Without a working battery, even the best engine can’t start. Few things mess up your day as quickly as a dead battery, which leaves you either begging strangers for a jump or waiting for AAA to come and save the day.
How do you avoid this? It starts by getting a reliable battery. Investing in a DieHard battery charger can also help you get the most out of your car’s battery. The best battery chargers not only keep your battery fully-powered but tell you when they need to be replaced.
We’ve picked out the 5 best DieHard battery chargers below. Check out the full reviews below to help you find the right charger to keep you on the road in 2020.
- 1 Best Diehard Battery Chargers Comparison Table
- 2 Best Diehard Battery Chargers Reviewed
- 3 DieHard Battery Charger Buying Guide
- 4 How do I use a DieHard battery charger?
- 5 FAQs
- 5.1 Can all DieHard battery chargers be used on motorcycle batteries?
- 5.2 Can I use these DieHard battery chargers on marine batteries?
- 5.3 How does a DieHard battery charger recover dead batteries?
- 5.4 How does very hot and very cold weather affect the use of DieHard battery chargers?
- 5.5 How long does a DieHard battery charger last?
Best Diehard Battery Chargers Comparison Table
DieHard 71345 6/12V Platinum
DieHard 71328 Platinum Shelf
DieHard 71326 6/12V Gold Shelf
|Dimensions||14.1” X 13.5” X 24.1”||9.6” X 8.1” X 10.4”||10” X 5.9” X 10.9”|
|Amp Rating||6A charging (up to 275A jump start)||6A charging (up to 125A jump start)||6A charging (up to 80A jump start)|
|RC (charging time)||40-190 (1.5-22 hours)||40-190 (3/4-11 hours)|
Best Diehard Battery Chargers Reviewed
1. DieHard 71345 Platinum Smart Wheel Battery Charger
The DieHard 71345 Platinum Smart Wheel Battery Charger is a powerful, versatile charger and maintainer. Its smart microprocessor-controlled multi-stage charging makes it a hassle-free way to charge and maintain any battery. Keep your batteries ready when you need them without the worry of overcharging.
You’ll also get more amps for jumping dead batteries with the DieHard 71345 Platinum Battery Charger. With up to 275 amps, it can jump-start any vehicle battery, even in extremely cold conditions. The usefulness of this feature is somewhat limited by the DieHard 71345’s size. At almost 40 pounds, it’s not exactly portable. You’ll mostly want to use it in your home garage.
Speed is another advantage of the DieHard Platinum Battery Charger. The boost mode provides up to 60 amps for rapid charging, getting you back on the road faster. If you’re looking for the DieHard battery charger with the most power, you want the Platinum Smart Wheel in your garage.
- Multi-stage intelligent charging and maintaining
- Maintenance Mode prevents overcharging
- Rapid charging with a boost of up to 60 amps
- The wheeled design makes it easier to use
- High jumping amps for starting any engine
- Long cables with 12’ reach
- The handle is retractable for storage
- Scrolling digital display is easy to read
- Most expensive option
- Most expensive option
The DieHard 71345 Platinum Smart Wheel Battery Charger has the amps to jump dead batteries and recharge them quickly, though its high weight and cost turn some users off.
2. DieHard 71328 Platinum Shelf Smart Battery Charger
The DieHard 71328 Platinum Shelf Smart Battery Charger offers the same multi-stage intelligent charging as the DieHard 71345 Platinum Smart Wheel version. While it’s not quite as powerful, it’s about half the weight and cost. It’s the best DieHard battery charger for a balance of power, portability, and value.
The scrolling display on the DieHard Platinum Shelf charger doesn’t just show your charge status. This charger has a built-in alternator tester, helpful for diagnosing electrical issues. Features like that are why we say the Platinum Shelf Battery Charger is DieHard’s most user-friendly battery charger.
You can also jump-start most batteries with the DieHard 71328 Platinum Shelf charger. Its maximum amp power is lower than the Platinum Wheel Charger above, so while it can jump most vehicles easily, it may struggle with larger engines in cold weather. That’s the main potential disadvantage of this powerful, versatile charger.
