When your car battery is dead, it can be a frustrating time. It never seems to work out that your car battery dies on a day when you have nothing to do. Most of the time, it’s when you are already running late for work or for school. Sometimes car batteries go in the parking lot after a long day of work. Regardless of when and where, it is absolutely an inconvenience to have your car battery die. The best possible way to avoid this is to have a car battery charger on hand. 

Having a car battery charger will help you get back up and running in a matter of minutes. There are some essential things to consider before purchasing a car battery charger in 2021. We have pulled together some helpful information to get you started in this process. 

Things To Consider When Buying A Car Battery Charger 

Battery Type/Compatibility

When you start looking at car battery chargers, you will notice that they will work with a variety of battery types. Some are designed to work with Lithium Ion batteries, and others will work with Lead Acid. Some car battery chargers have compatibility with a variety of battery types and styles. Ensure that you know the type of battery that you have in your car to determine if the car battery charger will work properly. 

Power

Car battery chargers are going to have different levels of power. Some are built to start up a truck, and others will work on something like an ATV. You must understand that some car battery chargers could take six to ten hours to charge your battery if they are not adequately equipped. This is certainly different than a jump start and something that you should consider. It can be worth paying a bit more money to have a battery charger that can get you back up and running in a matter of minutes. 

Size 

Look at the size of the battery charger that you are purchasing. You will want to be able to keep this battery charger in your car with you at all times. Certainly, the battery charger will not do you much good if you leave it in the garage. What will you do when you are at the store, and the battery goes? Keep the charger in the car and look for something that easily fits in the gloves compartment or a spot in the back of the vehicle. 

Functionality

Some car battery chargers are going to work as a trickle charger in addition to being a jump start to get your battery up and running again. Some chargers will work on a battery that is completely dead While others will only manage if there is a slight charge in the battery already. Regardless of the type that you are purchasing, make sure you understand the functionality of the car battery charger that you purchase. 

Top Ten Best Car Battery Chargers 2021 

Best Overall

1. Schumacher SC1281 Fully Automatic Smart Battery Charger

Key Features
  • Powerful works on trucks
  • Safety features in place
  • LCD screen easy to read
  • Helps diagnose electrical issues
  • Works on a variety of batteries 
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Our Take

At the top of our list is the Schumacher Fully Automatic Smart Battery Charger. This model will start your engine regardless of if you are driving a car or a truck. You will not have to worry about the power of the Schumacher. 

In addition to having great power, this car battery charger also has a very fair price and easy to read screen. If you may be uncertain about charging your own car battery, the Schumacher can help. 

The 30Amp quick boost is what allows this powerful model to get your cart started back up very quickly. The battery also features an alternator tester that will give you a charge level on your battery. With this feature, diagnosing an issue or potential electric problem will not be hard. 

One of our favorite features of the Schumacher is the reverse hook up protection. If you happen to put the cables on incorrectly, they won’t function. You won’t have to worry about damage or injury. Overall, you will love the Schumacher car battery charger’s capability to charge your AGM, gel, deep cycle, and standard batteries. 

Best Affordable

2. DBPOWER Portable Car Jump Starter with Smart Charging Port

Key Features
  • Compact model
  • Can charge other devices
  • Short circuit protection 
  • Overload protection
  • Easy to read LCD Screen and Compass 
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Our Take

Part of having a great car battery charger is getting something that is affordable, compact, and reliable. The DBPower 800A is going to check all of those boxes for you. With an easy to read LCD Screen, included compass, and several different ways to use the DBPower Jump Starter, this could be an excellent solution for you. 

One of our favorite things about this particular model is that it is also a charging port for other devices. With the DBPower, you can charge a laptop, a phone, or even a tablet. Your device will charge quickly, and it is safe as well. 

Knowing what you are doing with a car battery charger is half the battle. The LCD screen on the DBPower is easy to read and will fill you in as to what you are doing. On that screen, you will also find a compass for your convenience. That makes this a great model to put in your backpack when you are headed off the road. 

For a 12V battery charger that will last and help to guide you along your way, this is a great option. 

