How To Choose Between a Battery Charger and a Jump Starter

The primary consideration when choosing between a battery charger and a jump starter is whether your purpose is to carry the device in the car for emergencies or you just need to charge and maintain a battery at your home or garage. Most pure car battery chargers plug into an AC outlet to operate and so are not designed to be carried in a car for emergencies best car battery charger 2021.

Here are some other tips to help you choose which device is the right choice for you:

1) Emergencies: Being stranded in a lonely parking lot somewhere at night in the rain with a battery that won’t start our car is probably one of our biggest nightmares. What you could do in that event, if you carry jumper cables, is to hope somebody there will take pity on you and allow you to jump your car off their good battery. That’s fine if you actually carry jumper cables and if indeed anyone is left in the parking lot who is willing to help!

If you don’t want to take that chance, a jump starter is an excellent choice to put your mind at ease. Jump Starters are really just batteries with built-in cables with the capability to jump start your car in the event that your low battery is incapable of doing the job. It works the same way as jump starting your car using cables but, without the need for a second vehicle to furnish the battery.

In this case a plug-in battery charger is not going to do the job.

2) Portable Power: Many Jump Starters come with inverters to convert DC power to AC power along with AC outlets for laptops for example and DC plugs for USB devices such as mobile phones and MP3 players. If you want to have this kind of capability, a Jump Starter with these options is the only way to go. While you’re not using the Jump Starter for emergencies, you can use some of the power to power your devices while traveling. Just remember that the Jump Starter is a battery and be sure to plug it in when you get to the hotel or home so that it will be ready when you need it in an emergency.

Again since most car battery chargers are not portable and need AC power, they are not the right choice for portable power.

3) Air Supply: Some Jump Starters even come with a built-in compressor capable of inflating your tires when they are low on air. Although this might not fix a flat in an emergency, if the problem is a slow leak, you may be able to buy yourself enough time to get to a nearby garage or tire shop for repairs.

Battery chargers do not normally come equipped with air compressors.

4) Battery Tending: If your goal is to keep your garden tractor battery healthy during the offseason or perhaps its your ATV, RV, or motorcycle your thinking of, then a battery charger/tender is what you need. Modern battery chargers are designed to charge and maintain batteries in many types of vehicles. They plug into an AC outlet and provide a steady charging current to your battery and then once fully charged, they maintain a full charge on the battery.

Jump Starters are not designed to charge or maintain batteries.

5) Cold Weather: If you live in a moderately severe winter climate you know the toll that the cold takes on a car battery. While its true that if your car battery loses power to the point it cannot start your car, a Jump Starter probably would be able to start it, it’s much more efficient and better for your battery to use a battery charger to keep the battery fully charged and to prevent damage to the battery.

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