best battery maintainer

8 Best Battery Maintainer in 2020

Shopping for the best battery maintainer is often overlooked because drivers would just focus more on the batteries. 

Batteries, of course, are a must-have in any vehicle, since they power the starting system and electronics of your car, truck, motorbike, RV, or even a boat. Generally, if you use the vehicle daily, the batteries get recharged through the vehicle's alternator. But if you don't use your vehicle regularly, it would require special maintenance equipment like a battery maintainer to ensure your vehicle will still work when you need to use them.

Vehicle batteries can't be charged on any charger and left for weeks or months, since overcharging could potentially cause risky operation or even accidents. This is why battery maintainers were made.

Battery maintainers are a special kind of charger that provides a small trickle of electricity to the battery over a long period of time. They're designed specifically for batteries that will be unused for a long time. Battery maintainers will not fully charge a battery. Instead, the small amount of electricity at a time helps to counteract self-discharging and in turn, extend the life of your vehicle's batteries.

If you own an RV, boat, or a second car that doesn't get used too often, or are left to the garage throughout the winter season, you need to invest in the best battery maintainer you can find. Here's 8 we hand-picked to help you get a head start.

Product

Best For

Key Features

Best Battery Maintainer Overall

black+decker bm3b
  • ETL certified
  • Dual-purpose charger and maintainer
  • Built-in circuit protection
  • Auto-stop charging

Best‌ ‌Battery‌ ‌
Maintainer‌ ‌Under‌ ‌$50‌

 diehard 71219
  • Very affordable
  • Microprocessor-controlled, 5-stage charging
  • Comes with useful accessories
  • Only 3 status on LED indicator display

Best Battery Maintainer Kits

bmk 12v 5a smart battery charger
  • Accommodates a wide range of batteries
  • Multiple built-in safety features
  • Quick charging and defective battery detecting capabilities
  • Affordable and beginner-friendly

8 Best Battery Maintainer Models in 2020

1. NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer

best battery charger maintainer

  • All-in-one battery charge and maintainer
  • Compatible with any 6-volt and 12-volt lead-acid batteries
  • Spark-proof technology and safety protection features
  • 5-year warranty

Designed to charge and keep batteries fully-charged for long-term storage up to 120-amp hours, the NOCO Genius G3500 accommodates cars, trucks, RVs, boats, tractors, and other vehicles. This device works with any 6-volt or 12-volt lithium and lead-acid batteries, so if yours are equipped with AGM, Gel, Wet or other maintenance-free, marine or deep cycle battery, expect the NOCO Genius G3500 to bring it back to working condition (sometimes even if it has been non-functional for months).

Probably the most popular feature of NOCO's Genius G3500 charger and maintainer is the Repair Mode, which is able to totally reverse the effects of overcharged batteries. Note that although it brings seemingly-dead batteries to life,

Another impressive feature is the advanced diagnostic tool, which gives users a visual interface that identifies your battery's issue, such as low voltage, reverse polarity.

And since it is also a battery charger, the NOCO Genius G3500 will work like ordinary battery chargers, except it can charge up to two times faster.

PROS

  • Mountable, compact and lightweight design
  • UV-resistant, waterproof, shockproof, and dirt-proof
  • Stops when battery is fully charged to prevent overcharging
  • Built-in safety features like reverse polarity protection and spark-proof tech
  • NOCO's active support (available via live chat, email and social media)
  • Affordable for its class

CONS

  • Shoulder shipping cost to use warranty

2. Schumacher SP1297 12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and 3A Maintainer

best car battery maintainer
  • Also available in 1A, 1.5A, and 6A
  • Charges battery and maintains battery charge
  • Charging controlled by microprocessor for safety

Schumacher's SP1297 battery charger and 3A maintainer is designed to recharge deeply-discharged vehicles, motorcycles and marine batteries. Not only is this brand and make DOE-compliant, it also met the highest industry standard with its Schu Eco Energy.  

