Speed Reads:

  • The best car battery charger in 2023 is the Schumacher SC1280. The SC1280 from Schumacher is quick at charging batteries, and can even restore completely dead batteries.
  • The NOCO GeniusPRO50 is a great option for those who want a professional-grade car battery charger, as it offers multiple voltage levels and features high-quality components.
  • Drivers whose batteries are prone to dying should consider the Schumacher SC1309, as it combines the functionality of both a battery charger and a jump starter.
Best Car Battery Charger
Schumacher SC1280

A versatile, easy-to-use charger that quickly fills your battery.

Best Professional Car Battery Charger
NOCO Genius PRO50

A durably-built car batter charger that’s able supply juice to just about any battery type and voltage.

Best Battery Charger And Jump Starter Combo
Schumacher SC1309

A heavy-duty car battery charger that can also jump start vehicles.

Best Automotive Battery Charger
TOPDON Tornado 30000

A sturdy, fast-working battery charger with modes for a several battery types and ambient temperatures.

Best Automatic Car Battery Charger
CTEK Multi US 7002

A powerful charger that excels at restoring dead batteries.

A car battery charger can restore a depleted battery or maintain a battery you don’t frequently use. We’ve studied and tested several of the best car battery chargers to find the fastest, most reliable models.

A quality charger can extend car battery life if used properly. Keeping your battery regularly charged prevents sulfation – a process where lead sulfate crystals build up on the surface of a battery, rendering it inoperable. If you need something to jumpstart a dead battery, look for one of the best jump starters.

Best Automotive Battery Chargers

For this review, our team thoroughly tested and evaluated each car battery charger based on each item’s charging speed, versatility, ease of use, and value. The scores in each category are compiled into a single overall rating that ranges from 1.0 to 5.0 stars.

Each car battery charger’s ratings, including their scores in each review category, are highlighted below:

What Are The Best Car Battery Chargers?

Based on these criteria, the best car battery chargers are the Schumacher SC1280, NOCO Genius PRO50, Schumacher SC1309, TOPDON Tornado 30000, CTEK Multi US 7002, NOCO Genius 10, CTEK MXS 5.0, and the NOCO Genius 1.

Brand/ModelOverallCharging SpeedVersatilityEase of UseValue
Schumacher SC12804.
NOCO Genius PRO504.
Schumacher SC13094.
TOPDON Tornado 300004.
CTEK Multi US 70024.
NOCO Genius
NOCO Genius
Cobra 2A3.

Car Battery Charger Ratings: Our Testing Process

Car Battery Chargers Testing Process

The car battery chargers in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching retailers like Amazon, RealTruck, and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at factors such as battery type, voltage, customer ratings, and prices.

Our product testing team then ordered the car battery chargers that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a 2004 Subaru Forester, taking note of how quickly the car battery charger could charge a car battery, versatility, ease of use, and value. Each car battery charger was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.

To test each car battery, we unpackaged it and attached it to a 12.0-volt wet cell battery. We started the battery charger according to the instructions and measured the voltage using a multimeter.

Charging Speed

By considering a battery charger’s voltage and amp hours, you can determine the approximate charging speed. Batteries that charge a car faster received a higher rating in this category.

Most car batteries are 12.0 volts. A higher voltage will charge a battery more quickly, but too many volts can damage your battery. A few volts above a battery’s rating are acceptable and even desirable, but a car battery charger must produce at least 12.0 V to charge a 12.0-V battery. Maintaining a consistent voltage is also important for charging speed and battery protection.


Not all car battery chargers will work with every type of battery. While most cars use a wet cell battery, some may use an absorbed glass mat (AGM), gel, or lithium-ion battery. Chargers compatible with the most types of batteries scored best in this category.

Additionally, some car battery chargers have features such as overcharge protection and trickle charging options. Such features also contribute to a battery’s versatility rating.

Ease Of Use

An easy-to-use automotive battery charger has long clamp cables and durable alligator clamps. Battery chargers are also easy to use if they have long outlet cords and straightforward interfaces and instructions.


Our value score is based on the relationship between a battery’s rating in all other categories compared to the price.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

Car Battery Charger Reviews

After we tested several options ranging in price, we determined that Schumacher offers the best car battery charger with the SC1280 because it features a high-quality LCD screen, automatic shutoff feature, and is easy to use.
Five of the best car battery chargers as tested and reviewed by our auto product team.

