If you have ever been stranded with a car that would not start because the battery was dead then you know already know how wonderful it is to have a small device in the trunk of your car that is capable of giving your battery a boost and getting you back on the road.
You can carry jumper cables that will allow you to connect your car to another vehicle, but the majority of seasoned drivers know that there is not always another vehicle in close proximity when your battery goes dead.
You can belong to AAA, but when your car will not start you have to call AAA, then wait for AAA to arrive. If it is cold you might have to wait in the cold car for hours before help arrives. If you have children with you this is an unacceptable wait.
The best solution for a dead battery leaving you stranded is to have a jump starter that will allow you to quickly crank your vehicle without waiting on anyone else to assist you. Now the question is how you find the best jump starters for your needs.
How We Built this List
We tested many jump starters in our search for the desired jump starter. We know that nothing could be more frustrating than thinking you were insured against a dead battery and then being let down by the jump starter you had with you.
To make our selection we had experienced auto service professionals test the jump starters. We wanted to know which starters had the most usable features, which ones had the best price, and which ones were the most dependable, and the easiest to use.
We asked our experts to tell us which jump starters were the ones they would feel safe having in the car with their wives and families.
The Best Portable Jump Starters Reviews in 2021
Stanley Fatmax J7CS Jump Starter
Stanley battery jumper will put out an immediate 350 amps and at its peak performance, it will produce 700 cranking amps. 350 to 400 amps will crank the ordinary small to a mid-size car engine and 700 amps will crank the majority of all standard automobile engines.
This machine is very simple to use. You simply connect the alligator clips on the ends of the lead cables to your positive and negative battery posts and push a button. Then you turn the key and crank your car. One of the reasons why this device made our jump starter reviews list is because it has a safety feature that will not allow you to accidentally connect the positive cables to the negative posts on your battery. This will stop unexpected sparks and damage to your battery or your person.
Another wonderful feature about this little machine is that it is also capable of inflating tires as well as providing a boost for your engine. If you have a tire that is going low you do not have to try and make it to the next gas station that may/or may not, have air for your tires.
You will also love that this portable device has USB ports that will allow you to charge your electronic devices, like cell phones, laptop computers, tablets and more.
You do need to remember to charge the Stanley Fatmax J7CS Jump Starter approximately once every 30 days so it has the power to do the work you need it to do when an emergency does occur.
DBPOWER 600A 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter
One of the main reasons we chose the DBPOWER 600A is because of the LED screen that will show you exactly how much power your jump starter has. You never have to find out at the last minute, like when your car is dead in the middle of nowhere, that your jump starter needed to be charged. The display screen tells you exactly how much power the device has, and how many more times it can crank your car before needing a recharge.
Safety is one of biggest priorities when suggesting equipment to consumer’s; this unit provides ample amounts of safety so you have fewer worries. The unit has smart clamps that provide current protection so you cannot send too much of a current into your battery. These clamps also protect you from giving your battery too much of a charge. Many people do not know that if you overcharge a battery you can damage it forever, so this is a very important feature.
This is also a multi-use device that will provide you the ability to charge your electronic devices as well as the power to boost your battery. Many of us rely heavily on our electronic devices for work and entertainment, and no one wants to be on the road a dead cell phone. So it can be vital that we have the ability to charge our devices. By using this unit to charge your phone or laptop you will not be depleting the power supply of your car battery.
NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12V – Most Powerful Lithium Jump Starter
NOCO has outdone themselves with the invention of the Genius Boost Plus GB40. This little powerhouse of a jump starter is capable of providing 1000 amps. That is enough amps to crank even the larger truck engines and SUV engines. This amazing unit also will provide you with 20 jump starts before you have to recharge the device. It will provide a boost to diesel engines up to a 3L and on gas-powered engines up to a 6L. It will boost your car battery, watercraft batteries, lawnmower batteries and more.
NOCO has taken safety very seriously when they designed this equipment. It provides reverse polarity protection that allows you to know that no matter how tired you are, or how big a hurry you are in, you will not mistakenly connect the positive cables to your negative battery post and create a deadly spark beneath your hood.
