Electricity is an integral part of our lives, although we do not always seem to understand this fact. There are various sources of electricity. However, you cannot wire a vehicle to take advantage of it. Hence were the batteries invented that store electricity and can be used whenever required. It is a portable way to store and use electricity. Batteries are the source of electricity that is especially used in vehicles to start and also provide various other advantages.
Batteries in vehicles usually come in 6-volt or 12-volt. They are used in all kinds of vehicles, be it your motorcycle or a government-owned bus. Although you own a car or any other vehicle that has a battery installed, you do not use them regularly. The batteries in these vehicles get discharged faster and hence the requirement to recharge it and also maintain it regularly. This was the reason the below chargers have been introduced. It helps the users charge and maintain the batteries to get a long life. You would spend a lot on the batteries to buy them. Hence you also need to make sure you get a good life out of them.
The chargers we are discussing below are chosen based on the ratings provided by the users. They are the best ones in the market and they have some additional features that will make them stand apart. The main feature of them is optimized charging, which will protect the battery of various issues and increase its life. Now without wasting much time, lets discuss them.
Best Buy Car Battery Charger Consumer Reviews
As mentioned, we will be discussing some of the car chargers available in the market and we believe these are the best ones you can find as it is based on genuine consumer reports & reviews.
1. Battery Tender Automatic Battery Charger
Battery Tender – a unique name by itself, manufactures the automatic battery charger, which is worth a buy. Are you the one who keeps the battery on charge and forgets switching it off when the charge is complete? Well, Battery Tender is automatic and ensures it does not overcharge the battery. It is compatible with most of the 12-volt batteries and can be used across a wide variety of vehicles. If you do not use your vehicle regularly and also seen the battery regularly discharging when not in use, it is good to take advantage of this charger, which will increase the life of the battery.
The battery is ergonomically designed for use when you physically handle it. There are grips on either side of the charger plug that will help you plug and unplug into the socket with ease. It is perfect for charging a 12-volt lead-acid battery that is usually found on your bike. It is also compatible with the flooded or sealed maintenance batteries. It is installed with a 4-step charging program that optimizes the battery power and ensures it does not over-charge. When I mentioned it is automatic, one of the features is it goes into a float mode when the charge is complete. Based on the level of charge in the battery, it charges the battery. If the charge is completely down in the battery, it goes into full output mode. The two LED indicator indicates the mode it is in.
- The charger is spark-proof – you can be rest assured when you leave it switched on for a longer duration
- Automatic mode is available – goes into float mode when the charge is full, hence does not overcharge
- LED indicator shows the charging stage
- The bulk charge also available
- Customers saw the product dying within short usage time
- Quality deteriorating as per customer’s comments
2. BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic Battery Charger
Black + Decker is known for the quality in its products, and they are pioneers in electrical goods. A wide range of electrical products are manufactured by them, and most of them are the superior quality ones. The product we are talking about now is its fully automatic battery charger that is available in for both 6-volt and 1-volt batteries. They also call it the maintainer, because it also maintains the charging mode by itself – we mean that it is automatic. It is compatible with AGM, GEL, and WET batteries. If you have multiple such batteries you need not buy one for each of them, just this little piece of the gadget will do the job for you.
Using this charger is easy because it can be used with either the clip type or the O ring type of charging points. Both types of cables are provided with the charger. It is automatic as mentioned, which means when the charge is full it stops charging the battery. It has a smart sensing capability for the same. The built-in circuit protection in it guards the battery against overcharging, reverse polarity, and or even short circuit. It is also ETL certified for safety. The charger panel has an available switch to move from 6-volt to 12-volt and vice-versa. It also indicates if the battery is fully charged or still charging. It is also provided with the clamp to help attach to the wall. There is also the charging time chart provided with the battery to show you what kind of battery takes how much time to charge.
