Best Car Jump Starters – Buyer’s Guide

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Best Car Jump StartersThere are few things more frustrating than going out – whether it is to work, for a night on the town, or a day spent in the wild outdoors – and coming back to a vehicle that will not crank because the battery died. In this instance, you could call a friend or some service station to come out and assist you, but it is far more convenient if you can simply give your own vehicle a jump start.

In this case, it would be a good idea to have a portable jump starter that keeps a charge ready just in case you need a jump. That said, there are a large number of different types of jump starters made for a wide variety of different scenarios or for specific types of vehicles. On top of that, there are plenty of additional features that come with various jump starters, some of which are more meaningful than others.

Figuring out which is the best jump starter for you can be a difficult and confusing task. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best jump starters, highlighting what each one does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the best jump starter to suit your needs.

Best Car Battery Jump Starters of 2018

Product Peak AmpsPortableUSB outputsAir compressor 
Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR (Editor's Choice)Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR1700ANoNoYesCheck Price
Beatit BT-D11Beatit BT-D11800AYes2NoCheck Price
POTEK JS87POTEK JS871000ANo1YesCheck Price
DBPOWER DJS50DBPOWER DJS50600AYes2NoCheck Price
DieHard 2871688DieHard 28716881150ANo2YesCheck Price

1. Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR – Best Jump Starter with Air Compressor

Jump-N-Carry is definitely a bit of a unique company on our list primarily because it is not actually its own company and instead is owned by Clore Automotive. That said, Clore Automotive does still place a focus exclusively on automotive accessories and other types of power management and distribution. On top of that, Clore Automotive was only founded over a decade and a half ago, but Clore Automotive actually has a storied history that is over 50 years old. As such, it should not at all be surprising that the Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR jump starter is the Editor’s Choice best performing jump starter on our list.

Power

One of the most important factors to consider when buying a jump starter is how powerful it is because the size of the engine will ultimately determine how powerful of a charge the jump starter must generate to effectively jump start the vehicle. Thankfully, the Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR jump starter actually provides one of the more powerful jolts with a peak amperage of 1700 amps and a charge amperage of 425 amps. While the charge amperage is not the highest on our list, the peak amperage most definitely is – though this is not necessarily the best measure of the jump starter’s power. As such, you should be aware that the Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR jump starter is not truly ideal for the largest of engines.

Simplicity

One of the best things about the Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR jump starter is that it does not require you to do very much – as opposed to some of the other products on our list. For one, while this is definitely one of the larger jump starters that we saw, it has a handle molded into the body to make it easy to move from one place to another. On top of that, the Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR jump starter also features a rubber base that not only allows it to stand upright on its own but will also prevent it from sliding around. To make sure you do not need any additional equipment for its maintenance, the Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR jump starter also comes with its own built-in charger.

PROS:
  • Pushes 1700/425 amps
  • Has an air compressor function
  • Has a carrying handle
  • Has a standup base
  • Is easy to use
  • Has industrial-grade Hot Jaw clamps
  • Has a 68” long cable
  • Puts out 145 psi
  • Has a built-in charger
CONS:
  • The most expensive jump starter reviewed
  • Air compressor not the best

2. Beatit BT-D11 – Best Portable Lithium Ion Jump Starter

Unless you make it a point to keep up with new niche electronics companies, then there is a good chance that you have not heard of Beatit – though if you are looking for a jump starter, then this is definitely a company of which to take note. For one, Beatit is a company that specializes exclusively in jump starters to the exclusion of all other products – including jump starter accessories or other forms of power management and distribution. That said, Beatit has only been in business for a handful of years which is likely why they price their products the way that they do.

