A trickle charger is best for keeping your battery in the best health. If you plan to store a backup generator for a long time, or are going for a vacation, and do not want your car battery to die on you when you get back, you need a trickle charger.
A trickle charger will make sure your antique or adventure vehicles have enough juice on their batteries for your monthly excursions. Your battery will not deplete as it sits around unused. And when it is time to be used, a trickle charger would not let you down.
Choosing the best trickle charger for yourself can be a tricky task, so we have reviewed some of the best trickle chargers on the market for you.
- Best Trickle Chargers Comparison Table
- Top 7 Best Trickle Chargers In 2021 Reviews
- Best Trickle Chargers Buying Guide
- Types of Trickle Chargers
- Top Brands
- Trickle Chargers Pricing
Best Trickle Chargers Comparison Table
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|(4.2 / 5)|
|(4.5 / 5)|
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NOCO Genius G15000
|(4.5 / 5)|
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BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic
|(4.5 / 5)|
Top 7 Best Trickle Chargers In 2021 Reviews
1 Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer
Battery Tender is a renowned name in the automotive and battery industry. They have made quality battery chargers for years. The Battery Tender Plus is another one of these excellent offerings. It is a quick and efficient solution to your battery draining problems. The Plus has nifty features like reverse polarity protection and automatic trickle mode switching to make your life easier. Also, the battery charger from Battery Tender comes with a ten-year warranty from the date of purchase.
Moreover, the charger supports flooded, lead-acid, and maintenance-free batteries. But the Plus is not compatible with AWG batteries. Alligator clips come out of the box, and there are lights to indicate the current state of the charge. The charger can automatically switch from full charging mode to float charging mode when the maintenance phase begins.
- Easy to operate.
- Strong connections.
- All alligator clips are made from copper.
- Good spring tension on the alligator clips
- The wires are strong.
- Value for money.
- Not capable of charging a dead battery.
2 STANLEY BC25BS Smart Battery Charger
Another worthy mention from the list of best trickle chargers is the STANLEY BC25BS 25 Amp Bench Battery Charger. The smart battery charger is an extremely capable one and can extend the life of your battery. It can even prolong the life of a damaged battery.
Moreover, the charger packs a 75-amp engine start function, which can help you start your car in under two minutes. The STANLEY BC25BS also has an automatic switching feature that switches from fast charging to maintenance charge.
While these features might be enough to make it a great deal, STANLEY has thrown in a car alternator tester inside the charger. It can test and report if the vehicle alternator or generator is functioning properly or not.
- Compact design.
- LCD screen.
- Safety protection.
- Can jumpstart a vehicle.
- Alternator check.
- Easy to use.
- Long length cords.
- Detailed user manual.
- The LCD screen is not practical.
3 BLACK+DECKER BC2WBD Fully Automatic
Black+Decker has been in the electronics manufacturing business for decades now. Their products are known for their build quality. The fully automatic Black+Decker also follows in the same footsteps, offers great build quality and a waterproof design.
There are not many battery chargers out there that can boast about the waterproofing. So, this puts Black+Decker on the list of best trickle chargers. It can work stably in most challenging environments. The charger ships with waterproof connectors.
The fully automatic trickle charger offers three ways for the user to pair up their battery to the charger. These include battery terminal rings, battery clamps, and 12V DC accessory plug, all of which are waterproof.
Additionally, the charger has a magnet inside the body that makes it stick to a surface with ease so that you can work with peace of mind. It takes care of the battery charging issues by automatically switching off so that the current does not keep cycling. Constant cycling can deteriorate the battery health.
- Three different connectors.
- Magnetic mount.
- Auto-off when fully charged, and auto-on to maintain the battery.
- Safe plastic insulated connectors.
- The instruction manual is not detailed.
4 Battery Tender Junior Charger and Maintainer
The smaller sibling of the Battery Tender Plus is just as capable but is best suited to use with batteries having a smaller capacity. It uses advanced technology just like the Plus to calculate the charging requirements of your battery and adjust itself accordingly.
It can switch smartly between Initialization, Bulk Charge Mode, Absorption Mode, or Float Mode. The Battery Tender Junior operates at 12V, 0.75A. The slow charge makes sure that the battery is not affected in any manner. However, this might not suit people wanted quick charging.
The Junior has proved its worth as users report it is good to work even after years of use. The fully automatic functionality, coupled with its small size, ranks it among the best trickle chargers. Moreover, the design and build are rugged and feel very durable. It also comes with a five-year warranty period.
