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Printed Feb 8, 2023 1:00 PM

Whether or not you’re working a desk noticed or establishing out of doors lights, extension cords are very important for quite a lot of electrical wants. These energy cables typically provide the one means to increase the vary of an electrical system or lamp inside or outdoors the house. And although they could look very comparable, not all extension cords are the identical. On this piece, we’ll go over the components it is best to take into account when searching for one and advocate the most effective extension cords available on the market.

How we selected the most effective extension cords

Although extension cords might look the identical, they aren’t. There are fairly a couple of vital components that separate them. I’m a longtime instrument consumer and reviewer and I checked out 5 essential traits when making my choices:

Gauge: Maybe probably the most essential attribute of an extension wire is its skill to hold electrical energy. A wire’s gauge determines its skill to try this.

Size: Size is a important facet of an extension wire. Too lengthy and the wire turns into cumbersome and begins to lose its skill to hold electrical energy. Too brief and the extension wire fails to satisfy its function. For out of doors cords, the candy spot was 50 toes, whereas 20 toes was very best for indoor cords.

Development: Extension cords take abuse. We drag them throughout the bottom, step on them, pull them, journey on them, and drive over them. With this in thoughts, I solely selected choices constructed with thick jacketing, substantial rubber coatings across the plug ends, and strengthened collars on the connections between the plugs and rope.

Performance: Options that make them extra practical or simpler to make use of, reminiscent of a number of feminine plugs or LED energy lights, additionally affected my choices.

Worth: Conserving in thoughts that few folks count on to spend a big sum of money on considered one of these cords, I seemed for fashions that provided high quality development and good most load capacities at an inexpensive value.

The very best extension cords: Evaluations & Suggestions

Extension cords are available various lengths, colours, and gauges. Gentle-duty extension cords are perfect for extending energy to a lamp or pc, whereas high-wattage energy instruments and home equipment require beefier heavy-duty cords. The next are our picks for the most effective of every.

Greatest total: Clear Energy Out of doors Extension Twine

Why it made the minimize: Clear Energy’s 50-foot wire is reasonably priced and options 12-gauge wires that may ship as much as 15 amps, giving it the flexibility to serve power-hungry home equipment and instruments.


  • Size: 50 toes
  • Measurement: 12 gauge
  • Capability: 15 amps


  • Can deal with heavier a great deal of as much as 15 amps
  • Stays versatile in excessive temperatures
  • LED energy gentle


  • Just one feminine plug
  • LED gentle could seem too vibrant

Clear Energy’s heavy-duty extension energy wire units itself aside from the remaining due to its sturdy development and heavy-gauge wiring. With its 12-gauge thickness, it’s able to dealing with as much as 15 amps—the utmost load provided by most family circuit breakers—making it usable with nearly all family home equipment and energy instruments.

This plug can endure being dragged throughout a storage flooring or by means of a moist yard due to thick jacketing, which protects the inner wires, and corrosion-resistant nickel-plated brass prongs on the male plug. At 50 toes lengthy, the wire can stretch nicely right into a yard, throughout a two-car storage, or from room to room whereas remaining brief sufficient to be manageable. In case that size isn’t optimum on your wants, Clear Energy additionally makes this feature in a extra nimble 25-foot size, in addition to a rangy 100-foot possibility.

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Along with coming in three totally different sizes, Clear Energy additionally makes its cords in eight coloration choices, lots of which scale back tripping hazards by bettering the wire’s visibility. An orange LED gentle within the feminine socket that illuminates when energy is operating by means of the wire is a pleasant further security characteristic. Although this wire is likely one of the finest all-around extension cords available on the market, it lacks the a number of feminine retailers that different extension cords provide, limiting its performance in a workshop.

Greatest heavy-duty: Iron Forge Cable Extension Twine

Iron Forge Cable is the best extension cord that's heavy-duty.

Why it made the minimize: With its 10-gauge development, Iron Forge’s 50-foot extension wire can carry sufficient present for higher-wattage units and instruments, making it our best choice for heavy-duty wants.


