Jumper cables are a useful and important part of your emergency car kit. They could get you out of a very difficult situation when your car battery goes flat. You could even help other people trapped on the side of the road when they need a jump start.
They’re safe provided you stick to the correct way of using jumper cables. They also take up little space in the trunk of your car. Of course, you can only use jumper cables with the help of another motorist but they’re still handy tools to have.
But with all the brands on the market, how will you find the best one? Perhaps you’ll find what you’re looking for on the top 10 best jumper cables list below.
- Features to Consider in Good Jumper Cables
- Top 10 Best Jumper Cables 2020
- 1. Cartman Booster Cable
- 2. TOPDC Heavy Duty Booster Cables
- 3. Always Prepared Booster Cables
- 4. Energizer Heavy Duty Jumper Cables
- 5. Kodiak Heavy Duty Jumper Cables
- 6. EPAuto Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cables
- 7. AmazonBasics Jumper cable
- 8. Voilamart Auto Jumper Cable
- 9. Autogen Heavy Duty Jumper Cable
- 10. Pennzoil Jumper Cable
- Guide to Buying the Best Jumper Cables
- Final Thoughts
Features to Consider in Good Jumper Cables
The Wire Gauge
The wire gauge refers to the thickness of the internal wires of the cables. Gauges can be indicative of the overall quality and durability of the jumper cables.
The gauge is expressed in numbers but don’t make the mistake of selecting a higher gauge number. A 4 gauge jumper cable is probably too powerful for your car and is only suitable to jump start trucks. In most cases, 8 gauge jumper cables are more than enough to get your car going, although a 6 gauge is probably a better option.
Don’t opt for a 10 gauge as most consumers and experts have stated that they don’t work well. Simply remember to select a gauge with a lower number because these cables will charge a car battery faster.
The Thickness of the Cables
Always select a product with thicker cables as these will be more durable. Most manufacturers label their jumper cables as heavy duty products. While these products may be from premium brands it’s best to check the thickness of the wire before judging the quality of the cables by the label it’s given.
The Jumper Cable Clamps
The durability of the clamps is of the utmost importance when it comes to jumper cables. To charge a dead battery you have to clamp the cables onto the battery terminals. The clamps have jagged teeth that keep them in place.
These clamps must never slip off or move while you’re jump starting a vehicle. That’s why it’s imperative you select cables that have heavy duty clamps. For safety purposes, the exterior of the clamps must always be covered in rubber to prevent you from getting shocked.
The rubber also makes the cables more ergonomical as they will be easier to handle. Rubber has non-slip properties so you’ll have a better grip on the clamps when you’re placing them on the battery terminals.
Length of the Cables
It should be easy for you to connect the jumper cables from one vehicle to the other. The length of the cable should be generous enough to allow you to perform the jump start process. Jumper cables have a minimum length of 12ft but selecting cables that are longer is a better option.
What’s the Insulation?
If you’re purchasing jumper cables from a trusted brand, chances are the insulation will be of the highest quality. This is one aspect that sets the premium jumper cables apart from the poor quality ones.
Insulation reduces the heat passing through the cables. Premium cables are usually made from PVC plastic which is resistant to damage by chemicals or oil. Other materials used to manufacture cables keep them flexible and prevent them from tangling (especially in colder climates) which is important.
Always select jumper cables that are made with premium materials as they will be more reliable. Your jumper cables will also last you a long time provided you maintain them and store them correctly.
Top 10 Best Jumper Cables 2020
You can use these heavy-duty jumper cables to power up mid-sized pickup trucks, vans and freight vehicles.
About the Product
Cartman’s booster cables are safe and reliable as they’re resistant to motor oil & chemicals. You’re able to safely jump start your vehicle even in the rain as they’re also water resistant.
The Cartman jumper cables are extremely easy to use and they won’t tangle up when you store them. This is all thanks to the T-Prene coating of the wires as the special material creates a flexible wire that’s also well insulated. You’re able to use these robust cables in climates with temperatures as low as -13°F.
These jumper cables are heavy duty as they’re made with 4 gauge aluminum wires with copper coating and a length of 20ft. This is ideal because the cables are long enough to use even when the cars aren’t close together. Cartman’s jumper cables are side and top fitting.
