Best 12 Volt Battery Chargers of 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

All of us have surely experienced the feeling where we put in our key in the ignition and turn it on, only for nothing to happen. In cases like these, having the best 12-volt battery charger can be our savior.

It is impossible for batteries to sustain themselves and they must be recharged constantly. So, when they suddenly stop working, it can be frustrating and quite time-consuming to get the vehicle running again.

However, the market is full of efficient battery chargers, making it difficult to pick out the best. In this article, we look at seven of the best models available to make your choice easier.

Comparison Chart of the Best 12-Volt Battery Chargers

Product

Our Rating

Price

Battery Tender Plus Battery Charger

Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, 1.25 Amp Battery Charger is a Smart Charger, it will Fully Charge and Maintain a Battery at Proper Storage Voltage without the Damaging Effects Caused by Trickle Chargers

Best Overall

Ampeak 12V Smart Battery Charger

Ampeak 2/8/15A 12V Smart Battery Charger/Maintainer Automatic with Winter Mode

Runner-Up

NOCO Genius 12V Battery Charger

NOCO Genius G1100 6V/12V 1.1 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer

Best for the Money

Solar Battery Charger

Solar Battery Charger Car, 7.5W 12V Solar Trickle Charger for Car Battery, Portable and Waterproof Solar Battery Maintainer, High conversion single crystal silicon Solar Panel car battery charger for

Best Solar Powered Battery Charger

Peg Perego 12-Volt Battery Charger

Peg Perego 12 Volt Battery Charger

Best from Peg Perego

BLACK+DECKER 12V Battery Charger

BLACK+DECKER BC6BDW Fully Automatic 6 Amp 12V Waterproof Battery Charger/Maintainer with Cable Clamps

Best from Black and Decker

BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger

BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger Portable Battery Maintainer with Detachable Alligator/Rings/Clips Fast Charging Waterproof Trickle Charger for Car Boat Lawn Mower Marine Sealed Lead Acid Battery

Most Portable Model

Are All 12-Volt Chargers the Same?

While all of the products we chose are car battery chargers, some of them are slightly more specialized in function. There are essentially three different kinds of 12V chargers.

Maintainer

This type doesn’t recharge a completely drained out battery like a standard one. Similarly, it can also not restore the batteries cells back to their former state. However, its main purpose is to keep a battery that has a little juice left in it functional and to provide some degree of cell maintenance.

Battery Tender Plus Battery Charger

Charger  

This is the standard battery charger which comes with various permutations such as different amperages or voltages. Its main purpose is to recharge a completely drained battery.

Restorer

To put it simply, the purpose of a restorer is to break down the contaminants built upon the cells, enabling the battery to hold an electric charge again consistently.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying a 12-Volt Battery Chargers

Whether you want a simple jump-starter or a full-on 12V battery charger, the following are critical to consider before buying one.

What Purpose Will You be Using the Battery For?

Before you buy a unit, you must ask yourself if you want to maintain the battery's charging capability or if you will be needing the battery for fast charging most of the times. If you only want to maintain the charging, it is better to opt for a charger that charges with lower amperes and features active charging monitoring. 

Meanwhile, if you’ll be charging car batteries quickly numerous times, you will need higher amperes. Plus, in such cases, you will need a jump-start function, as well.

NOCO Genius 12V Battery Charger

Charging Power

You must ensure that you pick out the right amperage depending on your needs. While most chargers are capable of charging with various ampere rates, you must take your needs into account. For instance, when maintaining the charge of the battery, you will need five amps, while for fast charging, ten amps are recommended.

Charging Monitoring

Charging monitoring is essential to have in a battery charger. This is particularly important if you are going to be maintaining the charge of your battery as opposed to fast charging. The charging monitoring feature helps not to damage your vehicle’s battery in the long run.

Quick Take - The Best 12-Volt Battery Chargers

Before you go any further, here are our top picks: 


  1. Battery Tender Plus
  2. Ampeak
  3. NOCO Genius

Review of the Best 12-Volt Battery Chargers

As mentioned earlier, having a charger with you is essential at all times just so that you aren’t left stranded on a roadside. For this reason, a top model is a necessity. By investing in one of the following units, you will have the peace of mind and you won’t find yourself stuck on an unknown road.

Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, 1.25 Amp Battery Charger is a Smart Charger, it will Fully Charge and Maintain a Battery at Proper Storage Voltage without the Damaging Effects Caused by Trickle Chargers

Pros

  • It is Able to Combat Drainage Effectively
  • Has an Intuitive Design and Promises High Quality
  • Features Fast Charging Time and Comes With an Integrated Timer

Cons

  • It is Slightly Difficult to Use on a Dead Battery
  • It Would’ve Been Better if the Clamps Were Larger

What makes the Battery Tender Plus Charger the best overall is how cleverly designed and efficient it is. It can quickly charge up a battery and also keep it at the optimum voltage without causing any of the damage trickle chargers are usually known for. You can also use it to alternate between the float charging mode and full charge mode.

Of course, when buying a battery, charging time is one of the primary factors to look out for. So, if you’re worried about this, know that this is a 1.25-amp charger which charges the battery quicker than a three-amp model.

Similarly, the other major factor to look for is safety, and that too comes standard on this unit with the reverse polarity protection and spark protection features. It also comes with a reliable ten-year warranty!

For all to know, this is the plus version of the Tender battery, which makes it 50% more powerful than the previous junior model. This also means that this is much faster. This is quite important considering the increasing dependency on electronics of many modern cars. Moreover, this is quite good at staving off the negative effects of drainage.

For the company, making this highly efficient battery wasn’t enough. They added numerous upgrades in both software and design to keep it ahead of competitors.

Bottom Line

To put it simply, this is a charger you can definitely rely on. It promises excellent quality and has all the common functions anyone would require from a battery. Plus, it also has safety features necessary to keep the unit protected. Lastly, the long warranty it comes with is a sign of how high-quality it is considering its price.

Ampeak 2/8/15A 12V Smart Battery Charger/Maintainer Automatic with Winter Mode

Pros

  • Sturdily-Built Design Makes the Product Last Long
  • Extremely Convenient and Easy to Use
  • The Instruction Manual is Short and Easy to Follow

Cons

  • Cannot Charge a Completely Drained Battery

Certainly one of the best 12-volt battery charges available, the Ampeak Smart Battery Charger ranks as the runner-up on our list. Thanks to its fully automatic, high-frequency charging, the model can be used for all types of 12V lead-acid batteries, including AGM, STD, and GEL.

Equipped with a winter charging mode, the unit is innovatively designed for safely charging batteries in cold weather conditions, ensuring perfect charging and longer battery life. It is also microprocessor-controlled, while the multi-stage charging feature further adds safety and precision. With this charger, you don’t need to worry about short circuits, reverse polarity, over-voltage, over-charging, or overheating of the battery!

Moreover, the advanced LED display also keeps track of the charging current, battery type, charging status, voltage, and any error information. Due to its alligator clip and power cord, the model is also extremely easy to use.

Bottom Line

The Ampeak 12V Smart Battery Charger is a durable model, ranking second on our list of top picks. Compatible with all 12V lead-acid batteries, this unit is designed with an MCU-controlled program and a winter charging mode. However, the unit’s inability to charge a drained battery might prove to be a hindrance for some.

NOCO Genius G1100 6V/12V 1.1 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer

Pros

  • Extremely Easy to Use
  • Able to Charge Fully Drained Batteries
  • Protects Your Battery From Short-Circuits, Open-Circuits, Reverse Polarity, Overcharging, and Overheating

Cons

  • The Warranty Process is Quite Lengthy
  • The Instruction Manual is a Bit Difficult to Follow

The most affordable and budget-friendly model available, the NOCO Genius 12V Battery Charger deserves a place on our list. This unit can be used for the year-round battery maintenance of your RV, boat, lawnmower, truck, car, or any other vehicle. It is also able to recharge smaller capacity batteries on snowmobiles, scooters, personal watercraft, motorcycles, and Power Wheels.

