Introduction to Jumper Cables
By far one of the most important things you should keep with you in the car is a set of jumper cables. As you’d probably expect, things happen, and your vehicle’s battery can be drained very easily. Maybe you left a switch on or, there’s a short in the electrical system which drains your battery. In today’s age of vehicles, the jumper cable has become less of a luxury and more of necessity. After all, what’s the use of buying a car for thousands of dollars without buying a piece of equipment that keeps it running for under one hundred dollars? Because jumper cables can mean the difference between getting home for dinner and spending all evening in a parking lot, taking the few minutes necessary to get the right model just makes sense. After reviewing three of the best models on the market, we’ll follow up with a buyer’s guide that will have you on your way to getting the best jumper cables in no time.
Jumper cables are available in sets of two, a black one which is for the negative side and a red one which is for the positive side. As the two cables are identical, it may become quite confusing and therefore one may interchange them while using. This can prove out to be very harmful for the car batteries so proper care should be taken of that aspect. Looking for them in the store and in the online portals can be a tiresome work and may also prove out to a futile effort if you have no clue of what you need and end up to choose wrong jumper cables for yourself.
Top Rated Jumper Cables
|Rank||Picture||Jumper Cables||Gauge||Length (ft)||Capacity (amps)||Weight (lbs)||Clamp Type|
|1||Energizer 1-Gauge 800A Heavy Duty Jumper Battery Cables||1||25||800||11.4||Parrot|
|2||EPAuto 4 Gauge 500A Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cables||4||20||500||6.2||Top & Side|
|3||Iron Forge Tools Jumper Cables with Carry Bag||6||20||400||5.3||Top & Side|
|4||Cartman Booster Cable 4 Gauge in Carry Bag||4||20||400||5.2||Top & Side|
|5||Cartman Booster Cables in Carry Bag, 6 Gauge||6||16||400||4||Top & Side|
|6||Performance Tool (W1669) 2-Gauge Jumper Cable||2||20||800||5||Top & Side|
|7||DLUX 10 Gauge No Tangle Battery Booster Cables||10||12||200||2.5||Parrot|
|8||DLUX 6 Gauge No Tangle Battery Booster Cables||6||12||500||3.6||Top & Side|
|9||Jump Start It Cables with a Case||6||12||200||0.5||Parrot|
|10||Capri Tools UL-Listed Booster Jumper Cables||4||20||250||5.3||Top & Side|
Energizer 1-Gauge 800A Jumper Battery Cables
These Energizer 1-Gauge 800A Heavy Duty Jumper Battery Cables are about as versatile and as heavy-duty as it gets. Simply put, no matter what situation you may happen to find yourself in when your battery dies, these jumper cable are sure to be able to handle the situation easily, quickly and efficiently. There are several reasons for this, all of which go on to demonstrate the superior level of quality inherent in this product. For example, the cables themselves are twenty-five feet long. If you’ve used some of the shorter cables on the market, you’ll know that this is over twice as long as many of the cables currently available at your disposal. This is a huge plus which not only makes things more convenient, but may mean the difference between getting out of a ditch and having to call the tow truck.
Because the cables are equipped with one-gauge clamps, you’ll find them to be extremely versatile. While many folks may simply buy jumper cables that fit their own car’s battery, it’s important to remember that your own car is only half of the equation when it comes to jumpstarting your car’s battery. With such large clamps, you won’t have to worry about whether or not the next vehicle to come along will be able to help you out. With this particular product, it’s practically a given.
EPAuto 4-Gauge Jumper Cables
Of course, not everyone needs a set of cables which will be compatible with a wide range of vehicles. Sometimes you just need something laying around the house so that, if your car’s battery gets drained overnight, the better half may help take care of the issue with their own vehicle once they get home from work. If this is the case, paying extra for jumper cables with giant clamps just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. As such, going down to four-gauge clamps may still be able to get the job done.
In fact, even if you do need something to bring around with you in your car, you’ll still have a pretty hard to trying to find another vehicle which isn’t compatible with the size of these jumper cables’ clamps. These EPAuto 4 Gauge 500A Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cables themselves are also quite long in length at twenty feet. Overall, these will do an excellent job under almost as many different circumstances as the previous cables we covered. Despite this, they come in a more lightweight package which – depending on where you buy them – may prove to save a bit of cash. You’ll also find they take up a significantly lower amount of space.
