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Top 7 Best Car Battery Chargers for 2024

Best Car Battery Charger
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Most people only consider buying a car battery charger when their car won’t start on a cold winter’s day or when their car battery is drained because they left their lights on. It’s money that most are reluctant to spend. But once you’ve bought one, you’ll be able to maintain your car battery in optimal conditions, sometimes doubling or even tripling your car battery’s longevity. 

It’s worth knowing that each time you drain your battery beyond the point of being able to start your car, it will irreversibly get damaged and lose substantial capacity and power. Depending on the situation and type of battery, even just one or two deep drains may be enough to render your battery useless and total loss.

An intelligent car battery charger will actually save you money over time. A good battery charger will also indicate if there’s something wrong with your battery so you can preventively replace it and not get stranded somewhere.

That’s why a car battery charger is a must-have for every car owner and a great investment!

Let us guide you through the jungle of battery chargers and help you choose the best car battery charger for your specific needs.

These are the battery chargers we recommend:

Things to Consider When Buying a Car Battery Charger

There are many damn cool looking chargers out there. Don’t be fooled by their looks though… It’s the technology, know-how and research that went in that makes an “OK” charger a great one. Charging a battery is pure science.

The difference with the heavy, bulky outdated chargers from years ago is night-and-day.

Different Types of Car Battery Chargers

There are different types of car battery chargers on the market with different uses in mind. Some are designed to maintain a car battery in optimal condition while the car is parked, stored or not in use. Others are built to charge a dead battery as fast as possible. Some premium battery chargers combine both features. It’s important to decide which type is right for your use and budget. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Car Battery Maintainer, Trickle charger or Trainer

A trickle charger, also called “battery maintainer” or “battery trainer” is a low-amp mains-powered device that will keep your battery topped up and ready to go at all times. You can connect your car battery to a battery maintainer when it is stored or not driven for an extended period of time, to prevent its battery from gradually draining. Generally, a car battery maintainer or trickle charger has between 1 and 3 charging amps.

It will also prevent sulfation, a common car battery deterioration process caused by a buildup of lead sulfate crystals in the battery and the number one cause of early car battery failure in lead-acid batteries. 

An intelligent trickle charger, trainer or maintainer prevents sulfation by constantly monitoring the battery’s health. It “trains” the battery when needed by allowing small discharges followed by charges, applying different voltages and pulsing actions. All these actions are pre-programmed and fully automatic. 

This type of charger often comes with an adapter cable with a plug that can be permanently mounted on the battery terminals. This plug can be installed out of sight under the hood or under the dash, ready to connect to the charger. This makes it even a good option for daily drivers that are parked on a driveway or in a garage. It only takes a few seconds to connect the charger and by doing this on a regular basis, your car battery is always in prime condition and will live up to 3 times longer. 

Trickle chargers, trainers or maintainers are also available as multi-chargers to charge and maintain several car batteries with one device.

There’s just one downside to this type of charger: although it can charge a dead battery, because of its low output it will take a long time. Depending on its amperage and the type of battery, it may take up to 48 hours to fully charge it. 

However, because this type of charger makes sure your car battery is always in optimal condition and will indicate when your battery needs replacing, drained batteries should be a thing of the past. 

For a simple step-by-step guide on how to use a battery charger, take a look at “How to Charge a Car Battery”. 

  • Charger

A car battery charger is positioned right in between a battery maintainer / trickle-charger / trainer and a fast charger. It generally has between 4 and 10 charging amps and is designed for occasional use. A charger is the ideal tool to use when your car battery is weak or to top it up every now and then. It’s the sensible approach if you don’t use a battery maintainer on a regular basis. 

It’s neither a low-amp maintenance charger, nor a brute force fast charger. It charges your car battery much faster than a maintenance charger but won’t shorten your car battery’s life like a brute force fast charger would.

  • Fast Charger

A fast charger is an intelligent, mains-powered high-amp battery charger that can charge a drained car battery in record time, but it will still take 15 minutes up to several hours to reach starting capacity depending on its amperage and the battery’s type and condition.Generally, a fast charger has more than 10 charging amps. Keep in mind however, that fast-charging your battery will inevitably shorten its life considerably and should only be done in case of extreme urgency. 

If you don’t have time to wait that long and you want to start your car immediately, you’ll need a jump starter. For those devices, take a look at our post “Best Portable Jump Starters

For a simple step-by-step guide on how to use a fast charger, take a quick look at “How to Charge a Car Battery”.

  • All-In-One Charger

An all-in-one charger is an intelligent trickle-charger / maintainer / trainer and a charger rolled into one. You can switch between modes according to your needs. Although it can charge your car battery fast, it generally will not have as high an amperage as a true fast charger because modern all-in-one chargers are designed to not damage your battery. 

