Best Jumper Cables 2017

Last update December 30, 2016
It's snowing and getting dark but your old car just won't start. Obviously, the engine needs a jump-start

that will bring it back to life and fill cylinders with motion-giving sparks. So, check out our shortlist of the best jumper cables!

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BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
GAUGE
AMPERAGE
LENGTH
INSULATION
CABLE
CLAMPS
 
PROS
Energizer jumper cables boast the highest conductivity rate and a wide cross-section. Thus, this is a truly multi-functional model.
CONS
The heaviest jumper cables on the shortlist.
OUR VERDICT
Excellent for professional drivers! No matter what kind of vehicle you drive(car, truck, bus, etc.), these jumper cables will work perfectly well.
detailed parameters
GAUGE
1 Available 2 Gauge
AMPERAGE
800A
LENGTH
25 ft
INSULATION
TPR (Thermoplastic rubber), Withstands the temperature as low as -40°С
CABLE
Copper clad aluminum
CLAMPS
PVC-coated heavy-duty copper clad clamps
PROS
The manufacturer provides a 10-year warranty. The clamps are designed to provide a firm and safe grip.
CONS
The conductivity of these jumper cables is rather low.
OUR VERDICT
Capri Tools jumper cables provide a high quality and reliability. Also, they are environmentally friendly, complying with the USA technical and safety standards.
detailed parameters
GAUGE
4 Available 6, 8 Gauge
AMPERAGE
250A
LENGTH
20 ft
INSULATION
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
CABLE
Copper-plated aluminum
CLAMPS
PVC-coated heavy-duty spring-loaded steel clamps
PROS
The insulation of these jumper cables is very flexible that facilitates usage and storage. Moreover, the cables are suitable for any weather conditions.
CONS
The storage bag included in a package is not of the highest quality.
OUR VERDICT
OxGord is the optimal choice in terms of price and performance. And the length of this jumper cable allows using it easily no matter how two cars are parked.
detailed parameters
GAUGE
4 Available 6, 8, 10
AMPERAGE
500A
LENGTH
25 ft
INSULATION
TPR (Thermoplastic rubber), Withstands the temperature as low as -40°С
CABLE
Copper-coated aluminium
CLAMPS
Extra strong grip copper clamps
PROS
This jumper cable is rather lightweight when it's wound up. The shipping package is fairly good: apart from the cable, you receive a storage bag and a pair of gloves.
CONS
Cartman jumper cable has the smallest cross-section among the items in our review.
OUR VERDICT
Truly worthy car booster cable capable of conducting the current from a 12/24V car battery. This cable will be helpful in any extreme situation!
detailed parameters
GAUGE
6
AMPERAGE
400A
LENGTH
16 ft
INSULATION
TPR (Thermoplastic rubber), Withstands the temperature as low as -40°С
CABLE
Copper-coated aluminium
CLAMPS
Ergonomic clamps with triple-polarity identification
PROS
EPAuto jumper cable is made of 100% copper that ensures high conductivity and prevents tangling.
CONS
Be careful with the clamps, they are easily warped.
OUR VERDICT
These jumper cables are really useful yet rather affordable. You can connect them to the battery on top or from the side.
detailed parameters
GAUGE
4
AMPERAGE
500A
LENGTH
20 ft
INSULATION
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
CABLE
All copper
CLAMPS
Copper-plated clamps

What Is It

If you drive a car, more likely than not at least once in your life you’ve had a problem with a discharged car battery. And if in summer it mightn't seem a serious problem, when it’s freezing cold outside few of us would be happy being stuck on a road. In this review, we’d like to offer you a simple and yet effective solution how to bring life to the dead battery and put your car on the go with minimum spendings. Compare five best jumper cables and choose the one to help you out when there’s nobody around.

Just as well, it’d be a good idea to keep one of the Jump Starters in the trunk of your car, so you could be totally armed and protected against any unpleasant emergency on a road.

