These Portable Jump Starters are Safe and Easy to Use
Portable jump starters have been around for years and they have been the saviour of many a poor person stranded with a flat battery.
They may not be new on the scene but they have certainly changed since their arrival. Where once they where the size of a carry -on-bag and weighed the same, if the bag was full, the last couple of years have seen them shrink in size and weight to something not much bigger than your smartphone.
So, the makers not content with shrinking and putting them on a diet but also added USB ports so they could double as a power bank to charge many of our personal devices like tablets and phones. Some models have the ability to charge laptops!
And just in case you get caught after the sun goes down the designers did not want you left in the dark and so gave these portable jump starters a powerful flashlight.
Quick Comparison Check
|BEATIT D11 800A||GENIUS BOOST GB40|
|RUGGED GEEK RG1000A||SUAOKI T10 400A|
|AMPS||600 (peak)||800 (peak) |
|1000 (peak)||1000 (peak)||400 (peak)|
|USB OUT PORTS||2||2||1||2||2|
|SIZE (LxWxH) inches||7.3 x 3.5 x 1.6||7.2 x 3.4 x 1.5||7.7 x 3.2 x 1.7||6.3 x 2.9 x 1.3||6.4 x 3.3 x 1.3|
- Not actually stated. Calculated from the 39Wh given. This number is only indicative, it could be wrong.
DBPower DJS50 600A
The DBPower DJS50 comes in two bright colour/color combos. Red & Black and Yellow & Black.
This portable jump starter can jump start gas (petrol) engines up to 6.5 liters and diesels up to 5.2 liters. From a full charge it can perform up to 20 jump starts.
It is able to deliver 600 amps peak current (peak current doesn’t mean a thing in the real world) just know that it has plenty of power for most engines.
While the 18000mAh capacity battery is an ideal power bank for recharging your personal devices like phones and tablets. It also has a variable voltage outlet that can be switched between 12V/16V/19V for laptop charging.
While an LCD screen indicates which voltage is being used and also shows the remaining battery power.
There is enough power capacity in the battery that it can fast charge your phone between 6 – 9 times, depending on your phones battery size, from one of two USB outputs.
Most of all it’s completely fool proof as it’s equipped with advanced intelligent all copper jumper cables, which can protect your devices from over current, short circuit, overload, over-voltage and over-charge. Not forgetting reverse polarity protection.
Should you ever find yourself in the dark the unit has a LED flashlight with 3 modes (high, strobe and SOS) and a red emergency light that can be used as a hazard warning.
Now just remember if the unit is not being used it can hold a charge for 3 -4 months.
Beatit D11 800A
The Beatit D11 800A can jump start gas (petrol) engines up to 6.0 liters and diesel up to 5.0 liters.
And it can do this up to 30 times from a full charge.
However if you decide to use it as a power bank to charge a smartphone it will happily do this up to 8 times from it’s 18000mAh battery (depending on phone/tablet battery size).
The unit can charge up to two devices at a time via the Dual Smart USB Charging Ports.
To recharge this portable jump starter takes 5.5 hours using the supplied wall charger or 12V car charger.
The jumper clamps and cables are Beatit’s error-proof design that have over current protection, short circuit protection, overload protection, over-voltage protection, over-charge protection and of course reverse polarity protection.
Should you get caught out in the dark and find yourself in the need of some light the Beatit D11 has a LED flashlight built in. It also has various modes including SOS and an emergency strobe.
Something to note – that the unit is rated at 800 peak amps but the manufacturer has also stated the true starting amps on the back of the unit – 400A.
With no use this jump starter will hold a charge up to 3 months.
GENIUS BOOST GB40
The Genius Boost range of jump starters is possibly the most commonly known and the brand is sold almost everywhere.
Aside from the fact that someone did a great job of marketing, the units have also proved themselves well in the field.
Compared to the other four jump starters mentioned here the Genius Boost GB40 is a the largest but that’s not saying that it is not compact and portable. It’s just bigger than the others.
The GB40 can jump start gas engines up to 6.0 liters and diesel up to 3.0 liters.
When fully charged this unit can deliver up to 20 jump starts.
As far as charging other devices, it can, but only via one USB output. The 12000mAh battery, when fully charged, will charge a smartphone an average of four times.
Recharging the unit is only by USB and recharge times vary from 3 – 12hrs depending on the output of the charging unit. The USB-in port is rated at 2.1A, if charged at that rate, charging would be complete in about 3 hours.
Remaining battery power is shown by four LED lights to indicate 25, 50, 75 & 100%
Compact and portable jump starters store a lot of power and the GB40 is no different. It has multiple levels of safety for the users protection, including protection from reverse polarity and short circuiting the clamps together.
While the dual LED flashlight gives plenty of light when you need it. There are 7 built-in light modes, including SOS and emergency strobe.