For a simple step-by-step guide on how to use a car battery charger, take a quick look at “How to Charge a Car Battery” 

Different Charging Modes

Intelligent electronic chargers have an arsenal of different technologies on board to analyze battery health and to apply different pre-programmed protocols accordingly. Whenever needed, the charger will automatically switch to another setting. Although e ach car battery charger manufacturer uses slightly different technology and terminology, these main modes are generally included:

  • Float Mode

In “float mode”, a car battery is maintained at approximately 2.25 volts per cell, or 13.5 volts for a 12V battery. This voltage will maintain the full charge condition in the battery without boiling our electrolyte or overcharging the battery.

  • Pulse Mode

Pulse charging, also called “reflex”, “negative” or “burp charging” is a method that  applies very short 5 millisecond discharge pulses during a charging rest period. Typically these pulses are 2 or 3 times the charging current. This depolarizes the battery cells to optimize them.

  • Desulfation Mode

When a battery isn’t charged for some time, lead sulfate crystals will build up at the bottom and reduce the usable capacity/performance of the battery. This deterioration process will eventually render the battery useless. It’s the number one cause of early car battery failure in lead-acid batteries. 

During the desulfation process, lead sulfate is inversely charged to convert it back to active material. This is done before the main charging stage. Virtually all locally and even fully sulfated lead-acid batteries can be recovered using this method.

  • Destratification / Recond Mode

Wet batteries (lead-acid) contain a fluid, called an electrolyte, which consists of distilled water and acid. Stratification simply means layering of the electrolyte. The acid content sinks to the bottom while the water floats on top of the acid. This pure acid eats away at the bottom end of the cells, eventually rendering them useless. This of course has a very negative impact on performance and life expectancy of the battery. Stratification mainly happens when old school chargers are used that use constant voltage or a fixed charge algorithm. 

However, no lead-acid battery is immune to this phenomenon. When a battery sits unused in a stored car for example, stratification is one of the main aging factors for car batteries. 

During destratification (also called Recon Mode) an equalization charge is applied, and a high voltage extended charge at the end of the process to mix the electrolyte. This optimizes current flow between the battery plates and makes them last much longer too.

  • Force Mode

Force Mode allows you to take control and manually begin charging dead batteries down to zero volts when the auto-detection system will not charge the battery because it senses no voltage. You could call it an override, it overrules the auto test when it refuses to charge the battery.

  • Power Supply Mode 

In Power Supply Mode, the charger delivers constant 13.6V power. This mode can be very helpful when changing a car battery. Using a power supply, you can disconnect your car battery without losing all the car’s settings. Power Supply Mode actually serves as a “back-up battery” when the battery is temporarily disconnected.

  • Snowflake Mode

“Snowflake” mode delivers a higher rate of charge for faster charging times in cold weather situations. It ensures optimal charging performance, bringing the car battery up to full capacity, no matter how cold it is.

Battery Type 

Most advanced car battery chargers have several automatic or semi-automatic battery type settings. Top range chargers can charge most, if not all, different types of batteries ranging from STD (lead-acid / wet), AGM (gel), Ca (Calcium) to Lithium type batteries.

Once you’ve selected the right type of battery, the charger will begin analyzing the battery condition. Based on that analysis, it will automatically start to run preset reconditioning and charging modes, optimized for your battery’s condition.

By the way: MF means Maintenance-Free and applies to all types of modern car battery types. 

Amperage (A)

Although it may be tempting to buy the most powerful high amperage charger out there, you should always remember: slower is better for your battery’s health. A powerful charger will shorten your battery’s life considerably. That’s why in our lineup there’s only one fast charger.

If you plan to always connect your car battery to your charger when it’s parked on your driveway or in your garage, which is ideal, you don’t need more than 1 or 2 amps of intelligent charging power. It’s the gentlest approach to make your battery last the longest in the best possible condition.

On the other hand, if you’re gonna “feed” your battery only now and again or when you notice it’s getting weak (which we don’t recommend), An intelligent high-amp charger would be your best choice.

Safety Features

The car battery chargers we recommend are 100% safe to use with built-in safety features to prevent sparking, overcharging and overheating. Because of these safety features, horror stories of exploding batteries or cars catching fire due to overcharging or sparks are a thing of the past. 

Beware of cheap, non-branded battery chargers as they might not have those safety features built in.

Extreme climate capability 

If you live in an extremely hot or cold climate, make sure the battery charger can cope. If you’re going to use it in extreme temperatures, better check its temperature range.