Value

When considering a jump starter, it is important to keep in mind that while many will come with a large number of bells and whistles, the primary purpose of the device is fairly simple: jump start a vehicle with a dead battery. As such, it is perfectly acceptable to go bargain shopping for a barebones product that simply gets the job done. Thankfully, the Beatit BT-D11 jump starter accomplishes that and more providing far more features than you would expect from our best price budget jump starter. For instance, this is the only jump starter on our list which is housed in fireproof materials – though this truly means that the jump starter is resistant to heat since it is unlikely to be used in a situation where it might otherwise catch on fire.

Setting

When it comes right down to it, there is really no getting around the fact that the Beatit BT-D11 jump starter is more designed for an emergency situation than it is anything else. One of the primary ways that you can tell this is based on the jump starter’s incredibly compact size – which does put some limitations on its battery and the number of amps that it can push. Still, its compact size makes it easy to store and carry pretty much wherever you go and regardless what kind of vehicle you are driving. On top of that, this jump starter has a built-in flashlight that is not intended to be used as a work light as much as it is meant to be used to either signal someone else for assistance or find your way in the dark.

PROS:
  • Is the least expensive jump starter reviewed
  • Has 2 USB ports
  • Has a compact profile
  • Is a lightweight jump starter
  • Is housed in fireproof material
  • Has an LED flashlight
  • Is easy to use
  • Has a digital display
  • Has protective clamps
CONS:
  • Not the best circuitry
  • Not as many amps as others

3. POTEK JS87 – Best Air Compressor Jump Starter Combo

POTEK is definitely a bit unusual, though no less quality, company primarily because it is one of the few that we saw which approaches jump starters from a completely different perspective. Specifically, instead of specializing in jump starters or car accessories, POTEK focuses on power management and distribution products. While this means that POTEK may not necessarily know all of the subtlest of nuances when making a jump starter, they do understand how to ensure that their device delivers an excellent charge. That said, this is not necessarily the most notable quality about the POTEK JS87 jump starter as this is also our best air compressor jump starter combo.

Air Compressor

One thing to keep in mind is that there are plenty of jump starters on the market that also come with an air compressor, but the quality of that air compressor’s function can definitely be a bit hit or miss. While this may make sense considering the primary purpose of a jump starter is to simply jump start vehicles, that does not change the fact that the inclusion of a quality air compressor makes any jump starter that much more versatile and valuable. Thankfully, the POTEK JS87 jump starter comes with easily one of the best air compressors that we found able to push 150 psi. This allows the POTEK JS87 jump starter to not only provide an excellent charge but to inflate the tires of most consumer and even plenty of commercial vehicles.

Power

Of course, being able to inflate a tire on the go is a nice feature to have, but a jump starter’s ultimate value begins and ends with its ability to jump start a vehicle. In this regard, the POTEK JS87 jump starter is an excellent option that is able to provide a powerful enough charge for virtually any consumer and again even a number of commercial vehicles. This is primarily due to the fact that it provides a great amperage regardless of the type of power. For instance, this jump starter has the highest charging amperage out of any other jump starter that we reviewed with 500 charger amps. On top of that, the peak amperage is still a respectable 1000 amps, which is generally more than enough for any consumer need.

PROS:
  • Pushes 1000/500 amps
  • Has an air compressor function
  • Has a carrying handle
  • Has a LED work light
  • Is easy to use
  • Has protective clamps
  • Has a USB port
  • Puts out 150 psi
  • Has a built-in charger
CONS:
  • A more expensive jump starter
  • A heavier jump starter

4. DBPOWER DJS50 – Best Mini Jump Starter with Power Bank

DBPOWER is definitely a bit odd to be making an appearance on this list primarily because they do not specialize in jump starters, automotive accessories, or even power management and distribution products. Instead, DBPOWER does not actually specialize in anything and instead provides a wide range of different types of products from indoor to outdoor, from powered to manual. That said, they do have a tendency to provide a fair number of electronics, but this jump starter definitely made it onto our list due to its niche specialization. In fact, due to a feature or two that is not commonly found on jump starters, the DBPOWER DJS50 jump starter is by the best emergency jump starter on our review.

