The Best Jump Starters for a Car in 2018
A few decades ago, without the best jump starter one needed a set of jumper cables and a kind motorist willing to help in times of trouble, or cash to pay for roadside assistance. But times have changed, and a convenient alternative has been introduced.
Jump starters are the recent craze. They are devices used to charge dead car batteries just enough to start the engine. Different car jumpers offer different features and charging capabilities. Choosing the best jump starter can be a rather confusing process especially for a newbie. As such, I took it upon myself to test, evaluate and compare the latest jump starters on the market. This review and guide will save you both time and money as you purchase the best jump starter.
It is worth noting that the best jump starter can also be used to recharge tablets and mobile phones. Many of the units I reviewed did more than just jump start cars.
DBPower 600A – Best Portable Car Jump Starter
The first thing is that this jump starter really holds charge.
I have two of them, one in my car and one in my SUV, and these things really hold charge.
For example, I put this in my car for two months in freezing cold weather, to the point where the weather was so cold you have the freezing water bottles in your car, and the percentage battery capacity left on it was 100% after the two months.
The other thing, also, is that a lot of times we don’t read the instruction manual, so we don’t actually know how to operate these things, and there is a particular way to operate it.
For example, these DB Powers when you actually plug this in it’ll have a red, blinking light, but when you plug it into these terminal it will turn a solid green. However, if it doesn’t turn a solid green you have to long press this, and actually make it … then it’ll turn green, so if you long press this for three seconds it’ll just turn green, and then you could start your car.
Now, one thing I didn’t know when I first had to jump start my car is in these things read 100% after I jumpstart my car this thing’s going to fall all the way down to 1%, but it’s not really 1%. The battery takes about 15 minutes to recover, and then it’ll reveal its real capacity.
Now, after you’ve jump started your car you should not recharge these things until waiting after half an hour, so keep that in mind.
The other thing also is, so this particular 600 amps one supports a 6.5 liter engine while 500 amps one supports a 3.5 liter engine.
If you’re in cool weather just bite the bullet, spend that extra $12 and buy this 600 amp one.
If you’re in warm weather I suppose you could get away with the 500 amp. The 500 amp worked for me when I had to jumpstart my car in -11° weather.
The other thing, also, is you’re not supposed to keep on cranking these. If your engine doesn’t start in the initial three seconds you have to give these things a rest, you have to let it rest for 15 minutes before you try again, and you could that about 20 times before these things loose battery.
Now, I like this particular brand, and the reason why is something that’s very subtle. For example, this on and off button is actually on the side, and what happens often is that if you have the buttons on the top when you apply pressure to it what might happen is that you might mistakenly turn it off, so you don’t want ones there is buttons on the top.
Definitely have ones where the buttons are to the side, which is why I love this particular model here.
Overall, functional and portable jump starter.
JNC660 – Best Jump Starter for V8
Additionally, it can be used in cars and industrial and marine vehicles.
The design of this jump starter makes it easy to carry and store. As a whole, the unit only weighs 18 pounds.
And not just this, a feature that has many at the edge of their seats is the high peak 1700 amperage for starting power and the 425 cranking ampere. With these ratings, your car is in great hands when the battery dies.
Now, the jump starter comes equipped with a proformer battery. This helps in combining the power density with great durability.
With such great power, heavy duty and flexible cables are required to ensure great transfer of electrical energy. The heavy-duty Jump-N-Carry JNC660 cables measure 46-inches and are copper insulated.
They retain their flexibility even in cold temperatures.
I had an extremely easy time charging the jump starter. The product is designed to complete with an AC charger located on its front face.
All you need is an extension cord to plug it into an AC outlet. Once plugged in, charging starts immediately.
Once fully charged, charging automatically stops and prevents the battery from being overcharged and sustaining damages.
The jump box can be used to charge DC devices operating within 12 volts. I personally found the battery status gauge to be pretty handy.
