When it comes to picking the battery charger most people don’t know which charger is suitable for their batteries. That’s why we have gathered a list of Top 10 Best Car Battery Chargers of 2018.
There are lots of technical things involved in the battery chargers like what will be their input or output values? So, it is difficult to choose the right one.
Research shows more than 80% of premature battery failure is caused due to undercharging. This applies to all sorts of leisure batteries for cars, motorcycles, boats, jet skis, caravans, and garden machinery. Especially if they’re not using all the time.
The solution to ensuring that everything works fine is to make sure that your batteries are always fully charged.
And before digging deeper let me tell you one thing that battery charger and jump starter are two different products. Most of the people get confused about this.
Best Car Battery Chargers 2018
There is a tried and tested rule that works very well. That is to have a charger with an output of 10% of the capacity of the battery. For example, 100 amps per hour battery will charge with a 10 amp battery charger.
We have researched and tested a lot then created a list of top 10 best car battery chargers. I would recommend you to see our top 10 list and read our guide below before making a purchase.
|NOCO Genius G3500|
|2.15 pounds||3.5 A||6V & 12V|
|CTEK Multi US 4.3||3 pounds||4.3 A||12 Volts|
|Battery Tender Plus 021-0128|
|2.3 pounds||1.25 A||12 Volts|
|NOCO Genius G7200||2.98 pounds||7.2 A||12V & 24V|
|Schumacher SC 1200A-CA||1 pound||12 A||6V & 12V|
|Battery Tender Junior 0123||1.8 pounds||0.75 A||12 Volts|
|BatteryMINDER 2012||1.9 pounds||2 A||12 Volts|
|CTEK (56-158) MUS 3300||1.5 pounds||7 A||12 Volts|
|Black & Decker BC6BDW||3.1 pounds||6 A||12 Volts|
|Schumacher SE-4022||27.4 pounds||200 A||6V & 12V|
Now, without wasting any single moment let’s jump in the detailed review of 10 best car battery chargers.
1. NOCO Genius G3500 – Best Battery Charger To Buy in 2018:
The 3500 comes with the charger, battery clamp connectors, I LED terminal connector (these can use for permanently attaching to the battery). You get the plug in cord which is about 12 feet long. In addition, it also has the X connector. It’s kind of a proprietary X connector, the reason that they give you this is to hook up their other accessories to it.
This charger can use on small and large batteries in cars, boats, RVs, trucks and smaller recreational vehicles. It is 3.5 amps and can use with 6 and 12-volt batteries.
In order to get over to the maintenance modes and also the lithium modes. You have to long press the mode down for three to five seconds and then suddenly it will flip over there.
- One of the nicer features of the 3500 is that it has the built-in capability to detect if the clamps are in reverse direction and installed incorrectly. This is shown by an alert light.
- Another nice feature is a built-in fuse. One of which is included in the eyelid connector as well as in the battery clamp connector.
- The genius 3500 has some nice built-in features. Such as auto memory, where it returns to the last mode you selected.
- It has rapid charging that charges batteries two times faster and among
- Multiple battery chemistries charging that includes charging wet gel, MF, and AGM batteries.
- It has a recovery mode in which it recovers discharged and sulfated batteries using pulse charging.
- This will automatically validate the charging port to charge Control Area Network (CANBUS) system.
- The G3500 has a specific mode for a lithium-ion battery, which is kind of rare to find a charger with this.
- After charging it also optimizes the battery’s internal chemistry and improves overall performance.
- It has fast 2x charging capability than any traditional battery charger.
- It is a spark and short-circuits proof.
- Decent design.
- Easy to use.
- It is time out after 48 hours if it can’t bring the battery up.
2. CTEK (56-864) MUS 4.3, Fully Automatic – 8 Steps Charger:
In this review, first, we see what exactly makes this charger different compared to the rest of the CTEK products. The 4.3 charger has a patented 8 step charging cycle. It is a universal 12-volt battery charger with pulse maintenance and small battery mode. It is the best deep cycle battery charger.
First, we’ll go ahead and see how the charger can be used in a conventional way. This charger has designed not only for cars but for other vehicles. Such as ATVs, UTVs or anything that has a battery can benefit from the use of the CTEK battery charger.
