I’ve been in the market for a couple of extension cords – a 25-footer in 14/3, and a 50-footer in 12/3. Both should be capable of handling 15A tools if needed.
My criteria was simple. The cords should be rated for indoor/outdoor use, they should be rated for cold weather use, and they should be made in the USA.
I came across plenty of suitable cords, but that USA-made criteria was tricky.
Over at the wholesale club, I came across some nice US Wire extension cords. 100 footers, which was more than I needed, and 14 gauge, which meant reduced max current load of about 13A.
I looked online, at Amazon, and the US Wire extension cords were said to be made “in the USA or China,” with some reviewers complaining that they received imported cords.
I came across USA-made Husky and Ridgid extension cords at Home Depot, but not all were made in the USA, and I found the prices to be a little high. $69 for a 50 foot 12 gauge cord? That seemed a little high.
So then I looked at alternative products, such hose reels, and other brands of extension cords.
After a couple of disappointing searches on Amazon and other retailers’ sites, as well as Google, I came across Flexzilla extension cords.
Here’s what they offered:
- Bright green jacketing
- Lighting plugs
- Glow in the dark stripe
- Rated for -58°F to 167°F operation
- Flexible jacketing
- Made in USA
Their 25-foot 14 gauge and 50-foot 12 gauge cords can handle 15A loads.
The prices were quite decent too – $20 for the 25-footer, $43 and change for the 50-footer.
Both cords arrived today from Amazon, and they appear to be as heavy duty as promised. And yes, they’re marked as being made in the USA. Hopefully they’ll hold up as well as promised.
There are a few other brands that make extension cords in the USA, but I had difficulty finding a sure thing, with the features I wanted, and at a price I liked.
It’ll be a while before I know whether this was a good purchase or not. Will the cord ends separate? Will the cords kink? Will the jacketing crack after a few uses in cold weather? Or will they serve me well for years and years?
I’m inclined to trust that I made the right choice, and that these Flexzilla extension cords will serve me well.
I feel a little weird, thinking that maybe I was overthinking things, and that I should have just picked a brand name and ignored the country of origin, wherever the cords came from.
If I wasn’t adamant about sourcing 15A-rated cords, I might have went with the Amazon Basics extension cords I previously wrote about. $15 for a 50-foot cord is pretty darned good. But I really wanted the bump-up from 16 gauge to 12 gauge for the 50 footer, plus the cold weather flexibility.
About wire gauge – I read on a few packages that a 50-foot 14 gauge cord should be able to handle 15A loads as well. Even so, I wanted the bump up to 12 gauge. I wish I could tell you there’s a firm reason as to why. Maybe because I think it’ll be more durable?
If you have used Flexzilla extension cords before, what do you think of them? Flexzilla also makes a lot of air hoses.