The clamps are designed for better conductivity and tension. You won’t have to worry about the clamps slipping off battery terminals as they give a tight grip. The clamps have patented internal clamp tongues for a sturdier hold. Internally the clamps are made of copper for more efficient conductivity
The clamps are also color-coded and they have triple polarity identification. This is so you won’t have any problems identifying which clamps to use on your battery terminals.
Low-quality jumper cables don’t work well in temperatures reaching below zero. That’s why TOPDC made sure they manufactured their jumper cables with premium materials. The jumper cables have no resistance even in the coldest of weather.
About the Product
TOPDC heavy duty booster cables can be used to jump start many applications such as vans, trucks and full sized cars. They’re robust as they’re rust and corrosion resistant.
The cables won’t snap or break as they’re made with special PVC coating. PVC prevents the cables from tangling and they’re still flexible even in temperatures of -40°F. This means you could probably jump start snowmobiles too.
TOPDC jumper cables are versatile as they can be used for smaller applications such as motorcycles and quad bikes.
The TOPDC jumper cables are made with 4 gauge copper and aluminum wires that provide efficient electrical conductivity. TOPDC’s booster cables are made with high premium insulators for maximum protection and durability.
These cables are 20ft in length so you’re able to use them even when you can’t park vehicles close together.
For an even stronger and efficient conductivity, the clamps are copper plated. The copper plated clamps won’t rust or chip. These are parrot clamps with jagged teeth to provide a tight grip on battery terminals.
You’re able to fit the clamps on the top or the side of the terminals easily. They’re also color coded to easily identify which clamp goes on the positive and negative terminals. It should be noted that they have no rubber exterior so use safety gloves when performing a jump start.
These heavy duty booster cables are capable of recharging a monster truck with their 400 amp wiring.
About the Product
Sometimes booster clamps are difficult to open but you won’t have that problem with the Always Prepared clamps. They’re easy to open yet they still provide a tight grip when you clamp them onto your battery terminals.
The Always Prepared jumper cables are weather resistant so you’re able to jump start your car even when it’s snowing or raining. Always Prepared manufactures their cables with material that keeps their flexibility in colder weather. It also prevents the cables from tangling.
For you to identify the polarity easily the clamps are color coded with the standard red for positive and black for negative. You can use the clamps on the top or sides of battery terminals.
The Always Prepared jumper cables are made with 4 gauge robust aluminum copper coated wires. The thick gauge performs sufficient conductivity. You get 20ft of durable cable so you’re able to jump start vehicles that can’t be parked close together. The cable length is also ideal for bigger vehicles such as buses or trucks.
For a sturdy grip, the clamps are made with alligator styled teeth. This is to ensure they won’t slip off the terminals. They’re not rubber coated so you should use safety gloves when performing a jump start.
What’s more, you’ll receive an additional hammer tool. A hammer tool is something you should have in your emergency motor kit. They’re used in case you’re unable to use your door to get out of your vehicle when there’s a crisis. Use the hammer to smash your window out to help you escape the vehicle safely. You can also use it to cut your seatbelt when you’re stuck. Keep this life-saving tool in your glove compartment at all times.
Sometimes it’s best to have extra long cables especially when you’re working on bigger vehicles such as trucks, buses or minibusses. Because of the different heights of the vehicles, the length helps you reach the battery terminals easily.
About the Product
Energizer’s heavy duty booster cables are designed to jump start small or big applications. Use them to charge trucks, vans, buses and even motorcycles. The cables are made from premium materials so they’re able to conduct enough electricity to jump start even the weakest of batteries.
There will be no resistance when using Energizer jumper cables even in the coldest of climates. You’re able to jump start your vehicle without hassle in temperatures dropping -40°C.
The Energizer jumper cables are single gauge made from copper clad aluminum for effective conductivity. The reason the cables are able to operate in freezing temperatures is because of the special PVC coating. The PVC prevents the cables from tangling and adds flexibility to the wires.
Energizer’s jumper cable clamps are vinyl coated for safety and to prevent rust & corrosion. The integrated spring helps you open the clamps easily so you’re able to quickly apply them onto your battery terminals.
The clamps also have a strong grip so they won’t slip off while you’re performing a jump start. You can clip the clamps on the side or the top of the terminals. For easy identification of the polarity, the clamps are color coded red (positive) and black (negative).
