Car Battery Charger Review

Why Buy a Car Battery Charger?

It happens to all of us. Perhaps you left your lights on, or perhaps your battery is older and starting to lose its charge. Regardless of the reason, being stranded due to a drained battery is not a pleasant experience. A car battery charger is a great way to recharge or maintain your automobile, RV, boat and recreational-vehicle batteries.

On this site, you'll find articles about car battery boosters as well as informative reviews about the best car battery chargers, like the Schumacher Speedcharge, the Black & Decker Smart Battery and the NPower Automatic.

Car Battery Chargers: What to Look For

Not all car battery chargers offer the same functions, compatibility or charging rates. Look for a unit that can handle your battery type and allows you to safely charge your battery in the time frame you desire. If you don't want to worry about plugging in the charger, look for a battery booster or jump-starter you can take with you on the road. You may need a charger that can handle lower-voltage batteries commonly used in riding lawn mowers or ATVs. Use our criteria below to find the best car battery charger to suit your needs.

Features
The best car battery chargers boast a wide variety of features, including the options of a slow or fast charge rate, easy-to-use controls and displays that clearly show your battery charge status. Microprocessors enable you to connect your battery and have the charger select the best recharging method. Some battery chargers require a wall power outlet, while others, such as jump-start units, you can recharge and then take them on the road.

Many battery boosters include helpful battery and alternator testing functions, as well as cooling fans to reduce strain from too much heat. Look for a charger with solid cold-cranking amps, at least 100 amps. A good CCA rating can get your battery going quicker when you jump-start your vehicle. Some battery boosters can function as a short-term power supply and include an LED work light and power outlets you can plug other devices into, such as cell phones, tablets or power tools.

Charging Options
Many car battery chargers have multiple charging rates to choose from, ranging from a slow trickle of 2 amps to a speedy 40 amps. Depending on your battery type, some of the best auto battery boosters can fully charge a battery in about an hour. Look for a charger that can charge your batteries in the time frame you want.

Battery Compatibility
Batteries can be made from different materials, and some battery boosters are only able to charge certain kinds. The most common types of batteries are lead-acid, absorbed glass mat and gel cell. Some chargers are also capable of recharging deep-cycle batteries that are commonly used in boats and recreation vehicles. Look for a charger that is compatible with the types of batteries your vehicles use.

Safety Features
Car battery chargers have various built-in safety measures to protect you as well as your battery, keeping it from overcharging or being ruined by reverse polarity mishaps. Look for a charger that has automatic shut-off capability to keep your battery from overcharging, as well as insulated and spark-resistant clamps. These safety features help you recharge your batteries safely, protecting you and your property from spark-caused fires or explosions from incorrect connections.

Portability
Heavy lifting and finding a suitable place to store a battery charger are never fun, so look for a lightweight unit that fits your storage requirements. Some models come with wheels, while many fit easily on a shelf or workbench. The more portable a battery charger is, the quicker you can charge or jump your battery.

A battery booster is a great way to keep on top of your battery maintenance, saving you the stress of wondering if your battery is going to give out. Don't wait until you are stranded to think about a car battery charger. Prepare now, and use our research to find the car battery charger that best suits your needs.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™

 
 
Auto Tech » Aux Power » Car Battery Charger Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Schumacher SpeedCharge Black and Decker Smart Battery NPower Automatic Associated Equipment Schumacher Wheeled CTEK Duracell Powerpack Peak Battery Tender Plus Clore Jump Starter
Schumacher SpeedCharge Black and Decker Smart Battery NPower Automatic Associated Equipment Schumacher Wheeled CTEK Duracell Powerpack Peak Battery Tender Plus Clore Jump Starter
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Lowest Price
Visit Schumacher SpeedCharge SC-10030A
$84.95
Visit Black and Decker Smart Battery VEC1093DBD
$144.99
Visit NPower Automatic B004APJN0E
$59.99
Visit Associated Equipment 9090
$220.00
Visit Schumacher Wheeled SE-4022
$161.99
Visit CTEK Multi US 7002
$102.95
Visit Duracell Powerpack 600
$162.62
Visit Peak PKC0AZ
$79.74
Visit Battery Tender Plus
$47.98
Visit Clore Jump Starter JNC660
$111.75
Ratings
9.63
9.40
8.13
7.78
7.08
6.95
5.35
5.15
5.10
4.93
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
9.38
10.00
10.00
10.00
8.75
9.38
10.00
9.38
10.00
8.13
7.50
8.75
9.38
8.13
6.88
6.88
7.50
9.38
7.50
8.13
6.25
10.00
7.50
5.00
6.25
5.63
5.00
10.00
10.00
5.00
5.00
0.00
7.50
10.00
5.63
5.63
0.00
7.50
5.63
7.50
2.50
3.75
9.13
6.88
5.00
4.88
0.00
7.50
6.25
6.88
 
Features
Cold Cranking Amps 100 110 75 100 200 N/A 280 450 N/A 425
Microprocessor Control
 
 
Automatic Setting
 
 
Engine Jump-Start
 
 
Slow/Fast Charge
    
Battery Tester
 
 
Cooling Fan
 
     
Push Button Controls
 
 
Digital Display
   
  
Warranty 5 Years 5 Years 1 Year 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 1 Year 90 days 10 Years 1 Year
Power Outlet        3 1   1
Charging Options
Slow Charge Rate (amps) 2 4/10 2/8 2 2 1.5 N/A N/A 1.5 N/A
Fast Charge Rate (amps) 12/30 20/40 12 12 10/40 7 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Average Charge Time: Slow 14.5 Hours 10.5 Hours 15 Hours 15 Hours 14.5 Hours 22 Hours N/A N/A 22 Hours N/A
Average Charge Time: Fast 1.5 Hours 1 Hour 2 Hours 2 Hours 1 Hour 3 Hours N/A N/A N/A N/A
Battery Compatibility
Car
Motorcycle
RV
Boat
AGM Batteries
  
  
 
Gel Cell Batteries
  
  
 
Deep Cycle Batteries
 
    
6-Volt Battery
  
  
 
12-Volt Battery
Safety Features
Insulated Clamps
Spark Resistant Clamps
 
Reverse Polarity Warning
 
 
Full Charge Auto Turn-off
 
  
Overload Protection
  
 
Portability
Weight (lbs) 11.8 11.2 3.52 13 27.3 1.7 32 12 3 18
Jumper Cable Length (ft) 7 3 6 6 6 1.5 3 3 1.5 3.5
Built-in Cable Storage
  
  
Handle
 
 
 
Cordless Operation       
  
Dimensions
Length (in) 9 11 11.5 10 9.9 8.5 14 13.5 4.9 16.3
Width (in) 9.8 7 8 9.2 11.7 3.5 9 7.6 3.25 14.1
Height (in) 5.4 13 4 5.5 19 1.9 12 14.6 2.88 5.1