Our Editors independently research, test, and rate what we feel are the best products. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
Best Battery Tenders & Maintainers
|Battery Tender Plus 12V, 1.25A Battery Charger and Maintainer||NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer||Schumacher SP1296 6/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and 2A Maintainer|
|Battery||1.25 Amp||3.5 Amp||2 Amp|
|Special Features||Alligator clips, ring harness, quick disconnect||G3500 UltraSafe , Battery Clamps with Integrated Eyelet Terminals||Microprocessor-controlled, AGM and deep-cycle batteries|
|Customer Ratings||4.7 / 5.0 Stars||4.5 / 5.0 Stars||4.6 / 5.0 Stars|
Quick Answer: The 5 Best-Rated Battery Tenders & Maintainers
- Battery Tender Plus 12V, 1.25A Battery Charger and Maintainer
- NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer
- Schumacher SP1296 6/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and 2A Maintainer
- BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger Portable Battery Maintainer
- Battery Tender 12 Volt Junior Automatic Battery Charger
Battery Tenders & Maintainers Reviews
To start things off, we have the Battery Tender Plus 12V, 1.25A Battery Charger and Maintainer. The 12 volt battery tender is designed to completely charge up your battery and keep it at the correct storage voltage without the potential damage trickle chargers can inflict.
While it is 1.25 amps, it’s actually a great competitor for its 3-amp counterparts, charging just as quick or even quicker at times! The maintenance-free model is not only perfect for cars, but for ATVs, lawn mowers, motorcycles, and scooters (and all lead-acid, flooded, or sealed, maintenance-free batteries).
Expand To See More
Easy setup and usage means it automatically switches over to float/maintenance mode once fully charged, leaving you to go about your day.
The temperature is also automatically adjusted to ensure optimum charge voltage, depending on the ambient temperature of the environment it’s located in.
With a solid 10-year warranty, you can rest easy knowing that the car battery maintainer is going to serve you for many years to come without issue. As it’s spark-proof and reverse polarity protected, safety is the top priority here.
To make sure you have everything you need right off the bat, they’ve also thoughtfully included battery tender ring terminals and alligator clips!
Often considered to be one of the best battery tenders, the NOCO Genius G3500 not only looks pretty cool, but performs even better. As one of the most versatile models currently out there, you can count on this all-in-one to be used on cars, boats, trucks, RVs, and so much more.
With the ability to recharge up to 120 amp-hours, it’s ideal for ensuring the battery on your vehicles are always fully-charged and maintained – no matter the season. For top-notch performance and a longer lifespan, you need to get your hands on this car battery tender.
Expand To See More
Working with all types of both 6 and 12-volt lead-acid batteries (including Wet, Gel, AGM, etc.), all you have to do is plug it in and leave it to work away.
Due to the cutting-edge technology that automatically monitors and adjusts, there’s no need to worry about damage.
In fact, it’s one of the safest battery chargers out there, with spark-proof technology and reverse polarity protection like the previous model also has. On top of that, you’ll get a 5-year warranty and accessories like battery clamps and eyelet terminals.
The streamlined design is also fitted with external mounting holes and has a rubber base to prevent it from sliding around or scratching the surface on which it’s placed.
The warranty isn’t as long as some others on our guide, but it’s still pretty substantial.
It’s no secret that Schumacher is one of the most respected brands in this field, with their SP1296 being one of the best battery maintainers in terms of versatility.
Use it on anything from snowmobiles and lawn mowers, to cars and tractors – the choice is yours but you’re sure to get the biggest bang for your buck here!
The best battery tender features modern technology, such as multi-stage charging controlled by a microprocessor to ensure the battery stays in tip-top shape. This means precision charging that will never cause a safety hazard.
Expand To See More
Auto-voltage detection will detect if the battery is a 6 or 12-volt on its own, and float-mode monitoring will also maintain optimum battery charge once it’s reached its full capacity.
Working with standard, AGM, Gel, and deep-cycle batteries, application is quite flexible so you really get your money’s worth.
Just like the others, it operates in a kind of “connect and forget” method, where you simply hook it up and go about your day. It will charge until full, while still keeping things energy efficient.
So you’re aware of the charging status, they’ve also incorporated a handy LED light indicator and added in a quick-connect harness which you can hook up to a battery clamp or ring connector in just a few seconds.
The only downside for us was that the warranty was comparatively very short, at just 2 years. Of course, it’s better than nothing but we would’ve liked at least a few more years added on.
