When you come to your garage to take your car, ATV, snowmobile, dirt bike, or UTV out for a spin and discover your battery is dead, there are few things more frustrating than that. In situations like this, you wish you’d just taken the plunge and bought that trickle charger. Trust us, a trickle charger keeps your idle battery properly charged even if it’s parked for a long time. To help you choose the trickle charger that best suits your needs, I sorted through a plethora of choices. Take a look below.
Best Cheap Trickle Charger Reviews
1. Deltran 12-Volt Junior Automatic Battery Charger
A 0.75 amp car charger from Deltran, the Battery Tender Junior maintains the health of your motorcycle, car, or other off-road vehicle’s battery. With its ISM-adaptive charging system, the charger quickly adapts to your battery’s needs while maintaining the correct level of power. The charger also has reverse polarity protection, so your battery won’t charge unless it’s connected correctly.
As soon as the battery is fully charged, the charger automatically switches to float mode to top off the electrical charge that has naturally lost over time.
This charger is lightweight, easy to use, and comes with a five-year warranty. However, it is not meant for fast charging, and it is not wear-resistant.
The charger only comes with a 12-foot connection cable, which is short compared to other trickle chargers. It works with gel, lead-acid, and 12-volt AGM batteries, but not AWG batteries.
- Reversed polarity protection
- Can be used on almost any vehicle
- Backed by a five-year warranty
- Not suitable for AWG batteries
- Not wear-resistant
- Not for fast charging
2. Beikalone Sealed Lead Acid Battery Charger
A fully automatic battery charger and maintainer with a simple design, the Beikalone Sealed Lead Acid Battery Charger is suitable for 12-volt lead-acid batteries, AGMs, and gel-cell batteries.
As a result of the microprocessor-controlled program, the unit monitors the battery charging process and maintains the battery at its maximum capacity and automatically stops charging the battery once it has been filled up. With spark-free technology and protection against short circuits, overcharging, and reverse polarity, this charger is safe for float charging.
A five-year warranty and a full money-back guarantee are included with the charger, which is suitable for cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, boats, and lawnmowers. The product may interfere with your stereo frequency and wipe out some AM/FM presets, and the interference may extend to wirelessly connected devices as well.
As well as being made of cheap materials, the unit takes too long to reach full charge with a large battery.
- Short-circuit protection
- Overcharge protection
- Super affordable
- May interfere with your radio
- Made from cheap material
- Takes too long to charge large batteries
3. Noco Genius10 10-Amp Fully Automatic Smart Charger
Its advanced safety features allow you to leave it unsupervised for extended periods without worrying about the battery being damaged or discharged.
If the battery is damaged, it will be repaired, and it will switch from a full charge to a trickle charge automatically when it is full. Spark-proof technology, reverse polarity, and overcharge protection are included with the charger, so it can be used with six- and 12-volt lead-acid batteries, marine batteries, and deep-cycle batteries.
With these top-notch features, it is also more expensive than most trickle chargers. These top-level features don’t come cheap; the product is more expensive than most trickle chargers.
The product doesn’t work with lithium-ion batteries. Noco may also have difficulty honoring its five-year warranty.
- Can detect and repair battery damage
- Extends battery life
- Can recharge batteries from as low as one volt
- Lengthy warranty process
- Doesn’t work on a fully discharged battery
4. Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer
Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer is a 1.25-amp device that fully charges and maintains drained and stored batteries on ATVs, motorcycles, UTVs, and more. The charger maintains the proper voltage levels on the battery without overcharging it by automatically switching to float mode. It has four charging modes to keep batteries at peak power all the time.
A two-color LED light indicates the charging status of the charger and allows you to keep track of voltage changes. It works with lead-acid, flooded, and sealed batteries. Even though you’ll get a 10-year warranty, you should be aware that this charger won’t work if the battery is dead or drained below a certain voltage.
You’ll need at least three volts in your battery to be able to charge it, and it may take quite a while to fully recharge large batteries, so if you need something for quick recharges, this isn’t for you.
