The obvious thing that most car owners tend to forget is that, although you should always have a set of jumper cables in the car, you are probably not going to get to use them more than once every couple of years.
For that reason, when choosing a good set of heavy duty jumper cables you need to look at the way they were put together more than anything else. Of course, you need a good, big gouge jumper cable that will allow you to quickly start a car with a dead battery, but you also need to be wary not to carry around extra thick, heavy cables, or cables that are too short for your needs.
So keeping that in mind we have come up with the following list of the best heavy duty jumper cables on the market. Right after the list you can find our in depth reviews for each product, as well as our reasons for choosing those particular products over anything else out there.
We are also going to touch a little bit on the kind of car each cable is used for and how long you should wait to start the car.
Energizer 1-Gauge Heavy Duty Jumper Battery Cables
- ENERGIZER 25 FEET JUMPER CABLES - 1 Gauge, 25 FT booster battery jumper...
- THICK VINYL COATING - Includes a strong spring and a comfortable handle for...
- CARRYING CASE INCLUDED - Our Energizer jumper cables come with a high-grade...
- TANGLE FREE CCA BOOSTER CABLES - 25 Foot length makes it easy to reach from...
The Energizer 1-Gauge heavy duty jumper cables really are the thickest, heaviest jumper cable on this list. In fact, it is safe to assume that you would be hard pressed to find thicker cables from any regular car accessories seller. The 1-gauge cables are thick enough to allow massive amounts of electricity to be passed between 2 cars. Obviously, the bigger the car that is being jump started is, the thicker the cable needs to be. So anything as big or bigger than a family sized SUV, truck, flat bed or even RV will need these types of cables to start.
Still, you should take into consideration that the jumper cables are only allowing the power to flow from one car to another. So, if the working car is a small saloon, it will not be able to immediately jump start a big truck. In those type of situations, you will need to connect that 2 cars, and allow the smaller car to charge the battery on the truck for about 10 to 15 minutes. After that, the onboard 12 volt battery, together with the power provided by the smaller car, should be enough to jump start a truck.
The purpose for that small lesson in auto maintenance and repair was to point out that the 1-Gauge jumper cables still have their drawbacks. They are so thick that they take up quite a lot of trunk space, they are difficult to maneuver because they are so thick, and they need to be hooked up to an appropriately big car. However, if these issues do not dissuade you, the Energizer 1-Gauge jumper cables do have the advantage that they can be used to instantly jump start any car, in any weather, and without any additional effort than properly hooking them up.
Iron Forge Tools Jumper Cables
- VERSATILE JUMPER CABLE designed to work in all weather climates. Perfect...
- EASY-TO-USE tangle free cables.
- COLOR CODED: Red (+), Black (-)
- COMES WITH CARRY BAG for quick, convenient storage. 20 Ft long, 2 Gauge,...
- LIFETIME REPLACEMENT WARRANTY – Iron Forge Tools stands behind all of its...
When it comes to jumper cables the trick is to balance the amount of power they can provide with their ease of use. Ideally, you would want to buy the thickest jumper cables and then you will be sure to jump start anything from a Toyota Aygo to a Land Rover Discovery. However, the thicker the cables are the more difficult they are to use.
So as a general rule of thumb, if you drive anything in the SUV class and up, or anything from a 6V engine and up, you should stick to the first two items on this list, meaning the Energizer 1-Gauge or the Iron Forge Tools Jumper Cables.
However, because of all the reason given in the Energizer 1-Gauge jumper cables review, the better alternative between our top 2 products, is the Iron Forge Tools, 2 Gauge jumper cables. They are still thick enough that you will probably be able to start any car or truck as soon as you have hooked it up to a working vehicle. In extreme cases, meaning your old battery is completely flat, it is extremely cold, and the engine on your car needs heavy cranking to start due to other issues, you may need to let your regular battery to charge for a few minutes.
