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If you own a car, then you most likely own a jump starter as well. It’s not a mandatory piece of equipment, but it’s definitely a useful one, especially if you’re often struggling to start the engine in the first or second try. These gadgets aren’t anything new on the market by any means, but the advance in technology over the years has made them much more accessible, affordable, and easy to use.

As far as we are concerned, everyone should have at least one jump starter because it saves a lot of time, effort, and most importantly – money.

How Does a Portable Jump Starter Work

What Is A Jump Starter?

While it seems quite complex and hard to get the hang off, a jump starter is a simple device that is designed to output a large amount of power in a short period of time. In simpler words, it sends a very strong impulse via the alligator clamps in order to kick-start a dead car battery.

The biggest advantage of these units is the fact that they eliminate the need for another car, tangled jumper cables, and all the hassles that come with the car-to-car jumpstart method. Furthermore, because one doesn’t need another car to help you start your own, you don’t have to depend on anything, especially if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere.

These gadgets are relatively small, compact, and easy to carry around. Speaking of easy, they are also very simple and easy to get the hang of in a matter of minutes, even if you don’t have any previous experience. That being said, make sure you always read the user manual in order to cover as many outcomes as possible.

How Does It Work?

Contrary to popular belief, these things work on a very simple principle. All you have to do is match the colored alligator clamps to the battery terminals. Once they are connected, turn the unit on, and it will instantly output its peak amperage. After that, make sure there are no moving mechanical parts around the unit and start the car. Remember, the more you attempt to start the engine, the less peak amperage you’ll get from the jump starter.

It’s also important that you turn off all the auxiliary features if there are any on the starter. For example, many people forget to turn off the little LED light, portable air compressor, and etcetera. While they are incredibly useful in a particular moment of need, they shouldn’t be used while you’re trying to kick-start a vehicle.

The reason is pretty simple – they draw too much power thus decreasing the output peak amperage of the starter. Most of the time, depending on the quality of your jump starter, you’ll only have one or two chances to kick-start a vehicle. After that, most units lose their peak amperage and simply don’t have enough of a “kick” to get things going.



There are hundreds of models available on the market today. Naturally, it’s very hard for an average car owner to choose the best-suiting one for their needs. Most people decide to purchase the first one they stumble upon or the one that seems visually appealing to them.

Needless to say, both of these scenarios can backfire and leave you with a worthless piece of hardware that either isn’t powerful enough to start your car or doesn’t perform well consistently. In order to avoid such unpleasant surprises, one must first determine what they want to do with their new jump starter and which features are they looking for. For example, if you want a convenient portable air compressor along with a starter, there are plenty of models that have an integrated compressor. However, they cost significantly more than the conventional ones.

On the other hand, if you aren’t looking for special features, the best thing to do is not to buy a complex starter. Many people find a relatively cheap unit with tons of additional features and invest in it even though they don’t necessarily need those auxiliary features. Consequently, most of those users end up with a cheap copy of a well-respected brand that dies out in a matter of weeks or months.


The biggest advantage of these units is – convenience. As we said, it eliminates the need for another car from the whole equation. It also comes in handy if you’re, for example, late for work and you can’t start your car. Instead of calling someone and asking for help, you can solve the predicament all by yourself by hooking up a starter in a matter of minutes.

Maintenance is also not as complicated as one might think. All you have to do is keep the starter in a dry and cool space while it’s not in use. Try to avoid leaving it in your car, especially if you live in an area with a particularly hot or cold climate. Sudden changes in temperature can damage the unit and degrade its capabilities.

Charging a Battery Jump Starter


As far as weaknesses go, there aren’t many. Some people don’t like the size of some more advanced starters whereas others complain about the lack of auxiliary features. In the end, it all comes down to your own personal preferences and requirements.

If you don’t need any additional features such as LEDs and compressors, skip on buying units with those integrated, and you’ll have much more money left to invest in power and peak amperage.

The Conclusion

There is no need to worry about the complexity of these things. Many people simply give up on buying starters because they seem too hard to manage or utilize. Needless to say, these things are far from being complex and complicated. In fact, a vast majority of them come with a comprehensive manual included which should be more than enough for you to get the hang of it promptly.

Most prices are budget-friendly, although there are some that seem too expensive and not worth the investment. In order to find the best-suiting one for yourself, take a look at some of our reviews.