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Auto Accessories

Best Battery Jump Starter

No matter what, it's always an inconvenience to be in a situation where your car won't start. One of the most common causes of this problem is a flat battery which can’t provide enough power to crank the engine. The usual solution to this is to ask someone to help out and hope they have jumper cables. Alternatively, you can spend a little money and solve a big problem by having around a portable jump starter. A battery jump starter can range from a basic model with the sole purpose of jump starting your cars battery to being more of a multi-purpose emergency power source.

This list is focused on the best budget-friendly jump starters that don't sacrifice stable starting performance that is, the ability to reliably start a vehicle with a dead battery. The focus on affordability means sometimes having to sacrifice extra features such as built-in air compressor, but all of the following picks will usually be sufficient for those who want the security and convenience of a battery jump starter, without having to pay a lot of money.

Wagan EL2464 200-Watt Power Dome LT Auto Jump Starter

Wagan's Power Dome lineup is known for packing tons of features into a compact, portable, and ultra-functional design. The Power Dome is not just a jump-starter; in fact it features an air compressor with pressure gauge, an AC outlet and 2 DC outlets, and a USB port for powering external appliances. The battery is rechargeable using either a simple household 110-volt outlet or the 12-volt “cigarette lighter” outlet commonly found in cars, ensuring that the battery will never drain unexpectedly.

The Power Dome LT provides up to 300 amps of cranking power which will easily get engines up and running without worry. Best of all, the Power Dome LT consolidates the function of many different gadgets into an intelligently-sized, utilitarian package that stores neatly in the trunk of your car, ready to be accessed when needed.

Black & Decker 300 Amp Low-Profile Jump Starter

The Black & Decker brand is very well-known for their tools being of good quality and design. Their JUS300B jump starter keeps up this reputation, with a low-profile and portable design yet still offering enough power to get most passenger cars and trucks started. Although the 300 cranking amps might not always be enough for much larger vehicles, this jump starter is good for those occasional times when you or someone else needs a jump start.

The JUS300B leaves out features such as an outlet or compressor, but includes several safety features such as a built-in area light, an on/off switch, and reverse polarity alarms. Charging the battery is accomplished with the built-in AC charger using a standard household extension cord. The JUS300B is easy to use, convenient, and affordable.

Black & Decker JUS500B 500 Amp Jump Starter

If the Black & Decker JUS300B appeals to you but you have concerns about the cranking amp rating, the JUS500B is a potential solution. This model is only slightly bigger than its lower-powered sibling, yet maintains the attractive low-profile design and portability entirely.

All of the features of the JUS300B are present, from the reverse polarity alarm to a bright built-in light to illuminate your work area in dim lighting. The battery in this unit can also be kept charged using the built-in AC charger which plugs into a standard household 110-volt wall outlet. This model is suitable if you own a heavy-duty truck, or if you live in an area with a cold climate which requires additional cranking amps to reliably start your car.

SOLAR Jump-N-Carry Ultra-Portable Jump Starter - KK JNC300XL

Although the Clore JNC300XL might not include a lot of features, such as a built-in compressor, it does pack a lot of power into a compact, portable, and easy-to-use design. This convenient jump starter is rated at 900 peak amps, with 225 amps of cranking power; enough juice to get most passenger cars/trucks going. The lack of an on/off switch or reverse polarity detection might be off-putting for some, but using a jump starter does ideally require a certain amount of knowledge regardless.

A built-in area light is included, as is a battery status indicator light, a 12-volt DC power outlet, and the JNC300XL can be charged using a wall outlet. As a convenient, portable, and affordable jump starter, the Clore JNC300XL does a good job.

Stanley J309 Jump Starter (300 amp)

While many of the more budget-friendly units forgo features that can be important for both safety and utility, the Stanley J309 offers a good blend of portability, features, and affordable pricing. This lightweight jump starter is compact and portable, while being rated at a peak of 600 amps and 300 cranking amps. Although this might not be ideal for jump starting the completely dead batteries of much larger vehicles, it should have no trouble getting most standard cars/trucks started.

