Dealing with a dead battery is a very common problem you will face at any time. To avoid getting a wrench thrown in your day, you must keep a good jumper cable in your vehicle.
The jumper cable connects your vehicle’s battery to the source of power, which is usually a second running vehicle. Cable jumper’s prices vary depending on the quality and durability.
In this article, we provide you with a detailed guide about the best jumper cables that are suitable for your vehicle. Besides, we explain the different types of jumper cables along with the top jumper cables brands. Lastly, we will list the different pricing categories for jumper cables besides their capabilities and limitations.
What is a jumper cable?
The jumper cable is an electrical cable used to connect two vehicles to charge one of their batteries.
The battery is not designed to supply your vehicle’s electrical system with the required power; however, it only provides the first electrical shock needed by the starter. Once the starter works, your vehicle’s alternator takes care of supplying the electrical system with power.
A battery can die at any point in time despite your regular maintenance due to many reasons. One of the most common reasons causing a dead battery is leaving the lights or any other electrical devices running while the vehicle is shut down.
Jumper cable is the most traditional way of charging a dead battery. To “jump-start” your vehicle, you would need to supply your vehicle with the required voltage from another running vehicle.
What are the different types of jumper cables?
There are two common types of jumper cables, including smart cables and battery boosters.
- Smart cables
Smart cables are electrical connectors with a “reverse polarity indicator.” This indicator beeps or tones when you don’t have the proper connection between your battery and the other vehicle.
That been said, smart cables do not have a power bank and will always require a second vehicle to charge your battery.
- Battery boosters
Battery boosters or portable jumpers work like a battery bank with the required amount of power needed to charge your vehicle’s dead battery. In other words, with a battery booster, you won't need a second vehicle to charge your car.
As it is clear from the two types of jumper cables, the smart cables are considered more affordable and are recommended for inexpensive vehicles. On the other hand, battery boosters are recommended for larger, more expensive vehicles. It is important to know that the battery boosters take up a lot of space and are not recommended if you have very limited space.
Best Jumper Cables
Now you understand why the jumper cables are needed and how they work, it is very important to obtain a very good jumper cable that allows you to charge your battery without getting into lots of hassle.
In this section, we will provide you with the list of the three best jumper cables for the year 2020, as recommended by many automotive experts.
- Energizer jumper battery cables
According to Thedrive.com, the energizer jumper battery cable was ranked as the top jumper cable for this year for many reasons.
This jumper cable is suitable for all vehicles despite their make, model, or year. Furthermore, it doesn’t require any high level of skills to be used and is considered the most user-friendly for this year.
The energizer jumper cable comes in 20 feet long with two gauges in a very nice carrying bag. The cable has a two-year warranty.
On the other hand, several people complained that the jumper’s clamps are very few making it very hard to grip the battery. Furthermore, the clamps are very heavy, which makes it a little challenging for many drivers.
- OxGord Commercial grade jumper cables
OxGord Commercial Grade jumper cable made it to the second place in this list with lots of great features. This jumper cable comes in a 25-foot long and is equipped with four wiring gauges.
The OxGord Commercial Grade jumper cable comes with the best value among the others in this list and provides 500 amps of power. Regarding safety, this cable comes in a thermoplastic grip protecting it from temperature risk.
Despite the long list of great features about this jumper cable, it still has a couple of drawbacks reported by automotive experts and customer reviews.
The jumper is limited to certain types of vehicles due to the four-gauge wiring. Furthermore, the design of the clamps comes in a parrot-style making it harder to grip the battery.
- EPAuto Heavy-Duty jumper cable
As the name suggests, the EPAuto provides the most durable and powerful jumper cable suitable for most vehicles with larger engines under the hood.
The jumper has a one-gauge wiring set allowing it to jump-start all sorts of vehicles except the semis. Interestingly, the EPAuto provides a set of gloves and a carry bag that are very handy in cases of emergencies.
While the EPAuto is a great heavy-duty jumper cable, several customers complained about the very heavy and super expensive jumper cable compared to most other jumper cables in the same class.
What are the top jumper cable brands?
Like any other industry, several jumper cable brands stand out among most competitors, including:
Energizer is one of the industry leaders when it comes to car batteries and jumper cables. They’ve been in business for a little over 35 years and have their headquarter in St. Louis, Missouri.
Voilamart is another big name in the car battery industry and cable jumpers making. This company is headquartered in Australia and provides service to both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Besides the battery making, Voilamart also provides services related to the kitchen, beauty, electronic making, and others.
The last common brand in the battery jumper making field is Pennzoil. Pennzoil is located in Houston, Texas, and started its business since 1913. Pennzoil is known for making the top heavy-duty cable jumpers and several oil change types.
How much does a jumper cable cost?
Depending on the type and capability of the jumper cables, expect to pay between $1 to $60. Of course, the cheaper the jumper cable, the more limited it is. Thus, you must understand the capability and durability of each one to avoid needing to purchase a new one every time you have a dead battery.
Here is a list of jumper cables categories by price:
- Jumper cables ranging from $1 to $15
These are the cheapest jumper cables. They usually come in a very low-quality plastic material that doesn’t last for a long time. Most of them come with six or eight gauge clampers and are 10-12 feet long.
- Jumper cables ranging from $20 to $35
The majority of jumper cables in this category are a little longer than 12 feet. As you get closer to the $35, the jumper cables accessories increase to include some carrying bags.
- Jumper cables ranging from $40 to $60
These are the most expensive jumper cables due to high quality and durability. The jumper cables in this category come with different accessories like gloves, carrying bags, and others.
They also have one or two gauge wiring systems allowing them to suit almost all types of vehicles.
What should I consider when shopping for a jumper cable?
There are many things you need to keep in mind when shopping for a jumper cable.
The first thing you need to consider is the purpose of your jumper cable. If you are planning to use it for a heavy-duty vehicle or truck, then it is not recommended to buy a cheap low-quality jumper cable as it will not serve your purpose.
Another thing to consider is the warranty associated with the jumper cable. Usually, the warranty is added to take care of any jumper cable. However, it might not be worth buying a warranty, especially if your jumper cable is cheap.
Lastly, you need to take a closer look at the different parts of the jumper cable and confirm their material’s durability. For instance, check the gauges, the amperage, the cable length, the protective coating, and the cable clamps.
It is always recommended that you keep a jumper cable in your vehicle to avoid disturbing your day with a dead battery. There are many types of jumper cables and different brands in the market.
Many people find it challenging to decide which jumper cable is best for their vehicle. In this article, we provided a list of the three top-rated best jumper cables, as reported by automotive experts.
The first jumper cable is the Energizer, followed by the OxGord, and lastly, the EPAuto. Every one of these jumper cables has its pros and cons.
It is very important to familiarize yourself with the different pros and cons of each one so you can make an informed decision about which one suits your vehicle.