Posted: Oct 08, 2015
What Does AGM Mean on a Battery Charger?
One of the most-commonly asked questions we hear relates to what "AGM" means on battery chargers. The short answer is that AGM stands for "Absorbed Glass Mat," which is a specific type of lead-acid battery. OPTIMA Batteries are considered SPIRALCELL AGM batteries. However, that doesn't mean the AGM setting on a charger is necessarily the correct setting to use on OPTIMA batteries or other batteries.
The problem is that many chargers, like the one pictured above, lump in their AGM setting with "deep-cycle" and "gel" battery settings, which can be a problem. Gel batteries are not the same as AGM batteries and actually have very different charging requirements. As a result, chargers that correctly charge gel batteries may not fully-charge non-gel batteries (including AGM batteries) and could damage them over time.
So what do you do if you have a charger with a setting like the one shown above and you need to charge an OPTIMA or other AGM battery? Just use the other setting, which is often labeled as "Regular" or "Starting" battery. If you're in the market for a battery charger and you're trying to figure out which one is your best option, we can help you in making that decision.
The best chargers are microprocessor-controlled and will have specific settings for AGM batteries. After several years of fielding questions about which chargers worked best on OPTIMA batteries (most will do just fine, as long as you don't use any settings that reference "gel" batteries), we came out with our own line of battery chargers and maintainers. These units are specifically designed to charge and maintain 12-volt OPTIMA batteries, as well as all other 12-volt AGM batteries and regular lead-acid batteries. They are fully-automatic and have one-touch technology that takes the guess work out of charging your battery and keeping it properly-maintained. Best of all, if you buy a Digital 1200 charger from us and purchase an OPTIMA battery at the same time, we'll extend your warranty coverage by an additional year!