What do you do when you want to rush to work or you in a middle of a journey and the car fails to start? Those of us who have gone through it can attest that it is an annoying situation to be in. However, having the best jumper cable as part of your mechanical toolbox can save you big time. A car failing to start is mainly a result of a discharged battery. A jumper cable will help you to boost your vehicle battery when you get stranded.
When buying a jumper cable, quality should be a priority. Using the wrong cable may lead to ruining the car battery, blowing fuses, or even damaging the car’s computer. Though the cables may seem similar, there are several things you should consider to get the right one. Here is a list of the ten best jumper cables, how to use them, and a guide to help you make an informed decision.
Here are the top 3 Jumper Cables
10 Best Jumper Cables
A good jumper cable helps you to transfer power from an external source of power to an auxiliary battery or another vehicle. Every car owner should have these tools as part of their safety equipment. This list of 10 top jumper cables will help you in narrowing down to the best amidst the many found in the market:
1. Energizer 2 Gauge, 16 Feet Jumper Cables
Energizer has offered a wide range of cables but this is one of their best. This cable is made with a combination of features that will enable you to handle most of the jump-starting situations. The Energizer jumper cable for jump-starting weak or dead batteries is 16 feet and 2 gauges. It is suitable for compact or small cars, mid-size cars, full-size cars, SUVs, and trucks.
These Energizer jumper cables are made with a thick vinyl coating. The clamps are corrosion and rust protection. The PVC material on the clamps protects you from shock. It also features a strong spring and comfortable handle ensure easy positioning and secure placement. This jumper cable can carry up to 800 amps.
The 16-foot cables are designed to make the connectivity from one vehicle to another easy even in long distances. Even with the long length, the cables are tangle-free. They are resistant to extreme temperatures and remain flexible even at – 40°C. The jumper comes packed in a carrying case made with high-grade materials. This bag offers you compact storage and easy transport.
- 16-foot long cables
- The cables are tangle-free
- Features a comfortable handle
- Cable is corrosion and rust-resistant
- Comes in a high-grade case
- Not ideal for extremely heavy vehicles
2. CARTMAN Heavy Duty Booster Cables
CARTMAN cables are heavy-duty jumper cables ideal for carriage moving vehicles, large entertaining vehicles, and pick-up trucks. It is made with copper-coated aluminum. The cables are insulated with T-Prene which is made to remain flexible even at low temperatures of up to – 25°C.
CARTMAN Heavy Duty Booster 1 gauge cables are resistant to chemicals, rain, and motor oil making them quite dependable. It is ergonomically made with shielded surfaces for maximum safety. The cables are 20 feet long which makes it easy to connect one battery to another despite the distance. The package includes a 1 gauge booster cable and a carry bag.
- Made with Copper coated Aluminum
- Fits side and top post batteries
- Made with an ergonomic design
- Has shielded surfaces for safety
- Cables are 20 feet long
- Comes with a carrying bag
- Clamps are a little stiff
3. Amazon Basics Jumper Cable
Amazon Basics is well known for the production of affordable yet decent quality products. This jumper cable weighs 4.18 lbs. The cables have a length of 12 feet. They are made of 10-gauge-clad aluminum enabling them to efficiently jump-start a weak or dead battery. The jumper is UL certified and ideal for compact or small cars.
The tight-grip alligator clamps are designed with comfortable handles and strong springs. These features help you to maneuver around as easily as possible. The exterior of Amazon Basics cables is heavily insulated for safety. The clamps have a rating of 110 amps.
Amazon Basics jumper cables come with red and black insulated exteriors which provide quick visual identification making it easy to set up. With a length of 12 feet, these flexible jumper cables are ideal to use when the two vehicles are nose to nose or side by side. The package comes in a carrying bag making storage and carriage easy.
- Made with Copper-Clad aluminum (CCA)
- Have a tight-grip and heavy-duty clamps
- Jumper cables are 10-gauge
- UL certified
- Black and Red insulated exteriors
- Comfortable handle and strong spring
- Only ideal for compact vehicles
- The cable is a little short
4. THIKPO Heavy Duty Jumper Cables
THIKPO is a high-quality jumper cable made for safety and durability. The clamps are made with refined coppery and are UL listed. This means that the cables have been passed through strict working temperature tests and must meet the UL standards. The cables work perfectly in extreme environments ranging from -40℉ to 140℉. They are covered with non-conducting rubber making them safe even when you use them repeatedly.
THIKPO best jumper cables for diesel trucks offer you an outstanding performance. Since the cables are made with high-density copper-clad aluminum, they offer excellent conductivity. Unlike other single-deck-covered cables, THIKPO heavy-duty cables are covered with double-deck rubber making them more waterproof and stronger.