If you check any of the top battery maintainer reviews, it’s almost a sure thing that you’re going to find a BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger on the list.
Admittedly, it’s not quite as visually attractive as the others we’ve covered so far, but that’s easily overlooked by the excellent performance it offers.
Made of durable ABS material, it’s IP65 waterproof rated and protects against short circuiting, OV/OC/Overload, and has polarity reverse with constant pulse current maintenance to eliminate the risk of overcharging and discharging.
Once it’s fully charged it will maintain this charge reliably so you can always count on your battery working properly.
Weighing less than a mere 16 ounces, you can also take it with you just about anywhere or keep it handy just in case you may need it.
Expand To See More
The 4-stage smart charging method indicates just how much electricity is needed, automatically monitoring and adjusting until the battery is completely charged.
Just like with the last model, you’ll also find a helpful LED indicator to let you know in which stage of charge it’s in.
To ensure you’re not wasting your time, they also have a defective battery feature (on/off light) to let you know before you sit there for hours hoping it charges.
While many use it as an emergency battery charger for their vehicles, you can also use it for the boat, motorcycle, electric tools, and more.
To end things on a positive note, we present you with the Battery Tender 12 Volt Junior Automatic Battery Charger. This car battery maintainer is without a doubt one of the easiest to use, especially if you’ve never operated one before.
Keeping safety as a top priority, they provide a full charge to the battery in question before switching over to float mode.
This mode works to keep voltage levels safe and ideal for long-term storage while preventing overcharge from happening. The spark-proof, reverse polarity protected machine also includes a 12-foot output cord for easy operation.
Expand To See More
The compact, lightweight battery maintainer is one of the best if you’re going to be traveling a lot and need something portable. Made for 12-volt lead-acid, flooded, or sealed batteries (AGM and Gel), it has an 80-hour safety timer, too.
The 4-step charging program also has dual-color LED lights to let you know in which state of charge you’re battery is in and if the voltage falls too far under load.
While it doesn’t work for boats and larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks, it’s perfect for smaller vehicles like scooters, ATVs, jetskis, and cars. A 5-year warranty comes included as well, so you can buy with confidence, knowing that you’ll be protected.
Battery Tenders & Maintainers Comparison Table
|Battery||Voltage||Special Features||Customer Ratings|
|Battery Tender Plus 12V, 1.25A Battery Charger and Maintainer||1.25A||12V||Alligator clips, ring harness, quick disconnect||4.7 / 5.0 Stars|
|NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer||3.5A||12V||G3500 UltraSafe , Battery Clamps with Integrated Eyelet Terminals||4.5 / 5.0 Stars|
|Schumacher SP1296 6/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and 2A Maintainer||2A||12V||Microprocessor-controlled, AGM and deep-cycle batteries||4.6 / 5.0 Stars|
|BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger Portable Battery Maintainer||5A||12V||Emergency light portable electronics devices battery charger||4.4 / 5.0 Stars|
|Battery Tender 12 Volt Junior Automatic Battery Charger||0.75A||12V||Battery charger and maintainer, Alligator clips, Fused ring terminal harness||4.7 / 5.0 Stars|
Battery Tender & Maintainers – Buying Guide
It’s doubtful anyone has ever muttered the sentence, “I just love when my battery dies!”. Getting stranded is never fun, even if your car is parked in your driveway.
If your battery sits idle for a long period of time, there’s a likely chance you’re going to have trouble starting the vehicle. However, there is a solution: battery tenders and maintainers!
We’ve spent over the last month or so testing out countless products to bring you the best battery tenders and maintainers on the market today.
Now that you’ve been able to check out the top battery maintainers currently available, do you know which one you’re going to get?
If not, there’s no need to worry. It can be difficult deciding between so many excellent choices, especially if you’ve never used one before.
That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to write up the handy buying guide, below. This guide will take you through each step of the process to ensure that by the time you’re finished reading, there’s no doubt which is the model for you and your vehicle.
Amperage and Different Modes
You’ll probably notice by now that there are different amperage options available. This is the amount of current it lets move from the device to your vehicle’s battery.
The higher the rating, the faster the charge is. If we’re talking about general battery charging, higher is preferred, but with battery maintainers it’s a bit different.
As you read, maintainers come with different modes that let you select the kind of charging you need. For example, some may let you select a fast charge, but the most preferred is on a type of “safe auto” mode which lets you plug it in and leave it.
This refers to the electric strength of the battery maintainer. If you’re purchasing for your car, know that most are 12 volts, so that means you’ll need a 12V charger.
