The 9 Best Extension Cords

Updated November 28, 2017

9 Best Extension Cords
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you're positioning lighting and electronics in your home or office, running power tools in the garage, or using landscaping equipment in the back yard, you'll almost certainly need one or more of these extension cables to keep everything powered up. We've included models good for indoor use as well as some that are perfect for outdoor decorations. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best extension cord on Amazon.

9. Ubercords 3 Prong

If you just need a few more feet of cable on an appliance or two around your home or office, the Ubercords 3 Prong could be the right choice for you. This quality item can help increase the effectiveness of your space without cluttering the area with excess wire.
  • great for kitchen appliances
  • available in 3 different sizes
  • longest model is only 15 feet
Brand Ubercords
Model UC-6-2
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Axis 45505

Featuring 3 separate outlets and an 8-foot length, the very low-cost Axis 45505 was designed for indoor use with appliances that require a grounded power source. Its plug's low-profile, right-angle head gives it the ability to fit unobtrusively in most sockets.
  • available in six different colors
  • hanging loop on the end
  • sockets are somewhat loose
Brand Axis
Model 45505
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Tripp Lite Standard

The Tripp Lite Standard is rated for a ten amp load and is sold in four sizes up to a 25-foot length. Made of 18 gauge wire, its construction is thinner and more flexible than other options, so it works well for indoor use.
  • adheres to rohs safety standards
  • covered by lifetime warranty
  • not for heavy-duty applications
Brand Tripp Lite
Model P022-025
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Master Electrician Landscape

Available in both green and white vinyl, the Master Electrician Landscape is great for permanent or temporary lawn fixtures ranging from holiday decorations to waterfalls in a backyard koi pond. Its 16-gauge, 3-wire setup is sufficient for almost any application.
  • resistant to oil and the elements
  • purpose-built for outdoor use
  • only available in 20-foot length
Brand Master Electrician
Model 02352-05ME
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Coleman Cable Slender Plug

The angled orientation of the 12-foot-long Coleman Cable Slender Plug keeps the wall outlet free of clutter and open for other devices, enabling you to get the most out of your home wiring and making this a great option for use in a home office or professional setting.
  • polarized and grounded design
  • sits nearly flush against wall
  • for indoor use only
Brand Coleman Cable
Model 35188801
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Prime Wire EC50

The 50-foot-long, 16-gauge Prime Wire EC50 is a great medium-duty cord for use with lawn equipment such as leaf blowers, weed whackers, or hedge trimmers. It's also a good choice for holiday lights or other powered outdoor decorations.
  • nickel-plated plug won't corrode
  • fire-resistant construction
  • popular and affordable purchase
Brand Prime Wire & Cable
Model EC501630
Weight 4.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. US Wire 74100

Transport electricity safely with the highly visible US Wire 74100, an excellent choice for any indoor or outdoor construction project. 100 feet of 12-gauge wire wrapped in non-marking high-impact insulation makes this one of the most durable options available.
  • lights up when plugged in
  • resistant to the elements
  • works great even in low temps
Brand US Wire and Cable
Model 74100
Weight 14.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. 360 Electrical Habitat

Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, the 360 Electrical Habitat shows that a functional item like an extension cable can also be attractive and decorative. This grounded, 3-outlet unit is great for the office, living room, or dormitory.
  • angled plug for space efficiency
  • comes in 8- or 15-foot lengths
  • more flexible than most options
Brand 360 Electrical
Model 360424
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Watt's Wire Pigtail

Coming in multiple lengths from 2 feet to 100, the Watt's Wire Pigtail offers more functionality than most other cables on the market. It's got three heavy-duty, grounded female outlets, and the end lights up when power is flowing.
  • optional ground-fault interrupter
  • rugged coating resists abrasion
  • durable plug won't corrode or rust
Brand Watt's Wire
Model pending
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

The Importance Of Power

Electricity has changed the world in innumerable ways. It was named after the Greek word for amber after the ancients discovered that magnetism was generated when they rubbed two pieces of the stone together. And while rocks and eels have demonstrated its existence for millennia, it was only about 400 years ago that scientists would begin to theorize on the empirical aspects of the then-misunderstood concept of electrical charge. Ever since Ben Franklin made a shocking discovery with a wet string, a key, and a kite during a lightning strike, electricity has taken the scientific realm by storm. And researchers across the world have used this incredible phenomenon to create impressive technology.