NOCO went a step farther in their safety features and they have included a 100-lumen flashlight that has seven light modes and an emergency flasher mode. You will be able to see exactly what you are doing no matter how dark the night is, and you can be assured that with the emergency flasher mode other drivers will see you.
This is the age of technology, and the majority of people have at least one electronic device with them at all times. The NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40 will provide you with the means to charge your smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, smart watches and more, without putting a drain on your already overworked engine battery.
Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC660 1700 Peak Amp Jump Starter
The Clore automotive Jump-N-Carry JNC600 is an automatic jump starter. That means you simply connect the 46 inches, heavy-duty, copper insulated cables to the battery on your car and turn the machine on. The Jump-N-Carry knows what to do after it is connected. It knows how much of a boost you need, and it can alert you if you have reversed the polarity of your cables. It also works as a battery charger and can be connected to a battery for long enough periods of time to recharge the battery so that you can rely on the battery to start your engine without being connected to the boost. This is very helpful for watercraft batteries, or for vehicles that may have an alternator that is not properly functioning.
The voltmeter that is on the front of the machine will tell you the amount of power the onboard battery has. There is a DC outlet that allows you to power any of your 12-volt accessories and there is a DC input that allows you to recharge the internal battery on the device. If you are not using the device it is recommended that you recharge it every thirty days so it always has the complete amount of cranking power it is supposed to have.
POTEK Car Jump Starter with 150 PSI Tire Inflator/Air Compressor
450 cranking amps are powerful enough to crank the majority of small and mid-size car engines. The POTEK Car Jump Starter provides you with an immediate 400 amps and at its peak, it provides 1000 amps which means it will provide enough amps to crank the majority of gas engines, and a large portion of diesel engines, marine batteries, and more.
It is equipped with an LED indicator light that allows you to know when your battery needs a charge or is partially charged, or if the battery has a full charge.
You know that when you get a device that can do the job of more than one device then you have gotten something valuable. This unit will boost your engine so you can crank your car, it will provide you the ability to recharge electronic devices like your laptops and tablets, and it also will allow you to inflate the ordinary car tire to 30 PSI in less than 10 minutes. Dead batteries and low tires are two of the main causes of people being stranded or having to call AAA. The POTEK Car Jump Starter helps you to solve both of these issues. You can also use the tire inflator to air up bicycle tires, balls, and inflatable items like floats.
GOOLOO 800 A Peak 18000mAh – Best Jump Starter for Diesel
If you want the power to start a large engine, like a 7.0L gas powered engine or a 5.5L diesel powered engine, then the GOOLOO 800 is the ultimate jump starter for your needs. This one unit provides 18000 mAh when it has reached its peak output.
You might be worried that a unit that powerful might actually damage your battery, but rest assured that the safety features we found on this device will not allow that to happen. It is designed to stop reversed polarity which causes damage to your battery and possibly creates fire hazards, and it will not allow you to overcharge your battery or allow you to provide too much voltage to your battery.
It is equipped with a flashlight so it is easy to use even in a dark parking lot. The flashlight also works as an emergency flashing light so your car will be visible to other motorists if you are working on your vehicle on the side of a roadway at night. The emergency flashing light also lets people know that you are in trouble and are not simply stopped on the side of the roadway. This flashlight is also handy when you are camping, or when you go on nature hikes. The powerful strobe setting can even scare of dangerous predators.
You will get the power to charge your electronic devices with this machine. So if you do get stranded, or you do go camping, you will always have your cell phone, tablet, and other electronic devices functioning properly.
Truck Pac ES1224 3000/1500 Peak Amp 12/24V Jump Starter
When you require an industrial grade jump starter then you need the Truck Pac ES1224. This little machine will provide 3000 peak amps when it is boosting a 12-volt battery, and it will provide 1500 peak amps when it is boosting a 24-volt battery. So you will have the power to crank those big truck engines and power those deep cell marine batteries.
The jaw clamps on the end of the connection cables are industrial strength so they can clamp firmly onto larger battery posts, and so they can withstand the heavy boost amps that this little unit provides.
You can feel secure using this device because it will alert you to unsafe conditions like reversed polarity. It also has LED indicators to show you the amount of charge your battery has.