There are two things that make this particular model great. First is the microprocessor, which is built into the unit to adjust amperage rate automatically after auto-detecting whether the battery is a 6-volt or 12-volt battery. The process is also quite impressive: the multi-stage charging allows the Schumacher SP1297 to deliver just enough boost safely, while the float mode monitoring ensures optimum maintaining for prolonged battery life. 

This Schumacher battery charger and 3A maintainer comes with a battery clamp quick-connect, ring connector quick-connect and DC adaptor quick-connect. Aside from the included manual that ensures you handle the Schumacher SP1297 properly, all these accessories make it easy for you to connect the device even far from your vehicle within seconds. 

And if you're not a fan of manuals, the unit will display the step-by-step instructions for charging your battery properly. This scrolling digital display also shows battery percentage and status of a fully-charged battery.

PROS

  • Energy-efficient
  • Easy-to-connect adapters and hook attachment
  • Awesome safety features
  • Microprocessor-controlled automatic features (like multi-stage charging and auto battery detection)
  • DOE-compliant

CONS

  • No refunds after 30 days

3. MOTOPOWER MP00207 6V / 12V 4AMP Automatic Smart Battery Charger Maintainer with Battery Repair Mode

best battery tender for rv
  • Affordable automatic battery charger and maintainer
  • Designed with battery repair mode
  • Supports 6V and 12V lead-acid batteries

MOTOPOWER MP00207 has several models, including the Junior, Optimizer X, and a unit designed for Lithium ion & Lead Acid, but the one featured here is equipped with Battery Repair Mode for all types of 6V and 12V lead-acid batteries. 

Like the Schumacher, this MOTOPOWER smart battery charger and maintainer features a microprocessor, which automatically controls the entire charging progress and stops the device once the battery is fully charged. Once batteries are fully-charged, the device monitors wattage continuously and uses float-charging current to maintain battery level. 

MOTOPOWER MP00207 goes through 7 charging stages, from diagnosis to soft start, bulk charge, then absorption, float, maintenance and lastly, recovery. You can charge a 12-volt battery with either a 2Amp or 4Amp charging rate, but a 6-volt battery only has a 2Amp charge rate. 

Unlike other battery maintainers, this MOTOPOWER unit doesn't have confusing displays. Instead, what you see is what you get with several battery charge status that indicates whether it is charging or full. 

Note that this isn't designed to bring dead batteries to life, but the repair mode specifically deals with sulfated batteries. When it comes to safety features, MOTOPOWER MP00207 is built with spark-free technology, anti-overcharging and short circuit protection.

PROS

  • Certified by CE, RoHS and UL
  • 7 charging stages and repair mode
  • Choose from two charging rates (2Amp or 4Amp)
  • No-fuss battery status display
  • 2-year warranty

CONS

  • Short cables (might require additional cables to reach socket)

4. BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger Portable Battery Maintainer with Detachable Alligator Rings

car battery tender
  • Multipurpose charger and maintainer
  • 4-stage smart charging
  • Charges battery of bigger vehicles like boats, RVs and tractors

BMK's 12-volt 5Amp smart battery charger also works as a battery maintainer for most land-based vehicles, even on toy cars, farm equipment, and so on. It's a favorite device across the board, simply because it works, operates simply and has multiple safety precautions that even users that are not so high-tech could still use it with ease. 

The BMK smart battery charger and maintainer is designed with the capability to diagnose the condition of batteries before charging. During the diagnostic phase, the device desulfates the battery through 18-volt pulse, but if it stays at stage 2 after 24 hours, it means the battery is already dead. 

After diagnosing a battery, the BMK unit bulk-charges the battery until 80% capacity. You'll see the status of charging on the easy-access LED display on the unit. The device then goes through the third stage and lets the battery absorb the current until full capacity. The last stage involves maintaining the battery charge via pulse-charging.