Best Multifunction

3. NOCO GENIUS10 Fully-Automatic Smart Charger

Key Features
  • Works for 6 Volt and 12 Volt batteries
  • Does not overcharge 
  • Can charge a dead battery 
  • Compatible with cars, SUV’s lawnmowers, boats 
  • Works as a trickle charger 
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Our Take

The Noco Genius 10 is a multifunctional battery charger. Suppose you are looking for a battery maintainer, trickle charge, and can restore your battery back to its original power and capability. In that case, the Noco Genius is the option for you. 

With the Nono Genius, you can charge a battery even if it is entirely dead. If your battery has 1 Volt, it will be able to charge it back up. However, if your battery drops below one volt to zero power, the Genius can still start bringing the charge back up. 

We love the versatility that the Noco Genius provides. You will not have to worry about the type of battery you have as this car battery charger will certainly be able to help. IF you have a lead acid battery, deep cycle battery, AGM, or lithium ion battery, the Noco Genius is available and capable. 

Indeed, with something this versatile in a compact size, you should be able to have the peace of mind you need to back up your car battery. 

4. BLACK DECKER BC15BD Fully Automatic Bench Battery Charger

Key Features
  • Reliable car charger
  • Starts a car up in less than two minutes
  • Comes in a few different sizes
  • Easy to read LCD screen
  • Cable clamps included 
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Our Take

Black and Decker is a trusted name when it comes to any type of tool or battery backup. The Black and Decker BC14BD is undoubtedly no exception. This is a 15amp bench battery charger and works with a variety of 12 Volt batteries. 

Depending on what type of charge you need on your car, the Black and Decker can adjust accordingly. You can move from fast charge to top off to trickle charge without having to adjust anything yourself. 

The Black and Decker is available in a few different sizes depending on the type of vehicle that you have and how often you may use this model. The 15amp should work on most cars and help your engine start back up in less than two minutes. 

The Black and Decker does come with an LCD screen that helps you know how far along your charging status is, and it is very easy to read and understand as well. 

5. Ampeak Smart Battery Charger

Key Features
  • Winter charging mode
  • Safety protection
  • Auto charging rate
  • Fast speed charging
  • Manually choose the charging rate 
Our Rating

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Our Take

The Ampeak is an affordable buy high functioning car battery charger and battery maintainer. With the Ampeak, you will be able to choose your charging rate manually and get the exact functionality you need. What this means is that regardless of the type of battery you have, you can make sure that the Ampeak helps to charge it accordingly. 

If you keep your car parked for a winter, the Ampeak has a winter charging mode. With the winter charging mode, you will help your battery maintain its longevity even when not being used. 

The Ampeak is easy to use with an LCD display that clearly shows all of the necessary information for safe and proper charging. The Ampeak is built with quite a few safety features as well. After all, you will not want to have to worry about the battery as it is charged, especially if left unattended. 

In conclusion, the Ampeak is an excellent residential use battery charger that completes an essential six step charge program for any of your 12V batteries. 

6. Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC660

Key Features
  • Heavy duty case
  • Longer cables
  • Top Quality Name for Many Years
  • Power supply 
  • Built-in automatic recharging 
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Our Take

The Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry is probably what you think of when you consider a car battery charger. This comes in a durable, heavy-duty case that allows you to keep the car battery charger in your truck or trunk at all times. 

The Jump-N-Carry is known for having quick and reliable power. The power provided by the Jump-N-Carry should be enough for any vehicle that needs a jump start. In addition to getting your cart started, you can also use this as a 12V power source

Long cables on the Jump N Carry make it much easier to use when you need to reach into a larger vehicle. The LED light will help give you the charging status as well. Although you will not get quite as much information as an LED screen would give you, it is certainly enough to complete the task at hand. 

7. Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer

Key Features
  • Best for Powersports battery 
  • Smaller model 
  • LED light indicates charge
  • Fast charging unit
  • Good for storing Powersports vehicles 
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Our Take

Not all vehicles look the same. If your transportation choice is not a car but is instead a motorcycle or ATV, then the Battery Tender Plus could be for you. This model is a smaller compact size, and it is not built for a car battery. 

Many people will store their motorcycle or UTV for a winter. If the conditions are not suitable for using your power sports vehicle, then you will want to make sure you maintain the battery. The Battery Tender Plus is a cheap and easy way to extend the battery life of your power sport battery charger. 

