LAST UPDATED: November 27, 2019
Best Battery Desulfators: Fully Restore Your Battery’s Capacity
A reliable desulfator restores a battery to an excellent performance level
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON November 27, 2019
A battery is an essential part of your vehicle. When left unchanged or not fully charged for long periods of time, deposits of lead sulfur form on the lead plates and harden over time, inhibiting the performance of the battery. This situation calls for a battery desulfator, which restores the battery to full capacity, thus increasing its performance and durability. Below are some of the best battery desulfators on the market.
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Benefits of a Battery Desulfator
- Desulfates. A desulfator breaks down the sulfur that has built up in your battery and dissolves it. It does this by passing current through the sulfate buildup. The buildup then drops into the battery acid and dissolves. This process results in no harm to the battery.
- Longer battery life. A desulfated battery lasts longer. The longer a battery lasts, the less money you have to spend on new batteries. Replacing batteries can get expensive, especially if you have to replace six or eight batteries as in a solar energy setup.
- Better performance. A desulfated battery is stronger. A strong battery provides more power and more consistent power to the electrical system. Whether the electrical system is on a boat, car, truck, or lawnmower, the better resultant power and consistency from a desulfated battery allows the system to provide the functions for which it was designed.
Types of Battery Desulfators
This is not a smartphone- or computer-controlled unit, but instead a desulfator that has the ability to detect if your battery is sulfated. This ability is the reason the makers call this a “smart” unit. It has indicators such as voltage readings and time of charging, but it does not give you the capability, for example, to start charging remotely or monitor desulfating on your smartphone.
These battery desulfators also are capable of charging the battery. Once you get your battery desulfated, you can charge it and get it back to optimum operation with this unit. Note: You can use this type of device as a stand-alone charger.
These desulfators can desulfate many types and styles of batteries. In addition to traditional lead acid batteries, they also work on AGM, flooded, maintenance-free, gel, and lithium-ion batteries. The applications include cars, trucks, SUVs, tractors, boats, motorcycles, ATVs, RVs, and lawnmowers.
The NOCO company began in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio. Its first product prevented battery corrosion. Today, the company produces a variety of battery-related products including battery chargers and jump starters. It also makes portable power units and solar panels. NOCO’s corporate headquarters remains in Cleveland, with R&D in Phoenix, Arizona, a distribution center in Holland, and manufacturing in Hong Kong. Check out the Boost HD UltraSafe Portable Lithium Car Battery Jump Start.
BatteryMinder is a division of VDC Electronics. VDC was founded in 1993 and its company headquarters is in Huntington, New York. The company specializes in battery-management items. Popular products include the 244CEC1-AA-S5 Concorde Aviation Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator and the 1215C Convertible Multi-Use On-Board Benchtop Battery Maintainer and Desulfator.
Battery Life Saver (BLS)
This company is located in Clearwater, Florida, and has been in business since 2002. It makes battery rejuvenators for electric cars, golf carts, marine applications, lift trucks, forklifts, RVs, and others. Its products include the BLS-48BW 48 Volt Battery System Desulfator Rejuvenator.
Battery Desulfator Pricing
- $20-$50. In this price range, you get desulfators that do only that job and feature simple graphics. Some have automatic temperature compensation when charging.
- $50-$100. In this range, you get a desulfator and a battery charger in one unit. The graphics are better and the quality of the electronics and the parts are also better than the cheaper units. Some units allow for charging six batteries at once and ambient temperature sensing that automatically adjusts voltage according to temperature.
- $100-$165. In this range, you can charge 48-volt systems and also up to eight batteries at a time in parallel. Some units have two amp settings (4 and 8); you may need the 8-amp setting for charging a large deep cycle battery or multiple batteries. These also feature the ability to automatically adjust the voltage based on the ambient temperature of the battery and the environment around it.
The main function of these units is to desulfate the battery so it works better and provides you with the power you need. A desulfator uses voltage or high-frequency pulses to “zap” the sulfates that have built up over time in your battery. The electricity loosens the sulfates and they drop back into the acid and dissipate. A good desulfator can rejuvenate your batteries and save you money over the long run.
Some of these units are desulfators and rechargers in one. This allows you the thorough ability to maintain your batteries. Once you desulfate them, you can charge them (and keep them charged) so they operate correctly and give you the power you need, when you need it—for starting, operating, and maintaining electrical systems.
Service Batteries for Various Electrical Systems
With many of these desulfators, you can service batteries for use on a variety of electrical systems. These include automotive systems, marine electrical systems, RV, and ATV systems, systems in lawn equipment, and solar electrical systems. Most people think battery desulfators are for cars and trucks, but they are not limited to these applications. Check out which desulfators are best for your particular need before you buy.
