/ The Best

The Best Lipo Battery Charger for your Drone

Since all our quadcopters and fixed wing aircraft run on electric power, having a decent battery charger is very important to ensure your batteries last a long time and you get the most out of them. Its also important to have a quality charger from a safety point of view. So if you need your first charger, or are looking to buy a new one this guide will help!

In this guide I will list the best lipo chargers, mostly from skyRC (the best charger manufacturer in my opinion) for various applications and budgets. If you want to learn more I suggest you read everything you need to know about Lipo balance chargers to understand some of the concepts I discuss. Otherwise just read on to find the best one for your needs.

The Quick Answer

Using our years of experience from dealing with countless customers, products and suppliers this list comprises of what we feel are the best chargers to suit all budgets. This article is divided into three main sections depending on what charger you are after:


Best Overall Lipo Charger

These chargers are what offer the best radio of features, performance and cost. These Lipo chargers are ideal for people looking for a charger they will not need to replace after a few months, but also do not want to break the bank and buy the ultimate charger (listed later in this article)

SkyRC S60 - the best overall charger for most people

The S60 charger offers the best in terms of price, reliability and performance. The S60 charger has now replaced the B6 Mini (our old best Lipo Charger) for a few key reasons:

  • It does not require an external power supply, just plug in directly to a wall socket
  • It can charge over 7 types of batteries (LiPo, LiHV, LiFe, LiIon, NiMH, NiCd, PB)
  • It still uses the same expansion sensors like a battery temperature sensor, Wifi Module and PC link for extra functionality and safety
  • Similar small compact design

Overall the S60 is a great improvement over the B6 Mini charger and at a similar price, allowing you to charge just about any battery you will ever encounter in this hobby. It has a decent amount of charge power at 60W allowing you to charge batteries at up to 6A. The interface and menu's are te same as the B6 with some minor improvements like a battery meter (check battery cell voltages.

A very interesting feature is the built in battery internal resistance meter, giving you an indication battery health and voltage drop under load (lower internal resistance is better). The only letdown of this charger is that it only supports up to 4 cells. However given that most people seldom use LiPo batteries over 4 cells makes this the best overall charger.

Where to Buy S60:

ISDT SC-608

Its also worth giving an honourable mention to the IDST 608 charger as it does stand out as an impressive charger. It has a very nice design with a high resolution, ultra bright 2.4 inch IPS display to make this charger stand out from the competition. On paper it seems like an excellent charger. It has a massive 150W, can charge most batteries (LiPo, LiHV, LiFe, and Li-Ion) from 1-6 Cells so it does everything you need. So you could argue that this is even better than the Skyrc S60.

The only reason why I do not suggest this charger to most people is that it does not include a power supply. In general this is not necessarily a big deal, but due to the high power of the IDST 608, you need to get a 150W power supply which is not cheap. IDST make an official power supply (CP16027 Power Adapter) for this, but it costs the same as the charger itself, doubling the overall price for this charger. Because of this extra cost means this charger is not as good of a deal as it first seems.

  • High resolution display with easy to use menu to make using this charger easy
  • Can charge 1S-6S Lipos (among other variants like LiFe, LiHv)
  • Does not include a power supply (official one costs same price as charger itself)
  • Very small charger
  • Can be powered by another larger battery (for charging batteries on the go)

Its also worth mentioning that if you are comfortable with electronics and soldering you could pick up a desktop PC power supply and modify it to power this charger at a fraction of the price of the CP16027 Power Adapter, but do this only if you are comfortable soldering and have a good knowledge of electricity!

Where to Buy SC-608:


Best Budget Lipo Chargers

If you are looking for the best charger you can get for the least money this is the section you want to read. Here I list chargers that are cheap, whilst still being reliable and achieving excellent performance. They might not have all the bells and whistles but get the job done!

SkyRc E430 - Best Budget Charger

E430 Lipo Charger

The E430 balance charger wins as the best budget charger, sure there are some cheaper options but none are as powerful (30W) or as accurate as this one, keeping the cell voltage to +-.01V. The E430 offers quite alot of functionality for a charger at this price, allowing you to charge 2S,3S and 4S Lipos. This is ideal as 90% of us only ever use 2-4S lipos. In addition to that, you can also charge LiFe batteries which is good as these batteries become more popular (as the energy density gets closer to LiPo's). You also have the ability to set the charge rate between 1-3A. This means that if you are in a rush you can crank it up to 3A (Assuming you are charging a bigger battery, or one that supports a higher charge rate). This charger has a built in power supply so it can be powered directly from a wall plug keeping the overall package to a minimum.

