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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Best Jumper Cables – 5 Great Options

 photo by GCShutter via iStock

The use of jumper cables can be extremely helpful when your car battery dies, and you need to get it jump-started with another car or vehicle’s battery. They can also be used as a temporary power source connection for other things like portable radios, lights, and more!

There are a few reasons why you should always have a set of jumpers in your vehicle…

First, if your car battery dies, you can use the jumper cables to get it jump-started. Second, if you ever find yourself stranded with a dead battery, you can use the jumper cables to connect to another car and use their battery to power your vehicle until you can get it towed or fixed. Finally, if you’re ever in an emergency situation and need some extra power, the jumper can come in handy!

This article will walk you through the big question ‘what’s a jumper’ and how to use them. Additionally, we’ll give you our top five recommendations for the best jumper cables and provide you with an alternative for regular jumpers as well.

Table of Contents

What are Jumper Cables?

jumper cables on a battery - best jumper cables

 photo by joebelanger via iStock

A jumper, also called a booster cable, is a length of insulated wire with crocodile clips on each end. It is used to create a temporary electrical connection between two vehicles. Jumper cables are usually used to start a vehicle that has a dead battery.

A booster cable creates a temporary electrical connection between two vehicles. The wires are attached to the batteries of each vehicle. When the batteries are connected, the electrical current flows from one battery to the other. This current is used to start the engine of the vehicle with the dead battery.

It’s essential to have the right length of cables in your car as you may not always have the ability to park side to side to someone that needs a jump-start. For two traditional cars, a 16-foot cable is sufficient. However, if you both own a full-size truck, you will need long cables, preferably one that is 25 feet.

How Do I Jump-Start My Car?

woman jumpstarting her car

 photo by djedzura via iStock

A car battery can die for a variety of reasons – a faulty alternator, a leaky battery, old age, and leaving the lights on are some common causes. If your car battery dies and you need to jump-start it, follow these steps on how to use jumper cables:

  1. Make sure your car is in Park, and the parking brake is engaged.
  2. Turn off the engine.
  3. Pop the hood and locate the battery.
  4. Connect the red jumper cable to the dead battery’s positive (+) terminal.
  5. Connect the other end of the red jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal of the good battery.
  6. Connect the black jumper cable to the negative (-) terminal of the good battery.
  7. Connect the other end of the black jumper cable to the negative (-) terminal or a metal part beneath your dead battery, away from the engine block and any moving parts. This will ensure you do not accidentally set off your airbags when you attempt to start your car. Do not connect this end to a component made of rubber or plastic, such as a door sill, as it can cause a short.
  8. Turn on the good car’s engine and let it idle for a few minutes, then attempt to start your dead car.
  9. If the dead car does not start right away, let it sit for a little while longer before trying again. Be careful not to leave both engines running; there may not be an adequate amount of gas in the tank to keep idling.
  10. Once your dead car’s engine starts, disconnect the cables in the reverse order they were connected: black cable attached to the metal part beneath the dead battery, the black cord attached to the good battery, then red cables unattached from both batteries.

What are the Best Jumper Cables?

close up of hand using a jumper cable

 photo by Daisy-Daisy via iStock

Of course, we wouldn’t leave you hanging without our top 5 list of the best jumper cables. We’ll specify what makes each of these a candidate for our best jumper cables list and what sets them apart from the others.

Energizer Jumper Cables 12ft/10-gauge

Best Jumper Cables Energizer Jumper Cables

These jumper cables from Energizer are on the best jumper cables list because they are by far your best budget option. They are a simple set of straightforward clamps and cables that will simply get the job done. These cables are available in 12-16 and 20 feet lengths and are number one on Amazon in the best jumper cables list. 

A simple carry case is included as well as two years warranty.

  • Price: $15.99
  • Length: 12 feet
  • Gauges: 10-gauge

Other Lengths Available

TOPDC Jumper Cables 20ft/2-gauge

TOPDC Jumper Cables

The TOPDC jumper cables are among the best jumper cables available for a quick jump-start to any car. The clamp jaws are made of pure copper on both sides with a solid grip to allow a quick boost for your battery than most other cables in this top five best jumper cables list could. The clamps are also wholly isolated to provide extra protection against rust and corrosion and, of course, for the user’s safety. 

