Back in the day if your car broke down on the side of the road you’d need a pair of jumper cables and someone to help you in your time of need. Luckily times have changed and a more convenient option has been presented to all motorists.
Jump starters have hit the shelves and they’re all the rage. It’s a device used to charge a flat car battery enough to start up the engine. These innovative versatile devices have different specs, features and charging capabilities depending on the brand.
Selecting a jump starter to suit your requirements can be challenging because they are so many to pick from. Check out the following buyers guide and product reviews. Perhaps you will find the jump starter you’re looking for.
- Features to Consider in Good Jump Starters
- Top 10 Best Best Jump Starters 2020
- 1. CAT CJ3000 Professional Jump Starter
- 2. DBPOWER 600A 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter
- 3. Beatit BT-D11 800A Peak 18000mAh 12V Portable Car Jump Starter
- 4. NOCO Boost Plus GB40
- 5. STANLEY FATMAX J7CS Power Station Jump Starter
- 6. GOOLOO Upgraded Car Jump Starter
- 7. TENKER 500A Jump Starter
- 8. Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries Jump Starter
- 9. DBPOWER 500A Jump Starter
- 10. JACO BoostPro Jump Starter
- Guide to Buying the Best Jump Starters
- Final Thoughts
Features to Consider in Good Jump Starters
What is a Jump Starter?
A jump starter is a large portable battery that is equipped with a pair of jumper cables. When your car battery goes flat you can use the jump starter to charge the car battery without the use of another vehicle’s battery.
An alternator which is a small electrical generator mounted on the engine charges a car’s battery. It provides electricity to run electronic accessories such as the lights, car radio and A/C systems. The alternator also provides enough power for the engine’s spark plugs to fire up.
The spark plugs ignite the fuel and air mixture within the system’s cylinders which allows the engine to work. When the car battery is flat, the entire system in your car won’t work because none of the processes will operate without the electricity of the alternator.
Before the invention of portable jump starters, you’d need the assistance of a vehicle with a working battery in order to charge the flat battery in your car. With jump starters, you don’t need an additional vehicle’s working battery.
The jump starters provide enough electricity to charge a flat battery by using the electricity of the alternator.
There are other useful features that some jump starters have such as:
- SOS signal
- Charging station for SmartPhones
- Onboard air compressors
Features to Look For
Before buying a jump starter it’s vitally important you check that it provides enough power to jump start your car, quickly and easily. Bigger engines in trucks, vans and motor homes generally need a more powerful device.
You also need to make sure that the jump starter is a quality made product. The device will need to hold its charging life over a long period of time. After all, you don’t want to be stranded with a flat car battery and a jump starter that’s also flat.
It’s also advised that you opt for a jump starter that has safety precautions. The safety is to ensure you don’t damage your car while you’re jump starting it. The electronics in a vehicle are delicate and damaging the systems can lead to bigger & more expensive car problems.
In order to purchase the correct jump starter for your vehicle, there are a few features you should take into account. By understanding these key features you may even be able to find a device that has additional useful purposes.
The length of the cable depends on your preference. If you prefer to have your jump starter resting on the ground naturally you’ll need a device with longer cables. But if you prefer a device without the hassle of long cables you may want to opt for a jump starter with shorter lines.
Most experts recommend going for jump starters with cables that are 12ft in length. What’s more important is the wiring inside the cables. Cables with thinner wiring won’t produce charging power fast enough. It will take longer to charge your car battery.
You should purchase a jump starter with cables that have at least an 8 gauge; although having a 2 gauge is ideal but can be quite pricey. Basically, the wider the cables are the quicker the jump starter will charge your battery.
The power output is represented by either the watts or peak amperage of the device. The peak amperage of a jump starter is the maximum power it can produce to recharge a flat battery. Many jump starters have labels with their peak amp ratings on them.
You will need a jump starter that has the highest amp rating. The reason for this is because there are many components in a vehicle that needs to be powered up. If the power output of the jump starter isn’t sufficient it won’t be able to jump start all the mechanisms in your car.
Another aspect you should look for is the voltage which will give you the wattage produced by the jump starters. An electrical system is measured by watts. So if you want more electrical power you’ll need to either increase the current or the voltage.
The voltage is usually standard so you’ll either get a 12V or a 24V device. To check the correct power outage of your vehicle, you’ll need to refer to your owner’s manual. You can check the electrical section to see how much power you’ll need to start up your engine.
