Best Jump Starter 2017

WE DID THE WORK TO FIND THE BEST AND THESE ARE THE RESULTS:

PreviewNameAwardsPurchase

Schumacher PSJ-2212

Best Overall

Clore JNC660

Best for the Money

PowerAll PBJS12000R

Best on a Budget

You never know when an engine won’t start up. It could be the cold start in the early hours of the morning with the dew still lying on the flowers, and the motor refusing to turn over. Alternatively, mistakenly leaving the headlights on overnight drains a battery down to zero which is deadly for being able to use the car to get to work in the morning. Either way, a solution is needed that will quickly resolve the problem.

A jump starter is a piece of equipment that delivers a charge high enough to get the engine started. When the motor simply won’t turn over because the battery won’t supply the initial jolt to get it moving, a jump starter is an indispensable piece of equipment to have in the trunk of the car ready for times like these.

The market of the best jump starter is a full one. It is also rather confusing to drivers who haven’t owned a jump starter before and feel they would benefit from having one as a backup to make it into work regardless of the status of their car’s battery.

What follows is three jump starter reviews that confirm our picks for the best overall product in this category, the most economical one in the budget range, and the one that offers the best value.

1

Best Jump Starter

Schumacher PSJ-2212

2200 peak amperes, 330 cranking ampere and 275 cold cranking amperes

This is considered by us the best jump starter on the market!
9.5 Total Score
Best Jump Starter

This is considered by us the best jump starter on the market!

Price
9.2
Design
9.5
Functionality
9.7
User Rating: 4.6 (1 votes)

The Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries 2200 Peak Amps Jump Starter and Portable Power Unit is our overall winner in the Best Jump Starter category.

The ProSeries Jump Starter when fully charged comes with a 2,200 peak amp delivery system, with 330 cranking amps. It also has 275 cold cranking amp delivery using its 12-volt power distribution system.

The product comes in two package options:

  1. Jump starter and power unit
  2. Jump starter, power unit, and power cord

A heavy duty clamp comes with the unit in its charger cable version (there is a second product version without the charging cord). Replaceable copper jaws connect to the vehicle’s battery to apply a jump start. Four 50-inch cables come with the corded version of this product.

41HXxopB+7LAn alarm will sound when the hook-up has been done in reverse letting the driver know to swap around the connectors.

The polypropylene case with venting is robust enough to be thrown around a bit, and the rubber base on the charger helps to bolster against potentially damaging bumps on the road.

A 3-amp automatic charger is included with this product.

The product also doubles as a power unit to supply power for camping and during outages leaving homes without an electrical supply.

A digital display confirms information about charging levels and other useful information.

There is no USB charging port supplied with this model, but the Schumacher PSJ-1612-CA alternative model includes a USB charging port and a work light making it suitable for construction sites.

A separate charger is not needed for this unit because it is included already. The plug is 2-pronged, not 3-pronged, and plugs directly into an 110-volt electrical socket.

The PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries doesn’t just charge up or jump start automobiles; it is also possible to start farm tractors and larger trucks too. One would need to check the specifications to be entirely confident, depending on the make and model of truck or tractor.

2

Best Jump Starter for the money

The Clore JNC660 ‘Jump-N-Carry’ 1,700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter is our pick in the Best Jump Starter for the money category.

Clore JNC660

Voltmeter provides charge status of onboard battery

The Jump-N-Carry model is designed to perform jump starts on larger vehicles like larger SUVs and pickups weighing as much as one ton. The tool can also start up smaller cars too, like passenger vehicles, smaller SUVs, and smaller trucks.

The product comes in three package options:

  1. Jump starter only
  2. Jump starter and power cord
  3. Jump starter and cover bundle

 

oki2The JNC660 is a mid-range jump starter model that delivers 1,700 peak amps at the maximum to handle some relatively large vehicle classes in the car pool.

The Clore ProFormer battery is used for durability. The 22-amp hour battery is capable of delivering 22 amps in a single hour, 11 amps spread over two hours, and so forth.

Heavy-gauge #2 AWG cables measuring 46-inches are included in the package have strong clamps that get past any rust built up on a vehicle’s battery. A DC outlet is included to plug in 12-volt electrical products too.

A volt meter gives an indication of the charge level of the onboard ProFormer battery. Beyond the 1,700 peak amps, there is 425 of cranking amps to help vehicles start up.

The jump starter unit itself is not too heavy weighing in at 18 pounds.

