Best Extension Cords Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Whether we’re working in the garage, doing light repairs or maintaining the lawn, we always use one or two electric tools that need to be connected to the power outlet. From lawnmowers, leaf blowers, air compressors, tractors, and trimmers, to lamps, heaters, and other devices, every homeowner has a variety of tools and devices that need electricity to work, and you don’t always have a power outlet at your hand’s reach! That’s why every handyperson needs at least one high-quality extension cord! Don’t let those old stories about cords catching fires frighten you – these days, they are all designed with advanced protection (at least quality ones are) to keep you and your tools safe during the use. However, you might find it difficult to decide for a particular type of extension cord, considering how many of them are available on the market. That’s why we are here to help you pick the perfect one for your needs!
- Iron Forge Cable
- Super Safe
Did you even think that we are going to let you go through this tiresome searching process all on your own? Not at all! In order to help you, we spend hours and hours on research only to come up with 10 best extension cords available on the market! Hopefully, our list will guide you through the purchase and help you pick the perfect product for your needs. We also prepared some additional tips and recommendations in case you end up unable to decide for just one particular model from 10 amazing ones – they are the best ones after all!
10 Best Extension Cords
This one is made from 100% copper wiring and features a jacket with flame retardant to prevent possible overheating and the fire outbreak. The heat resistant cover makes it perfectly safe for outdoor use because it can withstand harsh working and weather conditions! It comes with an adapter that allows for the quick and simple switch from a standard 30 Amp male to 30 Amp female connector. Also, Camco features 10 gauge wires for improved conductivity and it’s rated for 30 Amp to 125 Volts.
When it comes to the length of the cord, Camco extends 50 feet which is more than enough to reach an outlet from the end of every mid-sized and big yard. We especially liked the fact that it comes with an adjustable organizer to make transportation and storing of the cord a lot easier! Additionally, Camco offers a comfortable grip making it easier to plug and unplug the cord without damaging it. The 90-degree heads also help with keeping the cord safe from damage after frequent use. The only issue we had with it is the handle on the male connector that is quite big to fit the hole in the RV’s. You’ll probably need to modify the cord or the hole.
Cost and Value
Well, we have to admit that this product is on the expensive side. We strongly recommend it because of its exceptional performance and quality construction, but those who are on a limited budget will have to search for another option.
Prevents fire outbreak and heat resistant
Comes with an adapter for conversion from male to female connector
50 feet long
Comes with an adjustable organizer
Comfortable grip for easy use and improved durability
The male connector is a little bulky
Iron Forge Cable
This one comes with 12-gauge wire and it features sturdy and durable construction. It has a vinyl covering that protects the inner wires against moisture, abrasion, and sun. This makes it suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and the 12-gauge wire allows for the connection of all heavy-duty tools you have in your garage.
The water-resistant covering makes it safe for all weather conditions, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it in your garden unprotected. Additionally, the reinforced blades are specially designed to protect prongs and allow for superior safety during every use.
Meant to Last
Iron Forge Cable is 50 feet long although you can choose the perfect length for your needs from several available models (10, 25, 50, 100 feet). This makes it perfect for all kinds of tools and devices you have in the household. The cable comes in yellow color which is great because you’ll be able to see it clearly and prevent possible damages. We really liked the flexibility of this cable that allows for easy use but also simple transportation and storage.
Lastly, it comes with a sturdy case that is resistant to dust, dirt, sun, and more. One is certain – Iron Forge is meant to last! We only found one drawback with its design – a heavy-duty cable is rather heavy and the end that plugs into the socket tends to fall our due to its weight. It’s a tiny issue, but it might bother some users!
Cost and Value
While it’s not the cheapest extension cord out there, Iron Forge is reasonably priced and it’s well worth a few more bucks! This kind of heavy-duty cable doesn’t disappoint and it proves to be useful for many years, so we strongly recommend trying it out.
Sturdy and durable construction
Protected from all kinds of weather threats
Reinforced blades for safe use
50 feet long and available in several sizes
This is a 16-gauge cord that has three conductors and it’s made with all-copper wire. It also features vinyl coating as protection against moisture, abrasion, and harmful sun rays, allowing for safe outdoor use at any weather. Unlike most of the competition, this one is not too stiff and it wraps nicely for simple transportation and storage.
It’s very lightweight yet it proves to be durable and safe for use. The only complaint users had about it is a little bulky end – you’ll need to trim some extra plastic around the plug area to fit all your vehicles and tools. Also, keep in mind that 16-gauge wire doesn’t exactly allow for connecting heavy-duty tools, so if you need a cable that can do this, you should search for a thinner wire!
