Reserve Capacity (RC) batteries are versatile units that can power a myriad of devices. Buying a suitable charger for them might seem frightening at first, as the technicalities can easily put off a newbie. Nevertheless, it is always useful to familiarize yourself with the device you are going to buy (and operate).
RC Chargers come in different specifications and your choice should be guided by the number of simultaneous charging ports required at a time and required charging speed.
An RC Charger is an absolute must if you are getting into an electric powered vehicle. In this guide we have shortlisted the top six battery chargers and reviewed three of them in detail to help you navigate through the technical jargon and buy the best RC battery charger to suit your requirements.
Top 6 RC Battery Chargers Table
|Picture||Name||Current (A)||Price||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Genuine SKYRC iMAX B6AC V2 Dual Power||6||$$$||4.5|
|2. Combo Special: Tenergy TB6-B Balance Charger||5||$$$$||4.3|
|3. Holy Stone 5 in 1 Max 2.5A Current Input Fast Battery Charger||2.5||$||4.2|
|4. Combo: T453 3.7V LiPO RC Charger and 6x 3.7V 700mAh LiPO Batteries||3||$$||4.1|
|5. B680AC CAR Dual Power||6||$$$$||4.0|
|6. Traxxas 2970 EZ-Peak Plus 4-Amp NiMH/LiPo Fast Charger||4||$$$$||3.7|
RC Chargers are situation specific devices and the best suited unit for one situation need not necessarily suit other. It is very easy to get swayed by sales pitches and end up with an overpowered or underpowered unit. It is handy to keep these points in mind while doing your research:
- Batteries Supported. Your electric vehicles and other devices might be using different kinds of rechargeable batteries – NiCad, NIMH, Lithium powered variants (LiPo, LiFe, etc.) to name a few. It is a good idea to pick a charger that works with all the popular variants.
- Peak Current. The rate at which charge is transferred to a battery is reflected in its current rating. The higher the current, the faster it charges a battery. Most chargers have their current rating in 2 – 6 A range and it is highly recommended to estimate the time you would usually have at hand for charging before making a decision.
- No. of Charging Ports. This determines the number of batteries that you can charge simultaneously. The larger this number is, the more the peak current gets distributed and hence, longer the charging time.
Top 3 Best RC Battery Charger Reviews
If you use a number of commonly used batteries (NiCad, NiMH, Lithium based, etc.) and are looking for one RC charger for all of them, iMAX B6AC from SkyRC is the ultimate solution. It has everything you would want in your charger, making it the best RC Battery Charger in the market.
Other than the usual charging/discharging functions, it offers terminal voltage control – allowing you to control voltage, where a specific current supply to individual cells is cut off during charging process. It comes with a Lithium battery meter that can be used to test the voltage levels of individual cells and determine whether they need charge. Internal resistance meter gives a good measure of how healthy the cells in your battery are for easy maintenance and PC connectivity is a great option.
Overall, it stands out as the best RC Charger and if you still have doubts, you can always enter the serial number on the manufacturer website as an additional check for authenticity.
Tenergy TB6-B is another of those affordable, all-purpose RC chargers that keeps your batteries going without interruptions. For a 2-pound unit, it is fairly compact and comes with a number of handy accessories and a peak current of 5A is acceptable if you want to simultaneously charge multiple batteries.
It supports multiple connectors (except XT60) and battery types and is ideal if you own different battery types, as it stores their charging parameters (maximum 5) without you having to worry about them every time you plug in.
If you are willing to put in a little extra effort to set it up, it is a good investment, though we would have liked few more upgrades over its previous version, the Imax B6.
If you are on a shoestring budget and are looking for inexpensive battery chargers that don’t have the bells and whistles but get the job done just fine, this little wonder is there to your rescue. It gives you sufficient connectivity options to manage different battery types and converting cables make it more versatile.
It is intended for charging RC helicopter batteries and has five charging ports so that you spend more time flying and less time charging. There is a useful little LED to indicate when the battery is charging.
If you are an elementary user looking for a low cost charger for your RC helicopter that does the basics right, this one is highly recommended.