It’s also advised that you check the specs of your battery so that you purchase a jump starter with the correct power outage.
Cranking Amp Rating
This is the amount of power you need to crank and start up your engine in any type of weather conditions. If you live in regions with colder climates with temperatures below zero you’ll need a cold crank amp rating.
In colder climates, you’ll need an extra powerful device to get your engine and crankshaft up & running again. When you purchase a jump starter check the crank amp rating and the cold crank amp rating. It will give you a better idea of the jump starter’s ability to start your engine.
Top 10 Best Best Jump Starters 2020
CAT’s CJ3000 jump starter can even be used to power a 12V heater on those cold winter days. They’re durable and don’t need that much charging time.
The CAT CJ3000 is a portable jump starter that delivers 2000 peak amps and 1000 instant amps. The jump starter clamps are powder coated which means they’re spark proof. There’s an integrated easy to find power switch for safe operations.
CAT’s CJ3000 jump starter is a 48″ heavy duty device manufactured with a solid rugged housing for durability. It has 4 gauge battery cables and features a 12V DC accessory outlet. The CAT CJ3000 also comes with indicator lights, reverse polarity alarm and an emergency LED flasher.
The CAT CJ3000 professional jump starter creates enough energy to power up heavy-duty construction vehicles such as trucks, forklifts and even excavators. The heavy-duty battery can be used in all weather conditions particularly in regions with climates reaching below zero.
The standard built-in 2A AC charger is rechargeable and you can use a household extension cord to recharge your device. It’s easy to use and comes with internal mechanisms for added safety measures such as spark resistant clamps & an alarm that goes off when there’s a reverse polarity.
CAT’s professional jump starter lets you know when your engine has turned with the integrated indicator lights. It’s fully portable so you can keep it in your car and use it when you need to. The CAT jump starter is also extremely robust so it’s safe to travel with it.
- Rugged construction
- High amperage
- Easy to use
- It’s heavy in weight
Nobody likes it when they have battery trouble. Not merely because performing a jumpstart can be tedious and frustrating, but because a typical jump starter kit is a cumbersome thing to work with as well. However, the DBPOWER 600A is not your typical jump starter kit. You will know this from the moment you see it because it is much more compact than most other jump starter kits, an easy fit in your car’s glove box, in fact.
However, just because it’s small does not mean that it compromises on power. This thing has a peak output of 600 amps, enough to jump-start a 5.2l diesel or 6.5l petrol engine 20 times over on a single charge. And when you do not have to use it to charge up your car – which is most of the time – you can make use of its smart USB port to charge up your other devices – laptops, mobile phones, tablets – the lot.
What’s more, it is cleverly designed to avoid the major threats to its performance such as overcharging and short-circuiting. However, not all of its unique qualities are positive. For one thing, attempting to jump start your car with anything less than a 30% charge might prove to be utterly futile. Hence, all jump starts are advised to be carried out on a full charge. Happily, however, you do get a 3-year warranty plan to lean on if the worst should happen.
- Compact design
- Relatively high power output
- Can be used to charge other personal electronic devices
- Designed to prevent overcharging and short-circuiting
- Does not perform too well on a low charge
- Does not maintain charge well
- Does not come with adequate instructions
While some of us could do very well with a battery charger that will jump start virtually anything, most of us are looking for one simply to jump-start a car, motorbike, or motorboat that is giving battery trouble. The Beatit D11 will do it for any of these three, so long as the petrol engine has a capacity of 7 liters or the diesel engine, 5.5 liters. Powered by a lithium battery, a single charge can yield as many as 30 jump starts. That makes the unwelcome emergency of a busted battery far less tedious to deal with.
What’s more, the kit is remarkably tiny, able to fit easily inside a glove box or be carried around without causing too much strain. It is also equipped with numerous safety features, particularly against power surges, reverse polarity, and short circuits. And with a capacity of 18,000 mAh, it will need all the safety features it can get. And in case you are wondering, yes, you can also use it to charge smartphones, tablets, and other personal electronic devices in half the time that it would take on a regular charger.
LCD lights indicate how much power you have left and the SOS flashlight comes in handy when you are outdoors or in an emergency. You also get a handsome 2-year warranty and a warm customer service.
- Compact design
- High power capacity
- Can be used to charge personal mobile devices
- Packed full of safety features
- Problematic USB ports
- Issues with build quality
The NOCO brand is all about taking care of their customers as the device has many safety measures to protect you and your vehicle.
