How To Pick The Safest Extension Cord

By: Dan Mulcahy

Milspec Direct eliminates the guess work with its Pro Glo® line of heavy duty extension cords. Known as “The Safest Cord on the Market” it solves several problems at once. 

An essential tool for every homeowner are the safest extension cord options on the market. Most electric tools come with power supply cords that are too short to be useful. In fact, some don’t come with a cord at all. Instead you must connect an extension cord to a recessed plug in the handle or body of the tool. 

You may be tempted to grab the first cord off the shelf at the hardware store but beware! There are important safety factors that must be taken into account. Otherwise the bargain basement cord may burn out an expensive tool, start a fire or worse. 

There are three factors to keep in mind when choosing the correct and safest extension cord: wire size, current and length. 

Wire Size: In the United States the size of the copper wire conductors is indicated by American Wire Gauge (AWG). Common sizes range from #18 AWG to #10 AWG. The higher the AWG number, the smaller the wire. For example: 

#18 AWG: Light Duty, for lamps. 

#16 AWG: Medium Duty, for fans, small appliances, household tools, etc. 

#14 AWG: Heavy Duty, for drills, belt sanders, routers, hedge trimmers, etc. 

#12 AWG: Extra Heavy Duty, for impact hammers, reciprocal saws, grinders, etc. 

#10 AWG: Ultra Heavy Duty, for generators, compressors, rotary hammers, etc. 

Current flowing through wire creates friction that is called “resistance.” In an extension cord resistance causes voltage loss, which is converted to heat. The more current flowing through a wire, the hotter the cord becomes. 

Length: Because of resistance and voltage loss the length of the extension cord you need is a critical factor. 

The experienced staff at Milspec Direct is ready to answer your questions and help you select the correct wire size and cord length for your special project. But they won’t stop there. Pro Glo® safest extension cord options take safety to the next level with unique, high visibility jacket colors, built in power check lights and continuous ground monitoring. 

With eight jacket colors to pick from, you can color code lengths, projects or crews, promote your business colors, or just let the world know of your passion for pink. Choose from Orange, Yellow, Green, Pink, Blue, Red, Black or Purple. Pro Glo® safest extension cord options are guaranteed to catch eyes, not trip feet. 

Pro Glo® safest extension cord models are equipped with a clear male plug that has a built in amber neon light. This power check light indicates there is power in the cord and outlet. In addition, Pro Glo® #14 AWG through #10 AWG cords have a green neon light in the clear female connector, which tells you at-a-glance that there is a continuous ground. 

After you select the correct Pro Glo® cord for your application, and pick your preferred color, you can complete the process by adding custom print. For no extra charge Milspec Direct will print the legend of your choice (80 alpha/numeric characters and spaces) on your cord. This personal identifier is repeated every nine to twelve inches the entire length of the cord, leaving no doubt as to ownership.