Included Accessories

Most chargers come with standard accessories like a soft storage pouch, a  mains cable and battery clamps, and that’s probably all you’re going to use. However, you want to check if there’s an adapter cable with connector plug included with your trickle charger if you’re going to use it on a daily basis. It’s so much easier to connect and disconnect. If you have to buy it separately, it can be expensive compared to the actual charger price. Also, a hard case can be a welcome bonus compared to a standard soft pouch for example. 

How we did our review 

Over the years we’ve tried and tested a lot of different car battery chargers for our cars, with mixed results. That hands-on experience gave us a good base to start from. 

For this review we also dove deep in the manufacturer specifications and looked at customer reviews to see what their experience was. We only recommend car battery chargers that did an excellent job for us and the vast majority of other car enthusiasts. 

We’ve selected chargers for different purposes, to make it easy for you to choose the right one for your car, depending on what you intend to use it for. We made sure that all of the car battery chargers in our selection are easy and safe to use. They will not disappoint you, no matter which charger in our selection you choose.

Right, now that you’re all “charged up” with all that useful information, let’s “start” with our dream team selection: 

Top 7 Best Car Battery Chargers

Best Overall Car Battery Charger

Best Overall
Specs:
  • Type: All-in-one and power supply
  • Mode: Pulse, Desulfation, Recond, Power supply
  • Battery: 12V lead-acid batteries (Wet, MF, Gel, AGM and Ca)
  • Amperage: 7A
  • Temperature Range: -4°F to +122°F
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: 2 interchangeable connection leads, one with clamps, and one with eyelet terminals and plug connector
Best Overall
Specs:
  • Type: All-in-one and power supply
  • Mode: Pulse, Desulfation, Recond, Power supply
  • Battery: 12V lead-acid batteries (Wet, MF, Gel, AGM and Ca)
  • Amperage: 7A
  • Temperature Range: -4°F to +122°F
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: 2 interchangeable connection leads, one with clamps, and one with eyelet terminals and plug connector

There’s no such thing as the perfect battery charger for all users and uses, but this one comes pretty close!

It’s a full-blown 7 Amps battery charger, maintainer and trickle-charger all rolled into one and it doubles as a 12V power supply too. The 12V power supply enables you to disconnect your car battery without starving your sensitive car electronics so you don’t lose your vehicle data settings. 

The 7002 model has eight-step automatic switch-charging and four separate charging modes. They allow for easy, convenient, safe and unattended battery charging. 

All you have to do is connect it and select one of 4 modes:

  1. “NORMAL” mode to charge any standard 12V lead-acid battery
  2. “AGM” mode for AGM batteries or cold temperature charging
  3. “SUPPLY” mode if you want to use it as a 12V power supply to remove your car battery
  4. “RECOND” mode to restore stratified and deeply discharged batteries

It charges 12-volt lead-acid batteries (Wet, MF, Gel, AGM and Ca) from 14Ah to 150Ah (charging) or 14Ah to 225Ah (maintenance). 

It’s ideal for cars as well as larger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks. Powerful patented desulfating and destratification abilities means it can recondition even large car or truck batteries that are deeply discharged. CTEK’s patented “maintenance pulse charging” increases battery life and gives superb performance.

Two interchangeable connection leads (one with clamps, and one with eyelet terminals) are included.Mounting holes and IP65 water-resistance make it suitable to use inside or out, portable or mounted.

It works whatever the weather or temperature and it’s safe and easy to use. CTEK’s “Connect and Forget” technology makes charging and maintaining your car battery as easy as it gets!

We’ve been using a couple of these chargers ourselves for years and they’re plug-and-play. They haven’t failed us yet and we use ‘em outside too, in all kinds of weather.

Customers confirm it is very easy to set up, plug in and monitor. They like the fact that with the longer cord the battery charger can be mounted several feet from the car. Even after several years most customers remain very happy with their purchase and describe it as “rock solid”.


PROS:

  • Powerful and fast 12V  7 amps battery charger and maintainer
  • Ideal charger for cars and larger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks
  • Safe to use: spark-free, short-circuit proof, reverse-polarity protection
  • Dustproof, IP65 splash proof, perfect for use in all weather, whatever the temperature
  • User-friendly
  • 12V power supply mode when you need to remove your vehicle’s battery
  • Patented desulphation function
  • ‘RECOND’ mode to restore stratified and deeply discharged batteries
  • Maintenance pulse charging increases battery life
  • Has holes for wall mounting


CONS:

  • No lithium battery setting
  • Not suited for 6V or 24V batteries

Best Budget Car Battery Charger

Best Budget
Specs:
  • Type: All-in-one
  • Modes: Float, Desulfation,Destratification, Force
  • Battery types: 6V and 12V lead-acid, Wet cell, Gel, Enhanced Flooded, MF, CA / 12V AGM and Lithium
  • Amperage: 1 Amp
  • Temperature Range: Operating Temperature -4° to 104° F
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: needle-nose battery clamps with integrated eyelet terminals
Best Budget
Specs:
  • Type: All-in-one
  • Modes: Float, Desulfation,Destratification, Force
  • Battery types: 6V and 12V lead-acid, Wet cell, Gel, Enhanced Flooded, MF, CA / 12V AGM and Lithium
  • Amperage: 1 Amp
  • Temperature Range: Operating Temperature -4° to 104° F
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: needle-nose battery clamps with integrated eyelet terminals

Despite its small dimensions, this little fellow gently does what it’s supposed to: it keeps your car battery topped up and ready to go with the least energy consumption possible.