Clore Automotive recommend that the jump starter is charged after every 30 days when not in use.
Overall, the Jump-N-Carry JNC660 sports great features – the kind that you would expect a Mid-Range unit to have. With its 1700 peak amp rating, it can jump-start a variety of vehicles.
On the flip side, its 12V DC rating makes it perfect for electronic accessories.
NOCO GB40 – Best Starter Power Bank
The NOCO GB40 is a reliable piece of tech when fully charged. While the manufacturer claims that the jump starter revives a car up to 20 times in a single charge, I only got to use it between 5 and 8 times.
This jump starter can be used on pretty much any passenger vehicle with gas/diesel engines requiring up to 6 liters and 3 liters respectively. The NOCO GB40 is desired courtesy of its small and compact design.
Compared to traditional jump starters, it is about 8 times smaller.
The NOCO GB40 measures about 8.3×4.1×4.6 inches and weighs about 2.4 pounds. With this size, it can be stored in the car trunk without it eating up a lot of space like the traditional lead-acid jump starters.
Also, the jump starter features battery clamps measuring 23 inches long. These work to make work easier while attaching them to battery points.
For safety purposes, the jump starter features reverse polarity protection and spark-proof technology. Courtesy of these safety technologies, beginners who hook up the battery backward will be protected from the shock and sparks that normally occur.
In addition to giving your car a boost, the NOCO GB40 features 2 ultra-bright flashlights. They come in handy when you are stranded in the middle of nowhere in the cover of darkness.
For the most part, the NOCO GB40 is a satisfying jump starter. Though small and compact, it has an impressive performance. It performs wonders even in cold temperatures.
iClever – Best Heavy-duty Jump Starter
True life is all about completing the journey and enjoying the ride. But from time to time, it can deal you a shorthand.
But this doesn’t mean you get stuck by the side of the road when your car battery flattens.
Adding to this, the jump starter comes equipped with an inbuilt USB-C Power Delivery technology that enables it to charge all type C electronic devices compatible with the Nintendo Switch.
These include laptops, smartphones, and tablet. Recharging the jump starter through this USB port takes 4-6 hours which is quite amazing compared to the standard 14 hours.
Still, on the USB ports, the iClever 800A features dual USB ports sporting the Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Technology coupled with the SmartID technology.
The former ensures fast charging while the former recognizes electronic devices and maximizes on charging efficiency.
The clamps are also constructed with a built-in safeguard that protects against the reverse connection, short circuits, surge voltages, overcharge, high temperatures and discharge.
Everything about the iClever 800A jump starter is impressive – from its power to efficiency and safety. It is everything an adventurous individual needs to fully commit to life’s adventures.
AUDEW – Best Battery Jump Box
The beauty of this compact jump starter is its portability. The casing is not a lot bigger than a CD case.
It actually is smaller than most purses. It can fit under a seat or in a trunk. While I have given it a test run, I have not had it long enough to test out its recharging needs.
The company claims that it needs to be recharged after every 6 months but also recommends doing so every 3 months to ensure long battery life.
Speaking of recharging, the 13800mAh battery only requires 5 hours to hit the 100% full capacity.
The jump starter features a battery indicator that shows you the battery level. It lets you know when the battery needs recharging.
On the sides are 2 USB ports measuring 2.1 amp and 1 amp. There are also 2 DC outputs with 12-16 Volts rating and a capacity of 15 amps.
With these features, the Audew comes in handy when charging mobile devices as well.
This jump starter excels on many fronts. It features a unique design, protective and attractive and comes with 6 functionalities packed in 1.
It truly is a jump starter for individuals who love camping and being on the move.
Beatit – Best Auto Jump Starter
I found this unit useful on motorcycles. The manufacturer states that it’s great on jet skis and boats as well.
While on full charge the car jump starter can provide a whopping 20-30 jump starts with 800 amps peak current. Complementing the high ratings are heavy duty clamps and cables ensuring no electricity transferred is lost.
