Many great extension cords on the market can bring the electricity you need where you need it, whether indoors or outdoors. However, finding the right extension cord for you can be tricky, especially when low-quality extension cords can be troublesome and downright dangerous. We made this guide to showcase some of the best extension cords on the market so that you can find the right product for your next project.
Why buy an outdoor extension cord?
If you plan on setting up light displays in your yard, using a power washer in your driveway, or using a power tool in your garage, you’ll need an outdoor extension cord to make it happen. They’re super useful for many outdoor devices and appliances, such as various power tools, vacuums, and much more. If you plan on getting work done outdoors, you’ll need an extension cord that regulates and provides you with a reliable power supply.
What should you look for in an outdoor extension cord?
- Length: Before shopping for an extension cord, think about the cord length you’ll need for your project. Purchasing a longer cord will give you more value in the long run since you will be less likely to go extension cord shopping again when you have another project requiring a few extra feet.
- Gauge: A wire’s thickness will affect how much current it can carry and how hot it will heat up, so pay close attention to an extension cord’s gauge. A thicker gauge extension cord will be more reliable and perform better, so look for an option that is at least 14 gauge for optimal results.
- Other Considerations: Be sure to factor in an extension cord’s flexibility and weather resistance, especially if you will use it outdoors. For multi-conductor extension cords, look for the cord jacket indication. For example, a good outdoor extension cord might be SJTOW, a junior (300V) service cord with thermoplastic insulation, and an oil- and weather-resistant outer jacket. Naturally, its power rating will also come into play, so compare this with the devices you plan to use with the extension cord.
What is a power rating, and why is it important?
The power rating ultimately determines the capacity at which your extension cord operates. The power rating consists of three components: amps, volts, and watts. Each component is responsible for measuring different things, such as the flow of electricity and the overall power the extension cord can produce. For a reliable power supply, we recommend searching for an extension cord that produces around 125 volts, 13 amps of input current, and over 1,600 watts of power.
Go Green Power Inc. Extension Cord
A durable extension cord that you can use to power a wide range of outdoor appliances.
Pros: With a vinyl covering for protection against moisture, sunlight, and abrasion, this extension cord is much more flexible than other options in its price range. It’s also durable enough for many years of heavy-duty use, making this extension cord a smart buy, regardless of your length requirement. It also provides optimal power capacity, reaching up to 1,625 maximum watts.
Cons: Unfortunately, this particular cord is only available in a length of 50 feet, so if you’re looking for a shorter or longer option, you won’t find it here.
Bottom Line: This reliable extension cord has a great design and performance. It has the capacity and durability to provide a reliable power supply for many appliances and devices because of its heavy-duty structure.
UltraPro 2-Pack Extension Cord
This pack comes with two heavy-duty extension cords with two grounded outlets in each one.
Pros: These 1,625-watt cords are double-insulated for extreme reliability and feature thick cables for added durability. The vinyl jackets are also impressive as they offer protection from the elements while staying relatively flexible in cold weather. They come in five unique colors, and each cord features two outlets, allowing you to plug in multiple devices simultaneously.
Cons: The thickness of the cord may limit you in terms of bending it around corners and fitting it through tight spaces. Also, if you don’t plan on using both, buy a single cord instead of the two-pack.
Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for a two-pack of multi-extension cords, this offering from UltraPro will be right up your alley. It’s an excellent option for holiday decorations, especially when one outlet isn’t enough! These cords are safe and hassle-free, and because they feature durable PVC insulation, you’ll get plenty of use from them.
GearIT 14/3 Outdoor Extension Cord
This 100-foot extension cord features an LED indicator for extra safety.
Pros: It’s hard enough to find a 100-foot all-weather extension cord, but the safety features of this extension cord are remarkable as well. The three copper conductors are elastomer insulated, and the outer PVC jacket provides oil resistance and flexibility. The LED indicator on the female plug illuminates when delivering power, making the UL and CUL-rated cord even safer. It’s suitable for temperatures -58 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit, making it useful for job sites, warehouses, and any extreme weather environment.
Cons: What some look for in an extension cord is considered a drawback for others. The 14-gauge weatherproof cord is limited to power medium-duty tools like drills and sanders. If you need a cord to power a generator, look for a 10-gauge extension cord.
Bottom Line: The GearIT 14/3 is hands-down our favorite all-weather extension cord. Its SJTW rating ensures it can handle workplace settings where oil exposure is likely and protect it from moisture, sunlight, and heat. The LED indicator is yet another attractive feature.
DEWENWILS Retractable Extension Cord Reel
A retractable extension cord for garage or shop convenience and safety.
Pros: This extension cord’s SJTOW build ensures tangle-free flexibility and oil and acid protection; it’s the kind of extension cord you want in your garage or shop. Its retractable cord works as smoothly as its automatic rewind mechanism and 180-degree swivel mounting bracket for the ceiling or wall. It’s a sturdy and smart design that allows you to adjust it as needed from numerous angles. The built-in circuit breaker automatically cuts off the power supply when the total current exceeds 13 amps, protecting devices from short circuits and overloads. With an LED triple outlet indicator, this UL-listed extension cord makes a safe choice.
Cons: This extension cord is best used in dry and neutral climates, making it less suitable for rainy areas. In other words, there are better options for heavy outdoor use. Also, the auto-guide feature may not be as reliable as it could be.
Bottom Line: Featuring a tangle-free design that can be easily mounted to walls or ceilings, this product by DEWENWILS is great for mechanics and car enthusiasts who like to tinker with their vehicles. That’s because the retractable design allows you to eliminate clutter and prevent the cord from accidentally tripping you up.
AgriPro Black Multi-Extension Cord
This cord comes equipped with three grounded outlets so that you can use multiple devices at once.
Pros: Rounding out our list is the Woods AgriPro 25-Foot Heavy-Duty Multi Extension Cord. These extension cords are rated at 1,875 watts and remain reliable and flexible regardless of outside weather. They also feature reinforced blades that are just about as tough as they come, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally bending or breaking them.
Cons: This extension cord has obvious limitations at a maximum length of 25 feet. If you have a large yard, consider purchasing a cord that provides you with a length of at least 50 feet.
Bottom Line: You can’t go wrong with this extension cord regarding overall power and electrical efficiency. Factor in the high-quality chemical-, oil- and moisture-resistant vinyl jacket, the solid construction, and the budget-savvy price, and you have a multi-extension cord that’s hard to beat.
With the right amount of water resistance and flexibility, these new outdoor extension cords can supply you with the power you need to perform yard work and other outdoor tasks.