The Ultimate Extension Cord Buyer’s Guide | Safety Tips & Recommended Products

The Ultimate Extension Cord Buyer’s Guide | Safety Tips & Recommended Products

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Many folks don’t realize that they may be misusing their handy extension cords. Although they are extremely handy to extend the reach of your electronics and power tools, there are a few details many people overlook that can be potentially dangerous to you or your home. In this article we will outline the common mistakes made, tips to use them safely, how to choose a good cable, and the products we recommend (as well as a few example of what to avoid).
Contents:
  1. A Quick Lesson in Electricity & Resistance
  2. Wire Length, Thickness & Safety
  3. How to Choose the Proper Cable
  4. Common Mistakes to Avoid
  5. Products we Recommend
    1. Best Extension Cord for Household Use
    2. Best Outdoor Extension Cord
    3. Best Heavy Duty Extension Cord
    4. Best Multi Outlet Extension Cord
    5. Best Retractable Extension Cord
    6. Best Extension Cord Reel
    7. Best Extension Cord With a Switch
    8. Best Flat Plug Extension Cord
    9. Best Dryer Extension Cord
    10. Best 30 Amp Extension Cord
    11. Best 20 Amp Extension Cord
    12. Best Welder Extension Cord
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Bonus Pro Tip

A (Very) Quick & Dirty Lesson in Electricity and Resistance

There are a few things to consider when buying extending cables. Primarily, the most important thing is to ensure you are using a cable with a proper amps/amperage rating (current) for whatever appliance or tool you will use it with.

Electrical current, or the rate of flow of electrical current, is measured in amps. As you would expect, a small appliance like a lamp draws much less current than a power tool like a reciprocating saw would.

You may also notice that the appliance or tool you are you using through your cable doesn’t produce quite the same amount of power it does when plugged in directly to your wall outlet. This is because wires have a certain amount of resistance and as current runs through a wire, the electrical energy dissipates as it travels down the length of the wire.

A longer wire will then have more resistance, and a thicker gauge wire will have less resistance. In addition, this dissipated energy is expelled in the form of heat, which is one reason why the cables are surrounded by an insulated jacket. However, mis-using a cable can cause an excess amount of heat, producing a fire hazard by damaged the insulation. An example of mis-use would be using a cable that isn’t properly rated for the amount of current your tool is drawing – like using a 15 amp tool with a 10 amp extending cable, for example. The insulation can melt or crack, causing faults, shorts causing shocks or fires. Always make sure the cord is properly rated for your use.

Wire Length, Thickness & Amps

So, for what we know now about resistance and wire thickness, with all other things being equal, it’s better/safer to use a shorter, thicker cable than a long, thinner one, both in terms of performance and safety. How do you tell if a wire is thicker or thinner? They are measured by “gauge” and it’s actually a little counter-intuitive. A thinner diameter wire will have a larger gauge (ex. 16 and greater), while a thicker diameter wire will have a smaller gauge (12 and smaller). Many folks use 16-gauge cables in their homes, however they are likely too thin for your uses. Gauge is measured in the unit AWGs, or American Wire Gauge.
Although smaller 16-gauge cables are cheaper, they often won’t be able to handle the power you need to feed through them and will have lower amperage ratings. These cables are often the cause of residential fires as a result of them failing, due to the large amount of resistance and heat produced.

If you’re going to be extending a low-energy appliance like a lamp, then 16-gauge is probably fine. But we typically recommend 12-gauge or thicker cables since they can handle the electricity from your home’s outlets long-term, and are more versatile, since you can use them safely with larger tools and appliances. However, they are larger and heavier.

Often, when you’re looking to buy an extension cord, you’ll see several ratings such as the length in feet, maximum amps or voltage, or numbers like “12/3” like this one. The first number is indicating the wire gauge, and the second number is telling you how many wires are within the cable. So a 12/3 cable means that there are 3 wires combined in the cord, each with 12 gauge thickness.