These clamps are ‘intelligent.’ They are designed with over current protection, short circuit protection, over-voltage protection, overload protection and over-charge protection.
Beatit refers to the latter as Dual Smart USB.
Some of the newly added features include the LED digital display which works to show how much power is remaining and an LED flashlight for navigating through the darkness.
The Beatit 800A is a solid, durable and portable jump starter and power bank. The features this jump starter comes with are enticing and functional. It is perfect for vehicle and motorcycles alike.
Schumacher – Best Jump Starter Power Pack
But in addition to being a suitable jump starter, it also functions as an exemplary air compressor.
The unit comes with a 1200 peak amp which ensures it gets the jump starting task completed with great ease.
This jump starter with a built-in air compressor can with great ease refill a flat tire. You, however, do need an extension cord to charge the jump starter.
This is because the Schumacher XP2260 does not come with an AC power charger. The XP2260 features a maintenance-free, lead-acid battery that is sealed. This allows for easy storage in whichever position.
It can deliver a whopping 1200 peak amp for the emergency jump start. In addition to this, it comes with 185 cold cranking amps.
How does it serve your electronics? Well, it sports 3 outputs including a 120V AC provided by a 400W built-in power inverter, a USB port to charge portable devices and a 12V accessory outlet designed to provide power to any and all accessories that might come with 12V accessory plugs.
Changing between the modes is easy and straightforward. The jump starter comes with a switch that allows you to change from USB mode to Jumpstart mode and vice versa.
At its front, it is equipped with an easy to read digital display which provides the status of the battery. Above the digital display is an LED light which is efficient and provides you with great service in the dark.
It features multiple nozzles and pressure gauges. The compressor dial and switch is located at the back of the Schumacher XP2260.
The Schumacher XP2260 has great features designed to meet the needs of various users. Whether you have a flat battery or tire, this unit is here to save the day.
NOCO G750 – Best Compact Jump Starter
However, its use can be extended to Jet Ski, ATV, or AGM snowmobile batteries. It also works perfectly for lead/Acid batteries.
I had an easy time using this jump starter as it has a simple design that is easy to operate. For the most part, it is plug and play.
One of the main selling points of the G750 is its ease of charging 12V and 6V batteries. Toggling between the two settings is easy as it is just pushing a button.
And given that there aren’t many 6V motorcycle batteries still in use currently, this feature may come in handy with vintage bikes and other machines as listed above.
The jump starter will charge both negative and positive ground bikes by simply switching the black and red terminals. If you do not have a positive ground, you should not mess around with the battery – at least until you have learned more about it.
If the connection is wrong, the C750 will light an orange LED. This is courtesy of the inbuilt error sensing polarity feature. In addition to this, the charger system is protected from current damage.
This processor is the same one used in high-end NOCO chargers as well.
As for the amp ratings, the G750 is rated 1.0 -30.0 amp-hours. With regards to maintenance charging, more is not always better.
The NOCO Genius G750 smart battery though slightly new in its niche market is making huge ripples. It features state of the art technology designed to deliver superior charging and maintenance performance.
CYCMIA – Top Rated Jump Starter
It also can handle jumpstarting a car’s battery a whopping 25 times while on full charger. Suddenly traversing the world is possible without worrying about the battery dying on you.
Speaking of outputs, this portable charger features the USB-C input. It is one of the first to have this USB technology.
For a compact jump starter, the CYCMIA 600A pulls its own weight and provides high-quality efficiency. It is a great power bank as well.
The design is beautiful, and the LED indicators on its side add to its aesthetics.
Stanley Fatmax – Best with Compressor
This air compressor proves invaluable in bad and stranded situations. Flat tires in the middle of nowhere can be devastating.
I personally love the fact that the Stanley J7CS FatMax is easy to use. In addition to the two mentioned uses, it also serves as a power bank for the tablets, cell phones, laptops and gaming systems.
