It happens to the best of us. You accidentally leave your lights on or a door ajar, or maybe your battery is faulty – and when you go to turn your key in the ignition you hear that dreaded ticking sound. A dead battery is a quick way to ruin a road trip or make you late for work. With a car battery charger on hand, though, you are prepared to handle it.
Everyone should carry a battery charger in their car; it’s an absolutely necessary car accessory. The best chargers on the market today will not only restart a dead battery – they will also keep it maintained and lengthen its life.
There are a lot of options out there. So to help you out, we have narrowed it down to the top six best car battery chargers on the market in 2019.
At a Glance:
- (Our Top Recommended) NOCO Genius G3500: versatile, multifunctional charger. Works for lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries.
- Stanley BC25BS: a standard battery charger, simple to use and effective for general use.
- Schumacher SE-4022: high-quality, professional-grade charger, meant for a heavy workload in a professional garage or shop.
- Black + Decker BC6BDW Waterproof Charger: simple, single-use charger, great for marine vehicles or outdoor charging.
- Deltran Battery Tender Plus: a high-quality charger with automatic float charge function, from a trusted brand.
- Schumacher SC1307: versatile and effective charger, for everyday or professional use.
While all six of these chargers are great quality products, they each have their own advantages. The rest of this article will break them down one-by-one, so you can select the very best car battery charger for your needs.
The Best Car Battery Charger Reviews of 2019
1. NOCO Genius G3500 Car Battery Charger (My Top Recommended)
This multifunctional little charger tops the list for many consumers. It is extra safe, works on multiple battery types and does much more than just charge a battery. Its versatility makes it a great choice for vehicles of any kind.
- Smart battery charger and maintainer
- Charges, monitors and repairs
- Safe design, spark-proof
- Works on lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries
- Can be used for CAN bus systems, start-stop engines, hybrid engines
NOCO smart chargers go above and beyond the expectations of what a smart car battery charger can do. This charger is compatible with flooded batteries as well as valve-regulated lead-acid batteries. It charges, repairs and monitors batteries and is extra safe to use.
Increasingly, more and more modern cars are using lithium-ion, rather than traditional lead-acid batteries. The lithium-ion option charges quicker and is generally much lighter – but in the past, they have always needed a unique charger. The NOCO solves that problem with its ability to charge either battery type. It is also safe for use with CAN bus systems and other engines, meaning it can charge not only your car, but also your RV, speedboat, motorcycle or even lawnmower engine.
But it doesn’t just charge. The NOCO G3500 – as well as other NOCO Genius chargers – monitors and repairs the battery. It comes with an automatic repair function that reverses sulfate build-up, lengthening battery life. As it charges, it actively monitors the health of the battery.
Its safety is one of the best features of this charger. The NOCO Genius is designed to be spark-proof and protect against overcharging. There is no risk involved, regardless of what kind of engine battery it is being used on.
While the NOCO Genius can recharge a fully drained battery, some buyers have reported that it takes a little longer than other, more powerful chargers to do so. It can also resurrect a dead battery, though not always. When you get right down to it, this little charger is versatile, multifunctional and safe, but it doesn’t have quite the same power as other, single-purpose chargers. Still, a great car accessory and highly recommended for anyone, especially someone with multiple kinds of vehicles that may need recharging.
2. Stanley BC25BS Car Battery Charger
The Stanley charger is simple, effective and easy to use. It works great on any lead-acid battery. A perfect purchase for someone who just needs the job done well.
- 25 amp bench battery charger
- Battery reconditioning feature to help battery life
- LCD display screen to monitor battery charging status
- 75 amp engine starter to restart dead engine
- Alternator checker
This is a 25 amp, fully automatic bench charger that takes care of everything on its own. With four separate modes of operation, it charges as well as reconditions batteries, starts engines and can check the alternator – all of this with just the press of a button.
For simple charging tasks, this charger never fails. It charges lead-acid batteries in three stages: fast charge, top-off, and trickle charge. It reads the battery as it charges and switches between the three modes as it needs to get the job done well.
Much like other modern chargers, the Stanly BC25BS can reverse sulfate buildup on the lead plates of batteries. This will lengthen battery life in the long run. Its alternator check function also makes sure that the battery is getting plenty of charges while the engine is running, letting you know if the alternator is not maintaining battery level as it should. Beyond that, its final function is a 75 amp startup mode to get your engine up and running in a rush – great for roadside breakdowns.
Again, this charger is all about simplicity without sacrificing quality. The LCD display screen shows what the charger is doing in simple icons, easy to read even for someone who has never charged a battery before. It is fully automatic and shows you the percentage of battery charge, so there is no guessing how much time is left.
