It’d seem to be any outdated extension wire will do if you want slightly extra size to attach your electronics with an influence outlet. To an extent, that is true, however the place costly and high-power electronics are involved, you might not wish to depend on no matter extension wire you’ve gotten simply mendacity round. Similar to you’d desire a high quality surge protector to maintain your electronics protected, it is best to search for high quality extension cords.
Whereas skinny and low-cost extension cords can actually carry energy from the wall outlet over to the place you’ve gotten electronics needing energy, they could not do nearly as good a job carrying quite a lot of energy. It could not present energy that is as constant as a thicker cable, thus impacting the efficiency or lifespan of your electronics. And, a skinny wire carrying quite a lot of juice can overheat, which can put much more than your electronics in danger.
You may discover extension cords checklist their gauges (their thickness), and in lots of circumstances will point out what number of volts and amps, or just what number of watts, they will deal with. As soon as you understand the ability necessities of your gadgets on the receiving finish, you’ll be able to work out which cable can be proper on your setup. We have chosen all kinds of choices under that may deal with every little thing from lengthy, 100-foot runs to brief connections that simply want slightly further wiggle room.
TL;DR — These are the Finest Extension Cords:
1. US Wire and Cable 74050
Finest Extension Twine
Max Amp: 15 amps ● Wire Gauge: 12 gauge ● Wattage: 1,875 watts ● Voltage: 125 volts ● Obtainable Lengths: 25, 50, 100-foot ● Guarantee: Restricted Lifetime
The US Wire and Cable 74050 extension wire will actually allow you to go the gap. This cable additionally is available in a 25- and 100-foot selection, however all three choices present a set of thick 12-gauge wires to hold a ton of energy over a protracted distance. The US Wire and Cable 74050 extension wire can carry as much as 1,875 watts of energy, so you should use it to get energy out to a storage that lacks it or drag your gaming PC setup out onto the lawn and game there if you are so inclined.
This extension cord is also well suited to those stretches that involve a bit of the outdoors. Though the ends of the cable aren’t protected, the rest of the cable is covered in a weather-resistant vinyl sleeve that can hold up in -35 Fahrenheit weather. And, if you’re doing a long run with the cable, the indicator light on the end will let you easily see whether the cable is carrying power, both for your safety and so you don’t have to constantly run back to make sure the other end is plugged in.
2. Cable Matters 16 AWG Heavy Duty Extension Cord
Best Budget Extension Cord
Max Amp: 13 amps ● Wire Gauge: 16 gauge ● Wattage: 1,625 watts ● Voltage: 120 volts ● Available Lengths: 1 – 50-feet ● Warranty: Lifetime
For a simple, no-frills run from A to B, you’ll get your money’s worth from the Cable Matters 16 AWG Heavy Duty Extension Cord. In fact, you won’t be getting just a single cable for your money, as Cable Matters sells them in pairs.
You’ll have a variety of length options, but whichever you get, you’ll be able to run a lot of power through the cable. Cable Matters uses 16 AWG gauge copper wires that can handle up to 13 amps and 1,625 watts. They’re all wrapped in insulation rated for up to 300 volts and then housed in a flexible, vinyl jacket.
3. Maximm Cable Rotating Extension Cord
Best Indoor Extension Cord
Max Amp: 13 amps ● Wire Gauge: 16 gauge ● Wattage: 1625 watts ● Voltage: 125 volts ● Available Lengths: 1 – 25-feet
If you’re looking for the best indoor extension cord, look no further: this innovative cord from Maximm checks all of the boxes. The cable is white, so it easily blends in with home decor, and uses a flat plug design that doesn’t protrude from the wall like other cables. Once it’s plugged in, you can also rotate it and make room for other cables or reposition it for better cable management.
This Maxxim cable is strictly for indoor use, and while it will work great even for high-end gaming PCs, you won’t want to push it by running high-amp tools and appliances. Still, with 13 amps and 1,625 watts of through-power, it makes a great solution for devices that require extra reach without becoming an eyesore.
