Best LiPo charger buyers guide: Juice up that battery!

best lipo charger
Image courtesy davidd via Flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

The best LiPo charger is as important as the lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries for your radio-controlled model vehicles (R/C cars).

Sony introduced the first prototype cylinder Li-on battery in 1991. After several years of testing, the LiPo battery with pouch technology was produced and marketed.

One of the first battery-user segments to recognize the advantage of the new battery was the radio controlled crowd. With a longer charge life and more power, the LiPo battery was a dream come true.

Best-selling LiPo chargers on Amazon

Bestseller No. 1
Tenergy TB6-B Balance Charger Discharger 1S-6S Digital Battery Pack Charger for NiMH/NiCD/Li-PO/Li-Fe Packs LCD Hobby Battery Charger w/ Tamiya/JST/EC3/HiTec/Deans Connectors + Power Supply 01435
  • One charger for many battery packs - Tenergy TB6-B balance charger/discharger is ideal for all hobby battery packs that are NiMH, NiCd, LiPO, Li-ion, LiFePO4, and SLA battery packs.
  • Wide connector compatibility - With one multi-charging harness, this AC balance charger is compatible with battery packs with tamiya, mini tamiya, JST, HiTec, EC3, Deans, XT60, and bare leads connectors so that additional connectors can be added.
  • Works with multiple voltages - Compatible with battery packs with voltages that ranges from 6 to 12 for nickel metal hydride or nickel–cadmium battery packs and Lithium-ion battery packs with voltages from 3.7 volts to 22.2 volts (1s-6s).
  • Multiple functions - More than a regular digital balance charger, Tenergy TB6-B comes with features like Li-ion and LiPO balancing, fast charging, data storage, cyclic charging, discharging, and much more for all of your battery packs.
  • Easy to read screen - View all charging statuses and settings on the electronic balance charger LCD screen as you navigate the modes and selections. Buy with confidence, your charger includes Tenergy a 12-month warranty.
Bestseller No. 2
LiPo Charger Discharger Dual AC150W DC240W 10A C240 1-6S Duo Balance Battery Chargers for Li-ion Life NiCd NiMH LiHV PB Smart Battery
  • ▶Dual Model--AC/DC dual input model. Twin-channel 2 in 1 charger, charge two different kinds of batteries simultaneously. High-power and high-performance circuit. Distributable circuit power in AC model: CH1+CH2=150W. In DC model each port circuit power can reach 120W. Please don't use the AC cable and DC cable at the same time. Please connect the charger with the main plug at first, then connect the main plug with the battery.
  • ▶Multi-extra Function--1.Battery meter- display lithium battery cell counts, total voltage, battery capacity percentage,each cell's voltage. 2. Lithium battery internal resistance checking. 3.Battery balance charge. 4.Adjustable digital DC power, 5.Smart battery. Please connect the charger with the main plug at first, then connect the main plug with the battery.
  • ▶Support Batteries--Supports charging, discharging and balance charging batteries: 1-6s LiPo LiFe LiHV Lilon,1-15s NiCd/NiMH, 2-20V PB and smart battery. Automatic identification of lithium batteries cells counts.Support multiple charging models. Please choose the right type of battery when charge. You can charge two different batteries at the same time, but please don't charge two different batteries at the same channel.
  • ▶Terminal Voltage Control--This battery charger is allowed to set the charge/discharge voltage. Full plastic shell, safe, compact, beautiful. The built-in cooling fan comes with a power switch. This battery charger's shell is made of fire-proof material.
  • ▶Max Safety--Low input voltage limit, automatic charge current limit, Delta-peak sensitivity, capacity limit, processing time limit,temperature threshold. Data storage and loading: 20 memory data each channel. Support firmware upgrade. Note: This rc charger is sold by AorikaBeauty. We offer over one year warranty.
Bestseller No. 3
Venom Pro Duo LiPo Battery Charger | 80W X2 AC DC 7A NiMH LiHV LiPo Balance Charger Discharger with Charger Adapter | LiPo 1S to 6S Airsoft, Drone, RC Battery Charger
  • NOT YOUR AVERAGE BATTERY CHARGER | This isn’t your ordinary charger, it is a Venom Pro Duo Charger. It's easy to operate and comes fully loaded with features that balance charges individual cells of several types of battery fast and safe. Now, charging and balancing your RC batteries is no longer a worry. This battery charger comes complete with Charger, Bundle of Charge Leads (1 per type), 2 Balance Blocks, AC Power Cable, DC Power Cable, and Instruction Manual.