Purpose

Though jump starters are ostensibly used only when there is an emergency, some emergencies are a little bit hairier than others, and in those situations, it is nice to have the appropriate tools and equipment to properly respond to it. As such, the DBPOWER DJS50 jump starter provides a number of nice features that make it ideal when you need a jump starter but cannot afford to deal with lugging around 10+ pounds. As such, the compact profile and lightweight design of the DBPOWER DJS50 jump starter allows it to be easily transported – whether you are the one assisting or the one in need of assistance. On top of that, this is the only jump starter that we reviewed that comes with an embedded compass – which can really come in handy if you use jet skis, snowmobiles, or other sport vehicles.

USB

While the DBPOWER DJS50 jump starter is far from the only jump starter on our list to come with USB ports, it is definitely a bit of a step above pretty much all the other jump starters reviewed in this capacity. For one, this jump starter comes with 2 different USB ports, one at 2.1 amps and one at 2.4 amps – though it should be noted that 2 USB ports are fairly standard. What really sets this jump starter apart from the competition is that the 2.4 amp USB port is actually a Smart USB port. This means that the port is able to better deliver the electricity to the charging device as well as provide extended compatibility. Specifically, the Smart USB port is able to handle a USB adapter that allows up to 8 devices to charge from that single port.

PROS:
  • Is the least expensive jump starter reviewed
  • Has 2 USB ports
  • Has a compact profile
  • Is a lightweight jump starter
  • Can accept USB adapters
  • Has an LED flashlight
  • Is easy to use
  • Has a digital display
  • Has a compass
CONS:
  • Not as many amps as others
  • Does not hold a charge well

5. DieHard 2871688 – Best Jump Starter for V8 Diesel Engine

Though it makes perfect sense that DieHard would make it onto our list, the fact is that this company specializes in batteries, not jump starters. Of course, who better to know how to best jump start a battery than a company that manufacturers batteries – though this lack of specialization does come up in a couple ways. On top of that, DieHard is a well-respected company with a storied history that stretches back over 50 years and includes innovations that have changed their industry. Though this means that DieHard is able to sell their jump starter for a fair bit more than some of the smaller companies.

Ports

Easily the best quality of the DieHard 2871688 jump starter is the fact that it can charge a wide variety of products as well as many different ones at the same time. For instance, this jump starter comes with 2 USB ports – both of which are 2.1 amp – but this is actually fairly common. However, what is far less common is the inclusion of 2 AC adapters as well which provides not only versatility but could even potentially be used to charge other USB devices. As if that were not enough, the DieHard 2871688 jump starter also comes with 2 DC outlets as well which could provide the same degree of versatility when used in a vehicle. This means that the DieHard 2871688 jump starter works just as well regardless the setting which is why we rated it our best homeowner’s jump starter.

Quality

Though the DieHard 2871688 jump starter is impressive enough on its own strictly due to the number of devices that it can charge, the value does not end there. For instance, the DieHard 2871688 jump starter has a great peak amperage of 1150 which allows it to jump start virtually any vehicle in the best of conditions–though it should be noted that the charge amperage of 300 amps and the even lower cold charge amperage of 200 amps do limit this jump starters capabilities when the conditions are less than ideal. On top of that, though this jump starter does come with an air compressor, it is not necessarily the best that we saw with only 100 psi – though it is worth noting that is will still inflate the tires on most consumer vehicles.

PROS:
  • Pushes 1150/300
  • Has 2 USB ports
  • Has 2 AC outlets
  • Has 2 DC outlets
  • Has a carrying handle
  • Has a digital display
  • Has an air compressor function
  • Puts out 100 psi
  • Is easy to use
CONS:
  • A more expensive jump starter
  • The heaviest jump starter reviewed

 

Buyer’s Guide

Amps

When looking at jump starters it is important to remember that the larger your engine is the more powerful your jump starter will need to be – though the actual power required will be influenced by a great many factors beyond simply engine size. That said, this is still one of the best and easiest ways to quickly gauge your jump starter power needs. The power of jump starters is rated in amps, but there are actually a couple different types of amperes to look for.

