Whether it is your first time buying a battery charger or you are looking to replace your old one, being familiar with all the characteristics that the different models on the market offer is always a good idea. Some types boast with a range of great features, such as extremely fast charging or a charge indicator, however, the more features a charger has – the more expensive it will be. For that very reason, it’s best that you first assess your needs and consider what exactly you are going to use your charger for. Also, think about what type of batteries you will be charging and how fast you will need them charged? Once you know what you are looking for, you’ll have an easier time finding the model you need without overspending.
The Different Types of Battery Chargers
Smart Battery Chargers
These battery chargers are also known as delta-V chargers. They feature a display that shows the voltage levels in your battery so that you can disconnect it from the charger once you notice it is fully charged. This display is also helpful if you want to change the setting to a slow trickle charge in order to keep the batteries full without damaging them. Some versions of smart chargers are also known as universal battery chargers as they can be used with various types of batteries. Also, smart battery chargers are the safest option as they prevent overcharging which is the number one reason for damaging brand new batteries.
These chargers have a constant low charge ‘trickling’ through the batteries. Many of them have a built-in timer so that you can pre-set when you want the charger to switch off. However, this does not prevent your batteries from overcharging or undercharging as there is no way of telling how full each battery is and how long you need to charge them. Trickle chargers are less expensive than smart chargers but they are more likely to damage your batteries. Also, unlike universal battery chargers, trickle chargers can only charge one type of rechargeable batteries and might not be the best choice if you want to charge different types.
Other Battery Chargers
There are also some more basic types of chargers – if a charger is not listed as a smart or a trickle charger, then most likely it falls under this category. These have the simplest design and are the cheapest option, however, they don’t have many features. You can’t monitor the battery’s charging progress and you can’t set a timer to automatically turn them off – you have to do this manually which means that there is the risk of overcharging. This option can be suitable if you are using less expensive batteries and you are not too worried about damaging them.
Battery Charger Speeds
Different chargers can fully charge batteries at different speeds – some can do that in a matter of minutes, while others might need an entire night. Logically, the faster the charger is the more expensive it will be. So, to make the most out of your money, find a reliable online store where you can find quality type-specific and universal battery chargers at decent prices.
The battery charging technology is constantly developing and today you can find various smart universal battery chargers that can charge batteries in under an hour. The best and fastest models should be able to charge in 15 minutes, which is quite convenient, as you don’t have to plan to charge your batteries long before you want to use them. Nevertheless, these tend to be on the pricier side.
These are the second-best option you can find on the market. They are a little bit less expensive than super-fast chargers and they usually take up to two hours for a full charge. You might need to do a bit of planning beforehand to make sure your batteries are charged on time. Despite that, they are worth it if you want an affordable device that provides relatively fast charging.
Slow chargers, as you probably assume, take the longest to charge. With these models, you will probably need to leave your batteries charging overnight to get them fully powered. If you are using universal battery chargers with this speed, the time it would take to charge different types of batteries might be different depending on the capacity of the rechargeable batteries.