Flat battery is a matter of concern when we are in need of travelling but fail to ignite the car engine. Firstly, what pops into your head when you are in this state? Waiting for a second car to come and give you a jump start! Oh! That would be time-consuming and costly!
A home car battery charger will tackle this problem and you will no longer suffer the inconvenience of waiting. The charger will bring a battery from low charge to full charge. Besides, it helps maintain, condition your battery and keep it healthy, from dying and also increase the lifespan of the battery in a vehicle you use infrequently.
What kind of charger is right for your car battery?
To avoid defects in use, you should know what type and size of a charger goes with your car battery. In our automotive battery charger reviews below, we’ve listed 10 high-quality chargers which would work with both small and large batteries. You may have a look at the following tips to pick a right car battery charger.
Selecting a car battery charger based on your car battery type
There are many different types of batteries such as wet cell (flooded), maintenance-free, AGM, gel cell or VRLA (valve-regulated lead acid), etc. Normally, one charger is compatible with all types except gel cell. Nevertheless, some of gel-cell car chargers work well with other car battery types.
Identifying your car battery size and choosing the most suited charger
In this step, you need to know about your car battery capacity (written in Ah) that you could find it on the battery label located on the top or side of the battery. For instance, a 100Ah battery would need a charger with a charging rate of 10A to recharge the battery from complete discharge to full charge in 12 hours.
Another example is a car battery rated at 50Ah. It would take 6 hours for a 10A charger to recharge a flat battery to 100% full charge. To calculate your total charge time, take the ampere hour rating of your car battery (Ah) and divide by charging rate of the charger (A) and then multiply by 1.2 (20% of efficiency loss). Thus, the higher charging rate of charger, the faster your battery reaches full charge.
Selecting a car battery charger based on usage conditions
Each car battery charger has different features for versatile uses and flexibility, so you should compare one to another carefully to avoid regret after you buy.
The following points are examples for you.
- Multi-voltage input power chargers are good for those who travel abroad frequently.
- Waterproof chargers are for using in wet environment.
- Multi-bank chargers are for charging more than one batteries at the same time.
The following is our top 10 automotive battery chargers you may read on to find out which one is the best for your vehicle.
1. Schumacher SC-1200A/CA
Schumacher SC-1200A/CA, one of the most powerful smart automotive chargers, is entirely controlled by microprocessor which automatically adjusts the amperage rate to quickly, moderately and slowly charge all types and sizes of batteries. Equipped with intelligent circuitry, it switches from continuous charge to float-mode. So, it helps maintain your vehicle battery condition at the optimal charging state to avoid excessive current flowing into your battery and damage your vehicle.
- Input: 120VAC, 2.9A, 60Hz
- Output: 6/12 VDC auto-voltage detection
- 12A/6A/3A adjustable charging rate
- Digital display to show battery charging status
- Reverse polarity protection with LED indicator to prevent explosion
- Compatible with conventional automotive batteries, deep-cycle, AGM, and gel cell
- Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 12 inches
- Weight: 0.454 Kg
2. CTEK (56-158) MULTI US 3300
CTEK MULTI US 3300 is a four-step automotive charger which uses switch-mode and pulse maintenance technology to analyze the battery condition. It ideally charges and maintains the your vehicle battery at the fully charged level. Designed to be compatible with other electronic systems, it can charge the battery in a vehicle without disconnecting unlike conventional chargers. Moreover, CTEK MULTI US 3300 ensures safety for users as it is spark-free, has short-circuit proof and reverse hook-up protection with a red light on the plate.
- Input: 110-120VAC, 1.1A, 60Hz
- Output: 12VDC, 0.8/3.3A
- Suited with batteries up to 120Ah
- Ambient temperature: -20℃ to 50℃ (diminish output power at higher temperature)
- Back current drain: 1.3mAh per month
- Compatible with lead-acid batteries (Wet, MF, AGM, GEL and Ca)
- Dimensions: 6.5 x 2 x 1.5 inches
- Weight: 0.9 Kg
3. Schumacher SSC-1500A-CA
Schumacher SSC-1500A-CA is a digital smart automotive charger designed for versatile uses and durability. It has three choices of ampere ratings – 15A/8A/3A for three different charging states (rapid charging, normal charging and maintenance charging respectively). With LED display, it allows you to see accurate and precise charging status. It also has special functions such as desulfation, drip charging and bulk charging to keep your battery safe and extend your battery’s lifespan.
- Input: 120VAC, 60Hz, 3.6A
- Output: 6/12 VDC, 2A @ 6VDC, 15A @12VDC
- Problem-diagnosed testing system
- Control switch to select between 12V battery accommodation only, charging rate or
- display mode
- 6/12 VDC auto-voltage detection
- Protected from reverse polarity connection
- Compatible with deep-cycle, AGM or gel cell batteries
- Dimensions: 4 x 12 x 8 inches
- Weight: 2.2 Kg
4. Optima Digital 400 12V
Optima Digital 400 is a modern automotive battery maintainer and charger which helps increase and lengthen vehicle battery life and improves the battery performance of optima and other AGM batteries with a built-in battery health mode. With a hybrid digital display, it allows you to see the battery charging rate and fault indication message clearly and easily. Additionally, it can maintain many large and small automobiles and home vehicles.
