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Have you ever turned the key in your car ignition (or pressed one of those fancy ignition buttons), only for the car engine to turn over a couple of times and die? Do you remember the feeling at the exact moment you knew your car battery was dead? Did you leave a light on? Have you left it too long to replace your battery? Was there anything else you could have done?
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It does not matter how the battery died; all that matters now is getting some juice into it so that it can charge or last long enough to transport you where you need to go. It is time to reach for your indispensable jumper cables, a staple of every vehicle.
We have scoured the internet in search of the most durable and heavy-duty jumper cables, the jumper cable which is going to be with you for life. Here are the best, and the information that you need to know.
Our Top Picks
We have looked at a rage of cables, and chosen the five that will give you the most choice. There are a variety of gauges, lengths, and styles. Let’s take a look.
1. Energizer Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables
Available Gauges: 1, 2, 4, 6; Available Lengths: 16, 20, 25, 30 feet; Amperage Capacity: 800A
This Energizer Heavy-Duty Jumper Cable set gives you a lot more cable than many other sets on the market. You do not need to worry about where the other vehicle is when you are getting a jump start or helping someone else. The cable set is also good for almost any vehicle, from small and compact cars to large vans or SUVs.
There is a thick vinyl coating covering the cables which helps to protect the cables from rust and corrosion. The same vinyl coating also covers the handles, protecting them too. The bonus of having the coating on the handles is that they are really easy to grip. The handles are strong, rugged, and durable, with a strong spring for easy and secure positioning. The clamps fit on the top or side posts of most batteries.
A travel bag helps to protect these tangle-free cables, protecting them when they are not in use. You can easily store and transport them when you want to.
You will especially like that the aluminum cables are covered in copper to give you a flexible product which will still work even when the temperature drops down to -40 Celsius, and we all know that that is the time when batteries most fail.
2. Voilamart Auto Jumper Cables (Commercial Grade)
Available Gauges: 0, 1, 2; Available Lengths: 20 feet; Amperage Capacity: 3000A
These Voilamart Jumpler Cables are commercial-grade, so you know that they are going to start your vehicle on that cold winter morning. They come in low gauges, allowing lots of power to course through them, and that can make the difference between your car starting and it not starting.
The construction is rugged and durable, with strong PVC covering the metal, adding a layer of protection to ensure that you do not get shocked. The PVC is resistant to heat, oil, and acid, and it also allows you to get a firm grip on the cables when you are handling them.
You get 20 feet of length, enough for most situations and the cable is tangle-free, something which can be a life-saver in those low temperatures.
The cables are ideal for 6V, 12V, and 24V batteries, making them perfect for almost any car, van, truck, SUV, and even commercial vehicles. A great set to get your car started or to help others in need.
3. AUTOGEN Heavy-Duty Booster Cables
Available Gauges: 1, 2; Available Lengths: 20, 25, 30 feet; Amperage Capacity: 900A
These 2 Gauge, 30 Foot, 900A heavy-duty booster cables with professional grade clamps for trucks are simply built to take the stress out of a stressful situation. Designed for heavy-duty vehicles, but working with most 12V ones, these are, according to AUTOGEN, the longest and most powerful jumper cables you will find. Their 30-foot length will allow you to jump start cars, pickups and trucks front to back. No more maneuvering vehicles to get the cables to reach.
To further take the stress out of life, the AUTOGEN Heavy-Duty Booster Cables are made with a 100% copper, double-grip jaw, with an extra-thick PVC cover for both insulation and drop-resistance. The cables are highly conductive Copper Coated Aluminum (CCA), sheathed in flexible, tangle-free PVC-insolation wires which maintain their flexibility down to -40 degrees.
As if all of that isn’t enough, these jumper cables come with an upgraded carry bag and an LED work light, and AUTOGEN offers a 12-month replacement warranty, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and 24/7 tech support.
4. NoOne Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables
Available Gauges: 0; Available Lengths: 25 feet; Amperage Capacity: 1000A
These heavy-duty cables will help to start almost any vehicle, and they come with a nice set of extras to speed along the process and give you extra protection.
The NoOne Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables are thick, with over half an inch of thickness, allowing them to handle almost any vehicle. You can send a lot of power through these cables, and they won’t bat an eyelid (if they had eyelids). The thick inner core also means that they start your battery faster than other jumper cables, getting you back on the road quicker.
The four alligator clamps have strong jagged teeth that will latch on to the battery and not let go as you are trying to give your battery some power. The plastic covering is easy to handle and protects you from any shocks. The PVC is also resistant to freezing, so the clamps will not lock in place during the cold weather.
The cables come with their own travel bag for extra protection, safety goggles for your own protection, gloves and a brush for handling and cleaning the battery.
5. TOPDC Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables
Available Gauges: 0, 4; Available Lengths: 10, 15, 20 feet; Amperage Capacity: 900A
A robust set of jumper cables that come with their own carry bag. They offer some of the best performance out there, with copper-coated aluminum and pure copper jaws for amazing electrical conductivity, and superior power transfer.
The TOPDC Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables come in a selection of gauges and lengths, bringing something for everyone. The cables are long, and the PVC insulation means that they are still flexible, even at -40. The tangle-free design further helps to keep the cables on the straight and narrow, and you do not have to worry about them tangling when you need them the most.