This THIKPO booster cable can be used universally. The cables are 20 feet and 4 gauge. They support a peak current of 600 A and it is ideal for starting vehicles with up to 3.0 L diesel engines and 5.0 L gas engines. The package comes with a brush, gloves, jumper cables, and a carrying bag.
- Offers outstanding performance
- Strong and waterproof
- It is UL certified
- Safe and durable
- It works universally
- Supports peak current of 600 A
- Difficult to squeeze the clamp
5. TOPDC Copper Jumper Cables
TOPDC Copper jumper cable is another top-ranked jumper compatible with most vehicles. These booster cables are UL listed which is a guarantee that they are reliable and safe to use both environmentally and physically. Both sides of the clamps are made using pure copper and CCA. This makes these cables easy to transfer power, face to consumers, and easy for electrical conductivity.
These TOPDC Copper booster cables have a 12 feet jumper part and are 4 gauges. The cables are insulated with PVC which enables them to remain flexible at temperatures ranging from -40F to -40C. It is perfect to use on SUVs, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and cars. The cables come along with safety gloves and a carrying bag.
- It is reliable and safe
- Provides outstanding performance
- The cables are durable
- Used in multiple applications
- Cables are tangle-free and PVC insulated
- The carrying bag is low quality
6. Energizer 1 Gauge, 30 Feet Jumper Cables
This is another great 1 gauge and 30 feet booster jumper cable with a quick connection to plug and permanent installation kit. The booster cables are suitable for road assistance vehicles and tow trucks. With the long cable, you will easily be able to jump-start a weak or dead battery safely from behind the vehicle.
Energizer 1 gauge jumper cables are coated with thick vinyl. The cable comes with a comfortable handle which makes the positioning simple. The strong spring makes it offers secure placement. The cable fits both sides and top post batteries. Clamps are coated with shelled vinyl for safety purposes. The coating also protects the clamps from corrosion and rust.
Energizer cables are tangle-free and they are flexible up to -40°C. This 30 feet copper-clad aluminum cable is long enough to allow you to comfortably connect batteries even from a far distance. The booster cable comes with travel bags for compact storage and easy transportation.
- Cables have a quick connect plug
- Have comfortable handles for easy positioning
- Features strong spring for secure placement
- Cables are tangle-free
- The package includes a travel bag
- Clamps are corrosion and rust-resistant
- It is a little heavy
7. AstroAI Jumper Cables
If you are looking to buy the best jumper cable for semi-trucks, then AstroAI jumper cables are your right choice. IThis cable comes with a rating of 235 Amp and 4 gauge. AstroAI booster cables have been tested and meet UL testing standards. It offers you a better and safer user experience thanks to its multi-functional clamp and more flexible cable. It is suitable for use in SUVs, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and cars.
AstroAI jumper cables are made with thicker copper enabling them to charge dead batteries safely and fast. The 4 gauge heavy-duty cables feature double grip crimps and a large capacity for superior connectivity. They are temperature resistant and remain flexible even at -40°C making it an ideal cable for the winter season.
The booster cables are made with high-quality materials thus offering you a long service life. Its 20 feet long cables are ideal for most occasions. AstroAI jumper cables feature multi-functional clamps making them a perfect fit for various shapes of car batteries. The jumper cables come along with safety gloves, a portable bag, and a battery cleaning brush.
- Made with premium quality
- It is easy to use
- Cables are fast charging
- It is temperature resistant
- Meets UL testing standards
- It is multifunctional
- Clamps are a bit small
8. Forney 52875 Battery Jumper Cables
Forney 52875 battery jumper cable is one of the best jumper cables for trucks. These booster cables are made with strong and high-quality materials. They are ideal for passing power quite fast between two batteries. The cables have an extraordinary length of 25 feet. This length makes it quite easy for you to connect vehicles when the distance between them is long.
Forney 52875 jumper cables are designed with high quality and strong welding copper. At every end of the cable are clamps offering 500 amps. The grip area of the cable clips is covered with high-quality rubber making it safe for use. These heavy-duty jumper cables are among the most reliable you will get in the market.
- Designed with premium copper welding cable
- Jumper cables are heavy-duty
- Clamps offer 500 amps
- It is reliable
- A long length of 25 feet
- It is safe to use
- A bit expensive
9. EPAuto Booster Jumper Cables
EPAuto heavy-duty jumper cables start almost all types of vehicles. This is the ideal cable for anyone looking for a combination of reliability and budget. The 4 gauge cable is fast charging and it will only take you a few minutes to jump-start your dead or weak battery. They work on a variety of vehicles including motorcycles, vans, SUVs, and trucks.