The air compressor built in this jump starter has a 120 PSI rating. It is designed to use portable power and draw it from a USB.
To recharge your car battery, the process is as easy and hooking up the battery, switching on the unit and starting your car.
The USB port can charge 2 devices simultaneously. The DC port is rated 12 volts. The LED light at the front shines through the darkness with ease and swivels 270 degrees.
A multipurpose jump starter designed to cater to the needs of drivers. It excels on all three fronts. Though heavy and bulky, it is functional.
Suaoki K12 – Portable Car Battery Starter
There is a chance it can start a truck with a low battery, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Investing in a more powerful jump starter will work best for you.
The unit has an 8000mAh battery capacity and 300 peak jump starter. Now, as I have come to notice, you should take these figures and ratings with some grain of salt.
The jump starter comes with a nice looking black casing. It is made of plastic. It is well made and strong.
This jump starter is solid and has great warranty to go along with it. It can charge most car engines and a variety of devices.
Sure there are some shortcomings but not enough to discredit the unit.
How Do You Use a Jump Starter?
The use of jump starter solely depends on the features and functionality of the jump starter. As you have noticed in the above reviews, the jump starters vary in amp ratings, capacity and additional functionalities.
Your needs dictate the type of jump starter you choose for your car. The price differs with the functions.
How Many Amps Do You Need To Start a Car?
The number of amps you need to jumpstart your car solely depends on its engine size.
How Do You Jump Start?
The first step is obviously popping the hood open, lifting it and propping it in the designed hole on its underside for support. If it uses hydraulics, it will support itself.
Next, locate the battery. If your car’s battery is not in the standard motor cavity, look for a red cylindrical cap with a ‘+’ sign on it. This acts as the jump post for the car battery. The location of jump posts varies depending on the model of your vehicle. However, most place them on easy to locate places.
Remove the plastic jump post caps by hand. Locate the black cap with a ‘-‘ sign. This is the negative jump post. If you cannot locate the negative jump posts, make use of the car’s frame. On the other hand, if the battery is in its motor cavity, attach the jump pack directly.
At this point, check to confirm the unit is switched off. Then attach an alligator clip to the red jump post. Following this, attach the black alligator clip to a stationery and metal part of the battery.
Once everything is attached, and the power button turned on, check to ensure that the cables are not lying on any moving part. Turn the ignition and subsequently start the engine. If the vehicle does not jumpstart, switch off the pack and reconnect it again.
Can You Jump Start a Car in the Rain?
There are several precautions that one should take to avoid injury while jump-starting a car in the rain. Sure it can be a challenge but all the same, doable. If you are not careful, you just might catch a cold or worse still hurt yourself. Additionally, letting the car run in the rain for prolonged periods may not be the best of ideas.
amounts, water and electricity should not mix.
To ensure the process is safe, ensure the cables and all other electrical components are perfectly safe in storage. Also, make the corrections in the right way to reduce any chance of short-circuiting your car’s battery.
Can You Jump Start a Car With a Bad Starter?
If a car battery is weak, then starting a relay just might click when you are trying to engage the car starter. In this case, jump-starting would work. That said, there are also tips and tricks to bypass the faulty solenoid and jump start the car. You will need a hammer for this.
How Long Should You Jump a Car?
When working with a dead battery, it is important that you let the car run for several minutes to allow for the battery to recharge.
Can You Charge a Battery With a Jump Starter?
Jump starters can be used pretty much anywhere. They are just but substitutes for car batteries when they die. The best way to truly define a jump starter is to consider it as a portable 12-volt power supply since most rely on a 12 volt internal battery for their power source. While they are great for jump-starting, they can recharge 12 volt DC accessories and appliances.
Can Jump Starting a Car Damage Your Car?
Any alternator or battery issues that may affect the quality of your power will be transmitted to the car. The great news is that there are large 12-volt batteries that make excellent buffers against potential power issues which might otherwise cause some damage.