You’ll find numerous videos and forums offering welders advice on how to make their own heavy-duty extension cords. These DIY projects might work in an emergency or save a few bucks, but it may also not meet the current industry or customer standards that are in place. If you aren’t using a welding extension cord while working at home and something happens, there is the possibility that your insurance may not cover any losses.
For this reason, the best welder extension cords are a product that should be strongly considered. With length options ranging from 25-75 feet in most instances, a small extra investment now could help to protect you should the unthinkable happen.
Here Are the Best Welder Extension Cords in One Chart
Welder extension cords come in a variety of lengths, features, and even voltage options. You’ll need to match up the needs of your welder with what the extension cord is able to provide. Here are the top-rated extension cords that have consistently proven that they can get the job done.
|Coleman Cable Welder Extension Cord|| 4.7 ||25 Feet|| $$$$ |
|Pro Grip Lighted Welding Extension Cord|| 4.9 ||50 Feet|| $$$$$+ |
|Pro Grip Customizable Lighted Welding Cord|| 4.8 ||25 Feet|| $$$ |
|Iron Forge Cable Outdoor Lighted Extension Cord|| 4.8 ||100 Feet|| $$$ |
|Pro Grip Blue MIG/TIG Lighted Welding Cord|| 4.9 ||25 Feet|| $$$ |
|Century Wire & Cable Right Angle Welding Cord|| 4.9 ||50 Feet|| $$$$$+ |
|Eastwood 20029 Welder Extension Cord|| 4.9 ||25 Feet|| $$$$$ |
|Century 8/3 Welder Cord|| 4.9 ||25 Feet|| $$$ |
|TerraBloom 50 foot 14/3 Extension Cord|| 4.8 ||50 Feet|| $ |
|Conntek RL14304 50-Amp Heavy Duty Extension Cord|| 3.9 ||15 feet|| $$$$ |
What Should the Best Welder Extension Cords Have?
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty welding extension cord that can meet all current customer and industry standards, then here are the key features that should be present.
- A 6-gauge copper cable with copper conductors for consistent energy transfer.
- A NEMA 6-50 plug and receptacle as these are an industry standard.
- Insulation that is resistant to both abrasions and chemical exposure.
- It must be UL-listed.
Assuming your welder or your plasma cutter has a 6-50 NEMA plug, then you’ll be able to make use of the extension cord with your equipment. Unless you are planning on extensive outdoor welding or cutting work, most home users can get away with a 25-foot extension cord. This allows you to bring your welding machine to your project.
It is important to note that having the “heavy-duty” description on the extension cord does not automatically guarantee that it will work with your welder. Many indoor/outdoor extension cords say that they are heavy duty, but their 125V rating is only 15 amps, using a 12/3 gauge/conductor. In comparison, most welder extension cords have a 220/240V rating of 50 amps, allowing you to safely use your equipment even though it hasn’t been directly plugged into an outlet.
What Happens If I Use a Standard Extension Cord?
If you use an underrated extension cord to power your equipment, then you are creating a dangerous situation. The result will be an excessive voltage drop, which can cause your welder to overheat and potentially catch on fire. You must not exceed the marked amperage on the cord. Assuming that you do not, then you can plug in multiple extension cords to reach your welding project if need be.
If your outlet is more than 150 feet away, however, you may wish to consider an alternative to your welding arrangement. One single extension cord of 75 feet will carry the current effectively. Connecting a second equal extension cord should still provide an adequate power source for your welder. It is possible to ruin a motor with an extended distance because the length of the circuit creates an amperage drop.
Concerns to Be Addresses with Welder Extension Cords
When you have an extension cord in use with your welding equipment, there are specific safety precautions that must be taken in order to prevent an injury.
The most common type of injury that occurs when using an extension cord is a tripping injury. If possible, you will want to secure the extension cord to the ground in some way. Although duct tape is a common solution, as is placing a rug over the tripping obstacle, these are also potential fire hazards that should be avoided. Look for plastic risers with fire-resistance that you can secure to the ground for the best possible solution.