- Can switch between 6-volt or 12-volt mode with a small switch provided
- Indicates the full charge or charging mode on the panel
- Automatically stops charging when the charge is full
- Protection against overcharging, short circuit and reverse polarity
- Mounting brackets are provided
- Customers got a dead charger
- Customers said it did not go well with sealed lead-acid batteries
3. NOCO Genius G3500 – Battery charger/maintainer
NOCO Genius – Genius as it mentions, the charger can charge both 6-volt and 12-volt batteries and also acts as maintainer. You can always keep it connected when you want to maintain the battery. The built is super-sturdy making it resistant even in the snowy season. The battery can charge up to 120 amp-hours. Maintaining the battery is pretty easy with it. The indictors available on the panel are pretty informative. There is the power on/off indicator, the battery charged level indicator and the battery capacity that is being charged. The battery level indicator shows the level of 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%.
It can charge the battery of a bike, cars, boats, RVs, trucks, and tractors. It can charge Wet, Gel and AGM batteries, which are the most common ones we find in the automobiles. It can connect either by the clip types of a connector or by O ring type connectors. Once you plug in the charger to the battery with the preferred type, it takes care of it completely. You can rest assured the battery is safe in the hands of this charger. It charges, maintains and makes sure no harm comes to your battery while it is switched on. It will automatically stop charging once the battery is full. It will avoid any overcharge. It is also built with spark-proof, reverse polarity protection and anti-shortcircuit technology. The warranty period is 5-years by the manufacturer.
- The charger charges up to 120 amp-hours
- Avoids overcharge of batteries automatically
- The charger works on Wet, Gel and AGM batteries like a charm
- Charging with this Genius will ensure the battery’s performance is increased in the optimized charge mode
- Spark-proof technology is inbuilt
- The warranty process is lengthy as per customer’s experience
- When compared with other battery chargers this one ended up showing working batteries as dead
4. Schumacher SC1305 – Fully Automatic battery charger
SC1305 model of the Schumacher is a fully automatic charger and car starter kit that is sturdy for rugged use. The model looks like an old transmitter/radio that was used in olden days. It has a handle on top for you to carry it with ease. There are 3 modes available in it that are helpful and can be useful anytime. The starter mode help kick in the battery with the power that is required to turn on the car or the vehicle with the electric starter. This is usually helpful when the battery is completely drained and the vehicle does not start. The next mode is the A boost mode in which the battery which is completely discharged, can be charged to some extent faster in boost mode. Then the last mode is the charging and maintenance mode in which the battery can be charged over a few hours and when the battery discharges the charger again goes into the charging mode.
The automatic mode on the charger ensures the amperage is adjusted as per requirement and the charging is maintained as far as it is connected to the battery. It connects to the battery with the clips and it is easy to do so. For safety and precision, there is a multi-stage charging function available. This function also helps in maintaining the longevity of the battery. LED indicators are available for various indications. When compared to the previous products discussed, this is only a 12-volt charger. There are other versions also available in this brand.
- 50A available for engine start, 10A for boost charging and 6/2A available for charging and maintaining mode
- Does not over-charge and slips to float mode once the charge is complete
- The microprocessor automatically adjusts amperage
- Poor warranty and return facility
- The charge maintenance did not work properly on a few of the chargers
5. Foval Automatic – 1000mA Smart Battery Charger
Foval brand comes with the charger that is ETL listed hence making it safe and reliable to use. This certification ensures it is spark-proof and avoids reverse polarity. The length of the cord is around 8 feet long hence enabling you to use it at longer distances. It is well compatible with lead-acid, flooded or sealed maintenance-free batteries. The battery types like AGM, Gel-based are also compatible with the charger. It is quite small when compared to a few chargers on this list which are pretty big and heavy. This is a 12-volt charger and charges batteries of a bike, car, personal watercraft, RVs, boats, golf carts, and many of the vehicles that use such batteries.
The charger is automatic, which means it drops off from charging mode to float mode when the charging is complete. It avoids any overcharge and hence protects the battery. It can be connected to the battery either by the alligator clips or the O ring connectors. There are a few led indicators that indicate some modes of charging. It is light in weight; hence it can easily be hanged on the wall while charging. The company claims to have 4 charging mode, and all of them can be moved between automatically. The 4 modes are Initialization, Bulk Charge, Absorption modes, and float mode. There is something called ISM – Infinite sequential monitoring function, which ensures the charger adapts to the battery’s requirements many times within a second.
- Suitable with most of the vehicles with 12-volt batteries
- 4 modes make the charging a safe way using this charger
- It maintains the health of the battery along with the charging
- The charger is spark-proof hence safe to be used
- 2-year warranty provided with the charger
- Some customers found the charging stopped completely when the battery got charged and did not switch to maintenance mode.