PROS

  • 4-stage charging and maintaining
  • Efficient battery diagnostic feature
  • Works as a trickle charger for boats
  • Low-energy consumption
  • Multi-safety protection

CONS

  • Could get hot when charging

5. BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic 6V/12V Battery Charger/Maintainer with Cable Clamps and O-Ring Terminal

battery maintainer review
  • ETL-certified
  • Available option for cigarette lighter adapter
  • Built-in circuit protection

If you're after a trusted brand, BLACK+DECKER BM3B is a fully automatic, battery charger and maintainer that charges 6 volt and 12 volt AGM, GEL and WET batteries in cars, motorcycles, ATVs, RVs, lawn mowers, snowmobiles, boats, and other specialty vehicles. 

The Black & Decker BM3B charger and maintainer comes with all the attachments you'd need, such as the alligator cable clamps and O-ring terminals for direct battery connecting. They also have a quick-disconnect feature on them as well. 

Aside from the super-rugged casing and hassle-free status display, operating this device is pretty straightforward. Just slide the voltage selector switch (choose from either 6-volt or 12-volt depending on the battery you're planning to charge), use the battery ring terminal or clip to connect the device. Note that charging will automatically stop once battery becomes fully charged, then it auto-switches to float mode monitoring so it maintains the charge. 

The good thing about the BLACK+DECKER BM3B unit is that all the safety features work seamlessly, so you don't have to worry about short circuits, reverse polarity or overcharging.

PROS

  • Rugged and durable housing
  • Comes with built-in mounting bracket
  • Plug-and-play operation
  • Designed with cable clamps and O-ring terminals

CONS

  • Only 1 year limited manufacturer warranty

6. Optima Digital 400 12V Performance Maintainer and Battery Charger

battery maintainer reviews
  • Performance Maintainer and Battery Charger
  • Spark-free connection tech
  • Equipped with built-in battery health mode

Probably one of the best battery maintainer when it comes to design, the Optima Digital 400 is definitely a looker. You can see and feel how high quality this device is, from the moment you hold onto it. 

Optima's Digital 400 12-volt performance maintainer and battery charger was designed to handle any marine battery charger, motorcycle battery charger, or other AGM battery charger. You have an option of hanging it (thanks to the included bracket) or simply letting the device stand.  

It may be a bit bulkier than others on this list, but the charging process is pretty remarkable. First, it automatically charges, then undergoes multiple stages beginning with conditioning, maintaining and storage reconditioning. \

Designed with microprocessor-controlled charging, the Optima Digital 400 efficiently and intelligently charges batteries a lot faster and safer than other units within its class. The device diagnoses batteries of existing faults, prevents overcharging and reverse polarity.

PROS

  • Hybrid LED battery-charging gauge
  • LCD display and gorgeous design
  • 4 amp maximum

CONS

  • Heats up quite a bit (so be wary of where you place it while in use)

7. DieHard 71219 6/12V Shelf Smart Battery Charger and 2A Maintainer

automotive battery maintainer
  • Microprocessor-controlled device
  • 5-stage charging
  • LED indicator display

The DieHard 71219 battery charger and 2A maintainer may be one of the cheapest on this list, but the quality is up to par with the rest of the devices within its class. The device is backed by a trusted name and uses a built-in microprocessor to control the five-stage charging process. 

This device is designed with a simple rectangular-shaped casing and quick-connect harness with 50A clamps, 12-volt accessory plug, or permanent ring connectors. It has a simple LED indicator that will flash if the clamps are connected in reversed or if there is an issue with charging. 

The safety features of DieHard 71219 battery charger and 2A maintainer are common, but always works. It has reverse hookup protection that shuts off the charger if you placed the clamps wrong. It also has float mode monitoring that keeps the battery at normal voltage to prevent overcharging.