The LED display indicates the present charging status and will advise the vehicle owner when it is fully charged. AC power hook ups don’t cause any damage to the battery even when not unplugged for months at a time. The automatic charging and auto-shut charging shut-off feature ensure that the jump starter is ready to leap into action at any time.

The blue unit has a thick carry handle with areas to stow away the clamps and heavy-gauge cabling neatly before moving this jump starter around.

3

Best Jump Starter on a budget

The PowerAll PBJS12000R Rosso Red/Black Portable Power Bank and Car Jump Starter is our pick in the Best Jump Starter on a budget category.

PowerAll PBJS12000R

Portable battery charger with charging adapters for all major electronic devices

The PBJS12000R is a compact, car jump starter that looks like a regular power bank for a smartphone or tablet because it is. It does have jumper clips to apply to a vehicle or motorcycle battery to jump start it which plug into the side of it.

The product comes in two package options:

  1. 12,000 mAh power unit
  2. 16,000 mAh power unit

The peak amperes are only 400. The lower amount will not be sufficient to jump start all types of vehicles out there, so car owners will need to verify first whether this will be sufficient for their vehicle or collection of vehicles.

red3Both the 12,000 mAh and 16,000 mAh models are useful, with the larger capacity being worth it to supply multiple jump start capabilities over a period assuming the peak amp charge is sufficient to initiate the engine.

The voltage level is protected with a feedback system that avoids the battery inside this unit becoming damaged from a reversal of the charge being sent through.

While this jump starter is in the budget category and lacks the kind of heavyweight power and durability of the more expensive, robust models, the main thing it has going for it is its small dimensions and weight. Clearly, it is heavier and more awkward to carry around than a regular power bank due to the addition of the two clips and the variety of accessories. Nonetheless, it’s hard to find a smaller jump starter than this product.

The product also performs double duty as a power bank charger with two USB slots to plug in smartphones, tablets and the like for recharging.

A LED flashlight is built into the unit, and it is pretty bright. The portable nature of this jump starter means it is easier to lift it up to the engine level and shine the light on the battery area to help when hooking up the charging clips.

The number of times that the vehicle can be jump started using the PowerAll PBJS12000R depends whether it has been fully charged already and what amps are needed to jumpstart the car successfully.

Why you need a Jump Starter

A jump starter is an excellent tool to have around to start up a vehicle that has a dead battery. The ability to get on the road in the morning to head into the office without being stuck at home and then restart the vehicle after work to head back before charging the battery overnight is invaluable.

startingThere are different types of jump starters to choose between. The major differences are the peak amps that the starter has available for the battery. Each model delivers a different number of available amperes and this, in part, determines how many times a jump start attempt is possible before the jump starter itself loses its internal power supply.

Be sure to match the voltage of the vehicle’s battery with the voltage output of the jump charger. Many cars use a 12-volt battery which will match most jump chargers, but a few small vehicles use a 6-volt battery. Verify this before proceeding.

Driving a vehicle without having access to a good jump starter is like looking for a problem to happen. Sooner or later, whether it is due to winter weather or merely a component of the vehicle failing to power down and draining the battery, the battery will surprise the car owner in the morning when it won’t get the engine starting up. It is at this point that we wish not to have to call out AAA to fix the problem. Having to call them out (assuming you’ve already got coverage) and having to explain the reason to your boss is going to make your feel pretty silly. Being prepared is much better.

What makes a great Jump Starter – Buyer’s Guide

buyersA great jump starter is one that can step into the void created when a battery won’t start the engine.

Some models come with charging cables; others do not. Many charging cables are interchangeable with other jump starter models, so it is not always necessary to buy the model with one. With that said, it is always useful to have a spare cable if only to keep one in two separate places for easy access.

Most jump starters have solid clamps. The actual jaws inside each clamp often are made of copper for better electrical induction. Depending on the model, the jaws can also be replaced with a newer version if they rust out.

A few jump starter units also act as power units that supply power to electrical devices during a power cut or even when out camping. While these are different types of products than, say, a dedicated gasoline powered generator, a jump starter that doubles as a power unit does offer an additional power supply option under a range of life circumstances.

It is worth pointing out that usually a jump starter, even if it includes a power unit facility, is not a battery charger. A separate battery charger is needed to give the vehicle’s battery a full overnight charge once the drama is over.