6. MOTOPOWER MP00207 – Automatic Smart Battery Charger
What could be smart about a battery charger? Well, the charger from Motopower proves to you why it is so. The brand has designed it to be smart by going into repairing mode if the battery is found faulty. It can be switched between 6-volt and 12-volt charging mode. It works like a charm on all types of batteries, be it, AGM, GEL, and wet batteries. The battery is also automatic to detect what type of battery is connected, be it 6-volt or 12-volt. It will auto-detect and charge the battery based on the detection. It will also detect a dead battery and provides a warning on the same. The microprocessor makes it the most automatic and smart charger on this list.
It moves into the float mode once completely charged. It has a different charging mode and all changes itself with a self-detection. The repair mode switches on the sulfated batteries. It switches between the two charging rates – 2Amp or 4Amp. 2Amp works on the 6-volt charging mode. The safety in this product is ensured with advanced micro-technology. It provides safety against overcharge, short circuit, and reverse polarity. It also comes with spark-free technology. The connector available with it is of two types. The first one is the clip-type, and the other one is the O ring type. You can use the one that you know is compatible with the battery. There are various LED indicators on the charger panel to indicate you of the right mode and if you need to take any action.
- Smart and intelligent battery charger
- Works on AGM, wet and gel-based battery without any hassle
- There are 7 charging mode and they switch onto them automatically
- LED indicators available to show the latest mode that is on
- Switches between 6-volt and 12-volt battery charge automatically
- Customers received dead charger in the package
- Some customers were able to use it only for a few months
7. LST Trickle Automatic Battery Charger and Maintainer
LST has come up with an automatic battery charger that can charge both 6-volt and 12-volt batteries without any hassle. It is designed to charge batteries of a bike, RV, boat, snowmobile, lawnmowers, and many such vehicles that are installed with the 6-volt or 12-volt batteries. The types can also be AGN, Gel-based or wet batteries. Like most of the chargers that protect from various issues, even this works a similar way. The multi-protection it provides is against overload, overcharge, reverse polarity, over-discharge, overheat, short circuit, and also against the sparks. It is designed to be water and dust resistant.
It comes with 5-stage automatic charging that makes sure the battery has a long life. It charges the battery and monitors the charging process to make sure the battery does not get overcharged. It switches to float mode once the charge is complete. It also recovers weak batteries and provides longer life. The charger complies with high electrical standards hence making it more efficient. The connector comes with alligator clips and also the O ring ones.
The led lights indicate the various modes and indications to make the process smarter. You can switch between 6-volt and 12-volt mode with just a small press of the button. It is light weighted making is easy to store and carry. The post-purchase service is also good. It comes with 3-years assurance, 1-year of refund warranty, and 24/7 after-sale service.
- Can charge both 6-volt and 12-volt batteries
- Safety is guaranteed with various electrical issues
- After-sale service is good
- Automatically switches to float mode once completely charged
- Compatible with various vehicles be it a bike or also an RV
- LED indicators make the charging process more helpful and intuitive
- Few customers complained of battery to explode during usage
- Charger died within 1 charge
8. STANLEY BC15BS Fully Automatic Charger
Stanley BC15B5 is the model designed by Stanley company that charges the batteries with 15Amp on a 12-volt battery. It charges and maintains batteries that are AGM, Gel-based or wet type of batteries. The charger is fully automatic and charges rapidly. It provides a 3 stage charging and automatically switches from rapid charge to trickle charge once the charge is complete. It sure is a smart one and for sure will protect your battery with these features.
Not just charging, but the reconditioning feature available in it ensures the battery’s life is extended. The engine start mode helps start the vehicle with 40amps of rapid charge. This can activate the battery in less than 90 seconds. It also has other protective features like protection from reverse polarity and protection from overcharge. Once the battery is completely charged, it switches onto the float mode, where it trickles charges. There is an LCD where there are indications provided on eh charging status and the battery level. ETL certification guarantees its performance and safety measures that are included. It automatically compensates the lower voltage caused by the addition of extension cords. The built of the charger is sturdy and looks rugged. The connectors available are of the alligator clips.
