environment, there is a big chance it will not be able to cope with it. For example, if the temperature drops below freezing overnight, there is a high risk that the next morning you won’t be able to start your engine.
Lastly, innovative car battery chargers are designed not only to recharge and maintain, but they will also run diagnostic, recover and restore it, which at the end leads to prolonging a life span of your battery, and that can save you some money.
How does a car battery charger work?
First, let’s clear one thing out. The battery does not store electricity. It uses a chemical reaction to convert the energy into the electricity when there is a draw.
When the car battery charger is connected to the battery terminals, it will provide an external power that increases the power of the battery by simply reversing the electron flow.
So the first thing you need to do is to locate the positive and negative terminals on the battery of your car. After that, make sure your charger is switched off and unplugged from the wall outlet to be sure there is no current flowing through it.
Always connect the red clamp to the positive terminal and black clamp to the negative terminal. Some batteries have plastic protective covers that need to be flipped off to be able to connect the cables. To ensure that clamps are securely connected, shake them a bit. Keep the charger from the battery as far away as the cables let you.
Plug the charger back to the wall outlet and turn it on.
Now the charger receives the electrical current from the outlet and transports it through the battery charger cables into the battery. The electrolytes in the battery are slowly getting restored until they reach their proper energy level.
How long the process will last depends on the type of charger you have.
Types of car battery charger
The technology used within a car battery charger has improved significantly over the years. Why?
Well, the market, as well as the demand, is enormous, and of course, each manufacturer is trying to produce the best one yet, the one that will make them a leader in the industry.
In the end, that results in a wide variety of car battery chargers that are available for purchase.
There are three main types of battery chargers, which include – a standard charger, charger/maintainer, and innovative smart battery charger.
Standard car battery charger
They are usually the cheapest option, and all they do is power a battery on a fixed rate until it is fully charged. The problem with this type may occur if it does not have an automatic switch. Lack of this feature may lead to overcharging, which can be damaging to the battery, so you must monitor the charging process all the time.
This type of charger is designed to automatically switch to float mode at the same moment when it realizes that your battery is fully charged. Maintenance charger will provide low current that will help to keep the battery topped up without overcharging or causing any kind of damage.
Smart car battery charger
Logically the “smart” type is the best type of car battery charger you can get. But you will need to stretch your budget greatly to get it. This type of car battery charger is a combination of both the standard and maintenance type but with some extra features.
That means they can run diagnostic tests, and if they detect any imperfection, they will start battery repair and recovery modes. Usually, they are equipped with an LED display for more convenient use.
How to choose the righ a car battery charger
Choosing the right kind of battery charger is crucial. I agree that the process can be tricky and confusing; however, there are some factors that you need to consider before choosing a car battery charger to prevent damages.
The first step is to identify the battery type.
No matter if your battery is maintenance-free, the wet cell or also known as flooded, gel cell, or VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid), or maybe AGM (absorbed glass mat), you should pick the one charger that will work for all types except for the gel cell.
All the necessary information about the battery type is printed on top or side of the battery. Read it carefully.
The second step is to determine the size of the battery you tend to charge.
Here I don’t mean physical size; I mean how many amp hours your battery stores.
A full-size car battery usually stores around 50 amp hours. So, in that case, you should choose a 10 amp charger that will need about 6 hours to recharge a battery that was completely dead.
There is a rule on how to calculate your total charge time for a battery. Take the amp hour rating of your battery and divide by the charger rating (amps) when you do that add a minimum of 10% for the extra time to top up the battery.
These details can also be found printed on the battery label located on the top or side of the battery. In case you are unable to find this information, make sure to contact the manufacturer.
The third step is to choose the charger based on the desired outcome.
Some people require a charger to keep their motorcycle, classic car, or any recreational vehicle charged and ready to go out of season if that is the case than a simple low current charger/maintainer will do the job just fine.
Others require a fast and powerful charger to restore a flat or utterly dead battery quickly.
The fourth and last step is to choose the size of the charger.
Your battery charger should be a minimum of 10% of the amp rating of the battery. So in the example we stated above, for the battery that has 50 amp hours, the minimum charger size should be 5 amps, but that would be too slow, and you would risk overcharging.
If you want to prevent overcharging the battery, it is best to keep the size of the charger within 20% of the amp rating of the battery.
Here we are at the end, and the only thing left to be said is which one of these great devices is the ultimate best car battery charger.
I won’t lie; it was a hard decision to make.
But I must go for the Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC660 since it delivers the best possible performance in every aspect. It is powerful, durable, versatile, and on top of the most trustworthy model.
They aren’t a permanent solution for a troubled car battery but still get one for yourself (especially for your female companion) and save up some time, money, and nerves.
I am Dave McCurdy I am the content developer on the ecodrivingusa.com website. I have 6 years of experience in marketing as an automotive major.