This charger comes with the variety of accessories which includes, a protective bag for carrying it around, as well as two different options for connecting it to your batteries. Now they have a Quick Connect option with little clamps. They also have a permanent connection which you would connect with the little eyelets directly on your battery terminals. Whenever you want to connect the charger you can plug it right in the end.
- This charger can work in all the three modes at the same time. If you have a 12-volt automotive battery that was sealed and needed the recondition. You can go ahead and select all three modes and it will run through the full eight step charging process.
- It is good for long-term storage. Especially if you don’t drive your car very much but if you just want to bring a battery back to a charge or use this on multiple locations.
- One single charger is ideal for the car, motorcycle, snowmobile, lawn mower, tractor and sump pump.
- It is splash and dustproof, protect short-circuit, non-sparking and has got reverse polarity protection.
In the automotive setting, you will see the indicator panel begin to light up. This particular setting is for 12-volt flooded batteries, and if we hit the mode button one more time, that will bring us into the next phase which is called the Snowflake mode.
This specific mode is for sealed AGM batteries. It is suitable for colder climates. So, if you’re charging in extremely cold weather, let’s say it’s winter and you’re storing your car long term. You’re going to switch it over to the snowflake mode in the automotive series.
The next mode is called the recondition mode, that will allow you to bring back deeply discharged or almost dead batteries back to life. In other cases, you just have to replace them. So, if you had a battery that has been sitting in a vehicle for extremely long time and it’s been completely discharged. Chances are that sulfation is actually built up inside of the battery. So you switch it over to this recondition mode manually and this will attempt to bring back and rejuvenate the battery to as much capacity as physically possible.
For small size batteries press the mode button twice. It’s going to move up to medium sized car batteries. When press it again, it’s going to a snowflake which is for charging in cold weather conditions. It also covers AGM batteries requires the 14.7-volt charging.
Now finally, our last mode is going to be reconditioning which will recondition deeply discharged batteries. Just above the mode button, there are eight different indicator lights that are numbered.
- Easy to use with simple instructions.
- It can be used for all lead-acid batteries, can charge in cold conditions and AGM batteries.
- Nice storage case and excellent quality.
- Sometimes it gets hot while charging.
3. Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, Best Smart Battery Charger:
The Battery Tender Plus 12 volt model is a much like the Battery Tender Jr. but it has the higher output power. It is the best portable car battery charger. This is a 1.25 amp charger that will actually charge at a faster rate than most 3 amp chargers will. It comes with the 12 foot lead on it, alligator clips are in the box, as well as a quick disconnect which you can hook to your battery. Just leave it on the unit and that gives you a quick plugin when you’re ready to charge.
When the battery reaches its optimum level you will see the light go from red to green. Red light indicates that the battery is in a charged state. The green light indicates that it is now in a floating state and 100% charged.
When the battery gets down to a certain level, the charge state will come in keeping your battery at an optimum level all the time. So, that it doesn’t retain a memory at a lower level, your battery will last a lot longer this way. It’s a powder coated finish on this charger for long durability.
One thing about Battery Tender is that it is very simple to install and very simple to hook up.
It is safe, spark proof and its reverse polarity protective give your batteries a better and longer lively life affordably and easily.
- It is spark free.
- 1.25 Amp output, which charges faster than 3 Amp chargers available.
- This charger has short circuit protection.
- Reverse polarity protection.
- Connections which are included with charger are too short.
- Sometimes it is difficult to see indicator lights in the bright area.
The best thing about this charger is that it’s a plug and walk away type system. This is not just a charger it’s a maintainer.
4. NOCO Genius G7200 – UltraSafe:
NOCO has a huge range of best car battery chargers and it is one of the largest companies in the United States. This Genius G7200 is a powerful 7.2 amp charger. It is a smart 12 volt and 24-volt battery charger and very similar to the first version in terms of its body and style. It is ideal for charging batteries from 14 to 230 Amp-Hours and maintaining all battery sizes. Like a car, boat, truck RV or tractor.