- Four charging modes keep your battery at peak power
- Automatic float mode prevents overcharging
- 10-year warranty
- Won’t charge batteries below three volts
- Not suitable for all vehicles
- Can take a long time to charge
5. LST Trickle Battery Charger Automatic Maintainer
A versatile automatic charger, this device charges 6-volt and 12-volt gel, AGM, PB, lead-acid, and other batteries. You can use it on cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, ATVs, RVs, boats, and more. Featuring five charging modes, it provides your battery with optimum power at all times by automatically switching between charging and floating modes.
As a result, the device not only charges, but also maintains and extends batteries’ lives. You can use it both indoors and outdoors since it is spark-proof, dust-proof, and water-resistant. It is also protected against reverse-polarity, short circuits, overvoltage, and much more.
The device is a little slow to charge, and it might take some time for the battery to fully charge. Also, the alligator clips are not the best quality, so you might want to be careful with them.
- Five modes for efficient charging
- Suitable for a variety of 6- and 12-volt batteries
- Safe for indoor or outdoor use
- Slower charging times than some other options
- Alligator clips could be more ruggedly constructed
- Questionable customer service response times
6. Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger
You can’t go wrong with the Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger and Maintainer if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option. As long as your battery has a capacity of 20 Ah or greater, this trickle charger will not overcharge your battery or cause any damage to it.
The solar trickle charger is extremely easy to use and operate, and it can easily be mounted to your vehicle’s windshield or dashboard with suction cups. Any 12-volt vehicle, such as a truck, motorcycle, tractor, ATV, UTV, snowmobile, boat, or personal watercraft, can benefit from this charger.
A cigarette lighter adapter, battery terminal clamps, and a limited 12-month warranty are included with each purchase of this trickle charger. The Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger and Maintainer has some problems with reliability. Your battery won’t always be able to be charged with this charger, particularly during cloudy weather or late at night, as it relies on solar power.
- Requires no electricity to work
- Easy and straightforward to use
- Available in different wattage capacities
- Requires sun to work
- Only suitable for 12-volt batteries
- Short cables
7. Noco Genius GenM2 Battery Charger
A Noco Genius GenM2 Battery Charger is ideal for diagnosing, charging, and maintaining two 12-volt batteries at the same time. This 8-amp charger is perfect for vehicles, tools, and machinery of all kinds. In addition to protecting against reverse polarity, overcharge, short circuits, and more, the charger works with all types of lead-acid batteries, including wet, gel, AGM, and deep cycle.
Using the IP68 rating and multi-level safety barrier, this charger ensures a safe charge under any conditions, even for worn-out batteries.
There may be something you don’t like about this charger, such as the bulky design and weight. The screws that come with the unit might be of low quality, and the batteries are a bit short.
- IP68 Waterproof
- Easy and straightforward to use
- Use for lead-acid, gel, AGM, and deep-cycle batteries
- Requires hard-wire
- Short cables
8. CTek Battery Charger
Designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and cold climates, the CTek Battery Charger is one of the most durable trickle chargers on the market. It has specially adapted AC and DC cables for extreme cold temperatures. To ensure maximum battery life and maximum performance, this fully automatic eight-step charger checks your battery’s condition, revives it, charges it, and maintains it.
You can use this charger outside in inclement weather since it is completely waterproof and dust-resistant. The charger is backed by a five-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
It has been noted that some customers have experienced overheating problems with the CTek Battery Charger. Be sure to test your charger once you receive it. Contact the company about a replacement product if you experience overheating.
- Heavy-duty waterproof housing
- Can function in extreme temperatures
- Backed by a five-year warranty
- Somewhat pricey
- Known to overheat occasionally
- Can’t charge batteries that are fully drained
9. Black and Decker 6- and 12-Volt Battery Charger
Another budget-friendly option that’s easy to operate is the Black and Decker 6- and 12-Volt Battery Charger. It is easy to connect to your vehicle’s battery with battery clips and O-ring terminals, and it charges and maintains 12-volt and 6-volt AGM, gel, and wet batteries efficiently.
As soon as your battery has been fully charged or topped off, it switches to the float mode monitoring mode. And built-in circuit protection prevents overcharging, reverse polarity, and short circuiting. ETL certification ensures maximum performance and safety, and a convenient mounting bracket makes it easy to place and mount the charger.
The Black and Decker Charger offers AC low voltage compensation, ensuring maximum performance when used with an extension cord. However, some customers have reported issues with the charger after extensive use.
You can contact the company for a replacement charger if your product is experiencing any immediate issues.
