Many don’t realize that it really does matter which kind of jumper cables you buy. Who cares if they were on sale with an additional 30% off if the stinkin’ things won’t jump start your car when it’s dead?!
How to Choose Jumper Cables – Minimum Specs
- Cost: MSRP around $40-$60. Amazon has a great selection of jumper cables for reasonable prices.
- Width: Thicker is better but can be deceiving, as can the ‘heavy-duty’ label. Check the gauge amount instead.
- Gauge: 10 is garbage, 8 is plenty sufficient, 6 is better, 4 is probably more than you’ll need (unless you need to jump a semi-truck). The lower the gauge, the more power goes through and the faster it will charge.
- Clamp: The more sturdy the clamp, the better it will stay. If it has teeth, it’s even more reassuring that the clamps won’t slip off the battery terminals. Also, solid rubber-coated handles will lessen chances of shock.
- Length: At least 12′ for a basic reach.
These are good to have on hand in case of emergency. However, it’s even better if you learn how to use jumper cables.