Video Transcript: Battery Chargers: Top Picks by Mr Baz Reviews
Welcome back. Thought I'd make a quick video on chargers that I would recommend. I've used quite a few over the last couple of years, so this is designed to be as a sort of quick-start guide, just outlining some of the chargers that I've used, and what I would personally recommend for different types of batteries. We will start things off with basic lithium-ion chargers. I would probably go with the XTAR MC series. These come in different sizes. You've got single, double, quad, and there is even a six-slot version around, and I think these chargers offer good value for money, decent charging. There's not really many disadvantages, other than the fact that they just charge lithium-ion batteries; you can't charge any other types of cell with them.
Multi-format single slot, something a bit more advanced: The Klarus K1. I use this quite a lot. It's a very handy charger. It's a bit bigger than the MC1s, but it does accept quite a large variety of batteries, up to C-cells and the 26650s, and it can also charge three different voltages of lithium, as well as nickel-metal hydride and nickel-cadmium, and you can manually change the charging speed on that. So very useful little charger. There's also a K2 if you need a double-slot charger.
Now, for a dual-slot, more advanced, I'd go with the Nitecore F2. Couple of reasons for this. Personally, I am a big fan of the power bank function, I use that quite a lot. It also means you can swap out the batteries later on, so you're not stuck with the cells when they're worn out, like with a normal power bank. So that is a very useful feature. You've got the voltage check, and it also has a good charging speed of one amp per bay. The only downside with this is it doesn't charge nickel-metal hydride or nickel-cadmium, but it's a nice little charger for the power bank and for solar charging.
Now, the budget four-bay charger, I would go with the NL4. I looked at this recently. Very good price on it, and there aren't that many chargers out there that will charge the nine-volt batteries. So this is definitely a charger to get if you're a big user of AAs, AAAs, and occasionally use the nine-volts as well. I found it a very good little charger, and it's a very low cost too. So very minimal cost on this, and it does a decent job on charging. Next up, for the ultra-compact, I would go with the Olight Universal Magnetic USB charger. Very interesting design on this. I initially thought it might be a bit gimmicky, but it turned out to be quite a good little charger. You have no need to adjust the polarity on this. You just attach it to the batteries, and it starts charging away. It works with nickel-metal hydride and 3.6, 3.7-volt lithium. There are a couple of disadvantages. It's not particularly quick for nickel-metal hydride cells, but it is a nice super-portable little charger that you can put in a backpack or even a pocket. It takes up virtually no space at all. It's also be able to charge much longer cells, such as the 21700s, so that's a nice advantage to the design.
Now for the four-bay LCD, the obvious choices here are the Nitecore D4 and VC4. Both of these chargers are very popular for obvious reasons. It gives you much more information on the display. So I will start with the D4. Which one to go with depends on, really, what you're going to charge with these chargers, and the D4 is a solid charger. You have a choice of charging speeds, so you can charge small lithium-ion cells with it. It's also a good charger for nickel-metal hydride, nickel-cadmiums. But there are some disadvantages. The unprotected 20700 and 21700 cells won't fit in this charger. Charging speeds aren't particularly quick if you're using more than two bays. So that is something to bear in mind with the D4. It's still a very popular charger, because for a lot of people, it will charge 18650s very well, and you can also adjust down the current and also do lithium-ion phosphate charging, which you can't do on quite a lot of the chargers out there. So it's still worth considering.
Moving on to XTAR VC4, it's another popular charger. This one uses the barrel-style connector, while the mains powered, compared to the D4. It's a bit bigger, but that comes with a couple of advantages. You can fit up to three of the 26650 batteries in this. So it's definitely a better choice if you're going to be charging larger lithium-ion cells. Also does a nice job of charging a nickel-metal hydride, nickel-cadmium, and it will fit the 20700 and 21700 lithium cells. It also has slightly longer battery activation, which I've found to work a bit better, and it's faster than the D4. So which one to go for on this? Really honestly, they are both good chargers and decent choices. Some people will prefer a mains charger. The VC4 is USB; you don't get the power supply with it, but you do get a useful display which shows you how much you have charged into the cell, which you don't get on the D4. So I would suggest, if you charge lots of high-capacity cells, the VC4 would be the best choice for you, or if you are travelling. If you tend to charge a lot of smaller lithium-ion cells, and you need the lithium-ion phosphate charging, or you want a mains-power charger, then the D4 might work better for you. But you can't really make a bad choice with this.