- An established brand.
- Fully automatic.
- Easy to use.
- Five-year warranty.
- Four-step charging program.
- Short connection cables.
5 NOCO Genius G15000
NOCO Genius G15000 is another great offering that can be the best trickle charger for you. It ranks among the top because of NOCO’s no-compromise build quality and versatile uses. The G15000 can charge both 12V and 24V, lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries up to 120Ah. The charger is safe to use and is spark-proof, thanks to the many charge controllers built into it.
Compared to many other offerings, the NOCO can charge batteries at twice the speed as compared to the minute amperes offered by some other manufacturers. It can go up to 15A and makes sure that the battery is not damaged with the overcharge protection.
The supercharging capabilities make NOCO Genius a perfect charger to fix damaged batteries.
The best thing about NOCO is the versatile use; it can be paired with electrical systems from CANBUS and can also keep the batteries charged for Hybrid start-stop vehicles.
The biggest fear while connecting a battery to a charger is messing up the system by connecting in reverse. NOCO has solved the problem by offering reverse polarity technology. This means that even if you accidentally connect the positive end to the negative one, it will manage the polarity itself. This can protect the battery and the circuitry from damage.
Thus, if you are seeking an all-rounder best trickle charger, NOCO Genius G15000 is a great choice for you.
- Compatible with 12V and 24V battery systems.
- Ultra-safe design with spark-proof technology.
- Overcharge protection.
- Reverse polarity protection.
- Portable and lightweight design.
- Warranty claim issues.
6 Schumacher SC1280
Schumacher is a household name when it comes to durable car accessories. The Schumacher SC1280 is one of the best trickle chargers on the market right now. It is a perfect addition to your garage alongside tire pressure gauges and other car necessities.
The SC1280 will keep your batteries topped up. It can output 15A, and when the battery is sufficiently charged, it will switch to a three-ampere maintenance charge. The switching between the increased charge and the low charge is automatic. The automated voltage switching feature will switch between 6V and 12V, depending upon the kind of battery connected to the charger. For this reason, it is one of the most dependable options on the market.
These nifty features can together make sure that your batteries last a long time. The Schumacher SC1280 automatically drops the current down when the battery is over 80% charged; this safety feature makes sure that the battery does not overheat. Avoiding overheating can elongate the battery life.
There is a downside to the high automation, though. The charger might think that a battery is at 100% if it is dead or not accepting a charge. So, it will cut down the current to three Amp and the voltage to 6V to get into trickle mode.
The Schumacher SC1280 automates so many things that the only thing left for the user is to just plug it in and let it handle the rest.
- 15 Amp fast charging.
- Three Amp maintenance charging.
- Automatic voltage switching.
- Automatic current control.
- Reverse polarity protected.
- Quality build.
- The cooling fan can get very loud.
- False readings from the battery might push it into trickle mode.
7 BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic
BLACK+DECKER BM3B 6V and 12V automatic battery charger have manual controls for switching between 6 and 12 volts. Moreover, the BM3B can also alternate between float and charge modes.
Like the other Black+Decker unit on our list, the BM3B also has three different ways to connect: the battery clips, 12V DC Accessory Plug, and the battery ring terminals.
The other Black+Decker model on our list of best trickle charges is waterproof but can only charge at 12V. The BM3B can cater to motorcycle batteries too because of its 6V rating.
Just slide on a pair of good gloves and fix it under the hood or on the motorcycle battery. As long as the charger is there you need not worry about low battery.
Additionally, the Black+Decker BM3B has a low voltage compensation feature that makes sure maximum efficiency reaches the target even when used with extension cords.
- Reliable performance.
- Simple to use.
- Plug and play.
- Three connection methods.
- Quick disconnect feature.
- Long, durable cables.
- Flimsy voltage switch.
- No polarity protection.
Best Trickle Chargers Buying Guide
We gave you an insight into the best trickle chargers. Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind when choosing the right trickle charger for your needs:
First and foremost, the problem you are getting a charger for is cranking the engine. A bigger engine draws its power to start from a bigger battery. A bigger battery hence would require a bigger battery charger. The bigger the engine, the more powerful charger you should be getting.
Therefore, before buying a trickle charger, make sure that it is suitable for the size of your vehicle. A motorcycle engine battery is small and would do fine with a one-Ampere trickle charger. Moreover, the same battery is used in scooters and golf carts.