EPAuto Booster jumper cables are 20 feet in length and the clamps are 500A. They are made with rubber materials for flexibility purposes. The cables are covered with dual coated material which does not melt when passing power. Copper-plated material is used to make the clamps to protect you from shock.
EPAuto Booster cables are tangle-free. The 20 feet length is ideal for situations where vehicles cannot get close together. Another great thing about these cables is that you can use them in all weather conditions. The jumper cables come along with safety gloves and a packaging bag for easy storage and carriage.
- Cables are tangle-free
- Made with high-quality materials
- Can work in all weathers
- Have copper-plated clamps
- The cable is heavy duty
- Comes with gloves and a travel bag
- Wires are not 100% copper
10. Performance Tool Jumper Cables
Performance Tool Jumper cables are well known for jump-starting SUVs, trucks, and other large vehicles. These jumper cables come with a length of 20 feet making them easy to use when in a situation where the vehicles cannot get so close. They are rated to provide 600A peak current and 500A instant current.
Performance Tool 4 gauge Jumper cables are wrapped with durable rubber coating and they do not tangle. Their heavy-duty clamps are made with copper. They are easy to attach to battery terminals and do not fall off easily. The clamps are red and black to make it easy for the user to identify.
- Black and red clamps for easy identification
- Rubber coated cables are tangle-free
- Long 20 feet cables with 4 gauge rating
- Have heavy-duty clamps
- Takes more trunk space
Read Also: How Long Does a Car Battery Last Without Driving? (Save The Battery )
What is Jumper Cable and How Do You Use It?
Jumper cables are one of the accessories that every car owner needs to have in their vehicle. They will save you a lot of hustle when your car battery dies in the middle of the road or even before you get from home. A jumper cable is a pair of dense industrial-grade wires equipped with alligator clamps on each end. The main purpose of a jumper cable is to jump-start a weak or dead battery. They achieve this by transmitting power from a vehicle’s battery that is functional to the dead battery.
Using the cables wrongly is dangerous and can cause a lot of damage you the vehicles. It is therefore important to know the procedure of using a jumper cable. The first thing to do is to identify the batteries of each vehicle. Pack the vehicle with the functional battery next to the one with the dead battery but no parts should touch each other. This is to prevent any electrical current flow through other parts of the vehicle.
Ensure that both vehicles are powered off before you start the process. Identify the negative and positive terminals and attach the jumper cables appropriately. The red clamp is attached to the positive terminal while the black one is attached to the negative terminal on both sides. Start the vehicle with the functional battery and it will start charging the dead battery immediately.
Wait for some minutes for the dead battery to get charged. You can then start the vehicle with the dead battery, if the charging was successful, the engine will start. If not, repeat the process. Once it is charged, carefully disconnect the jumper cables. Open this YouTube video to learn more about how to use a jumper cable
Things to Consider Before Buying Jumper Cables
Jumper cables may look similar but they are not the same. Remember that using the wrong jumper cable may be dangerous to use on your vehicle. We have discussed some of the most impressive jumper cables in the market. So how do you know the best booster cable for your vehicle? This buying guide will take you through the path of choosing the best jumper cable 2020 for your needs.
Peak and Cracking Amps
The first thing to look for in a jumper cable is its cracking and peak amps ratings. It is most advisable to get a cable with cranking amps of at least 500A and peak amps of 600A. However, some jumper cables with a rating of 300 cracking amps can still charge a dead car battery. If your vehicle is a truck or an SUV, you will need a heavy-duty cable with a higher rating.
The material used to manufacture the cables will determine its durability and effectiveness in given circumstances. The most recommended material for jumper cables is pure copper but copper-clad aluminum also works. Get cables with larger alligator clips to get a better connection. Large alligator clips also transmit more current resulting in a faster charging rate.
The wire gauge shows the thickness of the wires and also indicates the durability and overall quality of the jumper cables. Cables with a lower gauge number mean that they are thicker and heavy-duty. Thick cables transmit more power and are ideal for heavy-duty usage. An 8-gauge cable can start a vehicle but most people prefer a 6-gauge. A 4-gauge jumper cable is a good option when jump-starting a large vehicle.
Jumper cables come in varying lengths. It is important to know the exact length you want for your cable. Some cables come with a length as short as 12 feet which is not very practical. For normal vehicles, it is advisable to get a cable around 20 feet in length. Longer cables give you the versatility and flexibility to address different situations.
Clamps or clips are used to connect the jumper wires to the battery terminals. Some of the best clamps are equipped with spring jaws which help them to secure the cables on the vehicle battery. Ensure you buy a jumper cable with strong jaws to make it easy for you to connect easily. Also, consider clips wrapped with rubber to protect you from possible shock. Another thing to look for is clips that are easy to handle and tangle-free.