Where to Buy E430:

SkyRC E450 - Best Budget LiHV Charger


If you have a little more room in the budget (~$10) you should also consider upgrading to the E450 over the E430, which has slightly more power (50W), letting you charge your batteries faster at a maximum of 4A. It also has the ability to charge 4 types of batteries, LiPo, LiFe, LiHV, and NiMH making this a very capable charger indeed. However at the end of the day, unless you already use, or plan to use LiFe/LiHV batteries (subject to much debate about pros/cons of each battery) the only major benefit for using this charger is the marginally faster charge rate. But in general its always best to charge your battery at a lower rate (not more than 1C) to ensure it has a long cycle life (discussed in our Lipo Care guide).

Where to Buy E450:

SkyRC E3 - Best Cheapest Charger

If you are looking for the absolute cheapest charger that still works well the SkyRC E3 is your best bet. It is super easy to use, just plug into a plug socket, and connect your battery balance lead and it will start charging. The only downside is that it has only 11W of power so you can charge at a maximum of 1A, so this limits the charger to Lipo Batteries less than 3500Mah, otherwise you will end up waiting several hours to charge your battery.

Its also worth noting that there are some considerably cheaper chargers around like the Imax B3 chargers, but I would suggest you avoid these as they have a history having problems (possibly due to many fake chargers on the market) and are not very accurate in terms of voltage monitoring and cell balancing which will ultimately result in your battery degrading faster.

Where to Buy E3:


Ultimate LiPo Charger

This section contains the best of the best LiPo chargers, packed with the latest features and functionality at a price.

SkyRC D100 - charge any two batteries at the same time

Topping our list is the SkyRC D100 charger. What makes this charger impressive is that it can not only charge just about any battery, but also has 2x 100W outputs so you can charge any two batteries at the same time! This is particularly useful if you want to go out flying for longer, giving you the ability to charge multiple packs quickly from a single charging session before heading out. Other than this it packs all the great features of the S60 charger:

  • It have an integrated power supply, just plug in directly to a wall socket
  • It can charge over 7 types of batteries from 1-6 Cells (LiPo, LiHV, LiFe, LiIon, NiMH, NiCd, PB)
  • It can charge two batteries at the same time (via two separate 100W charging circuits)
  • It still uses the same expansion sensors like a battery temperature sensor, WiFi Module and PC link for extra functionality and safety
  • Has the option of DC power input so you can use a car battery with this charger if you want (will need to make your own cable though)

Overall the D100 is our best ultimate charger and is not ridiculously expensive. For your money you get a highly accurate, easy to use and compact battery charger. With 200W of power, you can charge just about any 2 batteries at the same time which is ideal for most drone pilots. The ability to also charge 1S batteries is great if you are into micro indoor quadcopters. Just like the S60 charger, the best part is that you do not need to use a separate power supply as its all built in, just plug it onto a wall socket!

Where to Buy D100:

SkyRC Q200 Quattro - charge any four batteries at once

If you have more space in your budget and frequently get through several battery packs each time you go out flying, then the Q200 charger is likely to be the best option for you, as its standout feature is that it can charge 4 batteries at once!

  • It have an integrated power supply, just plug in directly to a wall socket
  • Just like other chargers in this series it can charge over 7 types of batteries from 1-6 Cells (LiPo, LiHV, LiFe, LiIon, NiMH, NiCd, PB)
  • It can charge four batteries at the same time (via two separate 100W charging circuits, 50W ea if charging 4 batteries at the same time)
  • Built in bluetooth for easy control via your smartphone (Andorid/IOS)
  • It still uses the same expansion sensors like a battery temperature sensor, WiFi Module and PC link for extra functionality and safety
  • Has the option of DC power input so you can use a car battery with this charger if you want (will need to make your own cable though)

On this Q200, you get a colour LCD screen that makes it easy to use the 4 separate charging circuits easily. But if that is not good enough the built in Bluetooth to use your smartphone to control the charger and also helpful to keep an eye out on your charge progress. Then for the ultimate power users you can hook this charger up to your PC to view and control all aspects of this charger.

Having the ability to charge 4 batteries is very useful, particularly for FPV racing pilots where you get through several packs a session. However one caveat of this is that the charger itself is limited to 200W of power. So if charging 4 batteries at the same time, each battery can only use 50W each. This is equates to about 5A of charge current which is plenty for most batteries if you charge them at the recommended 1C charge rate.

A small but important feature is the ability to re-calibrate the charging circuit. Although out of the box all skyRC chargers are very accurate, over time the calibration could get out of sync. So by using your own high quality equipment, you can re-calibrate the current and voltage sensors on this charger. Something that is not possible with many other chargers which is great if you have this charger for a few years.

Also if you do not necessarily need the quad battery charging functionality I suggest you rather then go for the D200 (discussed later in this article), as this is the same price, but it has a built in 60W soldering iron combined with a D100 dual battery charger.

