8 best car battery chargers

2018 rating: the best car battery chargers according to customer reviews

By appointment, chargers for car batteries can be divided into two groups:

  • Charging device they are intended only for gradual charging of the battery; their current output does not exceed 8 A. Attempting to crank the engine with a starter while the charger is connected to the battery will damage it or trigger an integrated protection: the current consumed by the starter may exceed 100 A.
  • Start-charging devices allow you to quickly give impulse high power, helping to rotate the engine. Usually they are used when you urgently need to start the car, and there is no time to charge the battery to the desired level.

When choosing the best charger you need to take into account many nuances. Models with manual current adjustment they are cheap, you can try to reanimate them even for a battery that has been in a deep discharge for a long time - they practically do not accept the current at the beginning of the charging process. Automatic Chargers in this case, not taking the load on their terminals, simply do not start charging. On the other hand, the process of fully charging the battery takes a lot of time, and in this regard, automatic chargers are preferable - they smoothly reduce the charging current as you charge and turn off upon completion of the process. Leaving unattended a battery charged by direct current is unsafe, especially if it is not possible to unscrew the plugs from it - an explosion is possible due to the rapid "boiling" of the electrolyte.

A good charger should provide and desulfation mode. What it is? During the operation of a lead-acid battery, insoluble crystals of lead sulfate are formed on its plates with time, especially if it is stored for a long time in a discharged state. Over time, because of this, the capacity and current output of the battery decrease, it takes a charge worse. To prevent or restore the battery, short-duration high-power pulses are applied to it, combined with subsequent connection to the load, that is, constant charge / discharge cycles. If the battery is not damaged permanently, then its condition can be significantly improved and delay replacement.

CategoryA placeNameRatingPrice
Top Automatic Chargers1Aurora Sprint 69.9 / 102 950
2FUBAG MICRO 80/129.7 / 102 670
3CTEK MXS 3.89.6 / 108 050
4CEDAR-AUTO-109.5 / 101 300
5Orion PW-1508.9 / 10970
The best manual chargers1Caliber UZ-20A9.6 / 102 400
2Orion PW-2659.3 / 101 300
3FUBAG FORCE 1409.2 / 104 940

Top Automatic Chargers

Aurora Sprint 6
2 950
The “Aurora” brand is known primarily for welding equipment, but the range of the company is not limited to them. The Sprint 6 charger is a fully automatic device for which the user only needs to select the battery's operating voltage: 6 or 12 volts.

Unlike cheaper “automata”, microprocessor control is applied here. Due to this, charging has become really “smarter” and does not succumb to heavily discharged batteries, which refuse to accept current at the beginning of the cycle. The controller, which controls the charging process, breaks it into seven stages: after the initial diagnosis of the battery condition, starting desulfation occurs with short high voltage pulses, which “revives” the battery and allows it to start receiving current, then at the “soft start” stage, the ability of the battery to charge is checked. If everything is in order, at the next stage, the current smoothly increases to a full, determined on the basis of diagnostic data (but not more than 6 A for this model). At this stage, the battery charge is reduced to 90% of the calculated one, then slower to one hundred percent. Next, the charger diagnoses the ability of the battery to hold a charge and, finally, goes into the buffer mode before shutting down.

There are all the necessary protection: from polarity reversal, overload, short circuit. At the same time, the device is compact in size and looks presentable - a good option for both yourself and the gift.

Main advantages:
  • The ability to charge all types of batteries, including AGM and gel
  • Automatic "reanimation" of heavily discharged batteries
  • Ease of use
Minuses:
  • Weak "crocodiles"
9.9 / 10
Rating
Reviews
Good automatic charging, without any problems charges the battery that has gone down to zero in winter - the old “automatic” refused completely.
FUBAG MICRO 80/12
2 670

Next in the ranking of the best chargers for car batteries - another representative of the class of microprocessor-based automatic chargers, and again from the brand, at the hearing of the usual thanks to welding technology. The charger from Fubag really justifies its name - it is extremely compact, weighs only half a kilogram. At the same time, work with lead-acid batteries of all types in the range of capacities from 3 to 80 ampere hours is supported.