Cables also typically come in various lengths, up to 150ft long, and while we’ve established a longer cable isn’t as good as a shorter one, if you think you’ll need the length then go for a longer one. It’s better to use a longer cord than to daisy chain multiple cords together since you reduce the number of connections. But, as you use a longer cord, resistance increases. What does this mean for you? Well, you could get away with using a 25-foot 14 gauge cable with a larger tool like a table saw, but if you need a longer cable like one that is 100 feet long, you should be using a 10 or 12 gauge cable. There’s no perfect formula, but it’s typically better to go larger, since it’s more versatile. This table is a good quick outline for what cord size you can get away with using

How to Choose the Proper Cable – Gauge, Length & Amps

Now that we know the effect the length and thickness of wires has on your tools and safety, let’s see how it affects what cord you should choose. Here is a rough list of amperages for some common appliances you may need to be using with you cables. You can find the amperage of your tools or appliances on the safety label.

Once you’ve decided the amperage rating you will need, you can use the handy table below to estimate the length and thickness of cord to choose. Again, we like to get a cord with length and amperage rating greater than what you may need since it will meet your potential future needs – but that’s just us.

Cord
length
Amperage Required & Example Tool Amperages

2-5 amps
Lamps, 
fans,
weed-eaters
5-7 amps
Leaf blowers,
drills

7-10
amps

Lawn mowers, recip saws
10-12
amps
Chain saws, routers

12-15 amps

Circular saws, table saws

16-20 amps

Table saws, circular saws
25 feet16 gauge16 gauge14 gauge12 gauge12 gauge10 gauge
50 feet16 gauge14 gauge14 gauge12 gauge10 gauge8 gauge
100 feet16 gauge14 gauge12 gauge10 gauge8 gauge8 gauge

 

Common Mistakes in Use

There are numerous ways that people unknowingly misuse their extension cords, though some are more potentially dangerous than others. A full list of common mistakes can be found here, put together by the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

Here is a shortlist of what we consider the most important and commonly overlooked mistakes people make:

Regardless of the gauge of wires or the materials, they are not permanent solutions, as they are not designed to handle the amount of electricity that your home’s electrical system can.

Only use products that have been approved by an independent testing organization such as UL, or CSA.

Never cover a cable while using it, either with a rug, under the floor or in a wall. The heat produced from the electricity cannot escape, producing a massive fire risk. You should also never coil the cord tightly while in use for the same reason.

Never use a cable with a lower wattage rating than the tool/appliance you are using it with.

People often use too small gauge of wire. While 16-gauge wires are certainly more affordable, the thinner wires can’t handle the same current as a thicker 12-gauge wire can.

Never try and use a 3-prong cable in a 2-slot plug or remove the third prong to do so. This is a safety feature that when unused can be a serious electrocution and fire hazard.

If you need to use the one outside, be sure to keep the ends dry to avoid electrocution. Most outdoor plugs are GFCI outlets that should prevent this, but best to be safe. Also never store a cable outside as moisture could penetrate the cable or the coating could be damaged by animals or other means.

The ESFI suggests that you should only use a single appliance with a single cable, to avoid undue stress to the wire.

Remember to check out the full list of safety tips from the ESFI, or check out this handy infographic.

Now that you know what size of cable to look for, and how to safely use it, let’s take a look at the products we recommend. 