It is optimized for charging in cold weather and AGM batteries. The G7200 never under charges or overcharges. It also includes boost mode for advanced desulfation and supply mode for recovering low voltage batteries.
In the 12 volt mode, it does do a full 7.2 amp charge into the batteries itself. In the 24 volt mode, it cuts that in half so you’ll be looking at about a 3.6 amp charge rate if you’re charging 24-volt battery packs.
It also has a Normal and Cold/AGM mode, which means that in normal mode any flooded type of battery, regular car battery, anything that where you can take the caps off the battery itself and add acid to it, is going to consider a normal or a flooded battery. Then the second setting for this is the Cold/AGM. If you have a sealed maintenance-free battery or something that you cannot remove the caps and is spill proof, that is considered as an AGM battery and it requires a different charging algorithm.
- It has a Dedicated Repair Mode. The 12 volt 1.5amp dedicated repair mode on the actual charger itself which means it is very good at recovering deeply discharged or sulfated batteries.
- G7200 has the rugged texture and it is splash and dust proof.
- It also has the lithium version in this new charger so that you can also charge new kinds of batteries.
- It also has the 12 volt AGM PLUS setting which is suitable for the new type of batteries found in micro-hybrid.
- When restarted its memory returns to last selected mode.
- The G7200 has 2X fast charging as compared to any other traditional battery charger.
- This charger provides multi-level safety barrier that prevents the unsafe and abnormal condition.
- This can automatically validate the charging port to charge Control Area Network (CANBUS) system.
- NOCO G2700 minimizes electric consumption when complete power is not needed.
- After charging it also optimizes the battery’s internal chemistry and improves overall performance
- A different type of Charge LEDs indicates the battery connection, type of mode and percentage of the charging process.
- Standby mode: The indication for this mode is the illumination of orange LED. In this mode, energy is saved and it is not providing any power to the battery.
- 12V NORM mode: For this mode white LED will illuminate and it is suitable for the charging of 12-volt wet cell, enhance flooded, gel cell and calcium batteries. You can charge from 7.2A up to 230Ah batteries.
- 12V COLD/AGM mode: Blue LED will illuminate in this mode. This mode is suitable for cold weather below 50° You can charge up to 230Ah batteries.
- 24V NORM mode: You can charge form 3.6A up to 115Ah batteries. In this mode white LED will illuminate and it is suitable for the charging of 24-volt
- 24V COLD/AGM mode: You can charge from 3.6A up to 115Ah batteries. In this mode blue LED will illuminate and it is suitable for the charging of 24-volt batteries in cold weather below 50°
- 12V LITHIUM mode: It can charge from 7.2A up to 230Ah batteries. In this mode blue LED will illuminate and it is suitable for the charging of 12-volt lithium-ion batteries which includes lithium iron phosphate.
- 12V AGM+ mode: You can charge from 7.2A up to 230Ah batteries. In this mode blue LED will illuminate and it is suitable for the charging of 12-volt advanced AGM batteries that require higher charging rates.
- SUPPLY mode: In this mode, you can charge form 5A up to 6A. When you select this mode red LED will illuminate. It will convert to a DC power supply and will charge 12VDC devices.
- 12V REPAIR mode: It can charge from 1.5A up to any capacity batteries. Red LED will illuminate and flash in this mode. It is the advanced battery recovery mode.
- 2x Fast battery charging.
- G7200 has nine different charging modes.
- It has the capability of Advanced Diagnostics when displaying error.
- This can work in tough weather conditions.
- It took around 8 – 9 hours to fully charge the battery.
- Some people find it difficult to use toggle button.
5. Schumacher SC-1200A, Fully Automatic Speed Charger:
Schumacher SC-1200A is a 6/12V fully automatic battery charger with auto voltage detection. It has got 12 Amp, 6 Amp and 3 Amp charging capabilities. So basically 3 Amp for maintaining, 6 Amp for medium charging and 12 Amp for rapid charging. It has a pretty simple digital display.
This Schumacher is suitable for both conventional and AGM type batteries. It has also got the reverse polarity protection. The nice thing about this is it gives you a real-time voltage reading.