However, don’t expect it to revive that 8 year old 70 Amp battery that stood unused in the shed for a couple of years with this tiny guy. That’s not its forte. This small genius (pun intended) excels in keeping your car battery in the best shape possible for years to come.

It can charge and maintain all types of vehicle batteries: cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, ATVs, tractors, trucks, SUVs, boats, classic cars, hot rods, you name it. For the heavy lifting you’ll need its big brother NOCO Genius10

Customers confirm that this charger is very reliable and that it keeps their vehicles charged and ready to go. They recommend this product because it is a quality battery charger for a bargain price.


PROS:

  • Affordable quality product
  • Very low energy consumption
  • Maintains all battery sizes
  • For all types of batteries
  • Incorporates high-end NOCO battery charging technology
  • Small, lightweight
  • IP65 water-resistant, can be used outside
  • Integrated thermal sensor eliminates over-charging in hot climates and under-charging in cold climates
  • NOCO safety features prevent sparking, overheating and overcharging
  • Automatically detects and addresses battery sulfation and acid stratification


CONS:

  • Will maintain (trickle-charge) any size of battery with ease and precision but not intended to revive old dead batteries above 30Ah (check out NOCO Genius10 instead)

Most User-Friendly Car Battery Charger

Most User-Friendly
Specs:
  • Type: All-in-one
  • Modes: Normal, AGM, Recond
  • Battery: For all types of lead-acid 12V batteries (WET,EFB,MF,CA/CA,AGM and GEL)
  • Amperage: 4.3 Amps
  • Temperature Range: -4ºF to 122ºF
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: Clamps, Eyelets
Most User-Friendly
Specs:
  • Type: All-in-one
  • Modes: Normal, AGM, Recond
  • Battery: For all types of lead-acid 12V batteries (WET,EFB,MF,CA/CA,AGM and GEL)
  • Amperage: 4.3 Amps
  • Temperature Range: -4ºF to 122ºF
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: Clamps, Eyelets

Why make a simple thing like charging a battery more complicated than it needs to be?

This state-of-the-art, super-reliable charger does it all automatically for you!

Just plug it in, connect it and select one of 3 modes:

  1. “NORMAL” mode for all normal lead-acid batteries
  2. “AGM” mode for AGM batteries
  3. “RECOND” mode to recondition depleted or old batteries

The patented CTEK technology does the rest automatically in 8 steps “behind the scenes”, without you having to worry about it. Once you’ve selected a specific mode, it will automatically remember it next time you use it.

CTEK’s “Time To Go” automatically shows you how long it will take to fully charge your battery, which is an awesome feature! No more guessing, just knowing…

It has all the latest safety features to prevent your car from becoming a Fourth of July fireworks show and burning your house down in the process, thumbs up!  

We love the unique “Time To Go” feature that tells you how long you’ll have to wait before your battery is fully charged. 

Customers like the fact that this device will not only charge your battery, but also maintain it, which is ideal for older vehicles. They confirm it is safe and easy to use, but not for extreme cold climates.


PROS:

  • Most user-friendly
  • “Time To Go” tells you how long before your battery is fully charged
  • IP65 splash proof, dustproof and short circuit proof for in-or outside use
  • Powerful and fast 12V 4.3Amps battery charger and maintainer
  • Non sparking, reverse polarity protected clamps
  • Patented desulphation function
  • ‘RECOND’ mode to restore stratified and deeply discharged batteries
  • Maintenance pulse charging increases battery life
  • Has wall mounting holes

 

CONS:

