Reviews

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

Maintain stable battery performance with these battery terminals

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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON October 24, 2019

The best battery terminals can improve the performance of your vehicle’s convertor and help you achieve higher speeds. If you notice that your vehicle isn’t accelerating, take a look under the hood and you may find the culprit: the battery terminals may be corroded, and that could be the reason behind your car or truck's insufficient horsepower. Consider some of the aftermarket battery terminal replacements in our buying guide below.

Best Overall
Fastronix Military Spec Battery Terminals 
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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 all 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 Terminals 
Best Value
Schumacher BAF-TTC Terminals
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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 
Best Value
Schumacher BAF-TTC Terminals
Honorable Mention
Cllena Military Style Battery Terminals
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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
  • Constructed using conductive steel alloy
  • 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
Honorable Mention
Cllena Military Style Battery Terminals

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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Battery Terminals

  • Increased conductivity and efficiency. Because quality battery terminals increase conductivity and efficiency, you can expect your vehicle to have the ability to accelerate better and faster. This means more response off the line and increased agility and maneuverability as you drive. 
  • Better electronics performance. An up-to-date pair of battery terminal connectors provide better performance of electronics across the board. This includes headlights, taillights, and marker lights. It also gives you more responsive electric windows and door locks, and a more powerful blower.
  • Better battery charging. New battery terminals allow your alternator to charge your car battery more completely and thoroughly. This, in turn, provides longer battery life because an incompletely charged battery is a short-lived battery.

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 an ⅜”-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 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. 

Top Battery Terminal Brands

ACDelco

ACDelco began business operations in 1908. The company supplied parts to airplanes that Charles Lindburgh and Amella Earhart flew. ACDelco helped build equipment for use in World War II and for the Apollo space program. Although it is a global company with distribution centers in North America, India, and Japan, among others, its home office remains in Detroit, MI. Top battery terminals include the GM Original Equipment Battery Terminal and the Professional Battery Cable Terminal.

Schumacher Companies

H.R. Schumacher founded the company in 1941 because he saw a need for processes that could provide corrosion and abrasion protection for metals. The company subsequently bought several other enterprises that have helped them expand their capabilities and their customer base. Now in its third generation of family ownership, one of Schumacher’s best offerings for battery terminals is the Coated Top Terminal/Post Washer set. The company’s main offices are in Houston, TX. 

Battery Terminal Pricing

  • $2-9: On the lower price end, you will find basic zinc- or brass-plated battery terminal connector sets that can fit both ⅜-inch and 5/16-inch battery posts.
  • $10-15: These battery terminal pairs provide great conductivity and are long lasting, yet they are reasonably priced. 
  • $16-18: These attractive battery terminal connector sets (some have nickel or gold plating) offer superior conductivity and longevity. The screws on many versions of battery terminals make for a secure connection. 

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, or 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 work well, 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.  

Best Battery Terminals Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Fastronix Military Spec Battery Terminal Top Post Kit

Our top pick 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. 


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 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. The design also protects against shorts. 


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, but we still recommend these battery terminals. They work great on multiple battery installations like marine batteries and are made in America. Note: you will need a tool to attach the copper lugs to the power wires or weld them on.

Best Value
Schumacher Zinc-Plated Top Terminal and Post Washer Set

Use these battery terminals from Schumacher to replace broken or damaged OEM equipment. With a simple hex-nut design, these battery terminals are easy to install and feature a larger negative battery terminal compared to the smaller positive battery terminal, 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. Less corrosion and acid buildup means the battery terminals last longer and ultimately provide better engine and electrical performance. 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. These battery terminals also come with fiber post washers that help keep the area around and beneath the battery terminals clean.


These are well-made battery terminals even though there have been some reports of battery terminals cracking or breaking during installation. And while they fit properly in most situations, some users have had problems with one of the battery terminals not fitting on a standard battery terminal post. 

Most Versatile
Cllena Military Style Battery Terminal Top Post Kit

This battery terminal kit 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. Use them on trucks, cars, RVs, SUVs, and boats.  


The battery terminals are made of a lead alloy, which gives them strength and resistance to corrosion and rust. The lead alloy construction 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 correctly to avoid burning the battery cables.

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. It is equipped to work with marine equipment and meets military specifications when it comes to durability. It comes with both positive and negative terminals. Made out of brass, the stainless steel fastening tech prevents issues with corrosion. 


The device 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 increased electrical efficiency: since it flows faster, it also heats more. Though it is structured so this won’t impact the function, it does result in extra thermal energy. It is a nominal amount of heat that shouldn't cause issues in a marine setting. 

Honorable Mention
Guteato Store Battery Terminal Set

The Guteato Store Battery Terminal Set is compatible with 6- and 12-volt plates. 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. 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. 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, this set of steel terminals is durable.


While these terminals perform well, the design lends itself to a shorter shelf life. Some users have also complained that they had to install them upside down. In addition, they're steel and vulnerable to corrosion. Still, this is an affordable, short-term solution. 

Tips

  • 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 the best solution for cleaning your battery terminals. First, wipe off the 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 improve the connection of the battery terminals?

A: 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 terminal corrosion?

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

Q: What causes battery terminal corrosion?

A: When a vehicle’s battery is damaged, there is usually a build-up of corrosive acid powder. The acid powder, which is either white, yellow, or green, leaks onto the terminals and corrodes the material. In the end, 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 Terminal. They allow for superior signal transfer from your vehicle’s battery to the electrical system, and the terminals are designed for durability. 

The Schumacher BAF-TTC Terminal are affordable replacements for corroded stock battery terminals, and they are easy to install.