Best 12 Gauge Extension Cord in 2021 – Why Do You Need This?

best 12 gauge extension cord It is rare to have all the outlets in your house to be exactly where you want them every time. Sooner or later, you will find out the position is not working out for you. That is the time when you should consider buying a 12 gauge extension cord.

The charging cable is not long enough? Does the TV need moving? Cannot set up a piece of equipment where you want to? The solution is to get an extension cord. These gauges are very capable of handling all the daily affairs in your house.

As there are many variants, it is normal to get confused. But, don’t worry, I have made a list of the extension cords that will serve you best.

Now have a quick look at all of my top picked products below:

1. Amazon Basics 12/3 Outdoor – Best 12 gauge extension cord

15 amperes, handles up to 1875 watts, 3 prong plugs, 3 sockets at the end, vinyl protection, all copper construction.

2. Southwire 25890002 – Runner-Up

Has lighted ends, great outdoor use, durable construction, UL-rated temperature, handles 125 volts and 15 amps, water resistant.

3. Amazon Basics 15-Foot – Best Budget

Solid material, durable build, support from NEMA 5-15R to NEMA 5-15P, 15 ft length, ideal for home use, work with 125 volts at 13 amps.

4. DEWENWILS 40 FT – Retractable with 3 Grounded Outlets

UV light resistance, wall/ceiling mount, heavy-duty performance, reset button, 40 ft length, retractable, built-in circuit breaker

5. Amazon Commercial 12AWG x 65′ Feet – Long and Retractable

3 prong outlets, circuit-breaker, adjustable cord stopper, easy to store, 1875 wattage, 15 amps, retractable, wall mounting option.

6. ShineKee 15ft 12 Gauge – Affordable with 3 Outputs Ports

Made with copper, viable for both indoor and outdoor, great wattage, weatherproof, triple outlet, jacket made with high-quality PVC.

7. Watt’s Wire Short Yellow – Great for Both Indoor and Outdoor

Ensures minimal voltage drop, excellent power supply, corrosion, moisture resistance, great for outdoor, 120 volts, 15 amp, poly strands mixed

Should I Get A 12 Gauge Indoor or Outdoor Extension Cord?

Indoor and outdoor cables are very different as they are made with different purposes in mind. Let me give a depth explanation.

The insulation on indoor extension cords is handled with different materials than its outdoor peers. As these cords are designed to be used indoor so the more focus goes on performance than durability. They also tend to be shorter than their counterparts as extra length would not look efficient in a household setting.

On the other hand, outdoor extension cords come with heavier insulating materials. Their coating can face all kinds of outdoor weather from the heat of summer to the cold of winter. These cables are longer and normally can carry more current. Almost all the outdoor cords use three pins where most indoor cords are used with two-pin plugs.

How I Picked the Best 12 AWG Extension Cord

You will find all sorts of extension cords on amazon. They come in various shapes and sizes. As most of them look the same there is no way to tell better or worse. So, I looked for build material, their quality, cord capacity, plug, and a few more characteristics. Their budget also differs in several ways depending on different features. So, I tried to categorize the cords depending on what they bring to the table.

Just in case if you’re in a hurry….

Check these two of the best 12 AWG extension cords from my review unit. If you are in a hurry, you can trust my recommendation and thank me later.

Amazon Basics 12/3 – Best OverallSouthwire 25890002 – Runner-Up
    Amazon Basics 12:3 Outdoor Extension Cord
Input Current: 15 amps
Plug Type: Type B
Watt: 1875
Weight: 12.7 lbs.
Southwire 25890002 2589SW0002 Outdoor Cord
Input Current: 15 amps
Plug Type: Male-to-female
Watt: 1875
Weight: 12.65 lbs.

How to Choose a 12 Gauge Extension Cord? (The Buying Guide)

Let’s take an in-depth look at the features you should pay attention to. If you can hit all the right spots, I guarantee you won’t your purchase.

Plug Type

There is no reason to get home the type of plug that cannot get into the outlet in your house. It is easy to miss but makes you suffer the most. Always do a double-check if the plugs fit into your preferred outlet. The extension cords with multiple plugs would be a good choice if you want to use the cord with different types of outlets.

Also, it is better to choose one with a ground pin. Not all cords come with these pins, but I would suggest getting that type. Not only they offer a safer workflow but also, they provide stability too.

Length

Getting the right length is the crucial step. After all, you are getting one because you need an extended cable. The thing to remember is not to get the cord longer than necessary. Long cords make the voltage drop.

Indoor Cables

Indoor cords are available both with and without the ground pin variants. A 12 gauge extension cable might be overkill depending on the equipment you intend to run.

That is because these cords can go up to 1900 watts and 16 amperes. Which is more than most household machines. In case you are running a power-hungry machine in your house, then surely it is a great option. 