The J309 includes a reverse polarity alarm, on/off switch, and bright built-in light - all contributing to better safety. It also includes some unique connectivity, with a USB outlet as well as the more standard cigarette lighter-style outlet for charging and power accessories. Its versatility and ease-of-use make the Stanley J309 a solid choice.

Jump-N-Carry JNC660 Jump Starter

Designed for professionals, the Jump-N-Carry line of battery jump starters carries with it a promise of quality and reliability. The Clore JNC660 is rated at a very powerful 1700 peak amps, and 425 cranking amps. This means that reviving a dead battery is a quick and easy task while its industrial-grade parts promise consistent and reliable performance.

The JNC660 is not a multi-purpose model, having very few features aside from automatic shut-off, a battery status gauge, and a 12-volt DC power outlet for accessories. Since this jump starter was designed with professionals in mind, it lacks some "dummy-proof" safety features such as a power switch or reverse polarity detection. As a result, the JNC660 is potentially not a good choice for those who have no prior experience with using a jump starter. However, for those who want lots of power and performance in a portable package, this is a great choice.

Wagan 400-Watt Power Dome EX Jumpstarter with Built-In Air Compressor

If you want your jump-starter to be a jack-of-all-trades, you’d be hard-pressed to find one better than the Wagan Power Dome EX 400W. Its jump-starting capabilities are bolstered by 600 cranking amps, a figure rivaling some standard car batteries. The Power Dome EX 400W is also loaded with a high-power air compressor, which really comes in handy when you need to adjust your tire pressure away from a gas station.

The units built-in 400-watt AC power inverter can power up to two accessories or appliances plugged into the AC outlets. The Power Dome EX 400W also functions as an AM/FM radio, and even includes an iPod input. For emergencies at night, the unit is equipped with a high-powered LED flashlight to warn oncoming motorists.

Black & Decker JUS500IB 500 Amp Jump Starter with Inflator

We've already reviewed the Black & Decker JUS500B and the JUS500IB is essentially the same unit, with an added 120 psi compressor for extra convenience and versatility. A low-profile design and on-board clamp and cable storage make the JUS500IB easy to store, whether in a kept garage or in a car/truck. Plenty of features enhance usability and safety, including an on/off switch, reverse polarity alarm, a bright built-in light for using the jump-starter in dark environments.

A rating of 500 cranking amps delivers plenty of power, and the battery can be charged using the built-in AC charger and a standard extension cord. The Black & Decker JUS500IB is easy and safe to use, while also being easy to store and portable. If the included compressor is worth the slight extra cost over the JUS500B, this is an excellent choice.

Electric Schumacher Electric PSJ-1812 Jump Starter And Portable Power Unit

Schumacher is an established and trusted brand when it comes to jump-starters, whether models for light use or heavy-duty models for professionals. The Schumacher PSJ-1812 is directed more at the professional, being rated at a very powerful 1800 peak amps, with 280 cranking amps. This level of performance ensures that a dead battery will spring back to life in a matter of seconds, while the heavy gauge cables and multiple status lights ensure ease of use and reliability.

This battery jumper doesn’t come with a lot of features other than a 12-volt DC power outlet. Like with most jump-starters, you’ll also need to purchase a separate extension cord to charge the jumper. Luckily, the PSJ-1812 is not prone to suffering overcharging, something that tends to cause failure in many other models. Though the lack of safety features such as reverse polarity detection potentially make this unit unsuitable for those unfamiliar with electrical behavior, it’s a high-quality and high-performance option for those who understand how to use it safely.

Stanley J309 Jump Starter (300 amp)

While many of the more budget-friendly units forgo features that can be important for both safety and utility, the Stanley J309 offers a good blend of portability, features, and affordable pricing. This lightweight jump starter is compact and portable, while being rated at a peak of 600 amps and 300 cranking amps. Although this might not be ideal for jump starting the completely dead batteries of much larger vehicles, it should have no trouble getting most standard cars/trucks started.

The J309 includes a reverse polarity alarm, on/off switch, and bright built-in light - all contributing to better safety. It also includes some unique connectivity, with a USB outlet as well as the more standard cigarette lighter-style outlet for charging and power accessories. Its versatility and ease-of-use make the Stanley J309 a solid choice.

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