Many jump starters do not have long connective cables and that can make it difficult for you to connect to some of the tall truck batteries, but this unit has 60” cables. That is six feet of cables so you will be able to reach whatever you need to reach.
If you need to have the ability to recharge your battery, and not just to do a simple jump boost, then you will be pleased to know that this unit is a jump starter and a charger so it can provide a hotshot of power or can provide a charge at a longer and slower pace.
Bolt Power N02 1200 Amp Peak 12-Volt Car Battery Jump Starter
This is an all-around battery booster that will help power up the majority of 12V batteries. It is portable, lightweight, and easy to carry. It is also easy to connect and use so every driver, even novice or teen drivers should be able to use this device.
It has jumper cables that are heavy duty so they can provide enough cranking amps to gas engines up to a 7 liter and diesel engines up to a 5.5 liter.
It will provide you with the ability to charge up those electronic devices, and it comes with a flashlight so you can use the machine during night hours. The flashlight will provide a solid beam of light so you can see to make connections, or it will emit a strobe light pattern that can be used to ward off certain types of predators, and it has an SOS light display that will protect you from accidents with unsuspecting motorists, or that will alert other people to the fact that you need immediate assistance.
The unit has the standard safety features that will prevent you from damaging your battery while using the device. These include reversed polarity protection, overload protection, and over voltage protection.
You can use this device to protect your family from the common vehicle breakages and to make sure that they have the ability to reach other people via their smartphones, tablets, and more.
Things to Consider Before Buying The Best Portable Jump Starters
Before you rush out and buy a jump starter you should know what things to consider about these mechanical devices. Many people base their purchases on the price of the item they are shopping for. When you are buying a jump starter you will want to move the price of the item to the low priority and make other features of the product top priority.
The main things you want to consider when buying one of these items is:
- What size car can they provide an adequate boost to? You must consider what size vehicle you drive. If you drive a small or compact car you will be able to buy a jump starter that produces 350amps or 450 amps, but if you drive a vehicle with a big diesel engine or a large gas engine, then you will need a jump starter that can provide about 1000 amps.
- You want to consider the safety features of the product before you buy. You want a jump starter that will not allow you to reverse polarity because reverse polarity is the main reason for most accidents that occur when a car battery is being jumped off. You also want to get a device that will not allow you to over-charge your battery, or allow you to provide too many volts to your battery. Both over-charging and increased voltage can damage the battery internally and reduce the lifespan of your battery.
- You want to get a jump starter that will charge your electronic devices. When we connect our electronic devices to our automobiles we cause extra strain on the battery. You want a jump starter that can alleviate that strain for you, and one that could be used if you were camping or otherwise unable to charge your electronic devices, like during a power outage, or if you were stuck in a traffic jam.
- Some jump starters also work as battery chargers. A jump start provides you the immediate power you need to crank a dead battery, but a charger slowly rechargers your battery. A battery charger restores the power to your battery so your engine can be cranked more than once without being connected to the boosting device.
- Some jump starters also give you the ability to inflate tires. Having a device that will inflate car tires will prevent you from being stranded with a flat, or from doing damage to your wheels and rims because you drove on a tire that had inadequate air pressure. Having the proper air pressure in your tires also prevents some accidents, increases the life of your tires, and reduces the amount of fuel your engine consumes.
- Some jump starters have flashlights that will allow you to be able to see to connect the unit in the dark, or that can be used as emergency flashers. Flashlights are important for everyone to carry in their vehicle, and having your flashlight be part of your jump start package means you will always know where that light is when you need it.
How Jump Starters Work
Jump starters are compact mechanical devices that allow you to provide an additional boost of power to your car battery. Often we leave the radio in the car playing, or we do not turn off the interior dome lights, and the result is our battery gets depleted of energy and the next time we go to crank our car our engine will fail to turn over. Cold weather conditions can also zap the strength from the average car battery.
A jump starter is designed to be a portable external battery that can provide a boost of power so your depleted battery has enough power to crank your engine. Once your engine is cranked your alternator should recharge your battery as you drive.
When using a jump starter you hook the cables that are connected to the device to the battery posts on your car battery. At the end of each cable is an alligator clamp that you use to grip the post of the battery. When you power the machine on a current will transfer the peak number of cranking amps the jump starter can produce through the cables and into your battery. This gives your battery an immediate surge of power so it can crank your engine.