NOCO’s GB40 jump starter is a lithium device with 1000 amps. The clamps are designed with spark proof technology and reverse polarity protection for added safety measures. The integrated LED lights have seven modes including emergency SOS.
The NOCO jump starter has an integrated USB port for easy charging methods. The device also has durable jumper cables and it comes with a hard-wearing carry bag for easy storage.
You’re able to safely start up your vehicle with a single charge as the NOCO jump starter is a powerful small device. The different LED lighting modes provide an indication when the device needs to be charged and it informs you when it’s fully charged your car battery.
The SOS setting is a beneficial feature you can use to signal to other motorists when you’re stuck on the side of the road and you need assistance. The NOCO jump starter is quite easy to use and because of its anti spark clamps, you won’t have to worry about your safety.
NOCO’s jump starter also has a USB port so you can charge many types of electronic devices such as laptops, headphones, SmarthPhones and Bluetooth powered speakers.
It’s a strong and durable device that’s compact & safe enough to travel with. You can take it with you on camping trips where there aren’t power sources to charge phones and battery-powered lamps & you can use the LED flashlight during power outages.
- 20 jump starts in a single charge
- No manufacturer warranty
The air compressor allows you to inflate flat tires. It will definitely come in handy when you’re stranded on the side of the road far from home or a service station.
Stanley’s Fatmax power station jump starter provides 700 peak amps and 350 instant starting amps. The device has an integrated 120 PSI air compressor to inflate flat tires. It also has a built-in reverse polarity alarm that signals when there’s an improper connection.
The Stanley jump starter has a high powered LED light that rotates 270°. The device also has three integrated USB ports to charge other electrical devices such as phones and tablets.
Stanley’s jump starter should be charged every 30 days and can be recharged using a standard household extension cord. Other specifications include a 12V power outlet and metal clamps that are powder coated to prevent the clamps from producing sparks.
The Stanley Fatmax J7CS power station jump starter is quite a durable and heavy duty device. It’s fully portable and compact for easy storage in the trunk of your car. It has a solid exterior with indicator lights and easy to use switches.
This device comes with triple USB ports so you can charge up multiple small devices such as laptops and battery powered lamps quickly & easily during a power outage. The integrated flashlight allows you to use the device in the dark.
The jumper cables are thick which means it will provide a quick charge to any vehicle battery easily. It can power up most 12V batteries in trucks, cars and motorcycles. This is a complete emergency kit in one compact device.
- Integrated pressure gauge
- Heavy duty device
- Can be used for multiple applications
- The battery may need regular maintenance
The GOOLOO jump starter is a compact device that can fit into a standard sized glove compartment which makes it easy to store. It may be a small device but it’s quite versatile.
GOOLOO’s car jump starter has 800 peak amperage with a 18000mAh charging capacity. It boosts 12V vehicles that have either a 7,0L gas engine or a 5,5L diesel engine. It’s able to hold its charge for up to three months without being recharged itself.
The jump starter has built-in overvoltage protection, overcurrent protection, overload protection and overcharge protection. GOOLOO’s jump starter has an integrated USB port as well as an LED light with three different modes.
This device comes with a wall charger, car charger as well as a protective carry case.
You can use the GOOLOO jump starter to power up vehicles with 8V, 6V and 12V batteries. The device can be used to jump start many applications such as motorboats, snowmobiles, pickup trucks and heavy duty construction vehicles.
The GOOLOO jump starter has a USB port that charges any small electronic gadgets such as SmartPhones, MP3 players, battery powered lights and laptops. The LED lights have three different modes one of which provides an SOS distress signal when you need roadside assistance.
It’s compact and durable & comes with added charging accessories for your car.
- Integrated flashlight
- Sleek design
- Jumper cables are too thin
It’s a durable and reliable device that can power up many different applications from small electronic devices to heavy duty vehicles.
The TENKER jump starter has 500 peak amperages with a capacity of 10800mAh. The device can power vehicles with 12V batteries with either 3,0L gas engine or a 2,0L diesel engine. The Jump starter also has a QC3,0 and Type-C output.
TENKER manufactures its devices with sprayed gold clamps for durability with built-in protection circuits. It provides overload protection and overvoltage protection for safety purposes. The TENKER device also has an integrated LED light with three modes.
The durable light and compact TENKER jump starter can power up all small electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets & MP3 players. It requires no maintenance and keeps its charge for up to three months.
TENKER’s LED light has three different modes which you can change easily by pressing the button on the top. Select between SOS mode for emergencies, flashlight mode and a strobe mode to make yourself visible in the dark.