  • No lithium battery setting
  • Not suited for 6V or 24V batteries

Best Solar Car Battery Charger

Best Solar
Specs:
  • Type: Maintainer/Trickle charger
  • Modes: n/a
  • Battery: Suitable for car, truck, boat, lawn mower, motorcycles, trailer, dump trailer, tractor, RV, van, camper, ATV, utility vehicle Battery etc.
  • Amperage: 0.6 Amps
  • Temperature Range: n/a
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: 4.92 ft cord, 1 x Alligator clip adapter with 19.7 inch cord, 1 x Cigarette lighter adapter with 19.7 inch cord, 4 x PVC Suckers
Best Solar
Specs:
  • Type: Maintainer/Trickle charger
  • Modes: n/a
  • Battery: Suitable for car, truck, boat, lawn mower, motorcycles, trailer, dump trailer, tractor, RV, van, camper, ATV, utility vehicle Battery etc.
  • Amperage: 0.6 Amps
  • Temperature Range: n/a
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: 4.92 ft cord, 1 x Alligator clip adapter with 19.7 inch cord, 1 x Cigarette lighter adapter with 19.7 inch cord, 4 x PVC Suckers

If you’re living in a sunny climate all-year long, why pay for electricity to keep your car battery topped up? For the same budget you would spend to buy a mains-powered charger, you can have this awesome solar powered charger with no running cost at all!

If your car is safely parked on your property, you can simply stick the panel on the outside of your car’s windscreen with its four suckers. If it’s parked out on the street, you can stick it on the inside of your windscreen or just lay it on your dashboard, depending. Of course, it can also be mounted on a pole or wall next to your parking space. Like with all solar panels, it will be most efficient facing south in full sunlight. 

It has a built-in backflow diode that prevents current draining back from the battery. In other words, it’s a one-way street: power flows to the battery but can’t flow back to the solar panel and drain your battery when the sunlight is too weak or at night.

This solar charger can easily be connected to your battery with the included cigarette lighter adapter or battery clips. 

Note: For the cigarette lighter adapter to work you need your car’s cigarette lighter outlet to be powered when the car is locked and the car key removed.

We strongly recommend the 10W version instead of the cheaper 5W version because this is maximum output in ideal conditions when the solar panel is brand new and perfectly oriented in full sunlight. In reality your car isn’t always parked due south in 100% sunlight at a perfect angle, of course. It’s sufficient to keep your car topped up in most scenarios.

Even customers who had their doubts about this solar charger are very happy with their purchase. They state that it is a very budget-friendly way to avoid battery drainage on a vehicle that is not often used or parked outside for a long time. Customers mention that it also works in colder temperatures.


PROS:

  • No mains needed
  • No running costs
  • Connects with included battery clips or cigarette lighter adapter
  • No hassle, when there’s sun it just works


CONS:

  • Needs sunny conditions and south positioning for optimal efficiency
  • Not ideal for cold climates or shady parking spaces
  • The cigarette plug option only works if it has constant power when the key is out of the ignition
  • Not for lithium batteries

Best Car Battery Multi-Charger

Best Multi-Charger
Specs:
  • Type: All-in-one
  • Modes: Desulfation, Destratification, Force
  • Battery: 6-volt and 12-volt lead-acid, Wet cell, Gel, Enhanced Flooded, MF, CA / 12V AGM and Lithium
  • Amperage: 8 Amps (2 Amps per bank)
  • Temperature Range: -4° to 104° F
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: (4) Charging Extension Cables,(4) Needle-Nose Battery Clamps With Integrated Eyelet Terminals,Type-A, Type-C, Type-G and Type-I AC Cables
Best Multi-Charger
Specs:
  • Type: All-in-one
  • Modes: Desulfation, Destratification, Force
  • Battery: 6-volt and 12-volt lead-acid, Wet cell, Gel, Enhanced Flooded, MF, CA / 12V AGM and Lithium
  • Amperage: 8 Amps (2 Amps per bank)
  • Temperature Range: -4° to 104° F
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: (4) Charging Extension Cables,(4) Needle-Nose Battery Clamps With Integrated Eyelet Terminals,Type-A, Type-C, Type-G and Type-I AC Cables

Got several cars living under one roof? Looking for trickle-chargers to keep all their car batteries in shape? Instead of buying a charger for each car and making your garage a wiring nightmare, why not buy one charger to charge up to 4 car batteries at once?

As with all NOCO car battery chargers, the Genius2x4 is packed with the latest tried and tested battery charging technology you can trust. It’s safe to use for all car battery types, 6V or 12V. You can also use it for motorcycles, boats, ATVs, RVs, lawn mowers, lawn tractors, trucks and more. 

Because of its built-in state-of-the-art safety technology you can rest assured it won’t burn your house down. Just mount it somewhere central in your garage and this one small device will constantly intelligently monitor, desulfate and trickle-charge 4 car batteries individually. 

Because it is IP65 water resistant you can just lay it somewhere on the ground too, of course. It can even be mounted on an outdoor wall or post to power several vehicles in your driveway.

With its 2 Amps per battery, it’s more than sufficient to keep up. It also has temperature compensation to allow for accurate analysis, desulfation and charging. It’s even equipped with “FORCE” mode if you want to try and desulfate and restore badly depleted or even damaged batteries it normally won’t detect or accept. 

