Reviews

Best Battery Terminals: Meet The High-Current Demands of Your Battery 

Maintain reliable battery performance with these battery terminals.

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BY Josiah Johnston / LAST UPDATED ON October 6, 2021

Bad battery terminals can impede the startup of your vehicle, resulting in a slow crank, rapid clicking, or difficulty starting. In extreme cases, corroded or damaged terminals can completely cut off electricity, preventing your vehicle from starting at all. If you notice that your vehicle is having any of these symptoms, take a look under the hood and you may find the culprit: Broken or corroded battery terminals. This can be easily corrected with an upgraded set of replacement terminals that have better fitment or corrosion resistance. Consider some of these aftermarket battery terminal replacements in our buying guide below so you never get stranded again.

Best Overall
Fastronix Military Spec Battery Terminal Top Post Kit
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Summary
Summary

This is a battery terminal kit from Fastronix that includes battery terminal covers. These battery terminals form a tight connection on battery top posts and maintain stable battery performance.

Pros
Pros
  • Works for several battery installations
  • Lead alloy adds to overall strength
  • Safeguards against electrical shorts
  • Works with most types of vehicles
Cons
Cons
  • Clamps are not compatible with all battery terminal sizes
  • Bolt screw is fairly large 
  • Proper fastening relies on correct installation
Best Overall
Fastronix Military Spec Battery Terminal Top Post Kit
Best Value
Schumacher Zinc-Plated Top Terminal and Post Washer Set
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Summary
Summary

An affordable Schumacher BAF battery terminal kit that offers an easy replacement for a damaged primary battery cable on your car battery.

Pros
Pros
  • Intuitive installation process
  • Zinc coating helps prevent corrosion
  • Features debris-collecting sections to keep dust off your battery
  • Enhanced overall conductivity
Cons
Cons
  • Metal components are easy to damage during setup
  • Doesn’t fit with all size of battery posts 
  • Can be tricky to install
  • Zinc has higher electrical resistance than steel or brass terminals
Best Value
Schumacher Zinc-Plated Top Terminal and Post Washer Set
Honorable Mention
Cllena Military Style Battery Terminal Top Post Kit
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Summary
Summary

A military-spec battery terminal kit from Cllena that can be used for ground connection, parallel connection, and battery extension.

Pros
Pros
  • Resists rust and corrosion damage
  • Comes with all necessary mounting hardware
  • Works on land and water-based vehicles
Cons
Cons
  • Plastic components are made out of weak polymer
  • Polymer covers vulnerable to cracks or heat damage
  • Lacks protections against incorrect installation
  • Lead alloy has higher electrical resistance than steel or brass terminals
Honorable Mention
Cllena Military Style Battery Terminal Top Post Kit
Battery Terminals in a car
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Best Battery Terminals Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall
Fastronix Military Spec Battery Terminal Top Post Kit

Our top pick comes from Fastronix and makes a tight connection to battery terminal posts to help maintain power, so you get strong, stable performance. These battery terminals are great for multi-battery setups (such as marine batteries), off-road equipment, and race cars, and this battery terminal kit includes not only the battery terminals but also copper lugs for cables, lug protectors, and red (positive) and black (negative) plastic battery terminal covers. The metal battery terminals are made of a lead alloy that provides strength and durability and reduces corrosion. 


Since they're made of lead alloy, they will last and help you avoid having to clean off corrosive acid that may form on the battery and the design also protects against shorts. However, the clamps on these battery terminals may not fit all automotive batteries, and the design features a large screw and bolt that may be problematic on some vehicles, so check your application first. They work great on multiple battery installations like marine batteries and are made in America. 

Specs:
  • Brand: Fastronix
  • Weight: 1.15 pounds
  • Materials: Lead alloy, copper, steel, and plastic

Pros:

  • Works for several battery installations
  • Lead alloy adds to overall strength
  • Safeguards against electrical shorts
  • Works with most types of vehicles

Cons:

  • Clamps are not compatible with all battery terminal sizes
  • Bolt screw is fairly large 
  • Proper fastening relies on correct installation
Best Value
Schumacher Zinc-Plated Top Terminal and Post Washer Set

With a simple hex-nut design, these battery terminals from Schumacher are easy to install and feature a larger negative battery terminal compared to stock, so it’s impossible to mix up the cables and make a wrong connection. The battery terminals are zinc coated, providing further protection against corrosion and battery acid buildup over time. This results in fewer rough starts, more horsepower, and better electronic operation. 


Schumacher claims that these battery terminals offer three times the conductivity of other battery terminals and they also come with soft felt post washers that help keep the area around and beneath the battery terminals clean. And while they fit properly in most situations, they’re not built for every single application and may not fit your standard battery terminal post. 

