Best Battery Desulfator UK (That Actually Work!)

The UK’s car battery experts check out the best battery desulfators, the ones that actually work.

Since you’re here, you may already know what a battery desulfator is. It’s a device you attach to your vehicle battery that removes sulfation (the no.1 reason for car batteries losing power and dying).

We’ve tested the ones on this page extensively on our own cars. We give you our results, and help decide if these desulfators are right for you.

The winning desulfator was the F16 Pulse King: Pulse Max; second place was the original F16 Pulse King (see price and specifications on Amazon) and third place went to the CPTDCL.

We discuss why you may need one, and why a desulfating battery charger may be more suitable for you, depending on your needs.

Let’s get to it, then!

Best Battery Desulfator UK

Best Battery Desulfator List

See below, these are the basic specifications for the battery desulfators we tested.

RANKINGbest overall desulfatorbattery reconditioner best value 1
DESULFATORF-16 Pulse King: Pulse MaxF-16 Pulse KingCPTDCL
DIMENSIONS‎6.4 x 4.7 x 1.3 cm6 x 14 x 4 cm16.4 x 9.9 x 3.2 cm

Battery Desulfator Reviews

Let’s now check out our full reviews of the best desulfators that met our requirements.

Here are our pros & cons from testing them, and our overall conclusions about each model.

*Updated May 2023 – the new F16 Pulse King: Pulse Max, with it’s superior build quality has knocked the original model off top spot.

F-16 Pulse King: Pulse Max

Plus points and who needs this one:

The (joint) most effective desulfation
It worked just as well as the original F16 Pulse King – showing similar major improvements in the space of one to two weeks. Since that model (now pushed down to No.2 in this desulfator review) was by far the most effective in our initial testing, we’ll take that deal, even if the Pulse Max doesn’t improve on it. That means that the CCA (the measure of the health of a battery) of the batteries tested showed significant improvements.

Rugged build quality
Pleasingly solid metal casing. This model has silicon protection at the seal between the main unit and the wiring. And the electronic chip inside, the wiring and the 3M adhesive are made to withstand the very high temperatures you can sometimes get in a car engine, up to 120°C. This is truly a heavy duty unit, a major improvement in quality compared to the original F16 desulfator.

3 year warranty
That’s a lot for a product like this. It’s a testament to how well built it is, and the manufacturer’s confidence in its ability to handle tougher environments than any other desulfator.

We reckon it has the potential to outlast your battery
In our experience, a higher end battery desulfator, even one with plastic casing, can last 3-5 years. But with the build quality of this Pulse Max model, we reckon it can last longer than that; to the extent that you can probably move it to a new battery when you come to replace it and it’ll keep on going.

Downsides and why it may not be the one for you:

It’s the most expensive option
It costs more than the other 2 winning models. Will it last longer? Definitely. A lot longer? Very possibly. Is it more likely to withstand high temperatures and still keep going. Again, that’s a yes. You just need to weigh up if you’re willing to pay the higher price for a tougher unit.

It didn’t actually outperform its predecessor
When we looked at both the extent of the improvement of the CCA, and the rate of improvement, it was very similar to the results of the original F16 model. We believe, therefore, that the internal workings of the unit are therefore probably the same, just with better quality, tougher components.

Where to get it?

See it here.

battery reconditioner best value 1

F-16 Pulse King

Pros and who needs this battery desulfator:

Exceptional ability to remove sulfation and restore batteries
It performed really well on testing. We tested it with several batteries, and each time it improved the CCA value (a measure of battery health) significantly.

UK seller
Some people will prefer buying from a UK seller.

Build quality feels quite good
It’s plastic (more on that later). That said, it feels more solid and hard-wearing compared to the CPTDCL desulfator.

Saves you on battery costs by keeping sulfation away long-term
It works well to remove sulfation that you already have on your battery plates. Since it stays permanently on your battery, it’s acting every time you use your car to keep the desulfation away. Preventing the build up of sulfation is likely to make your battery last a lot longer. The result? You’ll have to replace your battery a lot less often, and it’ll work stronger and more consistently during that time.