With no use the charger will hold 75% of a full charge for one year but it is recommended to charge every six months.
RUGGED GEEK RG1000
The Rugged Geek RG1000 is the smallest of the five portable jump starters here.
Although, in the fast paced world of changing battery technology, size these days does not determine performance.
Rugged Geek’s RG1000 has the highest engine capacity jump start rating amongst the five. It can jump start gas engines up to 7.0 liters and diesel up to 3.5 liters.
And on a full charge it can perform up to 20 jump starts.
The capacity of the battery is not stated in the usual format of mAh, the company prefers to use Watt/hour (Wh) instead of milliAmp/hour (making it somewhat confusing) to determine the batterys capacity.
At 39Wh this portable jump starter seems down on capacity (rated in mAh) when you do the conversion calculation. But that is assuming the other manufacturers do not have inflated numbers on their jump starters.
Yet the RG1000’s performance matches and exceeds some of the others and performance is what counts not numbers printed on the body of the jump starter.
Charging of personal devices like phones, tablets and cameras is done via two high power USB ports.
While charging of laptops is taking care of from the one variable output port with a selectable range of voltages – 12V, 16V or 19V.
An LCD display shows remaining battery power and other information like the voltage out to charge laptops.
For safety protection Rugged Geek use their Intelliboost technology to ensure the user and the unit is safe from short circuits, reverse polarity and other potentially harmful instances.
An Ultra Bight, Multi-Mode, LED flashlight is also featured on the RG1000 which includes a SOS mode and strobe mode.
With no use the Rugged Geek RG1000 will hold sufficient charge to jump start a vehicle for one year.
Suaoki T10 is ideally suited to those with small to medium sized engines in their vehicles or that could be rephrased to most Japanese and European vehicles.
The T10’s jump start capabilities are gas engines up to 5.0 liters and diesel up to 2.0 liters.
In addition this unit will happily perform those jump starts up to 15 times from a full charge.
Although rated at 400A peak, the start current is 200A and is the number that is most relavant.
When used as a power bank it can charge two devices (smartphones, tablets, headphones) at the same time from the 12000mAh battery.
Both of the USB ouput ports are rated at 5V/2.4A, which is double what most of the current phone chargers output. Meaning charge times will be twice as fast.
Suaoki’s T10 can be charged by either the supplied wall charger or 12V car charger and both will recharge the unit in four hours.
There is no LCD screen read out for remaining battery power. This is indicated instead by four LED lights.
With intelligent circuit protection the unit and users are protected from over-heating, over-current, overcharging, short circuits and reverse polarity.
Like the others the Suaoki T10 has a LED flashlight with 3 modes – Strong, SOS and Strobe.
If not used this jump starter will require charging every 3 months. (Although recommended monthly)
SOME CONSIDERATIONS ON PORTABLE JUMP STARTERS
Here are some considerations to think over that are not really apparent about portable jump starters.
Learn How to Use
Once you purchased one, I suggest you learn how to use it and teach others that may need to know. It took my wife less than a minute to figure out how to use one, although she has been taught how to use jump cables and has experience with them.
And don’t for get to show others how to access the battery. When we got our first Ford Focus my wife had no idea how to open the bonnet/hood. Because they open with the ignition key from outside, there is no bonnet/hood pull inside the car.
Do A Test
Once you get one I know you are going to want to test it. You don’t have to flatten your cars battery to do so.
Don’t disconnect the battery leads (just yet) because anything in your car that requires 12V to hold memory will be lost. Clocks, stereo memory and possibly memory for your electric seat positions etc.
Loosen the battery clamps, connect the jump starter to the clamps, them remove the battery terminal clamps from the battery and do your test start. It may save you the hassle of resetting everything.
Classic and Older Cars
When I first looked at getting a portable jump starter and was researching specifications etc one of the things I came to realize is that they are not really suited to jump starting older vehicles with carburetors and mechanical fuel pumps.
This wont affect a majority of drivers because most have modern cars with electronic fuel systems. But if you do or are planning on getting one to start your classic car when the battery is flat, reconsider for a minute.
Most, including the five mentioned here have a 4 – 5 second max recommended crank time followed by a 15 – 30 second break before cranking again. (The units are internally protected if these limits are exceeded.)
Vehicles with carbs often have longer cranking times to start than those with electronic fuel systems.
If you have jumper cables in your vehicle leave them in it. I don’t consider these portable jumpers a replacement for cables – just yet.
Portable jump starters are like a first response to a flat battery, but if they can’t do the job for what ever reason you will need to fall back on the trusty jump cables.
And finally set reminders on your phone or computer to remind you to recharge the unit every 3 – 4 months. You can’t put it in your car or on the shelf in the garage and forget it.
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