- Fully automatic and ETL certified for safety
- Easily switch between 6- or 12-volt mode
- Not as durable as some other options
- Not suitable for lithium-ion batteries
10. Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger
Foval’s Automatic Trickle Battery Charger is a high-quality, reliable, and affordable option. For added peace of mind, it’s even ETL rated. It has user-friendly LED indicator lights, which flash green when the battery is turned on, red while charging, and green again after charging.
The battery charger features four charging modes so that you can charge and maintain any 12-volt battery for any vehicle, motorcycle, ATV, boat, motor scooter, golf cart, and more.
A number of safety features and overheating protections help prevent damage to your battery during charging. A major concern with this charger is its long-term reliability. It comes with a two-year warranty, but there have been reports that it has failed before then.
- Compact and lightweight
- Highly affordable
- Includes two-year warranty
- Not the most durably constructed unit on the market
- Suitable for indoor use only
- Concern over long-term reliability
What to Consider When Buying a Trickle Charger
There is a wide range of sizes, capacities, and price points for trickle chargers, so they are not all created equal. The best one for you will have several key features that ensure proper function, reliability, and limited safety issues. The following buying guide will have you making your choice with confidence.
Types of Trickle Chargers
Chargers with dumb cables plug into a wall socket and are powerful, cheap, and can charge any size battery. They come with more cables. When left unsupervised, these chargers often overcharge the battery because they are unable to monitor the charging status.
Due to their advanced safety features that prevent battery damage, smart battery chargers sport a modern design and can track the progress of charging to prevent overcharging. Due to their advanced safety features, they are priced high. Although they can be left unsupervised, they cannot charge all battery sizes like a traditional charger. They can, however, adjust the settings automatically to meet the charging needs of the battery.
Trickle Charger Key Features
You need to make sure your trickle charger has a higher ampere rate than your vehicle’s battery. The capacity of the battery and chargers is measured in amp-hours. The ampere rate of most chargers can be adjusted, but a maintenance charger should not exceed 5 amps and a fast charger should not exceed 10 amps.
When maintaining your battery during the winter season, choose a charger that features an automatic charge monitoring system. By keeping your battery in good condition before you use your car, you will save time by ensuring it is not overcharged and that it is topped off whenever the battery level drops.
To prevent damage to the battery, trickle chargers need some safety features. Reverse polarity connection safety, for example, ensures that you don’t damage your car’s electrical system if you connect the charger to the wrong terminals. Aside from spark-proof technology, short-circuit protection, overload protection, and overheating protection, there are also other safety features.
In many cases, trickle chargers will cost less than $50 or are of good quality. You should be able to find reliable options that feature smart auto charging technology that will safely charge your battery for extended periods without any supervision at this price point. If you spend more than $50, warranties and safety ratings become more common. You’ll also find chargers that can charge larger batteries in this price range.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is a trickle charger the same as a battery charger?
They are not the same. A battery charger converts AC power to DC at a low voltage, so it delivers a high-amp electrical current to the battery. Battery chargers cannot be left connected for an extended period of time or left unsupervised. However, trickle chargers can be left unsupervised and connected for days without being supervised since they deliver power at low amps safely.
Q: After how long should I hook up the trickle charger?
A car’s battery typically discharges 20 hours after a full charge. If you have a large battery, it may take longer. You should use a trickle charger 10 to 15 hours after a full charge. However, if you intend to leave your car idle unsupervised for weeks or months, you can leave the trickle charger on. When the battery level drops, it will safely recharge it.
Q: Could I damage my battery if I leave the trickle charger on for too long?
There are some trickle chargers that have an automatic control system that stops charging the battery when it’s full. However, others don’t have that feature and might overcharge your battery and damage it. For a dead battery to be fully charged, it may take up to a full day with the trickle charger.
Q: How do I connect the trickle charger to the car battery?
It is common for trigger chargers to come with red and black clamps. Connect the red clamp to the positive terminal of the battery (often red). Connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of the battery. Select the charging mode or maintenance mode according to your preferences.
You’ll find the Battery Tender 12-Volt Junior Automatic Battery Charger to be the perfect combination of reliability, durability, and price. A great budget-friendly pick is the Beikalone 12V Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) Battery Charger.