It comes with 4 10-foot charging extension cables, 4 battery clamps with integrated eyelets and an AC Cable. If needed, optional M6 eyelet terminals, M10 XL eyelet terminals, 12V dual-size male plugs, 10-foot extension cables or even SAE adapters are available to make this setup even more versatile.

We highly recommend this multi-charger along with so many satisfied customers. We’ve been using this type of charger for some years now to keep the batteries of our Jeeps TJ’s topped up outside on the driveway. They’ve never had battery problems because they’re always fully charged, despite the fact that they are only driven sparingly. 

In our garage we have a NOCO2x4 mounted to the wall to keep the batteries of our classics in top condition, ready to go when spring arrives. These chargers have earned us a lot of money in battery replacement costs over the years. We think they’re money well spent! 


PROS:

  • Charge up to 4 car batteries at once
  • For all types of batteries
  • Built-in state-of-the-art safety technology
  • Low energy consumption
  • Also for motorcycles, boats, ATVs, RVs, lawn mowers, lawn tractors, trucks and more
  • Tried and trusted NOCO charging technology
  • Automatically detects and addresses battery sulfation and acid stratification
  • Equipped with “FORCE” mode to revive totally depleted or damaged batteries 
  • IP65 water resistant, can be used outside
  • Optional accessories available
  • Integrated thermal sensor eliminates over-charging in hot climates and under-charging in cold climates
  • Well equipped: 4 10-foot charging extension cables, 4 battery clamps with integrated eyelets and an AC Cable included
  • For portable or mounted use


CONS:

  • Great trickle-charger but not designed to quickly boost a car battery
  • It may take up to a couple of days to revive a completely depleted and sulfated large battery (but it eventually will)
  • Protective case not included

Best Cold Climate Car Battery Charger

Best For Cold Climate
Specs:
  • Type: All-in-one
  • Modes: Float, Pulse, Desulphation, Destratification, Recond, Snowflake
  • Battery: 12V lead-acid batteries (Wet, MF, AGM, GEL)
  • Amperage: 4.3 Amps
  • Temperature Range: down to -22°F (-30°C)
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: Alligator clamps, Eyelets
Best For Cold Climate
Specs:
  • Type: All-in-one
  • Modes: Float, Pulse, Desulphation, Destratification, Recond, Snowflake
  • Battery: 12V lead-acid batteries (Wet, MF, AGM, GEL)
  • Amperage: 4.3 Amps
  • Temperature Range: down to -22°F (-30°C)
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: Alligator clamps, Eyelets

The CTEK MUS 4.3 POLAR has been specifically developed for use in extreme cold conditions as low as -22°F (-30°C). Featuring Nordic standard cables adapted for use in low temperatures and orange casing for high visibility it’s the one you need for cold climates. The special ‘Snowflake’ mode gives you a faster charge in extreme cold temperatures.

It has the same specifications as the CTEK (56-353) MULTI US 7002 (our Best Overall) but it’s a standard 4.3Amps instead of the larger 7 Amps and without 12V power supply mode. 

This charger uses CTEK’s unique, patented system to recover, charge and maintain all types of lead-acid battery to maximize performance and extend battery life. It has many built-in safety features: sparks-free, short-circuit proof and reverse polarity protection, which make it very safe to use.

It’s also very easy to use: you just have to select a mode and the charger will do the rest. 

Customers living in cold climates state that this charger does an awesome job in the harshest weather conditions. They say it keeps their batteries well maintained which prevents a lot of inconvenience because it’s no fun to have to jumpstart a dead battery in a snowstorm.


PROS:

  • Developed for use in extreme cold conditions, will charge over a wide range of temperatures right down to -22°F (-30°C)
  • Orange high-visibility casing 
  • User-friendly
  • Non sparking, reverse polarity protected clamps, short circuit proof 
  • Dustproof and IP65 splash-proof for in-or outside use
  • Powerful and fast 12V 4.3 Amps battery charger and maintainer
  • Patented desulphation function
  • ‘RECOND’ mode to restore stratified and deeply discharged batteries
  • Maintenance pulse charging increases battery life
  • Has mounting holes


CONS:

  • No lithium battery setting
  • Not suited for 6V or 24V batteries

Best Fast Charger

Fastest
Specs:
  • Type: Fast charger + all-in-one + jump starter
  • Modes: Float, Desulfation
  • Battery: 6V and 12V Lead Acid, Standard, AGM, Gel, Deep-cycle
  • Amperage: 30 Amps Quick boost / 100 Amps jumpstart / 6 Amps Charge / 2- Amps Maintenance
  • Temperature Range: n/a
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: n/a
Fastest
Specs:
  • Type: Fast charger + all-in-one + jump starter
  • Modes: Float, Desulfation
  • Battery: 6V and 12V Lead Acid, Standard, AGM, Gel, Deep-cycle
  • Amperage: 30 Amps Quick boost / 100 Amps jumpstart / 6 Amps Charge / 2- Amps Maintenance
  • Temperature Range: n/a
  • Safety Features: Yes
  • Included accessories: n/a

If you’re looking for a fast and powerful approach, the Schumacher SC1281 Battery Charger is made for you. It does not take prisoners and applies brute force to get things done. It’s up to 3 times faster than a standard charger when you put it in Quick Boost mode.