Now, on the fast charger: Miboxer's C2-6000. I looked a few of the Miboxer versions, and this one was by far the best one, I felt. It doesn't have quite the full testing abilities of some of the other models, but it's very easy to use. It has a wide range of charging speeds, and it can charge up to 3 amps. It can also fit D-cells and 26650s, and the automatic charging worked really well on this, but you can manually go in there and change the settings yourself. It's definitely the best one that Miboxer have done, much better than the C4, which wasn't a particularly good charger.
Now, if you're looking for a lots of slots charger, as I call it, the Nitecore i8, I found it to be a decent charger myself. I've used it quite a lot. You have mains power, dual USB ports. The main features with this charger is it automatically selects the charging current. So it's pretty much fire-and-forget; you just insert the batteries and away it goes. So it will know if it's charging lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride cells. There's no real disadvantages, other than the fact that you only have the single LED, so you don't really know the charge state other than a fact that it's finished charging. So this is a charger to load up and disappear. It's decent if you need those extra slots, but I would have liked if they'd have crammed a nine-volt bay on this, so you could charge those, just to round it off as an all-in-one.
The budget analyzer and tester Opus BT C3100. This is a really popular charger. I had a lot questions on this, and I get a lot of views on the video. The reason is that it offers excellent value and discharge capacity testing, as well as the internal resistance, so it's a charger which a lot of people are going to find very useful, particularly if you have a lot of batteries. There are a couple of down sides, and those would be mainly that you... Contact points aren't quite as high as they could be, so it could be a little bit an issue with flat top cells, and also it does make a slight noise with the fan, although I don't find it too much myself. It's a pretty quick charger and it does offer a lot of functionality though, at a really good price. So, if you're on a budget, and you want a tester, that really is the one to go for, is the OPUS, and that's backed up by a lot of people who have used it and are quite happy with this unit. As with everything, there can always be some improvements.
Now, for the premium tester, I'm using the XTAR Dragon VP4 Plus. It isn't a perfect charger, but it offers a couple of features for me which are extremely useful, and that is the internal memory that's built in. So, remember test results, so if you ever have a power cut or something like that, or you forget, you take batteries out, and I do test batteries on the channel, so that is a very useful feature for me, and it also takes up to the larger D Cells, the 32650s, as well as a comprehensive bundle including a carry case. So this is really an all in one. It's not perfect. I would like to have some individual control over the charging on the channels, whereas this just sets the charging speed for all of them. But it is completely solid, that's another factor if I'm recording videos or something, it doesn't make any noise at all, and I could be testing away with the batteries. You've also got the internal resistance testing, and it's a fast charge, you can charge two by two amps or a single amp across the four bays. So, it is expensive as a charger goes, but if you do a lot of testing, it could be something which is quite useful. If someone has got a lot of batteries, you need to weed out the poor batteries, and it does have the activation function which the OPUS charger lacks, but these will both be good chargers in their price points.
That wraps up my video on the recommended chargers that I've used, but if you have used any chargers yourself, and you think that they might be of interest to other viewers, there are new models coming out all the time, then do drop a comment below because it might help somebody else if they were looking for a specific model, because I haven't used all of the ones that are out there. There are still quite a few that I haven't looked at, I've covered most of the more popular models. And also do have a look through some of my other videos where I have tested batteries and done more in-depth reviews on these chargers. So you can go in there, have a look at the pros and cons of whether or not they're going to suit your particular needs. Thanks for watching and I will catch you soon.