The cable itself is made of a durable outer material that has no issues with colder weather. The insulated PVC material stays flexible in extreme cold and is a tangle-free design. The copper-coated aluminum wiring on the inside is the reason why this is on the best jumper cables list, as it has a higher conducting value than most other cables and will save you time. 

To top it off, it comes with a small brush to clean the battery post before use to ensure the best conductivity possible, all stored in a neat bag. And a whopping five years of warranty. That is the most extended warranty given in this list and another reason why this is one of the best jumper cables.

  • Price: $36.99
  • Length: 20 feet
  • Gauges: 2

Other Lengths Available

Energizer Jumper Cables 16ft/2-gauge

best jumper cables Energizer Jumper Cables 16ft

This is another set of the best jumper cables from the brand Energizer that is also high ranking in the best jumper cables list on Amazon. These cables are tangle-free with a thick vinyl coating that will keep them flexible even in the coldest circumstances. In addition, this brand always comes with a 2-year warranty included on all their products and will not leave you hanging.

  • Price: $29.95
  • Length: 16 feet
  • Gauges: 2

Other Lengths Available

NoOne Jumper Cables 16ft/6-gauge

best jumper cables NoOne Jumper Cables

We don’t want to admit it, but most of us are always in doubt where the red clamp goes. At least for a brief moment. This set is one of the best jumper cables out there for those who never seem to remember where colors go. 

These NoOne jumper cables might be the best jumper cables to give to your teenage daughter or son, just to ensure they are protected if they freak out and do it the wrong way around. The intelligent protector lights up either green or red to indicate whether the clamps are connected correctly. This way, they never have to worry about doing it wrong and can safely make a mistake without short-circuiting their car (or someone else’s). 

The solid gripping clamps have superior grip force to ensure better conductivity and tension no matter how often the clamps are used. The clamps are also coated with insulation rubber making them safe to use. This cable is also covered with premium PVC resistant to freezing, cracking, and folding. It will also stay flexible in icy weather circumstances. They also come with a three-year warranty to make sure you have one of the best jumper cables out there and have excellent service and warranty.

  • Price: $22.98
  • Length: 16 feet
  • Gauges: 6

Other Lengths Available

Energizer Jumper Cables with Built-in LED Lights 20ft/2gauge

best jumper cables Energizer Jumper Cables with Built-in LED Lights

The Energizer 20 feet Jumper Cables will let you jump-start your car in just about any weather conditions. What makes these cables different from all the others is the built-in LEDs in the clippers. With these cables, you will no longer need to try and shine your phone flashlight while connecting these in the dark. The LEDs work with a replaceable battery and automatically turn on when you open one of the clamps. 

These jumpers have a thick vinyl coating and include a strong spring with a comfortable custom-made handle for secure positioning. It also has shelled vinyl-coated clamps that protect against corrosion and rust. In addition, the 20-foot long cable is tangle-free and comes with a standard 2-year warranty to make sure you can power and jump-start your car when you need to.

  • Price: $52.99
  • Length: 20 feet
  • Gauges: 2

Other Lengths Available

A Better Option Than Jumper Cables

HULKMAN Alpha 85S jump starter

An alternative to the list of best jumper cables we just mentioned would be the HULKMAN Alpha 85S jump starter.

This 2000Amp 2000mAh car starter isn’t technically a jumper cable, as it completely removes the necessity of a second car being needed in the equation. 

With the HULKMAN Alpha 85S 2000 mAh Preheat Portable Car Booster Pack, you can jump-start your vehicle in the blink of an eye. This starter is strong enough to jump-start any gas-powered vehicle with up to an 8.5L engine and any diesel vehicle with an engine under 6L. 

The HULKMAN 82S jump starter has an easy-to-read screen to make sure you know whether it’s ready and charged. And it can be charged through USB-A USB-C and a 12V DC Port. In other words, it gives you the freedom to go anywhere and never worry about a dead battery again. 

You don’t have to worry about charging it after every use, either, as the HULKMAN 85S can jump-start up to 60 times with a single charge. Thanks to the Pre-Heat technology, it also works in the extreme cold and comes with a 24-month hassle-free warranty and lifetime technical support.

So, if you’re in the market for the best jumper cables, you might actually find that the best ones aren’t jumper cables at all!

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