The jump starter provides a one-time surge of power to your battery. Unless you have a jump starter that is also capable of working as a battery charger then you cannot plug the jump starter in for a long time and expect it to slowly restore a complete charge to your battery.
You must also be aware that if your battery terminals are corroded then the alligator clips will not make a good contact with the battery posts and this will stop the jump starter from being able to provide the full amount of peak amps that it is capable of producing.
With any device, there are safety precautions you should take to ensure your safety and to prevent accidental damages. The following safety precautions apply to jump-start a car.
- If you are jump-starting a car using another car then make certain both engines are in the off position while you are connecting the jumper cables.
- It is imperative that the positive jumper cable is connected to the positive battery terminal, and that the negative jumper cable is connected to the negative battery post. If you connect positive to negative then you reverse the polarity going into the battery and this can cause a spark that can result in an engine fire, damaged cells in the battery, or can cause the battery to blow up or crack.
- Make certain that you look at the battery before you connect the alligator clips. You are looking for obvious corrosion at the terminals of that battery and look for a cracked battery housing or the evidence of any fluids leaking from the battery.
- Always read the user manuals of a jump starter prior to connecting the device to your battery.
- Do not allow the positive and negative battery clamps to come into contact with each other while you are connecting or disconnecting the battery cables. You also want to make sure the ends of the jumper cables do not come into direct contact with parts of the vehicle.
- Make sure that the booster cables are not making contact with a fan blade on the vehicle. Some fan motors can run even when the automobile engine is shut off.
- Make certain that the automobile is in “park” for automatic transmissions and in “neutral” for standard transmissions, prior to connecting the booster cables to the battery.
- You should wear safety goggles when you are using devices that provide a battery boost to your car battery.
- Make sure that children are properly supervised when they around jump starters and running vehicle motors.
Q/A’s About Jump Starter
Can You Jump Start a Car in the Rain?
Many people ask if it is safe to jump-start their vehicle engines when it is raining. The answer is yes, it is completely safe to jump-start your vehicle while it is raining.
A vehicle battery is generally a 12-volt battery and that is a lot lower electrical voltage than what you would find at your residence. The 12-volt system will not cause sparks if it is exposed to the moisture from the rain so you can safely connect your jump starter and boost your battery without worrying about electrocution or sparks.
If you are on the side of a roadway you should turn on your emergency flashlight to the SOS mode so other motorists will be aware of your presence.
Oh! Dear…. I found this interesting and fun video in YouTube about jump starting in the rain:
Can You Charge a Battery With a Jump Starter?
A car battery charger and a car jump starter are similar in appearance and performance but actually two separate devices. The jump starter is designed so that it will provide your battery a temporary surge of power so that it can be cranked. The jump starter is connected to your battery for a short period of time, usually no more than 3 to 5 minutes. Normally it is suggested that if your car battery is dead and you have to use your jump starter that you go immediately to your auto mechanic and let them evaluate your system to determine what caused your battery to be depleted of power.
The depletion of power may be due to a faulty battery, cold weather conditions, or a drain on the power of the battery while the alternator was not engaged to recharge the system. A faulty alternator may also cause your car battery to become depleted.
A car battery charger is designed to be connected to a battery just like the jump starts are, but the battery charger provides a lower amperage and is designed to remain connected to the battery until a complete recharge is done to the battery. Battery chargers are often used on vehicles that are not driven often enough to cause the alternator to recharge the battery.
Can You Jump Start a Car With a Bad Starter?
The definition of jump-starting a car is to connect a non-functioning car battery to another car battery, or to another power source like a jump start so that the non-functioning battery is given a boost of power that allows it to crank the vehicle.
When the starter on the car is malfunctioning you can run the battery down by continuously turning the key in an attempt to get the car engine to turn over, but an increase of power that you would get by connecting another battery to the car battery and boosting the battery power will not crank the car if the starter is not functioning.
If you drive a vehicle with a manual transmission you might be able to start the vehicle when the starter is malfunctioning by manually pushing the vehicle until it reaches a certain speed and then “popping” the clutch. You will usually have to get the vehicle rolling down an incline and then quickly jump in and pop the clutch.
