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The best car battery chargers: Expert tested from DeWalt, Stanley, and more

You don't want a dead car battery stopping you on the side of the highway during your road trip this spring. The best car battery chargers are easy to use and work with a wide variety of vehicles.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Kayla Solino
DeWalt 30A charger | Best car battery charger overall
A DeWalt 30A car battery charger resting on the engine of a Chevy Trailblazer and connected to the battery
DeWalt 30A charger
Best car battery charger overall
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Black+Decker 6/12V charger | Best budget car battery charger
A Black and Decker 6/12V car battery charger on a grey background
Black+Decker 6/12V charger
Best budget car battery charger
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Stanley 15 amp charger | Best mid-range car battery charger
A Stanley 15A car battery charger connected to the battery of an SUV
Stanley 15 amp charger
Best mid-range car battery charger
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Schumacher Electric DSR122 ProSeries 275 amp charger | Best heavy duty car battery charger
A Schumacher Electric DSR122 ProSeries car battery charger on a grey background
Schumacher Electric DSR122 ProSeries 275 amp charger
Best heavy duty car battery charger
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Everstart Maxx 1200 amp portable charger/air compressor | Best portable car battery charger
An Everstart Maxx 1200A portable battery charger connected to the battery of an SUV
Everstart Maxx 1200 amp portable charger/air compressor
Best portable car battery charger
View now View at Walmart

A car battery charger is a tool you don't think you'll ever need to buy, until you do. And the best ones offer compatibility with a wide range of vehicle types as well as decent engine start, charging, and maintenance amperages and other features like battery reconditioning modes and alternator check functions. Some are even portable, allowing you to keep them in your trunk or backseat for roadside emergencies. And others still allow for semi-permanent installation via ring terminals, making them great options for fleet vehicles.

What is the best car battery charger right now?

I chose the DeWalt 30A as the best car battery charger you can buy. It features a compact and lightweight design for easier storage when not in use as well as push-button controls and an alternator check function. You can keep reading below to find out more about the DeWalt 30A as well as my other top choices for the best car battery chargers.

Also: The 5 best portable tire inflators: Fix flats on the go

Best car battery chargers of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Alternator check
  • LCD screen
  • USB port and 120V outlet
  • No internal battery
  • 6-foot power cable might be too short for some workshops
More Details

DeWalt 30A charger features- Running: 30A | Engine start: 80A | Maintain: 2A

This is an easy-to-use battery charger and jump starter that's perfect to keep in your garage for regular maintenance or emergency use. It features simple push-button controls for jump starting, charging, and checking your alternator. It even has a 120V outlet and USB port for charging mobile devices or powering small appliances. 

I went hands-on with the DeWalt 30A charger, and it's an excellent addition to any garage toolkit. You can easily read your battery's voltage and charging status with the LCD screen -- no more squinting at confusing meters. The 80A engine start mode can start your car in about 60 secondsm, and there's a quick charge function for when you need to charge in a hurry. Verified reviews from Amazon and DeWalt agree that the 30 amp charger is simple to use with almost any vehicle, and is easy to store when not in use due to its compact and lightweight design.

Pros & Cons
  • Voltage switch
  • Two connection types
  • Compact design
  • No engine start
  • Might take over 40 hours to fully charge a dead car battery
More Details

Black+Decker 6/12V charger features - Running: 1.5A | Engine start: N/A | Maintain: 0.5A

Keeping up with regular battery maintenance doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune on fancy tools. This trickle charger from Black+Decker costs about $30, and it's perfect for both 6V and 12V batteries like those you'd find in lawn mowers, motorcycles, and most cars and trucks. 

You can connect it to the battery via clamps or rings for safe and secure charging, and a switch lets you quickly and easily select the battery type you want to charge. It also has LED indicator lights to warn you against reversed connections, which can be dangerous, and to let you know when the battery is finished charging. Verified customer reviews from Walmart agree that for the price, the Black+Decker 6/12V charger is an excellent value, offering quick and easy maintenance for a variety of vehicle batteries.

Pros & Cons
  • Engine start mode
  • Quick charge mode
  • Alternator check
  • Short clamp cords
  • Small power cord
More Details

Stanley 15 amp charger features- Running: 15A | Engine start: 50A | Maintain: 3A

I actually own this model of charger/maintainer, and I can say with confidence that it's a great choice for all skill levels. The backlit LCD screen makes it easy to see charging status, reversed connection warnings, and charging mode selections. 