Outdoor Compatibility

The specialty of outdoor extension cords is their weather-resistant. Their coat is a lot thicker and built with different materials than the indoor ones. They are general purpose wires that are engineered to work in all kinds of weather while providing extra protection to internal wires. Unlike indoor cords, you can use outdoor cords in both indoor and outdoor setups.

GFCI Protection

GFCI Protection inhibits shock hazards that may occur. This is an excellent safety feature especially if you are working outdoors, or any place that is wet or has heavy moisture composition. As those places have more risks to work in, GFCI protection helps to mitigate them to some extent.

Top 7 Best 12 Gauge Extension Cord Reviews

1. Amazon Basics 12/3 Outdoor – Best Overall

Amazon Basics 12:3 Outdoor Extension Cord

Key Features:

  • Three sockets at the end
  • Full copper construction
  • Grounded cord for outdoors or indoor use
  • Offers protection against all kinds of weather

More Features: 15 amperes, handles up to 1875 watts, 3 prong plugs, 3 sockets at the end.

This 100 ft 12 gauge extension cord is made to the top place because it offers the best value for money. Not only it ensures top performance but also protects against all kinds of weather.

All Copper Construction

As copper is one of the best metals that efficiently conducts electricity, the use of this metal will ensure that you enjoy seamless performance. On top of that, you won’t suffer from any degradation over time.

Weather Resistance

It comes with a vinyl covering that offers protection against all kinds of weather. You won’t have to worry about the coating when working with moisture, direct sunlight, or abrasion. This gives you the flexibility to work under any conditions you need to.

The Good

The construction is durable and solid. The supply is always consistent. Comes at a decent price. The sturdiness is tough to beat.

The Bad

Prong plug design often does not work well with 2 prong plug. Can not be used with 220V.


2. Southwire 25890002 – Runner-Up

Southwire 25890002 2589SW0002 Outdoor Cord

Key Features:

  • Water-resistant
  • Highly visible color
  • Has reinforces blades
  • Performs well in both indoor and outdoor

More Features: has lighted ends, great outdoor use, durable construction, UL-rated temperature.

This is another top contender for the title. The only reason I put in the second position is the price point, which is a bit more than my top pick.

Durability

This extension cord comes with reinforced blades. That adds extra durability to protect the prongs from breaking. That means you will get to use this cord for a longer period. You won’t have to worry when working within the tight corners and you need to bend the cord.

Outdoor Ready

The bright color is always visible under all weather and circumstances. The coating will save the internal wiring from outdoor dangers. You can work without any worry from heavy sunlight to windy weather. The coat also protects it from abrasion other tools or equipment might cause.

The Good

Made of quality material. Has a durable and sturdy build. Very visible and has a light for indication. Offers heavy-duty performance.

The Bad

Not suitable for industrial use. Feels a bit stiff.


3. Amazon Basics 15-Foot – Best Budget

Amazon Basics 15-Foot

Key Features:

  • Works very well with devices like PC, monitors, printer
  • 15 feet maximum coverage
  • Can handle 125 volts and 13 amp
  • Weather-resistant

More Features: Solid material, durable build, support from NEMA 5-15R to NEMA 5-15P.

This Short extension cable is tough to beat for the price it comes at. You will get standard performance for a low price. This is the right choice if you need to work with a tight budget.

Plug Support

NEMA plugs are one of the common sockets in the US. This extension cord can be plugged into NEMA 5-15R to NEMA 5-15P, which covers most household plugs. So, you can just get one and plug it into the socket right away.

Ideal for home devices

The load average of this cord is well suitable for home appliances. It can easily handle monitors, laser printers, PCs, PDU, and large servers. In short, you won’t have to doubt if it can support your household item.

The Good

The price makes it very affordable. Offers the standard features. Ideal for using with home devices. The coating is thick enough to protect the environment.

The Bad

Not suitable for industrial use. The length of the cord is short.


4. DEWENWILS 40 FT – Retractable with 3 Grounded Outlets

DEWENWILS Retractable Extension Cord Reel

Key Features:

  • 40 ft long
  • Retractable design
  • Water and oil resistant
  • Built-in circuit breaker

More Features: UV light resistance, wall/ceiling mount, heavy-duty performance, reset button.

I put this card on the list because it comes with many useful features. These exceptional features make it very handy in all situations. Once you get used to it you cannot turn around. 

Retractable

The re-tractability of this cord really improves the ease of use. You won’t have to go through the hassle of maintaining each inch of the cable yourself. The ratcheting system can lock the cable at any length. This means this cord will only take the space it needs.

Extra Secure

If you get worried about short-circuiting sometimes, don’t be. If any occurrence like short-circuit or overload happens the built-in circuit-breaker will be activated. You just have to press the reset button again to use it as usual.

The Good

Has built-in circuit breaker. Three grounded outlets. Comes with a retractable design and easy to maintain. Swivel bracket for ceiling mount.

The Bad

Weight a little bit more than it peers. The reel needs to be used with care.