4. Voltec 05-00364 12/3 SJTW Outdoor Extension Cord
Best Outdoor Extension Cord
Max Amp: 15 amps ● Wire Gauge: 12 gauge ● Wattage: 1875 watts ● Voltage: 120 volts ● Available Lengths: 25-feet
Getting ready for an outdoor party? Look no further than the Voltec 05-00364 12/3 SJTW Outdoor Extension cord. Not only is it outfitted with heavy gauge wire to power high draw devices and appliances, it’s also ruggedized for outdoor use.
The 05-00105 has a suite of features that make it the perfect choice for outdoor use. The wire shielded by a flexible jacket that makes it easy to use but resistant to water, sunlight, and rough use. It is also rated for use in temperatures from -40 to 140F degrees. If you’re working in the dark or just need to ensure the cord is still carrying power, a light built into the receptable at the end of the cord will make it easy to see.
5. AmazonBasics Indoor 3 Prong Extension Power Strip
Best Light Duty Extension Cord
Max Amp: 13 amps ● Wattage: 1,625 watts ● Voltage: 125 volts ● Available Lengths: 6, 8, 12-feet
Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple, and that’s where this handy 2-pack of extension cords from AmazonBasics comes in. Available in 6, 8, or 12-foot lengths, these extension cords have the same size and shape as normal lightweight devices: thin, narrow, and easily routable. It does get a bit bigger at the end, but that’s because it terminates in a 3-outlet power strip, complete with ground ports for three-prong devices.
Despite its svelte look, this AmazonBasics extension cord is quite capable, transferring 13 amps and 1,625 watts of power. Amazon doesn’t list a wire gauge, but based on the specs it’s likely 16-gauge, so you’ll want to stick to light duty use with this one.
6. Iron Forge Cable Illuminated Extension Cord
Best Heavy Duty Extension Cord
Max Amp: 15 amps ● Wire Gauge: 10 gauge ● Wattage: 1875 watts ● Voltage: 125 volts ● Available Lengths: 10 – 200-feet ● Warranty: Lifetime
If you need a heavy duty extension cord, look no further than this Iron Forge Cable. Rated at 15 amps and 1,875 watts, it’s capable of driving major power tools and household items alike.
The real selling point of this cable is its use of 10 gauge wire. Using a thicker wire allows this extension cord to offer consistent power, even over the course of big projects with seriously beefy power tools. Where other cables would fail and become a fire risk, this extension cord will stand up to the heat. Literally.
7. meross Smart Power Strip
Best Smart Extension Cord
Max Amp: 15 amps ● Operating Voltage: 100-250V ● USB: 4-port, 2.4A each/4.0A 20W Total ● Available Lengths: 6-feet ● Warranty: 1-year
With smart home gadgets becoming far more common, why bother adding a simple extension cable to your home? With the meross Smart Power Strip, you’ll be getting a six-foot extension cord, and quite a bit more. The power strip offer surge protection, so you’re keeping your electronics safer than you would with a standard extension cord. The strip has four outlets with a bit of space between them, letting you connect a small handful of your devices. It also has four USB-A port you can use to power or charge smaller electronics with up to 5V/4A total or 5V/2.4A for a single gadget.
Of course, this is a smart device, so you can connect it to your home Wi-Fi and get advanced control over it. With the meross app, you’ll be able to control the four AC outlets individually and the four USB ports as a group. You can set timers for when plugs turn on or off, and even control them when you’re away from home. Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa voice control are also all supported.
8. AmazonBasics 16/3 Vinyl Outdoor Extension Cord
Best Extended Length Extension Cord
Max Amp: 13 amps ● Wire Gauge: 16 gauge ● Wattage: 1625 watts ● Voltage: 125 volts ● Available Lengths: 15, 25, 50, 75, 100-feet ● Warranty: 1-year
Looking for something with a little more length? Amazon has come to your rescue with the AmazonBasics 16/3 Vinyl Outdoor Extension Cord. Available in bright orange for visibility and green for when you want it to blend in, this cable is made for outdoor use in short or long-term use, such as driving a seasonal display. The best part? You can pick up the full 100-foot length for only $25!