- Input: 100 to 120 VAC, 60Hz, 0.75A
- Output: Up to 14.9V, 4A
- No spark when connected
- Over-heat and reverse polarity protection
- Patent-pending design and software
- Dual-purpose hook and tilt stand design or hang it with the included wall organizer
- Compatible with AGM and Flooded (Lead Acid) batteries
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 3.7 x 7.4 inches
- Weight: 11.3 Kg
5. Battery Tender Plus (022-0185G-dl-wh)
The Battery Tender Plus, a high-efficiency automotive battery charger, is equipped with a microprocessor that makes charging fully automatic and controlled. It thoroughly charges and maintains a battery at a proper storage voltage without the adverse effects caused by trickle chargers. It is designed to meet CEC (California Energy Commission) standard for energy efficiency. When the battery is fully charged, it switches to float charging mode to avoid overcharging and burning up your vehicle battery. Another special feature is it includes a quick-connected ring terminal harness for hard-to- reach areas inside a vehicle’s engine and alligator clips for an alternate connection.
- Input: 100 to 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
- Output:12 VDC, 1.25 A
- 4-step charging (Initialization, Bulk Charge, Absorption Mode, Float Mode)
- Serviceable for AGM, gel, flooded and lead acid batteries
- Spark-free, hook-up and short-circuit protection
- Temperature compensation
- Dimensions: 9 x 4.8 x 11 inches
- Weight: 0.8 Kg
6. BLACK+DECKER BC15BD
BLACK+DECKER BC15BD is a fast and high-frequency vehicle charger with 3-stage charging (fast, trickle and top off) which you can shift between these 3 options manually. It is serviceable for 12V AGM, gel and wet automotive or marine batteries and can charge up to 40% faster than other traditional chargers. Besides, you can see battery and connection status like detecting battery clamps or incorrect connection, voltage check and the flow of current through its LCD screen.
- Input: 120 VAC, 60 Hz, 270W
- Output: 12 VDC, 15 A
- Start vehicles in up to 8 minutes
- Reverse polarity protection
- Battery reconditioning feature
- 40A engine start
- Alternator and voltage check
- Dimensions: 12.4 x 5.8 x 9.9 inches
- Weight: 3.3 Kg
7. Potek 2/10/20 Amp Smart Battery Charger
Potek Battery Charger is a 20-amp fast and self-adjusted vehicle charger and maintainer which conditions battery and automatically alters the charging rate in accordance with the type of your battery. Nonetheless, you can choose charging rate manually through the three-stage charging. It is suitable for all types of 12V lead acid batteries, including Gel and AGM.
- Input: 120 VAC, 60 Hz, 4A
- Output: 12 VDC (maximum charging voltage: 14.8 ± 0.2V), 2/10/20 A (20 ±2 A max.)
- Ambient temperature: 0 ~ 40 °C
- Floating charge voltage:13.6±0.2V
- 7-segmet display helps keep consumer informed about charger’s operation
- Dimensions: 10.1 x 5.6 x 8.3 inches
- Weight: 1.8 Kg
8. NOCO Genius G3500
NOCO Genius G3500 is a seven-in-one automotive battery charger designed for 12V charging, for 6V charging, for AGM batteries, for cold conditions, for lithium-ion batteries, and for battery desulfation. With a simple press of a button, you can simply choose between diverse modes within a complete package. Its 12V-repair mode makes it unique from other chargers as it can rejuvenate deeply sulfated and worn-out 12V batteries (from 2V). What’s more, it can function as a maintainer to keep both starter and deep-cycle completely charged.
- Input: 85 to 120 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 60W
- Output: 6/12 VDC, 3.5A
- Battery capacity range: ideal for batteries up to 120Ah (lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries)
- Spark-proof technology, reverse polarity, short-circuit, overheat, overcharged, and
- overcurrent protection.
- Rapidly charges batteries 2 times faster than traditional linear battery chargers
- Automatically shuts off if charger remains in bulk charge mode for an extended period of time
- Dimensions: 7.7 x 2.7 x 1.9 inches
- Weight: 0.95 Kg
9. Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA
Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA is a dual-voltage automotive charger designed for maintaining small and large batteries kept in storage – classic cars, motorbikes, boats, RVs, etc. It is even perfect for charging small batteries. In charging process, SEM-1562-CA is wholly controlled by a build-in microprocessor which analyzes the information received from the battery and makes adjustments on voltage and current accordingly. When the battery is fully charged, charger turns to maintain mode to deliver a small current when needed. If battery falls below a certain level, the charger returns to charge mode until the battery gets back to its full-charged level. This will maintain and keep your car battery healthy over extended periods of time.
- Input: 115 VAC, 60 Hz, 0.4A
- Output: 6/12 VDC, 1.5A (auto-voltage detection)
- Reverse hook-up protection
- Dimensions: 7 x 7.5 x 11 inches
- Weight: 0.45 Kg
10. Battery Tender Plus (021-0128)
Battery Tender Plus 021-0128 is one of the 4-step (Initialization, Bulk Charge, Absorption Mode, and Float Mode) vehicle chargers designed to ensure high safety of vehicle battery. It is ideal for charging any flooded, lead-acid, or sealed maintenance-free battery including Gel cell and AGM types. Furthermore, it is equipped with temperature compensator which increases or decreases voltage according to ambient temperature. You may see some of its great features below for more information.
- Input: 120 VAC, 60 Hz, 0.36A
- Output: 14.4 VDC, 1.25A
- Spark-free, thermal, short-circuit, and Reverse polarity protection,
- Fully automatic and microprocessor-controlled
- Charge as fast as or faster than any 3A chargers
- Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 11 inches
- Weight: 1 Kg
Imagine a day without an automotive battery charger, how our day would be ruined by an exhausted battery! Car battery charger is of importance and worthwhile since our vehicles become vital for today’s transportation. The listed products above are ample to deal with different types of conveyance power problems, for they have unique features to fulfill your needs. Anyway, before you decide to buy a battery charger, be aware of your battery’s characteristics and which charger is fitted with your battery, so that you won’t spend your money in vain and misuse the product.