This unit is compatible with all types of 12-volt and 6-volt lead-acid batteries, including Gel, Wet, and AGM batteries. With this product, you don’t have to worry about overcharging your battery. You just need to plug it in and the advanced charging technology will automatically maintain and monitor your battery.

Moreover, this unit is equipped with reverse polarity protection and spark-proof technology, making it one of the safest chargers available today. However, the model has a lengthy and time-consuming warranty process, should you need it.

Bottom Line

The NOCO Genius 12V Battery Charger is one of the most budget-friendly models available. It is suitable for all 12-volt and 6-volt lead-acid batteries, while its spark-proof technology and optimized charge mode ensure durability and longevity. However, the instructions manual might be a bit difficult to follow for some.

Best Solar Powered Battery Charger:
Solar Battery Charger

Solar Battery Charger Car, 7.5W 12V Solar Trickle Charger for Car Battery, Portable and Waterproof Solar Battery Maintainer, High conversion single crystal silicon Solar Panel car battery charger for

Pros

Cons

  • It is a Bit Heavy and Might Be Difficult to Carry
  • The Included Suction Cups Might Deteriorate Over Time

The POWOXI solar battery charger ranks as the best solar powered option on our list of top picks. It is a solid model which gets the job done, even in harsh weather. The unit also works as a trickle charger. This means that it can be used for maintaining a charge over time.

Although the model is 7.5 watts, it is still unable to charge a fully drained battery quickly. A solar charge controller is not included, so it is important to monitor your charge carefully.

Thanks to its durable design and medium size, the unit is highly portable as well. However, it weighs more than two pounds, which is a bit heavy. It is also easy to install and can be connected to the battery using the alligator clip.

Constructed with a highly transparent and lowly iron-tempered glass, this model ensures durability and is extremely resistant to wind and snow.

Bottom Line

The POWOXI Solar Battery Charger deserves a place on our list because of its durability, ease of use, and innovative design. It can also be used as a trickle charger. However, the model’s heavy weight might prove to be a hindrance for some.

Peg Perego 12 Volt Battery Charger

Pros

  • Charges Up the Battery Pretty Quickly
  • Highly Suitable for All Peg Perego Motorized Vehicles

Cons

  • The LED Light Might Be Faulty

Peg Perego is best known for its juvenile products, one of the most famous one being the riding toys including the infamous John Deere Gator Ride-on Vehicle.

Often times, the battery of such products tends to die down, which is where this 12V charger comes in. This is compatible with all 12V vehicles and batteries produced by the company. However, it doesn’t work with any other batteries or vehicles.

There is a light indicator on the case with an orange signal that shows it is still charging and a green signal when the battery is full.

Bottom Line

If your Peg Perego vehicle is lying in your shed because its battery fails to work, it is time you invest in this product and get the vehicle going again to give your kids to do something this summer!

Best from Black and Decker:
BLACK+DECKER 12V Battery Charger

BLACK+DECKER BC6BDW Fully Automatic 6 Amp 12V Waterproof Battery Charger/Maintainer with Cable Clamps

Pros

Cons

  • Makes a Clicking Noise When it’s in Reconditioning Mode, Which Can Be Annoying

Black and Decker has made quite a name for themselves in the market given the innovative features their products have and the efficiency they promise. This 12V charger is no different.

This is a six-amp charger which is particularly designed for maximum efficiency, fast charging, and greater performance. What makes it one of the best from this brand is its sealed protection that protects it from being affected by corrosion, moisture, and dust.

As a result, it is able to provide maximum efficiency at all times. The outer case is also fully sealed to keep it safe from moisture, oil, dirt, dust, or any other weather elements it may come into contact with.

The charger is able to detect, as well as maintain, the maximum power in the battery and since it isn’t automatic, you won’t need to monitor it at all times. Plus, since it is automatic, you won’t also have to worry about overcharging or maintaining it. Similarly, you won’t have to deal with a low battery either. It also comes with a long cord which allows you to charge the battery out of the car if you want.

In terms of safety, the charger comes with built-in circuit protections which provide protection against reverse polarity, short-circuiting, and overcharging. It is also ETL-certified for both safety and performance.