Compare Car Battery Chargers

Brand/ModelCostBattery Type(s)AmperageVoltage
Schumacher SC1280$50Standard, AGM, and gel3.0- and 15.0-ampere modes13.0 V
NOCO Genius PRO50$740Standard, AGM, sealed lead acid (SLA), valve regulated lead acid (VRLA), and lithium-ion25.0- and 50.0-A modes6.0 V, 12.0 V, and 24.0 V
Schumacher SC1309175.0Standard, AGM, and deep cycle40.0- and 400.0-A modes15.0 V
TOPDON Tornado 30000$300Lead-acid, wet, gel, maintenance free (MF), calcium (Ca), enhanced frequency response (EFR), AGM, and lithium-ion30.0 A12.0 V
CTEK Multi US 7002$175Standard, MF, AGM, gel, and Ca7.0 A12.0 V
NOCO Genius 10$100Standard, gel, Ca, enhanced flooded (EFB), AGM, and lithium-ion10.0 A13.0 V
CTEK MXS 5.0$90Standard, Ca, AGM, and gel4.3 A14.0 V
NOCO Genius 1$30Standard, gel, Ca, EFB, AGM, and lithium-ion1.0 A15.0 V
Cobra 2A$50Standard, lead acid, gel, AGM, and lithium-ion2.0 A12.0 V

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.

For those interested in learning more, we’ve provided a detailed review of each of the best car battery chargers in the sections below:

1. Schumacher SC1280: Best Car Battery Charger

  • Cost: $50
  • Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 (approx. 11,000 reviews)
  • Battery type(s): Standard (wet cell), AGM, and gel
  • Amperage: 3.0- and 15.0-A modes
  • Voltage: 13.0 V
  • Weight: 3.0 pounds
  • Warranty: Two years
  • In the box: A Schumacher SC1280 battery charger and an instruction manual.

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The Schumacher SC1280 car battery charger.

Schumacher SC1280 Review

The Schumacher SC1280 is a quick battery charger putting out 13.0 V at a 15.0-A current. It can fully charge a 105.0-ampere hour battery in 16 hours (this is relatively fast). It can also automatically detect the battery voltage and adjust between 6.0- and 12.0-V modes. While most cars use a 12.0-V battery, 6.0-V batteries are common in motorcycles.

This charger includes a two-year warranty, trickle charging, and desulfation mode. It also has an automatic shutoff feature to help prevent overcharging. However, several reports say this automatic charging feature can malfunction.

You can see how the Schumacher SC1280 performed in each category below: 

Review CategoryScore
Charging Speed4.5
Ease of Use5.0
Overall Rating4.6

The SC1280 is lightweight, portable, and easy to set up and use. Below are the pros and cons of the Schumacher SC1280:

Pros High-quality LCD screen Quick to charge Able to charge fully dead batteries
Cons Automatic shutoff feature can malfunction

Schumacher SC1280: Our Experience

The alligator clamps are a good size with long cables and therefore easy to use. The power cord is also fairly long, making it easy to set up to SC1280. The device’s computer automatically detects the proper voltage, so all you need to do is attach the SC1280 and press the start button to enter charging mode.

The voltage was tested at 13.0 amps while the battery charger was in use, which is in the ideal range for a 12.0-volt car battery. This voltage stayed consistent throughout. Perhaps our favorite feature is the LCD display, which can even provide an estimate of your vehicle’s battery charge.

The Schumacher SC1280 car battery charger attached to a vehicle battery.

Schumacher SC1280: What Customers Are Saying

Many users are impressed with the charging speed of the SC1280 and appreciate that it can automatically detect battery voltage and adjust accordingly. Several reviewers note that this battery charger restored otherwise dead batteries after other chargers failed to do the same. Many say this is the best battery charger they’ve ever used with several others mentioning how helpful the LCD screen is.

The most concerning negative reviews are from customers who say the automatic shutoff feature failed to work. This can result in overcharging, which can permanently damage your car battery. While this doesn’t appear to be a common issue, it’s a concerning malfunction. Make sure the automatic shutoff works properly before leaving any charger on your battery unattended.