Specs:
  • Brand: Schumacher
  • Weight: 3.36 ounces
  • Materials: Zinc-plated steel, felt

Pros:

  • Intuitive installation process
  • Zinc coating helps prevent corrosion
  • Features debris-collecting sections to keep dust off your battery
  • Enhanced overall conductivity

Cons:

  • Metal components are easy to damage during setup
  • Doesn’t fit with all size of battery posts 
  • Can be tricky to install
  • Zinc has higher electrical resistance than steel or brass terminals
Most Versatile
Cllena Military Style Battery Terminal Top Post Kit

This battery terminal kit from Cllena can be used in a ground or parallel connection configuration or as a battery extension. In addition to the positive and negative battery terminals, the kit includes four two-gauge copper lugs, lug covers, and red and black military-spec battery terminal covers. The battery terminals are made of a lead alloy, which gives them strength and resistance to corrosion and rust, and results in durable, longer-lasting battery terminals. 


These battery terminals come with 3/8- and 5/16-inch mounting bolts and everything you need for an easy, fast installation. While the quality of the plastic battery terminal covers could be better and the product may ship without installation instructions, they are an economical buy. Note: be sure to install carefully to avoid damaging the battery cables.

Specs:
  • Brand: Cllena
  • Weight: 13 ounces
  • Materials: Lead alloy, copper, steel, and plastic

Pros:

  • Resists rust and corrosion damage
  • Comes with all necessary mounting hardware
  • Works on land and water-based vehicles

Cons:

  • Plastic components are made out of weak polymer
  • Polymer covers vulnerable to cracks or heat damage
  • Lacks protections against incorrect installation
  • Lead alloy has higher electrical resistance than steel or brass terminals
Best For Boats
WindyNation Brass Marine Grade Battery Terminal

Able to withstand even the most demanding conditions, the WindyNation Brass Marine Grade Battery Terminal is a great pick for those working with heavy-duty machinery, boats, RVs, or trucks. It is equipped to work with marine equipment and meets military specifications when it comes to durability, and it comes with both positive and negative terminals. Made out of brass, the stainless steel fastening tech prevents issues with corrosion and connects to most standard post batteries. 


This product stands out for its impressive ability to balance structural integrity without compromising electrical flow. Compared to lead or zinc plating on battery terminals (materials that can act as resistors), the brass lets your batteries work as efficiently as possible. However, there are downsides to the cast brass construction of the terminals: since it’s softer than steel, it’s not as strong. Though it is structured so this won’t be an issue in most applications, it is something to be aware of.

Specs:

  • Brand: WindyNation
  • Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Materials: brass, steel

Pros:

  • Built to meet military specifications B-12128C and SAE-890
  • Brass and stainless steel construction resistant to corrosion from both weather and battery acid
  • Compatible with most standard post-style batteries
  • Better electrical conductivity than lead or zinc-plated terminals
  • Wingnuts for easy assembly/disassembly

Cons:

  • Bolts might not be long enough for all applications
  • Terminals aren’t as thick as some others on the market
  • Brass terminals aren’t as strong as steel terminals
Honorable Mention
Guteauto Store Battery Terminal Set

The Guteauto Store Battery Terminal Set is compatible with 6- and 12-volt plates and the terminal connectors are compatible with all types of vehicles, ranging from trucks to RVs. Working with three-way terminals, the pure copper plate helps things flow efficiently and each set comes with a thick polymer that's color-coded to indicate whether it’s positive or negative. 

The clear-cut mode of installation makes the setup much more intuitive and with a cathode ringing in at 0.71 inches and the anode at 0.67 inches, it fits most common batteries. 


Versatile enough to work almost anywhere but while these terminals perform well, the design lends itself to a shorter shelf life. As they're made of steel, they’re vulnerable to corrosion but they’re a good short-term solution.

Specs:

  • Brand: Guteauto
  • Weight: 4.9 ounces
  • Materials: Tin-plated copper, steel

Pros:

  • Works with three-way terminals
  • Tin-coated copper allows for corrosion resistance with decent electrical conductivity
  • Compatible with most common post-style batteries
  • Color-coded positive and negative terminals

Cons:

  • Steel part of the terminals is vulnerable to corrosion
  • Tin coating increases the electrical resistance of the copper
  • May need to be installed upside down for some applications

How We Selected Battery Terminals

We researched a vast array of battery terminals and we’re very choosy when it came down to selecting the final grouping. We nixed many for poor construction, negative user testimonials, and from manufacturers with suspect quality pasts. In the end, we left behind a lot, even some from name-brands, to give you a list that won’t let you down. 

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these terminals yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

Types of Battery Terminals

Auto Post

These are the most common type of battery terminals, and if you have ever replaced a truck or car battery you will recognize it. Auto post terminals have a positive battery terminal post that is larger than the negative battery terminal post. This is to prevent reverse polarity if you accidentally connect to the wrong battery terminal post.

Pencil Post

These look identical to auto post battery terminals, but they have a smaller circumference. Pencil post battery terminals are smaller because they fit on smaller-sized batteries, which are designed to fit in smaller spaces. These battery terminals are found mostly on Japanese-made cars and trucks.