Where to Buy Q200:

ISDT SC-620 - most powerful charger at 500W

Just like the little brother (SC-608) the SC-620 packs the same impressive high resolution display but this is combined with a massive 500W charger, capable to charge at up to 20A. On paper this is impressive, but in reality its never great to charge your batteries as fast as possible since this just reduces their cycle life (the amount of times you can charge/discharge a lipo while still having full output capacity)(most batteries can charge at a max of 5C). It is best practice to charge your lipo at 1C, so having a 500W charger is not often needed unless you are using higher batteries like a 10,000mAh Lipo.

  • High resolution display with informative menu's
  • Up to 20A charging rate (ideal for very big batteries (10Ah+)
  • Manufacturer does not yet make a power supply powerful enough for this charger yet, so you will need to source and modify one yourself.
  • Can only charge one battery at a time

The interface is great via the high resolution colour display, making it easy to navigate and access advanced features and this charger can charge just about any battery from 1S to 6S so from a functionality point of view it is great.

One of my main issues with this charger is that needs a 500W power supply, however ISDT do not even sell one this powerful. And to aggravate the situation more, this charger uses an XT60 connector as power input so if you buy a third party charger/ PC power supply you will need to solder a new connector yourself. So because of this, I feel there are better solutions out there.

Where to Buy SC-620:

SkyRC D200 - it has a built in 60W soldering iron

The final mention for the best ultimate chargers is the D200. This is the best charger to get if you only ever want to charge 2 batteries at a time. It is the same price is the Q200 quad charger, but instead of being able to charge extra chargers, you get a powerful 60W precision soldering iron built into this charger. This is a excellent and novel feature which makes it ideal for anyone into DIY drone building.

  • It has 60W temperature controlled soldering iron built in!
  • It can charge over 7 types of batteries from 1-6 Cells (LiPo, LiHV, LiFe, LiIon, NiMH, NiCd, PB)
  • It has an integrated power supply, just plug in directly to a wall socket
  • It can charge two batteries at the same time (via two separate 100W charging circuits)
  • It still uses the same expansion sensors like a battery temperature sensor, WiFi Module and PC link for extra functionality and safety
  • Has the option of DC power input so you can use a car battery with this charger if you want (will need to make your own cable though)

The soldering iron is a great idea, and you will be happy to hear that the soldering iron is very good. It is a . You can set the temperature between 200 to 450 degrees Celsius depending on what you are soldering, and the 60W iron is powerful enough to maintain temperature when soldering the fattest wires/PDB. So overall this works very well.

At the end of the day you will probably be better off just going for the D100 charger (suggested above) and then buy a separate soldering iron. As you can buy a decent soldering iron for less than the price difference between the D100 and D200 chargers. However if you like the idea of having everything in one then the D200 to save space, then is a great option for you.

Where to Buy D200:


Other Chargers Considered

Our comparison is by no means complete as there are hundreds of chargers on the market, however we compared some of the most popular ones around. If you have any you would like us to test just add a comment at the end of this article. Here are the other chargers that we looked at so far.

  • B3 Mini charger - although its one of the cheapest around, it has a high failure rate, and does not always do a great job at balancing your cells. ALso we found that a fair amount arrive dead from the factory.
  • Imax BAC6- Essentially a clone of skyrc chargers, it works well and has a built in power supply which is great, but now is rather old, but still a great cheap charger overall. Just be away are some fakes which done work well at all.
  • SkyRc Charging Station for DJI Phantom - A nice idea as it lets you charge up to 4 phantom batteries at the same time,, along with 2 remotes and two USB devices. However since DJI keep changing their batteries between each major phantom drone release, you need to use adaptor cables to charge phantom 4 batteries, but the phantom 3 batteries slot neatly into this charger, if this charger also supported the mavic and inspire batteries it would be a killer option for serious DJI pilots, but unfortunately this is not the case.
  • X350 350W Touch Screen Smart 6S Balance Charger - A nice idea with a colour touch screen, however there have been numerous reports of this charger overcharging your lipos (which can be dangerous) and even worse, the charge current is also sometimes not constant, so, sometimes it is considerably lower than what you set it to, other times it increases gradually, which is again very dangerous, so stay well away form this charger until the safety issues are addressed (but so far no word from manufacturer).
  • Turnigy Reaktor 250W 10A 1-6S Balance Charger - A nice charger on paper as its relatively cheap (but does not include power supply), it can charge 1-6S cells. However just like many budget brands, cheap chargers are often not very accurate, resulting a voltage of about ~0.1-0.3V off which can over time damage your lipos or worse! Furthermore it does not do the best job at balancing the cells on your battery.

That is our current suggestions on what Lipo Charger you should consider getting so I hope this has been of some use to you. We will update this article to keep up to date with recent product releases so keep coming back to know if anything changes, and subscribe to our newsletter.

Also if you have any suggestion on a charger you would like us to test, just let us know in the comments.

Alex

Alex

I started this blog to share tips, and my thoughts about this exciting hobby for multirotors and UAV's. I also run Unmanned Tech UK. To visit click the shop button on the top of the page :-)

Read More