If an extension cord is covered, then any heat that is being produced cannot escape. This increases the risks of a fire being created.
You will also want to seal any extension cord connections that may need to be made. This set can help to protect the connection on a temporary basis for a pretty affordable price: Click here to view the price on Amazon and get the best deal.
Extension cords should not be run through doorways, ceilings, walls, or floors either.
Although it may seem like common sense, the extension cord should not be modified in any way. Some older cords have four prongs on them, but newer outlets only offer three prongs. Cutting one off so the outlet can fit will likely damage the cord, the outlet, and your welder.
Does Your Electrical Network Support Your Welding?
It is common to have a welder purchase their equipment, including an extension cord, only to find that the circuits of their home do not support the amperage that is required. A standard outlet is typically rated for 15 amps. You will likely need to have a 20-amp rated outlet if you’re running a welding extension cord of 110v.
Most homes do have one 220v outlet that can support your welding equipment. It will either be near where the dryer installation will be. Some dedicated HVAC systems or air conditioning units will also have a dedicated 220v outlet that can be used. Run the extension cord from there to your welder to prevent circuits from tripping on you while you’re trying to weld.
Pricing Options for the Best Welder Extension Cords
You’ll find that the price of an extension cord for welding increases based on the length that you require. The best value in this category is the 25-foot cord, which often retails for $30-$50, depending on the manufacturer.
The 50-foot extension cords for welding tend to be priced in the $45-$75 range. If you need more length, a 75-foot cord is usually priced at $100 or more.
As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to purchase the largest gauge and length that you can afford.
Real Life Reviews of the Best Welder Extension Cords
This welder extension cord gets all the basics right. It offers the STW jacket so you receive the heavy-duty performance your project requires. It’s an 8-gauge cord, delivery 40 amps at 250 volts, or 10,000 watts if you prefer. The molded ends of the extension cord are easy to grip and give you the convenience and safety you need for working at any job site. With this cord, you add portability to virtually any welder that you are using. There isn’t a better investment from a convenience standpoint on the market today for this 25-foot cord.
When you need more length to an extension cord, you shouldn’t have to pay an excessive surcharge for it. This 8/3 6-50 MIG and TIG rated welding cord is going to give you the added portability that you need. It’s also a lighted cord, which eliminates one of the common safety hazards that lurks around many job sites. This extension cord is designed more for industrial applications, but it will also be the last cord you need for your DIY welding projects. As an added bonus, you can also have your company name or your name and your phone number printed right on the cord.
Sometimes an all-purpose extension cord can get the job done for you, especially if you’re working on a low-amp project. That’s what this 12-gauge extension cord will be able to provide for you. With lengths of up to 100 feet available and LED-lighted plugs, you’ll be able to get to work quickly. It’s rated for 15 amps, 125 volts, and 1,625 watts. It is CETL and ETL listed. We like this cord because of the flexible vinyl covering, which gives a level of water resistance to the cord so you can focus on your welding.
With a pro-grip safety handle and a STW 600V cold-weather jacket that resists grease, oil, and even ozone, this welder extension cord will give you the flexibility you need to work even when the environmental conditions may not be so friendly. It features a molded-on 50-amp NEMA 6-50 end with a clear neon plug and connector so you can always see what you’re doing. The current it provides is consistent, carries what you need for a 200+ amp welder, and has the quality you want to support your work.
This is a solid welding extension cord that is easy to install and offers you the stable current you need for any discipline or for cutting. It works with all of the products that require the higher amperage levels that may be in your shop or garage as well. It features a 50 amp plug on each end, so you’re going to get the power you need at your welder from a distance. If you’re looking for consistency above anything else, this is the item for you.
The best welder extension cords will let you bring your welder to your project. Get the right length, double-check the ratings, and you’ll be ready to start working.