The other thing about this model is that it also has a maintenance mode which makes this charger pretty versatile and you will get decent charge rate. When it is fully charged it’s going to switch over to a green light. It also indicates that it is going into the maintenance mode.
- It is 12 Amp fully automatic microprocessor controlled battery charger which means that everything is done automatically. You just plug it in and charge rate will vary depending on what the battery needs.
- It also has the automatic voltage detection. So, if it is 6 or 12-volt battery and you don’t know about it; your charge will automatically detect it.
- It has the feature of float mode monitoring.
- It does have the reverse hook-up protection with LED indicator.
- The SC-1200A can easily handle the old immersion-type and desulfated batteries.
- Input Voltage: 120V AC
- Output Voltage: 12VDC
- Output Power: 3A/8A/12A continues
- Amperage Control: Push-Button
- RoHS Compliant: Yes
- You must clean the clamps every time when the charging finished. Make sure that there will be no battery fluid on the clamps.
- Periodically clean the case of the charger to prevent corrosion.
- Always unplug the charger from the socket when not using it and put it in an upright position.
- It can be used as a maintainer.
- Lightweight and fully automatic.
- This unit is easy to program and easy to hook up.
- It is compact, stylish with a clear digital display.
- It has a little bit noisy fan sound.
6. Battery Tender Junior – Best Inexpensive Option (Under $50):
This Deltron battery tender junior is 12-volt, 750 milliamps can be used with motorcycles, cars, long tractor, snowmobile, lawnmowers, ATV or personal watercraft batteries. The new little 12-volt junior is very nice and compact. It is a little bit different in design and a little bit less bulky than its other models. But one thing I can tell you that the performance in how it works, is no different from its other models.
One really great thing I like about it is that it has a 12-foot cord that goes into the little SAE connector. So, this thing can really make your life easier.
Another cool feature of this battery tender is that after it reaches its peak 14.4 VDC (which stands for volts direct current), the charger automatically switches to a 13.2 VDC flow voltage. When the voltage drops below to 12.6 VDC the charger resumes charging back to that 14.4 VDC.
Inside the package, you got the battery Tender itself. A lead for connecting it to the vehicle and then, of course, standard battery alligator clips.
- It has a spark-proof and reverses polarity protection. So, just in case you happen to attach the context of the battery the wrong way, negative to positive or positive to negative, in this case it will alert you.
- This charger is small, lightweight and compact in size, and it does everything you need to do.
- This is ideal for 12-volt and will work on all lead-acid, sealed maintenance-free and gel cell batteries.
- Tender junior is fully automatic and has two-stage lead-acid battery charger and battery status monitoring.
- This trickle charger ensures batteries will remain maintained after charging and always ready to go.
- Smart microcontroller installed which ensures that always the right amount of power is sent to the battery.
- Infinite Sequential Monitoring (ISM) adaptive charging.
- This junior is connect and forget the charger, it automatically manages your battery health.
- Red Light Flashing: If it is flashing red light, it means the battery is not charging. While the microprocessor of the charger is working properly and AC power is also available. In some cases, most likely it connects incorrectly.
- Red Light on Steady: When the LED is solid red it means the battery is charging properly.
- Green Light Flashing: If it is flashing green light. It indicates that the battery is between 80 and 100 percent charged. Do not remove the charger until the green light is solid.
- Green Light on Steady: The solid green light indicates that the battery is fully 100% charged, and can remove from the charger.
So, it shows you everything you need to know right in front in a small compact package.
- Input Voltage: 120VAC / 60Hz
- Output Voltage: 12 Volts DC @ .75 MA
- Agency Approval: UL / CSA / BC / FCC
- It fully charged the battery and then maintains it.
- Quick disconnect harness.
- It has the two color LED indicator light.
- Five years manufacturer warranty.
- Safety timer-80 hours.
- None to be honest.
7. BatteryMINDer 2012 – Battery Charger:
This BatteryMINDer is a 12-volt, 2amp battery charger and maintainer. It has the built-in circuit so it will never overcharge your battery. It also has desulfation and it supposed to bring dead batteries back to life that won’t hold the charge anymore.