Pay attention to what jump starter is appropriate for which type of vehicle. SUVs draw a lot of power during start up and the initial running of the engine when compared to a sedan. The number of peak amps for a given jump starter may just not be enough for every model of car or van, and another automobile in the family, so pick a product that delivers enough peak amps with sufficient charge to make multiple attempts at starting a vehicle.

1

Best Jump Starter – Full Review

The Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries 2200 Peak Amps Jump Starter and Portable Power Unit is our overall winner in the Best Jump Starter category.

Schumacher PSJ-2212

2200 peak amperes, 330 cranking ampere and 275 cold cranking amperes

The ProSeries is in the middle of the Schumacher jump starter range of motor products. It is designed to help to start the engine when the battery inside the vehicle is drained of power and unable to perform the task.

When fully charged, this jump starting tool supplies 2,200 peak amps, 300 cranking amps and 275 cold cranking amps with its 12-volt power system. For most vehicles, this is enough power to run through several jump starting attempts until the engine fires up, doesn’t stall and keeps on moving sufficiently to take a trip to work.

The product comes in two package options:

  1. Jump starter and power unit
  2. Jump starter, power unit, and power cord

41HXxopB+7LThe power cord is only needed for people who don’t have one already for this type of unit. However, it is still useful to have a spare if nothing else.

The four 50-inch cables are heavy-duty, high-gauge durable cabling solutions. The large clips have copper jaws that are replaceable for new versions when they wear down or become less sharp to grip the battery securely.

For anyone who is not used to charging up a battery or using a jump starter, there is a convenient alarm system that alerts the user should the mistakenly connect up the clips the wrong way around preventing them from working.

The case for the PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries is made of polypropylene which gives it a sturdy feeling where it can be carried around without fearing that the slightest knock will damage the unit. The rubber base for the charger avoids damage from minor drops and jolts during transit when the unit is likely to be in the back of a pickup truck or stored in the trunk.

The automatic charger feature is useful to keep a little bit of juice flowing through. The 3-amp charge is enough to give things a small boost without being too significant. There is a protection to avoid overcharging the onboard battery too. The unit can stay in the trunk of a vehicle for several months, and the battery meter will still read close to 100% charged. An extension cable may be needed to plug successfully in from a distance away from the unit.

As well as being a jump starter, this particular model is also a power unit that stores a charge. Whether a power outage or camping with the family, having an extra source of energy stored in your vehicle is an ideal solution outside carrying around a full-blown generator which is noisy to run and will disturb other campers in the process.

While this model doesn’t have a USB charging port, another Schumacher design, the PSJ-1612-CA includes both a USB port and a work light to illuminate the immediate vicinity.

There is no requirement to have a separate charger for the Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries 2200 Peak Amps Jump Starter as it comes included. The plug is a two-pronged one, not a three-pronged one, but it will work in regular triple power sockets too. An 110-volt electrical outlet is all that is needed.

The digital display is a basic one, but it confirms charging level information and makes it easier to know when the jump starter is running out of power itself.

The PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries is capable of charging up sedans, SUVs, and even tractors. It is a good idea to check with the manufacturer whether the vehicle model is likely to be jump started successfully with this product. The information most relevant is the number of peak amps, cranking amps and cold cranking amps that can be fed into the vehicle to get it going again.

Price
90 %
Design
87 %
Functionality
95 %
2

Best Jump Starter for the money – Full Review

Clore JNC660

Voltmeter provides charge status of onboard battery

The Clore JNC660 ‘Jump-N-Carry’ 1,700 Peak Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter is our pick in the Best Jump Starter for the money category.

The Clore Automotive blue jump starter is a more compact product than some others. The charging cables tuck neatly away on either side, and the charge clips slot conveniently into place.

This model is capable of jump starting sedans, pickups, and small or large SUVs. It isn’t the best choices for 1-ton vehicles or other commercial vehicles which will usually need something more powerful than this product.

The product comes in three package options:

  1. Jump starter only
  2. Jump starter and power cord
  3. Jump starter and cover bundle

The JNC660 delivers 1,700 peak amps which are the main reason why it is capable of handling the larger SUVs that demand quite a bit of power to start them once their batteries are dead.

oki2The Clore ProFormer battery is a reliable 22-amp hour unit. The number of amps depends on the hours it is used for. For instance, 22 amps can be all used in a single hour or spread over 4 hours at 5.5 amps per hour. The added flexibility of this approach is useful for drivers who need to try restarting a vehicle more than once over the course of a few hours.