You’ll also receive an extra carry bag for your cables so you can store them neatly. The carry bag also adds extra protection for your cables.
These jumper cables are made from premium materials so there’s no resistance when jump starting your vehicle.
About the Product
The Kodiak heavy duty jumper cables are designed with 25ft of length. You’re able to perform a jump start even when the cars are far apart. The length is also perfect for bigger vehicles with different heights such as trucks or buses.
Sometimes longer cables can be a hassle because they tend to tangle easily. But the Kodiak cables are made with special materials to prevent the cables from tangling.
The clamps also have a special design so you’re able to open them easily and clamp them on either the top or the bottom of the terminals.
Kodiak manufactured these jumper cables with single gauge internal wires which produce 800 amps. They conduct enough power to jump start 12V or even a 24V battery. The reason they can power up heavy duty batteries is because of the copper clad aluminum gauge.
The wires are coated with a durable thermoplastic that adds flexibility to the wires. There will be no resistance when performing a jump start as they’re designed to work in temperatures -40°C.
For simplicity, the clamps are parrot style with double connections for optimal power transfer. The jagged parrot teeth give an extra strong hold so they won’t slip off the terminals. They’re also color coded so you’re able to identify the polarities easily.
Kodiak’s jumper cable clamps are also coated with a durable insulator to prevent corrosion and rusting. The insulator also prevents sparking and reduces short-circuiting during a jump start & it adds extra protection when you’re handling the cables.
There are no problems with reliability as the jumper cables are made with premium materials. The jumper cables will last as they’re resistant to corrosion or rusting.
About the Product
Safety is the main priority when it comes to EPAuto as you’ll get a pair of handy safety gloves with your jumper cables. The gloves prevent you from shocking when you’re handling the clamps. EPAuto jumper cables are easy to use with their special designed clamps.
You’re able to easily open the clamps to place on your battery terminals. Because of the extra long 25ft cable, you’re able to jump start cars that are in awkward placements. The EPauto jumper cables are durable and the wiring is flexible so you’re able to use them in colder weather easily.
The product also comes with a carry bag so you can store the cables easily and it adds extra protection from contaminants.
EPAuto’s jumper cables have copper clad aluminum 1 gauge wiring that can be used safely on most standard applications. EPAuto manufactures their cables with special insulations to enhance flexibility so they don’t tangle or stick together.
For a strong and sturdy grip, the clamps are parrot style with jagged teeth that prevents them from slipping off the terminals. The clamps are made from robust steel that won’t rust or chip.
They are color coded with red (positive) and black (negative) so you can easily identify which terminals to use the clamps on. The handles of the clamps are coated with insulation but for added precaution, it’s advised you use the safety gloves when handling these jumper cables.
It’s a reliable brand that will help you whenever you need to charge up your car battery. You can also assist other motorists on the road as they’re safe to use on any standard car.
About the Product
Motorists on a limited budget will benefit from the AmazonBasics jumper cables as they’re inexpensive and easy to maintain. These jumper cables are standard and are only powerful enough to jump start small cars but they’re still extremely reliable & well made.
The AmazonBasics jumper cables are light and easy to store as they’re smaller than all the other jumper cables on this list. They’re durable as they’re rust and also weather resistant.
The cables are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certified which means they’ve been tried and tested to ensure the safety of the user.
AmazonBasics jumper cables have 10 gauge copper clad aluminum wires that provide sufficient 100 amps of power. The cables come at a standard length of 12ft which is suitable to use on small cars. You will have to park cars nose to nose to use these cables.
The clamps are made with an alligator design for a tighter grip when placed on battery terminals. They won’t fall off when you’re performing a jump start. They can be clamped on the side or the top of the terminals. Because they’re color coded you can easily identify where to place the clamps.
AmazonBasics clamps are also coated with an insulator for added protection when you handle the clamps. They also have special springs integrated into the clamps that allow you to open them easily to apply them to the terminals.
Voilamart only uses high-quality materials to manufacture these jumper cables for reliability and safety.
About the Product
The Voilamart jumper cables are versatile because they can jump start small vehicles as well as large ones such as agricultural vehicles. They’re extremely reliable as they provide sufficient power to jump start myriads of objects whether you’re working on petrol or diesel vehicles.