PROS

  • Up to 3-year warranty
  • Comes with super-handy quick-connect harness
  • Effective anti-overcharging safety measures
  • Quick connect harness for easy install and removal

CONS

  • Takes over 12 hours to charge a fully discharged battery

8. Schumacher SC1280 6/12V Rapid Battery Charger and 15A Maintainer

battery maintainers reviews
  • Good-looking design
  • Comes with 2-year warranty
  • DOE-compliant with Schu Eco Energy

The Schumacher SC1280 6/12V Rapid Battery Charger and 15A Maintainer is an attractive-looking device. You can see that the brand put some thought into the device, and it shows with the features as well. 

Designed to accommodate standard, AGM, gel, and deep-cycle batteries, Schumacher's SC1280 Rapid Battery Charger and Maintainer uses 15A to charge and 3A to maintain your battery. It can be used in a wide range of applications, from boosting battery of generator-powered cabins, to recharging a luxury car. 

It's pretty easy to operate. First you have to plug it into a 110V A/C outlet, then connect the device to your  battery. Once connected, it will automatically detect your battery's voltage if it's 6 or 12 volts. After this initial step, the Schumacher SC1280 will then begin charging until it fully-charges the battery. 

The device automatically goes into float mode when the charge of the battery connected reaches 100%. There's a start/stop button you could use to control charging manually as well. 

As for safety features, the Schumacher SC1280 6/12V Rapid Battery Charger and 15A Maintainer has built-in reverse hookup protection, which prevents the device from charging if clamps are connected in reverse.

PROS

  • Auto-detect battery voltage
  • Highly durable clamps
  • Rated for 800 CCA
  • Digital display indicates charging percentage

CONS

  • Fan inside the device can be loud

Factors To Consider When Buying the Best Battery Maintainer

Factors To Consider

When finding the best battery maintainer for your set-up, you only need to consider a few things. These include:

  • Type of battery maintainer - The three types of battery maintainers are "single-bank," "multi-bank" and "hybrid." Single-bank is the cheapest and most common - it is ideal for use on a single vehicle. Multi-bank maintainers work on several batteries at a time, so if you have 3 cars in a garage, you could buy a battery maintainer with three banks.
  • Cable length - If you're shopping for two or more vehicles and want just one battery maintainer, you have to ensure that the cables will be enough to reach all the batteries. If not, you may need to buy additional cables to accommodate your vehicle's batteries.
  • Safety Features - A battery charger, maintainer, trickle charger and any other similar device handles electricity, which can potentially be hazardous. As such, having some sort of safety feature like short-circuit protection or spark-proof clamps, can never be a bad thing.
  • Amperage - This refers to the current amount that will flow from the maintainer to your vehicle's battery. Generally speaking, the higher amperage a maintainer has, the quicker it will charge. However, since battery maintainers are designed to charge batteries slowly and stop when they're full, amperage shouldn't be a major consideration. You'll need to consider this if you see the need to charge your vehicle's battery quickly in the future.
  • Charging modes - This feature is often included in maintainers with dual purpose (such as charger-maintainer hybrids) to accommodate different situations. Examples of charging modes include COLD/AGM mode, fast-charging mode, maintenance mode, and so on.

Wrap Up: Which is the Best Battery Maintainer for Me?

For those on a budget, the DieHard 71219 6/12V Shelf Smart Battery Charger and 2A Maintainer works just as effective as its contemporaries within its class but without breaking the bank. 

The BMK 12V 5A Smart Battery Charger Portable Battery Maintainer with Detachable Alligator Rings is a popular dual-purpose device designed with a four-stage diagnosing, charging and pulse-charging the battery of vehicles. And if you have larger vehicles (like boats and tractors), it could even charge them with ease. 

If you're looking for a brand you know, the BLACK+DECKER BM3B Fully Automatic 6V/12V Battery Charger/Maintainer with Cable Clamps and O-Ring Terminals won't disappoint. It is rugged, effective and long-lasting. 

The most reliable way of knowing which make and model is the best battery maintainer for you is to determine how many vehicles you need charged and maintained. This will help in filtering your choices down to the devices with the right charging modes, safety features and amperage for your requirements.

About the Author Billy

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