- Price. You definitely want to consider price in your purchase decision. The cost of battery desulfators varies widely, from $12 to over $150. Read the product descriptions, questions and answers, and the reviews to help you determine the quality and features of the desulfator you’re considering. You may want a simple unit, you may want one that has some extra features, or you may want one that has all available features.
- Style and Look. Check out the various styles and appearances of the battery desulfators on the market. While you can’t “judge a book by its cover,” if the style of indicators, cables, and lights appeal to you and will function in your work environment, that’s the unit worth considering and eventually purchasing.
- Ease of Operation. The process of desulfating a battery is pretty simple. Just attach the charging wires and plug in the unit. But if a unit has a lot of features that can confuse you and make a simple job complicated, it’s probably not a good idea to add this tool to your collection. Find one that makes sense to you and is easy to operate.
Best Battery Desulfator Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This desulfator uses a high-frequency pulse to desulfate batteries, not high voltage. It is a patented process that safely removes sulfation, reconditioning the battery so you can use it again. Batteries you may have thought were beyond repair you can rejuvenate with this unit. BatteryMinder says that this desulfator can extend the life of batteries up to four times compared to new ones that have not been adequately maintained.
This unit can desulfate up to six batteries together when configured in parallel. The unit is great for winterizing trucks, cars, ATVs, boats, RVs, and motorcycles. It has an ambient temperature sensor, too. This feature adjusts voltage based on the temperature in and around the battery. In addition, the desulfator has short-circuit, over-temperature, and reverse-polarity protection.
Keep in mind that in order to desulfate two or more batteries in parallel, you have to use Y-cords, which is a separate purchase. Also, this battery desulfator only works on 12-volt batteries.
This unit resurrects batteries that you might have thought were useless. This includes 6- and 12-volt lead acid batteries, marine, automotive and deep cycle batteries, flooded, AGM, gel, lithium-ion, and maintenance-free batteries. This desulfator automatically determines sulfation so you can maintain your batteries properly.
This unit, in addition to being a desulfator, is also a battery charger that recharges batteries which have voltage as low as 1 volt (0 volts using the “Force Mode” feature). It can be used for car and truck batteries, motorcycles, ATVs, SUVs, boats, tractors, lawn equipment—even classic cars. The desulfator has a thermal sensor that senses ambient temperature. This adjusts the charge so you don’t overcharge in hot climates and undercharge in cold ones.
Purchasers have noted a couple of downsides. One said the unit did not fully charge the battery. Another said the unit was difficult to put into repair mode.
This economically-priced desulfator uses electrical pulses at high frequency to dissolve sulfate from the battery plates. When sulphate builds up, it prevents the battery from operating at a full charge. Once the sulfate dissolves, the battery performs as it should and it will last for an extended period of time. This means you don’t have to buy a new one—just rejuvenate the old one.
This device is also a battery charger that monitors and tests the battery every microsecond. Therefore, it supplies only the current needed to sustain the battery in good working order.
The device is easy to use and has only three lights for monitoring the process: a green one that indicates Charging/Maintenance, a red one that indicates AC Power ON, and a green one for the Press for Maintenance button. Use it to maintain as many as four 12-volt starting batteries connected in parallel that are similar in design. This unit divides amperage evenly between the batteries when they are connected together.
Please note that the manufacturer does not recommend this desulfator for deep cycle batteries. You might also get a spark from the connectors even if the unit is not plugged in if you are near another circuit.
- Keep your battery fully charged to prevent sulfation. A lead plate battery should be charged 14 to 16 hours each time.
- Sometimes sulfation can result in permanent damage to your battery. It is advisable to check the water level of your battery frequently. If the water level is below the plate, then critical sulfation has occurred.
- When shopping for a reliable desulfator, consider if it has a testing kit, high-frequency current, monitoring indicator, and lead battery charger.
Q: What is desulfation?
A: When you frequently drive at low speeds or don’t drive at all, the battery does not acquire a full charge. Consequently, sulfate crystals form on the lead plates, inhibiting the performance of the battery. This process is known as sulfation. Desulfation is the removal of these sulfate crystals through a gadget called a desulfator.
Q: How does a battery desulfator work?
A: It works by sending electric pulses through the battery, and the sulfate comes off the lead plates. The sulfate dissolves in the acid, making the battery regain its full capacity.
Q: How long does it take to desulfate a battery?
A: It depends on the efficiency of your desulfator and the amount of sulfate that has formed on the battery. Keep your battery charging until you see a significant improvement. Sometimes the process takes up to a week.
We recommend the BatteryMINDer Model 2012 as the best battery desulfator overall. It safely desulfates batteries with high-frequency pulses and is a good commercial desulfator.
If you are on a tight budget, consider the NOCO Genius5 Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator. It also works well and it is durable.