The TENKER jump starter can be used to power up many applications such as snow mobiles, lawnmowers, watercraft and any type of vehicle.
- Sleek design
- Various safety mechanisms
- Jumper cables seem to be flimsy
You can use the Schumacher jump starter on virtually any car as there are no restrictions to what you can do with this device.
The Schumacher PSJ-2212 jump starter provides 2200 peak amps with a 12V DC power outlet. It also has a 330 crank amp capacity 22Ah industrial strength power pack. Use the 275 cold crankings to power up cars in colder regions.
This jump starter has an integrated 3A automatic charger that powers itself when the battery starts running low. The clamps are made from durable copper with anti spark jaws.
There are no limitations with the Schumacher jump starter as it can power any vehicle in any weather conditions. Use it to recharge your lawnmower, jump start your motorboat and even charge heavy duty construction vehicles. The thick cables also produce a quick charge and they’re durable.
It’s a compact device that can fit into your boot when you travel. It requires no maintenance but must be recharged when the battery of the device goes flat.
It’s also known as a universal device so it can be used on many different car batteries. Check your owner’s manual for your car’s specifications before you use the device though.
- Excellent cranking power
- Heavy duty construction
- Automatic charging system
- The device is heavy
This compact and versatile jump starter packs a mighty punch in terms of power. It can be used for many applications such as heavy-duty vehicles and small electronic devices.
The DBPower has 400A of peak current that can jump start vehicles with 3L gas engines and 2.5L diesel engines. It has a smart charging port with a 12000mAh capacity as well as an integrated USB port used to charge small electronic devices.
DBPower has an integrated LCD screen and a compass. The device comes with durable spray gold clamps with thick cables for a quick jump start to any vehicle. You also get a 12V car charger as well as a 12V wall charger.
The DBPower compass helps you navigate back home when you’re lost on the road. The device also has an LED light with SOS mode and a flashlight mode to use in case of an emergency. DBPower jump starters can be used to power up many applications such as motorboats and large vans.
You’re able to charge small devices such as SmartPhones, laptops and MP3 players. It’s a compact device that can fit into most standard glove compartments which makes it perfect to travel with wherever you go.
- Sleek design
- Jumper cables may be flimsy
The Jaco BoostPro provides 600 peak amps and it has a 16500mAh battery capacity. It provides power to cars with 6,5L gas engines as well as 5,2L diesel engines and has boosts of 20-30 times per charge.
Jaco’s BoostPro jumper cables have an integrated LED light with multiple modes such as an SOS distress signal and a flash light for roadside assistance. The device has two USB ports to charge any device when you don’t have a wall charging port.
The device comes with a home and car charger as well as a 3-in-1 phone cable & a hard zip carry case.
Jaco’s jump starter cables are quite sturdy and won’t slip off the battery terminals while the device is charging the battery. You’re able to use the device to charge up cars, vans, motorboats, construction vehicles and lawnmowers quickly & easily.
It’s a versatile device that can be used to charge devices such as laptops and mobile phones where there is no power source. The dual USB port allows you to charge two devices at once.
Jaco’s BoostPro jumper cables are robust and provide you with added safety when you jump start your vehicle. The device has anti-spark clamps that are overload protected as well as overcurrent protected so you don’t damage any electronic units in your vehicle.
- Fireproof casing
- Multiple emergency features
- Doesn’t always come with added charging accessories
Guide to Buying the Best Jump Starters
Jump Starter Specs
In order to find the correct jump starter for your car, you’ll need to check your owner’s manual. In the manual it will tell you all you need to know about the specifications of your vehicle. The jump starter needs to match the requirements of your car.
It’s vital to purchase the correct jump starter for your car. Purchasing a jump starter that’s not powerful enough to start up your engine will leave you stranded. Jump starters with too much power outputs can also damage your car.
Rather check your owner’s manual or consult a professional mechanic to see what specifications you need.
Jump Starter Terminology
Most of the jump starters manufactured today have integrated LED lights with three different lighting modes. One of the lighting modes has an SOS signal that flashes with a steady set of blinks. The flashes are to signal anyone in visual range.
The SOS signal is designed to get the attention of other motorists on the road to stop and help you when you’re stuck with a broken down vehicle.
Cranking amps is the amount of power produced by the jump starter in 30 seconds at temperatures of 32°F. It should be enough to sustain 7.2V in a standard 12V battery. As mentioned before it’s the power you need to power up your engine in any weather conditions.