As we mentioned above, this is a safe and useful extension cord. It offers 50 feet long cable colored in orange for you to see it clearly in the grass, garage, and elsewhere. This significantly improves safety during the use – we often tend to tip over the cord and hurt ourselves as well as run over it by lawnmowers and other tools and vehicles simply because we can’t see it clearly among other stuff.
Cost and Value
Unlike the previously reviewed models, this one comes at an attractive price! It’s among the cheapest options on the market yet it provides incredible value! It also comes with a 1-year warranty for complete peace of mind.
Sturdy and durable yet very flexible
Lightweight, easy to transport and store
50 feet long cable
Colored in orange for improved visibility
An attractive price
You might have to trim some extra plastic for it to fit every tool
Not the best choice for heavy-duty tools
As we mentioned above, this is a heavy-duty extension cord that proves to be very durable! It can power up all kinds of tools and appliances, but keep in mind that it features a 16-gauge wire and it isn’t suitable for high-power appliances such as lawnmowers or leaf blowers. Nevertheless, it’s very convenient for light household equipment and it measures 100 feet which makes it quite versatile!
Woods features orange color for improved visibility and preventing possible damages that could occur when you tip over the cord or run tools and vehicles over it! The wires are covered with waterproof vinyl for protection against moisture, abrasion, and harmful sun rays that can cause serious damage to unprotected wires. All in all, this is a well-protected cable that is safe for use, so you shouldn’t have any issues with it!
Cost and Value
This one comes at a reasonable price so you can easily make it a part of your home and garage equipment. Although it isn’t the best choice for heavy-duty tools and devices, it performs quite well and you’ll find it very useful around the household. After all, it’s always good to have several extension cords laying around for quick connections, right?
Very durable and safe for use
100 feet long
Orange color for improved visibility
Protected against moisture, abrasion, and sun
Only 16-gauge wire and not suitable for heavy-duty appliances
This one meets OSHA standards and it offers many protective features for superior safety and a long lifespan. It features protection against corrosion, fire, and moisture which makes it a perfect choice for any outside situation including extreme weather threats.
Watt’s Wire cable comes with lighted locking outlet to provide an easy and safe connection to the power outlet, and it’s made from sturdy molded plastic to ensure durability. Let’s not forget to mention that this one works efficiently with all types of tools and devices such as lawnmowers, leaf blowers, heaters, chargers, and more.
This one features a 12-gauge wire and we have chosen the one that measures 50 ft, but you can pick the one that suits you the most (available in around 9 sizes). Due to this thickness of the wire, you can use it for heavy-duty tools and devices as well as for small home appliances. It is made from SJTW thermoplastic that proves to be very durable and it can withstand extremely low and high temperatures (from -40 to 130°F).
The best thing about its sturdy construction is the fact that you can run over it with the tool or vehicle that weighs up to 150 lbs and yet it won’t get damaged! We think this Watt’s product is one of the most durable cables available right now.
Cost and Value
The only drawback with this product comes from its high price. It won’t cost you a fortune, but you’ll have to spend some extra cash to get it. We strongly recommend it for all those who are not on a limited budget and who consider spending a few more bucks on their new extension cord. Watt’s Wire does indeed deliver excellent performance and it proves to be incredibly durable!
Meets OSHA standards
Protected against corrosion, fire, and moisture
Sturdy and durable
Safe for use
50 ft long but you get to choose the perfect length for your needs
Easily endures high and low temperatures
US Wire and Cable
This one is double insulated for superior protection and it features SJTW vinyl coating that can withstand extremely low and high temperatures. This makes it perfect for outdoor use because it can withstand all weather conditions without causing any issues. You can use it to power up all your home tools and appliances such as leaf blowers, lawnmowers, power washers, and more.
This is one super durable cable that is protected with a set of first-class features, and it won’t even get warm after a long time of use. It features a bright yellow color for improved visibility and superior safety.
Although the manufacturer made an effort to make it both durable and flexible, it seems that some compromise had to be made. Some users complained about it being too heavy and stiff to be easily manipulated during the use. It’s just the expected downside of the heavy-duty product that is designed to work flawlessly for many years!
Cost and Value
This heavy-duty extension cord is not cheap, but it won’t cost you a fortune either. It’s far from expensive (like some of the previously reviewed models) so you can make it a part of your garage equipment even if you’re on a tight budget! You’ll also get a lifetime limited warranty because US Wire Cable stands behind its products and protects its customers.
Durable and super safe
Protected from many threats
Suitable for different tools and home appliances
Bright yellow color for improved visibility
Worth every penny
Heavy and stiff
This is primarily an indoor extension cord, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t use it outdoors as well. You should only make sure to wrap it up and store it in a dry place after the use because it doesn’t come with all that exclusive safety features like those heavy-duty cords.
