Best AGM Battery Chargers: All Your Toys Ready To Roll

Don’t waste precious time replacing a dead battery thanks to these efficient AGM battery chargers.

byLisa Conant| UPDATED Jun 3, 2022 6:32 AM
Best AGM Battery Chargers: All Your Toys Ready To Roll
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If you’ve got an occasional-use vehicle, ATV, motorcycle, snowmobile, boat, tank, submarine, or anything else that uses an AGM battery, it’s a good idea to invest in an AGM battery charger if you haven’t already. Few things are more frustrating than gearing up for a fun ride on your favorite machine only to be stymied by a dead battery. 

For a fraction of the cost of a new battery, a fast-acting and affordable AGM battery charger can top up or even restore your dead AGM batteries, saving you time and money at the auto parts store and getting you out on the road or trail much faster than having to completely replace your old, tired battery. If you’re in need of a reliable AGM battery charger, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got a list of top picks and a solid buying guide to help you get the one that best suits your needs.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Summary List 

Our Methodology

When it comes to choosing the best AGM battery chargers, I wanted to provide you with a well-rounded list that features a good variety of reputable manufacturers with solid track records of providing high-quality, reliable products. I included a wide range of price points to suit any budget. I also focused on AGM battery chargers that use the latest technology and that feature innovative, compact designs suitable for a wide variety of uses. For more information on the selection criteria, click this link to The Drive’s Gear About page, which explains our methodology further.

Best AGM Battery Charger Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Brand: Ampeak
  • Model: 8542037300
  • Amperage: 2, 8, 15

Pros

  • Smart charger automatically selects charging method
  • Can also be used as a trickle charger
  • Durable and lightweight

Cons

  • Not the best for colder climate usage
  • Battery clamps could be stronger

If you want a user-friendly, reliable, durable, and well-priced AGM charger, my top pick overall has to be the Ampeak 2/8/15A 12V Smart Battery Charger. For an affordable price point, you get a smart charger that’s capable of a 2-amp trickle charge, 8-amp quick charge, or 15-amp rapid charge of your gel, AGM, or standard batteries. This easy-to-see unit is super lightweight and portable, so you can carry it on board as part of your emergency roadside assistance kit if you want.

This charger features a durable ABS shell that protects it against accidental impacts. The LCD display is large and easy to read. It shows you charging status, charging current, voltage, battery type, and error info. This unit also features a 6-step smart charging program that automatically allows for optimal battery power without the risk of overcharging. One thing to note is that this unit does not function well below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you live in a harsh climate, this might not be the one for you. Also, the battery clamps could be made more substantial. They tend to dislodge easily and should be checked regularly.

Specs

  • Brand: Foval
  • Model: BC01B-01
  • Amperage: 5

Pros

  • Super compact and portable
  • Highly affordable
  • Capable of charging six- and 12-volt batteries

Cons

  • Flimsy battery clamps
  • Not capable of jump-starting a dead battery

The Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger is a versatile and uber affordable AGM trickle chargers that are compatible with all lead-acid, flooded, or sealed batteries. It’s a great option for maintaining and charging cars, motorcycles, ATVs, boats, RVs, and more. Thanks to the compact design, it's easy to store and transport in any vehicle, so you can keep the charger on hand at all times. It features a four-step charging program that includes initialization, bulk charge, absorption mode, and float mode. All you need to do is connect it to your vehicle's battery.

The built-in LED indicators let you know about the charging status, even in maintenance mode. Another great thing about this charger is the fact that it comes with overheat protection. There's also an eight-foot-long cord and a two-year warranty for more security. The charger does have a couple of drawbacks, however. The main one concerns the quality of the clamps. They are a little flimsy, so you might need to put in some extra effort to secure them properly. The other issue is that this unit is not capable of jump-starting your dead AGM battery.