2. NOCO Genius PRO50: Best Professional Car Battery Charger

  • Cost: $740
  • Amazon rating: 4.2 out of 5.0 (approx. 300 reviews)
  • Battery type(s): Standard, AGM, SLA, VRLA, and lithium-ion
  • Amperage: 25.0- and 50.0-A modes
  • Voltage: 24.0-, 12.0-, and 6.0-V modes
  • Weight: 17.7 lbs.
  • Warranty: Three years
  • In the box: A Genius PRO50 car battery charger, a solid EVA carrying case, and several different power cords (for North America, European Union, United Kingdom, and Australian outlets).

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Genius PRO50 Review

We recommend several NOCO battery chargers because all are built with reliable quality and backed by top-notch customer service. The Genius PRO50 is NOCO’s most powerful and versatile battery charger. In addition to offering many voltage and charging modes, this car battery charger features braided cable sleeves and the strongest alligator clamps of any battery charger that we’ve tested.

Compatible with both gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, the Genius PRO50 is suitable for just about any battery you’d need to charge, even lithium-ion batteries. This charger is expensive and relatively heavy, so it’s not the best choice for those who only need a casual-use battery charger.

You can see how the Genius PRO50 performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore
Charging Speed5.0
Ease of Use4.0
Overall Rating4.5

For those with a fleet of batteries to maintain, the Genius PRO50 is a good item to keep in your garage. Below are the pros and cons of the Genius PRO50:

Pros Includes 24-, 12-, and 6-volt charging modes High-quality components and clamps Very fast charging speeds
Cons Expensive No display screen

Genius PRO50: Our Experience

The first thing that stood out to us about the Genius PRO50 was the quality of the alligator cables. While many of our other recommendations (including other NOCO products) have well-made alligator clips, the Genius PRO50 has thick, braided cord sleeves that provide extra protection and longevity.

This car battery charger is a little heavier than a portable battery charger, but still smaller than stationary units like the Schumacher SC1309. We do note the lack of a display screen to provide battery data. While this isn’t a necessity for a battery charger, it’s a modern feature that would be nice to include on a unit this expensive.

Genius PRO50: What Customers Are Saying

Most reviewers rave about the charging speed of the Genius PRO50 battery charger. Those looking to top up batteries for large engines like this charger. They claim it’s capable of bringing dead batteries back to life in fairly short order.

A few reviewers are upset that there is no display screen. There are indicators for the voltage, battery type, and charging mode, but no screen to show battery status. Another complaint some have is that some units arrive damaged because of poor packaging. However, NOCO does include a three-year warranty and customer reviews speak highly of the company’s customer service.

3. Schumacher SC1309: Best Battery Charger And Jump Starter Combo

  • Cost: $175
  • Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5.0 (approx. 1,800 reviews)
  • Battery type(s): Standard (wet), AGM, and deep cycle
  • Amperage: 40.0- and 400.0-A modes
  • Voltage: 15.0 V
  • Weight: 30.0 lbs.
  • Warranty: One year
  • In the box: A Schumacher SC1309 battery charger and a set of alligator clips.

Advance Auto Parts


The Schumacher SC1309 car battery charger.

Schumacher SC1309 Review

Unlike the other battery chargers on this list, the Schumacher SC1309 is capable not only of charging a vehicle but also provides a good jump start. The built-in tester can detect battery charge levels and even has some diagnostics features.

While a bit heavier than our other recommended best car battery chargers, the Schumacher SC1309 is versatile and charges quickly. It’s easy to operate and includes desulfation and float modes.

You can see how the Schumacher SC1309 performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore
Charging Speed5.0
Ease of Use4.5
Overall Rating4.5

The SC1309 can fully charge a 105.0-Ah battery in about 16 hours. Below are the pros and cons of the Schumacher SC1309:

Pros Incredibly quick to charge Can provide a jump start Offers diagnostic features
Cons Some customers received faulty products

Schumacher SC1309: Our Experience

This battery charger is simple to use and has large, strong alligator clamps. We found it one of the easier chargers to operate. Its size and long clamp cables allow you to rest the charger on the ground (other smaller chargers with short jumper cables can’t reach the battery from the ground).

The voltage output is consistent at 15.0 amps, which is a little high for a 12.0-volt battery but not high enough to endanger battery health. This voltage also means a fast charge rate and minimal charging time.

The Schumacher SC1309 car battery charger attached to a vehicle battery.