The electricity that powers the several-nanometer-thick circuits in today's fastest chips is the same stuff that lit up the first powered homes in the late 19th century. The force that ignited the fuel of the earliest automobiles is, ultimately, the same one that is produced by the thousands of megawatts at nuclear plants across the world.

It's impossible to overlook this pervasive influence on humanity. Access to indoor lighting let humans take advantage of all hours of the day and night, increasing productivity. In fact, this led to the reduction of a popular phenomenon in civilized society called segmented sleep that people naturally employed to make it through the useful dark hours. Life-essential services like air conditioning and heating keep people safe and healthy, and they usually need to be plugged in. Similarly, electric refrigeration and cooking methods like freezers and microwaves have revolutionized the food game for chefs, families, and college students alike.

So what, exactly, is electricity, and how does it get from a from a huge, steam-driven turbine to your toaster at home?

Why All The Negativity?

Every piece of matter (that we know of, at least) is made up of negatively charged electrons orbiting a nucleus comprised of protons and, usually, neutrons — positively and neutrally charged particles, respectively. Electrical charge occurs when electrons are floating free of the strong bonds that normally keep them adhered to an atom. Substances susceptible to electrical charge are noted by their available valence electrons, which are free to move in and out of the outer ring of electrons orbiting the nucleus. When multiple such conductive atoms are located close together, as in a wire, that charge is able to move from molecule to molecule along a completed circuit. This flow is what we call electricity.

One interesting note is that despite all the technological advancements of the last century, some of the most popular and cutting-edge methods of energy production rely on the same principle as some of the earliest engines: steam power. From old-school, high-pollution coal plants to modern, somewhat intimidating nuclear facilities, all of this large-scale technology is used primarily to heat water. That steam spins a massive turbine, powering a generator and beginning the chain reaction of free electrons pushing one another all the way to your home.

Of course, that current goes through a few steps before it reaches your home. It's packed into overhead power lines at extremely high voltages to limit the energy lost as it travels down the wires. When the charge reaches the vicinity of its destination, like a neighborhood or an office building, it runs through a set of transformers that break it down into usable levels, usually between 110 and 240 volts. At that point, it's routed through distribution lines to each home and business's electricity meter, through a circuit breaker, and ultimately to wall outlets throughout the building. And that's where electrical wiring becomes the consumer's responsibility.

The Right Cord For The Job

Most municipalities enforce building codes that ensure that each room in a house has a minimum number of outlets a certain distance from one another. While this is a threshold requirement, there are many situations where appliances both small and large don't have the cord length to quite reach the wall plug. Some of these devices are simple and don't use much power, like a floor lamp or small fan. These might only need light-duty extension cords with only positive and negative wires. A lot of these cords are thinner and more flexible than heavy-duty models, making them perfect for use in the office or living room.

High-powered appliances, especially those with heating elements or large fans, will often require grounded plugs. The third prong on a grounded outlet sends excess power straight into the Earth in case of a power surge, preventing possible disaster in the event of a short circuit. It's critical to the safety of the user and the equipment to use a grounded outlet whenever you're using power tools or surge protectors.

It's also important to plan for where you'll be using the cord. Some units have great features, like multiple three-prong plugs, but aren't necessarily designed to be used outdoors or with heavy-duty equipment. As a rule, the thicker the cable, the more power it can handle. The most durable, high-quality options available have features like 12-gauge wire, multiple outlets, and high-impact, weather-resistant insulation. The durability of the protective covering on an extension cord is of particular concern if you'll be using it in the yard and garden or any kind of adverse conditions. Additionally, some models can be tucked away in landscaping or furniture arrangements thanks to their inconspicuous green, brown, or black coloring. Other, brightly colored orange or yellow cables are better for maintenance and on-the-job use because of their high visibility.

At first glance, it might seem like an extension cable is just an extension cable, without much variance. But there are plenty of specialized options with different purposes, and one of them is certain to fit your exact needs.

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Last updated on November 28, 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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