- 15 Amp – 12volt battery charger
- Automatic with switches from rapid charging mode to trickle charging mode
- 40amp engine start mode charges the battery in 90 seconds
- LCD screen helps display many indications
- ETL certified to ensure safety standards
- Soon the charger goes dead
- Not too reliable charger
9. Optima Digital 400 Battery Charger/Maintainer
Optima Digital 400 is the charger whose main feature is to optimize battery life and also ensure to save power by avoiding overcharge. This is due to the battery health mode function available in it that makes it possible. It has been provided with the alligator clips and the O ring connectors to connect with the battery. There is a hybrid LED battery charging gauge that displays the charging modes and levels. There is a bracket provided with it, which has a dual purpose. It can be used as a hook, and a tilt stand. You can also hang it using the same bracket.
The battery is known to work well as a marine battery charger and also a motorcycle battery charger. The micro-processor controlled charger ensures the batteries charge faster, and then it can be maintained with small charges ensuring the charge does not drain away. The advanced feature enables no-spark, no reverse polarity impact. It also diagnoses various battery issues if any, present. It also is designed to recover deeply discharged batteries. It also optimizes the life of any battery.
- Maximizes battery life with continuous usage
- The sturdy build makes it easy to carry around
- Spark-free connection technology inbuilt
- Battery health mode revives deeply discharged batteries
- Poor customer service
- Customers complained of the product dead after few minutes of work
10. BMK Smart Battery Charger – Portable Battery Maintainer
BMK is so small in its size that it is termed as the portable battery charger available in the market. It is waterproof and hence can be used even outdoors and also in most of the seasons. It can connect to the battery in 2 ways possible. One is through the alligator clip connectors, and the other is the O ring connectors. The indicators show the level of battery – from 25%, 50%, 75% to 100% indicators available. It is a 12-volt battery charger. It has been upgraded with features like defective battery detection and fast charging booster. It also is designed to protect the battery by avoiding overcharge and also from sparks.
The float mode protects the battery from overcharge. If the battery is faulty, then there is an indicator that lights up warning that the battery is faulty. With overcharge protection, is also accompanied by over-discharge protection. BMK ensures to provide timely service and response to queries.
- Various protection from electrical issues like overcharge and over-discharge protection
- 4-stage smart charging available
- Dead-battery saver
- Diagnostics available in the charger
- The battery does not charge even when plugged in for a long time
- In some case, it ruined the batteries
Car Battery Charger Buyer’s Guide – Important Points To Consider
It certainly is a problem to find the best tools to maintain your car. Are you facing a problem in charging your car’s battery? There are a variety of options available in the market. People tend to be more confused about this. We are attaching this buying guide below. Let us see what the considerable points are:
- Type of battery you use
Car batteries come in many brands and categories. Wet cells, lithium, VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid), deep cycle, SLI (Starting, Lighting, and Ignition) are some of the batteries that you care uses. All of them have different charging ability. All these batteries need a different kind of maintenance. The chargers used for each of them also differ.
- Type of car battery charger
There is the availability of various battery chargers in the market. To ensure the perfect maintenance of your car, you should make sure that you are using the right charger. Let us look at some of the battery chargers and their features:
- Trickle charger
Trickle charger is meant to charge the battery fully at a similar self-discharge rate of the charger. You can leave this charger connected to the battery for long periods. Avoid using lithium batteries.
- Pulse charger
It is suitable for lead-acid batteries. It can even work on the drained batteries. It not only charges the battery but also maintains and repairs it.
- Automated charger
It senses the battery charge level and brings it to the desired level. This is achieved by its multi-step charging action. It stands out in the world of car battery chargers.
- Solar battery charger
These chargers are fine, but they do not come with overcharge protection. Once the battery is charged, it will again start draining. You cannot leave it for a long time. Leave it for a few hours & it will do its work.
- Inductive charger
It is a myth that inductive charging will degrade the charge at a faster rate. It is easy to use and prevents your car system from heating up.
- AC Chargers
Car battery chargers usually do not provide AC directly. Lithium batteries are better charged from this. It needs an alternator which directs AC to DC. This is present in batteries.
- DC Chargers
Most of the battery chargers provide DC. It provides a constant current supply. It is good for all kinds of batteries.