Iron Forge Tools’ 20-Foot Jumper Cables
Is the above product still too big and clunky for your tastes? Try these cables on for size. With six-gauge clamps, you’ll still have a very tough time trying to find a job too big for them. What’s interesting about these Iron Forge Tools Jumper Cables with Carry Bag is that, relative to the size of their clamps, the cables themselves are still quite long in length. I particularly like seeing this feature, as it removes a large degree of clunkiness from the product without sacrificing too much in the way of practicality or compatibility.
Of course, six-gauge clamps aren’t going to come in handy as often as one-gauge clamps, though you’re rather unlikely to come across such a situation to begin with. Think of it like insurance: would you opt for five percent less coverage for half the price? For a whole lot of folks, the answer is a swift “yes.” Though, your own answer to the question will dictate whether or not these are the cables for you. When speaking purely on the basis of the cables’ cost-to-quality ratio, it’s safe to say these are the very best currently on the market. For a large level of assurance at a very low price, Iron Forge Tools’ 20-Foot Jumper Cables are an excellent choice every time.
Top Rated Jumper Cables Summary
In most situations, all of the above cables will be able to get your car’s battery up and running again in a matter of seconds. However, most is the keyword here. Each of the above products comes with its own level of versatility and with a price tag to match. If you don’t mind paying top dollar for the privilege, having the above Energizer jumper cables on hand is sure to leave you compatible with any other driver, no matter what they may be driving.
Of course, if you’re looking for something lightweight or significantly lower in price, the Iron Forge Tools’ jumper cable is easily your best bet. While it may not come in handy in every situation, it will come in handy in most situations. It also comes at a much more agreeable price and takes up a whole lot less space in your car. If you’re undecided or simply want a more middle-of-the-road product, the EPAuto cables are likely just what you need. Their clamps’ size fits somewhere in between the two above models, giving you more of a compromise between the two.
Jumper Cables Buyers Guide
What is a Jumper Cable?
When it comes to the sheer quality inherent in any given pair of jumper cables, the idea of subjectivity goes right out the window. As such, you can be sure that all three of the products listed above are about as high-quality as it gets. However, in terms of whether or not a set of jumper cables will work for you, things get a little trickier. When shopping for jumper cables, whether online or in person, keep some of the following tips in mind to be sure you’re getting the right product for you.
It’s a common misconception that all jumper cables (or booster cables if you prefer) will do the same job. This is patently untrue and believing that lie is a good way to end up stranded even though you have cables in hand. A good pair of cables will have a nice thick gauge that can handle bigger batteries, copper or copper-plated connectors, surge protection (because otherwise you could end up with two dead cars), quality insulation, and be long enough to easily reach your battery and the battery of another car.
In addition to the attributes listed above, you’ll want to tailor the cables to your needs. If you live in a cold climate, they need to be well-insulated and capable of uncoiling without cracking when the mercury bottoms out. You’ll want to be careful with words like “Heavy-Duty” since the term can be misleading. Stick with cables that have a lower gauge, usually between 2 and 6. Any higher (meaning thinner) and you run the risk of not getting enough juice. For whatever you’re driving out there, and wherever you’re driving it, one of the 6 best jumper cables will keep you on the move.
What Size Clamps Do You Need For Jumper Cables?
There are two things to think about when discussing clamp size – your own car, and cars which you may happen to come across when you need a jump. The single most important thing you can do when buying jumper cables is ensuring their clamps can fit your car’s battery. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use them at all. Later on in this buyer’s guide, we’ll help you figure out which clamp size you absolutely need.
However, after getting what you absolutely need, what happens next? If you need a certain clamp size, do you stop there or do you go even bigger? This is up to you. Of course, smaller clamps typically cost less. A lower cost is something we can all appreciate. At the same time, bigger clamps increase the odds that the next car you see will be able to give your car a boost. If you’re constantly in the city where you witness hundreds of cars going by over the course of a minute, you may be able to get away with a smaller clamp size. If; however, you spend a great deal of time out in the country where other drivers are rarely seen, it may be beneficial to go the extra mile and get large clamps. If you only see one car drive by over the course of an hour, you certainly don’t want to find out that car won’t be able to fit your jumper cables’ clamps.
What Length Jumper Cables Do You Need?