With a whopping 100 amps of jumpstarting power you can start any vehicle no matter what state its battery is in. It’s got a mighty 30 amps Quick Boost mode to revive most dead batteries in about an hour. If that’s too harsh for you, lt’s got 6 amps “normal” charging power too. Finally, when the heavy lifting is done, it can permanently maintain your fully charged battery with 2 amps of trickle-charge.

In 2 Amp mode, it displays the battery’s percentage of charge, which is a neat feature. Some customers think it’s a pity that it doesn’t display the percentage in all modes. Another recurring remark is about the manual which could be clearer according to some customers. In our opinion, this charger is so easy to use that it speaks for itself. Nothing’s perfect for everyone I guess… 

However, the majority of customers are very satisfied with this product and say it works like it should.  Most users agree that you get a very good product at an affordable price.

PROS:

  • Powerful enough to start SUVs, trucks, and charge large batteries
  • Reverse hook-up protection prevents damage if the clamps are reversed
  • LED display, indicators, and push-button controls for ease and accuracy
  • Features basic battery and alternator testing, which displays the charge level and helps easily diagnose electrical problems
  • Easy connect-and-forget solution: microprocessor-controlled, will automatically detect the battery voltage and will automatically adjust the system amperage as it charges or maintains the battery


CONS:

  • High-amp charging can shorten battery life considerably
  • Can’t be wall-mounted 
  • Awkward shape is difficult to store

Comparison Table Of The Best Car Battery Chargers

Brand Name
Best Overall CTEK (56-353) MULTI US 7002
Best Budget NOCO GENIUS1
Most User-Friendly CTEK (40-255) CT5 Time To Go
Best Solar ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 10 Watt Solar Car Battery Charger
Best Multi-Charger NOCO GENIUS2X4
Best For Cold Climate CTEK (56-958) MUS 4.3 POLAR
Fastest Schumacher SC1281 Battery Charger

Final Thoughts

There’s no guessing when charging a car battery. There’s no winging it. It’s pure science.

Knowing old-tech or unbranded battery chargers that cost a few bucks less may dramatically shorten your car battery’s life with even the risk of burning your house down in the process, these “bargains” may literally blow up in your face. They’re definitely not the way to go.

Trusted industry leaders like NOCO and CTEK on the other hand have spent decades developing and researching the most safe, effective ways to charge all different types of car batteries and prolong their life. Their track records speak for themselves.That’s why they’re the ones we prefer. 

The exception to the rule is a pretty neat solar-powered charger from ECO-WORTHY, which is a great alternative to mains-powered ones. It’s the perfect solution for people who don’t have access to mains like when your car is parked out on public roads. 

NOCO and CTEK do make many types of battery chargers however, that to the untrained eye are hard to differentiate. No need to worry, we’re here to help you out! 

These are the ones we’d choose based on different needs:

Do you park your car outside in your driveway in a cold climate with many weeks of below-zero temperatures? No-brainer: go for the CTEK (56-958) MUS 4.3 POLAR. Does its job without complaining in temperatures as low as -22°F (-30°C).

Are you living in a hot climate year-round with your car’s parking spot in full sunlight, be it on public roads or in your driveway ? Why not keep your car battery charged on 100% free solar power? Check out ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 10 Watt Solar Car Battery Charger. Let the sun shine…

Looking for a reliable, safe yet affordable trickle-charger to plug in and forget? One that‘ll never let you down? NOCO Genius 1 is your match.  If you’ve got a bit more to spend, go for its big brother who has more powerful battery recovery tricks up his sleeve: NOCO Genius 10.

Got several cars that need to be fed? We think this one’s awesome: NOCO Genius 2X4.

If you can’t be bothered with all the technical stuff and just want to know when your car battery will be 100% charged, this great charger will do an outstanding job fully automatic and tell you how long you’ll have to wait: CTEK (40-255) CT5 Time To Go

Not fast enough for your taste? Schumacher (the charger, not the F1 pilot) is faster than all of these contenders and even has a jump-start mode!

