The 10 Best Car Battery Chargers of 2018

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Best Car Battery Charger For Dead Battery
Best Portable Car Battery Charger
Best Trickle Charger For Car Battery
Best Buy Car Battery Charger

Moments when your car just won’t start no matter how hard you try could really ruin your day especially if you’re in a rush. Running out of battery is a common issue that can happen to your car if you accidentally leave the radio or headlights on for too long. To avoid this problem you need a car battery charger, an important accessory to have in your car just like you would carry around a spare wheel. It gives you some peace of mind to know that you can restore your battery’s charge any time you need. That’s not all. Some more advanced models come with extra features allowing you to keep the battery in perfect condition for longer. You might also be interested in our articles about the best usb car charger and the best power inverter.

Figuring out which kind of battery you need can be difficult so this is why you need to do your research well. To simplify your task, let’s have a look at some of the most important features of a car battery charger:

1. Amperage

Some of the more basic chargers come with either 10 or 20 amps. This is good if your needs aren’t very demanding but if you need a little extra power you can go over 20-amp versions. Professional users can go with wheeled chargers which can handle more vehicles and not just cars. They usually deliver between 5 and 60 amps but for taking care of discharged cells they can enter a jump start mode promising even 275 amps.

2. Voltage

To ensure compatibility with your car’s battery, make sure you choose a charger with the correct voltage. This is not very hard to do because most smart chargers can handle various types of batteries no matter the size. Some common options are chargers for 6V or 12V batteries.

3. Safety

Operating the charger in a safe manner should be a priority when choosing a fitting model for your car’s battery. There are lots of units out there with solid safety features such as protection against overload, short circuits, and overvoltage. The problem of overcharging should be also avoided so that’s why it’s recommended to try not to compromise on the safety of your desired car battery charger.

These are the most relevant aspects to be aware of when it comes to battery chargers for vehicles. There are other features to consider too, such as the user-friendliness, and the overall construction. If you wish to spend your money well, choosing only from the most cost-effective options on the market is clearly the best solution. Let’s see how the following list of products fits your needs and budget.

Best Car Battery Charger For Dead Battery

1. NOCO Genius G3500 UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger

A battery charger that seems to get everything right is the NOCO Genius G3500. This capable model can charge and maintain 6-volt and 12-volt batteries and works in the safest manner with all kinds of battery types including those from cars, RVs, and boats. It seems to have what it takes for many users who are also looking for a reasonably-priced product.

This is a car battery charger but you can consider it more than that as it’s able to handle the charging of so many kinds of batteries. It offers 7 charging modes and it can bring back to life even fully drained batteries. If lost capacity or low-voltage is detected, the device can deliver a high-voltage pulse charge to recover the battery.

Problems with batteries can be discovered if you rely on the intuitive diagnostic tool which provides a visual interface to help you better understand if your battery’s damaged. It can detect many issues such as low-voltage and reverse polarity. Safeguards are placed to protect against other common problems like overcharging, open-circuits, and overheating.

The durability of your battery is something that takes priority for this charger. This is why its system has been designed to stabilize the internal chemistry of the battery so it receives optimized power that contributes to the overall longevity. When full power is not required, the charger minimizes the consumption which helps to save some energy costs.

In conclusion, the NOCO Genius G3500 is an extremely effective product for charging car batteries. This charger can be a lifesaver in many situations and the best part about the way it’s designed is that it’s so intuitive to use. Anyone can use it to diagnose issues and take a drained battery from a hopeless state back to fully charged. Considering everything, this is a highly recommended car battery charger.

Key Features:

  • Ultra-safe design
  • Can charge various types of batteries
  • Visual diagnostic tool
  • 6-volt and 12-volt battery charger
  • Repairs discharged and sulfated batteries

Best Portable Car Battery Charger

2. Battery Tender 021-0123, 0.75A Battery Charger

If your budget is more limited, perhaps the Battery Tender 021-0123 could be an interesting choice. This is an automatic battery charger that offers a complete charging program for optimizing the way any car battery operates. It doesn’t overcharge and can handle 12-volt lead-acid, sealed, or other types of batteries without problems.