- Power use
Using a 12V-24V power battery charger is considered as a good option. Many battery chargers can run overnight, while some work for a few hours. Power use depends on two things; the amount of charge your battery is left with and the potential of your charger. Use a battery charger that is suitable for an emergency.
- Security system
While working with electricity, you have to take some personal protection. It depends on the safety system of your charger. Some of them come with a water-resistant feature. This makes it safer for use. Several other features such as short circuit protection & reverse polarity must be looked for. This will eliminate the risk of electric injuries.
- Battery life
Once a car battery is charged, the battery life depends on the utility status of the individual. If the car is operated or not, or it is left simply to juice out the battery again. This is the major influencing factor. On average, a car battery life is between 2 to 5 years. This also depends entirely on how you care for your car. It drains faster in scorching summer days.
- Battery size
The average car battery size ranges from 24 to 50amp. It entirely depends on the vehicle’s engine and model. It is advised to use slow battery chargers. The ones that charge at the rate of 2 to 10 amp chargers are better. Otherwise, fast charging leads to overcharging. This is not good for your vehicle’s engine. A 10amp charger is more preferable.
- Ease of use
It is a perk when technical things get easier. As a layman, you do not have enough knowledge about these devices. To use it efficiently, you must have easier access to it. Smaller portable size, auto voltage, spark resistant clamps, amperage detection, are some features which make its use clear.
Batteries with advanced features such as emergency jump-starting are more costly. The average price of a car battery charger ranges from $20 to $80. If you want a radical charger, then you can expect it to be $100 to $200. This enables you to choose a battery charger according to your convenience.
We hope this column about the car battery charger helped you. Thanks for reading. Have a good day!
Car Battery Charger Frequently Asked Questions
- What should be the charge rate of a car battery charger?
You will be able to find different chargers that charge the car battery at different rates. For example, if you want to fully charge a flat battery with a basic charger, it will take around 24 hours with a charge rate of 2 amps. It is for delivering the 48 amps that is required for fully charging. But if you are charging the same battery with a ten amps charger, you will be able to do it in four to five hours. That means when the charger output is high, you will be able to charge it faster.
- How will I know when the battery is fully charged?
Connect the charger to the battery and then plug it into the socket. Now switch it on, and you can see that the needle of the battery moves. It will stop at the desired amps, and then it will start charging. As the battery gets charged, the needle will start moving downwards, and when you can see that the needle has moved almost to the half of the desired value shown earlier, then your car battery is charged completely. If the battery showed ten amps when you switch it on, then when it moves towards five, you can switch it off.
- My friend suggested me to leave the battery charger on for the whole night. Is it safe to do so?
It depends on the type of charger you are using. If you are using a good and best quality charger, then there is no risk in leaving the charger on. In fact, you will be able to charge the car battery fully in one night. But you will have to keep in mind that you don’t leave the charger on for more than 24 hours. That can cause risk.
- What precautions are to be taken when charging the car battery in the car?
When you need to charge the battery inside the car itself, you will have to make sure that the electrical consumers are switched off. You will have to do this before you even connect the charger.
- What is the right procedure for charging a battery?
This is a very common question, and many people follow the wrong process, which leads to many accidents. You should first connect the charger to the battery, with the help of the red and black cables. Use the red cable for the positive terminal and the black cable for the negative terminal. Now plug in the charger to the main socket. Once the charging is complete, you should first disconnect the main plug and then remove the cables from the battery. While removing the battery from the vehicle for charging or while you are taking the battery to the vehicle after charging, you should hold it upright. You should not hold it in any other direction.
- How to keep the battery alive even when you don’t use the car?
If you don’t use the car too often or when the car remains in the garage for a long time, you can take the help of a tickle charge. It provides power to the battery and keeps it alive even when the car is not in use.
We have seen various chargers from various brands that can be handy, especially when you have multiple vehicles, and you do not use them regularly. The article was an effort to help the readers understand which are the best available battery chargers in the market by consumer reports and what features make them stand apart. We have tried to make the reading easy and understandable to ensure in the end you will know which one of the products you want to buy. Hoping we were able to make it an effective reading, and you were able to choose the one you required. Happy Shopping!