Over the weekend, I took a quick look through older post drafts that were started but long forgotten about. Last night’s Leatherman Skeletool review was one such post. Deep in the list was a 3-year-old idea post about US Wire extension cords.
I followed the Amazon link I left for myself, and the light bulb in my head shined anew. Ah – USA-made extension cords, that will surely be of interest!
I check on a couple of the US Wire products, and what do I see? Made in the USA or China in the product description. Uch, really?
And then, this morning, I came across listings for new AmazonBasics outdoor extension cords. I found it interesting, because there times when you want a thick and robust cord, other times you want something long and low-powered.
AmazonBasics is Amazon’s house brand, which they put onto electronics accessories, such as charging cords, audio cords, batteries, tablet cases, and the such. Apparently Amazon now offers AmazonBasics extension cords.
I will soon be searching for a high quality extension cord maker, but I think I would trust these AmazonBasics cords without much hesitation, at least for occasional use. I don’t think they’re built for regular use, use in demanding environments, and certainly not heavy duty use.
They’re made with vinyl-jacketed 16-gauge 3-wire cord, with a standard 3-prong male and female plugs at the ends. There are 2 sizes – 50′ for $15, and 100′ for $23.
They seem decent as light duty outdoor extension cords. Keep in mind that the 16-gauge cord is going to limit the current draw.
According to Coleman Cable and a couple of other online sources, it seems that 16-gauge cables are generally limited to 13A loads for 50-foot lengths, and 10A loads for 100-foot lengths. (Can anyone find an NEC or OSHA source for these specs?)
If you have you tried these extension cords, what do you think? Is there a brand that you would recommend better, either for light or heavy duty use?