Buying Guide: Best Car Battery Charger Features and Models
Regardless of whether you are looking to purchase an automobile battery charger to help prevent dead batteries from ruining your day or just to condition and maintain the batteries you have running to increase their longevity (and their value), you’re going to need to make sure that you purchase the right piece of technology going forward.
Believe it or not, not all battery chargers are created equally.
In fact, there is such a difference between lower tier battery chargers and top-of-the-line solutions that you need to make sure you are always investing in a high quality product that will get the job done – and not something cheap that could actually do serious damage to your battery (and your vehicle) in the process.
If you want to make sure that you always (ALWAYS) end up going with the right automobile battery charger, pay close attention to the insider information contained below.
Breaking down all of the critical features that you should be looking for (as well as most of the features that you need to stay clear of), while at the same time giving you five top-of-the-line options to pick and choose from, this just might be the only guide you need to finding the perfect automobile battery charger going forward!
At the end of the day, you need to make sure that you are spending your money wisely on a piece of technology that you will be able to count on day in and day out. By the time you have finished this relatively quick guide, you won’t ever have to worry about making the wrong decision moving forward. Ready to jump right in?
Top five options on the market today
NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5 Amp Smart Battery Charger and Maintainer
One of the most favorably reviewed battery chargers on the market today, this particular unit is not only going to be able to easily (and quickly) charge up your vehicle batteries – it will also be able to tackle marine batteries as well!
Relatively simple and straightforward (especially as far as battery chargers are concerned), this is a high quality unit that will condition your batteries as well. This helps to extend the lifetime of your batteries, boosting your investment while at the same time making sure that you get extra-long usage out of them.
Schumacher SC-1200A/CA SpeedCharge 3/6/12 Amp Charger/Maintainer/Tester
An advanced battery charger if there ever was one, this entire unit is controlled by a microprocessor (just like the one found in your laptop or smartphone) to make sure that your batteries are charged to the perfect level without burning them out.
Not only that, but this unit will also adjust (on-the-fly, no less) the amperage that your battery charger puts out to make sure that everything is conditioned while your recharge is underway. As mentioned above, this will only serve to boost the longevity that you’ll squeeze out of your automobile batteries.
Battery Tender (021-0128) 12V 1.25 Amp Battery Charger
As “bare-bones” as it gets when it comes to a battery charger, this is still one of the most popular options you’ll find on the market today because it flat out works.
Everything about this particular battery charger is simple, ridiculously easy to use, and almost unbelievably dependable. All you have to do is connect the jumpers to your battery (after cleaning off your battery contacts, of course), plug it in, and then flip a switch to get it to work.
After that, you are off to the races!
Schumacher SSC-1000A SpeedCharge 2/6/10 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer with 50-Amp Battery Clip
Though this unit is controlled by a microprocessor (which makes it only a little bit “dumber” than the one mentioned above), it is still one of the most positively regarded battery chargers money can buy today.
This is mostly because this battery charger offers a number of preprogrammed “charging profiles” that will work to quickly condition and charge your battery or more slowly (and maybe more effectively) charge your battery – as well as everything in between.
One of the most versatile battery chargers you can find, you’ll love this option!
Clore JNC300XL ‘Jump-N-Carry’ 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12-Volt Jump Starter with Light
Very handy (especially when you’re in a bit of an emergency situation), this is one of the most durable and weatherproof solutions money can buy today.
Not only that, but it’s also capable of producing 900 peak amps (with 225 cranking amps), which means that you’ll be able to charge up and condition almost any of the vehicles – and pieces of heavy/marine equipment – that you have to take care of.
Different Models and Products on the Market Right Now
The overwhelming majority of battery chargers out there available for sale today fall into three distinct categories:
- Battery chargers and battery chargers only
- Battery chargers/battery recondition
- And alternative energy solutions
Battery chargers are the most simple and straightforward of equipment out there today, and handle battery charging duties perfectly – but that’s all that they are able to take care of.
Battery chargers/reconditioners are a little bit more advanced, and take full advantage of extra technology to not only charge your battery completely but also improve the longevity and the overall performance of that battery and the exact same time.
On top of that, they also can bring old batteries “back from the dead” depending upon a number of key criteria
Finally, you have alternative energy solution battery chargers that use solar panels (or some other type of renewable resource) to produce the electricity that gets your battery back to better than brand-new condition.
You’ll also find a number of battery chargers that offer quick charging capabilities, “low and slow” charging capabilities, and a handful of other types that you may be interested in.
Specific Features You’ll Want to Look For in Your Next Purchase
The three important things that you need to focus on before you purchased a battery charger is:
- Whether or not it’s going to be able to handle your particular automobile battery
- The length of the “jumper cables” and power cord that connect to your battery and your power station
- The safety features that make sure that your battery doesn’t end up “overcharged” and you have to deal with an electrical issue going forward
If you check off all of those boxes, the odds are pretty good that you’ll end up with a battery charger that you’re very happy with.
Dealbreaker Features That You’ll Want to Avoid
The biggest deal breaker features that you need to try and stay as far away from as possible is a feature that you’ll find on most older chargers (and very few new ones).
You want a battery charger that can be safely left alone to charge your battery in a hurry or overnight, but a lot of the older options promised the moon and the stars when it came to those results – but ended up frying the battery because they couldn’t modulate the electricity that was coursing through them.
You’ll want a battery charger that includes its own version of a restrictor plate to keep things completely safe throughout usage.
At the end of the day, it’s a lot easier to purchase a new battery charger than you probably thought. Obviously, you’ll want to pay attention to the tips and tricks above to find the very best battery charger for your money (and your particular needs), but if you follow along with this guide you won’t have any trouble whatsoever.
Best of luck going forward!