This charger is microprocessor controlled, temperature compensated charger/maintainer and full-time desulfator, so it will never overcharge. It has got a temperature compensation insurance which means it proper charge in hot or cold environments.
This charger can charge batteries for motorcycles, mopeds, trucks, full wheeler tractor, you just name it. Everything has got a battery and this device can charge them really well.
It’s kind of like a trickle charger on steroids. It’s got an extra hookup that comes with it and a little inline fuse of 15 amp built into it. The alligator clamps can just go ahead and put directly to your battery. It is store for extended period of time.
So, with this charger you just plug in and forget. Don’t even worry about the battery, this will take care of it.
- Reversal polarity and overcharging battery protection.
- It has temperature compensation charging which is from -4oF (-20oC) to 122oF (50oC).
- It has the plug and running operations and it is water-resistant (IP65).
- You can run this charger in parallel and maintain 6 batteries at a time which I think is pretty cool.
- In addition, this charger has the automatic disconnect and resume, so say something happens and the power goes off. When the power comes back it will automatically resume where it was charging from.
- It has the feature of poles desulfation and it is microprocessor control.
- It is extremely efficient and has low operating costs.
- FCC certified with built-in battery condition indicator.
- Before the batteries dead it can predict it earlier and also diagnoses battery condition.
- According to U.S. patent, it has the automatic high-frequency pulse desulfation.
- It has the installed ambient temperature sensor.
- Input: 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
- Output: 2ADC
- Float Current: 1mA – 2000mA
- Voltage: 12V
- Charging Current: 2 AMP
- Charge level indicator lights which I think that’s really cool.
- It has the capability of bad cell detection.
- You can just leave this hooked up and walks away, it will never going to overcharge it.
- It is a little bit expensive as compared to other chargers of this same specifications.
8. CTEK (56-158) MULTI US 3300, Four-Step Battery Charger:
The CTEK 3300 is a universal 12-volt battery charger with a unique four-step charge cycle which maintains your battery. The 3300 has a maximum output of 3.3 amps with the availability of a small triple charge setting at 0.8 amps.
High-end automobiles and regular retailers can use this charger in a wide variety. The 3300 is a fully automatic switch mode charger. Plug and play capability. So you would be able to hook this up to your vehicle. Let it sit for 6 months 12 months all the way up to two years or more. Upon removing the charger, the battery will charge and ready to go.
On the top of the charger, they have an indicator fault light. Then, it has a charging light. Finally, in the last, green light appears which tells the battery is fully charged.
Inside of the box, you will get the battery clamp connections as well as the mountable eyelet terminals.
- It has an advanced fully automatic 4-stage charging which includes desulfation, bulk, absorption, and
- It is splash and dustproof, protect short-circuit, non-sparking and has got reverse polarity protection.
- 3300’s snowflake mode works extremely well during tough winter conditions.
- This charger is equipped with overheating protection.
- If someone uses this charger on regular basis, it has been proven to improve battery life up to three times.
- It also maximizes battery performance in all types of vehicles.
- The first one is a bike charge mode and it will charge at 0.8 amps.
- The next one is the car charge mode which will charge 3.3 amps.
- The last one across is for cold weather charging or snowflake mode. Where we need to raise the voltage up so that the battery can accept the charge. (The snowflake mode of this charger is used for two different reasons. The first of which is if the temperature is outside is below 40 degrees. Because below 40 degrees, this charger will actually up the rate of charge going to batteries in order to properly maintain them. So, it is important that you switch this mode if you’re going into maintenance or a cold spot of weather. The second reason is that it has a higher voltage in this mode. AGM batteries are going to require a higher voltage input in order to charge).
- It is all suitable for AGM batteries.
- High quality and easy to use.
- It has a unique patent technology.
- Nice long cords.
- Price can be an issue.
9. Black+Decker BC6BDW – Water Proof Charger:
It is a pretty nice charger and you will get standard clamps with this. Your accessory plug to charge it through the 12-volt accessory. It’s kind of big and bulky but this is because of being waterproof.
Furthermore, it’s got a pretty simple display which shows you power and charging that is either full or not.