The clamps are specially designed to be strong, and they will grip onto the terminals without slipping off when you are jumping your car. They are also powerful enough to deal with most cars, SUVs, trucks, motorcycles, and vans.
They are easy to connect, transfer power well, and come with a travel case that will keep them in prime condition.
6. RVGUARD Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables
Available Gauges: 1; Available Lengths: 30 feet; Amperage Capacity: 800A
Need a serious pair of jumper cables for a large vehicle? RVGUARD has you covered with this set.
The RVGUARD Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables are sheathed in thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), a fancy way of saying a plastic-rubber blend which will stay flexible in winter temperatures and which is tangle-free. Several properties of TPEs make them cheaper to manufacture than PVC for thin coatings like jumper cables, making them a more economical option. They withstand weathering better than PVC too, making them well-suited for outdoor use down to -40 °F.
You also get nice safety features with these cables. The parrot clamps have extra-strong springs to avoid them slipping off by accident, and the booster cables are joined by a quick connect plug. With this plug, you can get your clamps in place without connecting the two cars, then click the plug into place to close the connection. It is a great way to prevent electrocutions or the blowing of a battery because of a small mistake.
7. Lite-Way Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables
Available Gauges: 1; Available Lengths: 25 feet; Amperage Capacity: 1,500A
Some modern vehicles have high-capacity batteries that need a little something beyond the standard booster cable to get started. In comes Lite-Way with this set of cables, able to deliver 1,500 A of current. Combine that with a low gauge and these cables can jump start even the most stubborn batteries.
At 25 ft in length, these Lite-Way Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables work perfectly for jump-starts between cars, trucks, or SUVs. If you are planning to use these cables for a commuter or smaller work vehicle, they fill your needs perfectly while moving enough power to help out bigger vehicles in need.
These cables are made with densely woven cooper strands to get a lot of electricity flowing through them quickly. Thankfully, they also have a uniquely jagged design on their alligator clamps, ensuring a firm fit to avoid accidental contact. The clamps are also rust and corrosion proof, which combined with the crack-resistant plastic covering on the cables makes for a resilient and long-lasting set of jumper cables.
What To Know Before Buying a Heavy-Duty Jumper Cable
When it comes to wire gauge, it is pretty simple.
The lower the number, the bigger the wire and, the bigger the wire, the more current it can handle.
If you want to be sure that the jumper cables can handle the current, go for a lower number and thicker wire. Most cars can be jumped with a six or eight-gauge cable, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Pro tip: if you go for more than you need, then you can also help out those bigger cars, SUVs and trucks, and not only your own.
Most jumper cables are measured in feet, though it is not hard to convert from meters. The length of the cable will often be directly influenced by the gauge of the wire (and the thickness).
Lower gauge wires (thicker ones) can handle more current, and that means more heat. To evenly distribute the heat, the wires are made longer. Wires with higher gauges (thinner wires) do not have as much current and heat, so they can be shorter.
Having a long cable is good protection against overheating and fires, and we would also recommend tangle-free cables, as you increase the length.
As with cable thickness and length, going bigger is recommended here.
With higher amperage, your jumper cables are capable of handling more power, and that means that they will not only start your car but also your neighbor’s behemoth of a truck.
With more power to boost a dead battery, a higher amperage cable could be the difference between your car starting or not.
Thickness And Material
There are many cheap jumper cables on the market which may seem like a good deal, but the thinness of the cables can let you down. Thin jumper cables are only good for a jump start or two before the metal inside overheats and begins to break. The sad part about this is that you may not know that the cables are broken until you come to try and jump-start your car. That is the worst possible scenario to be in.
When we looked for heavy-duty jumper cables, we definitely chose ones which are going to hold up over time. Thick jumper cables will allow a high-level of energy to be conducted through them.
Cheap and thin wires will not hold up; thick and durable wires will.
- Copper cable is the best option and will conduct the energy the best.
- Copper-plated aluminum is also a safe choice. With vehicle batteries getting stronger and more powerful, cheap jump cables cannot keep up.
You will also find that thick cables come with larger alligator clamps. The benefit to this is that they can deal with large connectors as well as small connectors. If you have small alligator clamp and are trying to attach them to a large battery, they may keep slipping off. With large clamps, you can connect to almost anything. A good connection will also ensure that you have, well, a good connection. The better the energy can flow, the better it is for your jump start.
The most common clamps in the jumper cable world are alligator and parrot.
Both types of clamp look like the animal that they are named after. Parrot clamps are more rounded and are shaped like the beak of a parrot. Alligator clamps are more pointed and have teeth. Both clamps have their place, and you should go for the clamp that works best with your vehicle.
We would recommend looking for clamps that are wrapped in rubber for a better grip on your battery, and a reduced chance of shock should the clamps be touched.
Look for a handle that is easy to hold and comfortable. Safety is always your number one priority when dealing with electrics.
Your cable should be thick, but it should also be protected. Materials such as PVC will not only insulate the wire, but they will also protect them. High-quality PVC is resistant to chemicals and oil, a handy thing to have when the cables are going to be resting on a car engine.
A good material will also remain flexible, especially in cold weather.
This means that the wire will not tangle easily, a nuisance when you are trying to get your car running again, and will be easy to uncoil when you need it.
How To Use Jumper Cables?
Using jumper cables incorrectly can be dangerous, so knowing the right procedure is essential. Most jumper cables come with an instruction card, but here’s a quick video on how to connect two batteries properly.