The device is controlled with just one MODE button, but the meaning of the icons at the control LEDs is worth understanding. If "6V", "Automobile" and "Motorcycle" are understandable and so, then "Snowflake" is a special mode for operation at low temperatures, when the charger transmits an increased voltage to the battery. “Key” means automatic battery recovery mode, which turns on at the beginning of a cycle if the battery does not accept current satisfactorily.

Charging is easy to use and functional, but, alas, for most car batteries will lose to other models in speed. The fact is that the current here is limited to 4 amps - the time of the full charge cycle will increase markedly. If you do not need to “drive out” the battery in your spare time, but rather quickly charge it in order to go right away, Fubag will not be the best choice.

Main advantages:
  • Compatible with AGM and gel batteries
  • Automatic desulfation
  • Separate mode for the cold season
  • Compactness
Minuses:
  • Low maximum charging current
9.7 / 10
Rating
Reviews
The stuff is very functional - it charges both 65 Ah on a car and the gel battery on a motorcycle equally well.
CTEK MXS 3.8
8 050
The guest rating from Sweden is ready to argue with Fubag Micro in the fight for the title of the most compact charger, but its compactness also required sacrifices - the maximum charging current here is limited to 3.8 A. But CTEK can boast a dust-proof case and the ability to work in a wide temperature range , moreover, in the heat, an automatic power limiting scheme is triggered to protect against overheating.

Automation works in a seven-stage cycle (as, for example, the Aurora does). It remains for the user to choose one of three modes - charging low-capacity motorcycle batteries, car batteries, and high-voltage “winter mode”. The ability to work with 6-volt batteries is not provided.

Desulphation - automatic, charging is able to start working at a residual voltage at the battery terminals of 2 V.

The charging cable is interestingly arranged - it ends with the Comfort Connect corporate connector, to which, from the delivery kit, wires are connected either with crocodiles or with screw terminals. Note that this charger can be used not only by motorists, but also as a device for charging and maintaining the backup batteries with a capacity of up to 130 ampere-hours - the leakage current here is reduced compared to conventional charges that do not leave connected to the battery for a long time .

However, in aggregate, the device definitely loses the Fubag Micro: the one with the 6-volt battery works and costs much less.

Main advantages:
  • Dust and moisture protection
  • Well thought out desulfation mode
Minuses:
  • Slow charging car batteries
  • High price
9.6 / 10
Rating
Reviews
Very interesting charge, small and smart. The price, however, is not very happy now.
CEDAR-AUTO-10
1 300

The inexpensive device has two modes:

  • Automatic, in which charging starts with a current of 5 A, which gradually decreases as the charge progresses.
  • Prestarting - charging starts with a current of 10 A in order to quickly recharge the battery if you need to start the car as quickly as possible. After some time, the pre-launch mode is turned off, and further charging is a safe current of 5 A.
  • Cyclic mode - the simplest mode of desulfation, when short-term current pulses up to 5A alternate with pauses. There is no built-in load in the device, the instruction recommends connecting an external (for example, lamp) to the battery.

The progress of the charge can be controlled by the built-in ammeter. The charger itself is quite compact and does not take up much space in the garage or at home.

Main advantages:
  • Affordable price.
  • The ability to quickly recharge the battery.
  • Simple, but quite effective desulfation mode.
Minuses:
  • Maximum current cannot be adjusted.
9.5 / 10
Rating
Reviews
My car is old, so I regularly have to change batteries - that is what sucks them so, I never found. One put on the car, the second at this time charge "Cedar". So he is at work often - and copes with it perfectly.
Orion PW-150
970

Of all the best car chargers in the rating, this is not only the cheapest, but also the most austere: it has not only a single switch or regulator, but even a charging current indicator. The owner has only two indicators on the front panel, informing him about the connection during the charging process: one changes color depending on the charge collected by the battery, the second is on until the device turns off.

