Choosing an Extension Cord Welder

For the majority of electrical items, you would typically use an extension cable if the socket was too far away.

But if you’re using a welder with an extension cable, hold off. Welders consume a lot of current.

If you use a thin-wired line, you run the danger of setting something on fire, tripping circuit breakers, damaging your welder, and potentially damaging the wires, breakers, and outlets that provide the power.

You need to pick a wire that is the right size to carry the load whether you manufacture or purchase a welder extension cable.

When choosing an extension cord welder, it’s crucial to determine its rated capacity and wire gauge. There are several conflicting guidelines on the proper wire size, so make sure you purchase a welder with the right amperage and wire gauge for your project. The wire gauge represents the number of times the wire has been drawn or stretched.

Welder Extension Cord Sizing

The voltage, amperage, and length of the extension cord utilized by your welder directly affect the size or gauge of wire required.

Because of how crucial this is, building codes and other contradictory regulations mandate minimum-size cables. I made the chart below as a handy guide to streamline the procedure.

Simply match your welder’s input voltage and amperage on the left.

You may then determine the wire gauge you should use by comparing that value to the relevant extension cord length column.

American Wire Gauge (“AWG”) gauge is frequently used to specify wire size.

Although first unclear, the AWG size merely denotes how frequently a wire is pulled and stretched.

A wire becomes thinner the more times it is stretched.

So always remember that a thick wire has a small AWG number and a thin wire has a high AWG number.

Assumptions For The Sizing Charts

The wire in the table above is specified to withstand 60°C and a maximum voltage drop of 3%.

If the rated capacity was close to or at its limit, the next greatest size wire was provided for safety reasons. Additionally, the amps your wire can pass may be higher if it is rated for higher temperatures. These estimates are predicated on the extension cable simply providing electricity to the welder. The aforementioned table is not applicable if you attempt to connect anything else to this power wire.

The only gauges that are advised are for copper wire. I made sure to provide for some wiggle room when calculating the wire’s temperature rating.

For service applications, the jacket on the wire is thicker to protect the cable. Thus, it retains heat more effectively than other wires.

Last but not least, you should never use a wire with a greater AWG gauge number; nevertheless, you can use a thicker wire (lower AWG gauge number) than is advised. It’s believed that you are aware that the suggestions in the table are the absolute minimum for wire thickness.

Related – The Chicago Welder 90 Amp

Pre-Made Vs Build Your Own Welder Extension Cord

Pre-Made Cords

Purchasing a prefabricated item is the simplest method to obtain an extension cable for your welder.

Simply choose a cord with the appropriate connectors that can support the weight of your welder. However, pay attention to the specified ampacity and be sure to choose an oil-resistant extension cable.

For instance, this heavy-duty 25-foot extension cord has an 8 gauge wire and can support a 50 amp load, so it can safely power a 120v welder.

There are several alternative lengths of cables available. Using 8 gauge wire, this 50-foot line has the capacity to safely carry 30 amps on either a 120 or 240 V source.

You will need a 5-ft line with a 6 gauge wire to accommodate a 240v welder running at higher amps.

If you want a longer cable, this 8 gauge, 75-foot length can carry 40 amps at 240 volts without experiencing significant voltage drops or overheating.

Even longer, more powerful extension cords are available, such as this one that is 100 feet long, constructed of 6 gauge wire, and transmits 50 amps at 240V. Although it is pricey and quite heavy, the cost increases with the number of amps used and the length of the extension cable.

However, there is another alternative if you want to save money or can’t locate the ideal extension cable for your requirements: make your own.

Building Your Own Cord

Making your own extension cable is simple.

It’s not too difficult to locate the wire and plug end you need. Additionally, most welders are more than competent of welding them together.One of the most difficult components is sizing the wire, so plan ahead.

You might want to create your extension cable to be robust enough to take the additional load if you want to add a larger welder in the future. Extension wires can be oversized but should never be undersized for the required gauge.

There are certain guidelines to follow.

  • Use an extension cable that is as short as you can, which may seem apparent at first. The voltage loss and heat production increase with length.
    Employ a SOOW wire. Heavy-duty industrial applications requiring flexibility and durability employ cable with this grade.
  • Avoid using Romex. It is a strong single-strand wire that is not meant to be wound up repeatedly. Continuous bending and handling causes the wire to break, putting you at risk for shock and/or fire. Additionally, the covering is not strong enough to withstand spills and shop abuse.
  • Last but not least, always construct and install grounded cables and outlets. Never, ever use an ungrounded wire or outlet.

Wire gauge

It’s important to match the right wire gauge for an extension cord welder with its voltage and amperage. This will help prevent injury and damage. The correct wire gauge is determined by the voltage and amperage the welder can handle, and by the length of the cord. Fortunately, there are many ways to determine the appropriate wire gauge. The table below provides some guidelines.

To understand wire gauge, first understand how wire gauge relates to amperage. A higher number means that the wire is thicker, and a lower number means that it’s thinner. Thick wire is better for high-amp equipment, while thin wire is best for low-amperage electrical connections. Wire gauge specifications are listed in the welder’s manual, and each type of wire requires a certain voltage and amperage.