Its lifespan could be drastically influenced by harsh outside threats. Nevertheless, we really liked this simple designed Star Tech product. Even if it’s not a first-class extension cord with all the bells and whistles like the competition, it does offer great performance and durability!
Easy to USe
While we have chosen the one that measures 10 ft you can easily go for another length that meets your personal needs. The cable itself is very lightweight, easy to use, transport, and store. It fulfills all important requirements for the well-made extension cord that will perform excellently during the years.
Cost and Value
Along with the simple and straightforward design, Star Tech comes with an attractive price! You’ll be pleased to know that you can easily make this one a part of your home and garage equipment, even as an additional extension cord for small tools and devices.
Meets all needs for flawless performance
Sturdy and durable
Lightweight and therefore portable
Easy to use and flexible
Not as durable and safe as previously reviewed models
This is a 16-gauge extension cord that is 25 ft long, but you can also go for a shorter one that measures 8 ft. It’s primarily designed for small house appliances and tools, and you can use it both indoor and outdoor. It features a waterproof vinyl cover that protects the wires against moisture, abrasion, dirt, dust, and many other threats. This makes it quite protected and safe for outdoor use.
Woods is incredibly flexible and therefore easy to use. You can even take it with you on your road trips and when camping because it proves to be useful both indoors and outdoors, and it features this intuitive design with several safety features for undisturbed performance. Although it’s quite sturdy and durable it isn’t too stiff, so you can easily wrap it around your hand and store it in no time. The only issue comes from the plug-in parts that could demand a little more effort when plugging connecting the cable to the power outlet!
Cost and Value
This is probably one of the cheapest options out there! Not only that you can get it while being easy on your pocketbook, but you’ll also get an incredible value for the money. Although it is very cheap it wasn’t designed at the expense of great performance, so you’ll find it useful for many years of continuous use!
Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
Waterproof covering and protected from many other threats
Safe for use
Flexible and easy to store
One of the cheapest options on the market
Doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like other heavy-duty cords
Demands more effort when connecting to the outlet
This one comes with 12-gauge wire and measures 50 ft, but you can also pick the same one that is 100 ft long if that meets your personal needs. It’s made from high-quality materials and guarantees excellent performance and durability. We especially liked the fact that it comes with a lighted receptor that shows the power status of the Southwire cable. Additionally, you’ll probably be pleased to know that this one is made in the USA!
Southwire is colored in yellow to allow for better visibility and to prevent possible damages from tipping over the cable or running over it with your vehicle. It features a water-resistant vinyl cover as a protection against moisture, abrasion, and sun rays. Not to mention that it has reinforced blades for better prongs protection and even more durability.
The only issue we had with it actually comes from a heavy-duty construction – Southwire is rather thick and heavy which could demand quite some effort for transportation and storage, and it could make it hard to manipulate during the use!
Cost and Value
Southwire is reasonably priced and therefore a perfect option for every household! We strongly recommend trying it out – we were certainly stunned by its excellent performance and provided durability. Truth to be told, we were quite surprised that a heavy-duty product like this isn’t more expensive!
50ft and 100ft long
Waterproof as well as resistant to all kinds of outside threats
Very sturdy and durable
Yellow color for improved visibility
Thick and heavy
As we mentioned above, this is a multipurpose cord that is primarily designed to extend a power connection and split one into two outlets! It proves to be very sturdy and durable, providing excellent performance for a long time. Also, it measures 14 inches and comes in black color.
This is a small and efficient gadget that doesn’t offer all bells and whistles like first-class (and quite long) extension cables, but it gives you two outlets! You can use it both indoors and outdoors because it features great protection against harsh weather and working conditions. Our only issue with it comes from the stiff material that is sometimes hard to manipulate. Although this is a sign of durable construction, it does require more effort in handling!
Cost and Value
This great extension cord is also very cheap, so you can easily purchase it as an additional item along with your main extension cord. It’s always good to have one high-quality splitter in your garage, you never know when you might need it!
Splits one outlet into two outlets
Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
Sturdy and durable
Stiff material is hard to manipulate
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Extension Cords
How did we rank our 10 best picks, you might ask? Well, we applied strict criteria on each one of them and ranked them according to their overall performance and quality. Here are some of the most important things that influenced our final decision:
When we say performance we mean the ability of every extension cord to efficiently carry the electric charge. Basically, it means that we had to examine all the features that influence the conductivity of every cable. Although some of the products on our list are quite long which reduces the power flow, they have thick wires to ensure better conductivity and the other way around. Therefore, we had to take all this into account, compare all their features and overall performance, and only then rank every product according to its final results. The best are on the top of our list, of course!