- Multi-stage automatic charging
- Includes protection against overcharging and reverse polarity
- Jumpstart capabilities
- Boost mode of up to 40 amps
- Easy, hassle-free operation
- Includes diagnosis functions
- Not as much jump-starting and boost power
- Clamps are too small to fit some battery terminals
The DieHard 71328 Platinum Shelf Smart Battery Charger can jump, charge, and maintain any battery, with the boost power to get the job done quickly.
3. DieHard 71326 Gold Shelf Smart Battery Charger
DieHard’s Gold line of chargers is designed for versatility. The DieHard 71326 Gold Shelf Smart Battery Charger is great for cars, motorcycles, and small vehicles like ATVs and riding lawnmowers. Though its jump-starting capabilities are more limited, it gives you consistent power at a great value.
There is an alternator test function included on the DieHard Gold Shelf Smart Battery, as well. Performing tests or changing charging modes is as simple as pressing a button, and it has automatic mode switching for long-term maintenance.
The DieHard 71326 Gold Shelf Smart Battery Charger has jump capability. Having said that, it only provides about 80 amps, so it’s not the best charger to rely on in an emergency. The boost mode power is also lower than with the models above. You can charge batteries relatively fast, but not at the lightning speed you’ll get with the Platinum line.
- Automatic charging with maintenance mode
- Boost mode of up to 30 amps
- Easy to use interface
- Includes alternator test function
- Low jump start power
- Carrying handle is a bit flimsy
The DieHard 71326 Gold Shelf Battery Charger is a versatile option for any home garage thanks to its diagnostic functions and quick-charge boost mode.
4. DieHard 30485 Compact Wi-Fi Smart Battery Charger
You might be wondering why a battery charger needs Wi-Fi. The truth is, it’s a pretty handy addition to the DieHard 30485 Compact Wi-Fi Smart Battery Charger. By pairing it to your phone or tablet, you can monitor the charge status, stop the charging, or re-start charging remotely.
The 3-amp charging of the DieHard Compact Battery Charger is the best DieHard battery charger for motorcycles and ATVs. Car batteries will take a while to fully charge, especially if they were deeply depleted. You don’t have to hover over the charger, though. Even if you don’t use the DieHard app, it has automatic maintenance to avoid overcharges.
Another reason this DieHard 30485 Compact Battery Charger is great for off-roading is its compact design. It weighs just a couple of pounds and fits easily into any bag. You’ll also get a wider range of connectors, including rings and an accessory plug in addition to the clamps.
- Lightweight and portable
- Allows remote charge monitoring through Android or iOS devices
- Monitors battery health and sends reports to your phone
- Automatic voltage sensor
- Smart maintenance mode avoids overcharges
- Comes with multiple connector options
- No jump starting capabilities
- Slower charge rate
The DieHard 30485 Compact Wi-Fi Smart Battery Charger lets you monitor your charge remotely, with a compact build that makes it perfect for motorcyclists and off-roaders.
5. DieHard 71321 Compact Smart Battery Charger
Finally, here’s an option for the budget-conscious consumer. The DieHard 71321 Compact Smart Battery Charger offers multi-stage 6-amp charging for about half the price of the models above.
The DieHard Compact Smart Battery Charger uses a streamlined design in every sense of the word. It’s a compact unit, and light enough to take with you anywhere. The interface is as simple as they come, too, with an easy to read scrolling digital display.
Having said that, the features are pared down, as well. While the DieHard 71321 Compact Battery Charger has automatic voltage detection, it doesn’t include things like alternator checks or boost mode. Still, if all you need is a safe, easy way to charge your 6-volt or 12-volt batteries, this DieHard charger is a money-saving option.
- Smart maintenance mode
- Compact and portable
- Scrolling display for easy charge status updates
- Automatic voltage sensor
- Most affordable option
- Included clamps are small and difficult to use
- No jump-starting or boost mode
The DieHard 71321 Compact Battery Charger is an excellent value for the money, and is both very portable and easy to use.
DieHard Battery Charger Buying Guide
How do you choose which DieHard battery charger is right for you? It really comes down to how you plan to use it. Let’s look at some of the most important factors likely to influence your decision.
If you mostly charge batteries in your garage at home, the portability isn’t much of a concern. For off-roaders and travelers, though, it’s a more pressing concern. In those applications, you want something you can throw into your glove box or backpack.