These jumper cables are also rust and corrosion resistant which makes them economical. You won’t have to regularly buy a new pair of jumper cables as Voilamart will last you for many years. Because of the quality construction the cables are resistant to heat, oil and acid.
The Voilamart jumper cables are 20ft in length to provide easy access to battery terminals. These cables provide 1200A of power which is more than enough to jump start any weak 6V or 24V batteries. The cables are thicker than most as they come at 12mm in size.
Voilamart’s cables are PVC insulated which protects them from contaminants. The PVC coating also allows the cables to stay flexible even in the coldest of weather. The clamps are fully insulated for added protection.
The Voilamart’s clamps are also made from a durable metal that also adds maximum conductivity. With the unique clamp design, they won’t fall off the terminals as they have a strong grip.
They’re robust and made to last so you will be traveling with a pair of cables that will never let you down.
About the Product
These heavy duty jumper cables are capable of powering 12V and even 24V batteries. Autogen can be used for standard cars as well as heavy duty trucks. The cables are well insulated to provide protection so you’re able to use them in the harshest of weather.
The cables are extremely flexible due to the PVC coating. They won’t tangle or stick together even with temperatures dropping below zero. Autogen jumper cables are also resistant to chemicals and oil. The clamps provide added protection as they’re coated with a color coded insulator.
You’ll also receive a carry bag for easy storage and for added protection for your cables.
Autogen’s robust heavy duty jumper cables are 25ft in length to allow you to reach battery terminals easily. The copper clad aluminum wiring is a 1 gauge type which provides 900A of power. The internal wires are coated with PVC which prevents the wires from getting damaged.
The Autogen clamps are copper coated to provide extra conductivity. They’re alligator style clamps that have a strong and sturdy grip when placed on battery terminals. The unique internal spring allows you to open the clamps without any hassle.
Autogen’s clamps and wires are color coded so you’re able to easily identify which clamp goes onto the positive & negative terminals.
They’re also extremely reliable as they’re made with materials that add protection and durability to your cables.
About the Product
Pennzoil is a tried and tested brand that makes their jumper cables robust & easy to use. The cables are tangle free as they’re coated with premium materials that keep them flexible. They also protect the internal wires from chemicals and other contaminants.
The cables, as well as the clamps, are color coded black and red so you’re able to easily identify which terminals to clamp the cables onto. They’re also extremely versatile as you can jump start most standard cars and SUV’s with a 12V battery.
For easy storage, you get a durable carry bag with your product. The bag helps keep your cables neat and prevents them from getting damaged.
Pennzoil’s jumper cables are 25ft in length so you’re able to jump start vehicles parked in awkward and hard to reach places. The 2 gauge provides a hefty 500A of power and they’re coated with PVC which provides flexibility even in temperatures reaching below zero.
The Pennzoil clamps are parrot designed for a strong grip. They won’t fall off the terminals when you’re performing a jump start. You can use the clamps either on the top or the sides of the terminals. They’re also made with durable materials that are rust and corrosion free.
Guide to Buying the Best Jumper Cables
How do Jumper Cables Work?
When your car has a flat battery it’s possible to charge it through another vehicle’s application. All you have to do is use special leads such as jumper cables to transfer the charge from another vehicle’s battery to yours.
You can charge a weak or a dead battery using jumper cables. The power from the live battery produces enough charge through the cables to kick start your car’s engine. Your vehicle’s normal charging system takes over so the connection of the cables from the external battery can be removed.
Jumper cables are essentially long wires that can conduct electricity. They have clamps on each end made from copper or steel.
One clamp will be red and the other will be black. The black clamp will be marked with a minus sign and the red will be marked with a plus sign. The plus and minus symbols indicate polarity & will state which clamp will go onto a specific terminal. Always use the correct clamp on the indicated terminal to avoid damaging your battery or car engine.
Most motorists prefer to travel with jumper cables in the trunk of their car. This is simply in case they drain their own batteries (usually by leaving the lights on when the car is parked). Jumper cables can assist you when your battery needs a boost to start your car again.
Jumper Cables vs. Jump Starters
Jumper cables are simply wires with clamps. You’ll need the assistance from another motorist to charge your car battery using jumper cables. But jump starters are a little different. Jump starters also consist of jumper cables but they’re attached to their own portable batteries.
