Coming in just a smidge behind the top product in our ratings is the Black & Decker VEC1093DBD Smart Battery, which garners our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award. Characterized by its all-around performance and bevy of features, this automatic battery charger is a dependable source from a dependable company and maker in Black & Decker.
Although lacking the compatibility with deep cycle and 6-volt batteries which other top products possess, this battery charger can handle nearly every other 12-volt battery you need jumped or charged. It has the ability to charge or jump wet, absorbed glass mat and gel cell batteries, and it also offers four different charge rates, allowing you to jump anything from a lawn mower to large RVs and boats when necessary.
According to the battery charger’s owner’s manual, here are the various charge rates and the battery sizes they are meant to charge:
Also, and not to be outdone by its competitors, this battery charger possesses a micro processing unit which controls all its functions – so it earns the “smart” in Smart Battery. Average charge time when using the Smart Battery (depending on a battery’s charge level and the charge-rate setting) varies from one to 10.5 hours, according to the owner’s manual.
In addition to its four separate charging-rate options, the Smart Battery also offers a 110-amp engine start option in case you need a quick jump, and a battery voltage tester as well. Although 110 amps of power surely won't blow you away, it's still adequate enough to handle most jumping jobs.
The Smart Battery, like its main competition, comes with a cable storage unit, a carrying case and a built-in cooling fan to ensure its own longevity. Black & Decker promises “years of dependable service” as long as care and maintenance of the battery is practiced on a regular basis. If any problems do occur with the unit, this battery charger has a five-year warranty from the date of purchase.
This battery charger also comes in as the third-lightest charger of those highlighted in this review. Weighing a reasonable 11 pounds and possessing a built-in handle, the portability of the Smart Battery is definitely an advantage for those who buy this battery charge. Standing 13 inches tall, spanning 7 inches wide and stretching 11 inches in length, you shouldn’t encounter any problems in carrying this battery charger around for use.
As is standard with many battery chargers these days, the Smart Battery includes a set of easy-to-use push button controls found on the unit’s control panel just below the handle. The first two buttons on the left are bracketed together as Step 1, Step 2, as they remind users to select a battery type (wet, gel, AGM, etc.), before selecting a charge rate (4, 10, 20 or 40 amps). The Engine Start option can also be found on this row just to the right of the Charge Rate Selector button. The two additional buttons on the right side include the Battery Recondition button – a 24-hour mode and cycle of charging that automatically stops on its own – and the Battery Voltage button.
In addition to the push button controls, the control panel on this battery charger also includes LED indicators and a digital display. If you’re not sure which battery type you’ve selected, just take a quick look at the control panel LED signals and they’ll remind you of what you’ve selected. The three-character digital display is also a convenient source of information and charge updates for users. The unit’s micro processing unit can inform users of a bad battery connection, reverse polarity, an insufficient charge rate, and more through the digital display. The display indicates the varying conditions based on a three-character status code, so be sure to refer to the owner’s manual if you don’t remember a particular code or are using the unit for the first time. Lastly, this battery charger also turns-off on its own once a charge job is complete, ensuring that any problems with overcharging will not occur.
As mentioned above, the Smart Battery will warn you of a poor connection or reverse polarity if the jumper cables have been improperly hooked up to the battery’s terminals. When you consider the fact that reverse polarity can lead to permanent damage in a battery as well as creating unwanted sparks, it’s no wonder this safety feature is highly sought after by customers. Normally it’s easy enough to remember that the positive clamp goes to the positive terminal, and negative to negative. But in case of a mix-up, this battery charger will alert you to switch the terminals. Also, insulated and spark resistant clamps are another safety feature of this battery charger.
In conclusion, if you choose to purchase the Black & Decker VEC1093DBD Smart Battery, you should be satisfied with the product you’re receiving. Not only is it affordable, but all the essential features and options are available as well. The only issue of note, again, is the battery charger’s non-compatibility with small, 6-volt batteries and deep cycle batteries. A work light is also not included in its list of features but outside of those three deficiencies, this 12-volt battery charger is up for any task. Add onto that the trusted name of Black & Decker and its five-year warranty, and you get a sum that may be hard to pass up.
This battery charger is compatible with wet, absorbed glass mat, and gel cell batteries.
It lacks the ability to charge 6-volt and deep cell batteries.
This is a quality battery charger from a trusted source in Black & Decker.