Honorable Mention
TowerTop Battery Charger

Specs

  • Brand: TowerTop
  • Model: BC-025 PRO
  • Amperage: 2, 10, 25

Pros

  • Capable of charging a variety of batteries
  • Capable of jump-starting dead batteries
  • Features eight different charging stages for optimal function

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No on/off switch for starting or stopping operation

The TowerTop Battery Charger gets a nod for being a smart, versatile, and powerful option that is capable of charging AGM batteries, as well as gel, deep cycle, and standard batteries as low as one volt. It’s a fully automatic charger that is virtually foolproof, providing you know how to attach the battery cables properly. It has an engine start aid that can emergently start your car in 100 seconds from dead. This unit can also automatically detect and repair severely sulfated battery terminals and recondition your battery.

It’s ETL-certified and offers eight different charging stages, including desulfation, soft start, constant current, constant voltage, analysis, recondition, float, and pulse maintenance, for optimal battery charging and maintaining. It also features protection from overheating, sparking, reverse polarity, short-circuiting, over-voltage, over-current, and more. One odd thing to note is that this unit is lacking an on/off switch and automatically starts charging once it’s plugged into an AC power source. Another issue is that this charger is one of the most expensive on the list.

Best Smart Charger
Noco Genius GenM3

Specs

  • Brand: Noco
  • Model: GenM3
  • Amperage: 10

Pros

  • Fully waterproof
  • Capable of charging multiple battery types
  • Backed by a five-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not capable of jump-starting dead batteries

If you're searching for a powerful AGM, wet, deep cycle, and gel battery charger, take a look at this one from Noco. It's a 12-amp device that is highly efficient in diagnosing, recovering, recharging, and maintaining different battery types, including marine batteries. The unit features a sturdy housing that is IP68-rated and NEMA 6P. That means it's waterproof and protected from outdoor threats such as reverse polarity, ignition, overcharge, and more. All in all, the charger is built to last and will safely charge and maintain batteries.

The installation is pretty straightforward, and the unit is easy to use. The package includes a comprehensive manual and a five-year warranty in case you run into any issues. Still, it's not one of those compact chargers you can place in the palm of your hand. The Noco charger is big and heavy, and you'll need to mount it accordingly. Also, you might need to buy the mounting screws separately; the included ones feel pretty flimsy.

Specs

  • Brand: Schumacher
  • Model: SP1356
  • Amperage: 3

Pros

  • Affordable smart charger
  • Features multi-stage charging and automatic voltage detection
  • Includes ring terminal adapters

Cons

  • Charger housing is flimsy
  • Can’t jump start dead batteries

Schumacher offers a 12-volt unit you can use to charge and maintain different battery types, including AGM, deep cycle, and gel batteries. It's fully automatic, affordable, easy to use, and ideal for long-term use. With the SP1356 you get to keep your batteries at peak power and ready to use all the time. The unit offers multi-stage charging, auto voltage detection, and reverse hook-up protection. All of these features ensure more precision and safety for both the charger and the battery. You'll be able to charge your vehicles in a breeze.

The clamp and ring terminal adapters are easy to connect, and the package includes convenient instructions in case you run into any issues. Additionally, the unit is rather compact and highly portable. There's even a hook that lets you hang the unit for storage. The main drawback of this unit concerns the quality of the housing. It’s definitely not as rugged as some others on the list, so you might need to keep the charger indoors. Also, keep in mind that this unit might fail in recharging completely drained batteries.

Best 12-Volt Charger
CTek 12-Volt Battery Charger

Specs

  • Brand: CTek
  • Model: 56-353
  • Amperage: 7

Pros

  • Solid option for larger vehicles
  • Can be used as a 12-volt power supply
  • Can restore deeply drained batteries

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Cigarette lighter adapter is not compatible with all vehicles

The CTek 12-Volt AGM Battery Charger is a top pick for charging larger cars, SUVs, and trucks. This is a convenient 12V charger suitable for all kinds of lead-acid batteries, including wet and AGM batteries. It's an automatic unit that features four charging modes for precise and safe charging. Along with powering up drained batteries, it can diagnose and maintain stored ones. The charger is rather compact and lightweight, which makes it quite handy for emergencies.

This unit is highly portable and intuitive to use. Even a beginner can figure it out in a few minutes. Additionally, the charger is shock- and dustproof. It features a sturdy housing that can withstand some serious abuse and harsh temps, making it suitable for outdoor conditions. This charger can be used as a 12-volt power supply so that you don’t have to worry about losing your vehicle’s data settings if you need to remove or replace a battery. This unit is on the pricey side of the spectrum. It’s also not compatible with all cigarette lighter power outlets.

