PROS / This battery charger is compatible with absorbed glass mat and gel cell batteries. It can recharge a standard battery in an hour or less on its highest settings.
CONS / There are no settings for 6-volt batteries, and its jumper cables are not very long.
VERDICT / This quality battery charger can quickly charge almost every battery type, and it's a great choice for home mechanics and small shops.
The Black & Decker VEC1093DBD Smart Battery features fast recharge rates, a wide range of battery compatibility and a five-year warranty. This dependable automatic car battery charger is one of the best battery boosters available and our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner.
This car battery charger uses a microprocessing unit to control all its charging functions, allowing you to charge your batteries without constant monitoring. It has four charging rates to choose from, with easy-to-use buttons on the control panel just below the handle.
The first two buttons on the left are bracketed together as Step 1 and Step 2, reminding you to select a battery type before selecting a charge rate. The engine start option is also 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, this battery charger 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 LED signals for a reminder.
The three-character digital display is also a convenient source of charge updates. The unit's microprocessing unit informs you if there's a bad battery connection, reverse polarity or an insufficient charge rate through the digital display. The display indicates the varying conditions based on a three-character status code. You can find the meanings of each code in the user manual and on a chart located on the back of the charger.
The Smart Battery offers a 110-amp cold-cranking engine start option in case you need a quick jump, as well as a battery voltage and alternator tester. Although 110 amps of power won't blow you away, it's adequate to handle most jumping jobs. Black & Decker includes a five-year warranty from the date of purchase with this auto battery booster.
There are four different charge rates to choose from when you use this battery charger. The 4-amp rate is meant for small batteries found in lawn mowers, snowmobiles, motorcycles and so forth. The 10-amp rate is perfect for mid-sized batteries found in small cars, while the 20-amp is optimal for cars and light trucks. The 40-amp setting is best for large truck, boat and RV batteries. The average charging time varies with the rate and remaining battery charge, but the 40-amp setting can recharge a standard lead-acid battery in an hour or less, while charging at a 4- or 10-amp rate can take around 10 hours.
This battery charger lacks compatibility with 6-volt batteries, which means you can't charge your golf cart, tractor or fifth wheel battery. However, this battery charger can handle nearly every 12-volt battery you need to jump or charge. This includes AGM, deep-cycle and gel cell batteries, allowing you to charge anything from cars and trucks to large RVs and boats.
The Smart Battery has all the safety features a top battery charger should have, including automatic shut-off and overload protection. These features protect against overcharging. This battery booster warns you on the display with an error code if the jumper cables are improperly hooked up to the battery's terminals. Reverse polarity can lead to permanent damage in a battery, as well as create unwanted sparks. The unit also has spark-resistant, insulated clamps.
The Smart Battery comes with built-in cable storage to help keep the unit neat and tidy. The cables are only 3 feet long, which means you'll need to station the charger where you can place the battery near while it charges. This battery charger weighs a reasonable 11 pounds, stands 13 inches tall, is 7 inches wide and measures 11 inches in length. You shouldn't encounter any problems in carrying this battery charger around or storing it on a shelf.
The Black & Decker VEC1093DBD Smart Battery is a reliable car battery charger with plenty of power and battery compatibility. While its jumper cables are shorter than other ranked chargers, its rapid charge rate and safety features, such as automatic shut-off and overload protection, make the Smart Battery a great addition to any workshop or garage.