The 46-inch #2 AWG cables are serious heavy-gauge ones that are durable and will take some wear and tear over the years without complaint.

A 12-volt DC outlet built into the jump starter unit makes it easy to plug in electrical devices or an extension cord to power several devices at the same time.

Monitoring the charge amperes and voltage level is shown in a gauge rather than a digital display. The more traditional gauge may present more useful information to the casual user because each level on the meter is sectioned off and color-coded for better understanding. Either way, whether using the 425 of cranking amps or using up the 1,700 peak amps of the unit, the meter is indeed helpful to keep a handle on things.

There are two round LED bulbs for indicating current charging status and when the unit has been fully recharged.

Clore Automotive has a range of jump starter products suited for different types of vehicles, both personally owned and for commercial use. Their JNC660 ‘Jump-N-Carry’ is designed to be both powerful and portable at the same time. At 18 pounds, with a convenient carry handle, it is not problematic to lift the unit up to the bonnet of a car and stretch across the 46-inch cables to use the clamps to reach the onboard battery successfully and administer a successful charge to get the engine started once again.

albastrClore ProFormer battery holds a full charge exceptionally well. Charging the battery up and keeping it for months in the trunk of a vehicle isn’t likely to be a problem when needing it to jump start a sedan or SUV. It is, of course, a good idea to check on it from time to time as part of regular vehicle maintenance, but the battery certainly is durable and up to the task.

There is an automatic drip charging feature that adds some juice to the battery from time to time up to the 100% limit. At this point, the automatic charging disconnects to avoid overcharging which could damage the battery permanently. For this reason, it is safe to keep this jump starter unit plugged into AC power regardless of its current charged level.

Other than being able to jump start personal vehicles and trucks, even tractors can benefit from using this product to get their battery going again.

Price
92 %
Design
90 %
Functionality
87 %
3

Best Jump Starter on a budget – Full Review

PowerAll PBJS12000R

Portable battery charger with charging adapters for all major electronic devices

The PowerAll PBJS12000R Rosso Red/Black Portable Power Bank and Car Jump Starter is our pick in the Best Jump Starter on a budget category.

The first thing to understand about this PowerAll product is that it is essentially a heavily modified power bank. As such, it is not the same kind of product as the other more expensive branded jump starters. The PBJS12000R is a car jump starter that also doubles as a convenient power bank on the move too.

red3On the edge of the unit are five discrete red LEDs that light up depending on the current charging level with each light representing a 20 percent charge level. On either side of the LED indicator lights are 5-volt USB 2.0 charging ports designed to supply additional power to a smartphone, a tablet or another moderately lower powered electronics device. Both USB ports charge simultaneously, but also will power down when a mobile device reaches 100% battery level to avoid damaging a battery through overcharging it.

There is a round DC socket with a power adapter to plug into it and connect to an electrical wall outlet for fast charging. A second charger for the DC socket plugs directly into the cigarette lighter socket in a car, SUV, truck or van. The car charger uses between 12-volts to 24-volts and outputs 12.6-volts and 1.5-amps. An AC charger is also supplied as well. The AC charger runs between 100-volts and 240-volts. Its output is 12.6-volts and 1.5-amps. The AC charger can be safely used in foreign countries when a universal adapter is used for the plug.

There is also a multi-adapter tool for connecting to an iPhone via a 30-pin plug, a mini USB that will hook up to most Android phones, a Nokia plug, an LG plug, a Samsung plug, a Sony PSP plug, and a Sony Ericsson plug too. These are useful connectors that ensure the device can charge most portable electronics devices, however, for the latest Apple iPads and iPhones, a USB to Lightning cable will be required too. Wireless headphones, camcorders, a GPS unit and a wealth of other electronic tools can be safely charged from this power bank.

A portable LED has an enlarged bulb fitted to the end of the device near the red, recessed power button. There are three levels of illumination with the LED light which can be used to help see better when plugging in adapters (by lighting up the area better, particularly when bouncing light off nearby walls) and also when using the battery charging clips. The LED light has selectable modes including a flashlight, light stroke effect, and an SOS signal. With a fully charged power bank battery and no other drain on the battery at the time, the SOS signal will display for up to 120 hours.