Our Verdict

The best overall pick in terms of functionality, practicality, durability, and price point, is the Ampeak 2/8/15A 12V Smart Battery Charger. You get a smart charger that’s capable of 2-amp trickle charge, 8-amp quick charge, or 15-amp rapid charge of your gel, AGM, or standard batteries, and is lightweight and easy to use.

If you’re looking for an excellent budget-friendly choice that delivers quick and reliable results, check out the Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger. It’s compatible with all lead-acid, flooded, or sealed batteries and is a great option for maintaining and charging cars, motorcycles, ATVs, boats, RVs, and more.

Things to Consider Before Buying AGM Battery Chargers

When it comes to AGM battery chargers, picking the best one for you depends greatly on what your purpose for it is or why you need it. Today’s AGM battery chargers come with a variety of power ranges, capabilities, and price points. It’s important to consider certain factors to ensure you get the ideal product to suit your needs.

Amp Rating

Essentially, the higher the ampere rating of your battery charger, the faster you’ll reach a fully charged state. This also affects the ability of the charger to jump-start a dead battery or simply maintain a charge to prevent a dead battery. The lowest amp rating you can get is 0.5, which you’ll see in most solar-powered options. Larger AGM battery charging amps, such as 15 to 20, are needed for jump-starting.

Voltage Compatibility

Most AGM battery chargers are compatible with either six-, 12-volt, or both batteries. If you’re looking to charge larger vehicles, you’ll need a 12-volt charger. For smaller vehicles, like ATVs, lawn tractors, golf carts, etc., you can use a six-volt charger. Be sure to double-check the vehicles you’re planning on using the charger on prior to purchase.

Charging Modes

Many AGM battery chargers include automatically detected smart charging modes that allow you to set-it-and-forget-it. Most offer soft start, bulk charging, and float modes. If you want to be able to jump start a battery from dead, look for a charger that offers desulphation mode and recondition mode.

AGM Battery Charger Pricing 

For between $25 and $75, you can get a good quality, basic, AGM battery charger that’s capable of delivering reliable power to a variety of different batteries. Most of these units are quite lightweight and portable, but not the most durable or versatile. If you’re looking for an AGM battery charger that offers different charging stages, different voltage compatibilities, and the capability of jump-starting a battery, expect to spend between $100 and $200. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Can a dead AGM battery be charged?

A: It can, but it requires an AGM-specific charger that offers desulfation and restoration modes. Remember that the larger amp rating your charger has, the faster the battery will be restored.  That said, it could take one to two hours to charge your dead AGM battery sufficiently.

Q: Is it safe to leave an AGM battery charged overnight?

A: As long as you’re using a smart charger, you can leave your AGM battery attached to it indefinitely, theoretically. Smart chargers sense the state of the battery and tailor the charging capacity to what is needed. Without a smart charger, however, it’s not recommended to leave your battery hooked up to the charger for extended periods of time.

Q: How often should I charge my AGM battery?

A: As a general rule, your AGM battery should be charged anytime it drops down to 40 to 50 percent charged or every six months. AGM batteries that sit unused for long periods, like winter or summer, should be hooked up to a trickle charger that keeps them fully charged and extends the battery’s life.

Q: What does AGM stand for?

A: AGM stands for “absorbed glass mat”, and it’s a specific type of lead-acid battery. It absorbs the sulfuric acid with a very fine fiberglass mat and makes the battery spillproof. They typically have a much lower internal resistance and are capable of delivering high currents on demand.

Q: Will jump-starting a vehicle charge the battery?

A: Technically, yes, but it isn’t a full charge. You may be able to drive the vehicle until you turn it off again, but eventually, it may die again. Battery chargers are designed to charge the battery completely.

Q: How do I clean the battery terminals?

A: To properly clean away any sulfuric acid residue from the terminals, use a thick wire brush. Once the powder is wiped away, spray the terminals with an anti-corrosion spray to reduce the amount of acid that appears on them. Always wait until the spray is dry to connect the battery charger.