The lack of adjustments makes the PW-150 a fairly highly specialized device: it is designed only for the most common lead-acid batteries with a capacity of 45-70 Ah, a simple automation scheme does not best match the charging characteristics of other batteries. It will not be possible to charge this device with a deeply discharged battery: at the beginning of the charge set, they practically do not accept current, which for simple automation becomes a disconnect signal.

On the other hand, using the device is as simple as possible, according to the principle of “plugged in and forgotten”. It also has protection against polarity reversal and short circuits - if you try to start the car without disconnecting the charger, you will not burn it.

Main advantages:
  • Price.
  • Ultimate ease of use.
Minuses:
  • Primitive mode of operation.
8.9 / 10
Rating
Reviews
I bought, as they say, "to be", so I did not look towards expensive models. The battery charges, disconnects itself - what else do you need?

The best manual chargers

Caliber UZ-20A
2 400
This charger can work with 12- and 24-volt batteries, giving up to 20 amps in the first case, up to 15 amperes in the second case. If you have large capacity batteries installed, the Caliber can charge them in a reasonable time . Cooling due to the well-developed perforation of the housing and the built-in fan for working at high currents is sufficient, and an overheating indicator is also provided. And the body itself is metal, which is nice in itself when plastic prevails.

Ammeter with a rough and uninformative scale is not very convenient. The device was clearly calculated mainly on high-capacity batteries, for which plus and minus two and a half amperes (accuracy of the device) do not make a lot of weather.

Main advantages:
  • Robust housing
  • Efficient cooling
Minuses:
  • Rough Ammeter
  • Inconvenient carry handle
9.6 / 10
Rating
Reviews
Charges batteries of any capacity well, most importantly, do not forget to follow.
Orion PW-265
1 300

A distinctive feature of this charger is the ability to set the maximum charging current, so it can be used for both high-capacity car batteries and motorcycle batteries. The maximum charging current is 6 A, which makes the PW-265 more than sufficient for charging passenger car batteries.

The design of the device provides protection against overheating, reverse polarity and short circuit at the output. The case is quite durable and convenient to store: wires with “crocodiles” can be hidden in a compartment in the back of the device. The crocodiles themselves, like all budgetary charges, are not of high quality, but they play their part.

Main advantages:
  • Possibility of use as an adjustable voltage source.
Minuses:
  • At the same price as that of Kedr-Auto 10, it does not have a desulfation mode.
9.3 / 10
Rating
Reviews
I use it not only to periodically recharge the battery on the machine, but also for my motorcycle. Works well with both batteries. Best Start-Charger
FUBAG FORCE 140
4 940
The universal starting-charging device can deliver 12 or 20 amperes to the load; smooth adjustment is not provided here. Therefore, the owners of small car just do not need it, but a heavy jeep or a commercial vehicle will fit just right. In the starting mode, the device is capable of delivering up to 120 amps - for cars with a 12-volt network, this means that it is possible to confidently rotate the starter with a power of 1.3-1.4 kW.

Body - metal, cooling - through the slots. Fubag weighs moderately - around 8 kg, it is quite convenient to carry it from place to place.

Main advantages:
  • Decent Startup Power
  • Qualitative ammeter
Minuses:
  • No smooth charge current adjustment
9.2 / 10
Rating
Reviews
Starter turns great when often use it.

Although the charger does not belong to the number of necessities for the car owner, the low price of popular models allows you to buy them just in case of need. Perhaps you should pay attention to the starting-charging devices with built-in batteries: they allow you to quickly start the car, for example, being late for work or a business meeting. A higher price in this case is clearly justified.

Watch the video: What Car & Truck Battery Chargers are BEST! . . .For the DIYer? (December 2019).

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