While the Stanley charger works great, it may not always be able to recondition a fully dead or damaged battery. Its 75 amp startup mode is also not always effective on larger capacity batteries – it may not be able to get your bus or RV back on the road immediately. That said, for easy, effective charging of basic lead-acid batteries, this charger is a winner. It simply gets its job done well.
3. Schumacher SE-4022 Car Battery Charger
This Schumacher manual wheeled charger is a professional-grade, heavy-duty car battery charger, for use on large-capacity batteries and multiple uses in a short timespan. Not necessarily for ordinary, everyday consumer use, but a great option for someone who owns a garage or repair shop.
- 6 volt or 12-volt charging
- Cooling fan to prevent overheating, allowing for heavy workload
- Analyzes electrical problems or problems with starting system
- Long-reaching cables for mobility in use
- Color-coded dials
- Fully manual, no automatic functions
This is not your basic car battery charger that you can keep in your trunk and pull out for roadside emergencies. The Schumacher wheeled charger is intended for excessive use on batteries of all sizes, one after another. If you are in a business that requires a consistent, reliable charger that can take on multiple tasks, this is the charger for you.
The key to the Schumacher SE-4022’s durability is its ability to keep itself from overheating. It comes with an internal cooling fan so that its temperature never gets too high, which could potentially overload its circuits. It also has an overload protection function which will shut it off automatically in case of overheating, before any real damage to it can occur. These functions keep it running for long-term reliability in a professional setting.
What it lacks in portability, this heavy-duty charger makes up for in sheer power. It has a 200 amp function that can kickstart engines of any size, even dual-battery trucks or semis. It can also analyze electrical or start-up problems in the engine, getting to the root of the battery’s failure as well as restarting it. It comes with a monitor to prevent overcharging, but it must be set manually with a hand dial.
The Schumacher SE-4022 is a fantastic car battery charger for a serious mechanic. It requires quite a bit of training and know-how to operate, so we would recommend it for shop or garage owners, but not for everyday users.
4. Black + Decker BC6BDW Waterproof Charger
This is a simple car battery charger, for someone who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles. It works great for a single function, and has the advantage of being waterproof, making it ideal for marine engines as well as outdoor charging scenarios.
- 6 amp, 12-volt charger
- Compatible with marine or car batteries
- Simple, easy to use
- Protected against reverse polarity, overcharging or short-circuiting
- Can be connected by 12 volt DC plug or battery clamps
There are a lot of flashy battery chargers on this list. But, all things considered, what matters most in a car battery charger is its ability to charge a car battery. The Black + Decker waterproof charger does exactly what it needs to do, and it does it well and safely. We would recommend this charger for car owners or marine vehicle owners who just need a charger that will start up their dead battery.
This charger can detect the battery voltage and adjust its charging power as needed. Its display is simple, and features a light system to indicate charging status. The green light shows when the battery is fully charged and ready to go. A yellow light indicates that the battery is charging, and a red light means that there has been some kind of problem and charging needs to stop.
The waterproof casing of this battery is a great advantage. Not only does it make it safe to use for marine engines, but it is also safe to use in a rainstorm, and protected against spills or accidents. And when we say waterproof, we mean waterproof – the casing is certified, completely sealed against dust or liquid. It can withstand direct contact with water or long exposure to rainfall without any risk.
Again, the Black + Decker charger does not come with any extra functions, as some of the other chargers on this list do. It does not recondition or monitor batteries, but it does charge them – and it does so consistently and well. The safety and peace of mind that comes with it being waterproof should not be understated. We would recommend this charger to someone who values high quality over versatility.
5. Deltran Battery Tender Plus Automotive Battery Charger
This is a reliable, high-quality battery charger that charges and maintains batteries without any risk of damage by over-charging. Highly trusted by mechanics, Deltran is one of the oldest names in the car battery charge business that is still putting out great quality, modern products.
- Fully automatic, easy to use
- 25 amp, 12-volt charger
- Efficient and faster than similar 3 amp chargers
- Automatically switches to float charge mode to protect battery
- Works on any lead-acid batter
- Reliable – comes with a 10-year warranty
The Battery Tender looks almost exactly like it did when the first model came out decades ago, but it functions just as well as any modern car battery charger. It charges 12 volts, lead-acid batteries at 1.25 amps.
The charge takes place in four stages: first initialization, and then bulk-charge, in which it charges the bulk of the battery – up to 80%. After that, it moves to the absorption stage. Then, when it registers that the battery is almost fully charged, the Battery Tender automatically enters float charge mode. In float charge, it continues charging as needed, for as long as it needs to. This prevents it from overheating or overcharging the battery – the danger with other trickle chargers.
The Battery Tender Plus goes through all four stages fully automatically. There is not much the user needs to do, except to set it up and start it. It will indicate which stage it is at through blinking lights on its display. Like any good charger, it is also safe to use, protected against reverse polarity and sparks.
