Best AGM Battery Charger

Many people are starting to opt for an AGM battery for their electric vehicles and equipment rather than a flooded-cell battery. It has become the sensible thing to do since AGM batteries have proven to outdo non-sealed batteries.

Like all rechargeable batteries, AGMs need proper chargers that suit their function and can maintain their life and storage capacity. This article will help you choose the best for your battery out of five meticulously-picked AGM battery chargers. 

Check out the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my picks, or read on for the full review:

Benefits to Having an AGM Battery Charger

The main advantage here in the newer technology of an AGM battery is that it’s leak-proof (the sulfuric acid is absorbed by a very fine fiberglass mat, hence the name AGM that stands for absorbed glass mat) and it’s able to charge up to five times faster than flooded-cell batteries.

AGMs are also maintenance-free and they provide good electrical reliability as they hold up well to lower temperatures and have a low self-discharge.

Why a Specific AGM Battery Charger is Needed

I think the question you’re actually asking here is can you use a normal battery charger to charge your AGM battery? The short answer is, no. Normal battery chargers shouldn’t be used to charge AGMs for several reasons.

However, AGM battery chargers are specifically designed and equipped with microprocessors that collect information from the power cell so that it can analyze the cell’s current charging status and accordingly adjust the voltage and current of the charge.

What to Look For in an AGM Battery Charger

All the best AGM battery chargers have three important features in common to ensure proper charging, efficient maintenance, and absolute safety during use.

Built in Sensors

Perhaps the most vital feature would be the availability of built-in sensors that monitor the battery’s voltage, amperage acceptance, and temperature. It then proceeds to analyze that data and suitably adjusts the output to correctly charge the battery according to its needs at any specific moment.

PuleTech of Similar Technology

PulseTech is a desulfating technology that works on maintaining and prolonging battery life. This not only helps maximize your battery’s life and storage capacity but also works on reconditioning old batteries that may be weaker than needed. I would also recommend you make sure the charger you buy has overcharge protection to help maintain your battery’s health.

Proofing and Protection

Most chargers come with a spark-proof feature which makes connecting it to the battery much safer under different and more challenging weather conditions. Many charger companies are now paying specific attention to dust and waterproofing too to make their chargers more weather-friendly and not have their use be limited.

Reverse polarity protection and short circuit protection are also things you should be on the lookout for. After all, we all value safety just as much as we value performance.

Charging Speed

One thing you should consider is the speed at which you need your battery to be charged. If you have a battery that you don’t necessarily want to wait around for to charge, then choosing a charger with higher amperage will serve you well. If however, you aren’t in any particular rush, going for a lower amperage charger would be a better choice.

You should also keep in mind that the lower the charger’s amperage, the better it is able to maintain your battery’s life.

Battery Brand Recommendations

Some battery brands would assist your choice-making process by recommending a certain charger brand for their batteries, so make sure to check your battery brand’s website for recommended and/or approved chargers.

Usually, if there isn’t a specific brand recommendation, you may find recommendations of a certain feature. For example, a brand may recommend that you use a 20 amp charger for their batteries, and another may recommend a 10 amp charger, depending on the storage capacity of the battery’s model.

Ease of Use

You should also keep in mind that some charger models are fully automatic, meaning that you simply plug them in and they start their work, while others require manually selecting the setting in which you would want your charger to work.

Customizability

While the second type of chargers requires a basic sense of understanding to properly use, it would actually be a great choice for you if you or your battery have specific charging needs that fully automatic chargers don’t provide. For example, one charger mentioned below provides the option to adjust the amperage according to your battery size.

Number of Batteries You Need to Charge

Another thing you may want to consider is how many batteries you would like to charge at one time. A few chargers offer the advantage of multiple banks or have the ability to charge more than one battery at a time depending on the voltage of each battery.

5 Best AGM Battery Chargers

BatteryMINDer AGM Charger 2012-AGM

This charger is said to be guaranteed to restore weak batteries and maximize your battery’s life along with its storage capacity.

Specifications

     Voltage: 12V

     Charging current: 2 AMP

     Dimensions: 5.7” x 4.1” x 2.1”

     Proofing: spark-proof, dust-tight

     Protection: protected against over-charging, short circuits, reverse polarity, and thermal runaway

     Temperature compensation: -4°F (-20°C) to 122°F (50°C)

     Multiple battery charging: up to six 12-volt batteries

     PulseTech or similar technology: full-time high pulse desulfation

     Compatibility: Optima, Odyssey, Polaris, Yuasa, high-performance specialty 12-volt sealed AGM batteries

Pros

     Plug n’ Run (no buttons to push)

     7 stages of charging (safer for battery)

     Fully automatic

     Internal sensors adjust output several times per minute to quickly and correctly charge

 Cons

     Built-in temperature compensator lowers the voltage which affects the charging efficiency

NOCO Genius GEN2 2 Bank Waterproof Smart On-Board Battery Charger

NOCO claims that this battery is one of the best onboard marine battery chargers. It also works well with other types of batteries and is simple and easy to mount directly onto various applications.