Safety is important when you’re using any kind of car battery charger. This is why this unit comes with reversed hook-up protection. Before transferring the much-needed power to your dead battery, the device detects if the connection is correctly established. This model offers a completely spark-proof experience.

Another solid feature of this charger is how it’s controlled by a smart onboard computer which carefully analyzes the power delivered to the battery to ensure it’s always correct and consistent. Thanks to Infinite Sequential Monitoring, this unit charges your battery adaptively. It pays attention to the exact needs of the battery as many as hundreds of times per second.

Connecting this unit to your dead battery is easy thanks to the Quick Disconnect Harness. Once everything is attached, you can simply forget about the charger. It can manage the health of the battery automatically. The charger is lightweight, easy to handle with one hand and there are helpful LEDs which indicate the status of the charging process.

After the battery went through the automatic charge cycle, the device makes is so the charger will automatically switch to float mode. This prevents overcharging and ensures a correct charging for all kinds of 12-volt batteries even for AGM and gel cell types.

When you take into account its abilities per cost, the Battery Tender 021-0123 is definitely a solid all-around car battery charger. It may not blow you away with its performance but it’s incredibly easy to operate and highly versatile. It’s ideal not only for batteries from a car as it also meets the needs of ATVs, scooters, and motorcycles.

Key Features:

  • Spark-proof and reverse polarity protection
  • 4-step charging program
  • Charges and maintains all 12-volt batteries
  • Works with lead-acid, flooded or sealed types
  • Automatic charge cycle
  • Easy to use

Best Trickle Charger For Car Battery

3. Schumacher SC-1200A-CA Fully Automatic Battery Charger

For those who are left unsatisfied by more conventional car battery chargers, the Schumacher SC-1200A-CA could be a more performant solution. It’s designed to rely on the most advanced technologies to charge up your batteries more efficiently and to maintain that charge in time. Let’s see its features in more detail.

There are multiple charging modes available for this unit. It will adjust the amperage rate by itself for handling a wide range of different batteries. The device can switch to Slow Charge, a special setting used for smaller batteries like those from ATVs and motorcycles. The larger batteries that it can effectively charge are those from cars, RVs, and trucks.

The charging process is controlled by a microprocessor which lets the charger provide extra precision and safety via its multi-stage charging. With the help of this incorporated technology, the life of your battery can be prolonged and you can benefit from faster charges, up to two times faster compared to basic chargers.

In terms of construction features, this model doesn’t have a lot to show but it does come with a sturdy handle to facilitate carrying it around. The handle is retractable and has another role too. It makes it easier to wrap the 50-amp clamps and power cord around it.

On the front panel of the car battery charger, there are multiple LED indicators that offer good visibility to check the charge status at a simple glance. Many premium charging applications can be handled by this reliable unit. It also doesn’t disappoint when it comes to energy savings and takes extra care not to overcharge your batteries.

A well-designed product overall, the Schumacher SC-1200A-CA brings dead batteries back to life and once you get the hang of all of its functions, it’s an excellent charger. The trickle charger built-in does its job in a reliable manner so all in all, this car battery charger is recommended for those with slightly larger budgets.

Key Features:

  • 12 Amp fully automatic microprocessor
  • Auto Voltage Detection
  • Reverse hook-up protection
  • Float mode monitoring
  • 12A rapid charger + 6A charger

4. Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, 1.25 Amp Battery Charger

Another model from Battery Tender worth considering is the Plus 021-0128 an innovative and inexpensive smart battery charger. Some trickle chargers can have damaging effects on your car’s battery but this one is capable of completing full charges and maintaining your battery’s voltage to ensure an adequate power supply.

One reason why this battery charger simplifies your whole experience is that it can switch to float charging mode without any extra effort on your part. It goes from full charging to float charging by itself and even with only 1.25 amps it can rival some 3-amp chargers with its performance. The status of the charging is shown conveniently through the unit’s indicator lights.

