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Finding you the best and geekiest tech for your vehicle.

Best 12V Battery Chargers

I’ve had a few situations where my battery in my old 98 Celica died on me (only because it was a 2 year long project). I had got myself a what I see to be now a god awful contraption that burned out a fuse every time I touched the ground wire to the battery. Yes I was connecting it correctly. Anyway, ended up having to search the net for a new one. Decided to share my findings here.

Battery Tender Plus 1.25 Amp Battery Charger

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Pros

  • 10 year warranty
  • Spark proof
  • Short circuit protected
  • Reverse polarity protected
  • Outputs @ 1.25A
  • Auto charges to maintain the battery charged
  • 4 step charging

Cons

  • Small battery clamps may not fit some batteries
  • May take time to charge a battery if you are in a rush

Foval Automatic 1 Amp Battery Charger

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Pros

  • Compact and versatile
  • 4 step charging
  • Spark proof
  • Reverse polarity protected
  • 2 year warranty
  • Smartly charges and maintains charge

Cons

  • More of a longer term charging unit
  • Known to have issues charging or maintaining a fully dead battery

NOCO Genius GEN1 10 Amp 1-Bank Battery Charger

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Pros

  • Can be mounted on board vehicle such as boat or RV
  • Outputs @ 10 Amp
  • Spark proof
  • Reverse polarity protected
  • Thermal, ignition and overcharge protection
  • 5 year warranty
  • IP68 rated

Cons

  • Accompanying screws for mounting made of butter
  • Larger and bit cumbersome

Schumacher SC1280 15 Amp Battery Charger

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Pros

  • Outputs @ 15 Amp for charging and @ 3 Amp for maintaining
  • Automatically swaps between 6V and 12V as detected
  • Reverse polarity protected
  • Quality build with intuitive interface

Cons

  • Cooling fan can be loud
  • If a battery is really low, it will charge to 6V thinking it is 100% charged

Battery Tender Plus 1.25 Amp Battery Charger

The Charger

The Battery Tender range is a well known brand and very well trusted. They have great products with great warranty if your one decides to kick the bucket. They are smart in the sense that they can be left plugged in to the battery and will maintain the batteries charge so as not to damage the battery in any way.

The Battery Tender Plus charges batteries with 1.25 Amperes. In comparison to the other competition in this list, this would be better suited for someone that is at home charging their car and isn’t in a rush.

It is better rated for the likes of jet skis, motor bikes, lawnmowers and so on but can be used for your car. The battery clamps can be small sometimes so some batteries may require other cables or clamps.

With plenty of safety features and battery charging capabilities, this is a great purchase. Also cheaper than buying a new battery. Unless the old one is toast then ya, get a new battery…

Pros

  • 10 year warranty
  • Spark proof
  • Short circuit protected
  • Reverse polarity protected
  • Outputs @ 1.25A
  • Auto charges to maintain the battery charged
  • 4 step charging

Cons

  • Small battery clamps may not fit some batteries
  • May take time to charge a battery if you are in a rush

Foval Automatic 1 Amp Battery Charger

The Charger

The Foval Automatic battery charger is a compact (even more so than the Battery Tender Plus) that can be plugged in and forgotten about to charge and maintain a battery. This can be very useful for the likes of a project or a boat or so on.

It comes with alligator clips and O ring connectors which are fused. The intuitive LEDs make it easy to know the level of the battery, whether or not the polarity is correct and other details.

Given it is a 1 Amp charger, you aren’t gonna be getting out of a sticky situation any time soon, but it does do a great job of keeping your battery topped off and ready to go.

This charger will work great with ATVs, small boats, lawnmowers, motorbikes and cars (cars though may depend on how dead the battery is).

Pros

  • Compact and versatile
  • 4 step charging
  • Spark proof
  • Reverse polarity protected
  • 2 year warranty
  • Smartly charges and maintains charge

Cons

  • More of a longer term charging unit
  • Known to have issues charging or maintaining a fully dead battery

NOCO Genius GEN1 10 Amp Battery Charger

The Charger

The Noco Genius Gen1 is a single bank, 10 Amp battery charger which is more so mounted in your vehicle to charge up your battery. This would work great with a caravan, boat, RV and so on.

The Gen1 is rated at IP68 waterproofing and dust sealing. Meaning its water tight if you do plan on adding this to your boat. It also has a lot of shock proof features such as ignition protection, thermal protection and overcharge protection.

The Noco Genius Gen1 also includes a 5 year warranty in case something goes wrong with the device which is a very nice touch and peace of mind.

Pros

  • Can be mounted on board vehicle such as boat or RV
  • Outputs @ 10 Amp
  • Spark proof
  • Reverse polarity protected
  • Thermal, ignition and overcharge protection
  • 5 year warranty
  • IP68 rated

Cons

  • Accompanying screws for mounting made of butter
  • Larger and bit cumbersome

Schumacher SC1280 15 Amp Battery Charger

The Charger

The Schumacher SC1280 is a definite “keep handy in your garage cause it’s awesome” kind of tool to keep in your garage. With a 15 Amp output and automated voltage switching feature, the battery charger will keep your battery maintained and alive for a long time.

While the SC1280 charges the battery at 15 Amps, it keeps a steady 3 Amps to maintain the battery at its peak. This is monitored by the unit automatically which I find to be a great feature.

Another neat touch about the Schumacher is that it automatically switches between 6V and 12V, depending on the battery. It really makes it seem like you barely need to do anything apart from plug in and go about your business.

Pros

  • Outputs @ 15 Amp for charging and @ 3 Amp for maintaining
  • Automatically swaps between 6V and 12V as detected
  • Reverse polarity protected
  • Quality build with intuitive interface

Cons

  • Cooling fan can be loud
  • If a battery is really low, it will charge to 6V thinking it is 100% charged

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