Peak – This is the maximum amount of amps that the jump starter can generate in the best of conditions for short periods of time. Thankfully, a jump charge can roughly be that short of an amount of time, so unlike most other electronic devices, a jump starter’s peak amperage is actually a meaningful rating. That said, it is highly unlikely that a jump starter will produce its peak amperage in the real world since ideal conditions never last long. That said, you can use the difference between the peak amperage and the charging amperage to get a rough idea of the probable amperage the jump starter will deliver.

Charge – This is similar to RMS wattage with other types of electronics in that the charge amperage determines what the consistent charging rate will be. Keep in mind, peak power only applies for an instant whereas charge amperage will be the rating if you plan on using the jump starter to charge anything–which can be your car battery, but it can also be a great number of different devices depending on the jump starter in question. That said, the charge amperage is also to be a far better way to gauge whether or not the jump starter will be powerful enough to regularly jump start your vehicle.

Cold Charge – This used to be considered one of the primary power rating for jump starters, but due to new companies making inferior products, charging amperage – which is often a bit higher than cold charging amperage – has replaced it to make those products look better. That said, this power rating does not truly reflect how likely the jump starter is to be able to consistently jump start your vehicle, so the change may not be without merit. Regardless, the cold charging amperage is better under these days as the floor of the jump starter’s power. Essentially, in the least ideal conditions but the jump starter still works, the cold charging amperage is a good indicator of a jump starter’s performance.

Air Compressor

Though it is not ubiquitous and inherently requires a large build, many jump starters come with air compressors. This makes perfect sense as a jump starter and small air compressor make a great pairing since either a dead battery or a flat tire are the two most common types of car trouble. That said, the air compressors that come included as part of a jump starter and air compressor combo can be a bit hit or miss in terms of quality and effectiveness.

Unfortunately, this too makes sense since the company is usually not actually an air compressor manufacturer, so they do not likely have the type of experience and expertise that would show through in an air compressor made by specialists. That said, you can still find jump starters with air compressors that are capable of inflating a tire on any consumer-grade vehicle–though this may not necessarily remain true if you use specialized tires.

PSI – This is how you gauge the air compressor’s general effectiveness since jump starters rarely include extensive specifications on their OEM, factory, air compressors. While it would be ideal to find a jump starter with an air compressor that can push over 200 psi, it is far more common for these air compressors to hover between 100 and 150 psi. This means that they will generally be able to inflate tires for most commercial vehicles, though as noted prior, this does mean that some of the heavier vehicles or high-end, specialized tires will be off-limits.

Conclusion

As we can see, there really is not a single jump starter that is going to be the best jump starter for all people due to a wide variety of needs, settings, and vehicles. For instance, there are plenty of jump starters that are more than capable of jump starting an ATV or some other sport vehicle, not all of them can handle the amperage requirements of a large diesel engine.

If you are simply looking for the best jump starter for most vehicles, then we recommend the Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR jump starter. Aside from the fact that this jump starter provides by far the most peak amperages on our list but it also provides a solid 425 cranking amperes which is more than enough for most vehicles. Though the air compressor aspect is a bit questionable, the jump start capability and protections with the Jump-N-Carry are unmatched.

That said, the Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR jump starter is not actually the most powerful jump starter on our list, and for the most powerful consumer vehicle engines, you will be better served sticking with the POTEK JS87 jump starter. Though the peak amperages are significantly lower which will provide some minor limitations, the crank amperages are the most on our list at 500 amps and more than enough for virtually all consumer-grade vehicles.

Ryan Chambers

I'm Ryan Chambers, an enthusiast of cars and pretty girls; I try to run, repair and equip my garage on my own. On the pages of this blog you'll find all information you'll need related to the operation and repair of a home garage.

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