Cons and why this desulfator is not for you:

It has plastic casing
We’d have preferred metal casing, we’d just feel better about it in a vibrating, hot engine environment.

Only works with 12V batteries
It removes sulfation for 12V batteries only. If you have a system with 24V or 48V, for example a solar battery, then this desulfator will not work for you

A little more effort to attach than the CPTDCL desulfator
You have to unscrew the battery terminal screw nuts with a spanner, insert the connectors, then tighten the screw nuts. It’s still easy though, it takes one minute to do.

Where to get it?

We’ve performed a full review of F16 Pulse King.

The lowest priced seller is here, on Amazon.

CPTDCL Desulfator

Pros and who needs this desulfator:

Removes sulfation as advertised
It performed quite well in our tests, and it did successfully remove sulfation from the battery plates. Decent ability to remove sulfation, considering the price

Works on a wider range of battery voltages, from 12-72 Volts
If you have batteries with higher voltages, this is the best desulfator on the market with that capability.

Easy to connect.
You just connect the clips to the battery’s positive and negative terminals. That’s simpler than F16 Pulse King, which requires screwing and unscrewing the battery screw nuts.

Cons and why this model is not for you:

It doesn’t work as well to remove sulfation as the F16 Pulse King
The F16 desulfator was much more effective in removing sulfation (and costs more but not that much more!). Knowing what we do about batteries and desulfation, we have a pretty good idea why. One reason may be that the F-16 Pulse King has better quality materials. But in our opinion the major reason is that pulse desulfation needs the maximum possible contact between the battery terminals and the desulfator’s connectors. F-16 Pulse King does this excellently, allowing for significant contact with their connectors. The CPTDCL doesn’t have as much contact with its small clamps.

It looks and feels quite cheap
We can understand why quite a few users of this desulfator make that comment about it. You feel like it can’t possibly work; it does, though.

Where to get it?

Check it out right here.

That’s it for our reviews of the best battery desulfators in the UK.

Now, let’s find out a bit more about desulfators, and how they work.

What is a battery desulfator?

It’s a device that attaches to your battery that removes sulfation from your battery plates.

As a result the battery works better. The lead sulfate that a desulfator removes was impairing the battery’s ability to store charge and deliver power.

When you remove that sulfate, the battery starts to work more efficiently again; it will store charge better and recoup some of the power that it originally had when it was new.

What is sulfation?

Sulfation is the accumulation of lead sulfate on the battery plates.

It’s an inevitable chemical process, and it happens to ALL lead-acid batteries to some extent. Some battery types are more resistant to sulfation than others. For example, Gel and AGM type batteries, which are VRLA types, are both more resistant to it than are typical Flooded lead-acid batteries. As are silver Calcium / lead calcium batteries.

A car battery is made up of lead plates, surrounded by a solutioin called an electrolyte (a mixture of sulphuric acid and distilled water).

When a battery is discharged some of the lead (Pb) in the lead plate and some of the sulfate (SO4) in the sulphuric acid join together to form lead sulfate (PbSO4). If the battery is charged often and well, then the components break up, the lead (Pb) rejoins the lead plate, and the sulfate (SO4) becomes part of the sulphuric acid again. That’s what the lead-acid battery charging process involves.

But if the battery does not get fully charged, if it’s left in this discharged state, then the lead sulfate hardens, and forms into crystals. These crystals stick to the battery plates, and a normal charging process will no longer cause the sulfate to break up.

That’s where a desulfator comes in – its high frequency pulses are powerful enough to break down the crystals and thus remove the sulfation from the battery plates. When the lead sulfate crystals break down, it allows more contact between the lead plates and the electrolyte – this improves the battery’s ability to store charge and give power.

Here’s the ultimate guide to battery reconditioning.

What causes sulfation to build up?

It builds up when the battery is left in a discharged state.

That means that any time you’re not using your car and the battery is left unused for some time, lead sulfate will build up on the lead battery plates.

If you’re regularly giving your battery a full charge, either with regular, long journeys or by using a battery charger, the accumulation of sulfate will be relatively small. But it will still happen, and more will develop over time, unless you use a desulfator.