You can set the Battery Tender to statt charging when a battery reaches below a certain point. This makes it a very low maintenance battery charger. The Battery Tender is a park proof model that will help to maintain safe and consistent power.

8. STANLEY BC15BS Fully Automatic Bench Battery Charger

Key Features
  • Automatically detects charge rate
  • Can start a car in less than 90 seconds 
  • 40A engine start
  • 15Amp Battery charger
  • Offered at a great price 
Our Rating

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Our Take

The Stanley Fully Automatic 15Amp Battery Charger is one of the best values you will find for its power. Most of the time, the 15 and 30 Amp car battery chargers are priced a bit higher because of their speed and capabilities. Luckily the Stanley is offered at a great price. 

You can use the single engine start mode to get a nearly dead battery up and running in about 90 seconds. The alternator check is a built in feature that will also come in handy should you have an alternator issue. 

The Stanley Bench Battery Charge comes with an LCD screen that is very easy to operate and understand. You won’t be second-guessing your ability to work this car battery charger. In addition, you won’t have to select the rate to charge your battery manually. The Stanley does all of this for you. 

9. Smart Battery Charger

Key Features
  • Can charge all types of batteries
  • 7 Step charging program 
  • Auto-detect battery voltage 
  • Safety protection in place 
  • Not good for larger trucks or vehicles 
Our Rating

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Our Take

The 12V Smart Battery Charger is a quality unit that is perfect for smaller cars and any type of power sport battery. If your battery happens to go below 3V, this is not the charger to use. Like many of the other batteries on our list, the Smart Battery Charger goes through a 7 step charging program. 

The seven step program allows the battery to start back up and charge as naturally as possible. This will help to ensure that there is no damage done to the battery itself during this process. 

Some of the safety features on the Smart Battery charger include an overheat and a short circuit protection. This helps to make sure that when a battery is left unattended, there are no worries for the owner of the vehicle. Battery reconditioning is possible with a unit like this. You can easily see by looking at the LCD screen the condition of the battery in question. 

Overall this is a reliable and high performing model that is going to work best for a smaller car or a powerport type battery. 

10. AmazonBasics Battery Charger 12V

Key Features
  • Small compact size
  • 2 Amp power
  • Spark proof reverse polarity 
  • Plugs into 120V outlet
  • Works on 6V and 12V battery 
Our Rating

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Our Take

AmazonBasics products have become known as having good value. The AmazonBasics car battery charger will help make sure that you have a way to jump start your car, but it is not our favorite everyday use model. 

The AmazonBasics can work on both 6V and 12V batteries, but it is working at 2amps. For a large truck, you will have a hard time getting this model to work for you. There are some great safety features with the Amazon Basics, including a spark proof reverse polarity protection. 

The AmazonBasics battery charger’s outer casing is made with a durable plastic and will hold up for quite some time. These battery chargers are backed with a one year warranty. 

Car Battery charger Ultimate Buyers Guide

At this point, you probably have your eye on one or two of the models that we recommended. Truly anything that made our list could work for a wide variety of people. However, there are probably certain battery chargers that will do a better job for you than some others. Let’s take a look at a few of the things that you should consider before making your final decision on a car battery charger. 

Battery Size 

One of the most important things to determine is the amp hours on your current car battery. Depending on the type of car you have, the amp is going to be different. Many car batteries are going to be 50 amp. 

This does not mean that you need to purchase a 50 amp charger. After all, 50 amps are the full charge load of your battery. The size of the charger you are buying will affect how long it takes to charge your battery. 

There are different ways to calculate how long it will take to charge your battery based on amps, but we will give you a basic example to consider. 

Let’s say that you have a 50 amp battery, and you purchase a 25 amp charger. The 25 amp charger will take a little over two hours to charge your car battery. If you purchased a 10 amp charger, it would take about five and a half hours to fully charge the battery. 

When you purchase a car battery charger, it is going to be very important to take into consideration the size of the battery in your car. If you want a fast charge, look for something with higher amps. Some car battery chargers have a mode that will give a quick charge at a very high amp rate. You will notice that those say that they can get a car back up and running in about 90 seconds. Certainly, that is quick and probably worth the cost. 