This is fully automatic which means it is basically a smart charger. It’s got spark free connections. As it has a 6 amp of power so it’s definitely going to charge a battery in fairly short order.
It also has the long-term durability so it might fit your all charging needs really well.
- This battery charger is compatible with all GEL, AGM or WET type batteries.
- It has an IP67 rating which ensures that it is sealed completely with dust and waterproof, which means that it will work very well in the harsh environment.
- This charger has come with the hanging hook so that you can adjust its position as per your need.
- It protects the battery from overcharging, reverse polarity and short-circuiting.
- You can connect it via DC accessory plug or battery clips as it comes with both.
- This charger can be left connected for any amount of time because of its high frequency which allows you to continuously charge your batteries.
- It is ideal for charging the batteries of a lawn mower, cars, RVs, motorcycles, power sports and water sports.
- First remove the battery completely from any confined area and clean its terminals as it is necessary. Make sure that all the switches of the vehicles are off. (Another advantage of cleaning the terminals of the battery is that you will avoid getting corrosive material in the eyes.)
- Make sure that the battery cells are full of distilled water/acid according to the battery manufacturer.
- Read battery manufacturer’s specific guidelines. Such as either to remove cell caps or not while charging and what are the recommended charge rates.
- Place the charger far away from the battery. Because of the gases form battery can damage the charger.
- While performing the charging operations make sure that there is enough ventilation available in the room.
- Input Voltages: 120VAC
- Frequency: 60Hz
- Current: 6A
- Output: 12VDC
- Output Current: 6A
- The magnet on the back of this charger works great for mounting the unit on the side of a car or on a hood.
- It performed very well in rain or outside environment without tripping any breaker.
- It is certified by California Energy Commission (CEC) complaint and ETL for safety and performance.
- It has no alternator and battery recondition feature.
- It can only be used with the 12 volt systems.
10. Schumacher SE-4022, Manual Wheeled Charger & Tester:
The Schumacher SE-4022 manual wheeled battery charger and tester plays a vital role in protecting and maintaining vehicle batteries. The most important thing about this charger is that they provide a top quality charger.
Schumacher SE-4022 comes with a built-in Electrical Tester that offers your detailed charging rates range. It is perfect for all sorts of fleet operations and it is ideal for both 12-volt and 6-volt batteries.
Another significant thing about this charger is that it has a 200 amp starting power. So, you always have the power to start a vehicle. You can charge your battery in a matter of one or two hours.
Furthermore, the SE-4022 comes with a multifunctional tester and then it has a high-speed cooling fan so it does not run hot.
- SE-4022 equipped with a cooling fan for high performance and long life charger.
- In addition, it can charge both the 6-volt and 12-volt batteries.
- This charger in easy-to-read with its color-coded meters.
- It comes with two rotary switches and voltmeter to check the battery voltages.
- Works great in extremely cold winters.
- Simple to use and high-quality product.
- Too bulky in size and quite heavy.
How to Use Battery Charger
First of all, it is important to always wear safety glasses when working with batteries. The next thing we need to do is to connect the battery. It’s useful if the battery charger can show you the voltage of the battery or connecting to as this will help you to determine how long the battery will take to charge.
Now select the battery type and size and the type of charge we want fast or slow.
After that select the battery type calcium, AGM or gel. When the battery is fully charged the green ready light will come on. At this point, the charger moves into maintenance mode and can be left connected keeping the battery ready for use.
Also, remember that these battery chargers are very different than the usual AA battery charger.
Different Types of Batteries
All battery types except the Gel Battery are commonly found in vehicle applications. The great advantage of the latest battery types is their smaller size, lighter weight, no maintenance required and higher power outputs.
Most if not all vehicle batteries are sealed and maintenance-free, this is an important factor that affects the way charges have developed.
Finally, when the battery is completely charged a chemical reaction takes place in the battery. This reaction causes heat and gases that are generated inside the battery. All the battery types used to have caps that can be removed to allow the gases to escape without harm. This is important as the gas is created a highly explosive and can cause serious injury.
Maintenance free batteries require dedicated charge programs to ensure that gassing does not happen. There are several stages of battery charging;