  • BALANCE CHARGES ALL TYPES OF BATTERIES | The Venom Pro is a multi-chemistry battery charger for Lithium - LiPo, LiHV, Li-Ion and Lithium Iron LiFe, Nickel Metal Hydride NiMH, Nickel Cadmium NiCD, and Lead Acid Pb based chemistry batteries. This LiPo charger includes one of each of the following charge lead adapter types: Alligator, Deans, EC3, EC5, JST, Receiver (RX), Tamiya, and XT60.
  • EASY TO USE, QUICK AND SAFE BALANCE CHARGING / DISCHARGING | Charging your 1S, 2S, 3S, 4S, 5S, or 6S LiPo batteries and other battery types has never been safer and easier. Two independent and dedicated charging circuits at 80 Watts each, totaling 160 Watts of power, reach a safe voltage to balance charge batteries again and again. Use it to charge your LiPo batteries fast and get back to racing.
  • LOADED WITH ADVANCED FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS | Functions include Charge, Balance Charge, Fast Charge, Storage Charge, Discharge, Cycling, and Battery Meter. You can also save up to 5 battery profiles for rapid recall. It has an Input Voltage of 100V-240V AC, or 11.0V - 18.0V DC for use on the go or in the field. The Pro Duo's lightweight frame comes in at under 2 lbs. (.90 Kg) and its integrated carry handle makes it easy to transport.
Bestseller No. 4
LiPo Charger Lipo Battery Balance Charger RC Charger RC Car Battery Charger Discharger 150W 10A 1-6S AC/DC for Li-ion/Life/NiCd/NiMH/LiHV/PB/Smart Battery(Battery Charger Adapter)
  • [Universal Voltage Compatibility]- the battery balance charger support LiPo/Li-ion 3.7V-22.2V (1S-6S), with voltage capabilities such as 7.4V, 11.1V, 14.8V. LiFePO4 3.2V-19.2V (1S-6S), with popular options of 9.6V, 12.8V, 16V. LiHV 3.8V-22.8V(1S-6S). NiMH/NiCd 1.2V-18V (1S-15S), with popular options of 6V, 7.2V, 9.6V, 12V. PB 2-20V (1-10 Cells) and smart battery.Note: Do not choose the wrong type of battery when charging.
  • [Multiple Functions]: Compare to a regular digital balance charger,C150 Battery Charger comes with features like Li-ion and LiPO balance charging, fast charging, data storage, battery meter, NiMH cyclic charging and discharging and much more for all of your battery packs
  • [Terminal Voltage Control]- This Charger allows user to set the charge/discharge end voltage of the battery. For example:lipo battery end voltage is 4.2V /cell when charing, while on this charger, the end voltage is adjustable, rangs from 3.85v to 4.3v. Warning: this features for expert only!
  • [Smart Protection]:Low input voltage limit, automatic charge current limit, Delta-peak sensitivity, capacity limit, processing time limit,temperature threshold. Data storage and loading: 20 memory data. Firmware update
  • [What You Get] - The AC/DC balance charger comes with AC Power Cord,DC Cable,Balance Board,Explosion Proof Bag .Package also comes with octopus multi-charging harness with TAMIYA, TAMIYA mini, JST, T Plug, EC3,TRX,Deans connectors to be compatible with many charging connectors
Bestseller No. 5
Havcybin B6 Lipo Battery Balance Charger 80W 6A Discharger, RC Hobby Batteries Balance Charger LED W/AC Power W/Battery Checker for NiMH/NiCd (1-15S), LiPo/Li-ion/Life Battery (1-6S)
  • 【High-quality and Safety】The B6 charger is made of high-quality chips and materials to provide you high-quality products and function performance, and the charger also has short-circuit protection, overcharge protection, overcurrent protection and overheat protection for safety design.it is very safe to buy.
  • 【Multiple Battery Compatibility】This B6 charger can charge a variety of rechargeable batteries, including NiCd/NiMH batteries, Li-ion batteries, LiPo batteries, LiFe batteries, LiHV batteries and Pb batteries. This is a multifunctional charger, you only need to select the correct battery type when charging, It is very convenient and easy to use.
  • 【LCD Display】To facilitate you to choose the mode you need. This B6 charger has a LCD display, you can view all charging status and settings on the charger LCD screen when you browse the mode and select.
  • 【Easy to Use】Press "Batt type" button to enter user settings or select battery type or exit the program. If you need to alter the parameter value in the program, press start/enter key to make it blink then change the value with "INC" or "DEC" key. The value will be stored by pressing "Start/Enter" key once. Press and hold the "start" button to charge the battery.
  • 【After-Sale Service】we offer 1year warranty. If you have any questions about the product, please feel free to contact us, we will response in 24hours to solve your problem.