Best Extension Cord for Household Use

These cords are best used for simple household appliances and electronics such as wireless routers, fans, lamps and other light uses. Some of them may also be rated for outdoor use, although we will get into outdoor specialists further down. Back to top

Coleman Cable 02309 16/3 Vinyl Outdoor Extension Cord, Orange, 100-Feet AmazonBasics 16/3 Vinyl Outdoor Extension Cord - 50 Feet (Orange) 
Coleman Cable
AmazonBasics
Husky Mounts
25ft, 50ft, 100ft sizes50ft, 100ft sizes1ft – 100ft sizes
16/3 gauge wire16/3 gauge wire16/3 gauge wire
10 amp rating13 amp rating13 amp rating
PVC insulated jacketVinyl insulated jacketVinyl insulated jacket
1-year warranty1-year warranty 1-year warranty
Suitable for indoor, household use. Fans, lamps, etc.Suitable for indoor, household use. Fans, lamps, etc. Suitable for indoor, household use. Fans, lamps, etc.
$$$$
Read 1800+ Customer ReviewsRead 800+ Customer Reviews Read 25+ Customer Reviews

 

Best Outdoor Extension Cord

These cords are designed for use in outdoor environments. The insulated casings and plugs are fashioned in a way that will better stand up to the elements and won’t degrade as easily. If you are using them outdoors or with larger power tools, you want to make sure you go for a larger gauge wire (~12-14) and a longer cable will be more versatile. Back to top

 
US Wire 100ft Outdoor Extension Cord
Iron Forge 100ft Outdoor Extension Cord
US Wire 25ft All-Weather Outdoor Extension Cord
100 ft length100 ft length25 ft length
14/3 gauge wire12/3 gauge wire12/3 gauge wire
13 amp rating15 amp rating15 amp rating
SJTW insulated jacketVinyl insulated jacket100% TPE abrasion resistant jacket
 Limited lifetime warrantyLifetime Replacement warranty Limited lifetime warranty
 Made in USA & China Made in ChinaMade in the USA
Lighted plug Lighted plug, reinforced bladesLighted, molded plugs
Great all-around, good for indoor/outdoor use household electronics, power tools <13A ratingBest all-around, good for indoor/outdoor, household electronics, power tools <15A rating Best for use in cold temperatures, stays flexible down to -94F, power tools <15A
$$$$$
Read 100+ Customer ReviewsRead 650+ Customer Reviews Read 100+ Customer Reviews

 

Best Heavy Duty Extension Cord

Next up we have our heavy duty extension cords. Be sure to also check out the list below of multi outlet cables, which are also suitable for heavy duty use. Back to top

 
US Wire 100ft Heavy Duty Extension Cord
US Wire 50ft Heavy Duty Extension Cord
Prime 50ft Heavy Duty Extension Cord
100 ft length50 ft length50 ft length
12/3 gauge wire12/3 gauge wire10/3 gauge wire
15 amp rating15 amp rating15 amp rating
SJTW vinyl outer jacketSJTW vinyl outer jacketSJTOW PVC jacket
 Limited lifetime warrantyLifetime limited warrantyWarranty info not available
 Made in USA & China Made in USA & ChinaMade in China
Lighted plug Lighted plug, reinforced bladesLighted plugs, nickel-coated brass plugs
Rugged all-around cord, suitable for use down to -35F,Medium flexibility, durable exterior, affordable Great heavy duty cable, suitable for use down to -54F
$$$$$$
Read 1300+ Customer ReviewsRead 630+ Customer Reviews Read 13+ Customer Reviews

 

Best Multi Outlet Extension Cord

Because having multiple outlets can increase the stress on the cable, anything smaller than 14 gauge wire can potentially be a risk if you’re not careful. Our list for the best multi outlet extension cord actually only includes a single product, because it is the only one that is heavy duty enough and of proper rating to handle multiple plugs. However, it is available in multiple sizes so you can find the perfect length for your uses. Back to top

US Wire Multi Outlet Extension Cord
Multiple lengths available: 2-15ft, 25ft, 50ft, 75ft, 100ft
Multiple gauges available: 10/3, 12/3 and 14/3
Maximum Amps vary depending on gauge
Compare amperages here
SJTW thermoplastic ruged outer coating
Double jacketed for extradurability
 Limited lifetime warranty
 Made in USA & China
3x plug inputs
Rugged all-around cord, suitable for use down to -35F,
NOTE: Some tool plugs are “guarded” and won’t fit multi-outlets like this one. Double check that the tool you are using will fit, otherwise you may need to use an additional cable
If you are looking for a different kind of multi-outlet cable, one with outlets evenly spaced along the length of the cable, this is the best one we’ve found.
Price varies depending on length/gauge
Compare Prices 
Read 420+ Customer Reviews


