Best Car Battery Chargers in 2020

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If you’ve had the experience of getting into the car in the morning, or after a day’s work, only to find that nothing happens when you press the start button; then you’ll know how painful and anxiety-inducing it is.

There’s little that comes close to the frustration from a dead-flat battery in the car, especially when it’s just moments before you’re due to start your day’s commute.

At Current, we want to make sure you’re never left stuck in this situation ever again, and we have a great list of all the best car battery chargers in 2020.

All of the chargers on our list have great amperage, features and power storage along with sizes that are ideal to store in the car should you need them. Keep in mind that the actual size of a battery charger, and the cost isn’t indicative of a great charger, and we’ve made sure to take out the guess work for you.

Have a look below at our car battery chargers and which one might be best for you and your vehicle this year.

Schumacher DSR131

At the top of our list, the Schumacher DSR131 is the model that belongs in the garage or on site, rather than in the car.

It’s quite a large and it’s a ‘professional’ model and there are 12 and 6 volt options here too. There’s also a fan integrated into the design to keep all of the elements inside well-ventilated should you be using the battery in a workplace, for example, with a lot of cars that need to be jump-started or charged.

The good news, with regard to safety, is that there’s a CPU in here which intelligently works to alter the power output to keep you and your battery safe. If things get too hot, or there’s an amperage issue with your vehicle, the Schumacher DSR131 will reduce its output and keep things safe.

When it comes to voltage detection, we’re happy to say that this is built in too, which means you’re getting a multi-step charging solution here.

As for the interface, there’s a simple LED screen and a few push buttons which make easy work of getting your car back on the road.

The batteries included in the Schumacher DSR131 are the high-end AGM deep-cycle gel batteries at both 250 amp and 12V or 125 amp and 6V. That said, it’s ideal for both small cars as well as trucks and SUVs too.

To end, there’s a Boost Mode here too, which gets you back on the road even faster.

  • Voltage – 6V and 12V
  • Amperage – 250amp
  • Category – Engine Starter, Charger and Tester

BLACK+DECKER BM3B

Our charger that we’d suggest for the average Joe, or for anyone who wants a good, affordable charger that can be kept in your car, we would stand by the Black & Decker BM3B.

This battery charger is designed for a range of use cases as well as testing your battery’s charge level along with charging it and maintaining its charge over a period of time. This is ideal for those batteries that seem to slowly die over time in a carpark for example.

There’s both 12 and 6 volt options here and batteries like WET, AGM and GEL are supported too, which means both commercial use and at-home use isn’t an issue for the car battery charger.

To make things even simpler, there’s a few different ways to charge your battery with the Black and Deck model and this includes – via the DC plug that’s included in the car, through the O-ring terminal at the front of the car on the battery and lastly with the battery clips that come with the device itself.

One major perk is the size of the battery here, which is advertised as being ideal for everything from a motor bike, small vehicle, large SUV and even recreational vehicles like motor homes. Support for generators and lawn mowers is also included here too.

Again, like the charger above, there are intelligent integrations here which adapt the charging rate and give you the chance to charge any type of battery without worrying about damaging it. There’s circuit protection and an auto-switching mode that goes from charge to test and maintain so you can just set and forget the charger.

In all, this is our overall winner when it comes to feature set and affordability.

  • Voltage – 6V and 12V
  • Amperage – 1.5amp
  • Category – Charger and Maintainer

Battery Tender Plus 021-0128

Like the other models on our list, the Tender Plus offers the charging and maintenance feature for car batteries.

With an intelligent processor integrated in here you’re getting a temperature-controlled charge that makes sure you’re getting voltage and a charge rate that is optimal for both your car battery and the charger itself.

You’ll see the charger automatically switch over to float and maintenance modes when your battery is full, and you’ll also notice that there’s a fast-charge option here that works to automatically kick in on its own. There’s also reverse-polarity defence so you’re able to charge without worrying about things catching fire or sparking when you’re not around.

When it comes to the use of the Battery Tender Plus, there are two simple LED lights here that are either red or green and let you know whether the battery is charging, charged or if there’s an error.

Included are a few attachments like alligator clips and a battery ring to give you the chance to charge your car battery in any way you’d like. It’s also easy to use these attachments to hook up quickly without a ‘professional’ around, great news for everyone.

The charger is a 12V model and offers up 1.25amps which is, again, ideal for a good charge in a little period of time. It’s not a big amperage charger, though it’s a lot better than trickle chargers that can take hours.

We would suggest this model for those who just need a simple battery charger for those times you leave your lights on overnight and wake up to a dead battery. It’s a fast, and easy to use charger.

  • Voltage – 12V
  • Amperage – 1.25amp
  • Category – Charger and Maintainer

NOCO Genius G750

With the word ‘genius’ aptly placed in the name of this charger, the model is one of the most intelligent and well-rounded out there. There’s two voltage options here, with 12V and 6V, as well as high-speed charging options.

This is certainly the model of charger you’ll want to invest in if you’re often seeing a flat battery and need a charge at lightning speed.