  • Size: 50 toes
  • Measurement: 10 gauge
  • Capability: 15 amps


  • Heavier gauge can deal with better hundreds
  • Bolstered prongs add sturdiness
  • LED energy gentle


  • Thicker wire is heavier and fewer versatile than thinner gauges
  • Just one feminine plug

With its giant gauge wiring, the Iron Forge 50-foot cable is a superb decide for these bridging a spot between a 15-amp outlet and high-wattage home equipment, reminiscent of an air compressor or rotary drill. Its thicker 10-gauge wiring will carry the utmost 15-amp residential electrical circuit with much less resistance than thinner 12-gauge cords. This excessive output makes it a fantastic possibility for connecting a generator to giant residence home equipment reminiscent of a fridge or house heater.

Most heavy-gauge extension cords are pulled and dragged round workshops, garages, and yards. With heavy jacketing that protects its inner wires, ample collars across the joints between the plugs and the wire, and strengthened prongs, Iron Forge’s 10-gauge model is likely one of the extra rugged choices available on the market. The Iron Forge Out of doors Extension Card can also be water resistant and has a grounded plug as an additional security measure.

Whereas this decide has only one feminine outlet, it does present an added layer of security with LED lights that illuminate not only one however each plug heads when the wire has energy. Along with its 50-foot size, this wire can also be accessible in a extra manageable 25-foot size and an extended 100-foot possibility.

Greatest for indoors: Cordinate Designer 3-Outlet Energy Strip

The Cordinate Designer 3-Outlet Power Strip is the best extension cord for indoors.

Why it made the minimize: A gorgeous braided material cowl, amongst different considerate design options, makes this a extra enticing wire to make use of in a residing house and top-of-the-line indoor extension cords.


  • Size: 10 toes
  • Measurement: 16 gauge
  • Capability: 13 amps


  • Extra trendy than an ordinary extension wire
  • Three plugs add capability for a number of units
  • Constructed-in surge safety


  • Thinner gauge wire can solely deal with a max of 13 amps

Whereas there could also be no such factor as an extension wire that enhances a room’s decor, this wire from Cordinate actually does much less to detract from a room’s aesthetics than different choices, which is why it’s on this record. Whereas most indoor choices are available both white or black vinyl, Cordinate wraps its cords in a braided material that is available in six totally different coloured patterns.

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Along with being one of many extra enticing indoor cords one can purchase, this decide contains considerate design options. At 10 toes, it’s lengthy sufficient to succeed in distant retailers whereas nonetheless brief sufficient to keep up a tidy look. Three feminine sockets permit one to maintain their assortment of good units charged up with out sacrificing the bedside lamp. A flat plug head suits flush to the wall, making it very best for retailers positioned behind furnishings, whereas the angled wire prevents it from blocking different retailers.

Cordinate’s extension wire additionally has one thing most others don’t, built-in surge safety that shields your good units within the occasion of an influence surge.

Greatest design: Goodyear Extension Twine Reel

The Goodyear Extension Cord Reel is the best extension cord fo design.

Why it made the minimize: This retractable extension wire’s 40-foot, 12-gauge wire supplies sufficient capability to deal with the higher-wattage instruments present in a storage workshop.


  • Size: 40 toes
  • Measurement: 12 gauge
  • Capability: 15 amps


  • 12-gauge wire can deal with 15 amps
  • Retractable case mounts to a wall or ceiling
  • Triple-outlet head


  • 40-foot size could also be too brief for some functions
  • CostTriple-outlet head

Although dearer than different retractable fashions, we just like the Goodyear Extension Twine Reel due to its 12-gauge line. Twine reels are generally utilized in residence workshops and garages, so likelihood is it’s offering energy for instruments that want extra juice than a home lamp or vacation lighting. With its 15-amp ranking, the max energy one can get out of an ordinary family outlet, the Goodyear extension wire reel will work with most energy instruments.

A thermoplastic jacket that’s oil-resistant, plus a swivel mount that attaches to a wall or ceiling, means this wire is tailored for garages. Its three feminine retailers are additionally very best for a workshop, eliminating the necessity to plug and unplug whereas switching from instrument to instrument. Different considerate options embody an LED gentle within the plug head that lets the consumer know when the wire is receiving energy.

Greatest funds: Amazon Fundamentals Extension Twine

Amazon Basics makes the best extension cord at a budget-friendly price.

Why it made the minimize: This easy, well-built wire is reasonably priced and affords ample size for indoor use at 20 toes lengthy.