Best Retractable Extension Cord

A retractable extension cord can be awesome to have around the house, since they’re so much easier to store and transport. Most of the ones you see are typically smaller 16 gauge, though, so those are best suited for light household use. But, there are some more heavy duty ones that you can use with power tools and larger electronics. Back to top

Note: the MasterPlug is not technically a retractable, and belongs below with reels, but we wanted to give you a comparison – maybe you though you wanted a retractable but actually wanted a reel!

Reelcraft L-4545-123-3 Spring Driven Cord Reel with 45-Feet of 12/3 Cord and Single OutletFlexzilla ZillaReel 50 ft. Retractable Extension Cord Reel - E8140503Bayco SL-801 13-Amp 30-Foot Triple-Tap Retractable ReelAlert Stamping 5020TFC 12 Gauge Retractable Reel with Single Outlet 40ft Extension Cord Case Reel with 4 120V 10amp outlets
ReelCraft Retractable Extension Cord
Flexzilla Retractable Extension Cord
Bayco Retractable Extension Cord

AlertStamping Retractable Extension Cord
Masterplug Retractable Extension Cord
45ft of 12/3 cable50ft of 14/3  cable30ft of 16/3 cable20ft of 12/3 cable40ft of 14/3 cable
4ft lead-in cable4.5ft lead-in cable22.5″ lead-in cable18″ lead-in cableNo lead-in cable, outlets are on reel
Reinforced steel housing Plastic reel housingHeavy duty metal housingPlastic housing with hookPlastic housing
1x outlet at end of cord3x outlets at end of cord 3x outlets at end of cord1x outlet at end of cord4x outlets mounted on reel
 No surge protection  No surge protection  No surge protection Built-in circuit breakerBuilt-in surge protector
 15 amp rating 13 amp rating 13 amp rating 15 amp rating10 amp rating
 Deigned for industrial use Good all-around, triple plug doesn’t fit all toolsGood for household use, 16 gauge is on small side Great for heavy duty toolsCompact, easy to store
 Can mount to wall, ceiling or bench Mounting bracket rotates 180 degrees Mounting brackets included Hook for hanging or wall mount includedIntegrated wall mount
Made in USAMade in China Designed in USAMade in China Made in China
Best for Heavy Duty UseBest all-aroundBest for small electronics; light useBest buyBest for small budgets
 $$$$
~$300
$$$
~$100
 $$
~$55
$$
~$65
$
~$30
 Read 34+ More Reviews Read 100+ More Reviews Read 130+ More Reviews Read 101+ More Reviews Read 30+ More Reviews

 

Best Extension Cord Reel

If you don’t opt for a retractable cable, you may be looking for a better way to store your long cables than the typical haphazard spool you usually try to produce. An extension cord reel is a great way to store your cables, and some even function as circuit breakers with outlets built in. Check out our recommended products. Back to top

IMPORTANT: Remember as we mentioned earlier, to never use any cables while still coiled up. Being coiled up tightly does not allow the heat produced to dissipate and can be an extreme fire/shock hazard. Always extend the cord while in use, even if you don’t need all the length!