Well, time for the final one: Best Overall. This was a difficult one because our picks are all awesome in their own right. Because of its more-than-average power and reconditioning capabilities, and a 12V power supply setting we’ve chosen the CTEK (56-353) MULTI US 7002. It won’t break the bank and it is the most versatile.

Worst case, if your battery is too old or weak to “store” enough power to be able to start your engine, a battery charger will do no good. You’ll have to replace your car battery.

May the Power be with you!

FAQ

How Long Does it Take to Charge a Car Battery?

How long it takes to charge a car battery depends on a couple of factors like the shape the battery is in, its charge and amperage and the amperage and technology of the charger. 

For example: A modern 10A battery charger will need about 6 hours to fully charge a dead 60Ah battery, while a 30A charger will only need about 2 hours. A 2A trickle charger on the other hand, would need more than 30 hours to recharge the same battery. 

However, if your battery is not completely drained, charging times will be much shorter. For example: If your 60Ah battery is only 80% full (which is already very low for a car battery), it will take a 10A charger only about 1 hour and 15 minutes to fully charge it. A 30A fast charger should get the job done in less than 25 minutes.  

FYI: You can find your battery’s Ah rating on its label.

How Long Does it Take to Charge a Car Battery With a Trickle Charger? 

How long it takes to charge a car battery with a trickle charger depends on a couple of factors like the shape the battery is in, its charge and amperage and the amperage and technology of the trickle charger. 

For example: A modern 1A trickle charger will need about 60 hours to fully charge a completely dead 60Ah battery, while a 2A trickle charger will need about 30 hours.

However, if your battery is not completely drained, charging times will be much shorter. For example: If your 60Ah battery is only 80% full (which is already very low for a car battery), it will take a 1A trickle charger only about 12 hours to fully charge it. A 2A charger should get the job done in 6 hours.  

FYI: You can find your battery’s Ah rating on its label. 

How Long Does it Take to Charge a Car Battery with a Fast Charger?

How long it takes to charge a car battery with a fast charger depends on a couple of factors like the shape the battery is in, its charge and amperage and the amperage and technology of the fast charger. 

For example: A modern 30A fast charger will need about 2 hours to fully charge a dead 60Ah battery. 

However, if your battery is not completely drained, charging times will be much shorter. For example: If your 60Ah battery is only 80% full (which is already very low for a car battery), it will take a 30A trickle charger only about 25 minutes to fully charge it.

FYI: You can find your battery’s Ah rating on its label.

Although it may be tempting to buy the most powerful charger out there, you should always remember: slower is better for your battery’s health. A powerful charger will shorten your battery’s life considerably.

How Do You Jumpstart a Car with a Battery Charger?

You cannot jumpstart a car with a battery charger unless it has a jump start mode like the Schumacher SC1281 Battery Charger. This fast charger is an exception to the rule, because the vast majority of car battery chargers don’t have that option. You can also use a portable jump starter, which is specifically designed for jumpstarting.

How Do You Charge a Dead Car Battery?

You can charge a dead car battery using a trickle charger or a fast charger. If you don’t have a charger, you can charge a dead car battery by jump-starting or push-starting your car and driving it for at least 30 minutes continuously with all lights and electronic accessories turned off. Your alternator should have had time to recharge it to an acceptable level by then.

How Do You Connect a Battery Charger?

Connecting a battery charger is very easy to do: just connect the black alligator clamp to the black negative (-) battery terminal by squeezing it firmly to open it and loosen your grip when it’s positioned over the battery terminal. It will lock on to it with a firm bite. Wiggle it a bit to check that it has a tight grip on the naked metal terminal surface. 

Some cars have a negative post away from the battery to connect the black negative (-) alligator clamp to. Consult your owner’s manual when in doubt. 

Now connect the red alligator clamp in the same way to the red positive (+) battery terminal and you’re ready to charge your car battery.

CAUTION: While digital quality chargers should have safety features like “spark-free”, “overload protection” and “reverse-pole protection” to prevent ignition of explosive battery gasses (hydrogen), old analog chargers don’t and may cause the battery to explode and cause bodily harm and/or fire. First check your charger’s manual to make sure! 

No reason to be put off by this warning, nothing can go wrong if you use a quality car battery charger and follow the user manual’s instructions. It is 100% safe to use because it has multiple safety features built in. 

Can I Leave my Battery Charger Connected to my Car Battery Overnight?

Sure, you can leave a quality battery charger with built-in safety features connected to your car overnight. You can even leave it for long periods of time when your car is in storage for example.

However, you don’t want to use a cheap battery charger and run the risk of overcharging, sparks, electrocution, explosions, fire or damage to your car’s electrical components. That cheap charger could turn out to be very expensive.

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We do not compromise: our focal point is always on you, our valued visitor.

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