What To Look For

Cable Gauge and Amperage

The most important features that determine the efficiency of jumper cables are the amperage and the gauge, in other words, the cable cross section as it is sometimes referred to. You should keep in mind that the larger the wire gauge is, the smaller resistance it has. The gauge of your jumper cable must correspond to the capacity of your car engine. The larger the engine, the more powerful your starter is, so the greater is the power consumption. Therefore, it’s better to use small gauge cables which can conduct a higher current. According to this system, the smaller the number, the thicker the wire. The minimum gauge for a 1500 cc engine should be equal to a caliber 6 (Ø 0.16"), while caliber 4 is excellent for most passenger cars and pickups. Thicker cables, for example, gauge 1 (Ø 0.28" ), are used to start diesel engines. Power, transmitted by cable, is usually measured in amperes, so good for you if you know the optimal amperage needed for your car. For example, the amperage of 150 Amp is enough to start a conventional sedan. But if your car needs more power, pick cables with the amperage of about 300 Amp or more. This charge can jump-start both conventional cars and some trucks. Diesel trucks require the cables supporting at least 500 Amp.

Cable Length and Connection

Another crucial feature to consider is the type of the jumper cable you need for your vehicle. Today there are lots of sizes of jumper cables for every type of vehicle. The most common models are from 16 to 20 feet long, which is quite sufficient for most conventional vehicles. There are >25 feet  cables as well, suitable for off-road vehicles, industrial trucks or cars. Note, that long cables do not always help because the longer the cable, the higher resistance. You should also take into consideration the location of the terminals on your battery. They are usually located on the housing or side of the battery. Selecting jumper cables, make sure you know where your battery terminals are located. Most cables on the market are designed for the top connection but some advanced models can be versatile and offer a side connection as well. The clamps on the cables are also important if you care for a good connection, they must have good teeth to ensure a secure hold of the terminals.

Cable Material and Insulation

The final features important for efficiency and durability of any jumper cable are the material and insulation. The amperage highly depends on the material a cable is made of, therefore, all-copper cables and clamps are advisable. Let's also highlight the importance of the clamps-and-cables connection: if they are soldered, you are a lucky person. As for the insulation, it should be made of silicone or frost-resistant rubber, be durable but soft and flexible at the same time. The ideal insulation should properly protect the cable as well as withstand relatively low and high temperatures. This is very important because when you use your cable in a freezing cold weather, it will harden, which will result in the destruction of the insulation. Before each use, make sure you’ve checked the cable insulation for cracks. Don’t use the cable if you have any doubt as for its safety.

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Review of Energizer  1-Gauge 800A Jumper Battery Cables

Energizer 1-Gauge 800A Jumper Battery Cables

Energizer 1-Gauge 800A Jumper Battery Cables

Superb Performance

This model of Energizer jumper cables proves to be one of the most performing and effective, compared to its competitors. This is backed up by the highest #1 section of its cable gauge, which means the maximum thickness and, thereafter, amperage. The Energizer jumper cable amperage is 800A, which makes it easy to start not only cars but even large trucks, buses, and off-road vehicles. This 24-ft model is sufficiently long and will surely do its job when vehicles are positioned in front of each other; apart from that, this model is really very helpful when your dead battery car isn't within easy reach.

Review of Energizer  1-Gauge 800A Jumper Battery Cables

Follow the Rules

Despite an abundance of jumper cables on the market, certain rules of how to use them must be observed. Misconnection (minus to plus or plus to minus) may result in negative major failure, and even cause a fire, no matter who the donor is. Therefore, before use, be sure to check the correct line of poles. Attach one of the red clamps to the positive terminal of your battery. Attach the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the other car. Attach one of the black clamps to the negative terminal on the other battery. Attach the last black clamp to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn't near the battery. While connecting cables, don't touch any bare parts of the cables of different polarity, as there is a risk of sparks or electric shock hazard. You should remember that the cables must be connected as tight as possible. In case your vehicle does not start, check if the contact between the clamps and the battery terminals is tight enough. Once the engine starts, you are free to disconnect the jump cables in 10-15 minutes. Disconnect the cables in the reverse order, first negative, then positive.

More Products to Consider

Deflecto Early Warning Road Safety Triangle Kit, a set consisting of three ergonomic, light reflecting, identification triangles; neatly fitted into a small box for easy transportation and storage.


Energizer  1-Gauge 800A Jumper Battery Cables
Energizer 1-Gauge 800A Jumper Battery Cables
 
Review of Capri Tools UL-Listed Booster Jumper Cables

Capri Tools UL-Listed Booster Jumper Cables

Capri Tools UL-Listed Booster Jumper Cables

The Safest Cable

These jumper cables have been tested by the independent reputable laboratory UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and included in the list of devices which meet the US safety standards. It is worth noting that over the last few years, the company has expanded its activities, evolving from electrical and fire safety surveys to wider security issues, such as hazardous materials, water quality, food safety, performance testing, and environmental sustainability. The company has offices in 104 countries and owns 95 laboratories. We have also found that the cable complies with the RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) which aims at the restriction of hazardous industrial substances to ensure the protection of human health and the environment. This directive restricts the use of potentially dangerous components in electrical and electronic equipment and in the production of six hazardous substances including lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium (chromium VI or Cr6 +), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), the last two substances are sometimes used as combustion inhibitor additives in plastics.

Review of Capri Tools UL-Listed Booster Jumper Cables

Quality Assurance

The Capri Tools cables are one of the most durable and high-quality products of this type. Copper-coated aluminum not only provides excellent conductivity but also prevents the tangling of cables to facilitate their rapid and efficient connection. In addition to the high-quality materials, the manufacturer provides a 10-year warranty, making you feel confident to have the world-class cables on board.

 

Capri Tools UL-Listed Booster Jumper Cables in the use

More Products to Consider

Neiko® 51005A, 10,000 lb break limit towing cable, a real must-have particularly if you drive a truck.

Additional Info

User Manual


VIDEO
Capri Tools CP21080UL Booster Cable with Storage Bag
Capri Tools UL-Listed Booster Jumper Cables
Capri Tools UL-Listed Booster Jumper Cables
 
Review of OxGord 4 Gauge 500 Amp Extra Long  Jumper Cables

OxGord 4 Gauge 500 Amp Extra Long Jumper Cables

OxGord 4 Gauge 500 Amp Extra Long Jumper Cables

Long-time Service

These battery cables, manufactured by the OxGord company, are among the most efficient in terms of duration. This model has excellent durability due to the conductive material (which is a copper-coated aluminum) and the flexible cable coating. The coating of the cable is a TPR material - a cutting-edge eco-friendly polymer produced by non-waste production technologies. This material has the best properties of plastic and rubber and contains no harmful substances; it’s flexible, durable, non-porous and does not emit any unpleasant odor. It is highly wear-resistant and gives you the opportunity to use the cables even in extreme weather conditions, such as the temperature of -40° Fahrenheit/Celsius.

Review of OxGord 4 Gauge 500 Amp Extra Long  Jumper Cables

Useful to Learn

Many of you probably do not know how to identify a discharged battery and what to do to prevent the discharge. There are a number of reasons why the battery can be significantly drained and, in the end, fail during the next start of the engine. And here are some of the most common causes:

1) you’ve left the lights, parking lights, music or ignition on for a long time;

2) you haven’t started your car's engine for quite a long time;

3) your battery terminals are corroded, the acid level is critically low or just it’s the time for the battery to be replaced;

4) for some reason, the generator failed to charge the battery;

5) very low temperature (may catalyze the process of battery discharge due to one of the above-mentioned reasons).

More Products to Consider

PRESSCHECK Air Tire Pressure Gauge, a device for measuring tire pressure. It's perfect for cars, motorcycles, and trucks.

Additional Info

User Manual


OxGord 4 Gauge 500 Amp Extra Long  Jumper Cables
OxGord 4 Gauge 500 Amp Extra Long Jumper Cables
 
Review of Cartman Booster Jump Cable with UL Listed

Cartman Booster Jump Cable with UL Listed

Cartman Booster Jump Cable with UL Listed

Easy to Carry, Difficult to Soil

Studying the following jumper cable, anyone might say that Cartman Booster Cables are very handy and ergonomic to use and transport. And there are two reasons for that. Firstly this cable is not very long, which means it is lightweight and small when folded. And secondly, the cable comes with a durable, high-quality carry-bag, designed for comfortable transportation and storage. Thirdly, there is a set of special working gloves to protect your hands from getting, say, motor oil or another liquid, doesn't matter whether you use the cables or you have to do any other dirty work.