Alert Stamping Wrap-n-Carry ReelBayco 150ft Cord ReelBayco Storage Reel & Circuit BreakerDesigners Edge Storage Circuit Breaker
Rated for 100ft of 16/3 cable (flush)
Actual capacity is greater
Rated for 150ft of 16/3 cable
Can fit 100ft of 12/3 (tightly)
Rated for 100ft of 14/3, or 75ft of 12/3. Can fit 100ft of 12/3 (tightly)Has a built-in 50ft 12/3 cable. 14/3 version available. Similar to Masterplug above
Sturdy but lightweight plastic constructionLightweight plastic designMetal mount and handle, flexible plastic reel. No cord includedMetal mount and handle, plastic reel. Included 50ft cord
Wall-mountableNot wall mountableNot wall mountableNot wall mountable
Easy to spool and remove cablesHand-crank handleBuilt-in resettable 15 amp circuit breaker with 4x outletsBuilt-in resettable 15 amp circuit breaker with 6x outlets
Round shape prevents kinksSpool can tip easilyFits long, thick cablesHeavy duty 12/3 cord
Rated for 100ft 16/3 cable, you can fit 50ft of 12/3 cable if you do it properly. You can fit 75ft+ of 12/3 if it “overflows” pas tthe edges. You can also fit 25ft of 10/4 wrapped up tightly.Spooling is easy, we recommend going from the middle of your cable like this customer. You should be unraveling it completely to use it safely anyways!Need to use your own cord, flexible plastic reel withstands breaking from drops. 15 amp breaker is more than enough for most usesOnly 50ft of reach, but should be enough for most uses. Having 6 outlets is great, but you shouldn’t be using them actively at once. Large 12/3 more heavy duty than MasterPlug (above)
Great cheap and basic storage solutionBasic reel with good functionality, easy to wrap up your cable when finishedGreat for storing longer cables 100ft+ and handy to extend power. 15 amp rating is good for most power toolsGreat for extending power reach and have multiple outlets available. 15 amp rating is good for most power tools
$$$$$
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Best Extension Cord with a Switch

If you are looking for an extension cord with a switch, you’re likely looking to extend the reach of a lamp, light or other appliance you want to easily switch on and off: your Christmas lights or tree, patio lights, They really only make these for household use, with ~16 gauge cable, so if you’re looking for something more heavy duty, you probably won’t find it and will want to keep it to light use only. Check out our recommendations for these super handy extenders. Back to top

Woods 15ft Switch Light
Master Electrician 6ft Indoor Switch Cable

Woods Weatherproof

Outdoor Outlet Remote
 18/2 cable16/3 cable 16/3 power cord,
 15ft, lighted switch mounted 4 feet from plug (not outlet) 6ft long, switch mounted ~6 inches from plug6″ cord. Company claims up to 60ft range, actually ~50ft
 Max 5 amp rating Max 6 amp rating Max 10 amp rating
 2x outlets on plug
(double prong)
2x outlets on plug (double prong) One remote paired with each base.
 Indoor use onlyIndoor use onlyRated as waterproof, but we would definitely not use it without being covered
 Overall, it’s a great cord for indoor use for a lamp or other low-amperage electronic. Some people have issues with some cords not working, so keep in mind these cheap cords (~$8) don’t have a ton of qualityLess issues with cords not working with this cable, but there are still some. Another cheap extender for ~$10, so you can’t go wrongWhile this remote isn’t exactly an extension cord with a switch, it deserves a spot on the list. It’s super handy for indoor electronics, outdoor lights and more. It’s a very popular product for good reason
$$
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Flat Plug Extension Cord

A flat plug extension cord is great for extending the reach of household appliances where you also want to “hide” the cord behind furniture like a desk, dresser or wardrobe. Instead of sticking straight out of the wall, the cables come out the side of the plug, and the cord itself is also flat instead of round, in order to maintain a slim, low profile. This allows you to run the cord discretely from the wall outlet to where you need it to be. Back to top