This AmazonBasics Vinyl Extension cord is a perfect fit for lawn projects where you need power across the yard. This green version is rated for 13 amps and 1,625 watts: more than enough for most electric lawn equipment. The orange version is rated for slightly less but still offers plenty of juice for most applications. It’s also coated in vinyl to resist the elements.
9. Belkin 12-Outlet Surge Protector
Best Extension Power Strip
Max Amp: 15 amps ● Operating Voltage: 125V ● Wattage: 1875 watts ● Joules: 4156 Joules ● Spike Voltage: 6000 volts ● Available Lengths: 8, 10-feet ● Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Looking for the best of both worlds? Belkin has you covered with their 12-Outlet Surge Protector with 10-foot Cord. Not only does it provide a length worthy of most living spaces, its surge protection qualities are the perfect fit for safeguarding your expensive electronics.
This hybrid surge protector/extension cord is the perfect fit for making sure your gaming PC is able survive dangerous storms and power outages. It’s able to absorb an impressive 4,156 joules and 6,000 volts of spike voltage. It even has a limited lifetime warranty so you can buy with confidence. Just remember, surge protectors do eventually wear out and lose their protection, so plan on replacing it every 3-5 years.
10. Eshldty Outdoor Power Strip Surge Protector
Best Waterproof Extension Cord
A lot of extension cords have some form of surge protection to guard your connected devices, but the Eshldty Outdoor Power Strip Surge Protector takes its safety features a lot further. This power strip includes three outlets to let you protect a few devices at once, and it can handle power surges up to 1,500 joules.
So far, that doesn’t make it terribly exceptional, but it can actually withstand splashed liquids with an IPX6 rating. In other words, it’ll even work in the rain (though it should not be submerged). This will let you use the Eshldty power strip in environments you wouldn’t want to use a lot of other power strips. It also has a few additional safety features, including plugs that require more force to insert or remove power cords (a child-safety feature), shock-proofing to prevent power from running through various metallic objects inserted into the plugs, and flame retardance up to 1,382 degrees Fahrenheit.
What To Look for in an Extension Cord
Shopping for an extension cord isn’t the most complex task, but there are still a few things to keep in mind. If you want to be sure to find the cable that matches your needs, here’s what you need to look for.
The first thing you need to look for is what size wire the extension cord uses, referred to as its “gauge” or “AWG.” A wire’s gauge is its diameter, and the lower the gauge, the higher its diameter. A lower gauge extension cord is a good fit for heavy duty devices that draw a lot of power. Whereas high gauge extension cords are a better fit for smaller household devices.
Hand in hand with gauge, pay close attention to the level of current an extension cord is rated to carry, which is usually listed in amperage and wattage. Before choosing an extension cord, be sure to check the electricity needs of the device you intend to power. Never try to overpower your extension cord. If it’s rated for 10 amps, stick to that. Over taxing an extension cord can cause the cord to fail or even cause a fire. It’s always a good idea to get a little more than what you need than cutting it too close.
Likewise, think of every place you may need to use this extension cord and choose the type that matches your needs. Many are rated for both indoor and outdoor use, which usually means they offer water resistance, but don’t count on that. Read the descriptions and don’t push any electrical cord beyond its intended purpose.
Finally, no matter what you intend to use it for, remember that extension cords are temporary solutions. A well-made cord will last many years but is no replacement for a dedicated outlet. If you plan on keeping the device you’re powering in its position, it’s often a wiser idea to pay a professional to place an outlet in a convenient position, both for aesthetics and long-term safety.
Chris Coke is a tech critic that cares way too much about mechanical keyboards. Check him out at IGN, MMORPG.com, or PC Perspective. Follow him on Twitter @gamebynight.