Schumacher SC1309: What Customers Are Saying

Satisfied customers express surprise with the SC1309’s charging speed. Many say they used this battery charger to rejuvenate long-dead batteries with little difficulty. Several reviewers mention being able to use the engine start feature to revive SUVs and other large vehicle batteries.

One recurring negative comment comes from customers who report that the SC1309 stopped working properly after a couple of months. While this doesn’t seem typical, it’s not uncommon either. This charger comes with a one-year warranty, and one reviewer says they received a replacement from the company.

Several users also mention receiving faulty products with scratches and other damages. The company appears to have a good record of refunding these mistakes, but it’s a pain not to get a functioning car charger from the start.

4. TOPDON Tornado 30000: Best Automotive Battery Charger

  • Cost: $300
  • Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5.0 (approx. 40 reviews)
  • Battery type(s): Lead-acid, WET, GEL, ME, CA, EFR, AGM, Lithium-ion.
  • Amperage: 30.0 A
  • Voltage: 12.0 V
  • Weight: 6.1 lbs.
  • Warranty: Three years
  • In the box: A TOPDON Tornado 30000 car battery charger, a pair of alligator clips, and an instruction booklet.

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TOPDON Tornado 30000 Review

If you find yourself charging a variety of battery types in all weather conditions, consider the TOPDON Tornado 30000. This car battery charger has modes for just about every type of battery, including lead-acid, WET, GEL, AGM, and lithium. It also has modes for 6.0-, 12.0-, and 24.0-V batteries.

While it is a fairly expensive option, this robust charger is sturdy and long-lasting. This is thanks to the TOPDON’s spark-proof housing and large list of safety features, such as reverse polarity protection. Additionally, the included alligator clamps are of a higher quality than many other battery chargers of this size (they are large and made with thick plastic).

You can see how the TOPDON Tornado 30000 performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore
Charging Speed4.5
Ease of Use4.5
Overall Rating4.5

This charger even has a special option for battery charging in low temperatures. Below are the pros and cons of the TOPDON Tornado 30000:

Pros Modes for many battery types and voltages Durable, robust design Includes smart charging features that protect your battery
Cons Power cord is short Expensive

TOPDON Tornado 30000: Our Experience

What immediately stands out about the TOPDON is that it has 12 different charging modes. This can seem overwhelming if you only need to jump a typical car battery. Some of the charging modes are for batteries unlikely to be used in a vehicle. However, included with the TOPDON is an instruction booklet that provides a handy table describing the use case for each charging mode.

The TOPDON uses smart charging technology to detect the connected battery’s charge. This helps prevent overcharging and allows you to easily use the device as a trickle charger. A series of lights indicates the approximate (0-, 25-, 50-, 75-, or 100-percent) charge remaining in the connected battery. Despite having so many different charging modes, this charger is very easy to use, even for non-mechanics.

There are only a few buttons, one to select the charge mode, and another to initiate charging. We had little difficulty attaching the TOPDON to the battery terminals of our test vehicle. During our test, we were impressed with the high quality of the alligator clamps. They are a bit larger and sturdier than the clamps typically included with this size battery charger. The power cord, however, is short for a device that must be plugged in to operate. Many users may need an extension cord to get this charger to their vehicle.

Our other criticism of this charger is that it does not include a carrying case or an easy way to store the device.

TOPDON Tornado 30000: What Customers Are Saying

As a relatively new product, there aren’t a lot of reviews for the Tornado 30000 on Amazon. However, those that do exist are largely positive.

The most commonly praised feature of the Tornado is its smart charging functions. Reviewers like that it can be set up and allowed to run on its own with no need to worry about overcharging. At full power, the Tornado can quickly charge a battery. Despite the high price point, many feel this battery charger offers high value.

Another thing some reviewers praise about this car battery charger is that it operates relatively quietly and at a low temperature compared to other battery chargers those reviewers have used.

While around 90 percent of reviewers award the Tornado 5.0 stars, some have given the product a 3.0- or 1.0-star rating. None of these reviewers have posted written comments about the Tornado.