   
Prime 10ft Flat Plug
Coleman 15ft Flat Plug
Woods 3ft Flat Plug
 16/3 wires 16/3 wires16/2 wires
3x 3-conductor outlets (all 3 on one side)2x 3-conductor outlets (all 3 on one side)3x 2-conductor outlets (2 on one side, 1 on the other)
13 amp rating13 amp rating13 amp rating
Cord extends down out of outlet at an angle, to the rightCord extends down out of outlet at an angle, to the right Cord extends down out of outlet at an angle, to the left.
We definitely don’t recommend using all three outlets at once, since it just isn’t rated for that kind of use. It’s great to extend the length of a small appliance like a lamp (maybe two), but don’t overdo it. Also available in 6ft and 13ft.Another great affordable option to extend a small electronic like a lamp (maybe 2) but we wouldn’t push this small 16/3 cable. Note: the image on Amazon is not updated, the new version of this cord has all three outlets on the same side of the end. Also available in 8ft.Great option if you need just a couple extra feet of reach for a 2-pronged appliance like a lamp or clock. 16/2 wire is not meant for heavy use and we wouldn’t recommend having two things plugged in at once. For around $3 it’s a great deal.
$$$
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Best Dryer Extension Cord

Picture this – you want to stack your washer/dryer, but the dryer cable won’t reach the outlet. Or, you want to renovate and move your dryer but now the cable won’t reach the receptacle. Sound familiar? The cables that come with dryers are unfortunately almost always quite small, and many people don’t even realize that a dryer extension cord exists! As a result, many folks call their electrician and move their 220V receptacle just a few feet when a new cord would do the trick. While we typically recommend not using extension cords as long term solutions, these aren’t exactly an extension cord, just a longer replacement cable. It will be important to check if your dryer is a 3 or 4 prong wire. Older dryers run on 3-prong wires, while new dryers are 4-prong. Here is a great guide to convert your 3-prong to 4, if you so desire. Be sure to read carefully, as dealing with electricity is always a safety hazard. It’s also recommended to have an expert install either of these cables, unless you are very comfortable doing so. We take no responsibility for damages or injuries in installing these cables if you choose to do so. Regardless, we found a dryer extension cord for 3-prong and 4-prong models below for you to check out. Back to top

Certified Appliance Dryer Extension Cord (3-prong)
Certified Appliance Dryer Extension Cord (4-prong)
10ft4ft, 5ft, 6ft, 10ft
30-amp, 250-volt30-amp, 250-volt
Wires are NOT color coded for installation; important to do so properly or have an expert install to avoid injury
Recommended to have an expert install!
Wires are color coded for installation
Recommended to have an expert install!
NOT UL listedUL listed
Unfortunately this cable is only available in a 10ft length. If you have excess cable, do NOT coil it up, but keep it spread out to avoid excess heat production and failureIt is recommended to always buy as short a cable as possible, as increasing the length of cable increases resistance. If you do buy a longer cord and have excess length, do NOT keep it coiled up.
$$$
 Read 192+ More ReviewsRead 398+ More Reviews

30 Amp Extension Cord 

A 30 amp extension cord is a great companion for your RV or camper. When you’re running every appliance in your RV off of it, it needs to be heavy duty and handle a ton of current; hence the 30 amp rating. Plus, if you have a 25-50ft additional reach, you don’t have to worry as much about where you park your rig! Overall, these cables are godsend and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Here’s the three we recommend, you’ll notice they are all very similar, and they all do a great job. You can’t go wrong between any of them, and we suggest just seeing which is priced better at the moment. Back to top

Camco 25ft 30 Amp Extension Cord
Nu-Cord 25ft 30 Amp Extension Cord
Camco 50ft 30 Amp Extension Cord
25ft long25ft long50ft long
30 amp rating30 amp rating30 amp rating
10/3 cable10/3 cable10/3 cable
TT-30P Plug
TT-30R Receptacle
TT-30P Plug
TT-30R Receptacle
TT-30P Plug
TT-30R Receptacle
Heavy duty design, outdoor ratedHeavy duty design, outdoor ratedHeavy duty design, outdoor rated
Plastic handles for easy unplugging – can inhibit shutting lids to boxRubber ring on back of plug (not pictured) for easy unplugging – can inhibit shutting lids to boxPlastic handles for easy unplugging – can inhibit shutting lids to box
Plastic handles could potentially crack Rubber plugs more durable than plasticPlastic handles could potentially crack
$$$$
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20 Amp Extension Cord 