Still, most of the times you are not going to be in one of those extreme situations and there is a lot to be said about using more malleable cables. You need to remember that in the cold the plastic casing on the cables also gets very rigid, so thinner, easier to work cables are preferable.
You should also take into consideration the fact that the Iron Forge Tools jumper cables have some heavy duty, powerful clamps. Those are just as important, if not even more important than the cables, because on old batteries there is so much salt and dirt covering the terminals that you need strong clamps that can bit through all of that to make a strong connection with the car.
Cartman Booster Cable 4 Gauge
- Fits top and side post batteries; Comes with a carry bag for easy storage.
- Sufficient CCA (Copper coated Aluminium).
- Ideal for use with full size cars and cargo vans, mid-size pickup truck.
- Ergonomically designed with shielded surfaces for safety
- TPR material of cable, low temperature immunity (-25C/-13F)
It simply cannot be stated enough just how important it is to get the right sized cables for the right sized car. The Cartman booster cables are ideal for average sized family saloons, cargo vans and even mid sized pickup trucks. They are extremely flexible and light and can easily be tucked under a front seat ready to be used at a moment’s notice. In terms of thickness, at the 4 gauge level, they may not instantly start an SUV, but they will definitely allow enough power to pass between 2 cars that even a large truck will start after 20 minutes of charging.
The other great thing about these particular 4 gauge jumper cables is that they are made by Cartman. The truth is that all of the brands we have featured on this list are excellent ones whose names are a guarantee of quality, but Cartman is the only one who have built a reputation relying mostly on the quality of their jumper cables. The attention to detail they have put into every aspect of these jumper cables is simply amazing. The clamps are made from a copper coated aluminum, only they have used an extra thick layer of copper to make sure it does not get scratched off after a couple of times using it.
The other impressive feature of the Cartman jumper cables is that they are made from TPR, a material that does not become rigid when the temperature drops. They are actually certified to -13 degrees, so they will feel just as malleable when you pull them out of the trunk on cold winter morning as they will feel in the store when you buy them.
NoOne Jumper Cables
The NoOne Jumper Cables are the thrust into modernity millennials need, but they do come at an extra cost. These are the jumper cables you would give your son, going to college, because they will beep and stop working if he hooks them up the wrong way around. These are also the cables you would give you husband who has jump started more cars than he cares to admit because they have a fancy little voltmeter built in that lets him know just how much cranking power is being transferred from one car to the other.
Does the son need that level of protection and does the husband need a new fancy toy to play with? That is really up to you. The NoOne Jumper Cables are on this list more as a present idea, because they are the second 4 gouge cables we have decided to feature. They will definitely be of use, and they will definitely make someone smile because of the extra features. However, you do not absolutely need to pay the extra money for those features. They are definitely nice to have, and, in very specific conditions they can make the difference between easily jump starting a car or having to call road side assistance, but they definitely cost a little bit extra.
Cartman Booster Cable 8 Gouge
- 5 Year Warranty! UL listed: AU5253
- Fits top and side post batteries; Luxurious carry bag for free. Sufficient...
- Over 50% greater conductor size than that of a 10 Gauge. Ideal for use with...
- Twice grip design for better conductivity and tension.
- TPR material of cable, low temperature immunity (-13F/ -25C)
We have talked about the Cartman brand already so there is really very little to say about the last jumper cables on our list except to point out that these are even thinner and therefore even more malleable and easier to store away. Obviously, they are also allowing less power to flow through which means they will only jump start a fairly small to medium sized car. In time they could provide enough power to a large pick-up’s battery that they would start even that, but then you really need to think of these as booster cables rather then jumper cables. They will boost the power in another car’s battery to the point where it will start, but they definitely can’t jump start a truck in a matter of minutes.
However, if you own a small car, you can have them always handy for your own needs. You can still hook them up to any size car or truck to get power to jump start your own car and, provided you have small enough engine, like the 3 cylinder one you find on the smaller Suzuki-s, then you will even be able to jump start it in minutes without having to wait for the original battery to pick up some power.