The push-button controls make it quick and easy to check battery voltage, test the alternator, jump start your car, or charge the battery. With the 15A quick charge mode, it took just over three hours to bring my old Chevy Cobalt's battery back to full after being drained by an interior light. 

Also: The 5 best portable jump starters 

The unit also automatically switches from quick to trickle charging when the battery reaches full capacity to avoid overcharging that can cause damage. Verified customer reviews at Walmart agree that the Stanley 15A charger is easy to use on a variety of vehicle batteries with its options to choose between lithium ion and lead acid battery charging modes as well the longer alligator clip cables to make it easier to clamp onto oddly positioned terminals.

Pros & Cons
  • 17-foot power cable
  • Flash reprogramming
  • Memory saver mode
  • Not ideal for smaller garages
More Details

Schumacher DSR122 ProSeries features- Running: 60A | Engine start: 275A | Maintain: 4A

The ProSeries from Schumacher Electric is a battery charger meant for anyone who has heavy duty vehicles, like semi-trucks or diesel engine vehicles, or anyone who runs an automotive shop. It has a 15A fast-charge mode, 275A engine start, and 4A trickle charge feature. 

It's also capable of flash reprogramming vehicle computers to fix minor software problems that may affect things like gas mileage and engine performance. It even has a memory saver mode to quickly reload computer settings after a battery is charged from zero or replaced. 

The unit has a 17-foot power cable as well as wheels and a retractable handle to make it easy to maneuver around the shop and reach just about any vehicle bay.  Verified customer reviews from The Home Depot all seem to agree that the DSR122 Pro Series is a great option for commercial garages or fleet vehicle maintenance due to its high peak amperage, fast charging modes, and flash reprogramming mode.

Pros & Cons
  • Includes an air compressor
  • Built-in handle
  • Power inverter
  • Short clamp cables
  • No trickle charge mode
More Details

Everstart Maxx 1200A portable charger/air compressor features - Running: N/A | Engine start: 1200A | Maintain: N/A

This is another battery charger that I personally own, and I keep it in my car for roadside emergencies. Not only can it jumpstart your car and charge the battery, it also has a 500W power inverter for charging mobile devices and a 120 psi air compressor if you get a flat while you're out and about. 

The built-in handle makes it easy to transport, and it's compact enough to keep in the trunk of my Trailblazer. It has a 120V outlet, 3 USB ports, push-button controls, and an easy-read LCD screen. The battery clamp cords are a bit on the short side, but since you don't need to keep the unit plugged into a wall to use, it's not much of an issue. Verified customer reviews from Walmart agree that the Everstart Maxx 1200A is a great option to keep in the car for emergency roadside maintenance on road trips as well as regular commutes to work or school.

What is the best car battery charger?

The DeWalt 30A charger is the best car battery charger based on price, running amperage, engine start amperage, power cord length, usability, inclusion of USB ports and power outlets, and more. This table illustrates key factors from each of the car battery chargers making our list:

Best car battery charger

Best price

Peak amps


DeWalt 30A charger




Black+Decker 6/12V charger




Stanley 15A




Schumacher Electric DSR122 ProSeries




Everstart Maxx 1200A portable charger/air compressor




Which is the right car battery charger for me?

If you want something to maintain your car or truck battery, choose a charger that is best suited for 12V batteries and is capable of at least 15 running amps. This way, you don't damage anything, and it won't take three days to charge your battery. 

For larger vehicles, you want something with a higher running and engine start amperage, while smaller batteries like those found in lawn mowers and motorcycles require a charger that is suited for 6V units.

This buying tree can help you decide which car battery charger is right for you:

Buy this best car battery charger...

If you need...

DeWalt 30A charger

A well-rounded car battery charger. The DeWalt 30A charger is compatible with most gas and diesel engines for fast and convenient maintenance.

Black+Decker 6/12V charger

A budget-friendly car battery charger. For $30, the Black+Decker 6/12V charger offers jump starting, trickle charging, and semi-permanent installation for fleet vehicles.

Stanley 15A

A mid-range car battery charger. The Stanley 15A charger retails under $100, but offers plenty of features for more in-depth maintenance.

Schumacher Electric DSR122 ProSeries

A heavy-duty car battery charger. The DSR122 ProSeries is made for commercial car shops and fleet vehicle maintenance, featuring very high peak amperage and durable construction.