Much like clamp size, overall cable length will change a product’s price to some degree or another. As I’m sure you can guess, longer cables will typically cost more than shorter cables. As such, it can be tempting to grab the shortest cables you can find. If you’re in the city, this is fine. Though, once again, if you spend a great deal of time in the country, you may have to spend those extra few dollars on longer cables. This is because, unlike those who spend all their time in the city, you never really know where you’re going to wind up. If you end up needing a boost while you’re in the ditch off of the highway, longer cables are a necessity. As I’m sure you can imagine, you’ll have a tough time finding a driver who will willingly drive into a ditch so your short cables can reach his or her car.
How Big Is Your Car’s Battery?
I previously mentioned that, while your clamp size is up to your own preference to some degree or another, there is a minimum requirement. This is due to your car’s battery inputs being of a certain size. If your clamps are too small, they won’t be compatible with your car in the first place. In such an instance, you’re better off having no jumper cables in the first place. You’ll have to check with your manufacturer to find out just what size your inputs are. If this isn’t possible, take a look at the average battery input sizes below to get some idea of what to shoot for.
- Sub-Compact Cars – These typically only require six-gauge clamps. However, because each car is different, your best bet is going for a four-gauge clamp to be safe.
- Large Cars – Most sedans will be compatible with four-gauge clamps. However, to be sure the jumper cables you buy are compatible with your car, you’re always better of going with ones equipped with two-gauge clamps.
- Every Other Practical Vehicle – Unless you’re driving a transport truck or similar vehicle (in which case your employer can recommend which cables to get), your best bet is going for one-gauge clamps. In fact, such clamps are often used on diesel engines, so you can be sure they’ll be compatible with any practical vehicle.
How To Properly Jump Start A Car
Common Jumper Cable Features
Nobody can tell you exactly what size you need. It will be up to you to buy the size which is compatible with your specific car. There are; however, a few characteristics that every motorist should look out for in their jumper cables. Keep and eye out for the below features when shopping.
Fifteen foot length jumper cables absolute minimum you should shoot for when considering different cable lengths. Depending on your needs, you may even need more. However, if I have to set a minimum recommended cable length across the board, this is it. Never go shorter than fifteen feet.
The wire gauge is equivalent to the thickness of the cables. As you can see in the reviews, the models vary in terms o f their gauge, ranging from 1, 4, and 10. A lower wire gauge means thicker cable. With that said, it is always wise to pick the heavy duty models because of the high current flow when jump starting. This will guarantee you of drawing enough current throughout the process.
The insulation is another factor worth-considering. Jumper cables for car should always come with heavy insulation. This property will help in reducing the heat that is generated through the cords via the jump start process. Pay attention to cheap cables that only look heavy, but with poor insulation property.
Battery jumper cable clamps should be heavy duty and durable as well, similar to the other parts and components. Whether you are connecting the clamps to side or top terminals, these parts should be technically durable enough in securing the connection. Heavy duty clamps are usually larger is size, giving you an added benefit of keeping your hands off any spark being generated during the process
This isn’t a TV or a pair of shoes. This is a device which may be your last source of hope when nothing else has worked. As such, a warranty isn’t just a great cost-saving measure (although, this aspect is certainly a nice plus); a warranty is a guarantee of functionality. If the manufacturer is willing to bet money on their reliability, you can bet you have yourself the right set of cables.
Over and above, the jumper cable use is highly recommended to all owners of vehicles, regardless the size and model of your car. It is merely because of emergency cases of having a dead or drained battery, especially when on the road. This is more especially without having access to nearby gasoline stations or automotive repair shops.
This tool is very crucial to every driver and to other drivers who are in need of such assistance as well. It is the only solution to get back on the road, until a battery replacement is made available. So, no matter where you are, a jumper booster will always give your battery more life to run a few more miles. The main takeaway here is that you need to decide just how much you’re willing to spend. Unlike many other products, there is no such thing as a useless feature when it comes to jumper cables. A longer cable and a bigger clamp is always better. However, whether or not the added assurance these features bring are worth your money all comes down to how much you’re willing to spend. When it comes to what is and isn’t worth your money, only you have the final say. Keep all of the following considerations in mind and you’re sure to get just what it is you’re looking for in your next set of jumper cables, no matter how much you’re willing to spend.