5. CTEK Multi US 7002: Best Automatic Car Battery Charger

  • Cost: $175
  • Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5.0 (approx. 2,000 reviews)
  • Battery type(s): Standard (Wet), MF, AGM, GEL, and Ca
  • Amperage: 7.0 A
  • Voltage: 12.0 V
  • Weight: 1.72 lbs.
  • Warranty: Five years
  • In the box: A CTEK Multi US 7002 car battery charger, a set of alligator clamps, and eyelet clips.



The CTEK car battery charger.

CTEK Multi US 7002 Review

The CTEK US 7002 is a beefed-up version of the CTEK MXS 5.0. It boasts many of the same features such as automatic switch charging. It can put out a bit more amperage (7.0 A) and so will charge more quickly. This model is also built to withstand extreme temperatures and can operate between -4.0° and 122.0° Fahrenheit.

Choose the 7002 if you need to restore an old or depleted battery. This is also a battery charger that works with a wide range of vehicles, including boat and ATV batteries.

You can see how the CTEK Multi US 7002 performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore
Charging Speed4.5
Ease of Use5.0
Overall Rating4.3

The 7002 has a broad temperature operation range and water-resistant construction. Below are the pros and cons of the CTEK Multi US 7002:

Pros Built to withstand extreme weather Can work on boats and ATVs Very easy to use
Cons Relatively expensive

CTEK Multi US 7002: Our Experience

The CTEK 7002 is one of the easiest-to-use battery chargers we tested. Simply plug it in, attach the clips, and press the power button. The display will even give an indication of how much charge your battery has. When attached to our multimeter, we noted that this machine delivers a consistent 14.4 V in normal mode.

We like that the CTEK 7002 operates in a wide variety of temperatures, and even has a mode for charging batteries at temperatures below 41.0° F.

The CTEK car battery charger attached to a vehicle battery.

CTEK Multi US 7002: What Customers Are Saying

Reviewers like the 7002’s reliability as well as the safety features that prevent overcharging. The unit is also durable, with many describing drops and accidents that failed to break this car battery charger. It seems to work well at reconditioning and reviving old batteries, and many purchase it for that purpose.

Some say the unit can heat up quite a bit when charging for long periods of time. It is also more expensive than other options, though most feel the increased cost is worth the improved quality that comes with it.

6. NOCO Genius 10: Best Portable Car Battery Charger

  • Cost: $100
  • Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 (approx. 15,000 reviews)
  • Battery type(s): Standard (wet), Gel, Ca, enhanced flooded battery (EFB), AGM, and lithium-ion
  • Amperage: 10.0 A
  • Voltage: 13.0 V
  • Weight: 4.0 lbs.
  • Warranty: Three years
  • In the box: A NOCO Genius 10 battery charger, battery clamps, and a mounting bracket with self-threading screws.

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The NOCO GENIUS10 car battery charger.

NOCO Genius 10 Review

The NOCO Genius 10 is a battery charger, maintainer, and desulfator. It can work on 6.0- or 12.0-V batteries and includes thermal sensors to help prevent overcharging. The Genius 10 can charge nearly every type of car battery, including lithium-ion batteries.

Utilizing next-generation microprocessor technology, the Genius 10 can fully charge a 100.0-Ah battery in about 14 hours.

You can see how the NOCO Genius 10 performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore
Charging Speed4.5
Ease of Use4.0
Overall Rating4.3

This small yet versatile car battery charger is energy-efficient and includes a three-year warranty. Below are the pros and cons of the NOCO Genius 10:

Pros Exceptionally lightweight Features an overcharge mode Can also work as a battery maintainer and sulfator
Cons Advanced features are not intuitive to use

NOCO Genius 10: Our Experience

The NOCO is easy to set up, and while the alligator clamps are small, they open wide and are a breeze to attach. The NOCO display shows battery charge, and the one-button interface allows you to switch between modes. We love how lightweight this device is, hence why we named it the Best Portable Car Battery Charger of 2023.

One nice feature of the NOCO Genius 10 is the overcharge mode. Most battery chargers, including the NOCO, automatically detect the battery and adjust voltage accordingly. When attempting to charge a completely dead battery, automatic detection won’t work. This is when overcharge mode comes in handy.

The NOCO put out a consistent 13.0 volts, according to our multimeter.

The NOCO GENIUS10 car battery charger attached to a vehicle battery.

NOCO Genius 10: What Customers Are Saying

Reviewers say this battery works well with deep-cycle batteries, and users appreciate its ability to revive completely dead batteries using the overcharge mode. Several customers also praise the high quality of the included alligator clips.