It is important to buy well-insulated jumper cables. Most of the cables from reputable brands are designed with heavy insulation. This is one feature that brings the difference between high-quality cables and mediocre jumper cables. Heavy insulation ensures that the cable is safe to use since it reduces the heat generated during the jump-starting process. Insulation also protects the cables from oil and chemicals.
A jumper cable is an accessory you will need to carry every time in your vehicle since you never know when the battery can die. It is therefore prudent to buy a cable that fits in your trunk well. Some of them come with portable travel bags that make them easy for you to store and carry around.
Read also: How to Charge a Car Battery Without a Charger
Portable Jump Starters
If you are not on a budget, then you can consider getting yourself a jump starter instead of a jumper cable. Portable jump starters will help you to charge your battery without the need for another vehicle. Portable jump starters are more convenient compared to pumper cables. This device is made with a compact design enabling it to fit well in your glove box.
A portable jump starter comes with several added advantages. Some can serve as a power bank and others have USB ports that you can use to charge your electronic devices. Other advantages are you can use it anywhere and there are no double connections like when using the jumper cables.
To get the portable jump starter, check some factors such as safety, gauge rating, voltage, and size. You should also consider the length of the cable depending on where you would like to place it during the jump-starting process. Also, consider the type of vehicle engine and it will guide you on the appropriate jump starter to buy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What Is The Best Brand of Jumper Cables?
The best jumper cable to buy will depend on various things such as the size of your vehicle and how you plan to use it. If you are using large vehicles then you need to get a heavy-duty jumper cable with thick wires, long length, and appropriate gauge. Some of the best jumper cable brands are Energizer, Cartman, Thickpo, and Topic among others. You can choose a jumper cable from any of these brands and you can never go wrong with them.
Q: What Is The Best Gauge For Jumper Cables?
The best gauge for jumper cables will depend on the type of vehicle you want to jump-start. The gauge shows the thickness of the cable. The lower the gauge numbers the thicker the wire. Thick wires allow more power to pass through them thus fastening the jump starting process. Large vehicles need a cable with a low gauge number.
Most of the 8-gauge jumper cables will work on compact vehicles but it is more recommended to use a 6-gauge. When dealing with SUVs, trucks, and other large vehicles then you should consider at least a 4-gauge cable. It is prudent to buy a 4-gauge cable since it can work on both large and compact vehicles.
Q: Which Is Better 2-Gauge or 4-Gauge Jumper Cables?
The better one between a 2-gauge and a 4-gauge will depend on your needs. A 2-gauge jumper cable means that it is more heavy-duty and it is capable of jumpstarting SUVs, RVs, and commercial trucks safely.
Therefore, if you are driving large vehicles and require a heavy-duty cable then go for the 2-gauge cable. 4-gauge cables on the other hand are more recommended for emergency purposes. This is because you can use them to safely jump-start both economy vehicles and passenger cars.
Q: Does The Quality of Jumper Cables Matter?
Yes, of course just like any other product, the quality of the jumper cables matters. This begins from the quality of materials that have been used to make the cable to the thickness and the gauge. Most of the high-quality jumper cables are made with pure copper. However CCA material also works perfectly for the cables. The other thing that determines the quality is the thickness. A high-quality cable should also be well illuminated for safety purposes. Other factors to check in respect to quality are if the clamps are secure enough to protect you from shock and how easy it is to use the clamps. The bottom line is the quality of the clamps you buy matters a lot.
Q: Is Red Positive or Negative?
Most high-quality clamps are colored red and black for easy identification. The red color on the clips shows positive while the black color represents negative. This means that you should connect the red clip on the positive terminal and the black clamp on the negative terminal of the vehicle battery.
Q: How Do I Choose a Jump Lead?
A jump lead is an invaluable piece of accessories especially when you get a flat car battery. Some of the things you should carefully look at when buying a jump lead are the cable length, battery amperage, engine type, and clip quality. The other thing to look for is the cable cross-section. Some of the best jump leads have a cross-section of 50 mm², 35 mm², and 25 mm².
One situation you never want to find yourself in is getting stuck in the middle of a journey due to a dead battery. Some of the reasons that can make a battery weak or die are if it has been idle for a long time, a damaged cell in the battery or you may have forgotten to turn the vehicle headlights off. In this situation, the best jumper cables will be your savior. This cable helps you to charge your dead battery from a battery of a functional vehicle. We have done our research and stated some of the high-quality jumper cables you can consider. Be careful not to connect the cables wrongly for it could burn the battery terminals.