Bottom Line

Black and Decker understands the hassle of a dead battery, which is why it has created this completely waterproof battery maintainer and charger. Plus, since it is fully automatic, it takes out all the guesswork of charging the batteries.

BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger Portable Battery Maintainer with Detachable Alligator/Rings/Clips Fast Charging Waterproof Trickle Charger for Car Boat Lawn Mower Marine Sealed Lead Acid Battery

Pros

  • Plug and Play Ensures Ease of Operation
  • LED Light Indicates the Different Charging Modes
  • Reduces Energy Consumption When Full Power is Not Needed
  • Stabilizes Internal Battery Chemistry for Longevity and Increased Performance

Cons

  • Absence of a Meter Makes it Difficult to Read the Charging Process

The BMK 12V Smart Battery Charger not only helps charge a battery fully but also maintains a proper storage voltage without causing any damage to the battery. Its stable performance, high reliable efficiency, and longer service life give this product an edge above the other products available.

This product is capable of charging various rechargeable batteries from boats, cars, and lawnmowers. This smart charger boosts battery charging, getting it back to functionality, quickly. Its four-stage smart charging modes are controlled by MCU, which helps to keep tabs on the charging process and shuts off after the battery is fully charged.

The BMK Smart Battery Charger features various safety features which include over-discharge protection, overcharging, short circuit protection, reverse polarity protection, and overheat protection. Moreover, it will stop charging automatically once the battery is fully charged.

Moreover, it can be used as a trickle battery charger for boats, as well. It offers considerate and timely after-sale service, lifetime quality warranty, thus eliminating all your worries.

Bottom Line

The BMK Smart Battery Charger is a versatile product that is suitable for lawn mowers, cars, electric vehicles, motorcycles, and electric vehicles. It is lightweight, which allows you to take it anywhere. The four-stage charging by the MCU controller makes it a highly safe product.

How We Chose These Chargers

Even though the market is flooded with various chargers, each with remarkable performance and longevity, we don’t want you to settle for anything that’s anything less than the best. For this purpose, we looked at the following factors when picking out units for the purpose of this review.

Portability

Small and lightweight units are portable and easy to use. Not only will they not take up too much space, but keeping them in your car will also not be a problem.

Power

As anyone can guess, more power in a battery means that you will be able to enjoy a faster charging time, so you have to spend less time stranded on the roadside, especially at night.

Safety

Any battery charger must have certain safety features so it can protect users, as well as the battery, from bad accidents.

Perks of Having a 12-Volt Charger With You

Keeping a 12V charger in your vehicle can be quite beneficial.

You Get to Avoid Dead Batteries

Having your car not start because the battery is dead is quite a common issue, particularly during the cold winter months. In fact, cold weather increases the resistance to the battery, which, in turn, reduces its efficiency to be recharged with the car’s alternator. Without the use of a charger, the battery will only be able to charge 60-80% routinely, leaving you with a dead battery and a car which refuses to start frequently.

It is a Safe and Good Investment

A dead battery means you will have to call roadside assistance, which surely isn’t cheap. Plus, waiting around on an empty road missing out on an important meeting isn’t really fun either. However, with a charger at your disposal, you won’t have to pay someone to help get your vehicle started. Plus, this way, you will prolong the battery’s life expectancy too, saving you from having to purchase a replacement.

Reduces Harmful Emissions and Fuel Consumption

When the battery is insufficiently charged, the alternator has to supply power for not only recharging the battery but also for running the electrical systems of the vehicle. In such cases, running the alternator demands the engine to work even harder and use additional horsepower. As a result, the fuel burns less efficiently and increases fuel consumption.

Conclusion

Being able to charge your vehicle’s battery when it is completely dead is a necessity. With one available at your disposal, you'll be assured you will never be left in an automobile which fails to start. The same goes for a day out on the boat. Finally finding a nice, warm day to take out your boat only to find the motor dead isn’t really a nice feeling.

Having such a charger to charge your battery quickly without a problem is what everyone desires and that’s only possible when you settle for the best one available on the market.

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