But, if you are going for a battery for a two-liter engine, you need to have at least two Ampere trickle charge capacity and a preferably higher fast charge capacity on the charger.
The fast charger can help recover the battery from a deep discharge, and then the trickle charging mechanism of the charger can maintain the charge.
The other thing to bear in mind is the kind of battery being used in the system. Some chargers might be good for a lithium-ion battery but would not perform well on a lead-acid one. Spending money on something you cannot even use afterward would be a waste of money.
The rule of thumb when buying a trickle charger is that lead-acid batteries are compatible with all kinds of trickle chargers. The problem arises with gel and calcium batteries. If your vehicle uses one of these solutions, then go for gel or calcium battery-specific chargers.
Not everyone needs a trickle charger. If your car is driven daily, you do not need one. A trickle charger is needed to start the machinery that lies around for so long that the battery dies. So, trickle chargers might be needed by someone with golf carts that aren’t used frequently or an antique car that only goes around the town once a month.
Many adventure enthusiasts use trickle chargers on their SUVs that are not driven daily. Daily driven cars do not require trickle chargers, this is because they charge up their batteries through their alternator as they drive.
It might be a perfect thing for your occasionally used car. Connect a good trickle charger to the car battery, so it is ready for some DIY experimentation whenever you have the time. However, you might be needing some oil change, paint touchups, and other work done before it can see the road anytime soon.
Types of Trickle Chargers
There are two different types of trickle chargers on the market.
- Traditional Charger
Traditional trickle chargers are ‘dumb,’ which means they cannot ‘see’ what is the charge status and will keep sending out charge to the battery. As a result, the battery may overcharge, and in extreme cases, can even be a safety hazard. The chargers cannot read the charging status from the battery and derive their power from the mains.
You get the advantage of charging anything or everything with these traditional chargers as they will dish out charging to anything that is at the end of the two charging wires.
- Smart Charger
Smart trickle battery chargers are much more advanced than traditional ones. They have updated designs and keep tabs on the battery percentage as they charge it. This information can help the charging systems prevent overcharging. Because of the added functionality and features, they are priced higher.
Smart chargers can increase the life of a battery. They do not need any supervision and are fairly simple to operate. Moreover, they adjust the voltage and current to suit the needs of the battery.
The only downside to a smart charger is that it cannot charge any battery size like a traditional charger can.
The best trickle chargers usually come from the best brands out there. Some of these include:
Battery Tender has been in business for more than fifty years now. It has made batteries, chargers, jump chargers, power inverters, charger controllers, and trickle chargers. Battery Tender started its journey back in 1965, it has since strived hard to stay competitive and has innovated to keep itself relevant. The best part about Battery Tender is that it has always paid attention to user demand.
Undoubtedly, the Battery Tender 12-Volt Junior Automatic Battery Charger and the Battery Tender Plus Smart Charger are some of the best trickle chargers for car storage.
The Ohio-based multinational company, NOCO, was founded back in 1914. Since then, it has been innovating in the field of consumer electronics. Furthermore, NOCO manufactures automotive chemicals, plastics, battery chargers, and industrial battery management systems.
It manufactures some of the best chargers and trickle chargers on the market.
Our list of the best trickle chargers includes a NOCO product, the Genius G15000 Pro-Series Battery Charger, and Maintainer.
Schumacher has a nearly 100-year history. With German roots, Schumacher is a high-precision toolmaker that spends a lot on research and development.
Schumacher designs and manufactures some of the best precision tools to meet the demands of the international market. The SC1280 is also one of Schumacher’s great products and is on our highly recommended list.
Trickle Chargers Pricing
Trickle charger pricing varies with features and durability. Depending on your needs you can find good charges:
- Under $100: You can find very good options under the $100 price point. Chargers under this price point will have smart technology and can take care of your battery even if it is left out for months. They can trickle charge cars, motorbikes, boats, and trucks.
- Over $200: Over $200, you can get industrial-level heavy-duty chargers with advanced safety features. In addition, these expensive chargers usually have onboard mini-computer systems enabling smart charging. These are suitable for charging larger batteries or even multiple batteries.
If you are in the market for a long-lasting, powerful charger that can take care of emergencies, too, then the Schumacher SC1280 is a great option. Moreover, it can charge any car or bike battery as it can switch between the 6V and 12V setting.
The charger also has reverse polarity protection, so you are safe from accidental wrong connections. Other comparable options with a similar feature set and fast charging are either more expensive or offer less warranty period than Schumacher.