We picked only the best available extension cords which means that they all fulfill safety requirements. However, because we included different types to suit a variety of customers’ needs, there are some differences between them that let us rank them differently. For example, we included some cables that are great even if they have low conductivity or could get warm after extended use, but we had to take some points for that and they are ranked lower on the list.
When we say design, we mean all the things that influence the overall performance of the cords, such as length, weight, simple use, storing options, and more. It’s very important to have a flexible cable that wraps easily and allows for simple storage after the use. Some people don’t mind having a heavy cord, but it can be hard to handle a stiff cable when you also have a lawnmower to run across the lawn, so we had to take some points for this one.
Also, it’s crucial for a cord to have a well-designed plug end to provide easy and safe connection. Most of the badly designed extension cords have plug ends that tend to fall out, which is not only annoying but also dangerous for the connected device! We thought about all these features and overall design of every product on our list and ranked them according to their final results.
Cost and Value
Last but not least, we had to examine the balance of the cost and value of every product. Some of them are pricey and others are rather cheap, but they all had to meet certain requirements in delivering the best value for the money!
Other Factors to Consider
There are some things you might want to consider before you make up your mind and purchase one of these great products. It will take only a few moments of your free time, but it could change your final decision. Here are some of the factors to consider before the very purchase:
Firstly, you should determine where you intend to use the extension cord so you can pick the proper type. You probably know by now that it’s not safe to use an indoor one for outdoor purposes! They are not designed to withstand harsh weather conditions or any moisture, sun, extreme temperatures, and other threats that they get exposed to on the outside. Therefore, if you need an outdoor extension cord, you should definitely search for a properly designed model rather than using the one made for indoors.
Secondly, make no mistake and carefully determine what will you connect using that particular cable. They are not all equally made, and you might end up with the one that can’t support the power of the tools you need to connect. Choosing a proper type of extension cord is crucial, so take some time to consider all of these recommendations!
These days, almost every type of extension cord is available in many lengths, making the choosing process even more difficult. How should we suppose to know which length to choose? It’s simple, you just need to determine where you’re going to use it! For example, you can measure the length of your yard and pick the cable that has the same measurements (50ft long yard equal to 50ft long extension cord). Most people wrongly assume that the longer the cord the better – don’t make that mistake because longer cord means less capacity to carry the electric charge. If you need a 50ft long cord, stick with it, don’t go for the longer one.
This one is quite simple and you probably know it by now – gauge stands for the thickness of the wire. If you have heavy-duty tools that need to be powered by an extension cord, you should aim for the 10 or 12-gauge ones. Cables with lower gauge number feature thicker wires and therefore, ensure better conductivity. If you only intend to connect light home appliances and tools, you can easily go for higher numbers, they will work just fine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a jacket?
A: Jacket stands for the cover that goes around the wire to protect it from the outside threats. It’s very important for the cable to have a thick jacket that can prevent possible overheating and overcharging. The improperly protected wire is very flammable! Therefore, most of the first-class cords offer a super sturdy and durable jacket for protection against moisture, water, corrosion, dirt, dust, and more. As you can see, jackets are essential for every extension cord!
Q: Will extension cords cause a voltage to drop?
A: Yes, every wire has resistance to current flow and that causes the voltage to drop. For how much? It depends on the length of the cord, the gauge of the wire as well as the power of the connected tool. Longer cords automatically mean less conductivity, as well as higher gauge number, means thinner wire and consequently less power. Keep all of this in mind when purchasing one of these products!
Q: Can they really cause a fire?
A: Badly designed and cheap ones are definitely flammable, but even the best-designed ones can catch fire due to damages. However, there are some simple steps you could follow and prevent this from happening. Firstly, never use an indoor cord for outdoor purposes because it is not designed with enough protection to be safe outdoors. Those who are made for outdoor use have water-resistant jackets, they are protected from harmful sun rays, extreme temperatures, overloading and overcharging, and more. The ones that can withstand all of this won’t catch fire that easily, but some damage could occur during extreme weather or working situations, so make sure to unplug and store them properly after every use.
Q: Is it normal for the cord to be warm during the use?
A: No, it shouldn’t be warm if it’s well insulated. If you feel that your cord is getting warm during the use, unplug it immediately. Sometimes, the cable can get pretty warm if you connect it to several different tools due to overloading. You should first check this one and always make sure to maintain the proper number of devices connected to it for safety reasons. Regardless of the cause, you shouldn’t use a cord that gets warm easily because it isn’t safe for you, your tools and for your environment.
Q: Are they all waterproof?
A: Well, some of them are waterproof and some of them are not, it depends on the model and overall quality. If it’s important for you to have this particular safety feature, carefully read the product’s description before the very purchase. Most of the newly designed ones should offer waterproof design, but it’s always good to double check!
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