The product comes in two package options:

  1. 12,000 mAh power unit
  2. 16,000 mAh power unit

The peak amp level is 400 which is sufficient to jump start a reasonable range of vehicles, but it is doubtful that this little jump starter will also jump start SUVs because they typically require more juice to start up.

kEither the 12,000 mAh or the 16,000 mAh models are capable of jump starting some vehicles. The additional energy capacity will help to continue to supply more power. However, it won’t change the amount of jump starting power that is fed through continuously at one time. Therefore, if this jump starter is not powerful enough for the make and model of vehicle, then owning the 16,000 mAh model won’t change that.

Regarding energy transfer, some energy is lost (up to 30%) during a power transfer process. The loss of energy is particularly the case of power bank systems, so car owners are not going to receive the full 12,000 mAh or 16,000 mAh they may believe. The energy loss is unique to energy transfer technologies and not a criticism of the product; all power banks suffer from the same issue.

There is a voltage feedback protection system that ensures energy doesn’t flip back on the power bank and cause damage to its battery or charging capabilities. This is an additional unusual feature which is most welcome to see in this product.

It is fair to point out that within the budget category, this product is one of the lightest and most portable jump starters one can buy. Rather than needing to keep a sizable, chunky jump starter in the trunk, this little product would even fit in the glove compartment. However, with the various accessories which come in a flimsy plastic bag, and the jumper grips, it is not a power bank that one would walk around with on a regular basis.

To be able to jump start a vehicle using this product, at least 3 LED lights must be lit up indicating a 50% or greater charge is present. The jumper cables then need to be plugged into the barrel socket on the power bank and clipped on to the battery in the vehicle which has become drained.

loll

The black-colored jumper cable must only be connected to the negative terminal on the battery. Once the black-colored jumper cable is in the correct position, then attach the red one to the positive terminal on the car battery to set up the charging sequence correctly. The red and black jumper cables should not be held at the same time for safety reasons. Both clamps also should not be connected to the same metal connector on the vehicle’s battery. Otherwise, this could be extremely dangerous too.

Only a single attempt should be made to start the vehicle. If the attempt fails, then disconnect the jumper cables one by one first and then wait 10-15 seconds before reconnecting the cables and giving it another try.

Price
95 %
Design
87 %
Functionality
90 %

Other Considerations

A jump charger is a particular tool for vehicle owners who wish to protect themselves from an automobile that won’t start in the morning or after work ends. Just accidentally leaving the interior lights on will drain a car battery in no time with the motor vehicle engine not running to compensate and therein lies the problem. A jump charger is akin to having a spare tire and a jack to raise the car to change a flat tire on the side of the road; you hope that you won’t to use it, but you’re sure glad you have them when they are needed.

Regarding jump starter power requirements, the more juice they can deliver on a single cold jump start, the more likely it is that the vehicle is restartable even when its battery is completely dead. The total amperes available with the jump starter is more about how much energy is available to handle multiple attempts at getting the engine running during a winter with sub-zero temperatures than anything else. Generally speaking, more is better because you don’t want to own the product but find that it runs out of juice before the engine turned over, caught, and began running smoothing instead of sputtering out and dying again.

The lower priced jump starters tend not to last much more than a single season of extreme cold or hot temperatures before becoming temperamental. Shortcuts are made with the quality of the battery, the gauge, length and reliability of the cables, and durability of the unit overall. Paying a little bit more and looking for a quality brand tends to be worth it in the end to avoid being stuck in the driveway or on the side of the road with a cheaper solution that lets you down when you need it the most.

Conclusion 

It’s hard to go wrong with either the Schumacher or the Clore Jump starter products. The Schumacher product is a bit more sophisticated with a LED readout and a robust build structure, but the Clore product is not far behind on either count.

carrrThe bulkier starter is the Schumacher model, with the Clore product being a bit more portable. Regardless, both products are relatively heavy and not easy to lift up to engine level without a bit of effort being exerted. Usually, the cables are not long enough to reach from road level up to the engine level to make the necessary connections to jump start the vehicle.

With the PowerAll PBJS12000R combined power bank and jump starter, you’re getting a very different animal. It is a power bank that’s been heavily modified to be used as a jump starter while retaining many of the portable characteristics of a standard power bank one uses to charge up mobile devices on the go. With all the extra jumper cables and connectors for mobile devices, this power bank gets a bit cumbersome to carry around by hand. Most likely it will sit in the glove box until it is needed. It is possible to use as a standalone power bank on the move, but doing so rather defeats the object of it being used as a jump starter when its needed because it requires to be at least 50% charge to perform this function.

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