Using an extension cord welder is one of the most convenient ways to weld. Extension cords can be purchased at various online retailers, and they cost anywhere from $30 to $100. Most come with a warranty. They also offer heavy-duty features. You can choose to use a heavy-duty 6-gauge wire. This wire will provide you with more flexibility in the future and allow you to use larger-wattage tools.

When purchasing an extension cord welder, be sure to check the wire gauge. A wire gauge with the right voltage and current rating will provide safe and reliable operation. Also, make sure that the cord has an STW jacket. This will help it last a long time and protect from rust.

Related – What to Look For in a Mig Welder

Rated capacity

You should always be aware of the rated capacity of an extension cord when you are planning to use it to power a welder. The extension cord should have enough amperage to power the welder but should also be grounded to prevent a potential shock. In addition, the cord should have a thick enough wire that can handle the weight of the welder. Lastly, you should be sure to look for a cord with IS (International Standard) certification.

The rating of an extension cord is determined by its amp capacity, power, and voltage. Buying the right extension cord for the right tool is essential, as it can help you perform your job more efficiently and reduce the risks of accidents. You can check the amp rating of an extension cord by checking its AWG number. The amp capacity is directly proportional to the cord length and wire gauge. For example, a thicker wire will be able to transfer a larger amount of power while a thinner wire will offer a reduced electrical resistance and will be best for low-current jobs. The wire gauge specification is usually listed on the welder manual.

The voltage drop caused by an extension cord varies. Some devices come with a standard voltage, while others need to be adjustable to accommodate different power flows. Luckily, the National Electric Code (NEC) has specific guidelines for voltage drop. In general, voltage drop should be no more than five percent, though some manufacturers recommend a maximum of three percent. To help determine the voltage drop of an extension cord, you can use voltage drop calculators. These calculators use input welder electrical ratings, output voltage and current, and a couple of other factors.

The electrical wire thickness (gauge) is the most important factor to consider. A smaller gauge will allow you to weld more efficiently. If you don’t use an extension cord that has lower gauge, it may be safer to choose a welder that is one that has a lower gauge.

Besides the wire gauge, you should also look for a cord that has the proper voltage and current. If you don’t get the right voltage, it could result in voltage drop and damage to the welder. It could even cause a blown fuse or electrical shock.

A heavy-duty extension cord should have a NEMA 6-50 connector and a plug. This will ensure safety for you and your welder. When you’re working with a portable welder, you should buy a model that matches the voltage and amperage requirement.

You should also consider the wire gauge of the extension cord for welders that use higher amps. For example, a five-foot cord with six-gauge wire should be able to handle a 240V welder. In the same way, a 75-foot cord with eight-gauge wire can carry up to 40 amps. Similarly, a 100-foot cord should be able to transmit 50 amps on a 240V supply. Nevertheless, these cords can be quite expensive. Furthermore, they are very bulky and heavy.


When choosing an extension cord, it is important to consider the wire gauge. A smaller gauge means a thinner wire, and a larger gauge means a thicker wire. Normally, extension cords range in size between 8 and 12 gauge. Check the gauge rating of the cord and make sure the wire is not thicker than the welder’s output voltage.

You can choose an extension cord with a lower AWG gauge if you want a thicker wire. However, you cannot go higher than 24 AWG. Buying premade extension cords is the easiest way to make sure the cord meets the requirements for your welder. The cord should be long enough to accommodate the wire load, come with the proper plugs, and be oil resistant.

Heavy-duty extension cords like the MaxWorks 80703 can handle heavier loads and are molded at the end to prevent fraying. They also feature a lighted holder to indicate that the cord is on. They work well with many different types of portable welding equipment. They are made of eight-gauge copper wire with three-phase voltage.

The voltage and amperage ratings of extension cords are very important. If the wire is too thin, it may cause the cord to malfunction. Alternatively, if it is too thick, the cord may not be compatible with the welder’s input voltage. The voltage should match the extension cord’s wire gauge.

When choosing an extension cord for a MIG welder, it is essential to select one that is compatible with the welder’s outlet. It is also important to choose one that is made from top-quality materials, and that has weather and heat resistance. If you’re not sure what voltage to choose, consider getting a cord with an IS designation.

The extension cord you buy should have the proper voltage and amps for safe and efficient welding. The extension cord should also be UL-certified, so that you don’t run the risk of electrical shock. For safety reasons, you should also choose a cord with a NEMA 6-50 plug. In addition to the electrical wires, be sure the cord is made of heavy-duty insulation. The cable should be strong enough for welding and it should be long enough to reach your welding jobsite.

Wrapping It Up

You need the proper gauge wire whether you use a pre-made welder extension cable or make your own. It will protect your safety and stop harm to your shop’s property and machinery.

The voltage and current draw of your welder (i.e., input power) as well as the length of the extension cord are the best ways to choose the appropriate wire gauge.There are several methods, such as enquiring on internet forums, to determine the wire gauge you require. However, if you are hesitant to perform the calculations or you do not want to sift through a variety of recommendations in a forum, you may use the table in this article as a fast reference.

If you have any questions, just contact us through Tools Working.

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