Why would I need a desulfator?

If your battery is showing signs of losing power, it’s likely to be because some sulfation has developed over time.

Attaching a desulfator can remove the lead sulfate build-up and your battery’s power will improve again.

Even if your battery is new it still makes sense to get a desulfator. It will stop the sulfation from building up in the first place. The result? Your battery could last 2 to 3 times longer (here’s how long car batteries last).

Do battery desulfators really work?

The high quality battery desulfators certainly do, we’ve written a whole article about it, “Do battery conditioners work?“.

There’s a reason that the 2 behemoths of car battery charging, CTEK and NOCO, have added Desulfator modes to their chargers in the last few years: it works.

Here are the best desulfating battery chargers in the UK.

CTEK’s desulfation abilities are renowned, their Recond mode works very well.

And both companies reckon it can extend your battery lifespan as much as 2 to 3 times.

The main desulfation methods are:

  1. using desulfators, and;
  2. using battery chargers with desulfation mode.

Desulfators are best since they work every time you drive to remove sulfation and prevent it arising. Whereas desulfating battery chargers only do so when you’re actually charging.

How do desulfators work?

In other words, how do they actually remove the sulfation?

The products on this Best Desulfator list work by sending a high-frequency pulse across your vehicle battery plates. That pulse breaks down the lead sulfate on the battery plates. Lead sulfate has the chemical symbol PbSO4. It’s made up of Lead and Sulfate ions, which had joined together as part of the battery discharge process.

How do you know if it’s working?

If your battery was struggling, you may notice the difference after a few weeks. Many people in this situation have found that a desulfator has resulted in easier starts.

If your battery is fine, then you won’t notice any change – it’s just that you’re preventing future problems, and the battery will last longer.

There’s also a simple way to check.

  • Use any high quality car battery tester (here are the top 12V battery testers in the UK) to check the CCA (the main measure of battery health) before attaching the desulfator.
  • Then attach the desulfator. After a few weeks, check the battery CCA with a tester. You’ll see that the CCA has risen, potentially a lot.
  • The worse the battery condition, the more room to grow. For example, if the tester shows current CCA at 320CCA, and the original CCA (written on the battery) was 450CCA, you might see that it rises to 420CCA. That means the battery has been very well rejuvenated by the desulfator. It’s not very far from how it was when new, but not completely perfect as new.
  • If, however, you’ve got a new battery (let’s say again it was rated at 450CCA), your tester reading after a few months owning the battery may be 440CCA. In this case, if you attach a desulfator and test again after a few weeks, you probably won’t see any improvement in CCA – there’s no room for improvement, the battery is already very healthy.

So if your battery is new, do you need a desulfator? It’s still a very good idea, yes – because the desulfator is working to prevent sulfation from building up in the first place, so the battery will last longer stay healthier, and work better.

Do you ever leave your car unused for extended periods of time?

We’ve written about how long car batteries last without being used, and why a desulfator can help.

Does it work with any type of battery?

It works with any type of lead-acid battery.

But not any other battery type; they don’t necessarily even develop sulfation. Lithium batteries, for example, do not develop lead sulfate on their battery plates, so you wouldn’t need a desulfator for that type of battery.

Best Desulfator UK Summary

Hopefully you know have a clearer idea about desulfators, and hopefully you now know which is the best battery desulfator for you.

We talked about the advantages and disadvantages of both the F16 Pulse King desulfator and the CPTDCL desulfator.

The F16 Pulse King impressed us with just how well it was able to improve battery health – it produced very significant increases in the CCA (what car battery CCA means) of the batteries tested. We surmise, then, that can successfully remove sulfation from the battery plates.

The CPTDCL also worked effectively to remove sulfation, though not quite as well. We mentioned our theory as to why, that it doesn’t produce enough contact between the connectors (clamps) and the battery plates.

We then analysed desulfators themselves, how they work, and what causes sulfation to build up. A high quality desulfator can extend battery lifespan significantly and improve power delivery as well.

You can see price for the Pulse Max unit here. Check out the F16 Pulse King here, and the CPTDCL model here.

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your desulfator choice!