Even positive reviews often mention that the instructions can be difficult to follow. While we didn’t have any issues with the Genius 10, we also didn’t attempt to use all the advanced features.

Some reviews note that the desulfation mode doesn’t work as anticipated.

7. CTEK MXS 5.0: Best Trickle Charger

  • Cost: $90
  • Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5.0 (approx. 4,700 reviews)
  • Battery type(s): Standard (wet), Ca, AGM, and gel
  • Amperage: 4.3 A
  • Voltage: 14.0 V
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs.
  • Warranty: Five years
  • In the box: A CTEK MXS 5.0 car battery charger, alligator clamps, a comfort-connect eyelet, and a soft vinyl carrying case.

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The CTEK MXS 5.0 car battery charger.

CTEK MXS 5.0 Review

This small battery charger has an extremely long five-year warranty. It features built-in temperature sensors that adjust the voltage output based on temperature conditions. This automatic battery charger is programmed to tend batteries once they’ve reached full charge.

The CTEK MXS 5.0 can charge batteries up to 110.0 A and takes about 35 hours to charge a 110.0-Ah battery. Because of its automatic voltage detector, you can use this product to charge not just car batteries but any battery under 110.0 A.

You can see how the CTEK MXS 5.0 performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore
Charging Speed4.0
Ease of Use4.0
Overall Rating4.1

If you’re looking at this car battery charger for its battery-tending abilities, we recommend checking out our review of the best trickle chargers. Below are the pros and cons of the CTEK MXS 5.0:

Pros Comes with a well-written instruction manual Features built-in temperature sensors Can charge more than just car batteries
Cons Low-quality clamps

CTEK MXS 5.0: Our Experience

The CTEK is easy to start and features the most straightforward, easy-to-understand manual of the car battery chargers we tested. However, the CTEK loses some points because of the lackluster alligator clamps. They are rather small, and while we didn’t have problems getting them onto our test car battery, they are of noticeably lower quality than other car battery chargers.

This charger put out a consistent 14.0 V when we attached it to our test battery. This is within the ideal range for a 12.0-V car battery.

We like the preprogrammed multi-stage charge cycle, and the only settings you must choose are a 12.0-V versus 8.0-V battery as well as standard, AGM, or reconditioning mode.

The CTEK MXS 5.0 car battery charger attached to a vehicle battery.

CTEK MXS 5.0: What Customers Are Saying

Reviewers are impressed by the charging speed of the CTEK, especially since most purchase this charger as a battery tender for trickle charging. Customers appreciate the tending safety features, and several people point out that they prefer this battery charger for their AGM batteries.

A couple of reviews mention that the CTEK is prone to overheating. However, proper positioning (ensuring the bottom vents are open) seems to help.

8. NOCO Genius 1: Best Budget Car Battery Charger

  • Cost: $30
  • Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 (approx. 43,000 reviews)
  • Battery type(s): Standard (wet), Gel, Ca, EFB, AGM, and lithium-ion batteries
  • Amperage: 1.0 A
  • Voltage: 15.0 V
  • Weight: 0.39 lbs.
  • Warranty: Three years
  • In the box: A NOCO Genius 1 battery charger and alligator clips.

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The NOCO GENIUS1 car battery charger.

NOCO Genius 1 Review

This low-cost entry in the NOCO Genius series offers an alternative to the Genius 10. It has many of the same features, including the ability to charge lithium-ion batteries. The Genius 1 does lack some of the battery repair features of the Genius 10.

This car battery charger is very small, simple to use, and energy-efficient. It can act as a desulfator, trickle charger, or battery maintainer for 6.0- and 12.0-V batteries.

You can see how the NOCO Genius 1 performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore
Charging Speed3.0
Ease of Use4.5
Overall Rating3.9

If you’re looking for the highest quality car battery charger for the lowest price, the Genius 1 is worth considering. Below are the pros and cons of the NOCO Genius 1:

Pros Highly energy efficient Compact design High-quality clamps
Cons Some customers had issues with the overcharge mode

NOCO Genius 1: Our Experience

Using the Genius 1 is nearly identical to using the Genius 10. It has excellent alligator clamps and a single button for switching to the desired mode.