There’s even support for lead-acid battered here too, and with amperage hitting up to 30 amps you can rest assured that you’re getting an experience that’s at least two times faster than most other chargers on the market.

Pair this with the fact that the NOCO Genius G750 can also work seamlessly with hybrid vehicles, and you have a winner for just about every vehicle owner.

It’s good to note that all of these high-tech and, in some cases, risky technologies are supported by the intelligent processor on board which routinely checks how everything’s going. You’ll notice that there’s plenty of monitoring going on, so if there’s an issue or too much power being directed to a car battery, the charger will tone things down and let the battery cool off.

The charger is also resistant to drops, UV damage and water too, which means you’re safe to use this model in somewhat unsavoury conditions.

There are X-Connect clamps included here too, which means you’re able to easily connect to eyelet terminals without an issue. That said, you can rely on the NOCO model to keep your battery charged, or to charge it from zero to full in no time, and keep you safe while doing it.

To end, there’s spark-proof tech in here, along with reverse polarity safeguarding to keep things safe, and there’s even an overcharge protection feature to keep your battery safe.

You’ll find LED indicators here too, making it easy to see how much charge is left.

  • Voltage – 6V and 12V
  • Amperage – 0.75amp
  • Category – Charger and Maintainer

Schumacher SC1280

Our top choice for the heavy duty user, the Schumacher SC1280 is the ideal solution for charging and maintaining both typical car batteries and deep-cycle models alike.

If you’re after the best car battery charger for deep cycle batteries, this might be your best bet in that there’s a huge 15 amp charger. Whether you’re looking to fill up a car battery, AGM, gel cell battery or a typical city car battery, this charger is for you.

There’s a rapid charger included here, which is the 15 amp option we spoke about, but there’s also some more ordinary 6 and 3 amp options too, which will kick in depending on the voltage that is detected by the charger.

On top of this, voltage detection will come in handy when it’s time to charge, as you’ll see the charger switch from 6 and 12 volts on its own when you hook things up — great for newbies.

Like a few other models on the list, there’s an intelligent switching capability here that helps the charger jump from maintenance, continuous and float modes to make sure your battery isn’t being damaged or over charged.

This feature comes in particularly handy when you’re looking to charge deep-cell batteries like those in RVs and trucks, and then move over to the car or motorbike. You’ll not need to worry about double and triple checking the voltage and amperage — the charger does it for you.

One last feature coming in handy here is the slow-charge or trickle charge options that stop your battery from being too hastily charged up to 100 per cent. This option kicks in around 80 per cent, keeping the battery from ageing too quickly. This is also the ideal option for charging both ATVs and lawn mowers for example.

The design of the car battery charge is ideal in that there’s a built-in handle, as well as small nubs for you to wrap the cables around when you’re not using it. It’s lightweight at three pounds, so keeping it in the car is easy.

  • Voltage – 6V and 12V
  • Amperage – 12amp
  • Category – Charger and Maintainer

Schumacher SC1355

A second model from Schumacher is the SC1355 which works out to be one of the better models for when you’re at home and unable to charge — or by a power outlet.

This car battery charger is AC supported, which means you’re able to hook it up to your power points at home, work or anywhere else, and get a charge from there. It’s also featuring an adaptable voltage and amperage that gives you the chance to charge super small batteries too, like those in motorbikes, lawn mowers along with trucks, cars, tractors and more.

In the box, you’ll find essentially everything you need, from the jumper cables, charger and the ring connectors. You won’t need to head out to buy extras with this charger, which is always a great perk. Everything you need is right there.

We’re happy to say that there’s both 6 and 12 volt support here, and there’s added intelligent or smart features to make sure your charger jumps from float, continuous and trickle charging on its own. That said, you’ll be able to set and forget in a sense.

One thing to note is that with the automatic voltage detection, it’s easy to switch and charge from one battery to another without stress. The charger will make the voltage change on its own, from either 6 and 12 volts and you’ll not need to worry about a thing.

A high-tech feature is the CPU making continuous data-driven decisions based on the battery behaviour that it’s charging. It will use this data to adjust the power input to make sure you’re getting a charge that’s as fast as possible, and has the lowest chance of a safety issue.

Once the charge is complete, the charger instantly switches over to charge maintaining mode, so you’ll be able to rest assured there’s no over-charging here.

A few other incredible features to keep in mind include the thermal runaway detection that will sense a temperature increase and cut charging. There’s also temperature compensation too, which reduces power input and balances a battery’s temperature.

To end, one of our favourite features is the de-sulphation mode that essentially makes it safe to charge old, and uncharged batteries. If you’re in need of a battery, and only have a tired and unused one, this charger might be able to save it.

  • Voltage – 6V and 12V
  • Amperage – 1.5amp
  • Category – Charger and Maintainer

BLACK+DECKER BC15BD

When it comes to reliable and rugged, the BC15BD is unmatched on our list.

For the workplace that’s far too rough for any other type of charger, the Black and Decker will come in to save the day with its durable stainless steel grips and protective rubber case.