You won’t need the assistance of another motorist if you have a jump starter as you will have your own external battery. But the drawback of this is they’re quite expensive and some of them aren’t as compact as standard jumper cables.
The disadvantage of jumper cables is you have to rely on another motorist to help you. Furthermore, the other motorist will need to have a similar battery voltage to your car battery. But jumper cables are easier to use and they don’t take up much room.
Jumper cables are also more economical and durable. Some would say jumper cables are more reliable as jump starters can also run out of battery life. And because the cables are fixed to jump starters you can’t use them as normal jumper cables.
How to use Jumper Cables
Now that you know a bit more about jumper cables would you like to know how to use them? If you’re not a car expert you might not know how to perform a jump start. This knowledge is vital in case of an emergency.
To jump start your car, follow these steps:
- Make sure the donor car matches the voltage of your vehicle’s battery. Modern cars tend to have delicate electronic systems. A jump start causes a massive voltage surge which can cause damage to your car and the donor’s car if they’re not compatible. The donor car must have a fully charged battery of the same voltage as your car in order for the jump start to work.
- For safety precautions ensure there are no physical damages to either of the batteries or the jumper cables. Make sure there are no naked flames near the area you are working (do not smoke cigarettes while you are jump starting a vehicle). Take off any jewelry or metal accessories that can cause sparks.
- Park the two cars as close as you can either next to each other or nose to nose. Both vehicles should have the ignitions turned off and the parking gears should always be in neutral.
- Attach one of the red clamps (positive) to your battery’s terminal that’s also red or has the positive symbol on it.
- Use the second red clamp to attach it to the donor car’s positive battery terminal.
- Now you’ll do the same with the black clamps. Attach one black (negative) clamp to your battery’s terminal with the negative symbol on it. Then attach the second black clamp to the donor vehicle’s negative battery terminal.
- Wait three to four minutes.
- Start up the donor vehicle and let it run for a few minutes. This process charges your car’s dead battery.
- After waiting a while start up your car’s ignition. It should start immediately. If your car doesn’t start check that all the cables are attached correctly and try again.
- After charging up your battery and your car starts up let your vehicle idle for about 10 minutes. Turn both cars’ ignitions off and remove the jumper cables from the batteries.
- Don’t forget to thank your fellow motorist for their help before you drive off.
- Drive your vehicle around for at least 15 minutes so your car’s internal system can fully recharge your battery.
Jumper Cable Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Style of the Clamps Important?
Yes, it’s definitely important to select jumper cables that have clamps you can firmly attach to your battery terminals. The best kinds of clamps are the ones you can attach quickly without struggling to place them onto terminals. They need to grip well so they don’t ever slip off.
Many clamps have alligator clips with teeth so they have a sturdy grip. The best kind of jumper cables has something called parrot clamps which have double connections. Parrot clamps are fully insulated and they give optimal power transfers from a donor battery to a recipient battery.
Jumper cable clamps also need to be durable so you can use them as many times as needed. Copper clamps are the most robust and they’re ideal for efficient electrical transfers. Cheaper clamps usually have copper plates integrated on the end of the clips.
Should you Buy Long or Short Jumper Cables?
Jumper cables are available in various lengths for you to pick from. Typically jumper cables come in a standard length of 12ft but they can come in lengths as long as 25ft. It’s beneficial to have longer jumper cables because you won’t have to park the cars close together to perform a jump start.
Sometimes it’s not possible to park cars nose to nose especially on a busy highway or in a packed parking lot. With longer jumper cables you’re able to park one car behind the other and you’ll have enough length to reach both batteries easily.
Shorter leads such as the 12ft are easier to store as they take up less room. Longer cables are prone to getting tangled and can be trickier to use. So it all depends on your preference. If you feel you won’t be able to use the longer cables as they may not be user friendly then purchase 12ft jumper cables.
Having a car break down on you because of a flat battery can be extremely frustrating. To avoid feeling helpless when it happens, you should always have a set of jumper cables in your car. They’re designed to help you charge up your car’s battery and get you back on the road hassle free.
Make sure you purchase a high-end pair for reliability in times of emergencies. Having a pair of premium jumper cables in your car will definitely give you more peace of mind as you travel from.