When tested with our multimeter, the Genius 1 showed a reading of 15.0 V, which was more than the Genius 10 supplied. The lower amperage of the Genius 1 means it must supply a slightly higher voltage to increase the charging speed. Fifteen amps are within the tolerable limits for a 12.0-V battery.

While designed more for smaller batteries you would use in ATVs and lawnmowers, this smart battery charger is capable of topping off 12.0-V car batteries.

The NOCO GENIUS1 car battery charger attached to a vehicle battery.

NOCO Genius 1: What Customers Are Saying

Praise and complaints for the Genius 1 are similar to the Genius 10. Many users say the review manual is difficult to decipher. However, using the Genius 1 is mostly self-explanatory, especially for the most common tasks of charging and maintaining a standard 12.0-V car battery.

Satisfied customers are pleased with the power in this tiny package. The overcharge mode to juice up dead batteries is a helpful feature, as is the temperature sensor.

A few comments claim the overcharge detection failed to work, and a couple of customers almost ruined their batteries. This doesn’t appear to be a common issue, but make sure overcharge protection is working before leaving the Genius 1 attached to a battery unattended.

9. Cobra 2A Battery Charger: Best Compact Battery Charger

  • Cost: $50
  • Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5.0 (approx. 20 reviews)
  • Battery type(s): Standard, lead acid, gel, AGM, Lithium-ion.
  • Amperage: 2.0 A
  • Voltage: 12.0 V
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs.
  • Warranty: Three years limited
  • In the box: Cobra battery charger, battery clamps, ring terminals, and a quick start guide.



Cobra 2A Battery Charger Review

The Cobra 2A Battery Charger is a tiny but mighty charger for passenger cars, ATVs, jet skis, snowmobiles, power boats, and motorcycles. This charger is equipped with an LED indicator light to determine the current battery status. A blinking orange light indicates charging is in process which will change to a solid green light when charging is finished.

You can see how the Cobra 2A Battery Charger performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Charging Speed3.5
Ease of Use3.0
Overall Rating3.6

This charger has built-in battery protection to prevent potential charging and voltage issues, keeping you and your battery safe during the charging process. Below are the pros and cons of the Cobra 2A Battery Charger:

Pros Compact design Lower cost Fit for various different vehicles
Cons Lower amperage Slower charging speed

Cobra 2A Battery Charger: Our Experience

Overall, we found the Cobra battery charger to be reliable and perfect for drivers wanting to store this compact charger in their glove compartment or even the center console. Where this charger lacked was the ease of use and charging speed. 

Amperage ultimately equates to charging speed among car battery chargers. At only 2.0 amps, compared to the majority of battery chargers in this review, the Cobra has a much slower charging speed. The charging cable clamps are small and made of plastic, making them seem lower in quality and durability.

While easy to operate, set up affected the overall ease of use testing experience. With an outlet on the back of the charger, you have to use an extension cord to reach an outlet since the cables to connect the clamps to your car battery are very short.

Cobra 2A Battery Charger: What Customers Are Saying

Despite only a handful of reviews on Amazon, buyers are overall pleased with their purchase, specifically noting the convenience and portability, thanks to the charger’s compact size. Buyers were disappointed in the slow charging speed, but it’s a good product to easily store in your car.

Car Battery Charger Buying Guide

Not all automotive batteries are the same. While most modern cars use 12.0-V wet cell batteries, this isn’t the case with every vehicle. When selecting a car battery charger, first determine your vehicle’s battery type.

What Charges A Car Battery?

A car battery charger charges a car battery. The amperage and voltage of a car battery charger ultimately determine if, and how quickly you can charge your vehicle’s battery.

Amperage is a measure of electrical current. A battery charger’s amperage can affect how quickly it charges a battery. Generally, the higher the amperage, the better. You can use a charger with a higher amperage than your battery.

Voltage is also a measure of electrical current. Simply put, amperage describes the volume of electrons flowing through a circuit, and voltage refers to the force with which those electrons are moving. You want a battery charger with a voltage slightly higher than the voltage in your battery. However, if the voltage is too high, it can damage your car battery. You shouldn’t charge a 12.0-V battery with much more than a 16.0-V charger.

Car Battery Charger Types

The best car battery chargers typically have several modes serving different purposes. The most basic use of a charger is to top off a battery’s charge or bring a dying battery back to health. But you can also use chargers for trickle charging and desulfation.

