A portable jump starter can save a you from a world of hassle if you’re on the road a lot. The Black & Decker JUS500B 500 Amp Jump Starter is an offering from one of the most popular and trusted brands on the market, so let’s take a look at what it offers and how it fairs against the competition.
Why would you need a portable jump starter? Simple peace of mind is a good enough reason, especially if you live or regularly drive in more isolated areas. They are also very handy if you have a car which doesn’t get driven much – the battery can frequently run flat and with something like the Black & Decker JUS500B, what was a major pain becomes a simple fix and you’ll be back up and running in seconds.
In truth a jump starter is a pretty simple device so as long as you buy one with adequate amperage for the job at hand it’s pretty difficult to go wrong. The JUS500B delivers in this respect with a healthy 500 amps which is more than enough for any vehicles such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, RVs or tractors.
Since all portable jump starters are pretty similar in their basic function, the differences between them that you need to consider when buying come down to the various design features each one offers. The Black & Decker JUS500B is quite a sleek looking charger, fairly compact, and has a low profile meaning it can be laid flat in the trunk without taking up much space. It does have a rounded underside and corners however which means it’s won’t stand upright, it’s designed to lay flat at all times.
Even though it’s simple enough to remember, I always get the polarity’s mixed up when I’m jump starting a car, especially when the terminals on the battery aren’t color coded, and if it’s dark or the terminals are mucky it can be difficult to tell which one is which. The Black & Decker JUS500B is fitted with both audio and visual reverse polarity alarms to make sure you have things hooked up the right way around. There is also a tiny LED light on the unit which, despite it’s small size is extremely bright and is a very welcome feature if you’re working in the dark.
When you first buy a JUS500B it will need a long initial charge. After that you can put it in the trunk and forget about it, apart from every two months or so when it’ll need a short top-up charge to ensure it’s always got plenty of juice. Charging is a very simple process with indicator lights keeping you updated on progress.
One odd omission on Black & Decker’s part is the absence of a charging cable in the box. You’re going to need one to use the JUS500B and they are hardly expensive so it’s an strange decision for them not to include one in the box. Luckily a basic appliance extension cord will do the job and will only cost you a couple of dollars.
With the exception of the absent power cord, the JUS500B is a sturdy, high quality jump starter which works exactly as advertised – it’s difficult to find any problems which would prevent us recommending it. Having a portable jump starter in the trunk is something that you’ll appreciate the first time you find yourself in a situation where you need to use it, and you’ll realize what a pain it would have been had you not had it with you!
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