Stud Battery Terminals

You will find these stainless steel 3/8th-inch threaded battery terminals on the batteries of most heavy- and medium-duty Class-8 trucks on the road. This design securely fastens and holds the connection to the lug onto the battery terminal’s lead base. It looks like an upright stud or bolt.

Dual Post (A.K.A. Marine) Battery Terminals

Dual post battery terminals are made with a 3/8”-16 automotive post and 5/16”-16 stud. The automotive post is for connecting to the positive battery terminal post; the 5/16” is for connecting to the negative battery terminal post. You make your connection to the battery terminal posts with either a ring and wing-nut configuration connector or a normal pressure contact. You will find these battery terminals on marine battery applications but also on electronic equipment, such as floor scrubbers and off-the-grid, solar-application battery setups.

Button Battery Terminals

Also called insert battery terminals, these are used on absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries on uninterruptible power systems and emergency backup applications. They come in M5 to M8 sizes (metric measurements). This means that if your battery has an 8mm terminal, you need a bolt that has an 8mm-diameter thread.

Battery Terminal Key Features

Conductivity

The ability to conduct electricity efficiently from your alternator to your car battery is very important when choosing battery terminals. The battery connectors must be made of a metal that can conduct electricity like lead, zinc, brass, copper, steel, or a combination of these metals, and they must conduct electricity well so your vehicle operates at top performance.

Secure Connections

Battery terminals connect to the battery and battery cables with a number of devices: bolts, screws, or wing nuts. The fasteners should allow secure attachment to the battery posts, but where and how they are located on the terminals are also considerations. Placement should make it relatively easy to work with the battery terminals, i.e., there should be room to work when you remove, clean, or install them.

Fit

Choose the battery terminals that are right for your application. Your choice of battery terminals must fit your battery and be right for your vehicle, whether it’s a truck, car, or SUV. The battery terminals also must fit your battery cables. Researching battery terminals before you buy is a big help in making your choice.

Other Considerations

  • Functionality: The most important consideration is whether the battery terminals provide power to your battery. Read reviews and the product descriptions about battery terminals for hints on how well the battery connectors you want to buy do the job. Battery terminals that look nice or have additional equipment included, like battery terminal covers or cleaning tools, but don’t do the most important job of conducting electricity are undesirable. 
  • Price: Consider your budget and your needs when choosing battery connectors. Prices vary widely and it does not make sense to buy an expensive set of battery terminals when a more reasonably priced set of battery terminals does the job just as well. 
  • Fancy or Basic: Do you want a battery terminal kit that includes protective covers, fiber washers, and a cleaning tool? Or do you just need a basic set of battery terminals? A set of gold- or brass-plated battery terminals will look great under the hood, so maybe you want those instead of the more utilitarian versions of battery connectors. Research your options to see what quality of battery terminals you can get for the money. 

Battery Terminal Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and battery terminals. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way. 

  • An inexpensive method of protecting the battery terminals from corrosion is to rub petroleum jelly on the positive and negative terminals. You could use a wrench to remove the cables from the post for better access to the terminals. 
  • Monitor the condition of your battery terminals on a regular basis. Pop the hood and disconnect each terminal to inspect them for any signs of rust, wear, or corrosion. Clean them if need be.
  •  A mixture of baking soda and white vinegar (or water) is a good solution for cleaning battery terminals. First, wipe off any grease residue with a clean rag. Then, put them in a bowl of the mixture for a few minutes to remove the tough corrosion or grease stains. 

FAQs

Q: How do I improve the connection of battery terminals?

If you notice that you are not getting the best out of the connection of your battery terminals, it may be due to a dirt layer or a metal oxide coating. The latter forms when the terminals are exposed to heat and humidity and result in an extra dull layer on the metal. To get a better connection, use a wire brush to scratch off the terminals until they are shiny.

Q: How do you prevent battery terminals from corroding?

You could use small amounts of dielectric grease that will neutralize and prevent corrosion. You could also use an anti-corrosion washer, which are typically felt pads with an anti-corrosion formulation. You’ll need to detach the terminals from the battery before you apply the anti-corrosion agents.

Q: What causes battery terminal corrosion?

When a vehicle’s battery is damaged, there is usually a build-up of corrosive acid powder. The acidic powder, which is typically white, yellow, or green, leaks onto the terminals and corrodes the material. Eventually, this build-up will block the flow of electricity, and the terminals will not be able to maintain an electrical connection. The battery won’t be able to complete a discharge when required and may eventually die.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the Fastronix Military Spec Battery Terminals. They allow for superior signal transfer from your vehicle’s battery to the electrical system, and the terminals are designed for durability. 

The  Schumacher Zinc-Plated Top Terminal and Post Washer Set is an affordable replacement for corroded stock battery terminals, and the terminals are easy to install.