Perhaps the best asset the Battery Tender Plus has is the advantage of a long-trusted brand name. Deltran modernized car battery chargers, leading the way for other automatic and now smart chargers that go beyond what a traditional battery charger could do. The Battery Tender comes with a ten-year warranty, so you are guaranteed high-quality use for as long as your car or vehicle is running. We would highly recommend this charger for any users – it is simple, safe, effective and always reliable.
6. Schumacher SC1307 Automotive Battery Charger
The final car battery charger on our list brings us back to the Schumacher brand, this time in a much smaller, more consumer-friendly model. The Schumacher SC1307 is a versatile charger that will charge, start and diagnose engine batteries of any size. A sturdy, reliable product for everyday use.
- 6 volt or 12-volt battery charger
- Battery and alternator tester to diagnose problems
Automatic float charge mode to protect the battery
- Compatible with lead-acid or valve-regulated lead-acid batteries
- 30 amp quick start for smaller engines
- 85 amp quick start for larger engines – SUVs, trucks, etc.
- Multifunctioning, but still compact and portable
We’re wrapping up this list with a hearty, multi-function battery charger that does it all. The Schumacher SC1307 is far more versatile than comparable brands of similar size and price range. It works on multiple engine types and has multiple uses, making it a great choice for a semi-professional mechanic or serious vehicle owner who knows what they are doing.
This charger will automatically detect what kind of battery it is working with, and proceed to charge in either 6 volts or 12 volts mode. Or, alternatively, it can jumpstart an engine at either 30 amp or 85 amp, depending on the engine’s size. That means you can start up your dirt bike or lawnmower with this charger, or your SUV or diesel truck.
Beyond charging and starting engines, the Schumacher SC1307 will also diagnose engine problems. It comes with a battery testing function to indicate battery health as well as an alternator testing function, to make sure that the alternator is maintaining battery life. Again, this is great if you are someone with a bit of mechanical training or experience who likes to tackle engine problems on your own.
The float charge mode on this charger is another huge advantage. It will automatically enter float charge mode when a battery is almost fully charged, preventing it from overheating and damaging the battery. An LCD display on the charger indicates what it is doing, so it is intuitive to use. A great, effective tool for any home or professional garage, we highly recommend the Schumacher SC1307 for everyday consumers, vehicle owners, and mechanics.
How to Choose
Now that we have run you through some of the best car battery chargers on the market, how can you pick the best one for you?
Well, there a few things you need to consider. Here are a few of the factors that go into deciding which charger will be the best for your situation.
Professional vs. Home Environment
The charger you need depends largely on what you need it for. If you are a professional mechanic, looking for the best tool for your garage or shop, you will want to be looking for a charger that can handle multiple tasks without overheating or breaking down. You need reliability and consistently high quality. Either of the Schumacher models discussed in this article, for example, would be a great choice.
If you are simply looking for the best car charger for your personal use, though – we recommend keeping your eyes peeled for something simple and effective. You want a charger you can take on the road with you, and have on hand in case anything goes wrong. For home use, we would recommend models like the Stanley BC25BS or the Black + Decker waterproof charger.
Versatility vs. Single-function
Many of the chargers on this list come with multiple functions. They do not only charge batteries, but they also restore or recondition them, maintain them or even diagnose problems. When shopping for a battery charger, keep in mind what extra functions you might be interested.
If you have a car with an older battery, for example, you may want to consider a charger that will help to reverse sulfate build-up and prolong battery life. If your car’s engine is prone to breakdowns, consider a charger like the Stanly BC25BS or Schumacher SC1307, which will use a higher amp to jumpstart your car’s engine and get you back on the road.
All of the products on this list are safe to use. That said, some have higher safety ratings than others. If safety is your top priority, we recommend the NOCO Genius charger – it comes with more safety features than any other charger on our list.
Keep an eye out for reverse polarity protection and short-circuiting protection in product descriptions. This generally means that the charger will shut itself off if something is going wrong, before it can become dangerous.
Lead-acid vs. Lithium-ion Batteries
Remember that, with the exception of the NOCO genius, most of the chargers on this list are specifically for use with lead-acid batteries. There are many advantages to having a lithium-ion battery in your car – the only downside is that most generic car battery chargers will not be compatible with it.
Take a look at what kind of battery your car uses before you invest in a battery charger. If it is lithium-ion, be sure that the charger you are buying will work with a lithium-ion battery.
A car battery charger is an absolute necessity in any home or garage. They help in case of roadside breakdowns or simple mechanic problems at home. Most chargers today will not only charge your car battery, but also maintain and prolong its life.
Any of the chargers presented on the list above would be a great investment in better battery life. All you need to do is chose the one that’s best for your individual needs.