Other types of vehicles are going to be 6V. However, the good news is is that there are many 12V/6V chargers that work on all of the above!
They’ll often even automatically figure out which is which so you can simply connect it and be on your way. If you’re not sure which battery type your vehicle has, make sure to take a look at your owner’s manual.
Also ask yourself if it’s suitable for gel or fluid, lithium-ion, lead-acid, or both?
Number and Type of Charging Modes
As you may have noticed, some models are better equipped than others are. If you want a basic, straightforward piece of gear, then you can select one with limited functions that’s easier on the wallet.
However, if you want something a step up, there are many more options to choose from.
For example, can it sustain floating and absorption charges? Bulk? No matter what, you want your battery maintainer to be able to acclimate and compensate for changes to avoid all damage.
Obviously, safety is going to be our top concern all-around when speaking about a car battery tender. You not only want it to be safe for your battery and car, but for you and anyone around it! The most important features to look for in this regard are:
-Auto voltage and amperage to keep the battery from overcharging. Overcharging can cause the sulfuric acid inside to boil and mix with the distilled water, with the outer casing being incredibly hot.
If things get way too extreme, it can even begin to melt! The overcharging feature will eliminate the possibility of this happening, cutting the current once it’s fully-charged.
- Spark resistant clamps to lower spark when you hook it up to the terminals
- Reverse polarity features to keep you or anyone else from connecting the device to the incorrect terminals
- Short circuit protection (to help with the obvious)
While they may not be quite as elaborate as dedicated car battery testers, they’ll still give you a good idea of the health your battery is in and can keep you from wasting your time on a battery that simply won’t work well.
Most likely, there’s going to come some point in time where you need to take your car battery maintainer with you somewhere. Perhaps you just want to keep it in your car anyway, or would like to keep it handy for ATV rides and the like.
Whatever the case may be, you want the device to be easy to transport. Look for models that are more compact in size and lighter in weight so you’re not lugging it around or having to move around your things just to accommodate it.
The warranty should play a huge role in the model you select. If you’re going to invest in something, you want it to last, right?
While each of the models on this guide are made to hold up against regular use for long periods of time, it’s important to have coverage anyway.
There are some devices which have 2-year coverage, some with 5-year warranties, and others with an impressive 10!
If you are trying to decide between a couple models but one has a significantly longer warranty, it’s often more than worth spending a bit of extra cash upfront for it, because most likely it will end up saving you money in the long run.
Going hand-in-hand with our last point, you should figure out a solid budget for yourself and make sure not to go over that number. No matter what yours is, you can count on at least one product on our guide fitting into it.
You don’t want to end up regretting your purchase just because you spent more than you’d wanted on it. When you go up in price, you can expect more features along with added accessories and/or a longer warranty, making it worth it in the end anyway.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is a battery maintainer the same as a battery tender?
A: They’re very similar, though not necessarily the same. Battery maintainers often feature more advanced circuitry than the chargers, with the ability to detect the charge level to determine how much of a charge the battery requires, and at which rate.
Q: How do you use a battery maintainer?
A: It’s actually a pretty straightforward process, but here is a nice video detailing every step of the way.
Q: What is a battery tender and how does it work?
A: A battery tender plugs into a regular AC outlet, moving power to your 12V battery to allow it to keep working over long periods of inactivity.
Q: Should I use a battery maintainer?
A: If you’re going to be storing your vehicles for long periods of time without use, then it’s a smart idea to use one, yes. There’s a common misconception that if your battery is dead, you can simply jumpstart it and all is well.
While this may work occasionally, it’s not a good idea to rely on it. In fact, many cars are unable to recharge their batteries to full capacity once they’ve died! A battery maintainer is the perfect remedy to this issue.
Q: What causes battery depletion?
A: This can be caused by a variety of different factors. One of the most common is extreme temperatures – no matter if it’s extreme heat or cold. Human error, like forgetting to turn off your headlights or interior light for long periods of time can also cause a dead battery. Frequent, short discharges can do the same, like frequent short trips or during the colder months when people aren’t driving their vehicles as often.
Now that you’ve had the opportunity to read all about everything you could every want regarding the best battery tenders and maintainers, have you decided which is the one for you?
If not, there’s no need to be concerned. No matter which one you purchase, you can rest easy knowing you’ll be receiving one of the best in the world, currently.
However, what’s most important is that you select the one just right for your needs. We hope that our article has helped you to do exactly that. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon!