Choosing Extension Cord Of Correct Wire Gauge For Your Leaf Blower, Mowers & Other Yard Tools

by John

It is very important to choose an extension cord of the correct wire gauge to power your yard tools or any power tools for that matter. Obviously, you will not have to worry about this if you own a gas powered or a battery powered tool. The most important reason for you to be using the correct wire gauge is to make sure that your yard tool is receiving the correct voltage. If it does not receive the correct voltage, it may not perform very well and you may also end up damaging your electric motor. You should always first look at the amp rating of the yard tool you are using. This will help you in choosing an extension cord of the correct gauge. Another important factor to consider in the selection of an extension cord is how far that yard tool will be taken for the electrical outlet. After identifying the amp rating and distance required, you can use the following chart to help you choose the correct gauge extension cord for your yard tool or power tool.

EquipmentAmp Rating
Circular Saw12-15
Power Drill3-7
Hedge Trimmer2-3
Weed Trimmer2-4
Chain Saw7-12
Leaf Blower6-12
Bug Killer1-2
Lawn Mower6-12

Max DistanceUpto 10 AMPSUpto 15 Amps
0 Feet To 25 Feet16 Gauge14 Gauge
25 Feet To 50 Feet16 Gauge14 Gauge
50 Feet To 75 Feet16 Gauge12 Gauge
75 Feet To 100 Feet16 Gauge12 Gauge

* – obtained from General Cable Cordset Technical Information

Always remember the following when it comes to choosing extension cords:

  • Wire gauge – Small the wire gauge number, thicker the wire will be. So a 10 gauge wire will be thicker than a 12 gauge wire.
  • Smaller the wire gauge number, more electrical current (amps) it can carry.
  • As a smaller wire gauged cord can carry more electrical current, it can also be run for a longer distance from the electric source than a larger wire gauged cord.
  • Always use only an extension cord that is marked for outdoor use for powering yard tools that will be used outside.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Sivo

What type of 100 ft cord do I need for a 3.4 amp hand saw? I can’t find this info anywhere. Hope you can help. Thank you.


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