At FJC we understand that all booster cables are not the same, but—then again—neither are all users.

Learn about important considerations for this invaluable tool and always be sure to read all instructions and follow all safety rules before using.

Length

The length of the cables determines how close you need to be to another vehicle to give or get a jump start.  A recommended minimum length for booster cables is 12’ for a basic reach, although even longer is better.  Batteries have been known to die with less-than-ideal battery access due to vehicle positioning.  The longer the cables the less likely you will need to push or maneuver a vehicle into a more advantageous position.   However, consideration should be given to ability to store longer (and therefore, bulkier) cables.

Clamps

The importance of quality clamps cannot be overstated.  Look for a good, solid clamp with teeth to prevent slippage from the battery terminals. The sturdier the clamp, the better it will stay in place, and the less likely the cables are to fail or overheat.  In addition, consider rubber-coated handles to help protect the user against shock.

Packaging/Storage

Look for cables in packaging which protects the cables from damage/corrosion while they’re in your car, which will add years to their lives.  If you choose cables without a case, invest in a sturdy container dedicated to their storage.

Gauge

The gauge refers to how big around the cable is (which means the lower the gauge the thicker the cable).  The thickness also denotes how many amps can be safely transferred through the cable.  Therefore, the lower the gauge, the more power goes through it and the faster it will charge.  At FJC we offer 10 gauge light duty cables (fine for compact vehicles), all the way to 1 gauge commercial grade—and everything in between.  Bear in mind, a commercial grade cable will also effectively charge a compact vehicle…..but light duty cables will likely not charge a larger vehicle.

As Murphy’s Law dictates, most of us need to use booster cables at the most inopportune times:  in the freezing cold, at night, or in the rain or snow.   (Dead batteries seldom seem to happen at the beach on a balmy day!)

In Summary:

  • Longer Cables = ability to charge with less-than-perfect vehicle positioning
  • Stronger Clamps = less slippage from terminals
  • Rubber-coated Clamps = less likelihood of shock
  • Sturdy Storage = longer lifetime of cables
  • Lower gauge = less time spent charging a battery

Understand and make your best choice for this important piece of safety equipment now to avoid annoying issues later.   You can view FJC’s complete line of booster cables here.

 

LMK 2021