Most people understand that a car battery charger can revitalize a dead car battery. However, many types of car battery chargers feature additional functions and features that may or may not be needed. Some chargers report problems such as when a battery can no longer be charged but must be replaced. Others may be able to provide a trickle charge for over-wintering vehicles. Portable car battery chargers can jumpstart a car in an emergency.
Before Investing in a Portable Car Battery Charger, Here are Some Things to Consider:
- Be aware that car battery chargers are not universally applicable to all automotive batteries. Make sure you have a match before you purchase.
- Check for a reverse polarity warning. This feature alerts users to the fact that the cables are not connected to the battery correctly.
- Consider the recharging time. Portable car battery chargers function as second batteries in case of emergency. As a result, they should be recharged as well to ensure that the backup works and can easily jumpstart a dead car. Recharging times may vary.
- See if a battery tester capability exists. Some car battery chargers test the charge left in an automotive battery, which can be helpful to signal time for a new battery or redirect you to a different car issue if the battery tests fine.
- Review warranties, which can vary from model to model, and be sure that warranty length is taken into account when making a purchase decision.
Here are the top ten portable battery car chargers:
10. Schumacher SE-4022
This manual charger jumpstarts engines in emergencies and features a 40-amp quick charge that takes one to three hours. Compatible with both 6-volt and 12-volt batteries, the Schumacher charger serves fleets of vehicles well and diagnoses electrical issues. The portable charger comes with a voltmeter as well as two rotary switches.
- Cooling fan increases performance and durability
- Usable with 6-volt and 12-volt batteries
- Alerts users to starting system or electrical problems
- Wheel assembly is flimsy
- Poor quality cable
9. Schumacher SE-5212A
This handheld car battery charger completely revitalizes a 12-volt battery in three to five hours. With its quick charge time, an automatic function that prevents battery overcharging, and multiple amp functions, the Schumacher SE-5212A provides a great deal of flexibility. LED lights communicate status information about the charger.
- Functions in automatic or manual mode
- Solid construction
- Offers quick charge and trickle charge options
- Will break if dropped
- Potential durability issues
8. Foval 150W Car Power Charger
The Foval unit features a power DC inverter as well as an AC converter and offers two USB ports as well as AC outlets. The USB ports provide charging capacity for cell phones and tablets while the outlets charge items like kindle players, laptops and breast pumps. A convenient travel case provides simple, portable storage for ease of use and transport. The Foval charger protects electronic devices and is resistant to overheating and over charging as well as short circuits.
- Durable metal housing
- Integrated cooling fan
- Includes carrying case
- Short cable
- Dependability issues
7. Schumacher SSC-1500A-CA
This 15-amp charger has a speed-charge function as well as a battery or slower charge option. With its digital meter, the unit communicates the battery charge status in addition to diagnostic test results. The retractable handle provides simple storage and transport. The Schumacher SSC-1500A-CA meets the needs of 12-volt batteries while the clamps work at 75 amps.
- Offers 3 amp, 8 amp and 15 amp settings
- Reverse polarity protection
- Energy efficient
- Small battery clips
- Fan is noisy
- Display reverts to sleep mode quickly
6. Schumacher SSC-1000A
The Schumacher SSC-1000A provides multi-amperage settings for speed or trickle charging and comes with 50-amp battery clips. Users operate an electronic push button in order to choose the charge rate or see the display as well as a digital meter that can provide diagnostic test results.
- Weighs only six pounds and features retractable handle
- Three setting options
- Self-stored cables are convenient
- Can overcharge batteries if misused
- Does not jumpstart cars
5. Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA
As a 6-volt and 12-volt battery charger, the Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA comes with jumper cables and ring connectors. The unit recognizes when a battery is completely charged and will not overcharge. A plastic case protects this 1.5 amp speed charger. Display lights inform the owner on status of the charging and can also alert problems. The unit ensures that stored cars are always charged and also that clamps are connected properly.
- Protects from overcharging
- Reverse polarity warning
- Diagnosis problems
- Cheaper construction
- Possibility durability issues
4. Black & Decker Battery Charger
The Black & Decker model charges 6 volt batteries, 12 volt batteries, GEL batteries and WET batteries. The unit connects to the car battery with a vehicle DC plug, O rings or battery clips. By using advanced technology, the Black & Decker unit holds the ideal charge by shutting off before overcharging.
- Compatible with many batteries
- Multi-attachment options
- Overcharge protection
- Durability issues
- Poor customer service
3. Schumacher SC-1200A-CA
This Schumacher unit offers a speed charge setting for 6 volt and 12 volt batteries. By utilizing its float mode monitoring feature, the battery charger can successfully prevent overcharging. LED lights indicate when clamps are connected incorrectly. The 3-amp setting maintains a charged battery, a 6-amp setting charges batteries at a steady pace, and a 12-amp setting provides rapid charging.
- Energy efficient
- Wide variety of settings
- Durability issues
- Light-duty construction
2. Extreme Max Battery Buddy
When vehicles need to be stored long-term in harsh climates, the Extreme Max Battery Buddy comes to the rescue. This charger serves both 6 volt and 12 volt batteries as well as maintains them over the long-term. Four smart-charging settings include an initial mode, a bulk charge setting, an absorption selection and a float mode. The unit protects batteries from overcharging. A waterproof design keeps the Battery Buddy safe from moisture, and an LED status light communicates the mode and the charge to the owner. The Battery Buddy features spark proof connectors, an eight foot cord, and protection from short circuiting.
- Polarity protection
- Won’t overcharge or damage batteries
- Multiple modes for flexible usage
- Short life-span
- Dependability issues
1. NOCO Genius G3500
The UltraSafe Battery charges both lithium ion batteries and lead acid ones, serving both six and 12 volt units. With advanced technology, this charger can revive a battery quickly as well as repair batteries that are damaged. The portable, ultra-compact design makes the unit easy to carry and move around, and the rubber base and mounting holes help hold the unit in place. Being resistant to impact, water and ultraviolet rays, the NOCO Genius features excellent durability. The charger watches battery activity to ensure that charging is done efficiently while resisting spark, saving energy and protecting from overcharge. Detector lights communicate feedback and diagnostic data to owners.
- Battery repair function
- Safety concerns
- Interferes with radio frequencies
Many options exist for portable battery chargers. Individuals should consider what features are necessary for their particular situations and buy accordingly. Following instructions and warnings on chargers carefully impacts performance.