  • Size: 20 toes
  • Measurement: 16 gauge
  • Capability: 13 amps


  • Sturdy development
  • 20-foot size very best for indoor use
  • Funds-friendly


  • 16-gauge wire can solely deal with a max 13 amps
  • Just one feminine finish

This reasonably priced extension wire from the Amazon Fundamentals line of merchandise is an effective alternative for these in want of a well-made extension wire for light-duty use. At 20 toes lengthy, it might probably cowl most indoor extension wire wants. This 16-gauge wire can carry a most of 13 amps, which is loads of juice to energy lamps or small home equipment. Its jacket feels sturdy and substantial, with thick rubber molding across the finish plugs that firmly maintain its three prongs in place. The rigid wire does make it a bit of harder to go round corners or underneath objects. Whereas it lacks further options, reminiscent of a number of feminine retailers or a built-in surge protector, it’s laborious to argue with its value. It’s lower than half the price of fancier extension cords.

Issues to think about earlier than shopping for an extension wire


Extension cords are available quite a lot of gauges. Selecting the best one relies upon nearly completely on how you’ll use it. For extension cords that shall be supplying energy to such high-wattage instruments as a miter noticed, desk noticed, or router, you’ll want at the least a 14-gauge extension wire to deal with the load. For lighter-duty jobs, reminiscent of powering a lamp or string of LED Christmas lights, a thinner 16-gauge extension wire will suffice. Extension cords that hook up with heavy-duty home equipment, reminiscent of an air compressor or generator, require a thick, 12-gauge extension wire.

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Whereas an extended extension wire could seem higher, that’s typically not the case. For indoor use, an extended wire may be unwieldy and unpleasant, forcing you to discover a place to cover all that unattractive and doubtlessly hazardous extra wire. Additionally, as a wire will get longer, its skill to hold present will get weaker. A 16-gauge 50-foot wire can carry 1,625 watts, whereas a 16-gauge wire better than 50 toes can solely energy home equipment as much as 1,250 watts.

In fact, an extension wire that’s too brief gained’t provide the vary it is advisable trim the hedges or function a sprayer to color a yard fence. An extension wire needs to be 10 to twenty toes lengthy for indoor use. For a storage workshop, go together with a 40- to 50-foot wire. For out of doors electrical yard instruments, reminiscent of a chainsaw or trimmer, buy a 100-foot wire.


Whereas commonplace extension cords have single feminine retailers, some characteristic two or three retailers. Whereas a single outlet might suffice for working one instrument or gentle fixture, take into account buying an extension wire with a number of retailers for a workshop with quite a few energy instruments. This can eradicate the necessity to continuously plug and unplug as you progress from instrument to instrument. When utilizing a wire with a number of feminine retailers, pay attention to the wire’s load limits, which can not mean you can function multiple energy instrument related to the identical wire directly with out popping a circuit breaker.


Q: Can you employ an extension wire completely?

No. Extension cords should not designed to face up to fixed use. An extension wire can deteriorate with steady use, creating a hearth hazard. Solely use an extension wire quickly. Set up everlasting wiring for connections that aren’t non permanent.

Q: Which is healthier: a 10-gauge or 12-gauge extension wire?

A ten-gauge wire can carry extra load than a 12-gauge wire. Whereas a 12-gauge wire is ample for many units, some electrical garden mowers, energy instruments, and huge equipment require a 10-gauge wire. Needless to say a 10-gauge wire shall be thicker and, due to this fact, heavier and fewer versatile.

Q: What are the three wires in an extension wire?

Extension cords have inexperienced, white, and black wires that run by means of them. The black wire is the new wire, the white wire is the impartial wire, and the inexperienced wire is the bottom wire. Gentle-duty interior-use extension cords typically lack the inexperienced grounding wire, which is why they’ve solely two prongs. At all times attempt to use an extension wire with a floor wire, which serves as a method of safely discharging extra electrical energy, lowering the chance of electrical shock or fireplace.

Closing ideas on the most effective extension cords

Whether or not you’re charging a smartphone in your nightstand or powering a 15-amp desk noticed in your storage workshop, selecting the best extension wire is essential to securely getting the ability it is advisable the system you’re utilizing. Whereas smaller 16-gauge cords are appropriate for powering lights and smaller units, use at the least a 14-gauge extension wire and ideally a 12-gauge wire should you’re utilizing energy instruments that require a better wattage of 1,500 watts or extra.