Chargers that are heavy and bulky are more difficult to take with you on the go. The main disadvantage of portable chargers is they tend to have lower capacities. Portable battery chargers often don’t charge as quickly or have as many battery recovery features.
The more amps a charger can deliver at once, the faster it will charge a battery. Keep in mind a higher charging rate also makes overcharging more likely. If you want a fast charge, it’s best to go with a smart charger that has built-in overcharge protection.
DieHard battery chargers with boost mode give you variable charging rates. Turn on the boost for a quick charge, then turn it off to maintain batteries with no risk of damage.
All batteries gradually wear out over time, but misuse and abuse can speed up their aging process. When batteries sit unused for extended periods or get depleted too far, the plates inside the batteries are fully restored by recharging as they should be.
Many chargers offer repair modes that use an electrical pulse to un-do these effects. While they can’t extend a battery’s use forever, they can add years to its usable lifespan. Most chargers with battery recovery features also include test functions, so you know if the battery’s too far gone to save.
It’s not always the battery’s fault that your car won’t start. DieHard chargers with alternator testers prevent you from wasting time and money troubleshooting the source of electrical issues. Many DieHard chargers also test the performance of the battery itself, letting you know if it’s time to recondition or replace it.
How do I use a DieHard battery charger?
- Check that the charger is set to the correct voltage and amps for the battery you’re charging. If it’s a smart charger, it may do this automatically.
- Plug the charger into the wall and verify the cord will stretch far enough to safely connect to the battery. If you need to use an extension cord, it must be three-pronged and well-insulated. Using an extension cord causes some power reduction, so it’s best to plug the charger directly into a grounded wall outlet.
- Verify that the car is off and the keys are out of the ignition.
- Attach the positive clamp of the charger to the positive terminal of your battery. These are typically red and marked with a plus (+) symbol.
- Attach the negative clamp of the charger to the negative terminal. This is typically black and marked with a minus (-) symbol. Take care not to touch the clamps together, as this could complete the circuit and cause a shock.
- If you’re jump-starting the vehicle, allow it to charge for about a minute then attempt to start the vehicle with the charger still attached. If it fails to start, wait another minute before trying again. Should the car fail to start after three attempts, the battery is either too depleted or too large for the charger to jump.
- For long-term charging, most car batteries will require between 2 and 3 hours to charge at a 10-amp charging rate. Check the display on the charger if you want to see the status of the battery while it’s charging.
- Once you’ve finished charging your battery, turn off the charger and unplug it from the wall. Verify it’s fully powered-down, then remove the negative clamp of the battery first, followed by the positive clamp.
Can all DieHard battery chargers be used on motorcycle batteries?
Yes, these chargers can be used on motorcycle batteries, in both 6-volt and 12-volt sizes. Most of them also have automatic voltage sensors. If they don’t, make sure the charger is set to the correct battery voltage before starting to charge.
Can I use these DieHard battery chargers on marine batteries?
Deep cycle marine batteries need a 10-amp current to charge, so most of these DieHard chargers are not ideal for the job. A DieHard battery charger with boost mode would provide sufficient charge for a deep cycle marine battery.
How does a DieHard battery charger recover dead batteries?
Reconditioning functions on battery chargers use an energy pulse to dissolve sulfate deposits on the battery plates. These deposits are left by a process known as sulfation, where the battery loses its capacity over time. By returning these sulfate deposits to the plates, the battery’s lifespan is extended.
How does very hot and very cold weather affect the use of DieHard battery chargers?
Batteries operate more efficiently the warmer they are. When the weather is below freezing, batteries will be more resistant to jumps and slower to charge overall. You can see this reflected in the “CCA” rating, which stands for “Cold Cranking Amps” and is usually lower than the CA rating.
In very hot weather (over 90°F) batteries are highly efficient. Use more caution when charging or jumping batteries in hot weather, as they’ll be more likely to produce sparks, burst, or explode. Allow your engine to fully cool before handling the battery. You should also move the vehicle out of direct sunlight and use gloves and eye protection to avoid injury.
How long does a DieHard battery charger last?
Because they take power straight from the wall rather than a battery, battery chargers should last for many years unless they’re damaged. While DieHard battery chargers are pretty hardy, they will break if dropped or left in the rain.