Price

From our review, you probably noticed that car battery chargers would range in price from around $30 to a little over $100. The most significant difference you will see when it comes to price will be the Amps. A car battery charger with higher Amps is going to be more expensive than that with lower. 

Safety Features

Overall a car battery charger should be a relatively safe device. You should not have too much trouble using this if you follow directions properly. When you decide to hook up your car battery charger, it must be connected properly to the battery. 

If the battery is not connected the way that it should be, there is a risk of shock or a battery overload as well. Luckily most great car battery chargers are going to come with some protection for this. The charger will likely not work at all if the cables are put on incorrectly. 

Another safety feature to look for in a car battery charger is a battery overload feature. It is undoubtedly possible to overcharge a battery and do some damage. You will want a charger that can recognize the battery type and the amp on the battery. The charger should than adjust accordingly to make sure that there are no issues with charging this particular battery. 

Trickle Charger

When you let a battery get down to no charge and then have to charge it back up fully, it will lose some of its effectiveness and power. Long term, this is bad for your battery and something that you should consider. 

Many people run into this issue when they leave their car parked for several months. With no usage, the battery will go to a zero charge and will need to be charged up prior to use. For these situations, a trickle charger can make quite a bit of sense. 

With a trickle charger, you can set a minimum charge on a battery. Let’s say when the battery gets to 75%; the charger will kick in and charge the battery back up. This is much more realistic for a battery under normal operation. 

The trickle charger can help to prolong the life of a battery, and most of the car battery chargers have this capability. If you are looking for a car battery charger because your battery is always dead after sitting for long periods. Then a trickle charger will make sense to consider. 

Battery Backup/Additional Functionality 

We like tools and gadgets that have multiple functions. One of the things you will notice about some car battery chargers is that they work for a variety of other applications. Some of the models that we reviewed also had the ability to plug in a smart device or a 12V car charger. 

You can use these car battery chargers when you need backup power for more than just your car. If you are looking at a few different car battery charger models in the same price range, try to choose one that gives you the most features. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Long Does It Take To Charge A Car Battery With A Charger? 

The time it takes to charge your car battery is going to depend on the type of charger you purchase and the type of battery that you have. You may also find that it takes more time if your battery is very close to being dead. 

On average, it is fair to assume that it will take anywhere from 3-4 hours to fully charge your car battery. Some car battery chargers can work much faster than this to get the car up and running. However, you will still very likely need the cart to sit for a while before it is able to be fully up and running. 

Can A Car Battery Charger Charge A Dead Battery? 

When people say that a car battery charger is dead, sometimes it means that the battery charger is close to dead. If your battery is close to dead, then it will take several hours to charge. A car battery charger can still handle it. 

If your battery is, in fact, completely dead, then it will depend on the type of car battery charger you purchase. Some are not designed to work once the battery goes below a certain charge percentage. 

How Do I Know That My Car Battery Is Fully Charged? 

You will have to use a meter to test your battery and make sure that it has reached its full charge potential. The fully charged car battery is going to register just over 12 volts. Some of the car battery chargers that we recommended will have an LCD screen that gives you the percentage charge. 

With these types of chargers, you will be able to watch the percentage increase as you keep the charger plugged in. It is best to allow the car battery charger to finish the charging process. This is so that your car battery can get back to fully functioning. 

Sometimes this may mean leaving your car battery charger plugged in overnight. As long as you purchase a model with safety precautions like overheating and overcharging in place. Then you should have no issues leaving the car battery charger plugged in overnight. 

Are Car Battery Chargers Worth It?

The great thing about a car battery charger is that it is not just going to save your day; it will prolong your battery’s life. Your battery will remain in better health if you can make sure that it charges properly. 

We find that the car battery chargers are beneficial for people that have recreational vehicles as well. Most of the time, these vehicles are only used for part of the year. That makes it quite challenging to keep the battery to its full functioning capabilities. 

Car battery chargers are worth it in the time of an emergency and to prolong the life of your battery. For the price you pay for a car battery charger, you will be glad you have it on the day your car battery dies. 

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