This unit comes with important safety features to make sure that you’re not exposed to any danger. It offers reverse polarity protection and is spark proof. An optimum charge is provided with the help of the temperature compensation feature which controls the voltage according to ambient temperature. In the package there are a few accessories included such as ring terminals and alligator clips.

The charging speed is definitely improved compared to the Junior model. This is very useful considering the many electronics found on today’s vehicles because the battery is used more intensely. Despite the car not being turned on, the voltage draw remains and the battery can drain surprisingly fast over a longer period of time. This model has been designed to tackle precisely this problem and to maintain the battery’s performance in optimal conditions.

With so many powerful features, the Battery Tender Plus 021-0128 is a very reliable car battery charger, all things considered. It avoids the usual damaging effects that trickle chargers seem to produce and it has lots of handy accessories included. There’s even a quick connect harness supplied. A solid buy for the price.

Key Features:

  • Temperature compensated
  • Reverse-polarity protection
  • Automatic float charging switching
  • 1.25-amp battery charger
  • Red and green indicator lights

5. BLACK+DECKER BM3B and 12V Automatic Battery Charger / Maintainer

Sometimes the simplest products can work best for your needs. The Black+Decker BM3B is a basic battery charger and maintainer for your car which offers a satisfying set of features at a reasonable price. It comes with all the needed accessories for connecting to your vehicle battery and it provides a decent charge for many 6V and 12V battery systems.

User friendliness could be a very important aspect for many people who aren’t familiar with car battery chargers. This model is incredibly easy to use. In just a few steps you can have your large car battery charged and ready to go.

The first thing required is to select the charging mode. Then you need to connect the charger to the battery using clamps or O-rings. You can try the DC plug using the outlet from your vehicle or, if the battery’s outside the vehicle, you can always rely on a wall outlet. Depending on the battery, you might need to toggle between 6 or 12-volt.

In the package for this model, you will be greeted by necessary accessories such as clamps, O-rings, and DC plug. The O-rings are recommended when you plan on charging for a long time though battery clamps represent the usual method for charging and maintaining.

There are lots of applications for this charger as it’s quite a versatile unit. Most people need it for their car batteries but as long as the battery is of a 6 or 12-volt variety, it will work well even if it comes from other vehicles such as trucks, boats, or lawn tractors. The charger is designed to resist moisture and dust and arrives completely sealed.

All in all, the Black+Decker BM3B is a very cost-effective way to charge your car’s battery. It doesn’t boast any advanced features but it does what it’s supposed to do well and that’s what matters in the end. The connection to the battery is quick and simple. Considering the overall versatility and performance, this deserves a spot on this list of the best car battery chargers on the market.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with 6V and 12V battery systems
  • High-frequency smart charging
  • Float mode monitoring
  • Handy accessories included
  • Built-in mounting bracket

Best Buy Car Battery Charger

6. Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA Car Battery Charger

Spending a lot of money isn’t always required if you want to get your hands on a high-quality car battery charger. The Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA does a great job and it comes with a price that’s quite difficult to match for its class. Whether for batteries in your car or those you’re storing away, this model seems to be capable of successfully meeting their charging needs.

To make sure that batteries are charged and maintained correctly, you need an advanced microprocessor to handle the job. In this unit, you will find controlled charging in this way. This microprocessor enables the device to monitor and react to any changes in the charging requirements of the battery.

One great feature is the automatic voltage detection which can figure out if your connected battery is of the 6 or 12-volt variety. Batteries can get easily damaged if the charging settings are wrong so this is a very welcomed ability. Once the charger goes over the detecting stage, it will start a multi-phase charging process.

When the battery is getting charged data is constantly getting analyzed by the microprocessor to ensure a stable and constant charge. The battery eventually gets fully charged and the unit automatically stops and will enter Maintain Mode if the charge starts falling below a preset threshold.