Specifications

     Voltage: 14.4V

     Charging current: 20 AMP (10 AMP per bank)

     Dimensions: 8.3” x 7.5” x 3.1”

     Proofing: 100% waterproof, spark-proof, shock-resistant, vibration-resistant

     Protection: protected against over-charging, reverse polarity, and short-circuits

     Temperature compensation: none mentioned

     Multiple battery charging: up to two 12-volt marine, starter, and deep-cycle batteries

     PulseTech or similar technology: built-in desulfator

     Compatibility: wet cell (flooded), gel cell, calcium, AGM, enhanced flooded battery or any maintenance-free battery

Pros

     Can be mounted directly onto different applications (boat, generator, trolling motors, electrical vehicles, industrial equipment)

     2 banks (10 amps per bank)

     Charges 2x faster than most marine battery chargers

     Provides a finishing charge every 24 hours to keep batteries fully charged

Cons

     Charger tends to overheat batteries when left connected for a long time

CTEK 56-158 Fully Automatic 4 Step AGM Battery Charger

CTEK came up with this compact little charger with an eye on simplicity, safety, and flexibility.

Specifications

     Voltage: 14.4 V / 14.7 V

     Charging current: 3.3 AMP

     Dimensions: 6.5” x 2” x 1.5”

     Proofing: spark-proof, waterproof, dust-resistant

     Protection: protected against short-circuits and reverse polarity. Red light feature to indicate that charging hasn’t started if improperly connected.

     Temperature compensation: -4°F (-20°C) to 122°F (50°C)

     Multiple battery charging: N/A

     PulseTech or similar technology: pulse charging and desulfation, recovery of worn-out batteries if possible

     Compatibility: perfect for Optima Red Top batteries

Pros

     Fully automatic

     4-step charging (safer for battery)

     3 different modes (low current – high current – cold)

     Comfort Connect can be permanently connected to vehicle battery for ease of use

Cons

     Flimsy buttons

     Full charge indicator tends to be inaccurate

BatteryMINDer AGM Battery Charger

This charger was made with an all-inclusive approach, being specifically designed to be used with most battery types and sizes, including AGM, Wet Cell, and Gel.

Specifications

     Voltage: 12V

     Charging current: 2/4/8 AMP

     Dimensions: 4.9” x 7.3” x 2.1”

     Proofing: vibration-resistant and dust-tight

     Protection: protected against over-charging, thermal runaway, and reverse polarity

     Temperature compensation: -4°F (-20°C) to 122°F (50°C)

     Multiple battery charging: up to 8 batteries

     PulseTech or similar technology: full pulse desulfation

     Compatibility: compatible with all 12V flooded, sealed, and maintenance-free batteries

Pros

     User-selectable amperage settings for different batteries (2 AMP/4 AMP/ 8AMP)

     Can predict failing batteries before they die

     Auto-restart after power failure

     Detects and rejects bad batteries

Cons

     Tends to unnecessarily switch to GEL mode

     May fail to turn on in cold weather

SUAOKI Smart Portable Waterproof AGM Battery Charger

This compact charger has the ability to detect, diagnose, and fix battery issues and can be used with all 12V lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries.

Specifications

     Voltage: 12V

     Charging current: 3.5 AMP/ 7 AMP

     Dimensions: 7.1” x 3.5” x 2.4”

     Proofing: waterproof, dust-proof, and spark-proof

     Protection: protected against reverse polarity and over-charging

     Temperature compensation: 50°F (10°C) to 113°F (45°C)

     Multiple battery charging: N/A

     PulseTech or similar technology: desulfation and repair for discharged batteries

     Compatibility: compatible with all 12V lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries

Pros

     Fully automatic

     9-step charging (safer for battery)

     User-selectable amperage settings for different batteries (3.5 AMP/ 7 AMP)

     7 charging modes

Cons

     Instructions are hard to figure out

     Charging tends to slow down when used for bigger batteries

Conclusion

My personal choice I think would be BatteryMINDer Model 2012-AGM since I generally opt for hassle-free chargers. With its fully automatic Plug n’ Run technology along with its ability to desulfate and restore weaker batteries, I think my AGM battery would be well set with this model.

 

Ultimately, the choice you make essentially depends on your battery’s specific needs along with your personal preference. You’ll first need to match your battery’s requirements to the specifications of the charger you have in mind. And then, from there you can figure out which key features you’ll need and at what cost.

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