If your starter is malfunctioning and will not turn your engine over, but does allow accessories like windshield wipers to operate then you can sometimes take a hammer, or blunt object like a hammer, and tap on the outside of the starter housing.
How many amps do you need to start a car?
The majority of small to mid-size automobiles can be cranked with between 300 and 500 amps. Remember that you must turn off your radio, windshield wipers, headlights, air conditioners, and accessories because each of these accessories makes the car need more amps to crank.
Larger vehicles, like the SUV’s, larger trucks, will need larger amounts of cranking amps. If you have a jump starter that can produce 1000 peak amps you will most likely be able to crank any non-commercial engine that you own. If you drive a commercial vehicle the cranking amps will be far more than 1000 peak amps.
Can I use a jump starter in any vehicle?
You can use a jump starter in the majority of all non-commercial vehicles. The commercial vehicles have engines that are so large the majority of jump starters simply do not have enough peak amps to provide the boost the batteries would need if they were depleted.
You must know what type of vehicle you have before you buy a jump starter because too few amps will not allow the machine to boost your battery, and if you have too many cranking amps being supplied by the jump starter you can damage your battery.
We advise you to buy a jump starter that has plenty of cranking amps but also has a safety feature that will not allow you to overcharge your battery, reverse the polarity of your battery, or provide too many volts to your battery.
Can my jump starter charge other devices?
This depends on the jump starter that you have. Some jump starters are designed to be used on 12-volt batteries, and some are designed to be used on 24-volt batteries, while other jump starters can be used on either the 12-volt batteries or the 24-volt batteries.
You should use a jump starter that stops you from over-charging or providing too much voltage to your battery if you plan to use the device on several different motorized items. If your jump starter has these safety features you can use it on motorcycles, lawn equipment batteries, watercraft batteries, marine batteries, tractor batteries, automobile batteries, ATV batteries, and more.
If you want to recharge or boost batteries like the 18650 battery that is rechargeable you must notice that these batteries need a charger that will slowly allow them to regain full battery power, and not a jump starter that gives one quick boost of power to the system.
The Lipo charger comes with an octopus so that it can be connected to many different types of battery terminals. Many people buy the Lip charger to keep proper chargers on their receiver battery packs connected to their nitro vehicles. The Lipo charger takes at least one hour to create a charge in a 3s Lipo 5000mAh 50c battery, and cannot be used as a jump starter, or on the typical automobile engine battery.
The type of battery charger you will use depends on the type of batteries you have and how the batteries are powered. The ranges from ion-lithium batteries like the ones that power your electronic devices, and the different battery types that power your vehicle.
Some batteries for vehicles are gel type batteries and some are acid lead batteries. The difference in the chargers designed to recharge these items is the voltage the charger supplies to the battery. This is why a voltmeter or a safety feature that does not allow your battery to receive too many volts is important to have on your jump starter.
Can jump starting damage my car?
Many people have heard about cars catching fire, batteries exploding, and other awful things happening to cars that were being jump started. The truth is that when you are jump-starting a car by using another vehicle you are putting both your safety and the safety of your car in danger. When you jump start in this method you can risk reversing the polarity and causing the battery to be permanently damaged, to blow up, or to spark and ignite your entire car. You can provide too much voltage to the battery by connecting your car battery to a much larger car battery, and that can do lasting damage.
If you are connecting one of the portable jump starters to your battery you are far safer and far less likely to do any damage to your car. These machines are designed to prevent accidents like reversed polarity or over-charging. Using the jump starters will allow you to safely crank your vehicle, without causing any damage. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
The best jump starter is one that fits your price range, works on the size of the car engine you have, has safety features that prevent accidents, and is easy to use. The jump starters we mentioned in this article do all of these things and more.
It is a comforting feeling to know that should your car battery go dead; because you were listening to the radio; or the temperature outside depleted your battery; or your alternator stopped working, that you can give it a boost and crank your vehicle right up. It is also comforting to know that if your teenager takes the car out they will not run the battery down and be left stranded.
The security that a jump starter provides is simply priceless.