Everstart Maxx 1200A portable charger/air compressor

A portable car battery charger. Not only does the Everstart Maxx 1200A serve as a portable jump starter and battery charger, it also serves as a power bank for charging devices and an air compressor for tire inflation.

Factors to consider when choosing a car battery:

Whether you're looking to upgrade your home garage toolkit or purchase your first car battery charger, there are a few key factors to keep in mind while shopping around:

  • Price: It's tempting to spring for a really expensive model because of good customer reviews or a quality brand name. It's also tempting to buy that ultra-cheap brand for a quick fix. But it's best to choose an option that offers the features you need for a decent price. That way you aren't paying for things you won't need, or spending extra to replace broken parts or units.
  • Battery compatibility: Not all car battery chargers are created equal. Some are rated for typical cars, SUVs, and passenger trucks while others are more suited to smaller vehicles like boats, ATVs, and lawn equipment.
  • Portability: Sometimes you need to charge your car battery while you're away from home. It's always a good idea to consider a portable charger/jumper for roadside emergencies.

How did we choose these car battery chargers?

While testing and researching each car battery charger on this list, I and other ZDNET experts kept these criteria in mind:

  • Durability: Car maintenance tools can face a lot of use and abuse around the garage or shop. Each model on this list has been vetted for durability against daily use in typical home settings.
  • Brand integrity: Each car battery charger on this list was chosen from a reputable brand with verified customer service options for returns, exchanges, and refunds.
  • Multi-purpose: Not everyone has the space in their garage to maintain an entire arsenal of testing tools. Several car battery chargers we chose for this list also feature other functions like an alternator check, trickle charging, and battery reconditioning.

Also: How to build a winter emergency kit

How long does it take to charge a car battery with a charger?

It all depends on the running amperage of your charger and the amp hours rating of your car battery. The average car battery has a rating of 70 amp hours, so if you have a charger capable of 10 running amps, it'll take about 7 hours to bring a battery back to full if it was run down completely. 

The best way to figure out charging time is to divide your battery's amp hour rating by the running amp rating of your charger (70ah/10amp = 7 hours).

How long can a car battery sit before it loses charge?

It takes about a week of sitting idle for a car battery to drain down to the point where it won't start the engine. If you work from home, or just generally don't drive that much, you should start your car once a week and let it run for 5-10 minutes to maintain the battery as well as circulate engine oil to prevent clogging. Remember to always run your vehicle outdoors or with your garage door all the way open so you don't accidentally suffocate or give yourself carbon monoxide poisoning.

Extreme temperatures can also drain your battery, including high heat in the summer and frigid nights in the winter. You'll want to connect a trickle charger during temperature warnings to maintain your battery or drive more often.

Is it bad for a car battery to drain completely?

If it happens once, it's not going to affect much. But if it happens fairly often, that's an indicator of damaged posts in lead-acid batteries or other issues. Constantly draining and charging a battery can cause it to "bloat," which could lead to dangerous cracking and leaking (battery acid is extremely caustic and toxic), or even explosions and fires. 

Moreover, corroded posts are an indicator of damage, so be on the look out for white or greenish flaky buildup where the wires connect to the battery. If it's very light buildup, you can disconnect the battery from your car and clean the posts and connections with a wire brush. But if the build-up is excessive, it's time to change out the battery. Thankfully, many automotive retailers give you discounts on new batteries if you bring the old one in to be recycled. 

Can you overcharge a vehicle battery with a trickle charger?

Yes, you can. You want to pay close attention to the manufacturer's instructions when it comes to operating the charger. In some cases, you'll want to leave it connected for up to 48 hours, depending on the charger's power capacity.

If you leave it connected too long, it can cause permanent damage to the battery by overheating it. 

More car battery chargers to consider

A Duracell DRMC4A battery charger on a grey background

The Duracell DRMC4A is a 4amp trickle charger for 6V and 12V vehicles like sedans, small pick-up trucks, and SUVs. Along with alligator clips for intermittent charging, it comes with ring terminals for semi-permanent installation; this makes it ideal for fleet vehicle maintenance.

A Vector BC15BV car battery charger on a grey background

The Vector BC15BV is a 15 amp charger for both gas and diesel engines. It also features a battery reconditioning option as well as an alternator check function.

If you have an electric vehicle in your garage, you need the Accell AxFast dual voltage charger. It offers 32 amps as well as a 24.6-foot cable for fast and convenient charging.

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