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NiMH vs LiPo

Before LiPo technology, all of the R/C vehicles ran on dry cell batteries — nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries.

The new polymer electrolyte batteries (LiPo) use a liquid electrolyte contained in a pouch. They generate a higher capacity and discharge rates than NiMH, allowing longer electrical output — i.e., more power and punch when the battery is charged..

LiPo batteries are also lighter, with the possibility to be made in different shapes and sizes.

This innovation revolutionized the R/C model vehicle market.

Selecting the best LiPo battery charger for the money

When selecting a good LiPo battery charger that best fits your needs, check the following criteria to analyze the pros and cons of each charger.

But first, you should ask yourself the following questions and be able to answer them before purchasing a good charger.

  • What is your budget?
  • What is the largest battery (mAh and cell count) you will charge (currently and in the future).
  • Will you at a rate greater than 1C?
  • Will you parallel charge multiple batteries?

Price: Prices range from models like the Duratrax Onyx 230 for around $80 to upwards to the Hyperion 615i Duo for nearly $250. It’s easy to spend a lot on a vehicle, but remember there are accessories such as a charger you will need, too. Budget accordingly. There are good LiPo battery chargers under $100 on the market.

Multi-chemistry charger: If you have LiPo, NiMH, NiCd, and LiFe batteries, you might be better off buying a charger that can charge the different battery types. Otherwise, you end up with four different chargers, which an be cumbersome.

Heat sensors: Heat sensors are a safety mechanism that monitors your battery pack while it’s being charged.

You can set the temperature point where you want the charger to off to prevent overheating and damage to the battery. This is a nice feature, so check the chargers you are looking at to see if it’s included.

Charging speed: The charging speed is important to a lot of R/C operators. Check the speed specifications to see how long it takes to charge your battery pack.

A ‘fast charge’ mode on LiPo chargers sometimes accentuate speed over accuracy and balancing, leaving the battery not fully charged. Many operators chose to ignore that setting because they want fully charged packed.

Multi-pack charging: It’s convenient to be able to charge more than one battery pack at a time.

It’s especially nice to have the multi-pack charge options when you are running vehicles with two 2S or 3S packs and not having to have multiple chargers to handle your battery recharges.

Model memory: This is one of those features that is nice to have but not high on the importance list.

Most LiPo charging have units 10 or more model memories built in. Any extra memory beyond that is a bonus, but if it increases the price, it’s not worth the extra money.

Discharge mode: Being able to discharge a battery pack before packing up and going home is a nice feature, especially since you’re doing it in a controlled setting. This mode is also good for testing packs, and cycling batteries. Check it off as “must have.”

Charge AMPS: Many battery companies claim their batteries have no problem charging them at 5C rates.

A lot of people worry about pushing that high a charge into their packs, but many experienced operators feel that 10 amps on a 5000mah pack is now the norm. If you are using 4S packs, or your high quality pack can charge at a high rate, the AMPS numbers are important.

Balancer and AC/DC: All chargers should be able to allow the balancing of the packs/cells. Some do this with an additional interface box you buy and add on while others have an interface cable built into the charger. In either case, it’s good practice to use a balancer after several runs to make sure everything is in check.

The AC/DC ability of your charger is important. Without the ability to run the charger off a AC interface wall plug, you’re stuck without a power supply.

Visual interface: As technology advances faster and further, operating R/C vehicles can get more complex.

An efficient and easy-use operator interface can make controlling the vehicles much easier. If the LiPo charger you are looking at promises the moon but is difficult and frustrating to use, lose some of the extras to make running your R/C vehicles more fun and easier.

One way to gauge this is to see if you can operate the charger without having to constantly refer to the instructional manual.

The interface use is a very important part of selecting a proper battery charger for your R/C needs. You want your R/C experiences to be fun and enjoyable, so look for a charger that is easy to use.

All charged up: Ready to choose a lithium polymer charger?

People who revel in the recreational use of model R/C/ vehicles are always looking for new gadgets to enhance the experience.

An efficient, easy-to-use charger that keeps batteries fully charged at full power should be high on that list of valued accessories.

Find the best LiPo charger in 2022 on Amazon — whether from Traxxas, Airsoft, or …

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