5. Amazon Commercial 12AWG x 65′ Feet – Long and Retractable

AmazonCommercial Extension Cord Reel Heavy Duty Retractable

Key Features:

  • Very long cable
  • Various mounting options
  • Automatically retracts
  • Heavy-duty solution

More Features: 3 prong outlets, circuit-breaker, adjustable cord stopper, easy to store.

This one is one of the longest cords out there. It can cover a long distance while mitigating hassle to the bare minimum. This 12 gauge retractable extension cord is also suitable for all kinds of environments. 

Extra-long

The 65 ft long cable length really suits them well who want to go the extra mile. As the distance is very long, you can use it in almost all scenarios. No matter what kind of distance you need there is a high chance it can cover that much.

Made for heavy-duty use

This cord is a general-purpose workhorse. Wherever you want to use it, it can perform. From home to commercial and industrial use, you can deploy it without any second thought. It was made ready to face any situation the user throws at it.

The Good

Very easy to install. Easy to pull out and retract. Swivel base allows to any direction. The pigtail length is decent.

The Bad

The reel is made of plastic. So, you will have to be careful when it is in use.


6. ShineKee 15ft 12 Gauge – Affordable with 3 Outputs Ports

Extension Cord 3ft, ShineKee 12 Gauge UL Listed Heavy Duty

Key Features:

  • Triple outlets
  • All-weather support
  • UL listed quality assurance
  • Made with high-quality PVC

More Features: Made with copper, viable for both indoor and outdoor, great wattage, weatherproof.

If you want an extension cord at an affordable price that benefits you with some extra features, then you have found it. I put this 12 gauge extension cord with 3 outlets on the list after considering the features and the price.

Excellent coating

The jacket of this cord with made with high-quality PVC. It can work from -40F to 130F. The thick coating also makes sure it lasts a long time. In short, it can face many harsh environments in any situation.

Top performance

The internal wire in this one is made with copper. The electricity transportation with happen with maximum efficiency. You would not have to deal too much with the voltage drop that happens with the long cords.

The Good

The coating is made from TPE material. Effective and safe performance. Work well with all home appliances. Weather-resistant build.

The Bad

Weight is a bit too much. Sometimes complications arise in connection. 


7. Watt’s Wire Short Yellow – Great for Both Indoor and Outdoor

whats Heavy Duty Lighted SJTW Indoor:Outdoor Extension Cord

Key Features:

  • Built with soft-drawn copper
  • The cords are double jacketed
  • Has poly strands added to them
  • Withstands high-temperature difference

More Features: Ensured minimal voltage drop, excellent power supply, corrosion, moisture resistance.

Its excellent durability makes it the best extension cord to be used in both indoor and outdoor facilities. The remarkable durability makes sure it can match your requirement in the field.

Excellent Durability

This 12 gauge outdoor extension cord not only has a thick coat but also has poly strands in them. The strands give added strength when it is used heavily days in days out. They can support max weight out 150 lbs without any damage. The coating has also made it resistant to fire, moisture, and corrosion. In short, it will last for a really long time.

Works with all the Tools

The soft-drawn copper makes sure the voltage drop is minimal. As the voltage drop is taken care of, and with 300V support you can use it for both home and industrial use with most of the equipment. Overall, they can handle almost any task you give them.

The Good

Made with top-quality materials. One of the most durable in the market. 300V rated cable.

The Bad

Stiffer than most of its peers. The lighted head does not light brightly in the day.


How Many Watts Can A 12 Gauge Extension Cord Handle?

A 12 gauge cord can handle up to 1920 watts. That covers almost all power-hungry equipment that is used in a household. From space heater to over, you can comfortably use them with peace of mind. Where you have to be careful is when you want to use it with industrial-grade machines like saw, motors, etc.

Many of those machines easily go over 2000 watts when working with full capacity. Which is over the limit of the 12 gauge cord. So, if you are hundred percent sure your machine won’t cross the limit, then you can use then with professional equipment.

How Many Amps Can A 12 Gauge Extension Cord Handle?

In general, a 12 gauge cable can easily hand 15-16 amps. But it is the voltage you should worry about. Let’s say you have got a 100 ft cable to work with a 12 gauge cord. The voltage drop proportionally increases with the length of the cable. For regular equipment like a heater, TV, lamps, etc. won’t cause any noticeable disturbance. If you are using a power-hungry tool like a saw or motor on the other end, problems might arise.

Bottom Line

All of the 12 gauge extension cords on the list are proven and worth the money.   In my personal opinion, I would suggest the Amazon Basics 12/3 Outdoor if you want the best of the bests. For long cords, Amazon Commercial 12AWG x 65′ Feet offer sufficient flexibility. If you find any other cords that suit your requirement, then go for them. You won’t regret purchasing any from this list.

About Jeremy

Hello! My name is Jeremy Bloomberg. I have been passionate about carpentry and DIY. Over the years, my passion slowly turned into expertise and wider knowledge about electronics. I’ve been involved in numerous projects, both professional and personal. I want to share all I have learned with you. Welcome!

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