CTEK 3300 Battery Charger Review
The CTEK 3300 is an intelligent lead-acid battery charger designed for
12 volt applications in the form of many vehicle types like everyday cars,
trucks and motorcycles to boats and ATVs. This versatility also extends
to all types of lead-acid 12 volt batteries. That includes GEL, MF, Wet,
and AGM batteries.
Being an intelligent charger, the 3300 will care for the battery using a
four-step process. It is this multi-step process that CTEK was built on as
a company. The charger will analyze, repair, and recharge batteries with
care so that the battery isn't harmed and has the longest life possible.
A normal, simple fast charger and even some trickle chargers don't take
care to manage the voltage and charge level of the battery. When care is
not taken by the charger, the battery will lose life due to excess heat. In
a worst-case scenario, this could mean a completely dead battery that
cannot be charged again.
Instead, the 3300 constantly monitors the battery's condition as it quickly
charges. Once the battery reaches 80% charge, the charger slows down
the charge and trickle charges the battery up to 100% capacity. At this
point, the charger will cease charging and will begin maintaining the
battery. It does this by "pulse-charging" the battery when it detects
discharge and by doing so will keep the battery in peak operation. This is
the core process for the safe and gentle charging of a battery.
But that's only telling half the story about CTEK's multi-step charging
process. One of the major problems with a lead-acid battery is that as
the battery is discharged, lead sulfate crystals will form in the acid of the
battery. These crystals inhibit charge, and with more build up a battery
will have reduced charge life. If the battery is stored for a significant
amount of time with little or no charge, these crystals will continue to
grow and could completely kill your battery.
The 3300 will work to dissolve these crystals as it charges the battery,
restoring old dead or nearly dead batteries to operation.
For about $74.99 retail, you also get a number of other features specific
to CTEK battery chargers. For one, you get a very durable unit that can
resist water and dust, and can withstand shocks and extreme
temperatures. CTEK claims a normal operating temperature range of -4F
to +122F, which is quite impressive, and it's a number you know you can
trust because of the five-year warranty. The charger also features a cold-
weather charging mode for below-freezing weather, in addition to modes
specific to large and small batteries ("motorcycle" mode and "car" mode).
All this is built into a compact housing which has holes for mounting
anywhere via screws.
After all is said and done, the CTEK 3300 is quite a little package. It gets
a big thumbs up from me, and I'm trying my best to think of any
downsides. At this price, with these features, it seems like a no-brainer
for every household.