There’s all the frills of the higher-end and intelligent models here, like automatic charge speed detection as well as a setting adjustment that happens on its own. There’s a 3-stage charging solution here too, which means its able to adjust and charge a lot of different battery types from GEL, AGM and WET batteries too.

The charging voltage is both 6 and 12 volts, making it ideal for all popular car, truck, RV and motorbike batteries.

One big perk of the Black and Decker, and a feature that’s exclusive to the brand is the Engine Start Timer which has you up and running in less than ten minutes — ideal for getting your car started in time for that morning commute.

A Black and Decker-designed alternator is also coming in handy here which works to check everything from voltage and charge level so you’re not wondering when things will be finished. The LCD screen then shows off this info for you to see exactly what’s going on.

You can even keep an eye on your vehicle’s alternator too, and if you do spot an issue, you’ve used your car battery charger to find it without a mechanic!

A few safety features include automated charging reduction, clamp warnings for when things aren’t hooked up quite right.

To end, the charger also offers a charge that’s around 40 to 50 per cent faster than other car battery chargers on the market, so it really is a model to invest in if you’re looking to get a fast charge at home or work.

  • Voltage – 6V and 12V
  • Amperage – 15amp
  • Category – Charger, Alternator Checker and Maintainer

ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel

Somewhat of a special mention, the AllPowers Solar Panel car battery charger is landing on our list in that it’s able to charge your car in an unconventional way.

When it comes to those times when you’re a long way from home, the solar panel comes in handy by harnessing 5 watts for you to direct to your car battery at 300mAh. Although this isn’t the most powerful option out there, it’s the easiest way to safeguard yourself from being stuck on a road trip without a charge.

The good news is that the panel used here is extremely effective and can maintain a 12-volt connection quite easily.

A few smart features include a suction cup that can keep your panel stuck on the wind screen for optimal sunlight collection, and there’s a built-in diode that prevents reverse charging from your car back into the charger itself.

We’d suggest this battery for everyone who often road trips and owns anything from a tractor, bike, boat and car. It works well with essentially everything, even though the charge output isn’t the highest.

There is weather proofing here too, which is a plus if you’re mounting the panel and forget to take it inside over night.

To use the charger, the process is a little different but still simple enough for anyone to get the hang of. You’ll just have to plug your solar panel into the cigarette lighter space in the car, or you can hook it up to the battery with the gorilla clips that come in the box.

There’s a 1.5m power cable and 4 suction cups here too, so you have plenty of versatility when it comes to finding the best sun position.

  • Voltage – 18V
  • Amperage – 0.2 to 0.28amp
  • Category – Solar Charger

Optima Digital 400 Maintainer

To end our list, we’re bringing your the 400 Maintainer by Optima Digital.

This battery charger is an ultra-compact model that you fit just about anywhere in the car and it’s the model that’s been endlessly optimised to offer a great safety-focused experience and fast charge.

This model works on AGM batteries, though there isn’t currently support listed for GEL batteries on the website just yet. However, this model will still work with everything from vehicles, motorcycles and other standard batteries.

When it comes to safety, there is spark reduction technology along with discharged battery support, so you’re able to charge those older tired batteries without the risk of melting anything or starting a fire.

There is 12V support here as well as an LED display that gives you plenty of information on the charge level and a bit about what’s going on inside the battery. Keeping in mind that the charger is somewhat intelligent, you can set and forget it, though only after you’ve told it which battery type you’re looking to charge — it can’t detect this on its own.

As for the design, there is a hook here and an easy-to-stand tilt design which means keeping it propped up for analysing batteries as you charge is easy.

  • Voltage – 12V
  • Amperage – 4amp
  • Category – Charger and Maintainer

A Few Key Points

Now that we’ve gone over the best car battery charges for 2020, at Current we want to make sure you know which ones to turn to for your specific use case and some information about safety.

Is Overcharging Possible?

Yes. It is possible to over charge your car batteries if you haven’t invested in a battery charger that intelligently reduces to a trickle charge, or stops entirely.

Cheaper vehicle battery chargers will often continue pumping a current into your battery even after it’s full, which means you’re at risk of damaging the battery, or even starting a fire if you leave it on for long enough.

Will a Solar Car Battery Charger Work?

Yes. Even though these models have very low amperages, there is no issue here if you’re just looking to get your engine to turn over.

The charging experience will be a lot slower, however, if you’re on a road trip and need an emergency parachute, so to speak, these solar battery chargers will have you covered.

How Long Does a Charge Take?

As you’d expect, the charging time depends on the speed of the battery charger you’ve chosen. Some models can get you to a full charge in a few hours, though some may take a day or more.

The Black and Decker model we mentioned above, with the Engine Start tech can get you enough charge to start your vehicle and be on with your day in just eight minutes.

With all of the above said, at Current we’re confident you have all you need to know to get your hands on the best car battery chargers this year. It’s time to say goodbye to the stress or anxiety that comes with a flat car battery in the morning, or after a hard day’s work.

Be sure to check back on Current for our most updated product reviews and recommended car battery chargers.

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