The advantage of this smart charging ability means that your batteries are in good hands as they’re constantly being monitored even if you leave them to charge for an extended period of time. Additionally, the charger has other interesting features such as automatic temperature compensation, thermal runaway, and auto-start.

It’s difficult to match the level of performance you obtain at such a great price so it’s safe to conclude that the Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA represents a worthy investment. Just for the sophisticated microprocessor alone, this car battery charger is recommended as it will simplify any charging and maintaining task.

Key Features:

  • Charges 6 and 12 volts batteries
  • Rugged plastic housing
  • Quick-Connect Harness
  • 1.5-amp charger and maintainer
  • Status LEDs
  • Reverse-hookup protection

7. Schumacher SSC-1000A Car Battery Charger

Schumacher is a brand that keeps on giving. Their lineup of car battery chargers is very diverse and performant and another powerful model from their ranks is the SSC-1000A, a more advanced unit for charging your drained batteries quickly and efficiently. Let’s see if this could make a potentially solid investment.

There are three charging rates at your disposal. 2, 6, and 10 amps. This is important because you can precisely select the optimal rate to charge any battery according to its type and specific charging needs. By supplying the right charge level and with the right timing as charging cycles are also taken into account, this charger is able to provide quicker charging and superior maintaining results.

The fastest charge possible is the 10-amp rate. This one works great for gel cell as well as batteries with deep cycles. Some of the recommended types that rely on this charge rate are found on cars, trucks, and farm equipment. The medium charge is at 6-amp which is used for everyday charging and maintaining as this is a self-adjusting charge rate.

One gentle trickle charge is also available. This is the 2-amp slow charge that’s adequate for smaller batteries like those from motorcycles and snowmobiles. As with other Schumacher chargers, this one too boasts an advanced microprocessor which has the ability to monitor the voltage level of the connected battery and rely on ever-changing data to optimize the charging process.

This is a car battery charger that works in multiple stages enabling the battery to cycle through desulfation, absorption, float mode, and other phases. The microprocessor automatically adjusts the whole charging process collecting data to speed everything up and reduce the chances of overcharging.

The Schumacher SSC-1000A is a solid car battery charger when you take all of its features into account. It combines cutting-edge circuitry represented by the Ship ‘N’ Shore SpeedCharge microprocessor with traditional charging technology. The result is superb charging performance, great versatility, and convenience.

Key Features:

  • Electronic push button interface
  • Digital meter
  • 10-amp fast charging
  • 2-amp slow charging
  • Diagnoses problems
  • 50-Amp battery clips

8. BLACK+DECKER BC15BD with Alternator Check

Black+Decker is a reputable brand that has some very balanced options for car battery chargers. This one’s the BC15BD model, a 15-amp bench battery charger fitting for various types of car and marine 12V batteries. It’s easy to use and has all the protections in place to ensure a safe charging experience.

There are two options to charge batteries. You can use the included clamps which attach directly to the battery in your car without having to take it out. Alternatively, you can plug the charger directly into a wall outlet and deliver continuous power to batteries that you store outside vehicles.

Even if the battery is totally dead, this charger can provide quick optimized power allowing you to start your car back up in just 8 minutes. This is thanks to the advanced patented technology included in this model – the 40A Engine Start Timer.

One feature that sets this charger apart from similar models is the alternator and voltage check gauge. These battery parameters can be checked and shown on a relatively large monitoring display. This unit scores high on intuitiveness thanks to a very informative LCD screen that enables users to view the electrical charge of both the battery and alternator at the same time.

Another function is the alert in case you connect battery clamps incorrectly. Something that inexperienced users are sure to appreciate is the way the charger seems to be equipped with many automatic technologies. It’s amazingly easy to use as you don’t have to set any complicated settings.

While not as reliable when compared to other car battery chargers in its class, the Black+Decker BC15BD is still a strong candidate that needs to be considered. As long as you learn to use it correctly, this model can offer a very rewarding charging experience and can potentially save you if you’re in a pinch.

