A Cool Gadget

If you wrench – or even just tinker – you may already have a portable jump-starter rig. They are super handy to have.

For those who aren’t hip, it’s jumper cables plus a high-capacity battery (lithium-ion) that recharges via household current. If you – or someone else – ever needs a jump, you won’t need another car.

You also won’t risk hurting your car.

Modern cars have sensitive electronics and these can be damaged by traditional car-to-car jump-starting.

There is also the traditional risk of sparks – and possibly, an explosion. (Batteries can leak hydrogen gas, which isn’t what you want around sparks; remember the Hindenburg).

Portable rigs eliminate these potential problems.

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There’s no chance of damaging your car in the process of jump-starting another car’s dead battery… because you’re not using your car (well, its battery) to jump-start the other car. And the portable rigs typically include a safety circuit to eliminate sparks by only allowing the current to flow after the cables have been connected properly.

Mine (a Black & Decker) is portable. But it’s also pretty big. Not suitcase-sized, but not glovebox-sized, either.

Definitely not pocket-sized.

It’s fine for the garage, but less-than-ideal for the road.

So I was intrigued when Bestek sent me a hand-sized jump starter to try out.

It’s about a third the size of my Black & Decker rig and a fourth the weight. It’s almost exactly the same length and width (7×3 inches) as a large Hershey’s chocolate bar and easily fits in your car’s glovebox, purse or even pants pocket.

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