A 20 amp extension cord is most typically used to extend the reach of the 20 amp outlet on electric generators. You will want a heavy duty cable that can withstand a bit of abuse in the outdoors, but also thick enough gauge handle the 20 amps of current of whatever tool you are drawing from the generator with. Here are the three cables we recommend. Back to top

Conntek 20 Amp Extension Cord
 Coleman Cable 20 Amp Extension Cord
 Yellow Jacket 20 Amp Extension Cord
 25ft or 50ft 50ft or 100ft50ft or 100ft
 12/3 gauge cable 10/3 gauge cable10/3 gauge cable
 Black low-visibility jacket Great hi-vis yellow jacket Great high visibility  yellow jacket
Heavy duty, outdoor rated Heavy duty, outdoor rated, flame retardantHeavy duty, outdoor rated, flame retardant
 Lighted female plug end Lighted female plug endBoth plug ends lighted
 Slightly stiff in colder weather Soft and flexible, even in cold weather Soft and flexible, even in cold weather
 12/3 cable isn’t the thickest, may produce more heat than 10/3 cables. We typically recommend 10/3. Otherwise, great affordable cableGreat all-around cable for workshops and job sites. Great quality, slightly more expensiveGreat for generators in workshops and job sites, fits 15 amp and 20 amp tools. Great quality and price
 $
~$55 for 50ft
$$
~$140 for 50ft
$$
~$100 for 50ft
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Best Welder Extension Cord

If you don’t have an extension cord for your welder, you are severely limiting the size and versatility of your workspace. Because a welder draws so much current, these cables need to be thick and heavy duty, and luckily we’ve found the perfect one. You can even find other uses for this cable like certain air conditioners or electric vehicle chargers. Check out the great features of this heavy duty cable. Back to top

Coleman Cable 25ft Welder Extension Cord
25ft length
8/3 gauge cable
40 amps, 250 volts
Light-up female end plug indicates power on
Molded ends are low profile and convenient, improved safety
Heavy-duty STW jacket, with hi-vis blue coating
Maintains flexibility, even in colder temperatures
Overall, a great heavy duty cable!
 $$
Typically around $80
Check Latest Price
Read 144+ More Reviews


Some Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How do I safely store my extension cord?

A: Really, there are numerous ways to store them. You can wrap them around a reel, hand coil them, stuff them in a tangled mess into a bin, it’s up to you. Although, you should never cover it with a rug or coil it up while it’s plugged in and in use as this can be a serous fire hazard.

Q: Can you plug a surge protector into an extension cord?

A: Most surge protector units will have directions in the manufacturer’s manual about where the unit should be plugged in. There are differing opinions on whether or not is it is safe, but so long as you use a thick gauge wire (12,10,8) then you should be fine. Learn more here

Q: What gauge extension cord do I need?

A: The exact gauge of wire you need varies on various factors, including what tools and electronics you are going to be using with the cable, and what length of cable you need. In general, we suggest getting a larger gauge wire (12+) so that it is safer and more versatile. This is a handy guide to roughly estimate the gauge you need.

Q: How to wrap an extension cord?

A: If you don’t get a reel like the ones we suggest above, the video below demonstrates a great way to wrap up longer cords.

Bonus Pro Tip:
Tired of your cable’s end coming unplugged from your tool when you come to the end of your reach?  Try tying the ends of your cords like this to prevent it from happening!

Did this article help you find the right product? Is there something missing from our list you want us to add? Drop us a line in the comments below, we love hearing from our readers!

Disclaimer: Due to the dangers that electrical equipment can pose, ShedHeads is not liable for any damages or injuries from advice taken from this article. The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information in this article to undertake any projects you are not qualified to do so. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, ShedHeads makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to this article or the information, products, services or related graphics within it for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such material is therefore strictly at your own risk.

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