When your car battery is dead, you only have so many options. The usual method for reviving it is hoping a kind stranger will stop and give you a jump. You could also call a taxi service, though this means leaving your car wherever it is. Jump starting a car is another option. Jump starters are essentially powerful batteries with attached jumper cables that can spark your battery back to life without the need for a donor car.
Shop this article: Stanley Jump Starter, Avapow Jump Starter and DeWalt Digital Portable Power Station Jump Starter
Jump starters have one of two types of batteries inside them.
Jump starters typically have the same voltage as most car batteries: 12. The range of amps is much wider, though, to fit the gulf of requirements among all types of cars. For example, a small sedan doesn't need much of a boost to get its battery going again, while a huge diesel engine needs quite a bit of a boost.
However, amps are listed in several types, and they all mean different things. The most important types of amps you can find are peak, cranking and cold-cranking amps.
If a jump starter lists peak amps, look for at least 600 on a lithium-ion starter and at least 1,000 for a lead-acid starter.
If a jump starter lists cranking or cold-cranking amps, you'll need to meet various thresholds to power your car battery.
If you don't want to consult charts and can afford them, you could just get the most powerful starter you can find. Having more power will start the vehicle and won't hurt your battery, but not having enough means you're still stuck on the road.
A low-cost jump starter that's just powerful enough to revive a basic sedan usually costs around $50. A more powerful starter that can handle larger cars typically tops out around $100, though the very best in this category can cost up to $150. The strongest starters with all the best extra features can cost $200 to $400.
This Avapow jump starter has a peak amp rating of 2,000 and can hold a charge for up to 40 starts. It has several USB ports of different types so it can charge multiple devices at once.
This portable car jump starter comes in two peak amp ratings: 1,000 and 1,200. Both also include an air compressor feature so you can inflate any flat tires. It needs to be charged every 30 days.
This car battery jump starter has a peak amp rating of 1,200. It comes with an air compressor, high-output USB ports and a pivoting LED work light.
This DeWalt jump starter provides 1,400 amps at peak power, an air compressor and one USB port. With a larger temperature range compared to other units, it's ideal for use in extreme temperatures.
This Gooloo jump starter has a peak amp rating of 3,000, providing over 50 starts per charge. Thanks to its compact size, it's one of the best portable jump starter options if you have limited space in your car or garage. The unit doubles as a power bank with three USB ports and can withstand extreme temperatures. As a bonus, it has a built-in LED light.
Another conveniently compact option, this Hulkman jump starter has a peak amp rating of 2,000. It can power up to three devices with the included USB ports and has a built-in LED light.
This powerful, professional-grade Schumacher jump starter boasts an amp rating of 4,400. It's capable of jump starting even heavy-duty trucks, with two accessory ports and a rapid-charging feature.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly jump starter for a small- or medium-sized car, this is an excellent option. The 500-amp Halo jump starter doubles as a portable charger with two USB ports.
Another affordable unit, the Dbpower jump starter has a peak amp rating of 1,600. It comes with a charging port, compass and LED light.
Last but not least, the Noco jump starter has a peak amp rating of 1,000, providing up to 20 starts on a single charge. It has a USB port for charging devices, as well as a built-in LED flashlight.
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.