You won’t need a cold cranking amp if you stay in regions with temperatures mostly above 32°F. But if you stay in colder regions you should consider purchasing a jump starter with a cold cranking amp.
A cold cranking amp is designed to turn your engine in climates below zero. Jump starters that have a cold cranking amp feature are more powerful than standard cranking amps. In colder climates, the oil in your car is a lot thicker. You need a powerful cranking amp to warm up the oil to get your engine to turn.
The peak current is the maximum amount of electrical energy present inside a battery. Current is measured in amperes. For example, if you have a jump starter with 1000 peak amps it can only deliver 1000A.
Lithium-ion batteries are capable of storing higher densities of energy in compact devices. Batteries made with lithium ion can store up to 150 watt-hours of electrical energy per kilogram of battery. The advantages of lithium-ion batteries are as follows:
- They’re more durable than other batteries such as nickel metal
- Faster recharging times
- Handles more charge and discharge cycles
A joule is a unit of energy needed to generate a single watt of power every second. For example, one joule is an equivalent of one watt per second. This essentially means you will need 1J to power a 1W light bulb for one second.
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are semiconductor devices that are typically integrated into most jump starters. The LED light can provide illumination for the LCD screen when there’s insufficient lighting to make it more readable.
They can also be indicator lights to inform you if the battery on your device is low and give you the status of your charging. LED lights can also be used as a flashlight and to provide an SOS signal in times of trouble
Jump starters usually come with safety instructions that you can follow. But it’s always best to take extra precautions when working with jump starters. Here are five safety tips you should consider when using your jump starter.
- If there are contaminents on the terminals and on the connection clamps it could hinder the process of getting your car moving again. Ensure that the connection clamps and the battery terminals are free from dirt & they’re in excellent working condition.
- As with any electronic device, water will act as a conductor and can make the process of jump starting your car extremely dangerous. It’s advised to avoid jump starting your car in the rain. You should always keep water away from your car battery, the wiring and the jump starters as an added safety measure.
- You should always wear protective covers on your hands when working with jump starters. Having a pair of gloves in your car at all times will come in handy if you find yourself stuck on the side of the road.
- Always refer to your owner’s manual to check your car’s specifications before you use a jump starter. Some automatic ignition systems can’t be jump started. To avoid damaging your car you should check everything in your owner’s manual first before purchasing your jump starter.
- Unplug all electrical accessories that may be connected to your car such as mobile phones. The jump starter can send an electrical surge through the vehicle which may damage any electrical device plugged into your car.
How to Perform a Jump Start
Jump starting your car is actually really easy because you’re essentially connecting cables from one power source to produce energy to a flat battery. If you’re still not sure what to do, follow these easy steps:
- Park your car on a flat surface or stable ground. Always put your car in neutral.
- Switch your jump starter on simply to check if it has enough charge to start up your vehicle. Once you’ve checked you can switch the device off.
- Connect the red clamp to the positive red terminal on your battery. Take the black clamp and connect it to the negative black terminal on your battery.
- Ensure that the clamps are secure and won’t unclip at any stage of the process.
- Turn on the jump starter and then turn on the ignition of your car.
- TThe cranking amp comes in handy here if your car battery isn’t being charged enough. Wait a few minutes and if there’s still no power, crank the amps up a little bit more.
- Be mindful of how much time you spend on cranking. You shouldn’t crank up the device for more than five seconds as this could overheat your car.
- Once your engine has turned you can turn the jump starter off.
- Remove the black clamp first before removing the red one off of the battery terminals.
- Turn your car on and allow the engine to run to allow the battery in your car to charge up before you drive off.
The donor-recipient way of jump starting a car is an alternative but it’s not ideal as you’ll need another person willing to stop to help you out. Sometimes this doesn’t happen so you’ll be left stranded.
Being self-reliant is the fastest way to get your car running again because you won’t have to wait for someone else to help you when your car breaks down. To become self-reliant and for a quick & easy charge to get your car running again opt for a jump starter. They’re versatile, reliable and safe for anyone to use. We suggest you purchase the CAT CJ3000 professional jump starter.
CAT is a trusted brand and the CJ3000 jump starter is better value for money. It’s durable, holds its charge well and it has a long lifespan. As you can see from the review above you can do so much more than charging your car battery with this device.
Purchase your jump starter today and keep it in your car at all times. Be ready for anything that can happen on the road.