What Is Trickle Charging?

Trickle charging, or battery tending, is when a charger detects that a battery needs charging and automatically supplies power until the battery is topped off, then shuts down. Trickle charging is necessary to prevent seldom-used batteries from becoming depleted.

What Is Battery Sulfation?

Old lead-acid batteries are prone to sulfation when completely discharged. Sulfation is a buildup of lead sulfate on a battery’s surface. Once sulfated, a battery can be difficult to charge. Some car battery chargers have a desulfation mode, which applies a higher voltage to recharge the battery. Once charged, the normal charging process breaks down lead sulfate buildup.

Different Types Of Car Battery Chargers

“You have two different types [of battery chargers]: you have chargers and you have trickle chargers,” our aftermarket auto parts expert, Kyle Marker, Parts Manager at Leith Lincoln with more than 10 years of experience in the industry said. “Trickle chargers, like the Battery Tender and the Tender Junior – always worth it.” When asked why, Marker says, “My Mustang won’t start right now because I [haven’t started] it in three weeks. The battery had 3.6 volts and it’s dead.”

Car Battery Charger Vs. Jump Starter

Keep in mind that a car battery charger is different from a jump starter. A battery charger provides a lower current to steadily replenish your battery’s power. A jump starter provides a strong current to reset a dead battery. Some battery chargers (such as the Schumacher SC1309) can act as a charger and jump starter.

Types of Car Batteries

You’ll need to purchase a battery charger that’s compatible with your vehicle’s battery. Common car battery types include:

  • Wet cell
  • Absorbed glass mat (AGM)
  • Gel cell
  • Lithium-ion

Many car battery chargers are compatible with wet cell, AGM, and gel cell batteries, but not all are rated for use with lithium-ion batteries.

Best Battery Chargers For Cars: Bottom Line

Our review team spent countless hours researching and physically testing numerous car battery chargers. We evaluated these car battery chargers based on their price, charging speed, power, and much more. By our testing, many of the top chargers come from NOCO, such as the Genius PRO and Genius 10, but it’s the Schumacher SC1280 that gets our top recommendation overall.

Below is our comprehensive list of best car battery chargers on the market in 2023:

  1. Best Car Battery Charger: Schumacher SC1280
  2. Best Professional Car Battery Charger: NOCO Genius PRO50
  3. Best Battery Charger and Jump Starter: Schumacher SC1309
  4. Best Automotive Battery Charger: TOPDON Tornado 30000
  5. Best Automatic Car Battery Charger: CTEK Multi US 7002
  6. Best Portable Car Battery Charger: NOCO Genius 10
  7. Best Trickle Charger: CTEK MXS 5.0
  8. Best Budget Car Battery Charger: NOCO Genius 1
  9. Best Compact Battery Charger: Cobra 2A

Car Battery Chargers: Other Recommendations

Need more options to consider? We haven’t yet tested the car battery chargers listed below, but they have high customer ratings on sites like Amazon and Advance Auto Parts.

NOCO Boost Plus GB40

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The Boost Plus is a heavy-duty battery charger that is compatible with diesel engines up to 3.0 liters. It features a similar design as the other NOCO chargers we’ve recommended. It is the same general size and shape, but the Boost Plus offers a lot more amps than the Genius 1 or Genius 10. This device can charge a completely dead battery and many reviewers have had success rejuvenating their batteries after long periods without driving.

Biuble Car Battery Starter

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Another heavy-duty battery charger, the Biuble offers 1,000.0 peak amps. There are also 2,000.0- and 3,000.0-A models available. This charger has a low self-discharge rate, which means that it won’t lose much charge after being tucked away unused for several months. The Biuble charger also has two USB ports for charging small electronics. Reviewers say this car battery charger is convenient, powerful, and reliable.

Black+Decker BM3B


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The Black+Decker BM3B is unique in the fact that it automatically stops charging when your vehicle’s battery is fully charged or topped off. This handy car battery charger not only offers a quick charge, but also protects against overcharging, reverse polarity, and short circuits. Additionally, a mounting bracket is built into this fully automatic battery charger to make your life easier.

Car Battery Chargers: FAQ

Below are some common frequently asked questions about car battery chargers:

*Data accurate at time of publication.