Key Features:

  • 15 amp charger and maintainer
  • Automatic high-frequency charging
  • Battery reconditioning feature
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • Patented alternator check
  • LCD screen
  • ETL certified

9. Schumacher SE-5212A Automatic Handheld Battery Charger

With a long history in the manufacturing of car batteries and a dedication to providing sustainable energy-efficient products, Schumacher is definitely a brand to consider if you want to get a capable charger. The SE-5212A is a reliable handheld battery charger that has a lot to offer for its cost including a more solid construction compared to other models.

For extra safety and precision, this unit delivers charging power in multiple stages for ensuring optimal energy that reaches any 12-volt standard and deep-cycle battery. It steers clear from overcharging batteries, which is known to be a problem with cheaper chargers.

When in fast charging mode, the battery can finish the job very quickly. It will take about 3 to 5 hours to charge a compatible battery to its full capacity. To check the status of the operation you can always take a quick glance at the helpful LED. The design of this model is one of its standout features considering the heavy-duty steel case and the stylish powder-coated finish.

There’s a good number of applications you can use this charger as it includes 50, 10, and 2-amp battery charging modes. The 50-amp mode is most helpful for engines that require emergency starting. In the fast charging mode (10-amp), you can recover the power of a battery in approximately 4 hours. Finally, there’s trickle charge at 2-amp that works best for small 12-volt batteries.

One disadvantage of this model is that it can’t be shipped to California. As this state has stricter energy saving requirements, which this charger lacks, you can’t get use it there. It’s also specified that it contains harmful chemicals which are banned in California.

If you wish to make a solid investment in a car battery charger, the Schumacher SE-5212A shouldn’t miss from your list of potential options. It packs lots of great features for the cost and despite some drawbacks for California residents, it’s still a reliable handheld charger that’s robust and performs just as described.

Key Features:

  • 12-volt battery charger
  • Fast charging capacity
  • Powder-coated finish
  • Doesn’t overcharge batteries
  • Ideal for 50, 10, and 2-amp applications

10. Schumacher SE-4022 Manual Wheeled Battery Charger

If you’re a professional and need more than just a simple battery charger, the Schumacher SE-4022 could be exactly what you need. It’s designed not only to charge vehicle batteries but also to perform various tests to detect starting system problems. There are many great features found here though the cost is also much higher.

This unit comes with an integrated battery tester and provides a total of 3 charging rates of which the fastest is the 40-amp rate. It’s compatible with batteries that have 6 or 12 volts capacities. There are slower charging rates such as the 2 amps trickle charge and 10 amps. One thing that’s important to mention regarding compatibility is that this model doesn’t charge AGM, deep-cycle, or gel cell batteries.

When it comes to recharging rate, this is a really efficient machine. Most standard car batteries can be completely refilled with power in approximately 50 minutes. That’s available for the rapid 40-amp setting. Obviously, slower charge rates will take longer though even on the slowest it won’t take more than 12 hours.

As this is a more heavy-duty car battery charger, bulkier in size, it generates much more heat compared to a handheld unit. That’s why Schumacher equipped this machine with a cooling fan. It also features long cables and wheels which help with the overall portability though you will still need plenty of space to store this charger.

One particular disadvantage of this device is that it lacks a microprocessor to control the charging process. This is not an automatic car battery charger so it requires someone to attend the charger when it works and manually turn it off when it’s done. Leaving it to work unsupervised can have damaging consequences to a battery once full capacity is reached because of overcharging.

To conclude, it can be said that Schumacher did a solid job with this professional car battery charger. The SE-4022 doesn’t have a microprocessor which would have made it easier to control but it doesn’t really need one as its geared for professionals who use it intensively. Recommended if you have the room to keep it as it delivers excellent charging performance.

Key Features:

  • Accepts 6 and 12-volt batteries
  • Diagnoses battery problems
  • 2 rotary switches and 1 voltmeter included
  • Cooling fan
  • 200-amps
  • 40-amp fast charge