Review of Cartman Booster Jump Cable with UL Listed

Jumper Cables VS Jump Starters

Several advantages of jumper cables:

1. Jumper cables last comparatively long, even more than many cars.

2. Cables do not require charging.

3. They are not influenced by temperature (batteries run worse at low temperatures).

4. A good set of cables costs much less than a good jump starter.

5. You can use them to start any 12V engine, no matter large or small.

6. They are lightweight and more convenient to store in your car trunk.

7. Jump starter cannot start large engines.

 

P.S. The only significant advantage of any jump starter is that it doesn’t need another car to start the engine of yours.

More Products to Consider

If you are an experienced driver or spend a lot of time at the wheel, you will definitely appreciate a special bag designed for the first aid medicine storage AAA 85 Piece Commuter First Aid Kit. You can keep the bag in your car or take it along while traveling on foot or by bicycle, moreover, the bag can be easily attached to your backpack with the safety hook.


Cartman Booster Jump Cable with UL Listed
Cartman Booster Jump Cable with UL Listed
 
Review of EPAuto Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cable

EPAuto Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cable

EPAuto Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cable

Copper - That's What Matters!

In spite of their relatively low price, these EPAuto cables provide excellent durability and conductivity. These cables are made of pure copper, which provides positively low resistivity, high conductivity, and perfect flexibility. The 4 gauge cables are 20 ft long, which is enough to connect them to another car and boost the engine. Keep in mind that you’ll never get excellent conductivity with aluminium, but these jumper cables give you a conductivity of 500A thanks to copper. Another pleasant surprise is the copper coated clamps. Due to their low resistivity, a lot of power can be transmitted even through an extremely drained battery in no time. Of course, some metals are better than copper: silver, for example. However, silver jumper cables would cost far too much!

Review of EPAuto Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cable

Obvious Benefit

EPAuto cables are a good choice owing to their quality, efficiency, and low price. This affordable model has a number of advantages, among which are not only the cable length, amperage and gauge, but also a good set of accessories, such as a special bag for easy storage and a pair of gloves that will come in handy and protect your hands from oil and other liquids while you're fiddling with your engine.

 

 

EPAuto Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cable in the use

Good Alternative

As for the dead battery problem, remember several options that will help you get out of the unpleasant situation without any jumper cables at all:

1) you may use pre-chargers (Jump Starters) as an external source of battery power;

2) no device is needed if you just push-start your car or have it in tow for a while (no good for some cars, especially for those stuffed with electronics);

3) why not trying a good old hand-crank method (that might be impossible, though, for the newest cars)?

P.S. It’s interesting that the so-called boosting is used not only by car owners. An external power source can be used to start virtually all wheel-tracked vehicles (even tanks and special vehicles). Any suitable voltage and power source can be used for that purpose, even mobile power generators, independent power plants or industrial DC converters.

More Products to Consider

In winter you will surely benefit from Hopkins 532 Mallory 26" Snow Brush. This special brush (that is 26 inches long and has four lines of hard bristles) is designed for cleaning snow off your windshield.

EPAuto Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cable application

EPAuto Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cable
EPAuto Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cable
 

SOURCES:

1. Philip Reed, How To Jump-Start a Car, Edmunds. June 19, 2015.

2. How do Jumper Cables Work?eBay. June 29, 2014.

3. American Wire Gauge, Wikipedia. July 28, 2016.

4. Jonathan Maxwell, Best Jumper Cables, Thoroughly Reviewed

5.  Kenny L, Top 6 Best Jumper Cables [Review] 2016, Online Fanatic. March 14, 2016.

6. How to Boost a Car Battery, The Globe and Mail. August 23, 2012.

7. How to Use Jumper Cables, HowStuffWorks.

8. How do I Determine What Type of Jumper Cable I Should Carry?. StackExchange. June 11, 2014.